San Diego Real Estate and Community News

June 29, 2020

Buyers Have Returned, But What About Sellers?

In March, when the pandemic took hold and things started shutting down, many home buyers and sellers put their spring plans on hold. The start of the housing market's typical sales season was delayed indefinitely as Americans took a wait-and-see attitude. Now, three months later, local economies have reopened and consumers have started to adjust to new safety measures. But what has happened to the plans of those home buyers and sellers? Well, according to new numbers from the National Association of Realtors' consumer website, home buyers have returned to the market much faster than sellers. In fact, buyer demand has bounced back in full, while new listings are down 19 percent from where they were last year at the same time. That means, a lot of homeowners who were planning to sell have yet to put their homes on the market. How many of them eventually do, and when, will help determine where home prices are headed, how much competition buyers face, and how quickly the homes that are for sale end up selling this summer.

June 26, 2020

Homes For Sale Are Selling Quickly

Buying a home takes a while. But though the process takes several weeks, you won't necessarily have a lot of time to deliberate once you've found a house you like. In most cases, you have to make an offer quickly or you'll risk losing the home to another buyer. That's because, in the current market, inventory is low. The number of homes for sale was already lower than normal before the coronavirus and, since the onset of the pandemic, it's fallen further. So, when you've found a house that fits your budget and lifestyle, chances are someone else has found it too. And competition from other buyers means you have to be prepared to move fast. How fast? Well, according to one new analysis, the typical home sold in June had an offer accepted within 22 days of it being listed. That's the fastest homes have sold since the summer of 2018. And, while there are some cities where homes stay on the market longer, 29 of the 35 largest metros are seeing homes sell faster than they were last year at the same time. That means, in most markets, there are more buyers than homes for sale. So, if you're planning on buying this summer, you should also plan to move quickly when you find the house you want.

June 25, 2020

New Home Buyers Lead Sales Rebound

New home sales are a good indicator of what's currently happening in the housing market. This is due to the fact that they're counted when a contract to buy is signed, rather than at closing like existing-home sales. That's also why new numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development are good news for the market's recovery. According to the most recent results, sales of newly built single-family homes rose 16.6 percent in May from the month before and are now 12.7 percent higher than they were last year at the same time. The strength of the rebound was unexpected, as economists were predicting gains but thought sales would rise just 2.9 percent month-over-month. That the improvement was as strong as it was is an indication that home buyers – many of whom were sidelined by coronavirus shutdowns in March and April – became much more active in May. Along with other recent data showing signs of a rebound, May's new-home sales numbers are reason to be optimistic that the housing market's recovery will continue to gain strength as the summer goes on. 

June 15, 2020

How Has The Pandemic Affected Buyer Demand?

When stay-at-home orders became widespread in March, it would've been safe to assume that the economic shutdown and ensuing uncertainty would cause prospective home buyers to put their plans on hold. And they did, for a while. But now, just a few months later, it looks like staying in has caused buyers to be even more ready for a move. In fact, according to one new survey, 53 percent of home buyers say they are more likely to buy a home in the next year because of the pandemic – compared to 27 percent who said they hadn't changed their plans and 20 percent who said they'd be less likely to buy. But why would the coronavirus make home buyers more enthusiastic to buy? Well, the vast majority said mortgage rates. Rates were already favorable to start the year but are now at record lows. That makes buying more affordable and presents movers with an opportunity to lock in a historically low rate. Another reason is Americans have been able to save money during lockdown because they've been spending less. That means more money set aside for a down payment. Perhaps the most relatable reason survey respondents gave, though, belongs to the 28 percent who said they were ready to make a move because they'd been stuck in their small space for so long.

June 8, 2020

New Home Construction Moves To Outer Suburbs

Before you start looking at homes, you have to make some decisions. Where you'd like to live should be among the first. After all, you can't begin to calculate the costs and whether or not you can afford them without knowing what areas you'll be targeting. For example, would you prefer a place in the city or a house in the suburbs? Well, if new home construction is any indicator, many Americans are making the decision to move further away from city centers and into the inner and outer suburbs. According to a new report from the National Association of Home Builders, construction activity has been increasing in low-density markets for a while now. For example, their Home Building Geography Index recently showed the strongest growth in the outlying suburbs of small metro areas. And that trend is likely to be exacerbated by the effects of the coronavirus. For one, the pandemic hit high-density areas the hardest, which may lead people to want a home away from the densely populated urban core. Another factor is the increasing number of people working from home. Americans who no longer have to consider their commute to work are more likely to be comfortable living further from the city. Whatever the case, the trend is clear. Americans are ready to spread out and home builders have noticed.

