Rick Griffin

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PSAR Growth Continues with Central San Diego Service Center

Posted by Rick Griffin on Mar 15, 2019 3:15:07 PM

IMG_0662 (1)PSAR keeps growing and expanding. One shining example of PSAR’s ongoing expansion has been the success of the recently opened PSAR Central San Diego Service Center at 4340 Genesee Ave., Suite #203, San Diego.

If you haven’t yet visited PSAR’s newest Service Center in San Diego’s Clairemont Mesa community, then please feel free to drop by. You’ll be impressed.

The new, 1,500-square-foot PSAR Central San Diego Service Center, beautifully decorated in an ultra-modern, open workstation stylish motif, features a 65-seat educational classroom for training, plus resources for REALTORS®, including Sentrilock and Supra lock boxes, CRMLS and signage.

Many outstanding workshops and seminars have been held recently at the new Service Center, including classes on Homesnap Pro App training, InfoSparks Market Statistics training and Paragon.

Another upcoming class cover the topic, “Social Media Boot Camp for REALTORS®,” will be held at the new Service Center on Wednesday, March 20. Two sessions will be offered from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. and from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Refreshments will be served and admission is free. Topics to be discussed will include understanding how social media works, how to generate leads from a website and how to attract more followers, as well as the benefits of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and blogging. For agents who want to become a Realtor, the training, friendly staff and access to the best tools in the industry make PSAR is a great place to start. 

In addition, every Tuesday morning starting at 9 a.m., PSAR’s “City Pitch” event is held for brokers and sales agents at the new Service Center. The marketing pitch session focuses on properties located within San Diego city limits, including the following zip codes: 92102, 92104, 92105, 92108, 92111, 92115, 92116, 92123, 92124 and 92120. 

All San Diego REALTORS® are invited to attend City Pitch to pitch their properties, network and put deals together. Agents have two minutes to promote their listing.  New agents and brokers are welcome to stop in.

Please bring 50 property flyers to be pitched and PSAR staff will insert the flyers into the Pitch Portfolio that each attendee will receive.

At the recent grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony, more than 120 PSAR members, friends and guest people were there. Here is a video about the grand opening celebration: https://vimeo.com/315812958/6f7ed1844c.

Also attending the grand opening event were elected officials, community leaders and industry dignitaries. Among the attendees was Ernie Dronenburg, recently reelection as San Diego County assessor-recorder-clerk. Every county resident who owns property or rents is affected by what happens at Dronenburg’s office. He oversees assessing the value of real estate and personal property, which in San Diego includes planes and boats. Property taxes constitute the largest share of revenue for the county. His work also involves registering business names and issuing marriage licenses, birth and death certificates. The office has a $71 million budget with 405 employees and five offices in San Diego County.

Dronenburg, known for wearing bow ties, has worked closely with PSAR President Robert Calloway on a number of housing initiatives that have assisted military veterans with homeownership. Calloway serves as an advisor to the Assessor’s Office on issues dealing with disabled veterans. Last year, the Assessor’s Office assisted more than 8,000 local disabled veterans, which was a 30 percent increase from the previous year.

Other attendees at the grand opening event included: Jason Bercovitch, field representative with Congressman Scott Peters, 52nd District; Daniel Manley, Clairemont community representative, representing San Diego City Councilman Chris Cate, 6th District; Ryan Trabuco, Field Representative, representing Toni G. Atkins, Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins, 39th District; Michaela Valk, representing Todd Gloria, California Assembly, 78th District.

Manley announced that San Diego City Councilman Chris Cate had declared the day as “PSAR Day” in the city of San Diego. The City of San Diego proclamation said the following:

-- WHEREAS, the Pacific Southwest Association of REALTORS® (PSAR), founded in 1928, has played a significant role in shaping the history, growth and development of greater San Diego County;

-- WHEREAS, PSAR’s recent membership in a statewide real estate Multiple Listing Service has enhanced PSAR’s steady trajectory of growth since 2010;

-- WHEREAS, PSAR’s Mission to Empower REALTORS®  has enabled its members to remain steadfast in protecting private property rights and encouraging participation in the American Dream of home ownership, while adhering to the highest standards of integrity and Code of Ethics;

-- WHEREAS, PSAR, a 2,800-member real estate trade group for San Diego-area REALTORS®, offers educational training, advocacy and other services and resources to its REALTOR® and affiliate members;

-- WHEREAS, PSAR maintains a leadership role in the industry, empowering its members to flourish by leveraging our collective strength in service to homebuyers and sellers throughout the greater San Diego County community; 

-- WHEREAS, PSAR, with Service Centers in Chula Vista and El Cajon, is growing again with the opening a new Central Service Center at 4340 Genesee Ave., #203, in San Diego’s Clairemont Mesa community;

-- WHEREAS, the new PSAR Central Service Center will provide the local personal service experience and superior statewide CRMLS service that PSAR is known for, along with Sentrilock, Supra, retail store, MLS training and REALTOR® education, networking and much more;

-- NOW, THEREFORE, I, Chris Cate, San Diego City Council member representing the District 6, do hereby proclaim Wednesday, January 23, 2019, as PACIFIC SOUTHWEST ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® DAY throughout the City of San Diego.






Topics: Events, Leadership, Government Affairs

Greater Rewards Await PSAR Volunteers

Posted by Rick Griffin on Mar 8, 2019 2:03:48 PM

Salute to Service - Robert Cromer 2 (1)I have never been the kind of person who likes to sit back and watch. Instead, I get involved. That’s why I have chosen to be involved in leadership at PSAR. And may I encourage you to also get involved.

Let me take this opportunity to share with you a few of the reasons why I’m involved at PSAR as president elect, and hopefully you will commit to join us since this year’s 2019 theme for PSAR is “Salute to Service.”

Being involved in PSAR means I am included in moving us forward as an organization and helping us make a positive impact on REALTORS® and homeowners. I don’t just hope that things will happen. To me, hope is just a passive way of not getting things done.

