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.
“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.
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.
“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.
“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.
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
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.
“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.
The median resale home price in San Diego County in November 2017 was $600,000 according to the San Diego Union-Tribune. Lack of inventory for sale remains the driving force behind the price increase.
December 27, 2017
U.S. pending home sales flatten
“After a stronger-than-expected surge through much of the fall, home buyers took a breather in November. Signed contracts to buy existing homes were flat for the month, up just 0.2 percent from October, according to the National Association of Realtors’ seasonally adjusted monthly index of pending home sales,” reports Diana Olick of CNBC.
More CA people living in their cars
Very interesting article by Chris Reed predicting the Californians are, “going to decide to live in their cars, trucks, vans, campers and recreational vehicles — and once this demand is clear, automakers will start building more vehicles designed to be lived in, entrepreneurs will sell kits to convert existing vehicles into more comfortable homes and businesses will emerge that cater to vehicle dwellers’ needs.”
Recording fees going up
“New real estate recording fees will rise from $75 to $225 as of Jan. 1, under a new state law,” reports Roger Showley of the San Diego Union-Tribune. “County Assessor-Recorder-Clerk Ernest Dronenburg Jr. estimated about 40 percent of his 900,000 recordings a year will be subject to the fee.”
December 18, 2017
More San Diegans have roommates
“Roughly 38 percent of adults in San Diego County lived together in 2016, up from 28.6 percent in 2000, said research from real estate website Zillow,” The San Diego Union-Tribune article reports that, “Average rent in San Diego County hit an all-time high in September of $1,875 a month.”
December 12, 2017
Pending 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. Now offered for $475,000.00 by Pete Saxon Realty
December 8, 2017
San Diego housing forecast
It will be the same story for housing in San Diego next as it has been for the last couple of years according to the San Diego Union-Tribune. Higher rents, and increasing home prices will continue in the region due to lack of inventory and no significant new housing on the horizon.
December 4, 2017
San Diego region housing crisis
This is an excellent article in the San Diego Union-Tribune by Roger Showley and Phillip Molnar. Back in the 1980’s I attended a seminar about San Diego County housing and one of the speakers, Alan Gin I think, predicted exactly this outcome. He predicted the San Diego region would become a service economy where only the most highly paid professionals like doctors, scientists and engineers would be able to afford housing. It is exactly what has happened.
After years of posting similar stories about rising prices due to low inventory and low interest rates it may be that the market has reached its peak or may just be taking a pause. In San Diego the median sales price dropped almost $20,000 from June of 2016. I’m seeing price reductions on the MLS for the first time in a while. It will be a month or two before we know if dropping prices is a trend. My guess is that it’s a leveling off and a real estate bubble bursting.
Lots of potential in this three bedroom, two bath, 1066 sq. ft. twin home. Walk to elementary school. Close to shopping, dining and entertainment. Now offered for $499,000 by Pete Saxon Realty
Phillip Molnar of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports on CoreLogic data showing San Diego County home prices have increased 4.4% to $529,750 over October of last year. However, median prices have dropped below the all time high of $545,000 reached in June of this year.
November 28, 2017
San Diego third only to Seattle and Vegas
The S&P Case-Shiller 20 City Indices ranked San Diego County third in the country for price appreciation in September 2017 reports the San Diego Union-Tribune. San Diego home prices have risen 8.2% in a year.
Less expensive homes appreciate faster
There’s a well known cliche in real estate, “Buy the smallest, least expensive home in the best neighborhood” if you want the most appreciation. Diana Olick of CNBC writes about how lower priced homes are appreciating faster than their more expensive neighbors.
Midland Grove three bedroom, two bath single level twin home. Walk to elementary school, and Old Poway Park. Close to shopping, dining and entertainment.
October 31, 2017
County home prices up 7.8%
“San Diego had the third highest annual home price increase in the nation in August,” according to S&P Case-Shiller Indices and reported in the San Diego Union-Tribune. “Only Seattle and Las Vegas had bigger increases in the 20-city index.”
20 city home price index at all-time high
“The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller home price index rose more than expected in August, hitting an all-time high,” reports CNBC. “The latest report was a gain from the 5.9 percent increase in July.”
October 30, 2017
U.S. home prices slow first time buyers
“Home sales to first-time buyers dipped to 34 percent in 2017, the National Association of Realtors says,” reports Diana Olick of CNBC. Her report continues, “A big reason is the rise in student debt, which is crimping the finances of aspirational homeowners.”
October 24, 2017
Median Home Price Unchanged
San Diego County’s median home price was $535,000 in September, unchanged from August reports the San Diego Union-Tribune. “Sales hit a three-year low for September throughout Southern California, but the median home price was up 9.8 percent in a year in September to $505,000. The largest increase was in Orange County, at 10.9 percent, to a median of $710,000.”
October 20, 2017
U.S. existing-home sales up 0.7%
The National Association of REALTORS reports, “Completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, rose 0.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.39 million in September from 5.35 million in August. Last month’s sales pace is 1.5 percent below a year ago and is the second slowest over the past year (behind August).”
October 12, 2017
Sales, prices slower pace in 2018
The California Association of REALTORS predicts, “With the economy expected to continue growing, housing demand should remain strong and incrementally boost California’s housing market in 2018, though a shortage of available homes for sale and affordability constraints will be a challenge,”
I’ve started creating 360 degree videos of my listings. The first is a video of a residential building lot overlooking Lake Hodges. This is new technology and the videos will improve as the cameras and editing software develop.
