Rick Griffin

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CONGRATS TO PSAR’S NEWEST GROUP OF CIPS GRADUATES

Posted by Rick Griffin on Jul 2, 2020 2:09:57 PM

ICIPS Attendees 06-26-20

Congratulations to a group of PSAR members who recently completed the Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) Institute.

The CIPS Institute, from the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), provides REALTORS® with knowledge, tools and a worldwide network helping in serving international clients.

The recent CIPS graduates include: 

Jackie Beltran

David Cardenas

Edith Cortez-Hernandez

Robert Cromer

Michael Dullea

Deborah Ferrari

Araceli Gonzalez

Nicolas Iniguez

Trinidelita Lao

Steven Lewis

Elva Luna

Angela Nugent

Dante Pamintuan

Diana Phan

Myrna Reyes

Patricia Ruesga

Yolanda Rosario

Maria Elena Sexsion

Rhiza Trinidad

Mary Beth Viruete

Ditas Yamane

These new CIPS graduates gained the knowledge needed to present investment information to international clients in their currency and area. They are now eligible to apply for NAR's CIPS Designation.  Once NAR accepts their applications, NAR will recognize them as expert resources in the international real estate market. They will have access to the information, research, network and tools to globalize their business. They now understand the financial, legal and cultural differences for real estate transactions in various countries.

CIPS graduates receive a variety of benefits, including a listing in the “Find a CIPS” online directory, customizable print postcards, customizable web banner ads and customizable press release. Technology tools include a CIPS app that provides translation, area and currency conversion, time zone calculation and international holidays, along with a CIPS resource browser toolbar. They also will receive a “Global Perspectives” print newsletter, access to webinars and networking opportunities, including access to CIPS member-only online communities and invitations to exclusive events at NAR meetings.

The CIPS class was an intensive program of study focusing on critical aspects of trans-national transactions, including currency and exchange rate issues, cross-cultural relationships, regional market conditions, investment performance, tax issues and more. Four-hour classes were held at various times June 15-19 and June 23-26.

The first class included an overview of the international real estate business environment, including capital flow, currencies, government regulations and culture. Topics included international brokerage, networking, marketing and selling.

Other classes featured the tools needed to present investment information to international clients. Students learned how to measure investment performance, prepare financial projections and understand the effects of taxes and exchange rates on investment.

Classes focused on real estate in Europe, Asia-Pacific and the Americas. Topics included the European Union and its impact on international real estate, as well as selling practices. Another class emphasized the cultural influences and economic trends in Japan and Asia. Another class included practical information on working with clients from the Caribbean and North, Central and South America, along with historical and cultural influences.

The instructor was Furhad Waquad, a NAR director since 2004. Furhad also is a past president of the Michigan Association of REALTORS®, a past NAR Regional Vice President and leader in NAR international leadership positions, including as a member of the NAR International Faculty. He has been recognized as Michigan’s REALTOR® of the Year and Michigan’s REALTOR® Active in Politics. 

Furhad is actively involved in REALTOR® organizations across the country. He is serving as NAR Federal Political Coordinator to U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and 2019-2020 NAR REALTOR Party Trustee for Campaign Services. He previously served as the 2013 Chairman of the National Association of REALTORS’® Global Business Alliances Committee and the 2009 NAR President’s Liaison to International Operations.

Several PSAR members who are now CIPS graduates are actively involved with the PSAR Global Real Estate Council (GREC). Many PSAR members who are interested in cross-border opportunities and who want to network with other international real estate practitioners are involved with GREC.

PSAR’s GREC is dedicated to assist the needs of PSAR members who desire to expand their international outreach and help international capital investment clients make informed transactions with effective counsel across multiple jurisdictions. The vision of the Council is to provide and facilitate educational opportunities to enable PSAR members to expand their practice and organize global-themed events.

GREC can provide you with a platform to connect with individuals internationally. GREC offers PSAR members the opportunity to learn and expand their niche market in real estate internationally.

Formed in 2013, PSAR’s GREC has hosted several educational events in recent years designed to assist PSAR members in helping international capital investment clients to make informed transactions with effective counsel across multiple jurisdictions. The training sessions have focused on cultural customs and diversity, as well as panel discussions and forums with international partners.

Topics: Education, Marketing, Industry

FULL BRUNT OF VIRUS OUTBREAK FELT IN MAY HOUSING REPORT

Posted by Rick Griffin on Jun 26, 2020 4:55:44 PM

May housing market Statistics

The full impact of the coronavirus pandemic was felt in the local and statewide housing market in May, as revealed by the most recent monthly home sales and prices report from the California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.).

California home sales in May fell to their lowest level since the 2008 Great Recession with closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes totaling a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 238,740 units, according to information collected by C.A.R. from more than 90 local REALTOR® associations and MLSs statewide.

Statewide, May 2020 home sales were down 13.9 percent from the 277,440 units sold in April, and down 41.4 percent from a year ago, when 407,330 homes were sold in May 2019. Statewide year-to-date home sales are down 12.9 percent, the largest drop since November 2007.

In San Diego county, homes sales in May 2020 were down 14.6 percent, compared to April 2020, and 42.3 percent, compared to May 2019.

San Diego county’s year-over-year decrease of 42.3 percent in home sales in May compares to these Southern California counties: 53.3 percent in Orange, 52.0 percent in Ventura, 47.5 percent in Los Angeles, 43.0 percent in Riverside and 37.6 percent in San Bernardino .

The statewide median home price in May 2020 fell below last year’s price for the first time since February 2012 and breaking the state’s 98-month, year-over-year price-gain streak. The May 2020 statewide median price of $588,070 for existing single-family homes was down 3.0 percent from April 2020’s $606,410 figure and down 3.7 percent from May 2019, when the median price was a revised $610,940.

In San Diego, the median price for a single-family home in San Diego County in May 2020 was $655,000, down 2.4 percent from $671,000 in April 2020, with only a 0.8 percent difference from the $650,000 figure for May 2019.

May 2020 County Sales and Price Activity
(Regional and condo sales data not seasonally adjusted)

Median Sold P:rice

“The sharp sales drop in May was the steepest we’ve seen in some time, but there are encouraging signs that show the market is recovering and should continue to improve over the next few months,” said 2020 C.A.R. President Jeanne Radsick, a second-generation REALTOR® from Bakersfield, Calif. “With pending home sales up a stunning 67 percent in May, buyer demand is on the upswing amid record-low rates that are making monthly mortgage payments $300 less than a year ago.”

“As we predicted, May home sales took the full impact of the coronavirus pandemic as much of the state remained in lockdown during the past few months and caused three straight months of double-digit sales declines, which we haven’t experienced since the Association began reporting monthly home sales in 1979,” said C.A.R. Senior Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young. “While we expect sales activity to remain below pre-COVID-19 levels, closed sales will improve markedly as the phased reopening of the economy continues and consumers feel more confident returning to the market.”

Reflecting the dramatic change in market conditions, a monthly Google poll conducted by C.A.R. in early June found 40 percent of consumers said it is a good time to sell, up from 29 percent a month ago, but down from 51 percent a year ago. The market uncertainty has not curbed the optimism for homebuying as much; as 32 percent of the consumers who responded to the poll believed that now is a good time to buy a home, sharply higher than last year, when 26 percent said it was a good time to buy.

Other key points from the May 2020 resale housing report included:

•  At the regional level, all major regions dipped in sales by more than 35 percent from last year, with the Bay Area and Central Coast dropping the most at -51.1 percent each, followed by Southern California (-45.6 percent), and the Central Valley (-36.6 percent).

•  Fifty of the 51 counties tracked by C.A.R. experienced a year-over-year loss in sales, with Monterey declining the most from last year at -63.0 percent, followed by Mendocino (-59.7 percent), and San Benito (-59.2 percent). Counties that experienced a sales decline compared to last year averaged a loss of 42.2 percent. Del Norte was the only county with an increase over last year.

