April 2014 San Diego Real Estate Newsletter

April 16, 2014

Home sales off 20% from March 2013

San Diego Union-Tribune article by Jonathan Horn reports on DataQuick’s real estate statistics for March. According to the statistics, home prices were up from $410,000 in March 2013 to $427,000 this March but the number of homes sold dropped by 20%.

April 1, 2014

New Federal Tax on home sales

As part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) there is a new tax on the sale of residential property. You may be thinking this is an April Fool‘s joke but it is not. The new 3.8% tax does not apply to everyone so follow the link above to read the details.

March 27, 2014

U.S. pending sales slip for 8th straight month

USAToday reports that according to the National Association of REALTORS the group’s Pending Home Sales Index dropped .8% in February. The index has dropped 10.5% over the last year. Pending home sales are the number of contracts signed to purchase a property so they are a good indicator of future sales statistics.

San Diego shows highest appreciation gain in January

San Diego Union-Tribune reports Case-Shiller statistics for January that show San Diego’s residential real estate appreciation at 1.8% which was the highest monthly gain in the 20 U.S. cities measured in the Case-Shiller report. In addition, “January’s average was 19.4 percent higher than the same month in 2013, up from 18 percent in December.”

March 25, 2014

New home sales drop across U.S.

REUTERS article reports Case-Shiller statistics showing that sales of new U.S. single-family homes hit a five-month low in February. Home prices rose .8% in January across the country.

March 20, 2014

San Diego foreclosures continue to drop

San Diego Union-Tribune article reports on DataQuick statistics that show San Diego foreclosures down by 44% in February 2014 compared to February 2013. Clearly, rapidly rising home values are returning equity to homeowners who have been “under water” since 2008.

Existing home sales down across U.S.

REUTERS stories reports National Association of REALTORS statistics showing existing home sales dropped 0.4 percent in February. Weather in the Midwest and East Coast was a contributing factor to the drop in sales. Sales were up slightly on the West Coast.

March 14, 2014

San Diego housing market up

The median price for a home sold in San Diego was up 14.2% in January of this year compared to last January according to an article in the San Diego Union-Tribune.

March 10, 2014

New Listing

Carlsbad two bedroom, two bath single family home. Close to the beach and shopping.

Carlsbad Home For Sale

Carlsbad Home For Sale

San Diego home prices up 18% for 2013

San Diego Union-Tribune article reports that from December of 2012 to December of 2013 San Diego area home prices rose 18% which was the 5th. highest in the Case-Schiller index. The 18% appreciation happened despite the market slowdown at the end of the year.

New home sales highest since 2008

Fox Business reports that new home sales were the highest since July 2008 in January across the country. It’s important to note that the new home sales statistics are based on signed contracts, not closed sales so a certain percentage of these reported “sales” won’t become closed transactions which is different than the existing homes sold report that reports closed transactions.

February 25, 2014

Case-Shiller reports home prices down

Los Angeles Times story reviews the latest Case-Shiller report which shows home prices down in 20 large metropolitan areas. But, once again, it’s the headline that matters. Prices declined 0.1% from November to December 2013 but were UP 13.4% from the previous November.

February 21, 2014

January existing home sales fall 5.1%

Los Angeles Times story reporting National Association of REALTORS statistics showing that sales of existing homes fell 5.1% across the country compared to January 2013. Some of this decline can be attributed to the weather in the Midwest and on the East Coast but sales fell in the West by 7.3% and there haven’t been any blizzards in Los Angeles or San Diego.

February 18, 2014

San Diego defaults, foreclosures up slightly

San Diego Union-Tribune story reporting that 149 homes were foreclosed on in San Diego County in January. January 2014 total was down 60% from the same month in 2013.

Housing starts off 16% in January

Wall Street Journal article reports that housing starts dropped to their lowest levl since last September. However, if you’ve been paying attention to the news you’ll know there have been several blizzards in the Midwest and East Coast this winter. It’s pretty hard to build a house in a blinding snow storm.

February 13, 2014

San Diego housing market slowdown continues

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports on DataQuick’s findings that home sales dropped to a three year low and that prices dropped as well. But wait, that’s a drop from last month’s statistics. Year over year prices are up 15.7%.

Fewer US homes repossessed in January

The number of completed foreclosures in the US dropped to its lowest level in six years. Realty Trac Inc reports that completed foreclosures were down 4% from December.

