Summerfied Estates home in Poway, CA becomes a Pending Sale in only three days. Offered for $769,000.00. Pete Saxon Realty
This month’s articles from MarketWatch, San Diego Union-Tribune, USAToday and the National Association of REALTORS all point to a stabilizing of the residential real estate market. The headlines all read negatively but the hyper appreciation of home prices could not continue unchecked. It’s good news for home buyers and a leveling of the playing field for buyers and sellers.
October 31, 2018
Home price appreciation slows
“The S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city index rose a seasonally adjusted 0.1% and was 5.5% higher compared to its level a year ago, the lowest annual increase in 20 months,” reports MarketWatch. INVESTOPEDIA
October 30, 2018
San Diego home sales down 17.5%
Phillip Molnar of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports on CoreLogic statistics indicating that the total number of homes sold in the San Diego County region was the lowest level since 2007. The average sales price also slipped below the all time high reported in August.
Millennials buying homes
USAToday reports that, “Millennials are shrugging off those growing housing-market obstacles and snapping up homes in greater numbers as they land better jobs and bigger raises.” I believe home ownership is still a goal of many. It has been a lack of inventory, not lack of motivation that has stymied the market over the last couple of years.
Economist Robert Shiller does not predict another housing bubble
“While noting that home prices having been rising since 2012, Professor Robert Shiller of Yale University told CNBC: ‘A housing bubble is not much in evidence…It’s not the same. It’s more placid.’ He added, ‘I don’t expect a sharp turn in the housing market at this point,'” comments Shiller in an INVESTOPEDIA article.
Homeowners staying put longer
I’ve been sensing this all year and an article in MarketWatch confirms that homeowners just aren’t moving. In San Diego folks aren’t selling because there’s nowhere to move to in the local area. All my sellers in the last couple of years have moved out of state. This also means fewer homes available for first time home buyers and low inventory levels which has been the cause of high property value appreciation.
Repeat buyers getting older
USA Today reports, “Repeat buyers are getting older. The median age was 55 years, up from 54 last year,” along with other interesting statistics about today’s home buyers’ profile.
October 25, 2018
U. S. pending home sales up 0.5%
The National Association of REALTORS Pending Home Sales Index indicates that, “Pending home sales rose slightly in September and saw substantial increases in both the West and Midwest. Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist notes that, “‘the lack of inventory of moderately priced homes and affordability as factors restraining the housing market but when viewed through the lens of the last few decades, the current affordability climate is still favorable. “’When compared to the year 2000, when the housing market was considered very healthy and home sales figures were roughly equivalent, the affordability conditions were much lower compared to now. So even though affordability has been falling recently, the demand for housing should remain steady.’”
This month’s real estate articles in local and national publications focus on slowing residential real estate price appreciation. Prices are still going up but at a slower pace. Your property’s value is dependent on real estate activity in your specific neighborhood. Prices and activity can vary on either side of a busy street depending on conditions in that specific location.
Be cautious when using the artificial intelligence property valuation tools like Zestimate or the ones you may find on your bank’s website. These are very generic and cannot know the specific conditions that effect property values in your location. They are marketing tools designed to entice you to contact them for information.
September 28, 2018
Median San Diego home price now $583k
‘San Diego County’s median home price hit an all-time high of $583,000 in August, real estate tracker CoreLogic reported,” writes Philip Molnar of the San Diego Union-Tribune.
September 27, 2018
U.S. pending home sales slow
“ Pending home sales fell slightly in August and have now decreased on an annual basis for eight straight months, according to the National Association of Realtors®.“
September 25, 2018
San Diego price increases slow to 6.2%
“Existing home prices in July for the San Diego metropolitan area increased 6.2 percent in a year, its slowest pace since January 2017, said the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices,” writes Phillip Molnar of the San Diego Union-Tribune.
U.S. home price increase slows
Dianna Olick of CNBC reports on S&P CoreLogic Case-Shilller twenty city index. “Las Vegas, Seattle and San Francisco continue to see the biggest annual gains in home prices, with increases of 13.7 percent, 12.1 percent and 10.8 percent respectively. Five of the 20 cities saw home price gains accelerate annually compared with June.”
September 24, 2018
More balanced market?
REALTOR.com data indicates, “Make no mistake: Prices are not exactly tumbling down—at least, not on the national level. And there’s no evidence on the horizon of a looming housing bubble about to pop and drag the world economy down with it. Median home list prices are still up 7% year over year this August, according to an analysis of realtor.com data.”
September 20, 2018
California home sellers dropping prices
“After three years of soaring home prices, the heat is coming off the U.S. housing market. Home sellers are slashing prices at the highest rate in at least eight years, especially in the West, where the price gains were hottest,” according to CNBC’s Dianna Olick.
U.S. existing home sales stable
MarketWatch reports “After falling for four straight months, sales of previously-owned homes stabilized in August. Existing-home sales were 1.5% lower than a year ago. And although sales seem to have stagnated in 2018, in the year to date, they’re only 1.2% lower than the same period a year ago.”
Fastest growing and declining U.S. housing markets
“Like anything else, home prices are driven by supply and demand forces, which are highly correlated with the area’s economy, job market, and population changes. Demand tends to be higher in stronger economies, with a healthy job market, and a growing population,” according to USAToday article.
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!”
“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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
March 29, 2018
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
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.
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.
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
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
Lake Hodges view 1.3 acre lot. Gentle slope, private road, easy access to major shopping and freeways. Offered for $315,000.00.