Despite Rebound, Home Sales Historically Weak

Submitted by Rich Toscano on September 17, 2009 - 8:54am

Home sales may have recovered strongly from the depths they plumbed in 2007 and 2008, but they are still anemic when compared to San Diego sales activity over the past couple of decades.

You wouldn't know it from looking at a chart of historical home sales. The number of sales, indicated by the blue line in the following graph, has recently vaulted up to the upper part of the historical range:

But it's not quite that simple. (Is it ever?)

continue reading at voiceofsandiego.org

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Submitted by recordsclerk on September 17, 2009 - 9:33am.

The limited supply is limiting the amount of sales. There are more buyers avialable then supply at this point. It would be nice to see more available homes to clear out some of this madness/demand. We are receiving multiple bids (over 20)on our house that won't even appraise at these astronomical offers. I have to wonder how many more sales there would be if inventory was higher.

Submitted by AN on September 17, 2009 - 10:07am.

I think the 2nd chart would be better if you compare sales vs home supply (the total # of housing unit in SD, not the # of housing for sale, since I know you don't have that data) instead of sales vs population. If you want to compare sales vs population, you should also factor in household size change as well.

Submitted by moneymaker on September 17, 2009 - 2:22pm.

I don't see how household size would be a correlating factor. Inventory does seem to be down, has any one driven through a mobile home park lately, seems to be plenty of inventory there. I know it's not really real estate, but with so many people downsizing you would think there would be a market for cheaper housing.

Submitted by AN on September 17, 2009 - 2:27pm.

It's a correlating factor because he's comparing sales vs population. Not everyone in a house hold is looking to buy a house. If your average household size increased, it probably means that more kids per pair of parents. They add to population size but not to buyer pool. BTW, the inventory I'm talking about is not inventory of for sale property but total number of homes in the county. It might be easier to get that data than inventory of for sale homes.

Submitted by Nor-LA-SD-guy on September 17, 2009 - 4:11pm.

recordsclerk wrote:
The limited supply is limiting the amount of sales. There are more buyers avialable then supply at this point. It would be nice to see more available homes to clear out some of this madness/demand. We are receiving multiple bids (over 20)on our house that won't even appraise at these astronomical offers. I have to wonder how many more sales there would be if inventory was higher.

I hate to be a party pooper but to point out the obvious

If the prices were higher (the appraisers were allowed to up the apprised value) there would be more available inventory almost instantly.

Right now I think you have a weird thing happening where appraisers are now being too cautious, and the banks doing the same.

And I would also point out that yes nationally there is a huge oversupply of empty single family homes, but locally, in most of Socal (esp Coastal Socal) that is just not the case IMO, maybe apartments but not single family homes.

Submitted by Nor-LA-SD-guy on September 17, 2009 - 4:03pm.

Dup

Submitted by rushtonjj on September 17, 2009 - 5:38pm.

The piece I see here that no one has mentioned is the November 30th deadline for that $8000. Couldn't that be the real reason for folks going nuts and trying to buy houses now. I know I am very interested, but at the same time I'm frustrated because those houses that should not be leaping up 50K are unnaturally jumping because folks want that tax break and are ready to buy. At least we know that the lending market is no longer frozen. It's more a point of wondering if I'll be able to get into the market... Maybe that $8000 tax break just ain't worth the frustration of bidding for a property...

Submitted by Nor-LA-SD-guy on September 17, 2009 - 6:18pm.

rushtonjj wrote:
The piece I see here that no one has mentioned is the November 30th deadline for that $8000. Couldn't that be the real reason for folks going nuts and trying to buy houses now. I know I am very interested, but at the same time I'm frustrated because those houses that should not be leaping up 50K are unnaturally jumping because folks want that tax break and are ready to buy. At least we know that the lending market is no longer frozen. It's more a point of wondering if I'll be able to get into the market... Maybe that $8000 tax break just ain't worth the frustration of bidding for a property...

Yep that is part of the story, but the other part is that very few Home owners want to sell at the current price level (unless forced), so that is limiting the inventory to foreclosures or owners who are being forced to sell one way or the other.

Submitted by justinmac on September 17, 2009 - 8:38pm.

Bravo, Rich! Very sober analysis IMHO. I will continue to check this site as it's an important source to glean market direction.

Submitted by jpinpb on September 17, 2009 - 10:36pm.

A few people have suggested that 8k credit is not incentive enough to buy. WSJ article was excellent and the part that I really thought made sense was:

"The tax credit's effectiveness depends largely on its longevity. That's because many of the home sales analysts think it has spurred have been stolen from the future, luring buyers into the market who might not otherwise have bought until next year or beyond. When the credit expires, that demand will disappear, too.

"All it does is move demand forward in time," says Kenneth Rosen, chairman of the Fisher Center for Real Estate and Urban Economics at the University of California, Berkeley. "The last six months, we've seen signs of a housing bottom. We could easily see that disappear."

Of course, the government and NAR, et al., know this, which is why they're gearing up for the 15k credit.

Submitted by sdduuuude on September 17, 2009 - 11:19pm.

