San Diego Housing Market News and Analysis
~Welcome to the Econo-Almanac~
I started this website in mid-2004 to chronicle San Diego’s spectacular housing bubble. The purpose of the site remains, as ever, to provide objective and evidence-based analysis of the San Diego housing market. A quick guide to the site follows:
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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:
Hmmm... sounds pretty good so far. But read on...
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.
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:
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:
Submitted by Rich Toscano on February 20, 2006 - 9:29am
Rates are on the rise again, Bernanke has given us some hints as to what's in store for his first few months, and two US Senators threaten to inadvertently burst the housing bubble in March. The various goings-on in the credit markets, and their likely effect on San Diego housing, are discussed below.
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:
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.
Submitted by Rich Toscano on February 14, 2006 - 10:58am
This post may only appeal to those among you who are really into the global finance aspect of things, but here goes. A couple sites I read have recently discussed the "Dark Matter" theory that's become all the rage. The very short version of this theory is that since the US makes a net profit on its foreign investments, it must actually be a net creditor, instead of a net debtor as everyone thinks. The dark matter in question consists of those apparently unmeasurable assets that turn our national balance sheet positive.
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!
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.
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).
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."
Submitted by Rich Toscano on February 1, 2006 - 9:47am
Gentle Ben is now at the helm. My friend Tim Iacono said it best:
I suppose I should write a missive about how things might go down now that Bernanke has taken over the Fed... but I pretty much already wrote it back in October when they announced that Benito had gotten the nod. Good luck, Ben... you're going to need it.
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.
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.
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