My decision to volunteer at PSAR was based on more than just making a living. Rather, we are here on earth to enrich the world and help enable people to live better lives, with a greater vision towards progress. I’ve seen that people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are usually the ones who do.

Also, I’m involved at PSAR because I can encourage and empower leadership. To me, leadership is an action, not a position. I strive to become the kind of leader with whom people want to march alongside. The greatest leaders are not necessarily the ones who have the answers but they’re the ones who get other people to join together to create positive impacts on the world we live in. There are many committees to join. Find something that appeals to you, where you can experience this synergy, and go for it.

Being involved in PSAR also means I get to help shape public policy. Wishful thinking is not sound policy. Instead, shaping policy means being part of the conversation that ultimately helps people share in the American dream.

I’m also involved at PSAR because there are many opportunities to give back to the community Alone, we can do so little; but together, we can do so much more. Supporting our community means we can bring people together to advocate and support each other. As human beings, we need a sense of belonging, which connects us to our community. Without a sense of caring there can be no sense of community. Achievement depends on a community of people working together.

Don't wait until everything is just right before getting involved with PSAR because it will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what? Get started now. Trust yourself, you know more than you think you do. Your life changes the moment you make a committed decision to get involved. Choices are the open doors to your destiny. Life is a matter of choices and every choice makes you.

At PSAR, we are moving forward as an organization. We empower our member. We are improving as an organization. So, join us and get involved. Everybody can do great things because anybody can serve. In a sense, volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You might vote in elections once a year, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in and Association of REALTORS® that you want to belong to.

Topics: Leadership

PSAR making a difference with granny flat regulations

Posted by Rick Griffin on Mar 1, 2019 5:00:17 PM


Congratulations to members of the PSAR Governmental Affairs Committee. Their recent efforts were rewarded this past week with two major victories before the La Mesa City Council on Feb. 26 and the San Diego County Board of Supervisors on Feb. 27.

On the dockets of both governmental bodies was the hot topic of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) and Junior Accessory Dwelling Units (JADUs), commonly referred to as “granny flats.”

PSAR is in favor of property owners who want to expand the use of their property by building granny flats on lots with existing homes as a way to address the region’s housing supply and affordability crisis.

Granny flat units, typically smaller than standard homes, are second homes built on the same lot as an existing single-family house. Often, these secondary units are constructed by homeowners in backyards or above garages of single-family residences. They can be used for family members or rented out as a source of income for homeowners.

Granny flats also represent perhaps the easiest and quickest way to provide additional affordable housing options to local residents. When it comes to housing that will help all of San Diego, PSAR is in favor of making the ADU regulations more streamlined so homeowners can cut through the thick red tape of processing the construction of new, smaller rental units.

Current state regulations allow granny flats to be up to 1,200 square feet in size. They can be attached to, or built separate from, full-sized homes on the same parcel. They can include kitchens, bathrooms, living areas and private entrances. They cannot be sold as individual homes, but they can be rented out by homeowners or used to provide additional living space for family members, friends, students, the elderly, the disabled or in-home health care providers. Properties must meet all zoning requirements, such as setbacks that meet fire safety and building codes.

Speaking at the recent La Mesa City Council meeting on behalf of PSAR were Robert Calloway, 2019 PSAR President, Rebecca Pollack-Rude, co-chair of the PSAR Governmental Affairs Committee and Tracy Morgan Hollingworth, PSAR’s Government Affairs Director. Before a packed Council chamber, the La Mesa Council members were considering changes to simplify their secondary unit ordinance.

With the approval of PSAR, the La Mesa City Council unanimously adopted on first reading the following ADU guidelines (all of these were recommended by PSAR):

-- Allow ADUs to be built on any property with an existing single-family home or where a single-family home is permitted to be built.

-- Allow ADUs on properties with existing duplexes.

-- Preserve historical resources by requiring ADUs to be behind any historic properties.

-- Allow ADUs to be up to 1,200 square feet, regardless of the size of the primary.

-- No requirements to record covenants on property associated with ADUs.

-- No expensive dedication of right of way improvements for properties investing in ADUs.

-- Streamlined ministerial approval, including in overlays areas that usually require discretionary review.

Robert, Rebecca and Tracy told La Mesa City Council members that ADU development will encourage property owners who want to better utilize their homes in order to provide living quarters to students, seniors and others on fixed incomes who want a decent place to live.

La Mesa’s new set of regulations for granny flats will, in some cases, make the city’s rules more lenient than state requirements. A second reading for La Mesa’s ordinance will be heard March 5 before the new rules will take effect 30 days later.

A second victory this past week occurred at the February 27th Board of Supervisors meeting. The Supervisors were considering similar changes to conform to the state law in order to pave the way for more ADUs. The Board was considering a requirement for their ADU code to require owner occupancy for one of the buildings on a lot, which PSAR was recommending against.

Fortunately, the good news is that the Supervisors decided to remove the owner-occupancy requirement following testimony from PSAR’s Tracy Morgan Hollingworth.

Tracy said both La Mesa and County officials were grateful for PSAR’s assistance and guidance on their ADU policy decisions. In both instances, it was a victory to provide more housing at what could be an affordable price and provide seniors and families additional income to make ends meet from ADU unit rentals.

PSAR will work with both La Mesa and the County to help homeowners know how to process ADU units in local workshops so homeowners can bring their ideas to local government officials and see if their property can accommodate a new ADU.

 “I’m very proud that both government bodies went with our recommendations,” said Robert Calloway, PSAR President. “I don’t know of any other local real estate organization that gave their support to these local jurisdictions.”

“I am proud of be part of PSAR and the role we played with the ADU ordinances,” said Ditas Yamane, co-chair, Governmental Affairs Committee. “ADUs are smart growth tools for providing access to more affordable housing. They’re part of the solution in response to changing households. Removing ADU regulatory barriers is a benefit to our entire community. There is a housing crisis going on and we cannot look away.”

“There is not much build-able land in La Mesa and ADUs are  a good fit to help the housing crisis and keep San Diegans in San Diego and not moving out of the state,” said Rebecca Pollack-Rude, co-chair, Governmental Affairs Committee.  