•  Median prices continued to dip in May versus last year in the Central Coast and the Bay Area but inched up slightly in the Central Valley region. The median home price was virtually unchanged in Southern California. 

• Thirty-one of the 51 counties tracked by C.A.R. reported a year-over-year price gain in May, with Glenn County leading the way at 31.9 percent. Of the 19 counties that experienced a price drop over last May, Plumas showed the biggest decline at 23.3 percent. 

• The Unsold inventory Index jumped to 4.3 months in May, up from 3.4 months in April and 3.2 months in May 2019. The index calculates the number of months needed sell the supply of homes on the market at the current rate of sales.

• Total active listings continued to decline on an annual basis for the 11th consecutive month; the 34 percent year-over-year decrease in listings was the biggest drop since March 2013.

• All major regions recorded a decrease in housing supply of more than 25 percent, with both the Southern California and the Central Valley regions falling by more than 33 percent. All counties in Southern California, except Ventura, declined 36 percent or more from last year, with San Diego dropping the most at 42.7 percent.

• The median number of days needed sell a California single-family home increased to 17 days in May 2020 compared to 13 days in April 2020 but was lower than the 18 days in May 2019. to the figure in March 2020 was 15 days, with a 23 day figure in February 2020.

• In San Diego County, the median number of days an existing, single-family home remained unsold was 11 days in May 2020, compared to eight days in April 2020, 10 days in March 2020, 12 days in February 2020, 23 days in January 2020 and 14 days in May 2019.

 

May 2020 County Unsold Inventory and Days on Market
(Regional and condo sales data not seasonally adjusted)

Unsold Inventory Index

• The 30-year, fixed-mortgage interest rate averaged 3.23 percent in May, down from 4.07 percent in May 2019, according to Freddie Mac. The five-year, adjustable mortgage interest rate averaged 3.16 percent, compared to 3.65 percent in May 2019.

 

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

• Nationwide sales of new single-family homes in May continued to rebound from a COVID-19-influenced low in April, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Sales of new single-family homes in May were up 12.7 percent in a year-over-year comparison.

• There were fewer bidding wars for homes in May in San Diego. According to Redfin, 49.1 percent of homes for sale drew multiple offers, a decrease from April’s 53.4 percent figure. Nationwide, Redfin found that 49.4 percent of U.S. home offers in May faced competition, compared to 43.9 percent of offers in April. Of the 24 metros in the Redfin analysis, 11 saw a majority of Redfin offers facing competition in May. That's up from eight metros in April.

• CoreLogic said home sales in May had their biggest drop in nearly 30 years because COVID-19 held the market to a crawl. The home sales total of 2,327 in May was 40.7 percent down from the same month last year. It was the biggest drop in home sales since January 1991, when sales were down by 41.5 percent. Despite fewer sales, average home prices were largely unchanged, said CoreLogic.

• Small business owners turned more optimistic in May about an economic rebound and are expecting the coronavirus-induced recession will be short lived. The National Federation of Independent Business said its optimism index rose 3.5 percent in May to 94.4, an increase that was twice the Wall Street forecast.

• San Diego’s economy in dealing with COVID-19 will fare better than that of other parts of California because of a higher number of essential workers. Roughly 67 percent of workers in San Diego County are considered essential and less likely to have suffered furloughs, according to Beacon Economics. That’s a higher percentage than Silicon Valley, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

•  Who says you can't go home again? According to Zillow, about 2.7 million adults moved back home in March and April. Over 32 million adults were living with a parent or grandparent as of April 2020, up 9.7 percent from the same time the year before and is the highest number on record.

• The moving industry could potentially use up to $2.5 billion in revenue because of the coronavirus, according to HireAHelper.com, a moving website. During the 2008 recession, the moving industry lost about 16.5 percent of its revenue. This time around, revenues could decline between 12.2 and 19.9 percent.

Topics: Education, Marketing, Industry

VOTING FOR PSAR BOARD MEMBERS HAS BEGUN, BE SURE TO VOTE

Posted by Rick Griffin on Jun 19, 2020 4:48:45 PM

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We have reached the time of year when PSAR members need to stand up and be counted!  Voting for 2021 PSAR board members takes place this week and your voice counts in deciding who will lead our association next year. Electronic ballots were emailed yesterday morning, June 19. Voting will end at 5 p.m., this Friday, June 26. Results will be announced in July. - slate of nominees can be found - here

On the ballot are seats for President-elect, Secretary-Treasurer, as well as two-year term (2021-2022) positions for five director board seats and an affiliate director.

Max Zaker and Sam Calvano are running for President-elect and Secretary-Treasurer, respectively.

“As your President-elect, it will be my goal working with PSAR president, board of directors and staff to offer our members innovative technologies and impactful resources to help grow their business,” Zaker said in his candidate statement.

“With your vote for me to be Secretary-Treasurer in 2021, I will help our Association continue to be a dynamic leader in our industry,” said Calvano in his candidate statement.

Seven REALTOR® members are running for the five open director board seats. The seven include Mike Anderson, Merrie Espina, David Fletes, Sean Hillier, Rafael Perez, Amy Ruiz and Amber Tannehill. The following quotes are from their candidate statements:

• “I’d like to return to PSAR’s board because I believe I have a lot to offer with my experience and dedication to PSAR,” said Anderson. “I’d like to continue as a key component of the positive changes and growth we’re seeing, so I ask that you vote for me as a director.”

• “Community volunteer activities for PSAR include Red Shoe Day, Zombie Run, Realtor Games and Real Estate Global Council,” said Espina. “She is a team player acknowledged as a top company producer.” 

• “A San Diego native, David has been a REALTOR® and PSAR member for over 12 years,” said Fletes. “He is currently part of the Grievance Committee. David takes pride in giving back to the community by joining the San Diego Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and being an active member of the Wounded Warrior program.” 

• “As a long-time East County resident and current PSAR board member, I’d be honored to serve a second term,” said Hillier. “I have a long record of leadership. I’m running for re-election to keep PSAR’s focus on you, the members.”

• “Rafael is committed to making sure PSAR is the best choice in San Diego County when it comes to real estate associations and with your vote, will work to make sure it stays that way,” said Perez.

• “Since 2006, Amy Ruiz has been a full-time REALTOR® and absolutely loves it,” said Ruiz. “If elected, she will assist the board wherever needed, while focusing on membership growth and encouraging current membership to make sure of all the amazing benefits PSAR has to offer.”

• “Amber is excited about the opportunity to serve on the PSAR board of directors to advocate for education and training both online and in the classroom to assist both new and long-term real estate professionals in growing their business,” said Tannehill. “As a PSAR board of director, I hope to find ways to improve on the communication from the local, state and national level so that all agents receive the same information in a timely manner.” 

Three affiliate members are competing for the Affiliate Director seat. They include Andrea Martino, Juliette Montoya-Cesena and Angie West. The following quotes are from their candidate statements:

•  “I feel honored and grateful to have been nominated for the Affiliate Director role,” said Martino. “I firmly believe our current and future membership is ready and expecting of new and out-of-the-box ways to increase both Association-Affiliate collaboration and to strengthen REALTOR®-Affiliate relationships. I am excited at the prospect of leading the charge to accomplish this.”

• “My name is Juliette Montoya-Cesena and I thank you for your consideration as a nominee for Affiliate Director for PSAR,” said Montoya-Cesena. “If elected, it will be my goal to provide unity with our REALTOR® and affiliate members in finding ways to promote their businesses through joint efforts. Working side by side with fellow board members to continue with the trajectory of growth for our valued PSAR members, future members and our community.”

• “Angie West is a proud member of the First American Title San Diego sales team,” said West. “She chaired the PSAR Charity Committee for two years and was honored with the Affiliate of the Year award for 2018.”

Last year, Ditas Yamane was elected to serve as 2021 board president, succeeding Robert Cromer this year’s president.

We as realtors and individuals are hard at it every day growing our businesses and living our lives.

