August 2015 Housing Data Rodeo

Submitted by Rich Toscano on September 10, 2015 - 9:19am
While the scarcity of inventory has eased a bit, supply is still pretty tight in the grand scheme of things.  Prices have accordingly continued to be pressured upwards, with the price per square foot experiencing a 2% pop last month.  Here are the MoM and YoY stats...



...and here is the single graph that I think best sums up the state of things (showing as it does the relationship between months of inventory and price changes, as well as recent trends in both those things):



As in prior months, I wouldn't expect much relief for buyers until that all-important months of inventory figure increases in a more durable manner:





Looking over this month's graphs, one kind of arbitrary milestone that caught my eye was this: the Case-Shiller index (using my estimate of same, for the last couple months), has now risen by 50% from the 2009 nominal price trough.  Of course, that was 6.5 years ago... although the vast majority of the price increase has taken place in the last 3.5 years.

That plus a slew of other graphs can be found below... happy shortened work-week to all.
























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Submitted by poorgradstudent on September 16, 2015 - 2:47pm.

Thanks as always, Rich!

Submitted by gzz on September 17, 2015 - 2:50am.

2.2 months of active inventory and sub-4 rates means another year of 10% price increases.

Rich, why do you think contingent keeps on dropping? Those were elevated because of short sales that take a long time to close. Are there really any short sales left out there?

It dropped from about 4,000 to 500, but keeps on dropping more each month.

Submitted by Escoguy on September 18, 2015 - 10:16am.

I think inventory is even worse than the tables reflect:

If you go on zip realty and filter out properties over 1M and put in 1,000 sf min + 2 BR, then it's only 4256 properties remaining for sale.

Drop the price to 750K and there are only 3448 properties left.

Put on 3BR and 750K max price, then 2774.

At the 600K price point, about 1600 3BR SFHs remain. Adding to sf 1750+ leaves about 758 SFHs. And this is county wide!!!

So the practical level for 95% of the buyers is much smaller than the graphs indicate.

Submitted by Rich Toscano on September 19, 2015 - 10:35am.

gzz wrote:
2.2 months of active inventory and sub-4 rates means another year of 10% price increases.

That's not really how it works... months of inventory only really predicts the very short term. If it stayed at 2.2 months all year, then I'd agree we could be looking at an annual price increase on that scale. But, there is no way of knowing whether months of inventory will change substantially at some point.

gzz wrote:

Rich, why do you think contingent keeps on dropping? Those were elevated because of short sales that take a long time to close. Are there really any short sales left out there?

I assume it's just fewer short sales because of fewer people in default as time goes on, but I haven't really looked into it too much. Not sure if it's long-delayed short sales, or new ones... but there are so few at this point that they can probably be ignored.

I only really include short sale info now to contrast with the past. For instance, it looked like inventory this spring was about the same as it was in spring 2013, but this is actually not really true because in 2013, a lot of the inventory was short sales (which is really quasi-inventory as it's not really available)... so actual for-sale houses were a lot scarcer then. (Hence the huge price ramp).

Submitted by bearishgurl on September 21, 2015 - 8:52am.

Escoguy wrote:
I think inventory is even worse than the tables reflect:

If you go on zip realty and filter out properties over 1M and put in 1,000 sf min + 2 BR, then it's only 4256 properties remaining for sale.

Drop the price to 750K and there are only 3448 properties left.

Put on 3BR and 750K max price, then 2774.

At the 600K price point, about 1600 3BR SFHs remain. Adding to sf 1750+ leaves about 758 SFHs. And this is county wide!!!

So the practical level for 95% of the buyers is much smaller than the graphs indicate.

Escoguy, you often come up with inventory stats which I feel are fairly meaningless. Do you think 1600 available SFR resales at <=$600K is not enough? How many homebuyers for SD County SFRs in this price range do you think are shopping at any given time?

I really don't see a problem here. The listings are out there and the vast majority will ostensibly sell fairly quickly to buyers who want them and act fast to prove it.

