HIGHER HOME SALES IN SEPTEMBER FROM YEAR AGO | 411

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

Voice of Real Estate.

San Diego County’s housing market saw lower home sales prices and fewer sales in September, 2019, according to a recent report from California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.).

The median sales price of an existing single-family home in San Diego County in September, 2019 was $636,750, making it a month-over-month drop of 2 percent from the $650,000 figure in August, 2019, and a minor slide of 0.5 percent in a year-over-year comparison to $640,000 posted in September, 2018.

Meanwhile, home sales in San Diego decreased 10.8 percent in September, 2019, compared to August, 2019, but rose 16.3 percent in a year-over-year comparison to September, 2018.

On a statewide basis in September, amid the most favorable mortgage rates in nearly three years, California’s housing market recorded a third consecutive year-over-year sales increase as month-over-month sales remained essentially flat.

September’s statewide sales total of 404,030 was down 0.5 percent from the 406,100 level in August and up 5.8 percent from home sales in September, 2018 from a revised 382,040. The year-over-year sales increase was the largest in two-and-a-half years. Year-to-date statewide home sales were down 3.1 percent in September.

September’s statewide median home price was $605,680, down 1.9 percent from the August figure of $617,410 and up 4.7 percent from September, 2018’s figure of $578,420. It marked the sixth straight month the median price remained above $600,000. The annual price gain was the largest in nearly a year.

Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 404,030 units in September, according to information collected 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 September pace throughout the year. It is adjusted to account for seasonal factors that typically influence home sales.

“The housing market has been performing better so far in the second half of 2019, with both sales and prices up as mortgage rates remain near their three-year lows,” said C.A.R. President Jared Martin. â€śAdditionally, pending sales have been on an upward trend with a near-10 percent increase over a year ago, making it the largest gain in three years. The solid improvement in pending sales suggests that the market may see more sales gains in the coming months.”County Sales and Price Activity“Despite having the largest annual gain in the last 30 months, sales remained just slightly above the 400,000 benchmark and have not shown meaningful growth in the last few years,” said C.A.R. Senior Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young. â€śAs such, while low mortgage rates have motivated buyers to enter the market in the short term, we should be mindful that economic uncertainties, supply constraints and low housing affordability could continue to hold demand back in the long run.” 

Even with near record low mortgage rates, consumers still see challenges in the current housing market conditions. According to a monthly Google poll conducted by C.A.R. in October, 22 percent of respondents believe that it is a good time to buy now, slightly better than last year (21 percent), when interest rates were 100 basis points higher. More than half (52 percent) believe it is a good time to sell, an improvement from the prior month (46 percent) but below last year's 56 percent.

Other key points from the September, 2019 resale housing report included:

-- At the regional level, non-seasonally adjusted sales rose on an annual basis in all major regions, with Los Angeles County recording the largest yearly gain at 9.2 percent.

-- In the Southern California region, median home prices grew in every county except San Diego and Ventura. Riverside had the largest annual price gain of 5.8 percent in the region, followed by San Bernardino (5.0 percent), Los Angeles (4.5 percent), and Orange (0.6 percent). 

-- After 15 straight months of year-over-year increases, the number of active listings fell for the third straight month, dropping 11.8 percent from year ago. The decline was the largest since December, 2017.

-- The Unsold Inventory Index (UII), which is a ratio of inventory over sales, was 3.5 months in September, up from 3.2 in August and down from 4.2 months in September 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. September Unsold Inventory-- Statewide, the median number of days it took to sell a California single-family home edged up to 24 days in September, 2019, compared with 23 days in August, 2019, 21 days in July, 2019 and 23 days in September, 2018.

-- In San Diego County, the median number of days a home remained unsold on the market stood at 18 days in September, 2019, compared with 17 days in August, 2019, 15 days in July, 2019, 13 days in June, 2019, 14 days in May, 2019, 17 days in April, 2019, 19 days in March 2019, 22 days in February, 2019 and 19 days in September, 2018.

-- The statewide sales-price-to-list-price ratio was 98.5 percent in September, 2019, unchanged from September, 2018. It was 98.7 percent in August, 2019 and 99.0 percent in July, 2019. Sales-to-list-price ratio is an indicator that reflects the negotiation power of home buyers and home sellers under current market conditions. The ratio is calculated by dividing the final sales price of a property by its last list price and is expressed as a percentage. A sales-to-list ratio with 100 percent or above suggests that the property sold for more than the list price, and a ratio below 100 percent indicates that the price sold below the asking price.

The 30-year, fixed-mortgage interest rate averaged 3.61 percent in September, down from 4.63 percent in September, 2018, according to Freddie Mac. The five-year, adjustable mortgage interest rate was an average of 3.38 percent, compared to 3.94 percent in September, 2018.

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

-- According to real estate tracker Core Logic, San Diego County home sales jumped 14.7 percent in September from the same time last year, which analysts largely attribute to a drop in mortgage rates. In the same month, home prices dipped slightly, said Core Logic. The median home price was $570,000 in September, down from $575,000 at the same time last year. It marks the second consecutive month of declining prices.

-- The latest S&P Case-Shiller report shows home prices were up 2.3 percent annually in the San Diego metropolitan area as of August. The gain was part of a continued reversal of fortunes for San Diego since mortgage interest rates started to drop. For months, the metro area was at the bottom of the 20-city index.

-- According to Redfin, 23.2 percent of San Diego property searches in the third quarter were by residents who live outside the area. It is a slightly smaller percentage than the 24.7 percent figure recorded in the third quarter of last year. San Diego was ranked as the ninth strongest inflow market overall. People from Los Angeles were most interested in relocating to San Diego. The top out of state origin for San Diego zip code searches came from Seattle.

-- Also according to Redfin, home bidding wars have fallen off a cliff from a year ago, both in San Diego County and the nation as a whole. In San Diego, just 16 percent of homebuying transactions faced competition in September, a drop of more than 24 percent from September, 2018. The rate experienced a 3.7 percent month-over-month drop. Nationally, just 11 percent of offers written faced a bidding war in September, down from 41 percent a year earlier.

-- San Diego homeowners are the second-most leveraged in the nation, trailing only Los Angeles, according to a new LendingTree report. San Diego has a leverage ratio of 3.64, a median mortgage amount of $455,000, and a median borrower income of $125,000. L.A. homeowners were the only ones more leveraged with a leverage ratio of 3.91, a median mortgage amount of $485,000, and a median borrower income of $124,000.

-- With increasing national defense spending and a growing number of homeported warships, the military now accounts for a full one-fifth of San Diego’s economy and its impact is growing.

That was the conclusion of a recent economic report from the San Diego Military Advisory Council, which has tracked the military’s impact on the community since 2008. The report identified $28.1 billion in direct spending that supports 109,000 active duty personnel, 26,000 civilians and 7,000 reserves. The ripple effect on the local economy creates over 210,000 more jobs and a total impact of $51 billion.