But we also have an obligation to our PSAR association and our fellow members to lend our judgement to deciding who will lead us on the board and in the executive positions.  Policies, programs, events and investments are all part of what the association manages logistically.  Those members are also there to provide all of us with insight direction and inspiration.

They, and what they do and say, have direct impact on our businesses and on us personally.  Taking a few minutes of time to cast your vote seems little enough to reap the returns it creates.

Voting this week means you looked up from the day-to-day for a minute to think about a bigger picture and take a step to make it better.

We look forward to counting your ballot!

Topics: Education, Marketing, Industry

FAIR HOUSING IS NOT AN OPTION, IT IS THE LAW

Posted by Rick Griffin on Jun 12, 2020 5:15:00 PM

fair housing protects our livelihood

Fair housing is more than a list of dos and don’ts, rights and penalties and mandatory continuing education. As stewards of the right to own, use and transfer private property, fair housing protects our livelihood and business as REALTORS® and depends on a free, open market that embraces equal opportunity.

Fair housing is not an option, it is the law. The Federal Fair Housing Act prohibits housing discrimination based on race, religion, sex, national origin, disability, and familial status (protected classes). Californians are further protected from discrimination on the basis of age, marital status, genetic information, sexual orientation, sexual identification, AIDS/HIV, medical condition, political activities and affiliation, military or veteran status, and/or being domestic violence survivors.

What are some common unlawful acts of discrimination? They include:

  • Refusing to sell a property because of a person’s protected class.
  • Restricting loans or targeting higher cost loans to people based on their protected class or the neighborhood where the home is located.
  • Falsely denying that housing is available for inspection, sale, or rental.
  • Failing to provide reasonable accommodations to a person with a disability.

Fair housing exists in a community when individuals of similar income have the same range of housing choices regardless of race or color, ancestry or national origin, religion, gender, disability, marital or familial status, sexual orientation, or source of income.

The Fair Housing Acts covers most housing. In very limited circumstances, the Act exempts owner-occupied buildings with no more than four units, single-family houses sold or rented by the owner without the use of an agent, and housing operated by religious organizations and private clubs that limit occupancy to members.

REALTORS® recognize the significance of the Fair Housing Act and reconfirm their commitment to upholding fair housing law as well as their commitment to offering equal professional service to all in their search for real property.

The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) has a “Fair Housing Action Plan” that uses the abbreviation “ACT,” which stands for (A)ccountability, (C)ulture Change and (T)raining. It ensures that America’s 1.4 million REALTORS® are doing everything possible to protect housing rights in America. NAR recommends printing a copy of the “REALTOR® Fair Housing Declaration” and posting it in your office. It can be found here,www.nar.realtor/fair-housing/fair-housing-program/fair-housing-declaration.

The Fair Housing Declaration says:

   I agree to:

  • Provide equal professional service without regard to the race, color, religion, gender (sex), disability (handicap), familial status, national origin, sexual orientation or gender identity of any prospective client, customer, or of the residents of any community.
  • Keep informed about fair housing law and practices, improving my clients’ and customers’ opportunities and my business.
  • Develop advertising that indicates that everyone is welcome and no one is excluded;, expanding my client’s and customer’s opportunities to see, buy, or lease property.
  • Inform my clients and customers about their rights and responsibilities under the fair housing laws by providing brochures and other information.
  • Document my efforts to provide professional service, which will assist me in becoming a more responsive and successful REALTOR®.
  • Refuse to tolerate non-compliance.
  • Learn about those who are different from me, and celebrate those differences.
  • Take a positive approach to fair housing practices and aspire to follow the spirit as well as the letter of the law.
  • Develop and implement fair housing practices for my firm to carry out the spirit of this declaration.

Where and when is Fair Housing discrimination occurring? According to CSA San Diego County, recent examples include:

  • A nationwide mortgage lender had systematically charged higher interest rates to Hispanic and African-American borrowers.
  • In Virginia Beach, landlords refused to rent to families with three or more children.
  • In Connecticut a landlord refused to grant a tenant reasonable accommodation for her assistance dog which helped her with her cerebral palsy, seizure disorder, and depression.

In addition, a three-year investigation by Newsday, a New York newspaper, uncovered widespread evidence of unequal treatment by real estate agents on Long Island, New York. In one of the most concentrated investigations of discrimination by real estate agents in the half century since enactment of America’s landmark fair housing law, Newsday found evidence of widespread separate and unequal treatment of minority potential homebuyers and minority communities on Long Island.

The three-year probe strongly indicates that house hunting in one of the nation’s most segregated suburbs poses substantial risks of discrimination, with black buyers chancing disadvantages almost half the time they enlist brokers. The investigation, published Nov. 17, 2019, involved 25 undercover testers and 93 real estate agents who provided a total of 5,763 listings, as well as 240 hours of secretly-recorded meetings. Unequal treatment was directed toward Asians (19 percent), Hispanics (39 percent), Blacks (49 percent)

Additionally, the investigation reveals that Long Island’s dominant residential brokering firms help solidify racial separations. They frequently directed white customers toward areas with the highest white representations and minority buyers to more integrated neighborhoods. They also avoided business in communities with overwhelmingly minority populations. Fair housing laws bar agents from directing whites to one community and equally qualified blacks, Hispanics or Asians to other places, a practice known as steering.

The newspaper said, “Fair housing standards generally bar agents from talking about the backgrounds of people who live in neighborhoods as a form of verbal racial or ethnic steering. The standards also require agents to provide equal guidance to customers about areas in which they may want to live.

“Agents and brokers bear the responsibility for applying fair housing standards as they act as licensed gatekeepers to housing choices. Industry representatives have contended that proper training is the best way to ensure agents uphold fair housing laws, arguing against more aggressive enforcement through fines, license suspensions or revocations.

“Ultimately, fair housing violations are determined by the courts or enforcement agencies. Authorities may choose to file charges based on egregious conduct in a single case. More generally, they bring legal action after subjecting an agent to several paired tests to establish a pattern and to reduce the likelihood that an agent’s choices were either a fluke or soundly guided by the market at the time.”

The Urban Institute, a nonprofit group, conducted a nationwide study sponsored by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in 2010. That study involved more than 8,000 tests found real estate agents engaged less frequently than in the past in more explicit forms of discrimination, such as not showing available houses to minority buyers. However, the study also showed that agents placed minority buyers in more integrated neighborhoods at a higher rate than white buyers.

“The issue of discrimination is very subtle,” said Claudia Aranda, a director of field operations for the Urban Institute. “In the absence of treatment that’s more overt, in the absence of particular discriminatory comments, individual home seekers will never have potentially any reason to suspect discrimination.”

For more details about the Newsday study, visit https://projects.newsday.com/long-island/real-estate-agents-investigation.

In order to prevent the appearance of discrimination, CSA San Diego County recommends the following:

  • Train all your staff consistently on local, state and federal regulations.
  • Standardize your engagement practices.
  • Always post the Fair Housing logo prominently on your property.
  • Distribute materials and information equally to all interested parties.
  • Standardize the process of maintaining wait or interest lists.
  • Brief staff daily as to the availability of units.
  • Don’t show different units to different prospective applicants.
  • Don’t show unclean units to prospective applicants.

PSAR will present a webinar on “Fair Housing Laws and Regulations” from 10 to 11 a.m., Wednesday, July 1. Presenter will be Monica Lopez of CSA San Diego County, a nonprofit that advocates for fair housing and in meditating tenant-landlord issues. CSA services include fair housing counseling, dispute mediation, educational fair housing seminars and rental practice discrimination audits. CSA also is involved with immigrant rights, hate-crime prevention, human trafficking and voter education. The webinar will be presented over the Zoom online meeting platform. Registration information is available at www.psar.org. Zoom membership is not required to participate in the webinar.

Topics: Education, Marketing, Industry

Learn from the april Market statistics

Posted by Rick Griffin on May 30, 2020 5:00:00 AM

Voice of Real Estate, April Housing Market

Home sales locally and statewide dropped sharply in the month of April as the housing market felt the full impact of the COVID-19 pandemic stay-at-home lock-down order.

