There's been a lot of talk about "pending sale stats" in the media the last couple of days. The National Association of Realtors® reports that pending sales are on an upward trend and are well above a year ago. As I discussed in last month's blog, there is an inventory shortage in the 92101 zip code and today in an article in RIS Media, NAR's Chief Economist Lawrence Yun noted that with "a sustained downtrend in unsold inventory [it] could bring about a broad price stabilization with LOCAL variations".
The key word is "local". In other words, you can't take an entire county and discuss median prices - there are just too many variables. Consider your neighborhood or zip code or community as "local" and focus on that area when reviewing news reports about your market.
My "local" market, being downtown San Diego (92101) has the following pending stats based on the San Diego (Sandicor) MLS:
1) 77 properties went pending (into escrow) in the last 30 days;
2) The lowest priced pending sale reflects a 365 square foot studio unit with 1 bath listed at $123,750.00;
3) The average priced pending sale was 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1,183 square feet listed at $524,287.00;
4) The highest priced unit was 4 bedrooms, 5 baths at 5,170 square feet listed for $2,250,000.00
Generally and broadly speaking, closed sales are reflecting a 95.5% ratio of final sales price to listing price. This is good news for the downtowners!
If you would prefer to discuss specifics of the local downtown real estate market, please feel free to contact me. I love talking real estate!
'Til next time, Cheri
The inventory of available housing in the downtown San Diego area continues to shrink. As of today (3/2/12) the San Diego MLS reports the following:
Only 178 active listings! This is an incredibly small number for a Metropolitan area.
The least expensive property is a studio unit with 472 square feet listed for $111,000;
The most expensive property is a 5 bedroom, 5 bath, 4,748 square foot unit listed at $5,500,000;
The average property is 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1,407 square feet listed at $765,880 but there are approximately 33 properties in the $300,000 to $399,000 range;17 properties in the $400,000 to $499,000 range and 23 properties in the $500,000 to $599,000 range.
Interesting to note that in the smaller buildings, particularly in the popular residential area of the Marina District (such as my building in City Walk), there are NO active listings.
As I stated in a previously blog, the spring time generally creates more activity -- increased listings but also increased sales. I'll be anxious to see what the stats are for next month's blog.
I think these are some amazing stats for the downtown San Diego (92101) housing market as of February 6, 2012 (derived from the San Diego MLS):
Only 196 active listings out of approximately 9,000+ residential units. The average asking price is $737,168 for 1,349 square feet;
There are 89 contingent (generally short sale) properties under contract. The average contingent price is $317,399 for 960 square feet;
There are 103 pendings (in escrow) properties with an average price of $477,447 for 1,154 square feet; 24 of these sales in the last 7 days!
Lastly, there are 110 closed sales just in the last 90 days with an average sales price of $400,345 for 1,023 square feet.
My smarter counterparts could create complicated graphs to explain the downtown market activity and the lack of inventory, but I prefer simple, self-explanatory paragraphs. Generally, a lack of supply creates a higher demand - will this early trend in 2012 change the real estate market? Will prices increase? Have we really reached the bottom? Please feel free to contact me for additional details or questions ~
As previously written, my first short sale listing closed in a record-breaking (or so I have been told) 42 days. It was an intense 42 days for sure and I know this was an exception from the norm. Perhaps the moon and the stars were in alignment or perhaps I just got lucky. The basics:
1) The seller was well-informed and knowledgeable about the short sale process. He knew what he had to do to set the framework for the short sale, i.e., hardship letters, photos of the street views around the property, authorization letters, etc. and stated we would need an estimated HUD to submit to both lenders.
2) After agreeing to list his property (with a tenant AND a cat), I contacted my escrow officer - one of the very best - Kim Vanderford at Heritage Escrow in downtown San Diego. She calmed me down and began to walk me thru the starting process. I knew she would be the "key person" in this transaction as I can always count on her guidance and quick response to questions and "issues" - I still owe her a dinner!
3) The next week I held a broker caravan at the listing to which my two favorite title reps, Yadida Black and Tammy Neyland of First American Title attended. They mentioned their company's new "Short Sale Assistance Department" and suggested I sign up to be automatically notified via email of any title issues that may arise on the property. I confirmed with my seller that we would be using First American Title for his sale and signed up. The first breaking news of a recorded Notice of Default on the lst with Wells Fargo came directly to my inbox. What a great program!
4) Chase Bank held the 2nd which would take the biggest hit on the short sale. Their rep was in contact with me within 10 days of taking the listing. I found every one of the Chase "negotiators" to be helpful, kind and responsive (again, contrary to what I had expected). I think they appreciated hearing sincere "thank yous" instead of complaints.
5) Let the documentation begin! As the lenders wouldn't accept documents via Docusign, my seller and I used scans and faxes*. I think his quick response time to the many requests for signatures was a large part in obtaining the short sale approval in an amazing 5 days after the first offer was received!
The pattern: As the various short sale negotiators (5 different ones with Wells Fargo alone) were generally located in Central Time, 2 hours ahead of me, I changed my "office hours" to 7 a.m. and made sure I was back on my computer before 3 p.m. in order to respond to any new request/problems before the day's end and while my file was still on the top of their pile.
By the way, I submitted all documentation to the lenders via *MONGO FAX (a "free" service from our local Board of Realtors but you do pay for the phone charges - worth the small cost!). I prepared a formal cover letter on my letterhead and wrote the respective loan numbers on the top of each and every page. The MONGO FAX goes directly into the recipients email with an email confirmation to me showing exactly how many pages were sent. I think this method was very effective - I never once received a request or call that a page was missing and some of those faxes were 20 pages!
In conclusion, I was pleased it went so well (ok, I'm not writing about all the extra heartbeats when occasionally things became complicated) but I believe that an educated and cooperative seller, an all-cash buyer who was anxious to reside in the property, an experienced buyer's agent and an expert escrow officer all attributed to a quick and successful close. Would I list another short sale? I don't know. Perhaps my "first time" should be my last just in case my luck runs out......
Let me clarify that....I took a short sale listing for the first time. Up until a few months ago, I had refused to list a short sale. I had written two offers on short sale listings, both of which failed, so I was adamant about not working with any short sales, let alone a listing. The stories! The nightmare scenarios! The horror of working all those hours and months and never reaching a successful close! It wasn't so much the lack of a paycheck, but the emotional turmoil for your clients. The two failed short sale offers I wrote broke my young Navy guy and my young lawyer gal's hearts...I just couldn't take their disappointment. I took it personally. Never again I said!
On May 15th, 2011, a neighbor phoned me to list his unit in my building as a short sale. I resisted. I told him I could refer it to a short sale specialist. I was clueless on how to close a short sale and all those horrible stories about them - oh my! He convinced me by saying "I think you're the agent to sell this property" and the fact that he had already done the ground work by submitting his hardship letter to the lenders, etc., and that he was willing to trust me to sell it even though I lacked the experience, I conceded and dove into the abyss of the short sale world.
We received an all cash offer from an owner-occupied buyer on July 18; we closed escrow today, August 29, two days earlier than our scheduled close and 100 days earlier than I had expected. Needless to say, we were all elated. I will share my short sale "learning curve" in the next article. TO BE CONTINUED.....................