PSAR members also have worked closely with the City of Chula Vista to reduce ADU fees and streamline their regulations. In January 2019, the County Board of Supervisors voted to waive fees for homeowners building accessory units on their property. Last May, the City of San Diego voted unanimously to slash ADU granny flat building fees by more than 60 percent.

Topics: Education, Industry

Home Sales in California Fall to Lowest Level in Over 10 years, says C.A.R.

Posted by Rick Griffin on Feb 22, 2019 2:23:31 PM
Chart for 411 - Feb 22 (1)

California home sales fell to the lowest level in more than 10 years in January 2019, according to the latest housing market report for home sales and prices from the California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R). Housing demand in the state remained subdued for the ninth consecutive month in January as economic and market uncertainties sent home sales to their lowest level since April 2008, said C.A.R.

Existing, single-family home sales statewide totaled 357,730 in January on a seasonally adjusted annualized rate, down 3.9 percent from the revised 372,260 in December and down 12.6 percent from January 2018 of 409,520. January marked the ninth consecutive month of decline and the sixth month in a row that sales were below 400,000, dipping to the lowest level since April 2008.

Sales in San Diego in January 2019 were down 17 percent from December and 10 percent lower from January 2018, according to C.A.R.

Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 357,730 units in January, according to information collected by C.A.R. from more than 90 local REALTOR® associations and MLSs statewide. The statewide annualized sales figure represents what would be the total number of homes sold during 2019 if sales maintained the January pace throughout the year. It is adjusted to account for seasonal factors that typically influence home sales.

“California continued to move toward a more balanced market as we see buyers having greater negotiating power and sellers making concessions to get their homes sold as inventory grows,” said C.A.R. President Jared Martin. “While interest rates have dropped down to the lowest point in 10 months, potential buyers are putting their homeownership plans on hold as they wait out further price adjustments.”

C.A.R. said the statewide median home price declined to $538,690 in January 2019, which was down 3.4 percent from $557,600 in December and up 2.1 percent from a revised $527,780 in January 2018.  

In San Diego County in January 2019, the median home price was $610,000, which was 1.4 percent lower than the $618,500 figure for December 2018 and 3.4 percent higher than the $590,000 figure for January 2018.

“While we expected the federal government shutdown during most of January to temporarily interrupt closings because of a delay in loan approvals and income verifications, the impact on January’s home sales was minimal,” said C.A.R. Senior Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young. “The decline in sales was more indicative of demand side issues and was broad and across all price categories and regions of the state. Moreover, growing inventory over the past few months has not translated into more sales.”

Other key points from C.A.R.’s January 2019 resale housing report included:

-- The median number of days it took to sell a California single-family home rose from 27 days in January 2018 to 37 days in January 2019, compared to 32 days in December 2018. Meanwhile, in San Diego County, the median number of days a home remained unsold on the market rose from 21 days in January 2018 to 28 days in January 2019, compared to 27 days in December 2018. 

-- Statewide active listings rose for the 10th consecutive month in January after nearly three straight years of declines, increasing 27 percent from the previous year. All major regions recorded an increase in active listings, with the Bay Area posting the highest increase at 57 percent, followed by Southern California (29.7 percent), Central Valley (19.5 percent) and the Central Coast (14.5 percent).

-- The Unsold Inventory Index (UII), which is a ratio of inventory over sales, increased year-to-year from 3.6 months in January 2018 to 4.6 months in January 2019. The index measures the number of months it would take to sell the supply of homes on the market at the current sales rate. The jump in the UII from a year ago can be attributed to the double-digit sales decline and the sharp increase in active listings.

-- Forty of the 51 counties reported by C.A.R. posted a sales decline in January with an average year-over-year sales decline of nearly 19 percent. Twenty-eight counties declined by double-digits on an annual basis, and 10 counties experienced an increase in sales from a year ago.

-- The 30-year, fixed-mortgage interest rate averaged 4.46 percent in January, up from 4.03 percent in January 2018, according to Freddie Mac. The five-year, adjustable mortgage interest rate also increased in January to an average of 3.91 percent from 3.47 from January 2018.

In other recent real estate and economic news, according to news reports:

-- A new LendingTree report found that 63 percent of homebuyers in San Diego County last year shopped around for a mortgage before settling on a home. The report also found that just 39 percent of the buyers had good or excellent credit, and the typical down payment was 12 percent of the purchase price. LendingTree ranked the 50 largest metropolitan areas in the U.S. based on an average of the city’s rank in three categories that contribute to the competitiveness of homebuyers in an area. Based on shopping for a mortgage, credit and the down payment percentage, Denver, Los Angeles, and Portland, Ore., have the most competitive buyers in the country. Buyers in these areas have higher than average credit scores and the ability to put down a larger down payment.

-- San Diego's Real Housing Price Index declined at the fifth fastest rate nationwide in November 2018 at 0.1 percent, according to First American Financial Corp. While the decline may seem marginal, the rate of that drop was exceeded only by San Jose (with a 0.7 percent decline), Boston (0.4 percent), Portland, Ore. (0.2 percent) and Pittsburgh (0.2 percent). Seattle tied San Diego with a 0.1 percent decline. 

-- According to S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller, San Diego’s home prices rose 3.32 percent in 2018, the third slowest of the 20 cities covered by the index. National home prices were up 5.2 percent in a year, with Las Vegas leading the pack with a 12 percent gain.

-- According to a Zillow report, San Diego County experienced the third-highest year-over-year jump in housing inventory in the U.S. in January. Zillow said San Diego saw its year-over-year “for sale” inventory climb 31.9 percent in January to 9,810 units. Inventory has increased the most in five West Coast markets, giving home shoppers more options and ever-so-slowly tilting the market toward buyers, Zillow said. On an annual basis, inventory grew 42.9 percent in San Jose, 36.9 percent in Seattle, 29.1 percent in Los Angeles and 25 percent in San Francisco.