In its most recent monthly home sales and price report, the California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.) stated that April 2020 home sales in San Diego County dropped 27 percent, compared to April 2019, and 15.9 percent, compared to March 2020.

Statewide, April 2020 home sales in California were down 30.1 percent from a year ago and 25.6 percent compared to March. Statewide year-to-date home sales were down 5.4 percent in April 2020.

Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 277,440 units in April, according to information collected by C.A.R. from more than 90 local REALTOR® associations and MLSs statewide.

It was the first time for statewide home sales to drop below the 300,000 level since March 2008, and the month-to-month drop was the largest since at least 1979, when C.A.R. began tracking the data. Additionally, the year-over-year decline was the first double-digit loss in 15 months and the largest decrease since December 2007.

Sales in April reflect purchases that began in March as stay-at-home orders swept the nation. While fear of economic insecurity stopped some potential buyers, another likely major factor in the slowdown was that many skittish sellers took their houses and condos off the market to wait out the COVID-19 virus crisis.

Meanwhile, home prices themselves have remained relatively unaffected by the effects of the pandemic-influenced market.

The median price for a single-family home in San Diego County in April 2020 was $671,000, down 0.6 percent from $675,000 in March 2020, but still 3.4 percent higher than the $649,000 figure in April 2019.

April 2020 County Sales and Price Activity
(Regional and condo sales data not seasonally adjusted)

blog_200530chart1

Statewide, the median price of $606,410 for an existing single-family home in April 2020 was 1.0 percent lower than the $612,440 figure in March 2020, and 0.6 percent lower than a year ago in April 2019, when the median price was $603,030.

While the median price remained above the $600,000 benchmark statewide for the second consecutive month in April, price growth showed signs of softening when compared to the past six months. The year-over-year price gain was substantially less than the six-month average gain of 7.8 percent recorded between October 2019 and March 2020.

“As expected, California home sales experienced the worst month-to-month sales decline in more than four decades as the coronavirus pandemic prompted stay-at-home orders, which kept both buyers and sellers on the sidelines,” said 2020 C.A.R. President Jeanne Radsick, a second-generation REALTOR® from Bakersfield, Calif. “While some economic activity will resume as the state gradually reopens, the housing market is expected to remain sluggish for the next couple of months as potential market participants deal with the impact of stay-in-place restrictions.”

“With the recession-level decline in closed home sales, the statewide median price was just barely able to avoid going into negative territory in April, in part because high-end homes saw the biggest sales declines,” said C.A.R. Senior Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young. “Even with tight supply and low interest rates, home prices will continue to be tested by economic deterioration in the short term.”

Reflecting the dramatic change in market conditions, a monthly Google poll conducted by C.A.R. in early April found nearly one-third (29 percent) of consumers said it is a good time to sell, up from 26 percent a month ago, but down from 45 percent a year ago. The market uncertainty has not curbed the optimism for homebuying as much; 31 percent of the consumers who responded to the poll believed that now is a good time to buy a home, a figure sharply higher than last year, when 22 percent said it was a good time to buy a home.

 Other key points from the April 2020 resale housing report include:

• All major regions reflected a dip in sales by more than 25 percent from last year, with the Bay Area dropping the most at -37.4 percent, followed by the Central Coast (-31.6 percent), Southern California (-30.2 percent), and the Central Valley (-26.1 percent).

• Median prices were lower in April from a year ago in the Central Coast (-6.1 percent) and the Bay Area (-0.8 percent) but increased modestly in both the Central Valley (4.8 percent) and in Southern California (3.5 percent).

• Regarding California’s supply of available housing, the Unsold Inventory Index jumped to 3.4 months in April from 2.7 months in March and was unchanged from last April. The index calculates the number of months needed sell the supply of homes on the market at the current rate of sales.

• Total active listings continued to decline on a year-over-year basis for the 10th consecutive month, and the 25 percent decrease in listings was consistent with what was observed before the shutdown.

• The median number of days to sell a California single-family home fell significantly from a year ago, from 21 days in April 2019 to 13 days in April 2020. That compares to 15 days in March 2020 and 23 days in February 2020.

• In San Diego County, the median number of days an existing, single-family home remained unsold on the market was eight days in April 2020, which compares to 10 days in March 2020, 12 days in February 2020, 23 days in January 2020 and 17 days in April 2019.

April 2020 County Unsold Inventory and Days on Market
(Regional and condo sales data not seasonally adjusted)

blog_20530chart2

• The 30-year, fixed-mortgage interest rate averaged 3.31 percent in April, down from 4.14 percent in April 2019, according to Freddie Mac. The five-year, adjustable mortgage interest rate was an average of 3.31 percent, compared to 3.75 percent in April 2019.

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

• Nationwide in April, sales of existing homes in the U.S. dropped 17.8 percent in a month-over-month comparison and 17.2 percent year-over-year, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. NAR stated each of the country's four major real estate regions experienced a decline in both monthly and yearly sales, with the West seeing the greatest dip in both categories.

• NAR also reports that 77 percent of potential home sellers in the U.S. are preparing to sell once the stay-at-home orders end. According to NAR’s Economic Pulse Flash Survey, conducted May 3-4, nearly three in four (73 percent) of REALTORS® currently working with sellers said their clients have not reduced listing prices to attract buyers. About 20 percent said buyers are expecting a five-to-10 percent decrease in home prices over the next 12 months.

• Home sellers are slowly returning to the market, according to realtor.com. After several weeks of nearly 40 percent year-over-year declines, new listings moved toward positive territory as evidenced by a 29 percent decline in a year-over-year comparison during the week of May 9. In San Diego County, new listings were still down 28.4 percent year-over-year during the same time period.

• Zillow reports after a 25 percent reduction in year-over-year web-page views on March 22, when COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic, San Diego County had experienced a 27 percent increase in year-over-year page views by April 15. Nationwide, both Zillow page views of for-sale listings and requests to be connected to Zillow agents were higher in April than in the same month a year ago.

• According to CoreLogic, San Diego home sales had their biggest annual drop in April 2020 since the 2008 Great Recession. There were 2,499 home sales in April, down 30 percent from the same time last year. The last time there was a year-over-year drop of that magnitude was March 2008. However, there was not a corresponding drop in home prices in April. The median home price reached $594,500, which was $50,000 less than the record high reached in November 2019.

• Redfin said there were 31 percent fewer homes for sale in San Diego County from April 6 to May 3. As of May 3, Redfin said there were 5,166 active listings in San Diego County, down from around 7,250 the same time last year
.

Topics: Market Information

$1500 In Closing Costs for Veterans

Posted by Rick Griffin on May 23, 2020 5:00:00 AM

PSAR Helps Veterans / Active Duty Service members
with the Robert Calloway Memorial Housing Grant*

To celebrate Memorial Day 2020, the Pacific Southwest Association of REALTORS® (PSAR) is proud to announce the launch of a special grant program designed to provide active duty, reserve and veteran military service members in San Diego County who are first-time homebuyers with closing-cost assistance.

In a joint partnership with the California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.) Housing Affordability Fund (HAF), PSAR is providing 34 grants, each in the amount of $1,500.  These closing cost assistance grants are being made available to military families for a first-time purchase of a home in San Diego County.

The PSAR-sponsored program, titled “Robert Calloway Memorial Veteran Housing Grant”, launches June 1, 2020 and will continue for one year or until the available grant funds are exhausted.

“We are very excited to give-back to our military community and provide closing-cost assistance to our hometown heroes and their families who are searching to find a place to call home,” said Robert Cromer, 2020 PSAR President. “Our nation has thrived because of the courage, perseverance and resolve of active duty, reserve and veteran Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard service men and women. They have served and protected this beautiful country and our rights that have kept us free. Now it’s our turn to serve those individuals who have stepped up to protect the values and freedoms our country was founded upon. They fought for our homes, now it’s our turn to take action and help them with their first homes.”