January 31, 2014

Sales of homes over $1M at 6-year high

The San Diego-Union Tribune reports that in 2013 there was a 48.7% increase in homes sold over $1M in San Diego County. Last year 3,519 over $1M closed escrow.

January 30, 2014

Pending sales slow

Bloomberg Businessweek reports contracts to purchase resale homes dropped 8.7% across the country in December. The arctic freeze weather conditions in the Mid West and East Coast and lack of inventory contributed to the slow down. As the real estate market returns to “normal” more homes will be put on the market which will result in more pending home sales in the spring and summer.

January 29, 2014

Closed Sale

Rancho Bernardo two bedroom, two bath in Bernardo Heights. This was a great purchase!

San Diego home prices up 18.7%

Actually, the headline for this story in the Union-Tribune was “Home prices flattening in the county” Housing prices have been appreciating at a very fast pace the last few years as the market tries to adjust to the crash in 2008. A little “flattening” of high price appreciation is a good thing.

January 27, 2014

2013 real estate year in review

Jonathan Horn of the San Diego Union-Tribune has an article reviewing residential real estate in San Diego County for 2013. The article contains maps and statistics showing the number of sales and prices in the San Diego real estate market in 2013.

January 27, 2014

New home sales highest in five years

This Washington Post article’s headline actually reads “US sales of new homes drop 7 percent in December” but I’m headlining the good news in the story.

January 26, 2014

More homes on the market in 2014?

The San Diego Union-Tribune interviews its panel of real estate experts and asks if more home owners will sell their properties in 2014. I believe, and hope, we get more inventory of traditional sales so that the residential real estate market will continue to become more “normal” with a balance of buyers and sellers.

January 25, 2014

2012 San Diego real estate review

Jonathan Horn of the San Diego Union-Tribune reviews residential real estate market statistics for 2013. Almost 27,000 resale single family homes sold last year while there were sales of 12,484 condos. The median price for a single family home rose to $440,000.

January 18, 2014

New Listing


Great Oaks North  three bedroom, two bath single family home with 1,909 sq.ft. on quiet cul-de-sac with park like yard.

More information…



January 17, 2014

U.S home construction has best year since 2007

Bloomberg News reports that, “For all of 2013, builders began work on 923,400 homes, up 18.3 percent from the prior year and the most since 2007’s 1.36 million.” This is great news for the economy.

January 17, 2014

County new home prices at all time high

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that San Diego County new home prices have reached a record high. The average median price was $699,000. But bear in mind that only 284 new homes closed escrow and many of them were in high end communities along the coast.

January 2, 2014

Pending home sales up in November

The National Association of REALTORS reports that pending home sales edged up in November. Pending home sales are the best predictor of future closed sales.

December 31, 2013

Coming Soon!

Rancho Bernardo

Rancho Bernardo

Three bedroom, two bath, 1,909 sq.ft. single family home in Rancho Bernardo will be available for sale in early January 2014. Beautiful cul-de-sac location. Here’s a preview of the website I created in WordPress for this listing.

Housing ends year on a high note

Property values rose 13.6% in the top twenty metropolitan areas which was the largest increase since February 2006 reports the Financial Times. Most economists are predicting the rate of home appreciation will slow in 2014 to 4-5%. Lets hope so.

December 28, 2013

Pending Sale

Rancho Bernardo three bedroom, two bath, 1,557 sq.ft. condo in Bernardo Heights.


Local experts predict 2014 housing market

The San Diego Union-Tribune’s panel of real estate experts offer their predictions for San Diego County’s home values in 2014.

December 24, 2013

San Diego default notices at 8 year low

San Diego Union-Tribune article reporting a significant drop in home foreclosures in San Diego County in November.

December 17, 2013

San Diego housing market continues to slow

Jonathan Horn of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the median price for a home sold in San Diego County in November was $415,000 up from $412,750 in October. That’s an increase of 15.9% but a drop from the 24.1% median price increase of June.

December 17, 2013

Home builder confidence higher

Wall Street Journal story reports that home-builder confidence at highest level in four months. This is good news for current home owners as home builders generally build for the “move-up” market so the builders are expecting the resale market the remain strong.

December 17, 2013

Underwater mortgages drop by 40%

Article in USA Today that 6.4 million homeowners still owe more on their homes than they are worth but that’s down from 10.6 million a year ago.