-- A new report from CBRE Group ranks San Diego among the top 10 fastest-growing high-tech job markets in the U.S. The commercial real estate services firm’s annual Tech-30 report, which measures the industry's impact on office rents in the 30 leading technology markets in the U.S. and Canada, found that the local tech-job market has experienced a 19.7 percent growth rate in the last two years. The region also saw nearly 6,000 new high-tech jobs in 2017 and 2018, which accounted for more than three-quarters of all new office jobs. According to the report, San Diego now has more than 35,000 high-tech software and services jobs.

-- San Diego County’s jobless rate in September reached one of its lowest points in 20 years. San Diego County’s unemployment rate for September was 2.7 percent, down from 3.4 percent in August and below the 3.1 percent jobless figure from a year ago, according to the state Employment Development Dept. San Diego County added 30,600 jobs in a year, up from the 27,000 at the same time last year. The jobless rate for September was 3.5 percent for California and 3.3 percent for the nation.

-- The U.S. added more jobs than expected in October despite a 40-day General Motors strike and trade-war tensions. A stronger-than-expected jobs report for October pushed stocks higher this past Friday. The Bureau of Labor Statistics said the U.S. economy added 128,000 nonfarm payrolls last month, compared to estimates of 85,000. The healthy employment gains reassured investors amid uncertainty around the trade war between the US and China and talk of a looming economic slowdown. 

 

Topics: Marketing, Industry

Fabulous Gathering Awaits PSAR Members at 2020 Installation Dinner, Nov. 2nd at Viejas

Posted by Rick Griffin on Oct 25, 2019 4:55:40 PM

PSAR Insallation Dinner and Awards

It will be an unforgettable experience that you don’t want to miss. PSAR will present its 2020 Officers and Directors Installation Dinner and Awards on Saturday, Nov. 2, at the classy and luxurious Viejas Resort & Casino, 500 Willows Road, Alpine.

Bigger and better than ever, this year’s Installation event is destined to be the biggest real estate event of the year, as we welcome the 2020 board of directors in this exclusive venue and celebrate success in the REALTOR® community with the top producers in the industry.

Don’t be late. Upon arrival, ask for directions to the Viejas Event Center, Oak Ballroom. With an adjoining outdoor terrace, the Oak Ballroom is the Grande Dame of the Viejas Event Center. It’s the ideal setting for large-scale special events.

Hors d’oeuvres service begins at 5:30 p.m. with beef skewers, crab cakes and coconut shrimp. In addition, appetizer stations include assorted veggie platters, cheese boards and charcuterie (an assortment of meats that are paired with different accompaniments, such as toast, fruit, cheese, and sauces).

Dinner service begins at 7 p.m. The menu is fabulous. Entree choices for the three-course meal include: Stuffed Chicken with spinach, fontina and pesto; Chianti Braised Short Ribs with shiitake red wine jus; Beef Wellington with roasted seasonable vegetables, spinach pesto.

This year’s Installation event will feature the swearing in of board members, including Robert Cromer as 2020 PSAR president. “I am really excited about the upcoming year, having the opportunity to build on the success of our PSAR staff, the Board of Directors, the committees and our current and past presidents,” said Cromer. “This truly could be a break-out year for PSAR. Although we have had almost double-digit growth in membership each of the last two years, there are going to be a lot of changes in the marketplace. We hope San Diego County REALTORS® will find comfort in our culture, our education and our support for REALTORS® and home ownership. We empower REALTORS® to be the best they can be!”PSAR Installation Dinner and Awards

Additional highlights at the Installation will include the presentation of special awards, including Realtor of the Year, Affiliate of the Year and Broker of the Year. Three special awards will be presented according to geographical areas, including South, East and Central.

The Installation event also will include a photo booth, raffle prizes (a 60-inch Smart TV is one of the prizes), dancing, happy-hour drinks and $500 in “play” money, as well as plenty of networking with colleagues and industry peers. This will be your opportunity to reconnect with old friends and engage with new friends while raising your profile, expanding your influence, telling your story and generating referrals and more business.

Take note that your skill with the “play” money will mean more chances to win a raffle prize. Here’s the deal: After enjoying the blackjack, craps and roulette games with the “play” money, you can turn in every $100 in chips for an additional raffle ticket at the end of the night. Plus, attendees can purchase more “play” money that will benefit local community nonprofits. Every $20 donation will get you another $500 in “play” money. All money raised from the purchase of “play” money will be donated to the PSAR Charity Committee.

Individual tickets to the PSAR 2020 Officers and Directors Installation Dinner and Awards start at $80 per person, or $300 for a group of four, which is a tremendous bargain. RSVPs can be made at https://dinner2020.eventbrite.com. If you would like to purchase tickets without the Eventbrite transaction fee, please feel free to call PSAR at 619-421-7811 and our friendly staff will be happy to take your payment over the phone.

Topics: Marketing, Industry

PSAR CEO REFLECTS ON 2019, LOOKS AHEAD TO 2020 AND BEYOND

Posted by Richard D'Ascoli on Oct 18, 2019 4:51:06 PM

PSAR CEO LOOKS AHEAD TO 2020

It is my honor to serve you as PSAR’s CEO. I am very much looking forward to the future with PSAR. As we look ahead to the year 2020, the future of our Association is strong and solid.

I must admit it, our industry is in a state of change. Different business models are introduced every day. Billions of Wall Street dollars are invading the industry as technology companies disrupt and attempt to shake-up the traditional business model of buying and selling with the assistance of an experienced REALTOR®. Critics compare our industry to that of a dinosaur.

For example, the phenomenon of iBuying is a recent pressing concern. However, as you know, real estate is strongly based on relationships. The truth is that most home buyers and sellers need some advice about how much to offer, whether to include an inspection, how to arrange financing and a host of other issues involved in the real estate transaction process. Residential buyers and sellers are making the largest investment decisions of their lifetimes. And, without REALTORS®, consumers wouldn’t have the MLS marketplace or the market transparency that exists today. There will always be a need for people with outstanding character, work ethic and professionalism. At PSAR, you will always be highly valued and considered assets to our industry.

2019 was a very successful year for PSAR on several fronts. Early in the year, we opened a new PSAR Central Service Center located in San Diego’s Clairemont Mesa region. The new PSAR Service Center at 4340 Genesee Ave., Suite 203, San Diego, provides MLS training, educational classes and a full-service retail store that offers signage, SentriLock and Supra lock boxes and much more.