The joint partnership with PSAR and C.A.R. was initiated by the late Robert Calloway, who served as 2019 PSAR President. A military veteran, Calloway served in the U.S. Navy for 26 years, from June 1985 to June 2011, retiring as a Senior Chief Navy Counselor. He specialized in human resources and counseling for the Navy during 20 of his 26 years. In 2008, Calloway started selling real estate while still in the Navy. He joined PSAR at the start of his real estate sales career and was elected to the PSAR board of directors in 2014. Prior to serving as PSAR president, Calloway served as the founding president of the Veterans Association of Real Estate Professionals (VAREP), San Diego chapter.

Robert Calloway 1965-2020

Calloway passed away suddenly from heart disease on May 4. He was 54. At the time of his passing, Calloway was serving as a current PSAR board member and as a C.A.R. director and Vice Chair of C.A.R.’s Southern California Region 30.

“It’s great for our Association to team-up with C.A.R. and give back to our deserving veterans who have worked hard to protect our everyday lives,” said Rich D’Ascoli, CEO of PSAR. “We are committed to working together to enhance lives of our veterans over the long haul. We feel naming this grant after Robert is a fitting tribute to his legacy as a veteran and a member of the PSAR family of realtors.”

REALTORS® are limited to one transaction in a year’s time. To qualify for the closing-cost assistance, the homebuyer’s mortgage loan must already be approved through regular Desktop Underwriting (DU) industry standards and have an executed Residential Purchase Agreement (RPA) in escrow. Homebuyers also must be using a Veterans Administration (VA) loan for their home purchase. If, for any reason, the transaction does not fund or close escrow, the $1,500 allocation will return to the PSAR grant program fund.

The Robert Calloway Memorial Veteran Housing Grant program is funded by HAF, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to addressing California’s growing housing affordability crisis. The HAF receives donations from C.A.R. members, non-members and other institutions that are committed to addressing housing challenges in California. HAF donations are then distributed through local REALTOR® associations who have submitted funding requests for local housing affordability and housing supply programs. For maximum impact, HAF funds are leveraged with local associations and their housing partners.

HAF was established in November 2002 to provide more options to first-time homebuyers. It was created by REALTORS® who bore witness to working families being denied the American dream of homeownership. The HAF mission statement states the nonprofit plays an active role in addressing ongoing housing affordability challenges facing Californians

*QUALIFICATIONS:
     • First Time Home Buyer
     • Property in San Diego County
     • VA Home Loan Guarantee
     • Represented by a REALTOR®  
     • Program is good for 1 year or until funds are exhausted, limit to one Application per Realtor 
 

To apply: Download and complete the Application Form then email it to - haf@psar.org 

A committee of PSAR members will review and approve the grant applications. Committee members include Robert Cromer, Sam Calvano, Ditas Yamane and Tony Santiago.

“At PSAR, we use all tools available to achieve homeownership for everyone, including veterans” said Calvano. “Veterans can be assured that when they have a PSAR member representing them, they are getting the benefits of experience, knowledge and the best customer service. I am excited about this grant program which will help veterans with closing costs.”

“It is especially gratifying to help veterans find a home in San Diego,” said Yamane. “Veterans are our modern-day heroes who have selflessly shared so much and have sacrificed some of the best years of their lives, putting themselves in harm’s way to fight for liberty and keep everyone safe.”

“I have the upmost respect for our veterans,” said Santiago. “I am proud of be part of PSAR and our efforts to help these courageous men and women who have sacrificed so much.”

PSAR members who help a veteran family with closing-cost assistance are encouraged to create a video of the occasion when the keys to the front door are hand-delivered to their client. The best video will be shared in 2021 at the PSAR Real Estate Achievement and Leadership (R.E.A.L.) awards. The annual R.E.A.L. awards programs honors PSAR’s top producing agents and give them a platform to be recognized for their hard work and dedication by their sphere, peers and the public at large. The R.E.A.L. awards recognize agents and brokers who have achieved excellence through production and industry leadership. Awards are based on either sales volume dollars or units sold, including listings or sales units entered into the MLS.

 
Military Veterans

Housing Affordability Fund

Veterans Grant Program Flyer             HAF application Form

Topics: Announcements, Market Information

Robert Calloway, A life of service, 1965-2020

Posted by Rick Griffin on May 19, 2020 11:34:00 AM

About Robert  Photos of Robert and Colleagues  |  Services  |  Share thoughts about Robert

Robert Calloway, 1965-2020

The Pacific Southwest Association of REALTORS® (PSAR) has lost a dear friend, Past President, CAR Region 30 Vice Chair, and current board member. It’s with much grief and sadness to report that Robert Calloway has passed away at the tender age of 54. He was found at his home on Tuesday, May 5. The cause of death was determined to be heart disease.

Robert CallowayThe theme for Robert’s year as 2019 PSAR President was “Salute to Service.” He said in a February 2019 PSAR blog post, “I have learned that nothing is more refreshing than to serve and giveback, and 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.

“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.

“I encourage everyone to get involved by volunteering and serving in their community. 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 life. 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.” 

Following the conclusion of his term, Robert said in a January 2020 PSAR blog post, “Thanks to all of you who participated and were dedicated to this theme. It was a year when our members definitely stepped up and served our Association by committing themselves to service and to our mission of Empowering Our Members.”

According to Richard D’Ascoli, CEO, PSAR, the entire San Diego-area real estate industry has lost a true leader.

“I can honestly say that the overarching theme in Robert’s life was his commitment to service,” said D’Ascoli. “He lived a life of continuous and unrelenting service. In the Navy, he served our country, he retired and served the disabled veteran community by promoting VA benefits to those in need,  Then, he began serving his real estate profession as president of our association. At the same time, he was serving the faith community at his church. His life will be remembered as an example of service. We will miss him greatly.”

During his 2019 term as PSAR President, there were many highlights. Here are a few:

• 190 training classes, 23 unique events and 600 marketing sessions
• Expanded membership by 10 percent
• Expanded services by opening a third PSAR Service Center in Clairemont Mesa, 4340 Genesee Ave., Suite 203, San Diego, called the Central San Diego Service Center
• Launched a new weekly property marketing pitch meeting, called “City Pitch,” held at 9 a.m., every Tuesday morning, at the PSAR Central San Diego Service Center
• Expanded access to more technology and listing data by joining the California Regional Multiple Listing Service
•Added Glide 2.0 and SavvyCard as new member benefits
• Awarded $13,500 to four local nonprofits, including South Bay Community Services, Unity 4 Orphans, Meals on Wheels and San Ysidro Health Center, as a result of fundraising at two PSAR events, including the PSAR 2019 Realtor Games, held in June, and the PSAR 2019 Zombie Run-Walk, held in October
• Published a new Local Area Disclosures (LAD) publication covering San Diego County in partnership with the North San Diego County Association of REALTORS® (NSDCAR), the new LAD contains disclosure information relating to properties in the San Diego region
• Recognized at the El Cajon City Council for a grant that created a website featuring resources and information to assist homeless people in the East County;
• Assisted the City of San Diego in writing  the “Companion Unit Handbook,” a  helpful 38-page guide to help homeowners better navigate the process of constructing on their property a companion unit, also known as granny flats or accessory dwelling units (ADUs)
• Provided input to the La Mesa City Council, City of Chula Vista and San Diego County Board of Supervisors about ADUs in support of property owners and as a way to address the region’s housing supply and affordability crisis
• Promoted the CRMLS/Mexico MLS data-share as a presenter at the AMPI (Asociacion Mexicana de Profesionales Inmobiliarios) national convention (AMPI is Mexico’s counterpart to the National Association of REALTORS®)
•Solidified relationships with Baja Associations through meetings in Los Cabos and La Paz

Robert was especially proud of the recognition given for his efforts to help veterans with homeownership. In 2018, Robert was invited by Ernest J. Dronenburg, Jr., San Diego County Assessor-Recorder-Clerk, to serve as an advisor to the Assessor’s Office on providing property tax relief to disabled veterans.Robert Calloway Installation

Under Robert’s leadership, a number of homeownership initiatives were introduced that helped disabled military veterans achieve homeownership, stay in their homes and save money on their property taxes. As a result, the Assessor’s Office has assisted more than 10,000 local disabled veterans since 2018.   

