A HOLIDAY STORY: PSAR REALTOR ANDREW SCHMIDT HELPS GRIEVING MAN

Posted by Rick Griffin on Dec 20, 2019 3:15:00 AM

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During this holiday season, it’s encouraging to hear an inspirational story about the kindness and goodness of a PSAR REALTOR®. Especially when the PSAR member considered his selfless act of sacrifice to be “no big deal.” Following is one such story.  REALTOR®s

Our story begins with a 911 call from a condo on Fourth Avenue in Chula Vista. It was 9 a.m. this past week. Police and an ambulance had responded. A 63-year-old woman (name withheld upon request) had passed away from natural causes following several years of failing health. The woman’s longtime companion, a 70-year-old man named Steve, was distraught and in deep grief.

Also responding to the 911 call was Scott Vinson Sr., a long-time broker in the South Bay and volunteer with the Chula Vista Citizens Adversity Support Team (CAST).

CAST volunteers are dedicated to assisting emotionally traumatized people during emergency situations. They are trained to assist the victims of trauma who may need emotional support, counseling, advocacy and referrals to community resources. They are respectful, calm, support without judgment and are great listeners to people who may be experiencing the absolute worst day of their lives.

According to Scott, “The police had major concerns about the elderly gentleman’s state of mind and his ability to cope with the death of his girlfriend. The man did mention any next of kin to either himself or the deceased. All were concerned about his personal safety. The first to respond were discussing the possibility of a psychiatric evaluation."

“Grief is something that can result in a range of emotions. Some people will stuff it, push it down, pretend it’s not there, act like it doesn’t exist. It’s even tougher to cope without the support of nearby family members.”

After nearly two hours, the elderly man finally looked at Scott and said he only had one friend who could be contacted. It was a fellow broker and PSAR member. His name was Andrew Schmidt.

“I was impressed that of all the people in the world, this man’s closest friend was a REALTOR®,” said Scott. “Sometimes, REALTORS® get a bad rap or a bad reputation. But, we can make a huge impact on people’s lives when we do our jobs right. This event made me even prouder to be a REALTOR®.”

Andrew arrived on the scene and hugged the grieving Steve. “Andrew then agreed to take over, remain with the guy and help stabilize him,” said Scott.

“It was really no big deal what I did,” said Andrew, who has been a PSAR member since 2007. The native of Oregon City, Oregon, has lived in San Diego since 2004.

According to Andrew, “I first met Steve back in 2007. He was sitting outside my office on National City Boulevard in National City. He had just moved here from Florida and didn’t know anybody in town and he didn’t have a home. Over the years, I’ve helped him with four different deals, including a home purchase and three condos.

“More importantly, we’ve become close friends. I call him every couple of days. We talk about life. He doesn’t have any family members anywhere. I’m the closest person he knows.

But, to me, that's a description of a REALTOR®. The best REALTORS® become friends with their clients. I know that PSAR members can relate to what I’m saying. We all have a handful of clients whom we really care about. And, we are willing to go the extra mile to help people.

I feel so blessed to be in real estate. And, I want to make sure that I’m paying it back. If somebody needs help, I’m there. But, REALTORS® do that on a regular basis. We will set-aside everything and go help someone in need. I don’t want to be a stingy zero sort-of guy.

Happiness comes from serving and giving in life. A happy heart comes from generosity and shifting the focus away from yourself. A person who thinks only about him or herself is pretty miserable. So, if you truly want to be happy in life change your focus, be unselfish, pay attention to others and care about the needs of those around you. You have to be focused on the needs of others or you will miss opportunities.”

Andrew is helping Steve with the arrangements of a memorial service for the deceased woman. Also, Andrew is planning to hire a house-cleaner for Steve’s home.

“Helping others is what being a REALTOR® is all about,” said Andrew. “REALTORS® can have a lot of influence by helping others. We can speak up for those in need of help . We can be a raincoat during the storms of life. No matter which of our friends or family members are going through a storm, we can all help each other because no one has it all together. People who are committed to one another will protect each other in tough times.