Also this year, we re-launched our new weekly property marketing pitch meeting, called “City Pitch,” at our PSAR Central San Diego Service Center. The event for brokers and sales agents begins at 9 a.m. every Tuesday morning. The focus is on properties in the following zip codes: 92102, 92104, 92105, 92108, 92111, 92115, 92116, 92123, 92124, and 92120. All San Diego-area REALTORS® are invited to attend to pitch their properties, network and put deals together.

Also this year, we created a new Local Area Disclosures (LAD) publication covering San Diego County. A joint effort with the North San Diego County Association of REALTORS ® (NSDCAR), this new LAD publication is helping REALTOR® members give consumers a deeper understanding of the properties in San Diego County communities where they are purchasing. It contains vital information relating to all local communities in the San Diego region. The new LAD is the latest member benefit and is demonstrating a dedication and commitment to address the local needs of our PSAR REALTOR® members.

PSAR CEO Rich D'Ascoli


Meanwhile, even as critics question the viability of REALTOR® associations, PSAR is continuing to flex our muscles and get stronger. Our membership total has doubled to more than 3,100 over the past seven years. We remain committed to our PSAR REALTOR® members and affiliates. Together, our PSAR REALTORS® are thriving because our association is the glue that holds the industry together and provides the fuel which powers our members for success.

Another positive factor that will help our members as we look ahead is PSAR’s partnership with the California Regional Multiple Listing Service (CRMLS). This alliance with CRMLS meets our PSAR board’s criteria for a statewide MLS, including fully standardized MLS data that benefits our members. Universal access, uniform rules and enforcement and distribution are controlled by brokers.

The move to CRMLS has had a major impact on the ability of our PSAR REALTORS® to compete in today’s market. CRMLS has access to more San Diego County listings than any other MLS. Today, we are able to leverage CRMLS’ strength in numbers to improve technology and provide agents with better tools and more information than they have ever had before. The size of CRMLS also has put us in a position to negotiate with multi-billion dollar companies to protect both the brokerage community and the consumers we serve. PSAR provides CRMLS to any licensed broker even if they belong to another association.

In CRMLS, “Cloud Streams” is effective at sharing listings with clients through texting and an improved user search experience. Savvy Card is another new tool that is helping agents share their business card and listings through social media and online marketing. Cloud MLX provides a superior search experience. Agents who use Glide make available a consumer-friendly tool that helps sellers fill out their disclosures easily on multiple platforms. CRMLS negotiated a special deal with LionDesk so that agents can have access to a fully functional CRM at no additional cost. Remine takes MLS data and enhances it with consumer data to put marketing power in the hands of the REALTOR®. These new tools are powerful and, if used, can help our PSAR REALTORS® leverage their relationships to provide a superior client experience.

Factors that will help our members in the future include decisions made within the past few years that will continue to pay dividends. For example, our utility costs have dropped significantly with the addition of solar panels at our South County Service Center on Canarios Court in Chula Vista. We will have a similar structure completed in the East County before the end of 2020.

PSAR’s ownership interest in California Signs and Marketing, signed in 2014, has been a win-win for PSAR members when they do business with a company in which they are part-owner. REALTORS® receive superior service and fast turnaround. Plus the Association receives a percentage of the company’s revenues that help support PSAR programs and services, keeping our REALTORS® dues the lowest in San Diego County. Also, agents enjoy responsive customer service to you and your clients. Signage services for both residential and commercial properties include design, manufacturing, installation and delivery of yard signs, open house signs, banners, vehicle lettering, business cards, stationery, dimensional signs and sand blast signs. Cal Signs is a reliable vendor who will adapt as our industry changes.

Another outstanding decision that has worked out well is the 2012 merger of the El Cajon-based East San Diego County Association of Realtors and the Chula Vista-based PSAR. The California Secretary of State approved the merger between the two Realtor associations in August, 2012, followed by approval by the National Association of Realtors in September, 2012.

As we approach 2020, there is uncertainty about next year’s housing market due to affordability issues. With interest rates expected to remain at near three-year lows, buyers have more purchasing power than in years past, but they may be reluctant to get off the sidelines because of economic and market uncertainties. Additionally, an affordability crunch will cut into demand in some regions. These factors together may subdue sales growth next year. California’s housing market will also be challenged by changing migration patterns as buyers search for more affordable housing markets, particularly first-time buyers, who are the hardest hit, moving out of state.

However, as PSAR approaches 2020, we are healthy for a number of reasons. We empower REALTORS®. We remain a vibrant network of real estate professionals who work together to serve our communities. We offer outstanding professional growth and educational opportunities. We remain committed to a Code of Ethics because we understand how professionalism builds trust with our clients and each other. And we leverage the collective strength of REALTORS® around the state and country to empower our members with the very best technology in the industry. Simply put, we are better together.

*  *  *

Richard D’Ascoli has served as PSAR’s CEO since 2011 after joining the Association as Government Affairs Director in 2006. He was born in Queens New York. served in the United States Air Force and Air National Guard. He earned a degree in business administration Fordham University in New York City and his Master’s Degree from Golden Gate University in San Francisco.

Topics: Marketing, Industry

AFFORDABILITY TO AFFECT 2020 HOUSING MARKET

Posted by Rick Griffin on Oct 11, 2019 4:45:10 PM

2020 HOUSING MARKETLow mortgage interest rates will support California’s housing market next year but economic uncertainty and affordability issues will mute sales growth, according to a recently released 2020 housing market forecast from the California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.).

In 2020, the state’s housing market will see a small uptick in existing single-family home sales of 0.8 percent next year to reach 393,500 units, up from the projected 2019 sales figure of 390,200. The 2019 figure is 3.1 percent lower compared to the pace of 402,800 homes sold in 2018.

In addition, the statewide median home price is forecast to increase 2.5 percent to $607,900 in 2020, following a projected 4.1 percent increase from last year to $593,200 in 2019.

“With interest rates expected to remain near three-year lows, buyers will have more purchasing power than in years past, but they may be reluctant to get off the sidelines because of economic and market uncertainties,” said C.A.R. President Jared Martin. “Additionally, an affordability crunch will cut into demand in some regions. These factors together will subdue sales growth next year.”

“California’s housing market will be challenged by changing migration patterns as buyers search for more affordable housing markets, particularly first-time buyers, who are the hardest hit, moving out of state,” said C.A.R. Senior Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young. “With California’s job and population growth rates tapering, the state’s affordability crisis is having a negative impact on the state economically as we lose the workers we need most such as service, construction workers, and teachers.”

A 2019 C.A.R. study revealed that 30 percent of sellers who planned on repurchasing said that they will buy their next home a state other than California, which is the highest percentage level since 2005. Older generations were more likely to buy outside of California as well as 37 percent of baby boomers and silent generation.  But only 30 percent of millennial sellers planned to do the same. 