Robert’s efforts to help veterans resulted in PSAR and the Assessor’s Office receiving a Golden Watchdog Award from the San Diego County Taxpayers Association. In addition, the California Board of Equalization (BOE), a state agency, also recognized Robert for his efforts to help veterans.

“Robert Calloway led a life of service,” said Dronenburg. “Starting in the Navy and ending as a super professional in the real estate industry serving as the 2019 President of the Pacific Southwest Association of Realtors. He played an important role helping over 10,000 veterans in San Diego County as my advisor on tax breaks for disabled veterans. While he was recognized by the State of California for his leadership helping veterans and as the PSAR President, he will most be remembered as a joyful industry leader that made San Diego a better place to live.”  

Robert also enjoyed serving at Bayview Church in San Diego as a leader within the deacon ministry and a facilitator in Studies In Christian Living (SICL) Bible Study classes. According to Sherman Metcalf, Chairman of the Deacon Board at the church, Robert was an active member of Bayview for 14 years.

“Robert Calloway was a devoted Christian and servant of the Lord,” said Metcalf. “Within the first year of membership at Bayview, Robert joined the Hospitality Ministry and had continued to serve faithfully in this capacity until his passing. In December 2014, Robert was ordained as a Deacon at Bayview where he dedicated his life to supporting the Senior Pastor who ministers to the congregation and community. Robert spent much of his time serving the church elders as well as a fellow Deacon who fell to a life-changing disability. Robert was the type of person whose presence enhanced whichever ministry he was a part of. He will be sorely missed.”

Robert Daniel Calloway III was born on Dec. 12, 1965 in Atlanta, Georgia.  He enlisted in the U.S. Navy at age 19. “I enjoyed traveling and the Navy sounded appealing,” he said. “But, I never expected to travel that much.”Robert Calloway

His Naval career included 13 deployments on six different ships. One of his most memorable experiences was watching his ship sink an abandoned Italian destroyer. “We towed his ship to an area near the international boundary with Libya,” recalled Calloway. “Our purpose was to show our military might to Muammar Gadaffi. It was very exciting to watch the ship blow up. Muammar stayed pretty quiet after that.”

Calloway served in the Navy for 26 years, from June 1985 to June 2011, retiring as a Senior Chief Navy Counselor. He worked in human resources and counseling in 20 of his 26 years.

Robert met President George W. Bush aboard the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln. It was on May 1, 2003, when the President declared “Mission Accomplished” regarding the end of major combat operations in Iraq in a nationally televised address.

“The President was very friendly and grateful and thanked us for our service,” said Robert. “He was interested in our opinion and was a good listener about what we had to share. It was impressive to watch him land on the flight deck co-piloting the jet.”

Robert started selling real estate in 2008, while still in the Navy. He joined PSAR at the start of his real estate career and was elected to the PSAR board of directors in 2014.

Prior to serving as PSAR president, Robert served as the founding president of the Veterans Association of Real Estate Professionals (VAREP), San Diego chapter. The chapter was launched in July 2013 and he served as its president until October 2015. He also served for three years as VAREP’s Southern California State Director, overseeing the six chapters stretching from San Diego to Los Angeles. Headquartered in Corona, Calif., VAREP has more than 20,000 members nationwide, and more 60 chapters around the country, states its mission as to increase sustainable home ownership, financial-literacy education and economic opportunity for the active-duty and veteran communities.

“Robert was an earth angel,” said Andre Hobbs, a San Diego REALTOR®, close friend and VAREP member. Hobbs helped Robert establish the San Diego VAREP chapter in 2013. Today, Hobbs serves on the VAREP national board of directors as a member of the organization’s Affordable Housing Committee.

“What I mean by earth angel is someone who is born in human form and is beautiful and humble and shares with the world, generously and tirelessly, love, light and kindness of their hearts,” said Hobbs.

Robert is survived by a daughter Danielle Calloway of Cincinnati, Ohio, and two stepsons, Ernest Turner of Fife, Wash., Shalom Richards of Graham, Wash.

Robert Calloway and family

Robert also is survived by four sisters and a brother. The sisters include: Alicia Wimbish (Carl) of Ellenwood, Georgia; Valerie Seaborn (Kenneth) of Monroe, Georgia; Yolanda Williams (James) of Lithonia, Georgia; Darlene Williams (Boris) of Conyers, Georgia; brother Roderick Calloway (Carolyn) of Ellenwood, Georgia.
Robert was preceded in death by his father Robert D. Calloway Jr, mother Alicia “Yvonne” Calloway and a sister, Cheryl Williams.

Robert Calloway and friendsRobert also is survived by seven grandchildren, as well as a longtime friend, Elizabeth Taylor of San Diego.

In one of his final written statements to PSAR members, Robert provided some positive encouragement during the coronavirus pandemic. Robert was one of several PSAR past presidents who was quoted in a PSAR blog post. Robert’s comment revealed his loving heart and concern for others. Here was Robert’s comment: “We will get through this tough time as we have done in the past. Continue to work with your past clients and update them on what’s happening in the real estate market. Also, please remain safe during the shelter in place, there is no amount of money that can replace you or a loved one.”

Due to the coronavirus restrictions, the Celebration of Life memorial service honoring Robert will be held at a later date. Once finalized, details will be shared with all PSAR members.  


For more photos of
Robert and his PSAR Colleagues Click Here


Celebration of Life for Robert D. Calloway III
 
Visitation:  Tuesday May 19th from 6 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. to be held at Gregory B Levett & Sons 
4347 Flat Shoals Pkwy
Decatur, GA. 30034
(404) 241-5656
 
Graveside funeral:  Wednesday May 20th @ 1:00 P.M (Eastern) to be held at Kennedy Memorial Gardens 
2500 River Rd
Ellenwood, Ga. 30294
(404) 243-8900
 
The service will be streamed live on May 20th at 10:00 am PT - Link: http://capstonecloud.com/robert-d-calloway-iii/
Pprovided on Gregory B Levett & Sons Funeral home website - Link to Robert's Obituary
 
In lieu of flowers, the Calloway family has designated two real estate organizations to receive memorial donations in the name of Robert Calloway III. The family also requested that all donations be used to promote homeownership for military veterans, a worthy cause that was very important to Robert. 
 
Online donations can be made in Robert’s name to the San Diego Chapter of Veterans Association of Real Estate Professionals (VAREP) which is a 501C3, donations are tax deductable. Visit https://varep.net/donate.   
 
If preferable, paper checks can be mailed to the Pacific Southwest Association of Realtors in San Diego, 880 Canarios Court, Chula Vista, CA. 91910. In the memo line of your check, please write “Robert Calloway” and the donation will be allocated to programs benefiting military veterans.  PSAR is a 501C6. Donations are not tax-deductible.
      

Topics: Announcements, Leadership

KEEP PACE IN THE FUTURE WITH VIRTUAL OPEN HOUSES

Posted by Rick Griffin on May 16, 2020 5:00:00 AM

Virtual Open Houses

Perhaps the greatest impact of the Covid-19 measures is on open houses. Going forward, instead of group open-house gatherings, expect fewer open houses with smaller numbers, as well as private home showings, featuring social distancing and plenty of disinfectant, masks and hand sanitizers available at the entryway.

The adaptability and ingenuity of realtors have come into play and a better and simpler way to conduct an open house has been developed--  a virtual open house using a laptop or cell phone. 

