Christmas Update

Here at the Christmas Season we can hardly expect a lot of sales, the general economy appears to be improving and Jean and I have been actively showing property in the “Adult” sections of Rancho Bernardo.

One of the questions on the Real Estate Brokers test I initially took 32 years ago had to do with downturns in the economy, and the answer was that real estate is the first part of the economy to go down, and the last to recover.

That is rational, because real estate is the highest ticket item most people ever invest in, and they must have secure confidence in their ability to support the purchase. That confidence is lacking in a downturn – and this one has lasted beyond anyone’s expectations.

 

But this next year will certainly be better – although not necessarily better for real estate. There is a finite pool of Buyers, and we have absolutely no idea how well that pool has been depleted. Like any “store” we can offer our inventory, but not control or predict the number of people who come through the door.

The latest information shows lagging sales and lower prices, but it is bad weather everywhere and that has an impact. We will not be able to see anything clearly until the April/May timeframe, and then we will only see a trend-line with no warning when it may change.

Going back 13 days since I last published this list, we find that in Hidden Meadows there was a new listing at 9833 Sage Hill Way, a 3/3 of 2,225 s.f. at $349,900;  one at 10960 Meadow Gen Way East, a 3/2 of 2,103 s.f.  for $390,000; one at 9641 Galatea, a 4/3 of 2,605 s.f. for $429,000; and a home on 35+ acres at 27253 Mountain Meadow Rd. a ¾ of 3,500 s.f.  for $2, 695,000.

Homes went into Pending  at 10562 Aspen Glen, listed at $500,000; and at 27870 Dogwood Glen listed at $485,000-$535,000.

One home closed escrow in the past 13 days: 28108 Mountain Meadow Rd. closed escrow at $230,000 It was a 4/3 of 3,172 s.f. This was a special case: It has a cracked slab, and was sold for cash by BofA.

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The Market Analysis

The San Diego Union is reporting DataQuick numbers that home prices continue to rise (last month by $1,000 from the previous month), but the sales continue to fall, and the analysts view the reason for the sales fall as the oxygen taken out of the market by the ending of the tax credit.

 

Meanwhile, The San Diego Board of Realtors is reporting that the inventory is down from last month by 6.3%, but up substantially from this time last year by 47%. I believe that the decrease from last month reflects the withdrawal of homes from the market for the Holidays, and not a sales surge. Those homes withdrawn, or not added to the inventory by new listings because of the Christmas Season, will drift in before March, when the “Selling Season” officially begins.

December 3 Update

Two new listings this past week, Aspen Glen at $485,000 and Alps Lane at $889,900. Details on the list.

A 4/3 of 2,601 s.f. on Spruce Woodlands Way went into Pending, with a list price of $399,900.

A beautiful home at 10231 High Mountain Drive closed escrow at $825,000. It was a 4,599 s.f. home, built in 1996. It is a gorgeous  single-story home, with a guest house, and its original price when it was offered 201 days ago, was $1,200,000. A sign of the times.

While the market does not die during the “bad weather” (everything is relative), there are fewer shoppers and less activity over the Christmas Holidays. I still see landscaping activity going on in the community, so the weather is not all that bad yet.

I think that the weather is uniformly good by April 15, one of the prettiest days of the year in the Meadows – sufficient winter rain to green and brighten everything, and enough Spring warmth to have everything blooming. Absent a killer freeze, plants will bloom all Winter here, particularly roses which should be pruned back in January because they bloom only on new wood.

But it is chilly, and I have repaired to the inside to care for Bonsai plants, in lieu of outside gardening. Now is the time for seed catalogs, and making plans for the last day of a potential freeze, which the Sunset Book says is March 10. In the Meadows we only get a hard freeze once every four or more years, but nurseries and the internet sell special fabric to cover your plants.  Having tropicals, I cover anything below 40 degrees, but most residents don’t have to go to that extreme.

If you are considering selling in the next year, this is a good time to paint the interior, or have someone else do it.