Additional recent 2020 housing market forecasts, according to news reports, include the following:

-- Home prices in San Diego will continue to rise in most neighborhoods but at a far slower rate than previously years, according to John Burns Real Estate Consulting in La Jolla. By year’s end, housing price will have dropped by 1 percent countywide, the firm said.

-- Redfin said the next recession, whenever it happens, is unlikely to have a large negative impact on the real estate market. However, Redfin said San Diego County has the fourth highest risk in the nation for a residential downturn in the event of a recession. San Diego has a 68.2 percent risk of a housing downturn if, or when, a recession happens. The three other metropolitan areas with higher risks include Riverside (72.8 percent probability of a housing downturn), followed by Phoenix (69.8 percent) and Miami (69.5 percent). Rochester, N.Y., Buffalo, NY, and Hartford, Conn. have the lowest risk of a housing downturn. Redfin measured a wide range of factors, including average home loan-to-value ratios, home price volatility, home price-to-income ratio, and the share of homeowners older than 65.

-- Economic expansion, already the longest on record, is expected to continue in 2020. The U.S. gross domestic product will grow by 1.6 percent in 2020, after a projected gain of 2.2 percent in 2019, according to C.A.R.

-- The state’s unemployment rate will tick up to 4.5 percent in 2020 from 2019’s 4.3 percent projected figure. A tight labor market will continue to make it hard to find skilled workers.

-- The average for 30-year, fixed mortgage interest rates will dip to 3.7 percent in 2020, down from 3.9 percent in 2019 and 4.5 percent in 2018 and will remain low by historical standards, said C.A.R.

-- The UCLA Anderson Forecast is predicting an economic slowdown nationwide in the second half of 2020, though not to recession levels. The report said the national economy will slow to 0.4 percent growth in the second half of 2020 due to trade tensions lowering corporate investments, but it should rebound to about 2.1 percent growth in 2021. San Diego and California will fare better than the rest of the nation because of job creation and diversity in the local economy.

-- CalMatters, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media venture, recently reported that California is home to roughly a quarter of the nation’s immigrants, 11 million, which is more than the entire population of Georgia. Half of the state’s immigrants were born in Latin America and four out of 10 are from Asia. The leading countries of origin: Mexico (4.1 million), China (969,000), the Philippines (857,000), Vietnam (524,000) and India (507,000). Among recent immigrants, Asia has surpassed Latin America. The future California will be a minority-majority state with a rising population of multi-racial people who are two races or more.

Topics: Marketing, Industry

Voice of Real Estate ~ MEDIAN HOME PRICE SETS ANOTHER RECORD IN AUGUST

Posted by Rick Griffin on Oct 4, 2019 6:00:00 PM

August home sales and price report from C.A.R.

San Diego County’s housing market in August 2019 saw a 2.2 percent decrease in sales in a month-to-month comparison with July 2019, but a 2.3 percent increase in sales in a year-over-year comparison with August 2018, according to a recent report from California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.).

Meanwhile, the median price of $650,000 for an existing, single-family home in San Diego County in August 2019 was the same amount for both July 2019 and July 2018. The median price a year ago in August 2018 was slightly higher at $660,000.

On a statewide basis in August mortgage interest rates at near-three-year lows contributed to a small year-over-year sales increase while the median home price reached a new high.August 2019 County Sales and Price Activity

Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 406,100 units in August, according to information collected 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 August pace throughout the year. It is adjusted to account for seasonal factors that typically influence home sales.

Statewide home sales in August of 406,100 were down 1.3 percent from the 411,630 level in July 2019 and up 1.6 percent from the 399,600 home sales in August 2018. While cumulative sales through the first eight months of the year were down from last year, the pace of decline has improved significantly at -4.1 percent since the -12.5 percent recorded in January.

After a pullback in July, the statewide median price rose in August compared to the previous month and year. The median price in August was $617,410, up 1.5 percent from July and up 3.6 percent from $595,920 in August 2018, marking the fifth straight month that the median price remained above $600,000. The annual sales gain was the highest in the last 10 months.August 2019 County Unsold Inventory“Housing demand has exhibited signs of improvement in recent months as lower rates continued to reduce the cost of borrowing for home buyers,” said C.A.R. President Jared Martin. â€śHowever, buyers remain cautious, and many are reluctant to jump in because of the economic and market uncertainty that continue to linger, and that is keeping growth subdued despite significantly lower rates.” 

 â€śLow interest rates, which helped to reduce monthly mortgage payments, have provided much-needed support to improve housing affordability and elevate home sales over the past few months,” said C.A.R. Senior Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young. â€śWhile lower rates have no doubt boosted buyers’ purchasing power, they have also been a contributing factor to higher home prices this year.”

Other key points from the August 2019 resale housing report included:

-- At the regional level, non-seasonally adjusted sales fell on both a monthly and an annual basis from a year ago in all major regions.

-- At the regional level, median home prices in Southern California, the Central Valley and Central Coast regions continued to inch up, while prices in the Bay Area declined slightly from a year ago. In Southern California, median home prices grew in every county except Orange County and San Diego, while six of nine Bay Area counties experienced year-over-year price growth.

-- After 15 straight months of year-over-year increases, active listing fell 8.9 percent from year ago, marking the first back-to-back decline since March 2018 and the largest since December 2017.

-- The Unsold Inventory Index (UII), which is a ratio of inventory over sales, was 3.2 months in August, unchanged from July and down from 3.3 months in August 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. 

-- Statewide, the median number of days it took to sell a California single-family home increased to 23 days in August 2019, compared with 21 days in July 2019 and August 2018 and 18 days in July 2018.

-- In San Diego County, it took over two weeks to sell an existing single-family home in August 2019. The median number of days a home remained unsold on the market stood at 17 days in August 2019, compared with 15 days in July 2019, 13 days in June 2019, 14 days in May 2019, 17 days in April 2019, 19 days in March 2019, 22 days in February 2019 and 18 days in August 2018.

-- The statewide sales-price-to-list-price ratio was 98.7 percent in August 2019, compared to 99.0 percent in August 2018. It was 99.0 percent in July 2019 and 99.6 percent in July 2018. Sales-to-list-price ratio is an indicator that reflects the negotiation power of home buyers and home sellers under current market conditions. The ratio is calculated by dividing the final sales price of a property by its last list price and is expressed as a percentage. A sales-to-list ratio with 100 percent or above suggests that the property sold for more than the list price, and a ratio below 100 percent indicates that the price sold below the asking price.

-- The 30-year, fixed-mortgage interest rate averaged 3.62 percent in August, down from 4.55 percent in August 2018, according to Freddie Mac. The five-year, adjustable mortgage interest rate was an average of 3.36 percent, compared to 3.47 percent in August 2018.

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

-- According to real estate tracker Core Logic, San Diego County’s median home price in August was down annually for the first time in seven years, albeit a small reduction. The median price of $584,000 was down 0.1 percent from the same time last year at $584,500. The last time prices were down year-over-year was March 2012.