“We’re not on earth just to live for ourselves. We’re here to make the world a better place. We’re here to spread love and peace and care for one another, help one another and support one another. Nothing is insignificant when we’re serving each other.”

Topics: Marketing, Industry

WHICH DIRECTION ARE PRICES INCHING IN SAN DIEGO

Posted by Rick Griffin on Dec 15, 2019 8:45:00 AM

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San Diego County’s housing market saw an optimistic increase in home sale prices and number of sales in October 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 October, 2019 was $652,000, compared to $636,750 in September, 2019 and $635,500 in October, 2018. That’s an increase of 2.4 percent in October, 2019, when compared to September, 2019, and a 2.6 percent increase when compared to October, 2018.

Meanwhile, San Diego home sales in October, 2019 saw an increase of 1.7 percent, over those of September, 2019, with an 11.2 percent increase in sales over October, 2018.

Statewide, it’s a different story for the housing market. Shrinking inventory subdued California home sales and held home sales and prices steady in October, 2019.

The median price in October, 2019, slipped 0.1 percent to $605,280, compared to $605,680 in September, 2019. In a comparison to October, 2018, the median price in October, 2019 was up 6.0 percent from last year’s $571,070 figure. The annual price gain was the largest since July, 2018.

Year-to-date statewide home sales were down 2.6 percent in October, 2019. Statewide, existing, single-family home sales totaled 404,240 in October, 2019, on a seasonally adjusted annualized rate, up 0.1 percent from September, 2019’s figure of 404,030, and up 1.9 percent from home sales in October, 2018 whose revised total was 396,720.

After 15 straight months of year-over-year increases, active listings statewide fell for the fourth straight month as of October 2019, dropping 18.0 percent from a year ago. The decline was the largest since May 2013.

“The California housing market continued to see gradual improvement in recent months, as the current mortgage environment remains favorable to those who want to buy a home,” said 2020 C.A.R. President Jeanne Radsick, a second-generation REALTOR® from Bakersfield, Calif. “With interest rates remaining historically low for the foreseeable future, motivated buyers finding that homes are slightly more affordable, may seize the opportunity and resume their home search. Additionally, the condominium loan policies that went into effect mid-October could help buyers for whom single-family homes are out of reach.”, she stated.

“The latest surge in home prices is the consequence of an ongoing mismatch between supply and demand,” said C.A.R. Senior Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young. “While low interest rates will reduce borrowing costs for buyers and temporarily alleviate affordability concerns at the micro level, without an increase in housing supply, including new housing construction for sale or rent, fundamental issues remain at the macro level, which will worsen the affordability crisis down the road.”, she explained.

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 November, less than one-fourth of respondents (24 percent) believe that it is a good time to buy now. This figure is lower than last year (27 percent), when interest rates were more than 100 basis points higher. Less than half (47 percent) believe it is a good time to sell, down from 51 percent a year ago.

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

-- At the regional level, non-seasonally adjusted sales rose on an annual basis in all major regions. Central Valley increased the most at 7.1 percent, followed by Southern California (7.0 percent), Central Coast (3.9 percent) and the Bay Area (1.4 percent). 

-- Also, regionally speaking, median home prices rose from a year ago in all major regions except the San Francisco Bay Area. In the Southern California region, median home prices increased  in every county, led by San Bernardino County, which recorded a 10.4 percent jump from a year ago.

-- The Unsold Inventory Index (UII), which is a ratio of inventory over sales, was 3.0 months in October 2019, down from 3.6 in both September 2019 and October 2018. It was the lowest level since June 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 fell from a year ago, declining from 26 days in October 2018 to 24 days in October 2019. That compares to 24 days in September 2019, 23 days in August 2019 and 21 days in July 2019.

-- In San Diego County, the median number of days a home remained unsold on the market stood at 18 days in October 2019. That compares to 18 days in September 2019, 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 24 days in October 2018.

-- The statewide sales-price-to-list-price ratio was 98.5 percent in October 2019, unchanged from September 2019 and up from 98.1 percent in October 2018. The ratio 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 (list) price.