-- Also according to Zillow, a declining percentage of existing homes have been selling above the asking price nationally and San Diego County is no exception. Zillow found that just 17.4 percent of existing homes in San Diego County sold above their asking price in November 2018, and just 16.4 percent sold above their asking price in December 2018. An average of 29.9 percent of existing homes sold above their asking price in San Diego County in 2017, while that number dropped to 25.7 percent in 2018, Zillow said.

-- According to Redfin, San Diego County was the third least affordable housing market in the U.S. for millennials in 2018. While the median household income for a San Diego millennial was $78,433, the median priced home was only affordable to 24.3 percent of those households, Redfin found.

-- Also according to Redfin, home affordability is declining in San Diego despite more inventory. Redfin reported there were 10 percent more homes for sale in San Diego County in 2018 compared to 2017, but the number of affordable homes for sale fell 16 percent. The number of homes affordable to a San Diego household earning the median income in 2018 dropped to 22 percent. Redfin also said more users conducted online searches for San Diego homes than searches by local residents for homes outside the county in 2018.

-- Quinnipiac University's recent California-specific poll, conducted Jan. 30 to Feb. 4, recently found that 43 percent of the 912 Californians surveyed said they don’t make enough money to live in the state. Also, Quinnipiac found that well over half of younger California voters, 61 percent of the respondents 18 to 34 years old, say they can’t afford to live in the Golden State.

-- The U.S. unemployment rate has dropped to 3.7 percent, the lowest in nearly 50 years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Also, average earnings rose 8 cents, to $27.24 per hour in September 2018.

Topics: Education, Market Information, Industry

Does your client earn enough to afford a median-priced home?

Posted by Rick Griffin on Feb 15, 2019 1:49:06 PM

Housing affordability BLOGLower seasonal home prices allowed more Californians to afford a home purchase in the fourth quarter of 2018, compared to the previous quarter, but higher interest rates pushed affordability lower compared to the previous year, according to the California Association of REALTORS®’ (C.A.R.) “Housing Affordability Index” (HAI).


C.A.R. said 28 percent of California households could afford to purchase the existing $564,270 median-priced home in the fourth quarter of 2018, which was up from 27 percent in third quarter of 2018 but down from 29 percent a year ago.


In San Diego County, only 24 percent of local households could afford to purchase the $625,950 median-priced home in the 2018 fourth quarter, up from 23 percent in the 2018 third quarter but down from 26 percent a year ago. 

"Affordability has been challenging the past few years in San Diego County. We’re facing a soft market right now in San Diego as prices remain flat while some buyers are remaining on the sidelines,” said Robert Calloway, 2019 PSAR President. “However, the market fundamentals, such as job growth, income growth and household formation, are still strong. Mortgage rates are down slightly and buyers are looking for deals because the time on market has gone up which has increased the housing supply, but they're no longer fighting each other tooth and nail to get in the front door.”

C.A.R. said its index has been below 30 percent for six of the past eight quarters. California’s housing affordability index hit a peak of 56 percent in the first quarter of 2012.

C.A.R.’s HAI measures the percentage of all households that can afford to purchase a median-priced, single-family home in California. The index is considered the most fundamental measure of housing well-being for homebuyers in the state.

To afford to qualify to purchase the statewide median-priced, single-family home of $564,270 in the fourth quarter 2018, a household would need a minimum annual income of $122,340 to make the necessary monthly payments of $3,060. The monthly payment, including taxes and insurance on a 30-year, fixed-rate loan, assumes a 20 percent down payment and an effective composite mortgage interest rate of 4.95 percent. The effective composite interest rate was 4.77 percent in third-quarter 2018 and 4.17 percent in fourth-quarter 2017. 

In San Diego County, C.A. R. said a minimum annual income of $135,710 would be needed to make monthly payments of $3,390 on a 4.95 percent interest rate mortgage loan.

“One of the biggest things with the affordability of homes here in San Diego is typically household income levels, but we’re in a more favorable position when compared to other markets like the Bay Area and the Silicon Valley,” said Calloway. “Too many builders have focused on luxury homes, and there hasn't been enough construction of affordable starter homes. Fortunately, recent inventory increases and the slowdown in house price appreciation is good news for home buyers.”

C.A.R. also said housing affordability for condominiums and townhomes edged up in fourth-quarter 2018 compared to the previous quarter with 37 percent of California households earning the minimum income to qualify for the purchase of a $460,000 median-priced condominium/townhome, up from 36 percent in the third quarter. An annual income of $99,730 was required to make monthly payments of $2,490. Thirty-eight percent of households could afford to buy a condominium-townhome a year ago.

Compared with California, more than half of the nation’s households (54 percent) could afford to purchase a $257,600 median-priced home, which required a minimum annual income of $55,850 to make monthly payments of $1,400.

Other key points from C.A.R.’s fourth-quarter 2018 Housing Affordability report included:

-- Housing affordability improved from fourth-quarter 2017 in 10 tracked counties and declined in 30 counties. Affordability in eight counties remained flat.

-- All but one county in the Southern California region posted a decrease in affordability compared to a year ago. Affordability declined in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego counties. Only Ventura County recorded an improvement.

-- During the fourth quarter of 2018, the most affordable counties in California were Lassen (66 percent), Kern (53 percent) and Kings and Siskiyou (both at 50 percent). The minimum annual income needed to qualify for a home in these counties was $52,030 or less.

-- Mono (12 percent), Santa Cruz (12 percent), San Mateo (15 percent), San Francisco (15 percent) and Santa Clara (18 percent) counties were the least affordable areas in the state. San Francisco and San Mateo counties had the highest minimum qualifying incomes in the state. An annual income of $326,290 was needed to purchase a home in San Francisco County, and an annual income of $329,300 was required in San Mateo County.

Topics: Market Information, Industry

Housing Market Will Remain Soft in 2019, says C.A.R. Economist

Posted by Rick Griffin on Feb 8, 2019 5:03:38 PM
411-blog-1PSAR members filled a packed room this week at the East County Service Center in El Cajon to look into the future and hear “2019 Housing Market Outlook,” a presentation from Oscar Wei, senior economist, California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.).