A homebuyer doesn't need hundreds of properties to choose from in any one zip code. Especially for the first-time buyer, having excessive "choice" only confuses them. After looking at dozens of homes, it becomes too difficult to make a decision because they often don't know or understand exactly what they have just seen or how to compare it to other listings they have seen. All this leads to is failing to make a choice, failing to make a timely offer, failing to offer a sufficient amount to garner a counter offer and failing to counter. The end result is that they are still renters and will continue to be until they get their heads on straight and learn how to act quickly when a listing meets most or all of their basic criteria instead of swirling around in the abyss of perpetual "looky-loos."

Submitted by Escoguy on September 21, 2015 - 6:59pm.

bearishgurl

Ok, let's look at a few zip codes if I filter the following way: (on redfin which has the MLS feed)

3BR, SFH +1700 sf, price <$600K, in 92127 there is 1 house
in 92078: 11 homes
in 92027: 23 homes

To clarify, there are not many homes of a decent size (+1700 sf) at a decent price <$600K to choose from. 758 total county wide is not many and when you break it down by zip code, some areas have almost none.

So I get that too much supply can overwhelm, but if there are only a dozen listings to look at, inevitably a few will not fit for obvious reasons such as location, condition etc. So the supply is even tighter than the charts indicate.

If you think I'm missing something, please help me out. Thanks

Submitted by bearishgurl on September 23, 2015 - 3:41pm.

Escoguy wrote:
bearishgurl

Ok, let's look at a few zip codes if I filter the following way: (on redfin which has the MLS feed)

3BR, SFH +1700 sf, price <$600K, in 92127 there is 1 house
in 92078: 11 homes
in 92027: 23 homes

To clarify, there are not many homes of a decent size (+1700 sf) at a decent price <$600K to choose from. 758 total county wide is not many and when you break it down by zip code, some areas have almost none.

So I get that too much supply can overwhelm, but if there are only a dozen listings to look at, inevitably a few will not fit for obvious reasons such as location, condition etc. So the supply is even tighter than the charts indicate.

If you think I'm missing something, please help me out. Thanks

Esco, you've only posted sample zip codes in SD and North County Inland (4S and SM areas). Those areas aren't really representative of what is out there in the county. 4S SFR's tend to be more expensive than $600K because they are fairly new (<15 yrs old) and in the last 15 years, only two types of homes were mainly built (condos/puds and mcmansions). 4S SFR's tend to be larger than the avg home in SD County and thus lean towards the "mcmansion-type." I would say that a good portion of SM is newer construction as well but the listings there are typically lower-priced than 4S.

I maintain that there is more choice in SFR listings in the <$600K range in other SD County zip codes but I do not have time today to bring up the stats (will try to get to it late one eve this week).

First-time buyers (FTBs) are typically in this (<$600K) price range and this group shouldn't be as picky about zip code as historically, FTB's in SD County could not afford to be picky and still consummate a deal. FTB's should have 2-6 zip codes they will consider .... unless they are specifically looking for a home as close to a caregiving relative as possible (childcare/daycare) to make it easier on their kids after school. In this case, they need to work with a highly-experienced neighborhood agent specializing in the area of their relative(s) home(s). This agent will know about the 97-year-old with caregivers on two shifts who isn't going to last much longer, pocket listings and soon-to-be probate listings and other proprietary info to that neighborhood which isn't published on the MLS.

I maintain that EVERY BUYER WHO IS QUALIFIED can successfully buy a home TODAY in SD County. The $64M question is "Will they?" Aside from listings which suffer from obvious economic obsolescence (airport take-off/landing path overhead, constant tire echo from freeway on lot, situated on busy street, etc) and/or have structural defects which would cost many thousands to repair, there are hundreds (if not thousands) of SFR listings in SD County at any given time for the <$600K buyer.

Having "too much choice" actually hinders most buyers (esp FTBs) from being able to consummate a deal as their heads are spinning from being perpetual "looky-loos" while their competition is busily writing offers and counter offers, opening escrow, naming inspectors and services (if applic) and in short, actually consummating a deal. Then, more often than not, when the "looky-loo" wants to revisit a listing from the long lineup of those they recently viewed, there are multiple offers already on it or an offer has already been accepted.