“Covid has changed the way real estate is being bought and sold all over the world. It has created a lot of uncertainty as agents are unsure of what the new norms will be,” said PSAR REALTOR® member Anthony Manzon. “No longer can we have public open houses with hundreds of people in attendance. Gone are the days of aggressively pricing properties and getting every single person into the house to create bidding wars.”

Indeed, as the pandemic has spread across the country, many home sellers, spooked by an unsure economic future and/or the thought of buyers potentially leaving virus deposits throughout their homes, have taken their properties off the market.

“The more agents hosting virtual open houses means the practice will become standard in our profession, which is good for everybody,” said Manzon. “All agents will benefit as more buyers and sellers become comfortable and confident with high-level virtual open houses. We can show the public this is how we can transact in today’s market in a safe way.”

Manzon, who prefers using a laptop for his virtual open houses, has created a Facebook page, called “Realtors of the Virtual World,” that offers training and success stories about virtual open houses and other virtual industry tools.

According to Manzon, agents who become proficient at hosting a virtual open house will attract new clients, demonstrate how to be proactive and solution-based and will keep buyers and sellers and agents safe, thus reducing the spread of the virus.

“Be sure to have some sort of lead capture, provide more information than what the MLS provides and remember that with every virtual open house agents are interviewing for their next client,” Manzon said.

Clearly, the rapid migration to digital technologies driven by the pandemic will continue during the nation’s economic recovery and beyond. REALTORS® will need to keep pace. After the lockdowns end, this time will be remembered for the rapid deployment of digital access to services across nearly every business sector.

Recently, Rich D’Ascoli, CEO of PSAR, facilitated an online discussion about virtual open houses with several REALTORS®. Here is a sampling of their comments: 

• “In my opinion, virtual open houses are the wave of the future,” said Amber Tannehill. “The ability to show a client a home virtually will assist us in identifying the buyers who are serious and ready to make an offer. As we adapt to what appears to be a new normal, we will certainly have some obstacles to overcome, but I find that buyers and sellers are understanding and appreciative as we make these adjustments." 

• “Open houses are still happening, but with virtual open houses, we’re just filtering the effort through a different process,” said Jason Lopez.

• “Because of the restrictions, traditional open houses may be a thing of the past. But, in some ways, virtual open houses are a better way to get the word out,” said Denisse Roldan Newell. “It’s becoming more important to become tech-savvy, and it’s not that difficult. It’s how we embrace change.” 

• “If you aren't willing to adapt as the market changes, then you will quickly learn what it’s like to be irrelevant,” said Sarah Heck. “Virtual open houses and new safety protocols are now the standard of care for our industry.” 

• “Virtual open houses are the wave of the future and, as REALTORS®, we need to learn it because it’s an important listing tool. Otherwise, we might lose the listing,” said Jacklyn Lamkin Dougan. “We need to be fearless and embrace change and be willing to do whatever it takes.”

• “It might take a few practice runs, but I think clients are very understanding and excited about virtual open houses as a new technology,” said Patty Nesbitt. “It’s better than watching the news. We need to bring happiness and normalcy to people’s lives.”

• “I’m excited about virtual open houses because it will be one of the great real estate game-changers that comes out of the pandemic environment,” said Elaine Boyd. “Virtual open houses are a win for all sides. The sellers love having fewer people wandering through their homes. Great for agents, too. We can do as many or as few VOHs as we like. Even if you do just one, you can post it on YouTube, then anyone can “walk” through the home any time. The 3D imaging is key for getting a true sense of walking through the home. It’s the wave of the future, just amazing. The Virtual Open House is so more than a bridge for these strange days of Covid-19. It is a new style of open house that benefits us all and it is here to stay.” 

Here are some general tips on hosting a virtual live open house.

To prepare for the virtual open house, first, select a time and date as you would for any open house. Allow 30-45 minutes to tour the property and answer questions from participants. 

Next, select an online meeting platform, such as Zoom, Google Meet or others.  Decide on a “private” open house private with a select group or streaming it to a platform like Facebook to be promoted widely. 

The following live web conferencing services are currently allowed on CRMLS Paragon: BlueJeans, bluejeans.com; Facebook Live, facebook.com; GoToMeeting, gotomeeting.com; GoToWebinar, gotowebinar.com; Google Hangouts,  hangouts.google.com; Google Meet, meet.google.com; Join.me, join.me; Livestream, livestream.com; Periscope, periscope.com; Skype, skype.com; Microsoft Teams, teams.microsoft.com; Webex, webex.com; Whereby, whereby.com; YouTube Live, youtube.com; Zoho, zoho.com; Zoom, zoom.us.

Facebook is popular because it allows you to create an event from your Facebook business page. Under the “Events” tab create a new public event to share.

To drive traffic to your virtual open house, include the link in a shared event via Facebook and other social media platforms. Also email your client list and agents who will bring interested buyers.

On the event day, prepare the house as you would for a typical open house.  Make sure it’s clean, presentable and properly lit.

If the home has a fast WiFi Connection and you feel confident with mobile technology, live streaming from the property is an option.

Another method is to prepare content like Matterport, video clips, and other multimedia in advance and review the content live from a home office.

Start the tour by opening your Facebook app on your smartphone, go to your business page, open-up the event you’ve previously created. Go to the “Say Something” option, click the “Live Video” option and then click “Start Live Video.” You’re on: “Hello, Facebook friends, thanks for tuning in to this live virtual open house.” The recording can then be posted on your Facebook timeline. And, don’t forget to follow-up with your viewers.

When using a smartphone, keep it in a horizontal position, not vertical, so participants see a wider view of the home as you’re touring. Put yourself on the other side of the camera and imagine how the audience is viewing the screen. Slowly move the smartphone and try not to shake it. There are gimbals available online for less than $100 that help to stabilize live video.

During the tour, think of your ideal buyer. Anticipate the questions they might ask and discuss the features they would find interesting. Some agents respond live to questions by looking at specific points of interest in a home.

Topics: Market Information, Marketing

March Housing Report Reveals Mixed Virus Impact

Posted by Rick Griffin on Apr 24, 2020 5:01:38 PM

email_march2020_411b

Home sales in March reflected the early impacts of the coronavirus on the housing market, according to the California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.). During the last two weeks of the month, Californians were under a stay-at-home order.

Statewide, home sales in March 2020 were down 11.5 percent, compared to February, and down 6.1 percent compared to March of last year. In March, closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in the state totaled 373,070 units, compared to 421,670 in February. The statewide month-to-month drop was the first double-digit loss in more than nine years and the largest since August 2007. Additionally, the year-over-year decline was the first in nine months and the largest decrease since March 2019.

However, in San Diego, home sales in March 2020 were a whopping 23.4 percent higher than in February, and down only 1.3 percent compared to March of last year.

Meanwhile, despite a dip in housing demand, March home prices were up from those in February. March’s statewide median home price was $612,440, up 5.6 percent from February ($579,770) and up 8.3 percent from March 2019 ($565,740). It was the first time in three months the median price surged past the $600,000 benchmark.

The median home price of $675,000 for San Diego in March was slightly higher than the $670,000 figure in February. The March 2020 figure was 8.2 percent higher than the$623,800 figure of March 2019.

March 2020 County Sales and Price Activity
(Regional and condo sales data not seasonally adjusted)
March 2020 County Sales and Price Activity

“The relatively moderate sales decrease that occurred in March is only a prelude to what we’ll see in April and May because sales were still modestly strong during the first two weeks of March before stay-in-place orders were implemented throughout the state,” said 2020 C.A.R. President Jeanne Radsick.,. “However, pending sales, which is a better reflection of the current market conditions and consumer concerns about the coronavirus, dropped nearly 25 percent and suggest the decline could extend beyond the next couple of months, depending on the duration of the pandemic and the lockdown.”

“While the median home price continued to record a strong gain in March, most, if not all, of the closed sales were negotiated in mid- to late-February prior to the COVID-19 outbreak,” said C.A.R. Senior Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young. “Still, the fast deterioration of the economy, the steep decline of the financial market and record-setting job losses have not been factored into March's closed sales but will become obvious in coming months.”