December 10, 2013

New mortgage rules in 2014

CNBC report by Dian Olick talks about new FHA loan limits effective January 1, 2014. The FHA will be lowering its loan limit in the very high cost areas (read San Diego County) from $729,750 to $625,000. The FHA is also raising fees to lenders which they will pass on to borrowers.

December 2, 2013

Do real estate websites have value?

The San Diego Union-Tribune interviews its panel or real estate experts to get their opinion about the importance real estate websites such as Zillow, Trulia or realtor.com to consumers. The answer, of course, is that consumers gain a great deal of information from these websites. The more information consumers have the better decisions they can make concerning any product.

November 28, 2013

San Diego home prices

San Diego Union-Tribune article about San Diego home prices rising slowly. I guess it depends on what your definition of “slowly” is. According to the Case-Shiller Home Price Index local home prices went up .9% from August to September. That’s a 10.8% appreciation rate over a year’s time which is a return most investors would gladly earn.

November 26, 2013

Home prices rise at fastest pace since 2006

Forbes story on the Case-Shiller monthly report on real estate activity in the country’s top 20 major metro areas for the month of September. The average for these markets was a 13.3% increase with twelve of the 20 metro areas showing a double digit increase.

November 23, 2013

Selling or buying a home during the holiday season

San Diego Union-Tribune article about buying or selling residential real estate during the holiday season. The article talks about several factors all of which I agree with but the one that sticks out for me is that people looking to buy a home during the holidays are serious buyers – they’re not just looking around, they want to buy a home.

November 20, 2013

Existing home sales drop but prices up around the country

Reuters News story about resale home sales falling to their lowest level since June “due to an inventory shortage and high property prices that have dampened buying power.” This is good news if you’re a home seller.

November 13, 2013

San Diego housing prices compared

The San Diego Union-Tribune published a chart comparing residential real estate activity in San Diego with other Southern California cities for the month of October. The number of transactions and sales prices were off all across the region from October 2012 but up considerably on a year to year basis.

November 5, 2013

New Listing

Escondido three bedroom, three bath home for sale

Escondido three bedroom, three bath home for sale


Just listed this three bedroom, three bath home in Escondido. Check it out on REALTOR.com.






October 31, 2013

Home loan rates lowest in four months

Home loan rates are at their lowest in four months at 4.10% according to ABCNews. The low rates are due to the Federal Reserve’s monthly purchase of $85 million in mortgage backed securities.

October 30, 2013

San Diego home prices still rising

Jonathan Horn’s article in the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that according to the Case-Shiller price index San Diego County home prices are still rising but at a more moderate pace. Sales prices rose 1.8% from July to August, down 2% for the June to July period.

October 29, 2013

Home prices show highest appreciation since 2006

Forbes online reports on Case-Shiller statistics showing home prices in 20 major metro areas gained 12.4% in July 2013 from July 2012. “Average home prices across the country are back to their mid-2004 levels, according to S&P/Case-Shiller, and still roughly 20% below their June/July 2006 peak.”

October 28, 2013

Pending home sales drop across U.S.

Article in USA Today about the National Association of REALTORS (NAR) report on existing home sales. According to NAR their pending home sales index dropped 5.6% in September.

October 26, 2013

San Diego County second least affordable in U.S.

San Diego Union-Tribune story by Roger Showley reports that San Diego County is the second least affordable housing market in the U.S. San Francisco is the least expensive.

October 22, 2013

San Diego foreclosure rates lowest since 2006

Roger Showley of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports on DataQuick’s statistics indicating that San Diego area foreclosure and defaults are at a seven year low. 2006 was the last time the foreclosure rate was lower.

October 21, 2013

September existing home sales drop nationally

September existing home sales drop nationally according to a story in USA Today. But sales were still 10.7% above last year’s total across the country.

We’ve had very buyer high demand over and low inventory over the last year which has driven prices and sales volume up dramatically. There had to be a slow down in the pace of these increases.

October 11, 2013

Women are having trouble finding men they see as eligible for marriage

What does this headline have to so with real estate you ask. Read the article in the San Diego Union-Tribune and you’ll see that it is one factor in the current generation’s decision whether to buy a home or rent. I think this a good time to invest in income property.

