January 2012 Resale Data Rodeo

Submitted by Rich Toscano on February 19, 2012 - 6:24pm

The median price per square foot of sold San Diego homes dropped once again in January:



This price measure was actually up for condos by .2%, but it was down by a full 2.0% for the (more reliable) single family home series and down 1.4% in aggregate.  (It's interesting, though I don't thin particularly meaningful, that the often volatile condo series has been flat as the proverbial pancake over the past several months).  Year-over-year, the median price per square foot was down 4.2% for single family homes, up 5.5% for condos, and down 1.3% in aggregate.  (Condos had spiked down in January of 2011, hence the favorable y-o-y comparison).

The proxy for the Case-Shiller index, based on a three-month average of the single family median price per square foot, declined by 1.3% for the month and 5.6% for the year:



Same charts as above, aligned with the calendar year... we are getting near the end of the weak season for home prices:





The number of closed sales was right in the middle of the typical range of the past several years (though slightly higher than in January 2011, by 5.4%):



Pending sales, however, were higher than in recent years, and up 11.9% from a year ago.



Inventory for sale was precisely where it was in January of 2010, oddly enough, but 17.6% below last January's level:



Thus, months of inventory improved quite a bit as well.  January 2012's months of inventory figure was the lowest in nearly 2 years, and was 26.3% below last year's level.



If inventory remains this tight, and if rates remain at their current depths, we could start to see some price improvements as the spring season rolls around.

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Submitted by sdrealtor on February 20, 2012 - 11:18am.

All very much inline with what I observed and mentioned back in early December. Prices flat for most of last year and then wham the last couple months of the year. The inventory drop from July to the end of the year was much more dramatic compared with prior years also.

More and more I am convinced we are at the point I have been waiting for the last 5 years. Prices at or near a bottom but hard to find something you like at a fair market price. There are some nice homes out there but they tend to be pushing the market pricewise. Buyers are flocking to good AND well priced homes. Its not easy out there for those still looking.

Submitted by woodrow on February 21, 2012 - 12:54pm.

Agree with sdrealtor. Prices continuing to trickle down in Pt. Loma/OB area, but when something extremely nice comes on the market, buyers are bidding against each other. Case in pt - this property was listed for $595k and ended up selling for $680k. http://www.sdlookup.com/Pictures-120000028

Submitted by desmond on February 21, 2012 - 3:21pm.

That is really a nice house, btw here is the recent sales history for it:

02/17/2012 $680,000
03/14/2008 $600,000
10/24/2005 $848,000
10/10/2002 $642,000
11/10/1999 $450,000
08/20/1997 $339,000

Submitted by ctr70 on February 21, 2012 - 7:04pm.

Thanks Desmond. I'm always amazed at how cheap San Diego was in price pre-2001. I was living up in the Bay Area back then, and up there it was STILL really expensive in 1999, 2000, 2001. But San Diego was extremely undervalued back then, even with a booming economy in 1999. Even after this huge crash SFR's in the decent parts of town aren't even close to going back to 2001 prices, and they won't ever get back there IMO.

Submitted by Jazzman on February 22, 2012 - 10:31am.

sdrealtor wrote:
All very much inline with what I observed and mentioned back in early December. Prices flat for most of last year and then wham the last couple months of the year. The inventory drop from July to the end of the year was much more dramatic compared with prior years also.

More and more I am convinced we are at the point I have been waiting for the last 5 years. Prices at or near a bottom but hard to find something you like at a fair market price. There are some nice homes out there but they tend to be pushing the market pricewise. Buyers are flocking to good AND well priced homes. Its not easy out there for those still looking.

Yep, this is my experience exactly. Although I'd say for as long as the seasonal downs are stronger than the seasonal ups, that is down overall in my book, but I concede price declines have lost their previous impetus, which when you consider why, is the reason I (and many others) will never buy in California, or any other bubble-prone-still-over-priced place. And to show I practice what I preach, my wife and I have recently had an offer accepted on a new 1,400 sq ft townhouse in Maui at $270 per sq ft, somewhat better value than many of the coastal areas in CA, which are often double that for a similarly sized SFH. And, hey it's Maui. Although, it's not the home we really want, our plan is to get a second more substantial home in France where you can still find good value (not to be confused with affordability). Not a very practical solution, but I'm fracked if I'm going to pay what I consider a small fortune for some unappealing structure with decades of deferred maintenance ...anywhere. So baby-boomer sellers go stick your head where the sun don't shine. (I can say that since I'm one of them)

Submitted by sdrealtor on February 22, 2012 - 11:31am.

What part of Maui? Napili is one of my favorite places in the world and I make an annual trek there. When I was there in October I was talking to some locals and their prices have been hammered like the hardest hit areas on the mainland. Does it have a guest room?;)

Submitted by Jazzman on February 22, 2012 - 1:03pm.

Lahaina. Prices got hammered in Maui and probably still are being decimated. We originally worked on REOs and distressed homes in S Kihei, and wore a bank down getting a pretty good deal on a new 5/4 SFH, but pulled out when we discovered the water costs just to keep the yard green, which is compulsory. Water is in crisis and electricity is very high with few taking advantage of plentiful sun with PVs and solar ??? But property tax is probably the lowest in the country. Yes, we have an extra room for all perma-bears.

Submitted by permabear on February 23, 2012 - 12:49pm.

The next 10 years will be interesting for real estate, as baby boomers downsize and die off, and the next generation that is supposed to build the bottom of the pyramid continue to emerge from college saddled with too much debt to buy a home.

http://articles.businessinsider.com/2011...

Jazzman wrote:
our plan is to get a second more substantial home in France where you can still find good value (not to be confused with affordability).

I was looking at this recently, and there are some awesome values in the South of France, and the Spanish/Italian coastline. Getting residency in the EU is the big hurdle, though.

Submitted by CA renter on February 26, 2012 - 1:49am.

Jazzman wrote:
sdrealtor wrote:
All very much inline with what I observed and mentioned back in early December. Prices flat for most of last year and then wham the last couple months of the year. The inventory drop from July to the end of the year was much more dramatic compared with prior years also.

More and more I am convinced we are at the point I have been waiting for the last 5 years. Prices at or near a bottom but hard to find something you like at a fair market price. There are some nice homes out there but they tend to be pushing the market pricewise. Buyers are flocking to good AND well priced homes. Its not easy out there for those still looking.

Yep, this is my experience exactly. Although I'd say for as long as the seasonal downs are stronger than the seasonal ups, that is down overall in my book, but I concede price declines have lost their previous impetus, which when you consider why, is the reason I (and many others) will never buy in California, or any other bubble-prone-still-over-priced place. And to show I practice what I preach, my wife and I have recently had an offer accepted on a new 1,400 sq ft townhouse in Maui at $270 per sq ft, somewhat better value than many of the coastal areas in CA, which are often double that for a similarly sized SFH. And, hey it's Maui. Although, it's not the home we really want, our plan is to get a second more substantial home in France where you can still find good value (not to be confused with affordability). Not a very practical solution, but I'm fracked if I'm going to pay what I consider a small fortune for some unappealing structure with decades of deferred maintenance ...anywhere. So baby-boomer sellers go stick your head where the sun don't shine. (I can say that since I'm one of them)

Just saw this! Congratulations, Jazzman!!!!! It sounds like you've done far better than most of us (showing my bias WRT where we'd really rather live). Lucky, lucky you!!!! :)

Let us know how the deal goes as you move through escrow. Hope it works out for you.

Do you not have any constraints WRT locating for a job? If not, then what an awesome move for you guys.

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