Reflecting the dramatic change in market conditions, a monthly Google poll conducted by C.A.R. in early April found just one in four (26 percent) consumers said it is a good time to sell, down from 59 percent a month ago, and down from 48 percent a year ago. The market uncertainty has not curbed the optimism for homebuying as much. 28 percent of the consumers who responded to the poll believe that now is a good time to buy a home, up from last year’s 22 percent, when interest rates were 82 basis points higher.

C.A.R. reports that potential home sellers are holding off listing their properties as uncertainty remains over the future of the economy and market conditions. As the fast-moving coronavirus continues to dominate daily lives, many potential home sellers may delay selling their homes, which would lead to fewer new listings.

California’s supply of available housing decreased in March from the prior month. If delay their buying plans due to  concern about the pandemic impact on their finances, sales willdecline and trigger a jump in the Unsold Inventory Index in the short term. The Unsold Inventory Index dropped to 2.7 months in March, down from 3.6 months both in February and March 2019. It was the lowest inventory level in three months. (The index indicates the number of months it would take to sell the supply of homes on the market at the current rate of sales.)

Other key points from the March 2020 resale housing report include:

  • At the regional level, all major regions experienced a sales decrease from last year, with the Bay Area dropping the most at 12.1 percent, followed by the Central Coast (-7.3 percent), the Central Valley (-6.4 percent), and Southern California (-0.3 percent).  Twenty-nine of the 51 counties tracked by C.A.R. experienced a year-over-year sales loss. 

  • Median prices in all regions increased in March over last year, with the Central Valley leading at 7.7 percent, followed by the Bay Area (7.4 percent), Southern California (7.3 percent), and the Central Coast (7.0 percent).

  • Forty-two of the 51 counties tracked by C.A.R. reported a year-over-year price gain in March.

  • The median number of days it took to sell a California single-family home fell significantly from a year ago, declining from 23 days in February 2020 and 25 days in March 2019 to only 15 days in March 2020.

  • In San Diego County, the median number of days an existing, single-family home remained unsold on the market was 10 days in March 2020, which compares to 12 days in February 2020, 23 days in January 2020 and 19 days in March 2019.

March 2020 County Unsold Inventory and Days on Market
(Regional and condo sales data not seasonally adjusted)
March 2020 unsold inventory days on market

  • The 30-year, fixed-mortgage interest rate averaged 3.45 percent in March, down from 4.27 percent in March 2019, according to Freddie Mac. The five-year, adjustable mortgage interest rate averaged 3.16 percent, versus 3.83 percent in March 2019.

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

  • Online home searches declined in March with the arrival of the coronavirus, according to LendingTree. In January, people searching for “homes for sale” in San Diego County were up 25 percent year-over-year right before the coronavirus hit. By the end of March, the searches had dropped by 43 percent from the January peak.

  • Demand for San Diego County homes declined by 27 percent in late March and early April, according to data from Steven Thomas of Reports on Housing. He said San Diego is still a seller’s market, especially on the low end of prices, and homes under $750,000 still make up more than half the sales in San Diego County.

  • According to CoreLogic, the median home price in March in San Diego County was $590,000, about $5,000 shy of an all-time high reached last year. The data reflects transactions that began in late January and February, since 30-day escrows are typical. It wasn’t until March that coronavirus stay-at-home orders swept across the nation.

  • The National Association of REALTORS® said the coronavirus has led a quarter of U.S. REALTORS® (NAR) to have at least one client put a contract on a home in April without physically seeing the property. The NAR also reported the median number of homes a family visited either in person or via computer declined from nine in 2019 to just three in 2020.

  • Redfin said the government’s coronavirus stimulus checks of $1,200 per person will cover only 42 percent of rent in San Diego, where monthly rent payments average $1,668, and only 14 percent of a mortgage payment, which averages $2,573, including utilities. Nationwide, the stimulus checks will cover one month’s worth of housing expenses for three-quarters of U.S. renters and nearly 50 percent of homeowners.

Topics: Market Information

PSAR LAUNCHES VIRTUAL PITCH SESSIONS, THREE TIMES WEEKLY

Posted by Rick Griffin on Apr 20, 2020 6:15:00 AM

PSAR Property Pitch Sessions

In its latest step to mitigate the challenge of the Covid-19 real estate environment, PSAR has launched a virtual version of its weekly “City Pitch” and “Rally and Ride” property pitch sessions.  REALTOR® members will market and pitch their listed properties in an online setting, along with adding contacts to their network and discussing potential deals.

“PSAR members have been meeting to market property to one another going all the way back to 1928,” said Rich D’Ascoli, PSAR’s Chief Executive Officer. “At this crucial point in time due to Covid-19, the counsel of a REALTOR® is especially critical. REALTORS® need to also engage with one another even more to help their clients buy and sell property. Markets go up and down, but life continues and people need housing.”

“Like any successful REALTOR®, we have altered our approach in a changed environment said D’Ascoli. “The coronavirus has caused your Association to leverage digital tools and other resources to help navigate the changing landscape. We’ve made the necessary pivots and are delivering what our members need from us: calmness, clarity and leadership.”

Prior to the COVID-19 lockdown, three PSAR pitch sessions were held weekly at 9:00 a.m. one each. at PSAR’s three Service Centers: “City Pitch” on Tuesdays at the Clairemont office, “Rally and Ride Too” on Wednesdays at the Chula Vista office and “Rally and Ride” on Thursdays at the El Cajon office. The virtual pitch sessions are now available on the Zoom online meeting platform at the same time on the same days for each event as before.

“In this new normal of social distancing, we all benefit from more interaction in whatever form. So, our virtual pitch sessions offer a “safe place” in which fellow members can meet and share experiences, ideas and tactics for growing business in today’s marketplace.” said D’Ascoli.

“While the number of new listing may have dropped a bit in San Diego County in March in year-over-year comparisons, mortgage rates are low and property is still selling. March saw no drop in sales. I am very proud of our members who experiencing success while taking necessary safety precautions. Our members are still helping their clients meet their needs.”

Tuesday’s virtual “City Pitch” event will focus on properties located in the following zip codes: 92103, 92104, 92108, 92109, 92110, 92111, 92115, 92116, 92117, 92120, 92123, 92124.

Wednesday’s virtual “Rally and Ride Too” event will focus on properties located in the following zip codes: 92135, 92118, 92155, 91932, 92154, 92173, 91910, 91911, 91913, 91914, 91915, 91950, 92139, 91902, 92114.

Thursday’s virtual “Rally and Ride event will focus on properties located in the following zip codes: 91901, 91906, 91942, 91935, 91962, 92019, 92020, 92021, 92040, 92071, 91941, 91977, 91978, 92119, 91945.

Property pitches should be no more than four minutes in length. While a realtor pitches the property, a facilitator will present a Paragon slide show of listing photographs. To request a pitch opportunity, Click Here, or have questions, call 619-421-7811 or 858-286-6080.

Facilitators for the weekly pitch sessions include Jason Lopez and Rafael Perez on Tuesdays, Dennis Ryan on Wednesdays and Sean Hillier on Thursdays.

A new addition to each pitch session will be a virtual Town Hall segment, hosted by Rich D’Ascoli, which runs from 8:45 am until the start of the pitch at 9:00 am. Covid-19 related business updates, information and insights for realtors and brokers and a Q & A forum are included.

All local San Diego County REALTORS® and brokers are invited to join the PSAR “City Pitch” and “Rally and Ride” pitch sessions, including the town hall segment. Zoom membership is not required for participation.

“While the pandemic has given us a jolt, it’s also bringing out the best in us. It’s a horrible thing going on in the world, but it’s a beautiful thing to see people helping others in so many ways,” said D’Ascoli. “So, we’re finding out that staying apart is the best way to stay united. Social distancing works to flatten the curve. A little space makes us all safer together.”

Topics: Announcements, Industry