October 20, Weekly Analysis


No new listing this past week or the week before. That is unusual, but I know that at least one home was listed but is being held off market for just a few days.

One home went into Pending: 10444 Meadow Glen Way East, a 3/4 of 3,224 s.f. which was listed at $499,000, and had been on the market 26 days.

No homes closed escrow this past week.

The “housing market” nationally continues to give mixed messages. Home sales nationally rose 11% over the same reported month last year, but are down slightly this year from the recently previously reported month of this year. Naturally, home sales vary depending on the geographic locations and the market pricing, with lower-priced homes showing the best sales.

That makes sense in a housing market bouncing along the bottom, as more salable geographic locations are selected first by buyers and investors, and competition for lower-priced homes causes a rise in both the sales and prices of those homes.

Regrettably, the more expensive homes languish, and actually the price spread between lower-priced homes and higher-priced homes narrows, making higher-priced homes more desirable. There just isn’t the confidence in the higher-priced buyer market for those higher-priced homes right now, except for a few bargains.

One problem is we are in the election cycle – meaning apprehension and uncertainty – at the same time Europe is in economic chaos and the Asian markets are slowing. (Asia depends upon our imports and Europe is 25% of our exports.)

The housing market is trying to recover at the same time the overall economic market is looking just a bit brighter. Foreclosures in San Diego County are down, but the regular sales will still have to compete with Foreclosures and Short Sale prices for more than one more year. Those distress sales keep prices down for everyone.



October 6, Weekly Analysis

Three  new listing this past week, and they are highlighted on the list.

Two listings went into Pending this past week: 10117 Meadow Glen Way East, a 3/4 of 2,848 s.f. which had been on the market 7 days at $597,000, and 28536 Mountain Meadow Road, a 3/3 of 3,000 s.f. which had been on the market for 172 days at $636,500.

One home closed escrow: 10160 Boulder Knolls Drive, a 5/3 of 3,122 s.f. which had been on the market 76 days and sold for $539,000.

Please note that all of the Pending and Sales activity is above $500,000 and MAY be an indication that homes above the $500,000 number, albeit only slightly above that $500,000 level, are now being considered by Buyers. We can only hope that is a continuing trend, because if you will note the Market Time of those first five or ten homes (least expensive) on the list, and compare that to the Market Time of the bottom five or ten homes (most expensive), it is apparent that our higher priced homes stay on the market for much longer. While that is always so, it is never so grossly apparent as it is today.

Another thing to note is that the list is stable to growing. Fewer homes are sold overall as we approach the cooler months. We can expect the list to flood over to the second page as the weather cools, and so does the ardor of the buying public.

I will continue to add caveats for newer readers: $/s.f. is an ALMOST meaningless number in custom homes in general, and luxury homes in particular. My $1,950,000 listing on Alps Way is a good example, because the “square footage” does not include a 1,000 s.f Guest House, or a 2,800+ s,f, workshop that is built to the same standards as the listed home, including air conditioning, heating, and it has 480 volt, three-phase power! None of that is accounted for in the $/s.f. figure.

$/s.f works well in tract homes where one Santiago model will be much the same as another Santiago model. $/s.f. simply does not work well for homes of vastly different construction, with great differences in quality, outbuildings and views. I include it simply as a “quick and dirty” reference, and because buyers want it.

September 29, Weekly Analysis

Four new listing this past week, and they are highlighted on the list.

Three homes went into Pending this past week: 10028 Sage Hill Way, a 4/3 of 2,194 s.f which had been listed for $341,900 (my sale); 28651 Mountain Meadow Road, a 3/3 of 3,471 s.f. which had been listed from $399,000 — $426,000; and 9533 Sage Hill Way, a 3/3 of 3,255 s.f. which had been listed for $582,000.

One home Closed Escrow (Sold) this past week: 10611 Cerveza Dr. a 4/4 of 2,997 s.f. which sold for $509,000.

The Hidden Meadows market continues to be hot in the price ranges under $600,000 and cold above that price. The good news is that nationally, there are some positive signs and with the exception of those markets that seldom have major price reductions (such as homes with ocean views) and those positive signs are most positive in areas most hard hit. That is a good sign only because all markets cannot stand one area getting too far outside of whatever is its normal position. So long as our weather remains warm, we can hope for continued good results, and given that even our bad weather is not all that bad, perhaps the good sales will continue over the “winter” months.