Local home building down from last year
“In the first six months of 2017, the county has issued 17.5 percent fewer permits than the same time last year,” reports Phillip Molnar of the San Diego Union-Tribune. “A lack of new homes pushes up prices because of fierce competition for a limited number of houses and condos. While higher home values are good for owners in most cases, it can make home ownership out of reach for many potential buyers.”
August 30, 2017
Closed Sale – Encinitas
Encinitas Ranch three bedroom, two and one-half bath with 2,114 sq.ft. on premiere lot. Ocean and golf course views. Sold in one week for $1,070,000.00.
Appraisal rules loosened
According to a story by WTOL, “The nation’s two largest loan backers, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, are loosening their rules when it comes to lending. The mortgage giants are now allowing for home appraisals to be waived on certain loans.”
August 29, 2017
U.S. buyers compete for limited supply
Diana Olick of CNBC reports on how the drop in housing supply is driving up prices or resale homes across the U.S. “After flattening slightly in May, price increases jumped again in June, now up 5.8 percent nationally compared with a year ago, according to the latest release from S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller.”
Oh No! San Diego prices drop…
“The San Diego median home price cooled slightly in July, ending a three-month streak of record-breaking peaks,” writes Phillip Molnar of the San Diego Union-Tribune. But that’s comparing June to July of 2017. The media always goes for the negative news to promote fear and anxiety. San Diego home prices were up 8.6% from June of last year but that’s not the headline they choose.
August 14, 2017
Buyers use smaller down payments
CNBC’s Diana Olick reports that “In the past 12 months, 1.5 million borrowers bought their homes with down payments of less than 10 percent, marking a seven-year high.” But as far as I’m concerned Yogi Berra said it best, “it’s deje vu all over again.” I’ve read this headline at least four other times in my 40 year real estate career. If there is a small hiccup in market values these home buyers can be upside down on their home loans pretty quickly. In our new culture upside down home buyers walk away from their loan obligations, the banks take the properties and the housing bubble starts all over again. Not to worry, Uncle Sam will bail us out.
August 9, 2017
San Diego affordability rate is 26%
“San Diego was one of the most expensive regions for home buyers in California in the second quarter of this year, with just 26 percent able to comfortably purchase the median-priced house,” reports The San Diego-Union Tribune. According to the article, lack of construction of new residential properties is a primary factor driving San Diego home prices higher.
August 6, 2017
Affordable new homes in Chula Vista
San Diego Union-Tribune story by Phillip Molnar discusses new home buying opportunities in Chula Vista’s Otay Ranch, “a new 1,504-square-foot townhouse for $378,000, around $200,000 less than what something similar would have cost them closer to downtown.”
Trulia has an excellent article explaining the low number of homes for sale across the U.S. Two factors on their list and probably the main reasons San Diego’s inventory is so low are new home construction and investor ownership.
July 28, 2017
San Diego home building picking up
San Diego Union-Tribune article discusses San Diego economist Alan Gin’s report on jump in residential building permits. “June’s jump was the largest monthly increase since March 2005, but permits are still 17 percent behind last year’s numbers.” This is good news but several years away from having an effect on housing availability.
Sellers see highest profit in 10 years
CNBC’s Diana Olick reports that across the U.S,, “The average tenure of a homeowner who sold in the second quarter of this year came in at just over eight years,” which helped increase their equity and profit. I remember when the working theory in San Diego was that homes turned over every 5 to 7 years. The article states that people are selling and moving now because they are uncertain if they will be able to find a replacement property since inventory is so low.
San Diego median price now $543,500
Phillip Molnar of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports on CoreLogic’s statistics, “San Diego County’s median home price hit another record in June with an imbalance of supply and demand continuing to push costs up.” Mr. Molnar’s article had a very interesting quote from economist Chris Thornberg, “prices will continue to increase in San Diego because affluent buyers, such as tech workers or researchers, are willing to pay top dollar for scarce housing. ‘Home prices are not set on the basis of average income in a community,’ he said. ‘Home prices are set on the basis of the average buyer. When you have a lack of housing — how most of coastal California does, like San Diego — the people who want to move there are willing to pay.”’
July 24, 2017
U.S. sales off 1.8%
Forbes reports that existing home sales in June slowed by 1.8% when compared to May but were up .7% over a year ago. I just love how the media picks the negative statistic to make their headline.
July 22, 2017
Pending Sale in Encinitas
Encinitas Ranch three bedroom, two and one-half bath with 2,114 sq.ft. on premiere lot. Ocean and golf course views. Offered in a range of $990,000.00 – $1,170,000.00.
Dan McSwain of the San Diego Union-Tribune analyzes the root causes and their effects on the San Diego regions housing availability and affordability. San Diego has an inventory shortage which is dramatically driving up prices. The cause? “Glaeser and Wharton economist Joseph Gyourko found that zoning and land use controls were the dominant forces driving up housing costs.” Government is the cause.
July 15, 2017
Prop. 13 reform?
San Diego Union-Tribune article discusses, ” real estate leaders are proposing to amend Proposition 13 to give homeowners a tax break when they sell and thus generate more supply and reduce pressure on prices.” The premise of the story is that home owners aren’t selling and “moving up” because of the increased property tax bill they would incur in a more expensive home. I don’t agree. People aren’t selling and moving up because of their sense of insecurity caused by the political activities in Sacramento and Washington. Also, there is no wage growth in San Diego County for first time buyers that creates a “move up” market.
July 9, 2017
Falling inventory across U.S.
“The number of starter homes on the market dropped by 15.6%, while the share of starter homes dropped from 23% to 22.1%,” according to a story on Trulia’s Trends Blog. Without starter homes for first time buyers then there is no “move up” market which traditionally drives healthy real estate markets.