Wei told PSAR members that housing market conditions in California will continue soft in 2019 as prices remain flat and sales pull back throughout the year because buyers are expected to remain on the sidelines.

“The overall market will continue on a declining trend,” Wei said. “Many California consumers believe home prices will be flat or falling next year, and any growth will be at a very modest pace.”

Wei also said the interest rates, which recently dropped due to economic uncertainties, will eventually climb higher. In addition, if a second government shutdown occurs, similar to the recent 35-day partial shutdown which exacerbated partisan divisions, then the real estate market and U.S. economy could be negatively impacted.

According to Wei, current market fundamentals, including positive job growth, income growth and household formation, are still solid even though sales are down double-digits despite recent declines in interest rates. Meanwhile, price growth remains near its lowest levels since early 2012. Still, a window of opportunity is currently open for buyers, he said.

“Many buyers should buy now before interest rates climb higher in the near future,” said Wei. “Inventory levels are improving, yet a tight supply led to one third of sales closing above asking price in 2018. Fortunately, active listings increased for the ninth month in a row through November.

“The Fed has raised interest rates nine times since December 2015. If interest rates increase too fast, then economic growth will come to a halt.”

Wei also offered highlights from C.A.R.’s annual homebuyers survey, including:

  • Most recent buyers ended-up compromising in some way, either by paying a higher price for a smaller home than desired or living a farther distance from work or schools.
  • The reasons why most buyers delay buying sooner include saving for a down payment, waiting for finances to improve and prices to stabilize or difficulty qualifying for a mortgage.
  • 80 percent of recent buyers had been saving for buy for more than one year.
  • The net cash gain to sellers of roughly $200,000 has been the highest since 2006.

He said California cities are still not allowing construction of a sufficient supply of new homes: the California Department of Housing and Community Development projects that 180,000 new units are needed annually to keep up with demand.

Wei also discussed local market activity. In Chula Vista, 1,589 homes sold in 2017, compared to 1,407 in 2018, a decline of 11.5 percent. In El Cajon, 1,162 homes sold in 2017, compared to 1,133 in 2018, a decline of 2.5 percent. In San Diego County, 7,412 homes sold in 2017, compared to 6,774 in 2018, a drop of 8.6 percent.

The median price per city was as follows: Chula Vista -- $570,000 in 2017, $569,500 in 2018, a difference of 0.1 percent; El Cajon -- $530,000 in 2017, $575,000 in 2018, an increase of 8.5 percent; San Diego -- $640,000 in 2017, $695,000 in 2018, an improvement of 3.1 percent.

Wei concluded his remarks by saying seven out of 10 Americans still believe that owning a home is an important part of the American dream, and 45 percent of home shoppers plan to purchase within the next five years.

Below are a few links to go to for more statistical housing market resources.  These resources are for Realtor members and will require a CAR login. 

Data & Statistics                              https://www.car.org/marketdata/data

Housing Affordability Index       https://www.car.org/marketdata/data/haitraditional

Housing Matters Podcast             https://www.car.org/marketdata/podcast

Market Minute                                  https://www.car.org/marketdata/marketminute

County Market Updates               https://www.car.org/marketing/chartsandgraphs/marketupdate

Interactive Market Stats               https://www.car.org/marketdata/interactive

Market Snapshot                            https://www.car.org/marketing/chartsandgraphs/marketsnapshot

Housing Market Webinar             https://www.car.org/knowledge/multimedialibrary/webinars/market

Also, click here to view Oscar Wei's Presentation.

Topics: Market Information, Industry

2019 theme, `Salute to Service’ involves you

Posted by Rick Griffin on Feb 1, 2019 4:57:52 PM

Robert Calloway (2) (1)As you may recall, this year’s 2019 theme for PSAR is “Salute to Service.” I can honestly say that service has been my life. For 26 years of my life, I spent serving in the U.S. Navy. After my military career, as part my service to my real estate clients, it was my commitment to service that led to me to serve as founding president in July 2013 of the San Diego chapter of the Veterans Association of Real Estate Professionals (VAREP). Now, I am privileged to serve as your 2019 PSAR President.

 I would like to encourage all of you to experience greater rewards and benefits of PSAR membership, as well as a sense of satisfaction, by participating and serving in and on a PSAR committee or event!!!

 However, here’s a personal, straight-from-the-shoulder admission: I have learned that nothing is more refreshing than to serve and giveback, also by getting involved. It’s your attitude that is most important. There’s something very authentic in participating with the desire to help others: Nothing to prove; nothing to lose.

 I love the fact that so many of our PSAR members serve on a committee or at various PSAR events embody integrity and absolute honesty. Honesty has a beautiful and refreshing simplicity about it. No ulterior motives, no hidden meanings, an absence of hypocrisy and duplicity. I’ve seen their servant-hearted leadership. When real integrity characterizes our lives, then there is no need to manipulate others.

 So, let me encourage you to get involved by volunteering and serving on a PSAR committee. Don’t just show-up, volunteer. Find your passions, utilize your strengths, be a participant, not just an observer, and you will get more out of PSAR. You will develop your skills, advance your career and the experience will be rewarding to you both personally and professionally. While no one is capable of doing everything, everyone is capable of doing something. However, all of us can extend the reach of PSAR by building relationships and spreading the word about the many benefits PSAR offers.

 PSAR’s mission is to empower our members. Our mission statement states: “We empower our members to flourish while being accountable to each other, our clients and our community.” Our members are self-empowered to take control of their own destiny and careers.

 So, join me in collaboration as we work together and commit ourselves to increase business and leadership opportunities and foster relationships for the future. Together, let’s send one very clear, strong, unmistakable message that we are here to build business networks and community, share resources and experiences, develop professionally through educational opportunities, contribute to economic development and leverage influence in the real estate industry’s future. Thanks for being a committed member to PSAR.

For more information about PSAR Committees, please see this list.  Feel free to respond here or email support@psar.org for more information. 

2019 Volunteer Opportunities at PSAR

Topics: Leadership

Cautious buyers causing housing market’s downward trend, says C.A.R.

