Housing market

Analysis of the (primarily) San Diego housing market.

Condo Hell Freezes Over

Submitted by Rich Toscano on March 8, 2006 - 10:14am

Folks in the UTC area (fondly called "Condo Hell" by inhabitants--I know because I used to be one) may be interested in today's Voice of San Diego piece on the University City housing market. This area has apparently sat out the latter part of the boom, with prices pretty stagnant since late 2003. The zip code winners/losers list I recently put together shows the UTC area as having a 3% median price increase over the past year... positive, at least, but not enough to cover the cost of selling.

(category: )

Housing Market Report: February 2006

Submitted by Rich Toscano on March 3, 2006 - 9:36pm

This article will examine trends in San Diego home price levels, breadth, sales volume, and inventory in order to determine where the undercurrents are taking the market. Additionally we will take a look at a warning light that has started to flash for the local economy.

(category: )

When Mortgage Brokers Attack

Submitted by Rich Toscano on March 1, 2006 - 5:30pm

A reader forwarded me a hilarious Craigslist posting. This is from, of all places, the "casual encounters" section:

If you are interested in having some fun with a cute (5'4" 110 lbs, size 3), and openminded girl...

Hmmm... sounds pretty good so far. But read on...

(category: )

Disappearing Demand

Submitted by Rich Toscano on February 28, 2006 - 11:50pm

Will Carless at the Voice of San Diego writes about January's steep home sale decline. While the January year-over-year decline was particularly dramatic, the trend towards shrinking sale volume has been firmly entrenched for months. And, complete lack of concern on the part of the interviewees notwithstanding, long-term trends in declining San Diego sales volume have usually lead to declining home prices in the past.

I will examine the latest housing market data in great detail in the next Monthly Housing Report, which I hope to release tomorrow.

(category: )

Big Housing Players Turning Bearish

Submitted by Rich Toscano on February 27, 2006 - 10:13am

Thanks to a reader who pointed me at a Business Week article called Jitters on the Homefront (warning: this is BW subscriber access only). The article interviews famed housing bear Robert Shiller along with Countrywide CEO Angelo Mozilo and KB Homes CEO Bruce Karatz. Shiller's thoughts are no surprise, but I was pretty shocked by the bearishness of the two CEOs, especially Mozilo. Here is a brief excerpt; emphasis is mine:

(category: )

A New Low for the Bullish Propaganda Mill

Submitted by Rich Toscano on February 24, 2006 - 7:20pm

A reader sent the following article in last weekend. This has been mocked elsewhere, but I couldn't resist taking my own shots, as this is without doubt the most inept attempt at real estate cheerleading that I've seen to date:

CONTRARY TO POPULAR BELIEF…IT PAYS TO BE A CONTRARIAN.

Sir John Templeton was known as the “Dean of Investing”, and he was a classic contrarian. Mr. Templeton said to buy when things looked most pessimistic and sell when the masses felt most optimistic – and his attitude paid off. He began his Wall Street career in 1937, created many of the world’s largest and most successful international investment funds, and is now a full time philanthropist at age 92.

(category: )

It's Dark Matter Week!

Submitted by Rich Toscano on February 15, 2006 - 10:25pm

We continue with Dark Matter Week, in which I outsource all content writing and then pat myself on the back for having so much intellectual capital (or something like that).

Today's outsourced content comes from an Econo-Almanac reader who is an appraiser here in San Diego. He recently sent me a note indicating how he thought things would play out for San Diego. I thought he made several interesting points so I got his permission to share it:

(category: )

A Bad Month for Everyone

Submitted by Rich Toscano on February 15, 2006 - 10:22pm
San Diego wasn't the only Southern California region to see a home price drop in January. The median Orange County home price dropped by 6% between December and January, although the year-over-year appreciation is notably stronger than San Diego's at 9%. SoCal as a whole was down 2.1% since December. Of course, it's never a good idea to make too much of one month, especially when that month is January, but we will obviously be watching for emerging trends in the months to come.
(category: )

In Like a Lamb -- Some January Stats

Submitted by Rich Toscano on February 13, 2006 - 8:28pm

The Union-Tribune has some January San Diego housing statistics up. In short, prices were down from December, but still slightly positive year-over-year. Resale homes and condos did fine, while new homes once again absorbed the brunt of the price damage--the median new home price was hammered for a $104,000 loss on the month!

(category: )

Cluster Selling

Submitted by Rich Toscano on February 10, 2006 - 10:21am

Will Carless at the Voice has written an intriguing piece on cluster selling. This term describes a dynamic that is apparently taking place in San Diego wherein homeowners put their homes up for sale as they see their neighbors doing the same, resulting in concentrations of for-sale inventory in neighborhoods where this is happening. Several real estate agents "in the field" have apparently corroborated that cluster selling is taking place for the first time since housing bottomed out in the 90s.

(category: )

Price Changes by Zip Code

Submitted by Rich Toscano on February 6, 2006 - 10:58pm

I thought it might be interesting for people to see how the individual zip codes stacked up on a year-over-year basis. The below tables list each San Diego zip code's condo and SFR medians for Q4 2005 vs. Q4 2004. I'm tagging it as Premium Content because the creation of these tables required the DataQuick data, for which I pay through the nose, in addition to a substantial amount of time spent writing code to mine the data. (Forgive the excuses, but someone was recently bagging on me on another website because I charge a fee for access to certain content—so I felt compelled to explain why I do this).

(category: )

Worst Shortage Ever: Downtown Edition

Submitted by Rich Toscano on February 3, 2006 - 12:24pm

Will Carless at the Voice of San Diego released a column yesterday, hot on the heels of my own, about the building climate in downtown. Central to the story is a builder who has gotten land, designs, permitting, and everything else ready to start building—but is instead just trying to sell the project and bail out. Of course, this is just one project and one builder, but it may be indicative of things to come. One real estate agent is quoted as saying that the boom attracted a lot of inexperienced people to the downtown building game: "In the heyday, a monkey could be a developer in downtown."

(category: )

Housing Market Report: January 2006

Submitted by Rich Toscano on January 31, 2006 - 11:56pm

Below I will crunch the local housing price, sales volume, and inventory numbers to get an in-depth look at where the San Diego market stands and where it's likely to go in the months ahead.

(category: )

Downtown San Diego's Condo Onslaught

Submitted by Rich Toscano on January 27, 2006 - 10:15am

The Voice has another housing-related piece today, this one on the burgeoning condo oversupply in downtown San Diego.

As Premium users learned a couple months back, downtown (otherwise known as Craneville, CA) has an 18 month inventory of condos listed for resale on the MLS. This means that at the rate at which sales took place in 2005, it would take 18 months for all the resale condos to be sold. This doesn't even include new non-MLS listed condos that may be for sale, nor does it include condos under construction that may come online for sale during the next 18 months.

(category: )

Worst Shortage Ever

Submitted by Rich Toscano on January 24, 2006 - 10:31pm

Regarding my post on the Myth of the Housing Shortage, one commenter suggested that I look at jobs vs. housing supply instead of of population vs. housing supply. I have done so below, with surprising results:

(category: )