-- The latest S&P Case-Shiller report shows home price increases continued to slow across much of the nation. The price index reported a 3.2 percent annual gain in July, but the index remained the same from June. The index's 20-city composite posted a 2.0 percent year-over-year gain, which matched San Diego's level.

The 10-city composite's annual increase came in at 1.6 percent in July, down from 1.9 percent the previous month.

-- According to Redfin, people who purchased homes in 2012 have earned a total of $203 billion in home equity nationally. San Diego, despite being outpaced by numerous metros, has seen an exponential growth in home value and equity, as well. San Diego County has experienced a total of $6.14 billion in home equity value since 2012, said Redfin. The median home equity growth here amounted to a 277 percent increase, or $283,000, during the seven-year period. The median home value percent growth since 2012 was 60 percent, and the actual median home value dollar growth in San Diego during the period was $232,000.

-- In rental housing news, San Diego's apartment rents, which had been on an upward trajectory for many years, actually dipped somewhat in September, according to a report from Zumper. The rent for a one-bedroom unit in San Diego experienced a 2.2 percent year-over-year decline in September to about $1,800 a month. The region's rent for a two-bedroom unit declined about 4 percent year-over-year to $2,400 a month in September. Zumper said San Diego is the 9th most expensive city in the U.S. for apartment rentals. Meanwhile, CoStar reports the monthly average rent in the third quarter was $1,860 countywide, and rents are rising most rapidly in the East County.

-- According to the Bloomberg Economic Index, U.S. economic data is beating economists’ expectations, offering a rebuttal to recession fears fueled by the trade war and a manufacturing slump. Bloomberg’s index recently reached an 11-month high based on several indicators, including existing home sales and jobless claims.

-- CNBC reports that more than two-thirds of chief financial officers in North America expect President Trump will be reelected in 2020. About 65 percent of the CFOs surveyed said the economy will not experience a recession in 2020. And a majority of them said current interest rate levels are “appropriate.”

Topics: Marketing, Industry

Rent Control Means a New Reality for REALTORS®

Posted by Robert Calloway on Sep 20, 2019 3:51:30 PM

Rent Control means a new realityI admit it. I was somewhat disappointed with the recent approval by Sacramento lawmakers of statewide rent control legislation. AB 1482 will limit yearly rent increases to 5 percent, plus inflation, beginning Jan. 1, 2020. The new law will effectively limit rent increases to around 7 to 8 percent a year in San Diego County, based on our local inflation rate. The new law is not only rent control, but it’s also anti-rent gouging.

Fortunately, single-family homes and condominiums will be exempted from the new law, but our state's housing affordability and availability crisis deserves a comprehensive approach that prioritizes building more homes for rent and ownership. This new law offers nothing in support of production or protection.

Throughout the debate, the California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.) advocated for a balanced solution that protected renters and respected the rights of property owners. While several of C.A.R.’s recommendations were included in AB 1482, the final bill did not do enough to support the increase of supply of affordable rental housing. Even legislators who voted yes did so acknowledging its shortcomings.

With its restrictive rent cap, AB 1482 will not incentivize production of rental housing or help more people find an affordable place to live. It will actually discourage new rental housing and make it more difficult for hard-working Californians to find an affordable place to live.

In a statement after the bill passed earlier this month, a C.A.R. representative said, “It was disappointing that the California Apartment Association and the California Business Roundtable did not stand with us. In fact, the Apartment Association opposed an earlier version of the bill with a higher rent cap and a shorter sunset date and then withdrew their opposition when the bill was amended to lower the rent cap and extend the sunset date, contrary to the interest of their members. Only C.A.R. advocated for small mom-and-pop investors by successfully obtaining an exemption for single-family homes and condominiums.”

Just last year, when more Californians than ever voted in a midterm election, their message was clear. They wanted a balanced solution to our affordability crisis. Voters in 56 of California's 58 counties rejected a statewide ballot measure that would have dramatically expanded rent control without respecting property rights. Clearly, AB 1482 is an end-run after the failure of last year’s statewide proposition for rent control.  

Still today, headline after headline remind us of the immediate need for more housing. In recent weeks, we learned the state has issued just 111,000 permits for new homes in 2019, 12 percent less than a year before. Even worse, apartment development is down 42 percent from last year. Today’s real estate market is complex and interconnected. Home ownership is on the decline and rents are ever increasing.

Californians are being forced to make tough decisions because of the housing crisis. In a recent survey, 53 percent said they were considering leaving the state due to high housing costs and an even greater share of young people said the same. That number bears repeating: more than half of Californians think leaving the state may be the best option for them if they want to find more affordable housing.

Rent should be only about 25 to 30 percent of a person's income, but for more than 30 percent of Californians it is approaching 40 to 50 percent of their income. California needs to remove barriers to additional housing, not create them. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what AB 1482 has done.

Now, with AB 1482 becoming law, our PSAR members are facing a new reality. Perhaps REALTORS® should consider focusing on identifying more investor-owned properties. In some cases, rent-controlled properties can still be a valuable addition to an investor’s portfolio.

For example, rent-controlled units can offer lower acquisition costs. After capital improvements, there can be potential for substantial upside. Rent-controlled properties can provide a consistent stream of revenue and be a great investment for those with a long-term, buy and hold strategy.

I don’t blame you for being skittish about rent-controlled properties. But, perhaps investors who want to sell might have a broker manage their properties for them. It’s an idea that might help both tenants and landlords, including the economically disadvantaged and most vulnerable who generally get hit the hardest by rent control.

Although we did not prevail, PSAR remains steadfast in its commitment to overcome California’s historic housing supply and affordability crisis.

The right response is a dramatic increase in the number of homes, especially apartments, across California. That’s the only way to close California’s chronic jobs-to-homes imbalance and keep the state economically viable. If we don’t build the homes that working families need, employers will pack up and take their jobs to states that will.



Topics: Marketing

PSAR IS INCLUSIVE, THAT’S WHY I’M INVOLVED

Posted by Sam Calvano on Sep 13, 2019 5:30:00 PM

 

Pacific Southwest Association of RealtorsBy Sam Calvano

I’ve worked in real estate for a long time, since 1976. I began my career as a real estate sales agent and then I switched to real estate lending in 1983. I’ve learned a lot and seen a lot of changes over the years. However, one constant, key factor in our business has been the importance of our Association. The influence and inspiration that our Association has in the local real estate market cannot be understated.

Real estate has been very good to me in my life. So, one of the reasons I serve with PSAR is because I want to give back to our industry. Giving creates community and camaraderie. I am encouraged when I see other PSAR members actively looking for ways to invest their time, treasures and talents. In a time where we are all so busy and everyone seems to be doing more with less, PSAR has some great people who are willing to contribute in various ways to improve and enhance our industry. We couldn’t possibly do all the things we do at PSAR without the spirit of giving back that so many members demonstrate. PSAR Sam Calvano

I believe in PSAR because PSAR is focused on its members. Decisions are made based on what will benefit REALTORS® and all other industry professionals.

