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Over List!

An update on two of the homes featured here that garnered multiple offers. As expected, they sold for well over their list price.  This one got $51,000 over the top of their price range:

This one had 20+ offers, and sold for a whopping $190,100 OVER LIST PRICE!

The fully-renovated, one-story homes are HOT!

Plus let’s also include this old classic in Olde Carlsbad that sold for $30,000 over list price, or $773/sf in an area that has averaged $539/sf over the last six months:

Actives/Pendings

Rates are really low, and the market is responding. We’ve considered it a balanced market when the active listings are running about twice the number of pendings. Here’s how we’re doing so far in 2020, and compared to last February:

NSDCC Detached-Home Active and Pending Listings:

Area
Zip Code
Actives
Pendings
A/P Ratio
Ratio in Feb 2019
Cardiff
92007
14
9
1.6
2.3
Carlsbad NW
92008
29
19
1.5
1.8
Carlsbad SE
92009
48
50
0.96
1.9
Carlsbad NE
92010
12
12
1.0
1.4
Carlsbad SW
92011
21
19
1.1
1.4
Del Mar
92014
48
17
2.8
7.1
Encinitas
92024
65
53
1.2
2.1
La Jolla
92037
153
37
4.1
6.3
RSF
92067
158
24
6.6
10.5
Solana Bch
92075
18
12
1.5
7.7
Carmel Vly
92130
42
50
0.8
2.4
All Above
All
618
302
2.0
3.3

We are at the 2.0 mark, but take out La Jolla and Rancho Santa Fe and we’re at 1.3!

In SE Carlsbad and Carmel Valley – which are about the same size – we have more pendings than actives!

Homebuyers Guide

With our tight inventory and ultra-low mortgage rates, it kinda feels like Tesla stock.  One minute you’re in the $800s, and the next thing you know, the same house is in the $900s!

What can buyers do?

  1. Buy location.
  2. Don’t buy crap.

Simple enough, right?

But it’s hard to accomplish both, because the best locations have the oldest homes.

Let’s narrow it down further.

If you can afford a decent location, what else can a buyer do to ensure a smart purchase?

Buy a newer home, and/or buy a one-story home.

Newer: Homes built in the last 15 years typically have modern floor plans with a large open great room and lots of windows that allow for ample natural light.  When you go to sell it someday, it will still be a desirable home without a load of upgrading or maintenance costs to you.

One-Story: Boomers aging in place guarantee that the scant supply of one-story homes will stay tight, and those that do leak onto the open market will be hotly contested.

Here’s a good example.

This sold for $850,000 two years ago, and after a complete remodel it goes on the market for $1,149,000…..and they get multiple offers.  Those who thought they could still buy a nice house in Old La Costa in the $800,000s are really scratching their heads now!  But it had the good location, and the sellers added the new look to clinch a nice boost in value.

If you want to stick with a newer house and/or a single-story house, what are your chances?

Price Range
# Listings
# Built Since 2005
# One-Story
# One-Story Built Since 2005
0 – $1M
28
5
6
0
$1M – $2M
184
45
42
6
$2M – $3M
163
42
54
8
$3M+
266
100
79
24

Buying a newer home or a single-story really looks daunting now, but if you can pull it off, you got it made!

Insisting on a newer home and/or a one-story home will give you maximum assurance that you’ve made a smart buy that will appreciate better than the rest. We can add a few older homes that have been thoroughly remodeled, but they probably still have a floor plan cut up into smaller rooms with low ceilings.

Get Good Help!

Rates Make A Difference

Mortgage Amount
30-Yr Rate
Monthly Payment
$540,000
9.0%
$4,345
$688,000
6.5%
$4,349
$810,000
5.0%
$4,348
$885,000
4.25%
$4,354
$1,000,000
3.25%
$4,352

The same buyer who qualified for a $810,000 loan amount just 15 months ago can now borrow $1,000,000 and get the same monthly payment – a whopping 23% increase!