San Diego Housing Affordability

The San Diego Union-Tribune published an interesting interactive web page comparing San Diego’s housing affordability for a middle class family.

October 3, 2013

Government Shut Down Will Slow Home Loan Processing

The government shut down will effect home loan processing according to an article in Bloomberg. FHA loans will take longer to process thus slowing the improving housing market.

October 1, 2013

Home Price Appreciation Slowing Across U.S.

USAToday story about slowing price appreciation across the country is good news. A 12% annual appreciation rate in the cost of any product or service is unsustainable. Owning real estate is traditionally a good hedge against inflation but the inflation rate today is 2% or less so it’s a good thing if housing appreciation slows to a more realistic pace.

September 23, 2013

Closed Escrow

Solana Beach Condo Sale Closed

Terrific 2 bedroom, 2 bath condo overlooking the Del Mar Racetrack

A Rising Tide Lifts All Boats

San Diego Union-Tribune story reports on DataQuick’s most recent statistics. “A rising tide lifts all boats,” would be a good cliche here because as prices continue to appreciate then the fewer number of home owners find themselves underwater with their mortgage.

September 19, 2013

Home Prices Up 1.7% Across The Country In August

USAToday reports on the National Association of REALTORS housing statistics for August. The REALTOR Association also predicts a slowing of the increasing sales numbers in the months ahead across the country.

September 13, 2013

San Diego Home Prices And Sales Volume Slip In August

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that both median home prices and the number of sold residential real estate transactions dropped in July according to statistics provided by DataQuick. All I can say is, “thank goodness.” This market has to cool off a little or we’re surely headed for a new bubble.

September 13, 2013

Interest Rates on Jumbo Loans Lower Than Convention Loans For The First Time

Interest rates on Jumbo mortgages was lower than for conventional loans for the first time according to an article in the Washington Post.

September 12, 2013

Fewer Homes In Foreclosure Nationally

CNBC reports that in August lenders began foreclosure on the fewest number of homes in eight years. This is a report covering the entire U.S.

September 1, 2013

Mortgage rates drop a bit

Roger Showley of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports a drop in home mortgage rates in the last week of September. I predict home mortgage rates will fluctuate and be unpredictable as long as the Federal Reserve continues it’s mortgage backed bond buying program. Every time there is speculation about the Fed’s intent to change their bond buying habits mortgage interest rates have spiked up then settled back down. I don’t think that speculation is going away soon.

August 31, 2013

San Diego’s All Cash Housing Market
This San Diego-Union Tribune article analyzes the impact of all cash buyers on the San Diego County real estate market. According to the article 30% of residential real estate purchases in the county are all cash. This is resulting in first time buyers being shut out of the market and significantly driving up prices with over bids. Neither of these are good for a healthy real estate market.

August 29, 2013

San Diego Home Prices Outpace U.S.
The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that while home price increases began to slow around the country San Diego had its largest annual jump in eight years. But remember, these reports are talking about the pace of price increases since the real estate bubble burst. This cannot go on forever. It has to eventually cool off and I’m sensing that the cooling off is starting to happen here in San Diego. Cooling off is actually a good thing.

August 28, 2013

Pending sales drop
Nationwide the number of contracts to purchase an existing home dropped in July according to an article in Bloomberg News. As always, the percentage varied by region. All real estate sales statistics very right down to the neighborhood level and one monthly drop in pending sales nationwide should not be a source of concern.

August 21, 2013

Home prices still rising nationwide
CNNMoney reports that home prices in the country’s 20 largest cities continue to rise but at a more moderate pace as interest rates creep up. Click the link to read the story.

Is the move up market back?
Traditionally, the residential real estate market is at it’s strongest when first time buyers purchase family owned homes (not investor owned homes) and those home sellers “move up” to their next home. A San Diego Union-Tribune article discusses one local family’s move-up story.

July Home sales Up 6.5% Nationally
USA Today article reports on the National Association of REALTORS statistics that show home sales up 6.5% in July.

August 13, 2013

Some San Diego Zip codes nearing peak home prices
Interesting article in the San Diego Union-Tribune about which San Diego County Zip code home prices are rebounding to 2005 price levels. As the article points out, all real estate is local right down to the zip code and neighborhood.

August 1, 2013

Home Prices Up Again
Bloomberg News reports that the S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values increased 12.2 in May in the 20 largest metropolitan areas of the U.S.