I am honored to share with you the reasons why I’m involved as an active volunteer with PSAR. First, a higher level of involvement in PSAR has meant a number of personal benefits. I have found that my involvement in PSAR is good for my business. I take the opportunity at various meetings and events to meet fellow REALTORS® and industry professionals and we share ideas and information.

Also, involvement in PSAR is good for our industry. When REALTORS® speak individually and collectively, people listen, including government bodies and elected officials. When we listen to each other, it creates understanding and connection. One of the greatest gifts you can give people is an attentive ear. When you listen, you’re saying, “You matter, I value what you have to say, I value who you are.” 

In addition, being involved in PSAR helps our Association to become more inclusive. I love that we include everyone at PSAR. There is no need for special or separate interest groups in our organization. Everyone is invited and diversity of opinion is welcomed. Cultivating inclusion is not just the right thing to do, but also the smart thing. At PSAR, we actively work to make our culture more inclusive. As a result, our members are empowered and better positioned to achieve greater levels of loyalty, engagement and productivity through skill-set growth and career progression.

Finally, getting involved at PSAR at a greater level has given me the opportunity to encourage our younger and newer members. Encouragement is so difficult to find today. We live in a deeply negative culture, where put-downs seem to be the favorite form of humor. People are constantly demeaned and degraded. They’re criticized and maligned. However, in contrast, when somebody comes along and says, “Good job!” it can make a tremendous difference.

So, I’m urging you to join me and decide today to get more involved at PSAR. Do something more than you’re doing now. Join a committee or volunteer for an event. Look for ways to give back to the industry and the Association that we love.  Make a connection, make a commitment. If you want to get beyond shallow, superficial relationships, you’ve got to be willing to stick with it. Getting involved will give you the chance to gain new skills to further your goals and pursuits. You will get better at learning more about yourself and how to better achieve success.

Topics: Marketing

LOWEST MORTGAGE INTEREST IN NEARLY 3 YEARS HELPS HOUSING MARKET

Posted by Rick Griffin on Sep 6, 2019 4:51:12 PM

Southwest Real Estate Association Housing Market UpdateSan Diego County’s housing market in July 2019 saw an 8.9 percent increase in sales from the previous month, and a 3.4 percent sales increase compared to July 2018, according to the latest housing market report from the California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.).

In addition, the median price of an existing single-family home in San Diego County of $650,000 in July 2019 was 2.3 percent lower from the previous month of $665,000 in June 2019. The local median price of $650,000 in July 2019 was the same as July 2018.

The lowest interest rates in nearly three years helped jump-start California’s housing market to post the first year-over-year sales gain and the highest sales level in 15 months.

Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 411,630 units in July, according to information collected from more than 90 local REALTOR® associations and MLSs statewide. The statewide annualized sales figure represents the total number of homes sold during 2019 if sales maintained the July pace throughout the year. It is adjusted to account for seasonal factors that typically influence home sales.

July’s sales figure was up 5.6 percent from the 389,730 level in June 2019 and up 1.1 percent from home sales in July 2018 of 407,030.

“Mortgage rates that dipped to the lowest level in nearly three years have helped reduce monthly mortgage payments for the past five consecutive months, giving buyers more purchasing power,” said C.A.R. President Jared Martin. “The boost in demand gave the housing market its first yearly gain since April 2018.”

After setting record prices for the past three months in a row, the statewide median price of $607,990 in July 2019 pulled back by 0.4 percent from June 2019’s $610,720 figure, but it still registered higher by 2.8 percent than the $591,230 price set for July 2018.

It was the fourth straight month that the median price remained above $600,000.

“While it's encouraging that home sales crept higher in July, the market will continue to be challenged by an overarching affordability issue, especially in high cost areas such as the Bay Area, which requires a minimum annual income well into the six figures to purchase a home,” said C.A.R. Senior VP and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young.

Other key points from the July 2019 resale housing report included:

-- At the regional level, non-seasonally adjusted sales increased from a year ago in all major regions, except San Francisco, which experienced a 0.6 percent decline. The Los Angeles Metro region posted a 4.0 percent increase, and sales in the Inland Empire improved by 2.4 percent.July San Diego County Sales Activity-- Non-seasonally adjusted sales rose in every county in Southern California, with Orange County rising the most at 6.7 percent, followed by San Bernardino (5.0 percent), Los Angeles County (4.7 percent), San Diego (3.4 percent), Ventura (2.1 percent) and Riverside (0.8 percent).

-- Median home prices at the regional level continued to inch up in Southern California and the Central Valley regions, while the Central Coast and Bay Area declined slightly from a year ago. In the Southern California region, median home prices grew in every county, while most Bay Area region counties continued to experience price softening on a year-over-year basis.

-- Active listings, which had been increasing year-over-year for the past 15 months, fell 2.1 percent from a year ago.

-- The decrease in active listings and an increase in home sales contributed to a year-over-year decline in unsold inventory for the first time in 15 months. The Unsold Inventory Index (UII), which is a ratio of inventory over sales, stood at 3.2 months in July, down from 3.4 months in June and down from 3.3 months in July 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. 

Statewide, the median number of days it took to sell a single-family home increased to 21 days in July 2019, compared to 19 days in June 2019 and 18 days in July 2018.

-- In San Diego County, it took about two weeks to sell an existing single-family home in July 2019. The median number of days a home remained unsold on the market stood at 15 days in July, compared with 13 days in June, 14 days in May, 17 days in April, 19 days in March, 22 days in February and 14 days in July 2018.

July San Diego Unsold Housing Inventory-- The statewide sales-price-to-list-price ratio was 99.0 percent in July 2019 compared to 99.6 percent in July 2018. Sales-to-list-price ratio is an indicator that reflects the negotiation power of home buyers and home sellers under current market conditions. The ratio is calculated by dividing the final sales price of a property by its last list price and is expressed as a percentage. A sales-to-list ratio with 100 percent or above suggests that the property sold for more than the list price, and a ratio below 100 percent indicates that the price sold below the asking price.

-- The 30-year, fixed-mortgage interest rate averaged 3.77 percent in July, down from 4.53 percent in July 2018, according to Freddie Mac. The five-year, adjustable mortgage interest rate was an average of 3.47 percent, compared to 3.84 percent in July 2018.

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

-- According to CoreLogic, home sales in July rose 10.1 percent from a year ago, as the median home price stayed flat. The $580,000 median home price in July, showing no gain from the year before, was down from the all-time high of $590,000 the previous month.