Thus, we have "looky-loos" of every stripe posting here every so often that they have been "looking for" a house in SD County for X amount of weeks/months/years and couldn't find anything and now feel defeated. When asked, the poster invariably admits that they have never actually placed any offers or their agent couldn't get their ONE offer they did place considered by the sellers so they gave up shopping.

Many buyers (esp FTBs) just want to look (and look and look) and move at a snail's pace to decide if they want to make an offer but SD County is not the place to conduct a homebuying expedition in this fashion. If that is the way this group wants to shop, they would be much better off shopping in TX, OK or KS (for example) where there is nearly always a TON of listings of every type of home in nearly every locale (some have been on and off the mkt by the same seller for years). This group can certainly shop for homes at their leisure in flyover country. But if SD County is where they want to buy a home, they need a highly experienced local agent who specializes in their zip codes or micro-areas of choice and they need to listen carefully to and heed their agent's advice if they want to actually end up with a home. A good qualified agent will do fine by a buyer in a tight market.

edit: I want to add here that the homebuyers in the <$600K range by necessity cannot possibly expect to get an accepted offer in perhaps half of the zip codes in SD County. They will be relegated to shop in certain zip codes which have the inventory they are qualified to buy. So it doesn't matter if "some zip codes have no listings," for this group, as you pointed out here, Esco, because this buyer cohort was never meant to buy a property in those zip codes to begin with. The lower-end buyer wasn't able to buy into those zip codes in 1965, 1975 or 1985 and they aren't able to buy into them today (at least not a single family home). Current listing price has nothing to do with it.

Nothing has changed in this regard.

Submitted by Escoguy on September 24, 2015 - 7:57am.

bearishgurl

You are correct that one zip code is SM and on is 4S but the third is Escondido.
I mention these three zip codes because I know them better and own several properties in all three as such I monitor them on a regular basis.

92027 is Escondido and has a wide range of incomes and demographics. So while I agree that it is not surprising that 92127 and 92078 don't have lower priced listings, I was surprised that even greater Escondido has creeped up. Given 92027 is a very large zip code and covers a diverse area.

Middle (and some low) income buyers have been buying in 92027 for decades.

I don't think here are thousands (of well priced/right sized) or even hundreds of homes to choose from. A recruiter told me recently that employment is picking up in North County (Carlsbad/San Marcos), followed by Rancho Bernardo/Carmel Valley. Most will want to live within 15-20 miles if possible so that limits the number of zip codes as even that distance can be an hour commute one way.

I don't mean this as a challenge but if there are zip codes close to key employment centers with ample supply, please point them out as I think it would be good to discuss how those areas might evolve/keep the market sane etc. And I don't mean east of Lakeside. If you see the traffic in the morning going downtown, some people must spend 2-3 hours a day commuting in.

By the way, I did have an excellent agent who helped me three times in those zip codes when inventory was tight two years ago. My point is while the total number of inventory appears the same in absolute numbers the composition (4br/3br etc) appears to have fewer larger properties today as those have been picked up. As such the price per sf is a good indicator of the change.

Submitted by bearishgurl on September 24, 2015 - 10:00pm.

Escoguy, my bad. I was thinking 92127, not 92027. They are completely different animals ... entirely. Yes, 92027 undoubtedly has many more SFR listings in the "under 600K SFR listing category" than does 92127. I'll look at the stats in the eve as time permits in the next few days to bring up the "under 600K SFR market" in SD County relevant zip codes which have good commuting distances to job sites.

Submitted by Escoguy on October 8, 2015 - 11:05am.

Just one more reason why the future is not like the past as hard as that is to realize for some. While this doesn't mean we boom again, it also doesn't mean there will be a collapse.

According to a National Realtors Association survey, the Chinese spent $22 billion on U.S. housing in 12 months through March 2014 — 72% more than they spent the year before! They buy mostly high-end, expensive homes with a median price of over half a million dollars.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-dan...

Submitted by Escoguy on October 12, 2015 - 12:58pm.

Food for thought:

15 Million population change from 2015 to 2020

http://www.census.gov/population/project...

Looks like more an more renters. By 2030, 40M more population forecast.
20M is net international migration.

Just how much of this hits SD is open but overall a 12% population change of the next 15 or so years isn't unreasonable to expect if current policies continue.

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