In San Diego County home prices were up 17% in May according to the San Diego Union-Tribune’s article about the Case-Shiller report.

In my “day to day” real estate activity I’m seeing an increased number of price reductions on current listings. Market times seems to be getting longer as properties aren’t selling immediately after being listed for more than the asking price. This is good news for the housing market. The market has been too hot.

July 18, 2013

Solana Beach Condo Just Listed
Ext1Terrific two bedroom, two bath upgraded condo overlooking the Del Mar Race Track. Offered for $925,000.

More Information

San Diego Home Prices Up 24%
Limited inventory is still forcing home prices higher as potential buyers compete to purchase a home before interests rates start climbing. The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that DataQuick’s statistics for June show the average San Diego sales price was $416,500 – the highest since 2008.

July 5, 2013

Mortgage rates dropped last week
Mortgage rates fell last week to 4.29% according to an article in the San Diego Union-Tribune. Many were predicting that rates would only go up in the foreseeable future so this unexpected drop is a pleasant surprise for home buyers.

July 2, 2013

Home Prices Likely to Rise 13.2%
Jim Cramer’s blog, The Street, reports that home prices are likely to rise 13.2% nationally in June. The article cites historically low interest rates that are trending higher as the driving force behind home buyer demand.

July 1, 2013

It’s going to be a hot summer
The San Diego County residential real estate market is having a hot summer. Not only is the current weather very hot, so is the real estate market. Properties for sale are receiving multiple offers. Anything for sale that is not receiving multiple offers is priced so far above other comparable properties, as sellers test the top of the market, that even anxious potential home buyers aren’t bidding. Lack of inventory and the threat of higher interest rates will keep the real estate market sizzling long after the outside temperatures cool off.

June 25, 2013

San Diego home prices up 15%
The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that according to the S&P/Case-Shiller report that San Diego home prices were up 15% over one year ago. Prices were also up 4% over a month ago.

The Case-Shiller report covers 20 major metro areas. The reports data is also 60 days old so this report covers the month of April. And since the report is for sold properties it actually means that the transactions which ended up as closed sales were initiated some time in February or March.

June 19, 2013

San Diego County foreclosure rates fall to 7 year low
The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that San Diego area foreclosures fell to a 7 year low. This is obviously great news to home owners who are seeing their property values improve dramatically in recent months.

June 12, 2013

Check out San Diego County home prices
Find home selling prices by zip code using the Union-Tribune’s interactive chart.

June 12, 2013

Underwater mortgages decline by 850,000
The number of households with underwater mortgages decreased by 850,000 nationally in the first quarter of this year according to CoreLogic. This is good news for home sellers of course but even better news for home buyers as more home owners will feel confident about placing their homes on the market thus improving the number of homes available to purchase.

June 11, 2013

San Diego home prices up 21%
The San Diego Union-Tribune reports on DataQuick’s May housing sales statistics that show home prices up 21% over last year in San Diego County and up 2% of May of this year. As the article point out, low interest rates are driving buyer demand for property. From what I’m seeing in the MLS, more home owners are placing their homes up for sale now than during the last few years.

June 10, 2013

Home seller confidence is up
Reports the San Diego Union-Tribune. The local market is definitely favors home sellers at the moment. Buyers are anxious to find a property due to their fear that interest rates are headed up.

Video of my new listing in Carlsbad

June 1, 2013

Just Listed! La Costa one bedroom, one bath only one block from the La Costa Resort. Features new laminate flooring, granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances, two fireplaces and custom tile work. Offered for $265,000.

Home prices have hit a 5 year high in San Diego County. Check home prices in your zip code using the Union-Tribune’s interactive chart. Low inventory of available homes on the market is a big part of the rapid appreciation in housing value.

Home loan rates are inching higher according to Market Watch. Rates are still incredibly low, well below 5%, with nothing lurking to drive them higher anytime soon.

May 28, 2013

San Diego Home Prices Up 12%

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that according to the Case-Shiller Home Price Index San Diego home prices are up 12% over last year. Tremendous demand and low inventory are driving prices higher. It is definitely a home seller’s market.

What A Time To Be A Home Seller

This article on MSN Money talks about the red hot real estate market across the country.

San Diego Home Prices Rise 10%

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that “San Diego County home prices rose 10 percent in February compared to the same time a year ago, according to the report, which has a two month lag.” Just as in the last year’s statistics, limited inventory and low interest rates are creating very high demand thus higher prices.

