All posts by Pete Saxon

I have been a California real estate licensee since 1976. During that time I have worked as a sales person, office manager, broker of record for a large residential real estate company and owned a national real estate marketing franchise. The most important lesson I have learned in my career is that residential real estate sells because of its location, price, terms, condition and accessibility. Real estate does not sell because of the name on the For Sale sign.

San Diego Real Estate Newsletter September 2018 – Pete Saxon Realty

August 31, 2018

County median price a record $579,600

“Home prices have been breaking records on nearly a month-to-month basis all year. As of July, home prices had increased 8 percent in a year — the most of any Southern California county,” according to CoreLogic and reported in the San Diego Union-Tribune. However, the article goes on to report that, “Home sales hit its lowest point in years in July with 3,607 sales. The last time sales were that low was July 2014, when the county was still coming out of the housing bust, when there were 3,530 sales.”

August 29, 2018

San Diego building permits up

“In the first six months of 2018, there were 6,953 residential permits issued in San Diego County, a 64 percent increase from the same time last year, said a new report from the Real Estate Research Council of Southern California,” reports Phillip Molnar of the San Diego Union-Tribune.

U.S. pending home sales off 7th straight month

Diana Olick of CNBC reports on National Association of REALTORS Pending Home Sales Index, “Signed contracts to buy existing homes fell 0.7 percent in July compared with June.” However, home prices continued to climb at a 6% rate across the country.

August 28, 2018

San Diego County home prices up 6.9%

Incredibly, the San Diego Union-Tribune’s headline read, San Diego home price increases fall behind other California cities. We are so conditioned to be attracted to the negative headline that any continued good news is not featured. An annual 6.9% increase on any investment is still an outstanding return in today’s investment climate.

August 28, 2018

Tax cuts have not depressed housing

“It wasn’t supposed to take long for the Trump tax cuts to hobble housing prices, particularly in the high-tax, high-cost metro areas where the new law was poised to rip federal incentives to buy new homes. Nearly nine months later, those warnings have not materialized.,” reports the New York Times.

August 20, 2018

$131K income to buy San Diego home

“Only two other metro areas were less affordable — San Jose and San Francisco — said the study, which crunched numbers for 50 regions across the United States,” reports Phillip Molnar of the San Diego Union-Tribune.

August 10, 2018

Impact of housing slump on REALTORS?

The San Diego Union-Tribune wonders, “What a home sales slump could mean for professionals, buyers.” The article implies that being a real estate agent in a booming market is easy and I couldn’t agree more. Real estate sells itself. I’ve never met a real estate broker that sold a property. Brokers only provide access to real estate listings then the buyers decide whether to purchase. I’ve never heard a buyer say, “Honey, stop the car! We have to buy that house, it’s listed by Joe Slick!”

Significant slowdown?

“The housing market hit a sudden and “significant” slowdown in the past few weeks that could continue in coming months, Redfin Corp.’s chief executive said,” reports MarketWatch. Redfin operates as an actual real estate brokerage in some of the country’s most expensive markets and a slowdown in the highest priced markets always happens first. Another quick point, unlike Zillow, Trulia and even REALTOR.com, Redfin is a licensed real estate company with offices, brokers and real estate licensees. Zillow, Trulia and REALTOR.com are online media companies that are not licensed, not supervised and earn their income selling advertising, mostly to real estate licensees.

August 6, 2018

Affordability is the new housing crisis

Too few homes on the market is leading to a national affordability crisis reports NPR.

San Diego Real Estate Newsletter August 2018 – Pete Saxon Realty

August 1, 2018

The two most important articles in this newsletter concern potential government intervention in the real estate market. The articles about a California statewide vote for rent control and the story about the City of San Diego forcing landlords to accept tenants with government vouchers are important to the future of property ownership in San Diego and California.

Is U.S. housing demand dipping?

CNBC’s Diana Olick reports that, “Red-hot home prices, rising mortgage interest rates, very few listings on the entry level, and a high rate of student loan debt have weighed on buyers for a while, but a strong economy and growing employment had mitigated those factors. Now, however, a market stalemate is developing as rates and prices continue to rise, further weakening affordability.”