I make that sunny hope on the multiple offers currently being made on well-priced homes under $450,000. I spoke with of my investors last week and his three latest purchases are remodeled and in escrow, and he is in the market for several more homes. Those investors who “flip” homes in the low market are going to be in play so long as prices remain low. In general, these investors pay cash, so low interest rates are immaterial for them but are important to their Buyers.

These low interest rates are taking money from retired people’s savings – savings that they had depended upon for retirement. It’s called “income redistribution,” and it is purely artificially being forced upon the public by the Federal Reserve manipulating the market. Whether it is a good thing or a bad thing depends upon if you are a retired person living on CD’s or a young buyer looking for a first home.

May 11 Analysis

May 11, Weekly Analysis

Rather than make a long list of new listings, I have color coded the new listings with an electronic highlighter.  New home listings are the primary interest of returning potential Buyers, and in this manner they can concentrate on the quadrant of homes they are particularly interested in viewing.

If I could I would color code the Pending and Closed Escrow as well – that visual would be interesting to see – but those disappear from the list the second they go into Pending, so…

Three homes went into Pending this past week – another good week for sales. 28024 Grassy Way, a 3/2 of 1,872 s.f. was listed at $349,900; 28103 Par View Court, a 3/3 of 2,795 s.f. was listed at $479,000; and 10541 Cerveza Drive, a 4/5 of 6,958 s.f. had been listed at $795,000.

Three homes Closed Escrow: 9629 Misty Meadow Lane, a 5/3 of 2,944 s.f. SOLD at $540,750; 28304 Crooked Oak Lane, a 4/4 of 3,529 s.f. SOLD at $549,500; and 9629 Misty Meadow Lane, a 4/5 of 5,344 s.f. closed at $875,000. Just seeing three homes close in one week above $500,000 is absolutely amazing!

I realize that no one is happy with the prices at which homes are sold compared to the “Good Old Days,” but those days are gone, and we have the new normal. At least the “new normal” is that well-priced homes are selling, and that is much better than just last year or the year before.

I can tell you that flyers for my listings are disappearing at a rapid rate, and showings are excellent. Buyers are cautious, but Buyers exist in numbers that we have not seen for years and we are just at the start of the Selling Season.

Withheld Foreclosures by Lenders cautious about flooding the market signal no higher prices for several years, and no one knows the size of the available Buyers pool so future predictions are chancy, but we can be thankful for what we currently have – and we still live in Hidden Meadows1

Weekly Review

Two new listings this past week, one on Meadow Glen Way East and one on Welk View, each identified on the list with “Market Time” fewer than seven days. Two homes went into Pending, one at 28215 Glenmeade Way, listed at $409,000, and one on Legend Rock, listed at $469,900. Two homes closed escrow, 10088 Boulder Knolls closed at $389,000 and 10616 Aspen Glen closed at $513,000.

DataQuick, a San Diego based corporation that is expert in housing analysis, has produced its statistics for September, and they are grim – down from even September of last year for the County, and down even 3+% from August.

The September county totals were the lowest in three years.

The San Diego Union quotes Larry Rosenthal, head of the University of California Program on Housing and Urban Policy as saying, “The fact that we’re seeing this longer-standing kind of weakness – almost paralysis – in the demand for new sales indicates that we have a long row to hoe when it comes to recovery.”

That is certainly true, and one indicator of the long-lasting effects of the housing problem is that the number of licensees in real estate continue to slide, as the cost of license, fees, memberships and marketing continue with lower and lower income potential from sales. Thousands of San Diego County real estate agents have not renewed their licenses, and that trend is likely to continue.

The real estate market has yet to face the enormity of the looming commercial real estate problem, which in many ways is more long-term and intractable than even the residential housing market because people will always need a place to live but the internet is encroaching rapidly on commercial sales.

While it will be a few days before the official month figures are reported, Gallup reported that mid-October jobless rate nationally hit 10% and the housing market will not turn around until those numbers are considerably better – but right now they are going in the wrong direction.

Downward Pressure on the Market

Historically in San Diego County, six months of inventory has been the dividing line between house prices rising and falling. We are currently at 15 months inventory — indicating SERIOUS downward pressure on home prices.

Price Reduction

Price Reduction 11033 Meadow Glen Wy E 4 Bedrooms reduced to $325,000