Home Ownership Rates Fall

The Wall Street Journal reports that home ownership has fallen to 1995 levels while rental vacancy rates are lower and rents are on the rise. This is a familiar scenario that occurs after every recession in housing. The outcome will be the same – as rents go up people will find that it is actually less expensive to own their own home than pay rent. This is happening today all over the country.

Arpil 19, 2013

San Diego County Home Prices by Zip Code

The San Diego Union-Tribune published their monthly interactive chart of home values by zip code. With local values up by nearly 19% over last year most zip code areas show a nice increase.

April 15, 2013
San Diego home prices raise nearly 19% . The San Diego Union-Tribune reports information from DataQuick which shows that prices for March 2013 averaged $380,000 which is the same value home prices had in March 2008.

High demand due to low interest rates plus very low inventory are combining to drive prices up to levels that existed just before the housing crash.

April 1, 2013
Construction spending up across the country with new home construction leading the way according to Bloomberg News. The San Diego region has a challenge with new home construction due to a lack of affordable, buildable land. This will only serve to further drive up the cost of resale properties creating a real challenge for first time home buyers.

March 28, 2013
Video of 1257 Archer in Pacific Beach
YouTube video of my new listing in Pacific Beach.

March 27, 2013
Pending Sales Down But Prices Up
Bloomberg reports that nationally existing home sales fell by 0.4% last month according to the National Association of REALTORS. The realtors attribute the decline in pending sales to a lack of inventory which we are experiencing in San Diego as well. However, I have noticed a dramatic increase of new listings coming on the market in the last month as sellers become encouraged by market activity and rising prices.

It is being reported that sales prices in San Diego County jumped by 10% over the same period last year. The combination of low inventory and very attractive interest rates are driving sales prices up. I believe this price upswing will level off as more owners list their homes and as builders bring more inventory to market.

Sold Listing
Terrific Carlsbad home in the Waters End community. Sold for the full asking price of $789,900.

March 25, 2013

For the last several years there has been talk of a “hidden inventory” of foreclosed properties that the banks were holding off the market. That may be true to a certain extent but the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that foreclosure activity remains low in San Diego County. I see this trend as continuing because of San Diego’s strong appeal and our historically robust housing market.

March 18, 2013
San Diego Home Prices
The San Diego Union-Tribune has published its monthly interactive chart of San Diego County median home prices. The chart is based on information provided by DataQuick and compares median home prices year over year by zip code.

March 16, 2013
New Listing In Pacific Beach
I just listed a terrific two bedroom, two bath home in Pacific Beach. Beautifully remodeled and lovely ocean views. Check it out on REALTOR.com.

March 14, 2013
Home Prices, Interests Rates Up
The San Diego Union-Tribune published the February residential home sales statistics as reported by DataQuick. According to the article February’s median home price was up almost 18 percent over February 2012.

The Wall Street Journal is also reporting today that mortgage rates have hit a six month high. This combination of rising prices and increasing interests rates usually spurs a dramatic increase in home buyer activity. Eventually potential home sellers will feel confident that they have regained much of their “lost equity” and begin putting their homes on the market.

Closed Sale
Carlsbad two bedroom, two bath condo sold in one day, all cash and for more than the asking price.

March 6, 2013
San Diego “Underwater” Zip Codes
March 6, 2013
The San Diego Union-Tribune has an interesting list of local zip codes with average home values that have negative equity – worth less than was originally paid for them. Eleven of the twenty zip codes listed are south of Interstate 8.

March 1, 2013
San Diego Home Prices Up 9%
The San Diego Union-Tribune story on the S&P/Case-Shiller home price report does a good job explaining why prices continue to rise in San Diego. The major factor for the increase is lack of inventory due to negative equity for existing home owners. Amazingly, not everyone wants to do a short sale or walk away from their property.

February 28, 2013
January Pending Home Sales Up
Pending home sales rose in January, and have been above year-ago levels for the past 21 months, according to the National Association of Realtors®. This article includes a video with NAR’s chief economist who explains the impact of low inventory in the Western region of the country.