July 31, 2018

San Diego prices outpace U.S.

San Diego Union-Tribune that “San Diego County home prices in May increased 7.3 percent in a year, faster than the nationwide average, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices. The San Diego median home price in May for a resale single-family home was $619,500, said CoreLogic.”

July 24, 2018

So Cal home sales drop 11.8%

“Southern California home sales hit the brakes in June, falling to the lowest reading for the month in four years,” reports Diana Olick of CNBC. This includes all homes including new homes so fluctuating new home construction will have an impact on the report.

San Diego home prices hit all time high

San Diego Union-Tribune reports that, “San Diego County’s median home price hit another record in June, reaching $575,000, while sales hit their lowest point in years, real estate tracker CoreLogic reported Tuesday.The previous record was $570,000 in May. Home prices have been steadily breaking records all year, with prices increasing 5.5 percent in a year as of June.”

July 3, 2018

Is rent control coming to San Diego?

“A statewide vote to allow more widespread rent control could have big implications for San Diego County if it passes,” writes Phillip Molnar in the San Diego Union-Tribune. Rent control is clearly beneficial to prospective renters but has a negative impact on the natural function of a supply-demand economy.

July 2, 2018

San Diego landlords may be forced to accept housing vouchers

David Garrick of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that, “Aiming to prevent discrimination against the poor and minorities in a tight housing market, San Diego is considering a new law that would prohibit landlords from rejecting tenants because they use federal vouchers to help pay their rent.”

San Diego Real Estate Newsletter July 2018 – Pete Saxon Realty

Quick note

This month’s newsletter is brief as I was in and out of the emergency room four times in June with a non life threatening but pretty serious health issue. Real estate news remains pretty much the same with increasing home prices driven by very low inventory, especially in the “affordable” price ranges. I am sensing that demand is slowing a bit.

County prices up 7.8%

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices of the top 20 housing markets in the U.S. reported, “All cities in the closely watched housing index had increasing prices, with Seattle leading the pack with a 13.1 percent gain. The yearly national gain was an average 6.4 percent,” according to an article in the San Diego Union-Tribune.

U.S. existing home sales drop again

“U.S. home sales unexpectedly fell in May as an acute shortage of properties on the market pushed house prices to a record high,” reports CNBC.

San Diego Real Estate Newsletter June 2018 – Pete Saxon Realty

May 31, 2018

U.S. pending home sales slip 1.3%

“Pending home sales, which measure signed contracts to buy existing homes, fell a wider-than-expected 1.3 percent in April compared to March, according to the National Association of Realtors.” reports Diana Olick of CNBC.

It’s a sellers market!

We already knew that in San Diego but here’s a story from my hometown of Toledo, Ohio that says the same thing.  Incredible values available.

May 30,2018

County home prices outpace nation

“San Diego County home prices in March increased 7.7 percent from a year ago, outpacing most of the nation, a closely-watched housing index reported Tuesday,” according to S&P/Case-Shiller national index reports the San Diego Union-Tribune.

U.S. map of salaries needed to buy

howmuch.net website has a map of the U.S. showing how much salary is needed to purchase a home. No need to ask why people are fleeing California.

May 29, 2018

U.S. price increases not slowing down

MarketWatch reports that according to the S&P/Case-Shiller national index, “Home-price growth showed no sign of slowing down. Demand is strong, supply is short and favorable economic conditions are making it possible for many people to bid prices up.”

May 25, 2018

April sets another record in San Diego

San Diego Union-Tribune reports that “San Diego County’s median home price hit an all-time high of $570,000 in April, increasing 8.6 percent in a year, said real estate tracker CoreLogic. It surpasses the previous peak of $550,000.”