-- The 30-year, fixed-mortgage interest rate averaged 3.69 percent in October 2019, down from 4.83 percent in October 2018, according to Freddie Mac. The decrease of 114 basis points for the 30-year fixed-mortgage rate was the largest decline in any 12-month period since November 2009. The five-year, adjustable mortgage interest rate was an average of 3.38 percent, compared to 4.08 percent in October 2018.

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

-- San Diego County experienced the largest decline in active listing inventory in the nation, falling 28.1 percent year-over-year in November, 2019, according to Realtor.com. The Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale region also experienced a significant drop in November of this year with its active listing count declining 24.1 percent year-over-year.

-- Realtor.com also recently reported that it expects that the U.S. housing market will continue to slow in 2020 as inventory reaches historic lows and economic uncertainty prompts consumers to pull back on their spending. In San Diego, single-family home sales are expected to drop 3.2 percent in 2020, while prices remain nearly unchanged. Realtor.com also said prices will drop in more than 25 of the 100 largest U.S. metros, including San Francisco, Las Vegas and Miami. Kansas City homes will experience the biggest drop at 4.0 percent.

 -- The UCLA Anderson School forecast for 2020 says that California’s economic growth will slow next year, but it is likely to outshine that of the nation overall as Golden State employers boost payrolls. National economic growth is slowing, but not as quickly as previously anticipated, leading to a slightly more positive outlook for California.

-- CBRE Group, in its 2020 Real Estate Market Outlook Report, says the U.S. economy will continue its lengthy expansion in 2020, supporting multiple asset classes. CBRE said while growth will be tempered due to next year’s election, weakness in manufacturing and an uncertain trade picture, the fundamentals of the commercial real estate market remain solid.

-- Fifty-five percent of homebuyers make some type of financial sacrifice in order to purchase their house, according to the Zillow Group’s 2019 Consumer Housing Trends report. San Diego is one of six metropolitan areas where the mortgage on a median-valued home costs more than 30 percent of the median household income.

-- The typical American homeowner has spent 13 years in their home, up from eight years in 2010, and the median tenure was 14.2 years in San Diego County, according to a Redfin report. The report found the median home tenure for a family in San Diego County was 10.7 years in 2010. Families staying put for longer has resulted in a 46.2 percent drop in homes for sale in the county from 2010 to 2019.

-- The unemployment rate in San Diego County was 2.8 percent in October, up from a revised 2.7 percent in September and below the year-ago estimate of 3.2 percent, the state Employment Development Department reported. This compares to the unadjusted unemployment rate of 3.7 percent for California and 3.3 percent for the nation during the same period.

-- The November national jobs report was exceptional. The Bureau of Labor Statistics said 266,000 jobs were created and the unemployment rate dipped again. It rests at a solid 3.5 percent, a 50-year low. The jobs creation total beat expectations. Analysts had forecast roughly 180,000 new jobs for the month.

Topics: Marketing, Industry

PSAR HELPING THOSE IN NEED

Posted by Rick Griffin on Dec 6, 2019 6:00:00 PM

PSAR Charity Presents Checks to those in need

 

Congratulations to the PSAR Charity Committee.

At a recent PSAR Rally & Ride pitch session, in addition to hearing information about available properties, attendees recognized the outstanding efforts in 2019 by members of the PSAR Charity Committee.

Four local nonprofits were presented with checks from proceeds resulting from two events organized this past year by the Charity Committee.

Three of the nonprofits benefited from proceeds generated by the 2019 PSAR REALTOR® Games, held Friday, June 21. The nonprofits included South Bay Community Services, Unity 4 Orphans and Meals on Wheels San Diego County. Each received $3,500, for a grand total of $10,500, which exceeded the amount raised last year.

The fourth nonprofit, San Yisdro Health Center, was presented with a check for $3,000. These proceeds were generated by, the 2019 PSAR Zombie 5k Run-Walk, held Saturday, Oct. 12.