-- According to the most recent S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices report, the rate of home price increases is continuing to slow in San Diego and across the nation in June. The survey found that in 20 major cities it tracked across the U.S., there was a year-over-year price gain of 2.1 percent. For San Diego County, the year-over-year increase was just 1.3 percent in June, down from 6.9 percent at the same time last year. It was the fifth monthly increase in a row for San Diego.

-- According to Zillow, home value growth continued to slow in July, indicated a slowdown. The rate of U.S. home value appreciation decreased for the seventh straight month in July. The typical U.S. home was worth $229,000 in July, an increase of 5.2 percent from a year ago but the smallest annual appreciation since October 2015. The median price of a single-family home in San Diego County was $591,500 in July, Zillow said. San Diego County’s year-over-year home price climbed by just 1.1 percent in July, compared to a 6.1 percent year-over-year increase in July 2018.

-- According to Redfin, a typical family in San Diego would need to earn 156 percent of the median household income in order to afford the $650,000 median-priced, single-family home. The Redfin survey is based on the assumption that a home is only affordable if the would-be buyer pays no more than 30 percent of his/her household income on the purchase.

-- San Diego ranked as the 10th-most coveted moving destination in the second quarter, according to a report from Redfin. There were 3,013 more Redfin users looking to move here than leave, marking a year-over-year increase of 465 users, the company reported. The largest percentage of San Diego searches came from residents of Los Angeles. The top out-of-state origin for San Diego searches came from Seattle.

-- San Diego County had the nation's fifth most expensive single-family housing market in the second quarter, according to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). NAR found four housing markets that were more expensive than San Diego’s. The Sunnyvale-Santa Clara area was the most expensive market at $1.33 million at mid-year, followed by the San Francisco Bay area ($1.05 million), the Anaheim-Santa Ana-Irvine market ($835,000) and Urban Honolulu ($785,500).

-- San Diego was the third most expensive home resale market in the nation during the first half of the year, according to an HSH.com report. The report, covering the top 50 metropolitan areas, incorporated local property tax and homeowner's insurance costs and calculated the income needed to qualify for a median-priced home in each market.

-- More than 20 percent of homes for sale in the San Diego metropolitan area had a price decrease in June. Of the 20 biggest metro areas in the nation, San Diego had the sixth most price reductions, according to Zillow. Chicago had the most reductions at 22 percent. The numbers are down from the end of last year in San Diego metro. In October 2018, 27 percent of home listings had price reductions. Still, recent numbers are a far cry from the start of 2017 when less than  9 percent of listings had a price reduction.

-- San Diego County had the biggest drop in homebuilding in Southern California in the first six months of 2019. According to the Real Estate Research Council of Southern California, 43 percent fewer homes were constructed in the six-month period compared to the same timeframe last year. The slowdown comes at a time when city and state leaders are offering several legislative measures to spur housing.

-- Mortgage problems, including defects, fraudulence and misrepresentation, are declining, according to First American Financial Corp. The top markets with a year-over-year decrease in July included Houston (minus-19.1 percent), Jacksonville, Fla. (minus 17.0 %), Orlando, Fla. (minus 16.5 %), San Diego (minus 16.5 %), and Tampa, Fla. (minus 14.0 %).

-- New, entry-level teachers will need to spend more than half of their salaries on rent in 19 of the nation’s 50 largest metropolitan areas this school year, according to Zillow. New educators in San Diego County will need to spend almost their entire salary in order to afford a local apartment. Zillow found that an entry-level teacher in San Diego will be required to spend 97.2 percent of their income to live in an apartment with a median monthly rent of $2,673.

-- The unemployment rate in the San Diego County was 3.6 percent in July, up from a revised 3.3 percent in June 2019, and unchanged compared with the year-ago estimate of 3.6 percent, the state Employment Development Department reported. This compares with an unadjusted unemployment rate of 4.4 percent for California and 4.0 percent for the nation during the same period.

-- U.S. employers hired 164,000 workers in July as the labor force hit a record high. Government data indicates that hiring in the U.S. remained at a healthy pace in July despite a cooling economy. The 164,000 non-farm payrolls last month increased the size of the labor force to its largest ever. The labor market has added jobs for a record 106 straight months. On average, the U.S. added a solid 140,000 jobs a month between May and July.

Topics: Marketing

JOIN A PSAR COMMITTEE AND DRIVE THE BUS

Posted by Rick Griffin on Aug 23, 2019 4:48:43 PM

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Salute to Service

By Mike White

I have never been the kind of person who has been content just sitting on the sidelines. Instead, I prefer to get involved. That’s why I decided to participate in a leadership role at PSAR as a board member. And, since this year’s PSAR theme is “Salute to Service,” I want to encourage all of you to also decide to personally participate at a greater level at PSAR.

A higher level of involvement in PSAR has personally meant a ton of benefits for me. PSAR has given me an opportunity to continue my personal and professional growth and career maturity. In the past, I’ve been in several other leadership roles outside of real estate, including as President of Toastmasters Club, PTA and others. But, PSAR has brought me to a whole new higher level.

Involvement in PSAR has meant that I’ve had to “up my game.” I have been pushed to set higher goals for myself. I have learned to be a better listener and make the most out of every situation. I have learned to understand what it means to broaden and expand my horizons, maximize opportunities and stay ahead of the curve.

For example, forming and leading the PSAR Tech Committee as chair has been a great experience. I’ve been able to solidify my public speaking skills as a result of delivering the “Tech Moment” at Rally and Ride pitch sessions. And, it’s been personally gratifying to share what I’ve learned with our members there and at our monthly "Tech Lunch and Learn" workshops.

Also, it’s been a great experience to represent PSAR as a member of several California Association of REALTORS® committees, including Business Tech, MLS, Zipforms and Standard Forms. 

Mike_White_411Overall, getting involved at PSAR at a greater level has given me the opportunity to "drive the industry bus", so to speak, rather than just being one of the passengers. You, too, can “drive the bus.” I’m inviting you today to get behind the wheel and buckle-up your seat belt. As a driver, you can make a difference about the speed and direction of the bus as you bring along other PSAR members and help set a destination for success.

Every morning, I need to remind myself that since I’m driving the bus I will do everything I can to make things happen. That’s because attitude, not aptitude, determines altitude. I choose to be optimistic even when it appears the deck is stacked against me. Everybody has the choice in life to be a passenger or a driver. The passengers go along for the ride, leaving decisions and responsibility to somebody else. A passenger does not take personal responsibility for the events in their life. But, to be successful and live a fulfilling life, you need to be the driver.

C’mon, get serious with me: Are you a hammer or a nail? Which one would you rather be? Some people complain about bad luck, but others make their luck.  If it is to be, then it must be up to me. To succeed, you have to try.  Don’t be afraid of failure because the most successful people have failed, but they stuck with it.  