May 24, 2018

Interest rates reach 7 year high

“Home sales are slowing, spurring debate about whether the culprit is rising mortgage rates or low housing supplies,” queries this article in USA Today. In San Diego my unscientific, seat of the pants guess is that the market is peaking in some areas so prices are stabilizing and properties remaining on the market longer. However, despite attention grabbing headlines, we are a long way from a bubble.

May 10, 2018

Solar panels mandated on new homes

“The California Energy Commission (CEC) passed a first-in-the nation rule Wednesday, mandating all new homes constructed in the state be equipped with solar panels,” reports the San Diego Union-Tribune.

May 7, 2018

U.S. buyer confidence at all time high

CNBC reports, “Supply is tight, prices are soaring and mortgage rates are rising. That shouldn’t exactly add up to a happy housing market, and yet, it does. Consumer confidence in housing jumped to its highest level on record in April, according to a monthly sentiment index from Fannie Mae.” In my 40+ years selling residential real estate this has always happened. Interest rates go up and people think they will be priced out of the market so they start buying. There is such a low supply of homes to sell now that prices are being driven up faster and even higher.

San Diego Real Estate Newsletter May 2018 – Pete Saxon Realty

April 30, 2018

U.S. Pending home sales up slightly

“Signed contracts to purchase existing home rose just 0.4 percent in March compared to February, according to a monthly pending home sales index from the National Association of Realtors. February’s reading was revised down,” according to CNBC’s Diana Olick. Lack of inventory and rising interest rates were noted as reasons for the smaller increase.

April 25, 2018

County 7th highest price increase in U.S.

“The region’s home price increased by 7.6 percent in a year, said the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices. Seattle had the biggest increase in a year at 12.7 percent,” according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Index and reported in the San Diego Union-Tribune.

April 24, 2018

Values jumped 6.3% across U.S.

CNBC‘s Dianna Olick reports, “Home values nationally jumped 6.3 percent in February compared with a year ago, according the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Home Price Index.”

New median price record in county

“The median for a resale single-family home hit $608,750, a new peak, in March with 2,126 sales. Resale condos were at a median of $418,000 with 1,038 sales, and down from a peak of $425,000 reached in February. Newly built homes were a median of $619,500 with 365 sales, down from a peak of $792,250,” reports Phillip Molnar of the San Diego Union-Tribune about last month’s CoreLogic data.

April 11, 2018

How buying advice to ignore…

REALTOR.com article discusses common misconceptions home buyers can have concerning how to choose a property to buy. However, in this market with such a dramatic shortage of inventory buyers don’t have many options when choosing a property to purchase.

April 9, 2018

Prop 13 target of Sacramento

“Long discussed among liberal and Democratic activists, the proposed initiative would redefine Proposition 13’s limits on property taxes to focus mostly on homeowners. Commercially owned properties would be assessed at market values — a change the group believes could generate as much as $11 billion a year for local services and schools.” I’ll let you draw your own conclusions about this article in the San Diego Union-Tribune.

April 6, 2018

San Diego rents set record

“The average rent in San Diego County hit a record $1,887 a month in March, increasing 8 percent in a year, said a new report released this week,” reports Phillip Molnar in the San Diego Union-Tribune. That amount of monthly payment will buy approximately $425,000 in mortgage payments for a fully amortized 30 year loan at 5.25%.

April 5, 2018

Home buyers offering sight unseen

CNBC article states, “Already, house hunters are waiving inspections, making offers without even seeing homes and bidding well above asking price.” If you’re a seller in a market like this you need to be very careful accepting an offer from a buyer who hasn’t seen your property.

San Diego Real Estate Newsletter April 2018 – Pete Saxon Realty

March 29, 2018

They’re back!!

Remember subprime mortgages and the real estate depression in 2007? Well, guess what, the subprime mortgage bonds that finance these loans are back – again. CNBC reports that, “Home loans to people with scratches and dents in their credit histories dwindled to almost nothing in the aftermath of the crisis, as litigation-weary lenders retreated to patch up their balance sheets. But over the past couple of years a group of specialist firms has begun to bring the loans back, navigating a dense web of new rules drawn up to protect borrowers and investors in the $9.3tn US home-loan market.”