“PSAR is very proud to support these nonprofits and the extraordinary service they provide to our local communities,” said Laurie MacDonald, 2020 Charity Committee chair. “REALTORS® care greatly about supporting our local communities. We are active volunteers who play an important role in improving neighborhoods to the benefit of homeowners who want to share in the American dream and have a better place to live, work and raise their families.”

PSAR’s third annual PSAR REALTOR® Games, held at Scobee Park, located at 2390 Boswell Road in Chula Vista’s EastLake community, drew more than 200 participants.

The REALTOR® Games featured teams competing in mental and physical challenges. The competitions included agility activities, such as a sack race, free-throw contest, balloon catch and cornhole, plus mental challenges, including a spelling bee, board puzzle and “REALTOR® Feud,” a game resembling TV’s “Family Feud.” Another competition cwas “Jenga,” a game of skill featuring players taking turns removing one wooden block at a time from a tower constructed of several dozen blocks.

Members of PSAR’s Charity Committee who organized this year’s REALTOR® Games were Robert Cromer, Laurie MacDonald, Angie West and Rhonda Beathard.

The 2019 PSAR Zombie 5k Run-Walk, held at Rohr Park, located at 4548 Sweetwater Road, Bonita, drew an enthusiastic crowd. Participants dressed in their best zombie attire, including Halloween costumes. A contest was held for best-dressed pet and child. Additional activities included face painting, a jumpy inflatable, trick-or-treat booths and a raffle with prizes. Food was also provided. The event was a lot of fun and organizers received rave reviews from participants.

This year’s organizers of the PSAR Zombie 5k were Robert Cromer, Laurie McDowell, Rhonda Beathard and Juliet Montoya. The 2019 Zombie 5K was held in partnership with John and Susan Carroll as a fundraiser to benefit cancer screenings at the San Ysidro Health Center.

The PSAR Charity Committee is a wonderful group of caring PSAR members who are willing to share PSAR resources and talent with the community through outreach and service. The committee goal is to provide the support necessary to make a positive charitable impact in the communities served by PSAR members. The volunteers serving on the PSAR Charity Committee evaluate and review requests from nonprofits in the communities and they select charitable causes that will benefit from committee support.

 

Topics: Marketing, Industry

GET READY FOR 2020 WITH THE HOUSING MARKET FORECAST, DEC. 3rd

Posted by Rick Griffin on Nov 29, 2019 3:30:00 PM

2020 Housing Market Forecast

Steven Thomas, publisher of “Reports on Housing,” a real estate industry trends publication, will present a 2020 Housing Market Forecast from 10 a.m. to noon, Tuesday, Dec. 3, at the PSAR East County Service Center, located at 1150 Broadway, El Cajon.  PSAR members and real estate professionals from all other associations in San Diego County are invited to attend. Admission is a $5 donation to the California Association of Realtors’ Housing Affordability Fund.

     Register     

Since 2004, Thomas has been publishing “Reports on Housing,” a monthly report for real estate professionals. The report tracks regional demand, inventory, distressed homes and market data. It also shares what buyers, sellers and real estate professionals are experiencing in the trenches.

Thomas is a California real estate broker with decades of experience. He has a degree in Quantitative Economics and Decision Sciences from the University of California San Diego. He has been quoted in news stories published by the Orange County Register, Los Angeles Times, San Diego Union-Tribune, The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, USA Today, Bloomberg, ABC, CBS and NBC television, Cox Cable Television, KNX 1070,-AM News Radio, KFI AM-640 Radio, blogs and Internet news sites. 

On Dec. 3 in El Cajon, Thomas will discuss values, interest rates and answer questions such as, "Have values peaked?", "Why does the market feel so different?", "Is housing a bubble about to pop?" and "When will buyers have the upper hand again?"

Among his concerns about 2020 are, the U.S. trade war escalation with China and other countries, the international economic slowdown contributed by monetary policies, Brexit, unrealistic sellers, uncertainty over the economy and interest rates, D.C. politics and the 2020 elections.