Posted by Rick Griffin on Jan 25, 2019 2:43:43 PM
Ave_days_on_Market_Med_price-4California home sales declined for the eighth straight month in December 2018, according to the latest housing market report for home sales and prices from the California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R). The year finished with fewer sales for 2018 for the first time in four years. For the year as a whole, sales statewide were down 5.2 percent from 2017.

December’s sales figure was down 2.4 percent from the revised 381,400 level in November and down 11.6 percent from sales in December 2017 of 420,960. December marked the fifth month in a row that sales were below 400,000 and the lowest level of sales sold since January 2015.

Sales in San Diego in December 2018 were 7.4 percent lower compared to November 2018, and down 14.7 percent from December 2017.

“The housing market continued to shift in December and drift downward as sales have fallen double digits for the past three out of four months,” said C.A.R. President Jared Martin. “This trend is expected to continue, as buyers remain cautious about the murky housing market outlook due primarily to the volatility in the financial markets and uncertainty in the economic and political arenas.

“Additionally, housing markets in and around the wildfire areas have been exhibiting unusual patterns that could remain unsettled for the next few months. The impact, however, is confined mostly within the region and should not have a noticeable effect in the housing market at the state level.”

C.A.R. said the statewide median home price in December 2018 was $557,600, which was up 0.5 percent from $554,760 in November 2018 and up 1.5 percent from a revised $549,550 in December 2017. The statewide median home price for the year as a whole was $570,010, up 6.0 percent from $537,860 in 2017.

In San Diego, the median home price in December 2018 was $618,500, which was 1.2 percent lower than the $626,000 figure for November 2018 and 2.2 percent higher than the $605,000 figure for December 2017.

Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 372,260 units in December 2018, according to information collected by C.A.R. from more than 90 local REALTOR® associations and MLSs statewide. The statewide annualized sales figure represents what would be the total number of homes sold during 2018 if sales maintained the December pace throughout the year. It is adjusted to account for seasonal factors that typically influence home sales.

“California’s housing market in 2018 was hindered by endlessly rising home prices and interest rate hikes, which combined to erode housing affordability and hamper home sales,” said C.A.R. Senior Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young. “As a result, while the statewide median home price surpassed its previous peak and set a new record in 2018, annual home sales fell for the first time in four years to a preliminary 402,750 closed escrows in California, down from 2017’s pace of 424,890.

“In the coming months, we expect a brief hiccup in sales as the government shutdown temporarily delays closings due to interruptions in IRS income verification or the processing of HUD, VA and USDA loans,” said Appleton-Young.

Other key points from C.A.R.’s December 2018 resale housing report included:
  • The median number of days it took to sell a California single-family home rose from 25 days in December 2017 to 32 days in December 2018. Meanwhile, in San Diego County, the median number of days a home remained unsold on the market was 27 days in December 2018, compared to 22 days in November 2018 and 18 days in December 2017.
  • Statewide active listings rose for the ninth consecutive month after nearly three straight years of declines, increasing 30.6 percent from the previous year. All major regions recorded an increase in active listings, with the Bay Area posting the highest increase at 65 percent, followed by Southern California (34 percent), Central Valley (24 percent) and the Central Coast (12 percent).
  • The Unsold Inventory Index, which is a ratio of inventory over sales, increased year-to-year from 2.5 months in December 2017 to 3.5 months in December 2018. The index measures the number of months it would take to sell the supply of homes on the market at the current sales rate.
  • On a regionwide, non-seasonally adjusted basis, sales dropped double-digits on a year-over-year basis in the San Francisco Bay Area, the Central Coast, Central Valley and Southern California regions, with the Central Coast dropping the most at 24.9 percent.
  • Thirty-nine of the 51 counties reported by C.A.R. posted a sales decline in December with an average year-over-year sales decline of 20 percent. Thirty-four counties recorded double-digit sales drops on an annual basis, and 10 counties experienced an increase in sales from a year ago.
  • The 30-year, fixed-mortgage interest rate averaged 4.64 percent in December, up from 3.95 percent in December 2017, according to Freddie Mac. The five-year, adjustable mortgage interest rate also increased in December to an average of 4.02 percent from 3.39 from December 2017.

In other recent real estate and economic news, according to news reports:

  • A new Zillow survey found that 27 percent of new homes in San Diego County experienced some price reduction in the fourth quarter, a 5 percent increase from the first quarter of 2018. Nationally, Zillow found that 25 percent of new homes experienced a price reduction in the fourth quarter, compared with 19.2 percent of homes in the first quarter of last year. Zillow said home shoppers nationwide may be able to find a better deal on a new home now than they could a year ago. Price cuts were more common in the fourth quarter than in the first quarter of last year, Zillow reported.
  • CoreLogic recently reported that San Diego home prices were up 1.1 percent in November, after two months of decline. The real estate tracking company also said the median price in November was $565,000, which was $18,000 less than an all-time peak reached in August. 2018.
  • The national economy is cooling but whether a recession is around the corner and how much a slowdown would affect the San Diego area is still an open question, according to local economists who met at the annual San Diego County Economic Roundtable at USD.
  • San Diego County is one of the least affordable places to live in America, and renters know it. In 2017, 57 percent of the county’s renters were considered burdened by their housing costs, meaning they spent 30 percent or more of their income on rent and utilities. The figures come from data recently released by the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. The problem is even worse for the 28 percent of renters in the county who spent more than half their income on rent and utilities in 2017. People with higher rent burdens are more likely to skip doctor appointments and avoid paying for medications, and they are less likely to save money.
  • Demand for rental apartments has reached near record highs in San Diego, according to RealPage, a national property management and software company. San Diego was among 17 metro markets where apartment occupancy rates were at their highest in the third quarter of 2018, higher than they’ve been in the past 15 to 20 years. Occupancy rates in San Diego were the highest they’ve been in about 15 years, the company said.
  • A new survey suggests a general dissatisfaction with the way things are going in California, mixed with politics to create a highly toxic brew. According to Competitive Edge’s recent poll of 806 likely voters, 15 percent of voters are seriously considering leaving and another 13 percent are giving it some thought.
  • According to a recent survey from the Public Policy Institute of California, the 60 percent of respondents identified as likely voters are predicting that children growing up today in California will face a bleaker financial furniture than their parents. Sixty-seven percent of respondents said that the state was divided into haves and have-nots, and 45 percent considered themselves have-nots.
  • San Diego County’s job market finished 2018 on a strong note. The local non-adjusted unemployment rate remained at a historic low of 3.2 percent in December, according to the California Employment Development Department. That’s unchanged from a revised 3.2 percent in November and below the 3.3 percent rate a year ago. The county lost 1,500 net positions in December. But year-over-year, payrolls added 28,400, up 1.9 percent.