March 21, 2018

Home prices up 8.3% in February

“The market continued to be dominated by resale single-family homes, making up 1,630 sales in February. The median price reached $580,000, up 8.3 percent in a year,” according CoreLogic and reported in the San Diego Union-Tribune. “Sales continue to remain tight as there are fewer homes for sale than previous years. In February, there were 4,636 homes listed for sale in February, up by 221 homes from the same time last year, said the Greater San Diego Association of Realtors. But that is far off an an average 5,040 homes per sale each month in 2017; 5,909 in 2016; and 6,610 in 2015.”

March 20, 2018

San Diego top investment market

“San Diego has become a more favorable place for real estate investing among big money players across North and South America,” reports the San Diego Union-Tribune. “Real estate investing means pumping money into a local economy from construction of a new building or, what is more likely from investors surveyed, buying an old structure and fixing it up.”

March 16, 2018

Less new housing built in 2017

“Cities and the county issued 4 percent fewer residential building permits in 2017 than the previous year, said the Real Estate Research Council of Southern California in a report released this week.” writes Pillip Molnar in the San Diego Union-Tribune.

March 11, 2018

2,000 new apartments in San Diego

San Diego Union-Tribune story by Phillip Molnar reports on new San Diego County apartment construction, mostly in downtown’s East Village and Little Italy. For me, the most interesting part of the article deals with the decision by developers to build apartments and not condominiums because of their fear of construction defect litigation after the condo project is sold out. There literally are attorneys who mass mail new condominium project owners soliciting construction defect lawsuits.

March 9, 2018

This is great news!

“Getting a mortgage from a community bank or credit union could become easier, under a provision included in a banking regulatory bill under consideration in the Senate,” reports Sarah O’Brien of CNBC.

Home loan costs could go up

“Fannie Mae (FNMA) and Freddie Mac (FMCC) , two government-sponsored enterprises that finance more than 45% of U.S. mortgages, could raise monthly mortgage payments by $400 based on new rules being discussed in Congress.,” according to an article in TheStreet.

March 7, 2018

Closed Sale – Escondido 1.3 acre lot

Escondido Lot For Sale Escondido Lot For Sale

Lake Hodges view 1.3 acre lot. Gentle slope, private road, easy access to major shopping and freeways. Closed for $265,000.00 by Pete Saxon Realty.

San Diego Real Estate Newsletter – March 2018

March 1, 2018

Be careful with an ARM loan

Sarah O’Brien of CNBC posts an excellent article about potential dangers of adjustable rate mortgages (ARM).  It’s the same story I’ve read three other times in my 40 year real estate career. Interest rates today are in the mid 4% range. When ARMs were first introduced rates were 13% plus and went up to over 18%. We’ve got a long way to go to reach that level so it’s not time to panic with an ARM loan if you’re a buyer or refinancing.

February 28, 2018

U.S. pending home sales drop 4.7%

The National Association of REALTORS Pending Home Sales Index shows a drop to its lowest level since October 2014. “The economy is in great shape, most local job markets are very strong and incomes are slowly rising, but there’s little doubt last month’s retreat in contract signings occurred because of woefully low supply levels and the sudden increase in mortgage rates,” states NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun.

County home median price drops $11k

“The San Diego County median home price was $529,000 in January, down by $11,000 since December, said real estate tracker CoreLogic,” reports Phillip Molnar of the San Diego Union-Tribune. The story talks about rising interest rates slowing sales but my experience says otherwise. In a rising interest rate environment owning a home is one of the best hedges against inflation as home appreciation almost always outpaces the rate of inflation.

February 24, 2018

High HOA fees when selling

Informative article by Kelly Richardson in the San Diego Union-Tribune about fees home owner associations charge property sellers. “Pursuant to Civil 4530, sellers pay the association’s fee for the documents. Civil 4530(b)(1) requires associations to charge “actual reasonable costs” for document fees.”

February 21, 2018

Homes for the wealthy only?