Be curious to see these plots expressed in (real) dollars sold, rather than in housing units sold, normalized by population as you did already.

I know. I know. You give and you give and all I do is ask and ask.

Submitted by CA renter on September 18, 2009 - 12:26am.

If you consider that we are essentially back to 0% down -- with the $8,000 tax credit, and what appears to be even more seller kick-backs of approx. 3% of the purchase price +?...and the 3.5% FHA loans -- the fact that sales are not nearing peak sales levels is what's surprising.

Quite frankly, I believe if they brought 50% more inventory to market, that would disappear rather quickly, too.

The bubble is still very much alive.
------------------

Thank you so much for your research, Rich.

Submitted by justinmac on September 18, 2009 - 10:40am.

Wow...Zandi the most Bearish of them all?

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/home-pr...

Submitted by Rich Toscano on September 18, 2009 - 11:01am.

From the Zandi article:

On a regional basis, Moody's said hard-hit states such as Florida and California will be among the last to recover and "will only regain their pre-bust peak in the early 2030s, well after the nation does."

I think this is a ridiculous forecast.

SoCal home prices will never regain their REAL price highs again (at least not in our lifetime). But in NOMINAL terms, they will hit new highs much, much sooner than the early 2030s...

BTW on another topic Zandi was recently seen pimping for the renewed/increased $8k homebuyer bribe.

rich

Submitted by DWCAP on September 18, 2009 - 2:05pm.

AN wrote:
It's a correlating factor because he's comparing sales vs population. Not everyone in a house hold is looking to buy a house. If your average household size increased, it probably means that more kids per pair of parents. They add to population size but not to buyer pool. BTW, the inventory I'm talking about is not inventory of for sale property but total number of homes in the county. It might be easier to get that data than inventory of for sale homes.

Rich used Labor force as a proxy for population, so children shouldnt affect the numbers, unless you know of a bunch of sweatshops using children. (in which case why the FRAk havn't you reported it?) :)

Submitted by AN on September 18, 2009 - 2:56pm.

DWCAP wrote:

Rich used Labor force as a proxy for population, so children shouldnt affect the numbers, unless you know of a bunch of sweatshops using children. (in which case why the FRAk havn't you reported it?) :)

A family with 2 working parents and a 8 year old 10 years ago now have a 18 year old working teenager. All 3 still living in the same house. That's one example I can give you as to why household size plays a role when you compare sales vs population, even if it's only labor force. Another would be 10 years ago, dad is the only one working and mom stayed home raising the kids. Now, kids are in school and mom goes back to work. All of a sudden, you have more workers. But that doesn't mean there are more home buyers.

Submitted by Rich Toscano on September 18, 2009 - 4:26pm.

AN - The ratio of household population to labor force changed by just 1.2% between 1990 and 2009, per SANDAG and BLS data. So swapping them out wouldn't have noticeable impact on these graphs.

sdduuuude - I'm curious, what are you hoping to learn from the graph of $ spent on housing? It seems like it will be driven mostly by whether homes are over- or under-priced.

rich

Submitted by AN on September 18, 2009 - 4:32pm.

Rich Toscano wrote:
AN - The ratio of household population to labor force changed by just 1.2% between 1990 and 2009, per SANDAG and BLS data. So swapping them out wouldn't have noticeable impact on these graphs.

Good to know. Thanks.

Submitted by patientrenter on September 18, 2009 - 10:27pm.

Nor-LA-SD-guy wrote:
...
Yep that is part of the story, but the other part is that very few Home owners want to sell at the current price level (unless forced), so that is limiting the inventory to foreclosures or owners who are being forced to sell one way or the other.

And the other, other part of the story is that forced sales are being artificially limited by govt pressure on banks not to foreclose, new govt programs to refi at over 100% LTV, and state moratoriums.....

Submitted by urbanrealtor on September 19, 2009 - 3:05pm.

Can we see break out of sales per active listing?

Submitted by Rich Toscano on September 19, 2009 - 3:32pm.

urbanrealtor wrote:
Can we see break out of sales per active listing?

I would love to but I don't have that historical data... do you know of a source?

rich

Submitted by urbanrealtor on September 19, 2009 - 8:21pm.

Rich Toscano wrote:
urbanrealtor wrote:
Can we see break out of sales per active listing?

I would love to but I don't have that historical data... do you know of a source?

rich


Possibly.
At lease for the last 10 years.
I don't honestly know if the SD boards were unified (like with sandicor) prior to the electronic version though...
Still, I imagine the data exists....
Damn now you have me on a project.

Submitted by sdduuuude on September 21, 2009 - 12:23pm.

Market size.
Amount of mortagaes flowing.
Amount of commission dollars flowing into the RE industry.

It's a perspective that is rarely given. If sales and volme both cut in half, many people look at that as "half" as bad.

In terms of market size, though, it is really 75% down.

Submitted by Rich Toscano on September 25, 2009 - 2:50pm.

sdduuuude- Thanks for the chart suggestions -- these can be found here:

http://www.voiceofsandiego.org/articles/...
and comments can be left here:

http://piggington.com/historical_home_sa...

Rich

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