Topics: Market Information, Industry

Jan Farley, 2018 PSAR President: ‘Hello, Goodbye.’

Posted by Rick Griffin on Jan 18, 2019 1:05:49 PM
Jan Farley BlogAs many of you know, since I’m a singer in a band, I’m a big fan of the Beatles. And, there’s a famous Beatles song called “Hello, Goodbye.” Written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, the song was recorded at the Abbey Road Studios in October 1967. The lyrics include the words: “You say goodbye, and I say hello, hello, hello.”

In a number of ways, “Hello, Goodbye” describes my sentiments after serving as your 2018 PSAR President. I’m saying “goodbye” after a fantastic year. It was a terrific experience serving as your President. I am so proud of several major accomplishments achieved during 2018.

In 2018, I believe we better united our two Districts, both East and South. Plus, soon to open will be a new central location service center. A Grand Opening Celebration will be held for the new PSAR Central Service Center at 10 a.m., this Wednesday, Jan. 23. I hope all of you can join us for networking, refreshments and a ribbon cutting ceremony photo opportunity at the new office located at the Liberty Park Plaza, 4340 Genesee Ave., Suite #203, San Diego, 92117. The new Service Center in the Clairemont Mesa area is located on the back side (the west side) of a two-story office building, above Gymboree. The first 100 REALTORS® in attendance receive free “Sold” rider courtesy of California Signs & Marketing.

Also in 2018, we made a bold move to bring our members the California Regional Multiple Listing Service (CRMLS), which gave us access to a statewide MLS. CRMLS means PSAR subscribers have access to an industry-leading MLS platform where 143,000 agents share listing information with one another.

Also in 2018, we settled a lawsuit over the MLS with another Association. The settlement covering all outstanding litigation will be beneficial to all San Diego County REALTORS®.

I especially want to thank the entire PSAR board for being wise and bold this year in making all these changes. And, I’m doubly grateful to our members for supporting the PSAR board.

I was thinking the other day about the difference between mediocrity and excellence. Is it luck, skill or education? Is it hard work, midnight oil, elbow grease and initiative? I’m now at a place in life where I think the difference between mediocrity and excellence boils down to one primary factor: Execution.

Let me explain: Having a dream is great, but working on the dream is what matters. Seeing opportunities is helpful, but seizing them is what takes you to new levels. All too often, I will share with people about the importance of a strategy and a plan for growth and improvement. Unfortunately, the conversation often ends with something like, “Yeah, I really should do that...” And then, nothing, perhaps because of fear, skepticism or procrastination. So, my new prayer for 2019 is, “God, give me a bias toward action and to do what I know is right without delay or hesitation.”

I can’t recall exactly where I found this quote, but I have it on my board at the office and at home: “Success is doing what you don’t want to do, when you don’t want to do it, at the highest level.” Sometimes I find that when I don’t want to do something or go somewhere, after I make myself do it, then I realize that it was something that I wouldn’t have wanted to miss, or it turned out that a great connection was made. So, in 2019, I’m trying to change from “I don’t want to” into “I am going to.”

Just like the Beatles song says, in a manner of speaking, I’m saying “Goodbye” as PSAR President. However, on the other hand, I’m saying “Hello” to many new and exciting opportunities to serve our industry as a past Association president.

Truly, we work in a marvelous profession that is making such a positive difference in our society and culture. The extent of our selfless contributions to hundreds of thousands of families is incalculable. As REALTORS®, we work at a stressful and exhausting job that includes grueling experiences with inexperienced clients facing affordability and financing challenges and the largest purchase of their lives. Our long work hours can test our levels of patience, creativity and resiliency. But, after all the escrow papers are signed and the transaction is closed, we can realize a tremendous sense of “job-well-done” pride, plus reward and satisfaction because we made a dream come true for our client.

As we begin 2019, let me convey my personal wishes to you for a successful, prosperous and enjoyable year. Here are some wise words from T.D. Jakes: “Living in the rhythm of where you are and preparing for your next season does not necessarily mean keeping your winter coat handy just because it’s January. You must be adaptable and ready to seize an opportunity when it comes your way. You must know when to hibernate and stay away from last year’s spring fling and when to risk blazing your own trail along uncharted territory. You need to ask yourself if a particular harvest is worth investing so much of your energy to produce. You must pay attention to when you need rest and when it’s worthwhile to push yourself through the tired barrier in order to accomplish your goal.”

In 2019, may your hard work reap tremendous rewards as a result of excellent customer service throughout this coming year. May your circle of influence grow as you develop and nurture relationships with other agents resulting in business deals for all parties involved. May you take advantage of our Association’s excellent educational opportunities and resources because PSAR empowers its members to flourish. I hope your efforts provide you with a great earning potential, a path to financial freedom and the personal fulfillment of helping people with major life milestones involving their real estate needs. Have a great 2019!

Topics: Leadership

Tom Money, Legendary at PSAR, has passed away

Posted by Rick Griffin on Jan 11, 2019 3:27:11 PM
TomMoney (2)Tom Money, a longtime PSAR member and past President (1984) passed away at his home in Bonita on Jan. 5, 2019, after a courageous fight with cancer. He was 75.