The sharp drop in January home sales was not due to a shortage of homes for sale. It was due to a shortage of affordable homes for sale,” reports Diana Olick of CNBC.  This is especially true in markets like San Diego. I attended a real estate seminar back in the 1980’s where a local economist predicted this exact outcome. His prediction was that home ownership in San Diego would only be available to the highest paid professionals in the medical and scientific fields (this was before the internet and information technology) and that everyone else who could afford high rents would work in the service economy. Welcome to San Diego 2018.

February 15, 2018

Home Builders Optimistic

“With ongoing job creation, increasing owner-occupied household formation, and a tight supply of existing home inventory, the single-family housing sector should continue to strengthen at a gradual but consistent pace,” said National Association of HomeBuilders chief economist Robert Dietz as reported by CNBC.

February 14, 2018

County set sales records in 2017

“The housing market reached new price peaks in 2017, shattering records left over from the 2005 housing boom,” reports the San Diego Union-Tribune.  Higher sales prices and even lower inventory of homes for sale contributed to the record breaking year.

February 9, 2018

Low new home inventory

San Diego Union-Tribune story lists the new home projects available for sale in San Diego County. The average sales price is $877,000.00. Residential real estate markets work best when first time buyers stimulate a “move-up” market. With San Diego County home prices out of reach for most potential buyers and a lack of new communities for move-up buyers to move to we have a stagnant residential real estate market locally.

San Diego Real Estate Newsletter – February 2018

January 31, 2018

Homes for sale at lowest since 1999

“The supply of homes for sale at the end of December fell to the lowest level since the Realtors began tracking it in 1999,” reports CNBC about National Association of REALTORS statistics for December 2017. In San Diego, the combination of lack of affordability for first time home buyers along with limited new construction attracting current home owners to “move up” dramatically limits the current resale activity.

January 30, 2018

U.S. home prices up 6.2% in November

“The supply crisis in the housing market is not letting up, and neither are the home price gains,” reports Diana Olick of CNBC. “Local metropolitan markets seeing the highest gains are those that were rising fastest before the financial crisis. San Diego, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas continue to see strong gains. Seattle and San Francisco are seeing the highest gains of all, due to strong employment and very tight supply in both those markets.”

San Diego interactive home price map

The San Diego Union-Tribune has published an interactive map showing median San Diego County sales prices for homes and condo  in December 2017.

January 25, 2018

County median sales prices near record

San Diego County median sales price for new and resale homes was $540,000 in December according to CoreLogic and reported by Phillip Molnar in the San Diego Union-Tribune. Listing inventory remains problematic, driving prices higher, “Listed homes for sale continued to decline in December, following a yearly trend, said the Greater San Diego Association of Realtors. There were 4,088 homes for sale in December, down from 5,241 at the same time in 2016; 5,851 in 2015; and 6,773 in 2014.”

January 24, 2018

U.S. December resales decline

Reuters article reports decline in U.S. resale home sales in December of last year. “The National Association of REALTORS attributed the sales decline in December, which followed three straight months of gains, to a perennial shortage of houses at the lower end of the market.”

January 11, 2018

Closed Sale – Poway

Poway Home For Sale
Poway Home For Sale by Pete Saxon Realty

Lots of potential in this three bedroom, two bath, 1066 sq. ft. twin home. Walk to elementary school. Close to shopping, dining and entertainment. Sold for $460,000.00 by Pete Saxon Realty

January 7, 2017

Feds predict weak U.S  housing market

The Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee predicts that the residential real estate market will weaken more in 2018 reports the San Diego Union-Tribune. “committee members agreed the market ‘was still quite depressed,” according to fall figures. Starts of new single-family homes, demand for housing and home prices are still weak. In October, sales of new home slipped to its lowest level in 48 years.'”

January 5, 2017

Pending Sale

Escondido Lot For Sale
Escondido Lot For Sale

Lake Hodges view 1.3 acre lot. Gentle slope, private road, easy access to major shopping and freeways. Offered for $315,000.00.

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