February 28, 2013
30-Year Fixed Rate at 3.5%
Bloomberg News reports that “U.S. mortgage rates for 30-year fixed loans fell for the first time in six weeks, decreasing borrowing costs as home-price gains accelerated.” This is fantastic news for anyone thinking of purchasing a home but here in San Diego we have a challenge due to lack of inventory, especially for first time home buyers.

San Diego Area Home Prices
The Union-Tribune has published their monthly chart showing neighborhood sales data based on information from DataQuick. A quick glance at the data reveals to me that the zip codes that had the greatest decline in values now have the most significant upturn in appreciation. Some of the other zip codes that were not significantly impacted show no increase and a slight decrease in some instances.

Pending Sale






Carlsbad two bedroom, two bath condo with 1,308 sq.ft. in gated community. Offered for $340,000.

Pending Sale





My listing in Carlsbad is now in escrow. The 4 bedroom, 3 bath home with 2,468 sq.ft. was listed for $789,000.

Inventory shortage drives down California pending home sales in December

The California Association of REALTORs reports that the number of resale homes under contract fell last month due to lack of inventory. This is also helping to drive home prices higher.

San Diego County foreclosures by zip code

San Diego Union-Tribune published a list of San Diego County zip code areas with the most foreclosures comparing December of 2011 with December 2012. It’s striking the drop off in foreclosure activity in these areas.

Sales of U.S. Existing Homes Decrease on Lack of Supply

Bloomberg News story about nationwide existing home sales showing a decline in December. But this is good news because sales didn’t decline due to lack of demand – it was because there weren’t enough homes on the market to satisfy the demand. This is definitely true in San Diego where we have a distinct lack of inventory for potential home buyers to choose from.

Homeowners and sellers escape ‘fiscal cliff’ with key benefits

Los Angeles Times article recaps the effects of recent legislation passed to avoid the “fiscal cliff.” As far as I’m concerned, Washington has too much power micro-managing the tax code in an effort to conduct social engineering. We need a flat tax, national retail sales tax or a greatly simplified tax code that takes away Congress’ power to legislate benefits for their political constituencies. Both political parties do it and it’s time to strip both of them of this power.

Year-over year US home prices up sharply in Nov

San Francisco Chronicle reports on CoreLogic’s data showing U.S. home prices rising 7.4% for the month of November.

Happy New Year!

Here’s to a healthy, happy and prosperous New Year in 2013. As far as residential real estate for the new year is concerned, I believe we will see continued improvement in the San Diego market. This improvement will be driven by continued low interest rates and very low inventory which will combine to boost residential real estate values. As buyers become more confident while seeing real estate prices increase they will return to the market giving sellers more incentive to move properties they have held on to longer than they had originally planned. Investors, who have been a large percentage of residential real estate sales the past few years, will leave the market as prices escalate making room for first time home buyers. First time home buyers are always the catalyst for any sustainable residential real estate recovery.

More Than Three-Quarters of Metros Experienced Home Value Gains in 2012 reported Zillow in a press release dated December 20, 2012. The San Diego area gained $31.2 billion in home value gains according to Zillow report.

Consumers Optimistic About Homeownership As Housing Market Recovers reports Trulia in a press release dated December 12, 2012.

San Diego home prices by zip code for December

Home sales climb 2% in October reports CNNMoney. The 2% gain is for single family homes nation wide comparing September to October. On a year to year basis sales were up 11%.

Locally, the Union-Tribune reports that “We’re in the midst of a housing recovery.” But like everything else in real estate these statistics have to be analyzed right down to the neighborhood level. Many of the hardest hit neighborhoods are recovering nicely as investors pay all cash and snap up affordable homes at rock bottom prices.

Important tax news in this New York Times article about the end of certain tax exemptions. This is especially important for people hoping to short sell their properties. If certain tax exemptions are not renewed short sellers will have to pay income tax on the amount of debt relief their granted in a short sale.

CNNMoney reports that new home sales hit a 2-year high last month. This is really good news. For the economy to recover we need to start building more residential properties. Unemployment in construction has been a key factor in the current economic downturn.

The San Diego housing market continues to strengthen according to an article in U-T San Diego. But, as always, the strength of the recovery comes right down to your own neighborhood. Real estate values are predicated on location, location, location.

The hottest ZIP Codes in San Diego with the highest price increases for September were reported by the U-T San Diego. A big part of this increase is due to the fact that there are very few residential properties for sale. This lack of inventory is driving prices up on the available properties.

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