No wonder sellers expect +11% year-over-year!

Early Surge

Last Wednesday I was discussing the current market conditions with Candis while at her listing of a Davidson home on Calle Pera – which we both thought was priced right and should be selling in spite of it being on the market for 50 days.

I mentioned to her that it seemed like home buying comes in waves, or surges now.  The market goes quiet for a few weeks, then a bunch of homes will sell at the same time. We agreed that her listing should be the next to go pending….and if/when it does, will several more will go pending too?

Looks like it!

Since Wednesday, we’ve had 63 new pendings, including hers on Calle Pera!  You could say that we’re just coming off the holidays, but this isn’t the spring selling season…yet. Or is it?

It’s not just the hot new listings either – only 15 of the 63 new pendings had been on the market for seven days or less.  Here are eleven that had been on the market for 100+ days:

When eleven homes go pending that have been on the market for months, it’s not a fluke – those are retail sales happening early!  With good weather and no football this weekend, the lucky streak should continue.

Are you waiting to put your home on the market?  The reason to list it sooner instead of later is to avoid competition.  There probably aren’t many if any other listings around you now, and that could change in a hurry – and have impact on your eventual sales price.

I’m nervous about the competition between two-million-dollar condos in downtown San Diego, so I put our new listing on compass.com as a Coming Soon to gain some awareness among buyers while we do a quick spruce up.  It appeared on our website yesterday morning, and since then Compass agents have inputted another 19 new Coming-Soon listings!

Hopefully the early momentum will feed on itself. Let’s go!!

‘January is the new April’

The severe shortage of homes for sale is upending the sales calendar for the whole housing market. Spring has historically been the busiest buying season, but as competition for homes heats up across the country, January is the new April. Spring starts now.

The numbers are telling. From 2015 through 2018, the peak month for average views per listing on Realtor.com was April. January lagged by a full 16%. In 2019, however, January was the busiest month on the site in 20 of the largest 100 metropolitan markets.

Those markets included New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Seattle, San Francisco, Atlanta, Denver and San Jose, California. In 2018, January was the busiest month in just three of the largest 100 markets. This year, the expectation is that January will be the strongest month in even more markets.

“As shoppers modify their strategies for navigating a housing market that has become more competitive due to rising prices and low inventory, the search for a home is beginning earlier and earlier,” said George Ratiu, senior economist at realtor.com. “With housing inventory across the U.S. expected to reach record lows in 2020, we expect to see this trend continue into the new year.”

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/01/02/competition-for-housing-is-so-high-the-spring-market-is-starting-now.html

Buyers Starting Earlier

The home-buying season used to kick off sometime in spring, as the snow began to melt and people tried to plan for a summer move-in. But in recent years, the limited supply of homes for sale has spurred buyers to start their hunt earlier and earlier—and now, they’re jumping into the market en masse in January, according to a recent realtor.com analysis. Happy New Year, now start house hunting!

In about 20% of the nation’s largest housing markets, January was the month in which buyers logged the most listing views, the realtor.com team found. The analysis looked at the number of monthly views on realtor.com from 2015 to 2019—and discovered the extent of spring market creep, as buyers try to get ahead of the competition for the few homes on the market.

“As shoppers … [navigate] a housing market that has become more competitive due to rising prices and low inventory, the search for a home is beginning earlier and earlier,” says realtor.com’s Senior Economist George Ratiu. And as more homes aren’t expected to go onto the market anytime soon, ”we expect to see this trend continue into the new year.”

Link to Article

More 2020 Forecast – When to Sell

In three out of the last four years, our highest median sales price was in May – which are the sales that were decided in March and April:

I think we can expect a similar fast start to the selling season next year as pent-up demand that went unsatisfied in 2019 rushes in and grabs something just to get it over with while rates are still in the threes.

The average cost-per-sf is more choppy due to being skewed by abnormal sales prices, but this graph demonstrates the same – look at the hot start we got in Feb-May in both of the last two years:

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