Thomas explained that if the U.K. is no longer a member of the EU, implications could include an elimination of Britain’s tariff-free trade status with the other EU members.  That means tariffs would probably raise the cost of exports. However, some of that pain would be offset by a weaker pound. Higher tariffs might also increase prices of imports by the U.K.

Also, Thomas said that an escalated trade war between the U.S. and China could hurt both countries. The most important aspect of the long-term economic competition with China isn’t soybeans or natural gas, rather it’s technology. For decades, China has been engaged in a systematic, state-sponsored effort to steal U.S. technology. Beijing has relied heavily on stolen trade secrets and intellectual property to build its own manufacturing and technology base.

The U.S. began slapping tariffs on imports of Chinese goods a year ago, accusing Beijing of using predatory means to give Chinese companies an edge in advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics and electric vehicles. Those tactics include hacking into U.S. companies’ computers to steal trade secrets, forcing foreign companies to hand over sensitive technology in exchange for access to the Chinese market and unfairly subsidizing Chinese tech firms.

Meanwhile, closer to home, Thomas is predicting an increase in the number of unrealistic, overpriced homes for sale in 2020. “If an area is currently experiencing a strong seller’s market and listings are not selling, then it could mean that agents allowed the sellers to overprice their property without scheduling regular price reductions,” he said. “On the other hand, the good news about an appreciating market is that if you wait long enough, the prices may eventually catch up with the listing.”

Thomas is expecting sales of distressed properties to remain flat next year. “It’s not easy to price property in a declining market,” he said. “Sometimes, comparable sales data is not entirely reliable because, by the time the property is appraised, prices may have declined even further.”

Throughout Southern California, Thomas said that about a quarter of all listings expired in the first nine months of 2019, compared to about 19 percent in 2018 and 18 percent in 2017.

Thomas said he is expecting a slight rise in inventory and sales prices to appreciate between 2 and 5 percent in 2020, with most of the increases realized during the first half of the year.

Steven Thomas

He said available inventory of higher-priced, move-up homes will improve slightly, aided by a growing number of move-up sellers. Sales of higher-priced luxury homes will remain muted in 2020, with a slight thaw expected in the spring followed by sluggish activity beginning mid-summer and extending through the end of the year.

Thomas’ other predictions for the 2020 housing marketinclude:
-- Many buyers will continue to be cautious fence-sitters.
-- Monthly interest rates on typical 30-year loans will average 3.75 percent (Thomas said a low mortgage rate environment is a gift to the real estate industry).

Thomas sells a “Reports on Housing” monthly subscription for $15 per month or $150 per year. The regional reports feature a local real estate snapshot. One month free is available upon sign-up. Thomas can be followed on YouTube at www.Youtube.com/ReportsOnHousing, and Facebook at @reportsOnHousing. For more information, visit www.reportsonhousing.com.

2020 Market ForECast

     Register     

Tuesday | December 3rd, 2019
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

PSAR | EAST COUNT
1150 Broadway, El Cajon, CA 92021

2020 Marketing Forecast Flyer

 

Topics: Marketing, Industry

PSAR BI-NATIONAL EFFORTS INCLUDE TRADE MISSION TO MEXICO

Posted by Rick Griffin on Nov 23, 2019 5:00:00 AM

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All PSAR members can be proud in knowing that PSAR is providing important leadership in its efforts to build friendships, education, professionalism, networking and mutual business cooperation between real estate professionals internationally, in Mexico and the United States. The members of PSAR’s Global Real Estate Council (GREC) have been very supportive in the building of cross-border alliances.

So, it is with great honor to inform you that PSAR was recently invited to attend and speak at the national conference presented by AMPI (Asociacion Mexicana de Profesionales Inmobiliarios). AMPI, the Association of Mexican Real Estate Professionals, is Mexico’s counterpart to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).

AMPI was formed in 1956 to establish laws and codes of ethics and conduct in order  to create a reliable, trustworthy and efficient real estate environment in Mexico.  Mexico’s largest real estate association, AMPI has bi-national agreements of cooperation with NAR and the California Association of REALTORS®, as well as with PSAR.

