Affordable Housing?

When developer Ginger Hitzke first proposed an affordable housing complex on a parking lot in Solana Beach, she envisioned building 18 new homes for low-income families and adults at a cost of $414,000 per apartment.

More than a decade later, her project has shrunk in size by nearly half and become more than twice as expensive.

At $1.1 million per apartment, the Pearl is the priciest affordable housing project in the state and, likely, the country. It also serves as an alarming example of how political, economic and bureaucratic forces have converged to drive up the cost of such housing at a time when growing numbers of Californians need it.

“I have sticker shock,” Hitzke said. “It’s insane.”

Miguel Zamora’s saga, which is also the Pearl’s, began 30 years ago in a rundown, 1920s motel in Solana Beach, where he lived with his wife and four children. Hot water came and went, the roof leaked and toilets overflowed. Cockroaches, fleas and rats infested the rooms.

“It was all dirt. It wasn’t even paved. And it was quite ugly,” said Zamora, who worked in construction and as a dishwasher and gardener. “When it rained, it was really very cold. Everything would get damp.”

In 1992, the city of Solana Beach filed a criminal complaint against the motel’s Beverly Hills-based owner. As part of the settlement, the city demolished the motel, but agreed to provide Zamora’s family and more than half a dozen other residents new affordable housing by 1999.

Zamora and the others also received federal housing assistance vouchers, which helped him find an apartment five miles away from the old motel. His family has been living there for the last two decades, but the apartment they never received still weighs on his mind.

Should the Pearl or other low-income housing ever get built in the city, Zamora has the right to move in first. He longs to bring his family together in a place that feels more like home.

“I’d like to enjoy my grandchildren,” said Zamora, 67. “Because being apart is hard.”

Even though the deadline to provide the affordable housing was 1999, it took almost another 10 years for Solana Beach’s leaders to take the first step of asking developers to pitch projects.

(more…)

What’s Hot

I have to hand it to Brett and team in their preparation of this 1975-built home in Solana Beach.  The flooring was removed downstairs, and they added a heavy epoxy paint to the exposed-concrete, which gave it a trendy-hip look to go with the colorful formica in the kitchen:

The list price is $1,850,000, and they already have four offers!

Link to Listing

Median Sales Prices by Area

It’s been ten years since the bottom of the market.

Let’s see how the annual median-sales-prices of detached-homes have changed:

Town or Area
Zip Code
2009
2014
2019
10yr % chg
Cardiff
92007
$785,000
$1,180,000
$1,408,000
+79%
NW Carlsbad
92008
$587,000
$740,000
$999,500
+70%
SE Carlsbad
92009
$690,000
$825,000
$1,085,000
+56%
NE Carlsbad
92010
$528,750
$650,000
$830,000
+57%
SW Carlsbad
92011
$696,500
$850,000
$1,113,050
+60%
Carmel Valley
92130
$855,000
$1,090,000
$1,345,000
+57%
Del Mar
92014
$1,350,000
$1,625,000
$2,000,000
+48%
Encinitas
92024
$720,000
$955,000
$1,409,000
+96%
La Jolla
92037
$1,450,000
$1,640,000
$2,100,000
+45%
RSF
92067
$2,325,000
$2,476,596
$2,550,000
+10%
Solana Beach
92075
$1,075,000
$1,326,000
$1,462,500
+36%
NSDCC MSP
All Above
$815,000
$1,013,000
$1,325,000
+63%
NSDCC Sales
All Above
2,204
2,813
2,801
+27%

Takeaways?

  1. Everywhere’s a million!
  2. Most areas had their median sales price rise more in the second half (2014-2019).
  3. The number of sales is very impressive, given the run-up in pricing (we had 2,781 sales in 2018).
  4. Pricing in the Ranch has averaged +1% per year, which proves we can live with flat pricing for 5-10 years.
  5. Encinitas is less like Carlsbad and more like its ritzy neighbors to the south. Maybe it’s the culture?

https://encinitasca.gov/Home/City-Calendar/ctl/ViewEvent/mid/774/OccuranceId/3336

Two Eye-Popping Sales

When this house on Rios sold for $8,250,000 in March, 2019, it was the highest non-oceanfront sale in the history of Solana Beach.

The homeowner put it on the open market for $9,750,000 in September, and it went pending in 36 days.  It closed this week for $8,595,000 and the buyer paid the commissions, which makes it look like an effective $9,000,000 sale – which is a 9% return in eight months!  Both sales were all-cash.

Here’s a look at a sale at the top of the hill in Carlsbad that sold for $450,000 over list price:

No Mistakes

Remember before the last crash when buyers and sellers were far more cavalier about their real estate decisions?  Why was that?  Because if they needed to move again, there were always a reasonably-priced house down the street or around the corner for sale.

But things sure have changed.

Selling/buying/moving is no longer just something you do casually.  Because of the difficulty, you are probably only going to move if, and when, you decide to make a permanent lifestyle change.

Look at the differences just since this blog has been around:

NSDCC January through September:

Year #Detached-Home Listings Percentage Over $2M Percentage Under $800,000
2005
4,487
19%
28%
2019
3,960
33%
5%

The noteworthy:

There Are Fewer Homes For Sale – In particular, there are fewer high-quality homes for sale that would make it worth it for existing homeowners to move up or down.  In spite of having loads of equity, trying to find a home better than your current home is a major obstacle.

Home Prices Are Higher Than Ever – If you can find a house that suits your needs, the price will be higher than ever.  You have to pay more, qualify for more, and be willing to eat higher recurring costs like property taxes too.

Cost of Moving is High – Gone are the days when you could throw everything you own into a U-haul and move in a day.  Commissions, closing costs, packers & movers, home upgrades, and new furniture will cost you $50,000 to $100,000 or more in any house you buy around the NSDCC.

Competition is Stiff – As a result of the three items above, buyers are very picky and holding out for the highest quality.  Staying on the edge of your seat 24 hours a day can take its toil!

It’s a Market For The Affluent – With only 5% of the NSDCC houses priced under $800,000, it means home buying is only for those who have real horsepower – and regular folks are priced out, unfortunately.

The stakes are high, and making any mistakes now will be very costly.  The worst part is that home prices are moderating (except in Solana Beach), and without an increase in their equity position, those who need to sell shortly after purchasing could incur a substantial hit.

We are in the No-Mistake zone. Get good help!

P.S. The Solana Beach house on Rios that set the all-time non-oceanfront price record in March at $8,250,000 was relisted for $9,750,000…..and it went pending today!

Pin It on Pinterest