Baby boomers in full control of the market, and very few have a reason to sell. In fact, the list of reasons NOT to sell is so long that you can’t help but have a personal favorite that keeps you in limbo:
1. I don’t need the money.
2. The grandkids are here.
3. My low property taxes have me locked in.
4. My low mortgage-interest rate has me locked in.
5. Everything else is too expensive.
6. I don’t want to leave the city/state.
7. My parents might move in.
8. My kids might move in.
9. My kids need to inherit because they can’t afford a home.
10. I don’t want to pay capital-gains (on more than the $500K).
11. I got a reverse mortgage.
12. I love it here!
13. Waiting for the market to peak.
Yet we don’t have an inventory problem – heck, there are 1,005 houses for sale in North SD County’s coastal region (La Jolla to Carlsbad).
To buy one, you need to have some horsepower – the median list price is $2.25 million. But at least it looks like higher-end pricing has slowed:
First-half stats for homes priced over $2,000,000:
Jan-Jun # Listings
Jan-Jun # Sold
Has the higher-end market peaked? Compare this year to 2013.
It could be that egos are causing homes that are really worth $1.7-$1.9M to slip up into the $2M+ range, which would skew the median prices lower. But the sales have leveled off over the last three years, in spite of more choices. More listings but fewer sales keeps the pressure on pricing.
Double-digit increases can’t last forever – but could home prices plateau for years? It will probably depend on mortgage rates, and having enough reasonable sellers who are willing to take the same $ as what the last guy got.
From our friends at JBREC:
Price appreciation has slowed across every major housing market, in what we are coining the Great Price Deceleration.
The biggest deceleration occurred in San Jose: Last year, resale prices in San Jose were up 20% YOY! Today, prices are down 6% YOY—a deceleration of 26%. Last year, San Jose was frenzied with less than one month of supply and very strong job growth. Builders were selling homes faster than they could build them. In the second half of 2018, the San Jose market slowed substantially due to affordability issues, but conditions have stabilized this year.
Top California markets, Seattle, and Las Vegas have experienced the most price deceleration. Home buyer affordability remains weak, even with historically low 4% mortgage rates, and homes are sitting on the market longer (especially higher-priced homes). We are seeing more buyer demand in markets such as Seattle, where home builders have adjusted prices.
Markets in the Southeast, Midwest, and Northeast have been far less frenzied this cycle and have had much steadier prices. These markets are typically lower risk in their fundamentals (more affordable, less risk of oversupply, and steady job growth). Raleigh-Durham has experienced the least deceleration in price from last year. Resale prices gained 7% YOY last year, and today they are up 6%, a 1% price deceleration.
Nationally, we expect resale prices to gain 2% through 2022, cumulatively, but there are huge disparities by region and metro.
We explore all top housing markets each month in our Regional Analysis and Forecast report for our paying research clients. If you are interested in becoming a research client, please reach out to our team of expert analysts.
We saw yesterday that the number of new listings has remained steady, but it seems that buyers keep getting pickier. First-half sales are down 4% year-over-year, and pricing is a little soft too.
But last year’s sales were down too, and if we consider the 2016 count to be the median in the group above, then this year’s first-half sales are 10% under that.
Yunnie is optimistic though:
Yun said consumer confidence about home buying has risen, and he expects more activity in the coming months. “The Federal Reserve may cut interest rates one more time this year, but there is no guarantee mortgage rates will fall from these already historically low points,” he said. “Job creation and a rise in inventory will nonetheless drive more buyers to enter the market.”
Bill (in Giants jersey) from the Bay Area has been reading the blog for the last ten years!
He won the earlier contest for Padres tickets, so when he and his family were here on vacation, they took in the first game of the series last night – a 13-2 shellacking by the Giants! They got on TV too:
Congrats Bill and family!
The contest was predicting how many new listings we would have in the first two months of 2019. Bill’s guess was 777, which was the third lowest of those submitted – we all thought more sellers would want to cash out at these prices!
Yesterday’s doomer was looking for the right evidence – historically, one of the first signs of trouble is a surge of inventory. We saw it last time in the first half of 2006 when listings jumped 23% as sellers started scrambling to get out:
NSDCC Detached-Home Listings Jan 1 to June 30:
Number of Listings
Median List Price
But still no surge here locally in 2019.
Our inventory count this year is looking normal – and 24% under the 2006 count:
NSDCC Detached-Home Listings Jan 1 to June 30:
Number of Listings
Median List Price
In the first half of 2005, we had 400 sales close under $750,000, and this year we had 55.
We had 560 homes list for $2,000,000+ in the first half of 2005, and 238 closings. This year, we had 901 listings over $2,000,000, and 298 closings!
Here are the histories, and forecasts, of our local Zillow Home-Value-Index for each area:
They are forecasting flat or declining prices in three of our larger areas – and they are also predicting a drop-off in values as the selling season will be getting underway in March, 2020 (which sounds far-fetched).
Their track record hasn’t been that great though. Here is their Carlsbad prediction in December, 2015, when they expected a 1.9% increase for 2016 – the actual was +7%:
The Carlsbad HVI has risen 19% since the beginning of 2016!
Can we agree on one likelihood? Prices probably won’t be going up much in the next year or two.
More data released today on pricing trends, and though San Diego didn’t make this chart, we’re probably in the normal range with Los Angeles because our Case-Shiller indicies have been similar (+1.8% vs +1.1% YoY in SD). Interesting that they call San Francisco ‘undervalued’.
Both the HPI and the Case-Shiller Index were the February readings. There is optimism that YoY pricing will pick up as the selling season rolls on, but they are predicting that prices will decline from March to April, which is unusual:
Looking ahead, after some initial moderation in early 2019, the CoreLogic HPI Forecast indicates home prices will begin to pick up and increase by 4.8% on a year-over-year basis from March 2019 to March 2020. On a month-over-month basis, home prices are expected to decrease by 0.3% from March 2019 to April 2019. The CoreLogic HPI Forecast is a projection of home prices calculated using the CoreLogic HPI and other economic variables. Values are derived from state-level forecasts by weighting indices according to the number of owner-occupied households for each state.
These guys don’t make their data public. Using the Case-Shiller Index instead, we see that the last time we had a drop between March and April was in 2009, at the bottom:
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