To be invited to be a presenter at the AMPI national conference in October was a real honor. With over 1,200 associations in NAR, PSAR received the honor to join representatives from other international associations from such countries as El Salvador, Brazil, Canada, Panama and many others. The AMPI conference was held in San Luis Potosi, south of Mexico City.

Also attending the AMPI conference were representatives from Consejo Estatal de Profesionales Inmobiliarios de Baja California, (CEPIBC), a statewide real estate trade group located in the Mexican state of Baja California.

(You may recall that in 2018, PSAR signed a Bi-Regional Cooperation Agreement with CEPIBC. The agreement was signed by Jan Farley, PSAR president, and Gustavo Chacon Aubanel, Presidente de Consejo Estatal de Profesionales Inmobiliarios de Baja California. The agreement called for the scheduling of classes covering the financial, legal and cultural differences in real estate transactions between Mexico and the United States.  It also fostered, respect and adherence to each association’s Code of Ethics for business interaction. Founded in 1984, CEPIBC comprises the 10 local real estate trade associations that operate in five Baja California cities, including Tijuana, Ensenada, Rosarito, Tecate and Mexicali. CEPIBC promotes standards of professionalism, licensing and increased business relationships with U.S. real estate professionals, primarily in California and Arizona.)

The PSAR delegation attending the AMPI conference was included Hector Zamaro, PSAR GREC chair, Nick Iniguez, GREC member and Catalina Spuehler, GREC member.AMPI Convention

At the AMPI conference, Gabriela Isabel Cerezo Morales, CEPIBC 2019 President and AMPI National Treasurer, introduced us to Pablo Vasquez, AMPI 2019 National President, and Roberto Barrios, AMPI 2020 National President-Elect, as well as other dignitaries and international speakers. Both Gabriela Cerezo Morales and Miguel Urriza from CEPIBC attended the recent PSAR Installation Dinner held at Viejas Casino & Resort.

Our presentations at the AMPI conference were titled: “Forming International Alliances,” with Hector Zamaro as speaker and “New MLS in Mexico,” with Nick Iniguez as speaker.

Also at the AMPI conference, there was an historic announcement introducing the first formal MLS System operating in Mexico. Now, properties can be listed in Mexico and viewed internationally. Thanks to Art Carter, CEO CRMLS, and Ross E. Buck, President of Terminus MLS (Mexico’s MLS). Terminus recently signed their first contract with the Baja California CEPIBC state chapter.

PSAR’s trade mission to the AMPI conference concluded with excellent coverage and networking with bilateral partners and inviting them to participate in a mutual referral business with our PSAR membership. We anticipate further growth and participation with our colleagues in Mexico and other countries.

An invitation has been extended to all our membership and leadership to attend the “AMPI International Summit 2020” in March 2020. It will be an excellent gesture of cooperation, as wll as a potentially profitable one, to send a delegation of PSAR representatives to participate in this Summit.  Many countries will  have representatives attending, with whom alliances could be formed.

We appreciate all the hard work by Gabriela Isabel Cerezo Morales and her CEPIBC Board for all their support during 2019. They have been instrumental in furthering bilateral relationships to the benefit of PSAR members.

I want to encourage any PSAR member who may be interested in cross-border opportunities and who wants to network with other international real estate practitioners to get involved with GREC. PSAR’s GREC is dedicated to assist the needs of PSAR members who desire to expand their international outreach. GREC will help you find mentors who can facilitate  connections with individuals internationally. GREC offers PSAR members the opportunity to learn and expand their real estate market opportunities internationally. The vision of the Council is to provide and facilitate educational avenues that enable PSAR members to expand their practice and organize global-themed events.

Formed in 2013, PSAR’s GREC has hosted several educational events in recent years focused on helping PSAR international capital investment clients make informed transaction decisions 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.

The Council also encourages PSAR members to earn the Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) certification, a professional designation offered by the National Association of REALTORS® which results in expanded knowledge, a worldwide network and tools helpful in serving international clients.

Topics: Marketing, Industry

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

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

PSAR Installation 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