September 2020 housing data -- more of the same

Submitted by Rich Toscano on October 9, 2020 - 2:46pm
September pretty much looked like August -- sales steady, inventory even a bit lower, and prices popping in response to the low supply/high demand. Charts below...

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Submitted by XBoxBoy on October 10, 2020 - 4:11pm.

Rich, thanks so much for doing this!

So it looks like real estate in SD had a 13% gain year over year. Stop and think about that. It's crazy! We've had gains significantly above inflation for so many years, it's just become nuts. I'd love to see a chart that compared YOY inflation and SD YOY home price gains and salary gains for the last two decades. I bet that chart would really show how crazy things have become.


Submitted by Rich Toscano on October 10, 2020 - 4:51pm.

Hi xbox, nice to hear from you. Yeah, it's pretty nuts and you are right, we really need an update of the valuation charts. Those are kind of a pain to update but it's on my list to do it soon! :-)

Submitted by gzz on October 12, 2020 - 12:05pm.

That 13% is a beautiful number, but it is a little inflated because Sept 2019 was a pretty bad month, -2% YOY.

So we're really only up about 11% over two years, Sept 2018 to Sept 2020.

Here are some additional headlines:

Rents fall in college areas, rise elsewhere:

I looked at other sources, which indicate that other than college rental markets, rents declined a little in March/April then recovered to slightly above their 2019 levels.

Agent says market is white hot:

SF rents down 24% from their 2015 peak, Oakland down about 6% from more recent peak.

That translates to 1-bedroom average rent declining from 3700 at peak to 2800 now.

Submitted by davelj on October 28, 2020 - 11:32am.

Rich - I'm sort of mystified by the chart for condo prices. As you know, I sold a unit in Cortez Hill back in 2015. I just checked the Zestimate and it's maybe 10% higher than what I sold it for 5 years ago. And the rest of the building looks pretty similar. But the charts suggest SD condo prices are way way up over the last 5 years. I'm just trying to make sense of it - maybe the building is unique in some way. But I wouldn't think so.

Submitted by Rich Toscano on October 28, 2020 - 2:07pm.

Idunno but I'd guess it's about the region... my #s are for San Diego county as a whole. Based on what you're saying I'd guess the downtown region went up less than the rest of the county...

Submitted by gzz on October 30, 2020 - 6:03pm.

Downtown is the worst performing major market in San Diego. The only places that might be worse are more minor markets with a lot of bubble era fraud in south county, like the condo conversion complexes in San Ysidro.

In most areas condos are way above their 2005-07 peaks. Downtown still isn't.

One interesting building to follow is Discovery at 850 Beech.

I lived there for a few months when the complex was new, it is really nice and high end. I loved the large rooftop pool and hot tub. Most of the units had two non-tandem garage spots, and it wasn't a tight stressful garage.

It was basically the first condo mega-project of the "bubble wave" of the 2000s.

Prices really aren't that much higher than in the early 2000s. For example, unit 407:

10/22/2002 $382,000
10/29/2020 $512,500

By contrast, here's a recent sale pair from the largest condo complex in my 92107 zip:

4444 W Point Loma Blvd #36

03/15/2002 $142,800
10/15/2020 $319,000

+113% versus +34%. Now the 113% increase had a reno at some point that looks great, and Discovery's most basic non-upgraded units were still very lux with granite/stainless kitchens and high end fixtures, so probably hasn't been substantially upgraded.

The main explanation I have for this is that downtown had more construction than any other area aside from distant suburbs, and that supply held down prices. It also seems like Covid fears relating to elevators has caused downtown to miss out on the 15% jump in prices we're enjoying elsewhere.

Submitted by sdrealtor on November 2, 2020 - 10:21am.

What g said. Downtown and in particular Cortez Hill area has performed very poorly. In late 04 I bought a condo in Encintas in high 300s and flipped it a few months later after a remodel in Spring 05 for low 500s. That price stood as a record for 13 years. Now it's worth mid 600s

Submitted by gzz on November 3, 2020 - 1:17pm.

Cortez Hill in particular?

I liked it back when I lived there. It reminds me of the Upper West Side of Manhattan, mostly upscale residential towers with local scale service businesses mixed in. At least in my building, there were wonderful views from all four sides and even on the bottom floors due to the hill location. I was only on the 3rd floor out of about 23, and I had a sweeping view of Balboa Park and lower elevation parts of downtown. Construction quality was high, no neighbor noise from the sides or above.

Nice easy access to the 163.

Downside was my job downtown was a 1.2 mile walk. That's a tad far to walk daily.

I wouldn't hesitate to live there again if I wanted to move back downtown. There was not a homeless problem in Cortez Hill back then, perhaps that's changed.

Submitted by sdrealtor on November 3, 2020 - 3:16pm.

FWIW it inventory seemed to sit up there and East Village more than other parts. Mostly anecdotal rather than checking specifics but everytime I was down there with clients and investigating the market that seemed to be the case for whatever reason

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