Every successful entrepreneur has always faced challenging odds, but then they have succeeded in spite of them all. Every successful REALTOR® has usually had countless people tell them they were delusional and should give up and “get a real job.” I’ve always felt, as far as my destiny is concerned, that every set-back, when the door has been slammed in my face, has been nothing more than just another bump in the road that is bringing me closer to a “yes.” And, as long as you love what you're doing, you're half-way to your long-term goals.

So, I’m urging you to join me and decide to get more involved at PSAR. Just do something more than you’re doing now. Join a committee or volunteer for an event. Get involved and you will gain new skills that will help you further your goals and pursuits. You will get better at learning more about yourself and how to better succeed. Be that bus driver who takes more control of life and pursues new dreams and goals through the attainment of new skills. The time is now, step up and become a driver.  

Topics: Marketing

Don’t Worry About iBuying, They Still Need Us

Posted by Robert Calloway on Aug 16, 2019 4:54:25 PM

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By Robert Calloway

The real estate industry is constantly evolving as new products and practices are introduced to the marketplace. On a daily basis, our PSAR members are experiencing new disrupters trying to shake-up the traditional business model of buying and selling with the assistance of an experienced REALTOR®, which remained unchanged for decades. PSAR is active in our efforts to combat this disruption by empowering our REALTOR® members.  

The phenomenon of iBuying is currently one of the most pressing concerns.

The idea behind iBuying is to reduce transactional property costs by utilizing digital tools. This direct-to-consumer, all-cash, online homebuying option is known by many names, including Opendoor, which launched in 2013, and Offerpad, which started purchasing homes directly from homeowners in 2015. Others include Knock, Ribbon, Redfin Direct and Zillow Offers, which launched last year.

The idea of selling and buying homes directly from consumers has grabbed media attention, investor dollars and a certain level of consumer acceptance. What started as a moonshot idea of selling your home with the help of an algorithm has become a homebuying market in its own right.

To some, this method appears to be a modern alternative to the often complicated and complex process of real estate transactions. For example, in theory, once a seller accepts a Zillow Offers price, they are able to pick their own closing date. Also, buyers who purchase a Zillow-owned home will be able to pick a move-in date of their choice.  

I know many PSAR REALTORS® who have justifiable concerns about giving consumers technology tools needed to buy or sell a home without an agent. We all could be impacted by technology that minimizes the role of agents or poses a threat to both homeowners and real estate professionals.

But, the truth is that most homebuyers and sellers need advice on how much to offer, whether to include an inspection, how to arrange financing and a host of other issues related to the real estate transaction process.

In fact, during the past five years, PSAR has worked hard to empower REALTORS® with more data and new technology to help them remain in the center of the transaction. PSAR provides new technology that can be leveraged to provide an experience for the consumer that is second to none. 

For example, the move to CRMLS has had a major impact on the ability of REALTORS® to compete in today’s market. CRMLS has access to more San Diego County listings than any other MLS. “Cloud Streams” is better than the MLS at sharing listings with clients through texting and an improved user search experience. SavvyCard® is another new tool that is helping agents share their business card and listings through social media and online marketing. Cloud MLX also provides a superior search experience. Agents who use Glide are providing a consumer-friendly tool that helps sellers fill out their disclosures easily on multiple platforms. CRMLS negotiated a special deal with LionDesk® so that agents can have access to a fully functional CRM at no additional cost. Remine takes MLS data and enhances it with consumer data to put marketing power in the hands of the REALTOR®.

These new tools are powerful and, if used, can help a REALTOR® leverage their relationships to provide a superior client experience. To learn more about new technology tools that PSAR is providing to empower the REALTOR®, visit https://info.psar.org/benefits.

So, let’s ask a simple question: Just how many consumers are actually trying to go it alone without an agent? Real estate industry watchers expect the iBuyer market will represent less than 10 percent of the overall market.

Glenn Kelman, CEO of Redfin, has stated publicly that he doesn’t expect the number to go any higher than 10 percent or 20 percent any time soon. Currently, in Boston, which is regarded as a tech-savvy market, Redfin says less that 5 percent of the offers are from unrepresented buyers. Earlier this year, Kelman said a majority of people who receive offers from Redfin’s iBuyer program ultimately reject those offers. “Most customers who get a RedfinNow offer don’t take it,” Kelman told Inman News.

So, who really is using iBuyer tools? It’s a mixture of people who are experienced at homebuying and younger customers who have never bought a home before. Some companies predicted a majority of iBuyers would be people with extensive homebuying experience, but that hasn’t always been the case.

Another slant to the iBuying trend is that selling a home to an iBuyer company could cost the seller tens of thousands of dollars. The iBuyer model may appeal to consumers who are looking for ease and hoping to avoid some parts of the home sales prep work, such as open houses, staging, showings and the like. But, the convenience is likely to come at a considerable price tag.

A recent investigation by MarketWatch of multiple transactions involving iBuyers shows that the offers would net their customers an average of 11 percent less than owners who choose to sell their homes on the open market, when fees and other costs are considered.

Simply put, iBuyer deals are stealing equity from homeowners. Opendoor and Offerpad both charge sellers fees of about 7 percent, in contrast to the average of 5 percent charged by real estate agents, according to REAL Trends.

A recent report said that RedfinNow might save home-sellers some time, but it also is likely to reduce the amount of money homeowners will earn from a purchase. Maybe some people don’t care about losing $5k or $20k on a sale, but this is real money to most working stiffs like us.

Indeed, according to Redfin’s initial public offering filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, it states: “Customers who sell through RedfinNow will typically get less money for their home than they would listing their home with a real estate agent but get money faster with less risk and fuss.”

Meanwhile, many of us have experience with the shortcomings of Zillow’s Zestimates, which even the company acknowledges are a starting point in determining a home’s value and not an official appraisal. According to Zillow, there are 102.7 million homes with Zestimates on Zillow. Nationally, the Zestimate has a median error rate of 7.9 percent, which means half of the Zestimates are closer than the error percentage and half are farther off. The company admits that in about 20 percent of sales the Zestimate misses the sale price by more than 20 percent.

Even some traditional brokerages, including Keller Williams, are also entering the iBuyer space with Keller Offers, which features a KW agent serving as an advocate during the home selling process. Earlier this week, Offerpad announced it would finance Keller Offers in selected markets, giving KW agents a chance to rep both sides of a sales transaction for the iBuyer.

Finally, my word to you is simply, let’s keep working hard, confidently knowing that our expertise, knowledge and services will be sought-after traits in the marketplace. Life is about relationships, and we were put on earth to make a difference and a contribution. There will always be a need for people with outstanding character, work ethic and professionalism. At PSAR, you will always be highly valued and considered extremely valuable.

Topics: Marketing