A year ago, he was diagnosed with cholangiocarcinoma, a rare bile duct cancer in the liver, according to his wife Sherry. “He got to live each day the best he could,” said Sherry. “He didn’t dwell on ‘Why me?’ He was very positive.”

Tom was considered a legendary figure at PSAR. He served as President when the Association was called the San Diego Bay Cities Board of REALTORS® (the Association’s name was changed to PSAR in 1993).

“He took great delight in hooking up first time buyers with a home,” said Sherry.

In addition to serving as President, Tom served on numerous PSAR committees as a member and chair, including the Government Affairs Committee. He also served as a California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.) Director. He was a recipient of the PSAR REALTOR® of the Year award.

In a 2015 interview with PSAR, Tom voiced his long-time support for the Association. “Over the many decades, the Association has never lost its focus, which is to serve its members and homeowners.”

“He was a good friend who helped me a great deal when I first got hired at PSAR,” said Rich D'Ascoli, CEO, PSAR. “Last summer, a big celebration of life event was held for him when he was still alive and many elected officials and dignitaries attended to honor him.”

The City of Chula Vista declared Aug, 8, 2018, as “Tom Money Day.” The celebration gathering drew the attendance of five mayors of Chula Vista to honor him.

In a recent edition of The Star-News newspaper, Chula Vista Mayor Mary Casillas Salas said, “Tom Money was more than a successful businessman and realtor. He had a great sense of community pride and was someone who believed in giving back through volunteerism on a number of boards, commissions, and especially devoting his time and treasure through his leadership and service in our Chula Vista Kiwanis Club. He will be missed.”

Thomas George Money was born at San Diego’s Mercy Hospital on March 3, 1943.

He met Sherry Seagraves, in August of 1970, on a blind date, and they married three years later, Aug. 25, 1973 in Balboa Park.

Tom attended local elementary schools and graduated from Chula Vista High School (class of 1961). In high school, he was the photographer for the Spartan newspaper. He contributed a photo of President Dwight D. Eisenhower for the Senior Year Scroll.

Tom operated Money Realty at 355 Third Ave. in Chula Vista. His office in Downtown Chula Vista holds the longevity record in San Diego County for continuous location as a real estate sales office. The office was opened by his father Mark in 1944, when the company was called Mark H. Money & Associates. Previously, Mark had relocated the family from Wisconsin to work in San Diego as an aircraft mechanic.

In 1963, after his father’s passing, Tom, age 28 at the time, joined the family real estate business as a REALTOR® and maintained the same office address since then. Tom’s mother Jane served as broker for the real estate company.

In addition to his service to PSAR, Tom was active in the community as a volunteer with a number of service clubs, charities and community organizations. In the 1970s and 1980s, he served on the board of the Junior Chula Vista Chamber of Commerce. He later served on the boards of the Third Avenue Village Association (TAVA) and Chula Vista Chamber of Commerce. He also served as president of the Chula Vista Kiwanis Club. He also served on an advisory board for Scripps Health.

Tom’s passion was sailing. He served on a committee in 1976 to save the Star of India, and then later sailed on the world’s oldest active sailing ship as part of the crew. The Star of India, a full-rigged iron windjammer ship built in 1863, is moored along Harbor Drive in Downtown San Diego and operated by the Maritime Museum of San Diego. Tom also was instrumental in having the America’s Cup trophy on display at Harbor Days, a summertime community event now known as Chula Vista HarborFest.

Tom experienced a number of sailing adventures during his life. As a young man, one of his adventures consisted of hitchhiking around the world on sailboats. He started a three-part, two-year journey around the globe in Hawaii. “I was 22 years old and working in Honolulu at odd jobs when I met a guy sailing to Tahiti in French Polynesia in the South Pacific who needed a crew member,” said Tom in a 2015 interview. “Then, in Tahiti I met a guy sailing to Africa who also needed a crew member. Then, in Africa, I met a guy sailing to Newport, Rhode Island. So, I call it a round-the-world trip on a sailboat as a hitchhiker.”

In 1969, Tom joined a gold mining company that was dredging the Bering Sea, between Alaska and Russia, looking for gold. According to Tom, “We were off the coast of Nome and a big storm came in and created huge chunks of ice. Our boat was crushed by the ice and we walked ashore on the ice about a quarter mile. The whole town turned out in the middle of the night with sleds to help us get our gear off the boat before it sank.”

In 1970, Tom was member of the crew who sailed a 100-foot-long, square-rigged, iron windjammer ship (similar to the Star of India) from Tahiti to Sydney, Australia, to commemorate Captain James Cook’s discovery of Australia in 1770.

In 1991, at age 48, Tom sailed across the Pacific Ocean, 2,250 miles in 12-and-a-half days, from San Diego to Honolulu, with himself and National City resident John Walton, a member of the Walton family who founded Wal-Mart (John was a son of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton). A race was being held to raise money for Mercy Hospital and John Walton was building a new style of trimaran sailboats that were lightweight and fast (a trimaran is a multi-hull sail boat that comprises a main hull and two smaller outrigger hulls, or floats, which are attached to the main hull with lateral beams).

According to Tom, “I went to John and asked him to sponsor me in this race. He kept asking me questions and then decided to go with me. We finished first by a day-and-a-half, but were declared to be in second place by 15 minutes because of our ship’s handicap. In some races, boats have handicaps just like golfers.” (John Walton passed away on June 27, 2005, in a private plane crash in Wyoming).

Tom is survived by his wife Sherry, two daughters, Courtney Money and Colleen Varnum and husband Matt, and two grandsons, Evan and Zach; sisters Susanna Money of San Diego and Roxanne Money Zunich and her husband John of Fresno. He was preceded in death by his parents Mark H. Money and Jane Milke Money.

Broker and longtime family friend Mayra Swanson recently took over the real estate business. A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 24, at the San Diego Yacht Club 1011 Anchorage Lane, San Diego, 92106. To RSVP for the service, send an e-mail to Mayra at mayra@moneypropertyinc.com, or call her at 619-422-0177. His ashes will be scattered off the coast of Pt. Loma, the family said.

Topics: Brokers/Managers, Leadership