June 5, 2020

Pets Play A Role When Buyers Look For Homes

If you've ever had a pet, you know that they quickly become a member of the family. And, for most pet owners, keeping them healthy, happy, and comfortable is important. That much isn't a surprise. What may be, though, is just how much pet owners make them a priority. For example, a recent survey found that 95 percent of prospective home buyers who owned a pet said their furry friends would be at least somewhat important when choosing a home to buy. The vast majority ranked their pets' needs as “extremely” or “very important,” with 84 percent saying so. That's nearly unanimous. But, if you're thinking they'd change their minds if they found an otherwise perfect home that wasn't a fit for their animal companions, you'd be wrong. In fact, 68 percent of participants said they'd pass on a perfect house, if it didn't meet the needs of their pet. The survey, based on responses from more than 2,000 people, also found that it wasn't just dog and cat owners who were so devoted to their pets. Among bird owners, 89 percent said their needs were extremely or very important, with almost as many fish, reptile, rodent, and horse owners saying the same.

June 3, 2020

Home Prices Increase 5.4% In April

The housing market, like any market, is a balance of supply and demand. That means, conditions are a reflection of how many buyers and sellers there are, rather than the strength or weakness of the overall economy. For example, when coronavirus mitigation efforts shut down much of the country's economy, there was a lot of speculation about what would happen to prices. But, though the economy suffered, home prices didn't. In fact, they rose. According to the most recent CoreLogic Home Price Index Report, home prices increased 5.4 percent in April over last year at the same time. And, not only did they improve, they did so at a stronger pace than last April, when they were up just 3.6 percent. So why did home price gains accelerate while the economy was suffering a severe downturn? Well, it's pretty simple, actually. When stay-at-home orders went into place, many home sellers pulled their listings and decided to wait a while before selling. The corresponding drop in for-sale inventory meant there were more home buyers than homes for sale, which led to more competition for available homes, bidding wars, and higher prices.

June 1, 2020

Home Office Space Added To More Wishlists

The coronavirus and efforts to slow its spread have caused big changes to Americans' day-to-day routine. From becoming more reliant on delivery services to doing more of our own cooking, we've had to rethink the way we live our lives and get things done. Among those changes, working from home has been a big one. Modern technology has made it easier for more people to work from wherever they are. And now that the pandemic has more of us working remotely, it's beginning to change the way we think about our living space and what we need. For example, one recent analysis found an increasing number of Americans who would make a move if allowed to work remotely long term. But it isn't only our ideas about where we'd like to live that have changed, it's also the features we look for in a house. The survey found the majority of respondents who are working from home said they're working from a room that isn't a dedicated office. That's led to an increase in interest in homes that have an office, or at least enough extra space to find a quiet spot to get some work done.

May 26, 2020

Homes For Sale Still Selling Quickly

New numbers from the National Association of Realtors show homes for sale sold quickly in April. In fact, the typical property was on the market for just 27 days, with 56 percent of homes selling in less than a month. But while homes for sale didn't stay on the market long, the total number of sales tumbled from one month earlier. According to the report, April sales fell 17.8 percent from the month before and are now down 17.2 percent year-over-year. The monthly decline was the largest since July 2010, when sales fell 22.5 percent. Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist, said the coronavirus-related lockdowns were responsible for the drop. “The economic lockdowns – occurring from mid-March through April in most states – have temporarily disrupted home sales,” Yun said. “But the listings that are on the market are still attracting buyers and boosting home prices.” That means, though the coronavirus has had a significant impact on sales and inventory, the balance of buyers and sellers has remained relatively unchanged. For example, at the current sales pace, there was about a 4.1-month supply of unsold homes in April - which is roughly the same as last April, despite a nearly 20 percent drop in inventory

May 22, 2020

Homes Are 8% More Affordable Than Last Year

Affordability is always a top concern for buyers. After all, when you're thinking about buying a home, there are few considerations more important than whether or not you can afford it. So how has the coronavirus affected affordability and what does it mean for prospective buyers? Well, according to a new analysis from the National Association of Realtors, the numbers look good for home shoppers. In fact, homes listed for sale during the first quarter of 2020 were 8 percent more affordable compared to the same period in 2019. Danielle Hale, chief economist for the group's consumer website, says the COVID pandemic has lowered mortgage rates and allowed buyers to get a better deal. “The lack of affordable homes for sale has been the No. 1 issue facing home buyers for the last several years,” Hale said. “The COVID pandemic has eased the affordability side of the equation by lowering interest rates, but it has also prompted many sellers to delay listing their homes. As buyers return, we'll need to see sellers come back for the housing market to normalize.” That's true. For example, the report shows that out of every 1,000 households just eight were listed for sale. That's a considerable drop from the long-term average which is 17 listings per 1,000 households.