San Diego 2012 Real Estate Outlook

Where does the San Diego real estate market seem to be headed for 2012? Once again at this time of year, when all the pundits come out with their forecast, it’s the rare individual that does not go along with the real estate industry’s proverbial ‘now’s the time to buy’ mantra. I’m going to be part of the 1% who deviates from the traditional ‘by now before you’re priced out of the market’ end of the year talking points.

I bet you have an idea where I’m going with my report for the Outlook for home values in 2012.

Now let’s look at 2012 for San Diego home values. Back in the summer of ’05, one of the main factors for my calling a market drop was the drop in sales activity while home values continued to increase basically because of the lag time in reporting. Well, I believe the same could be occurring now, except in reverse!

What I see for San Diego real estate in 2012.

My opinions here are basically geared toward the San Carlos, SDSU neighborhoods westward through the Claremont and Pacific Beach neighborhoods.

With sales increasing (hopefully this trend will stay in place) I believe the San Diego housing market will finally see home values stabilize in 2012.

I’m not calling for some slingshot snap-back in home values next year. I’m calling for, to be precise, the continued modest decline in San Diego resale home prices through at least the first half of 2012. Naturally, barring some major detrimental economic news either here or in Europe, I think the second half of 2012 could see some solid base building, with perhaps, some modest single-digit appreciation by year’s end.

There continues to be talk about pent-up buyers to getting into the market. The theory goes that many potential first-time buyers and move up buyers have been holding off getting into the market and once they see some improvement will rush back in a big way. I said this in a number of prior posts, and I’ll say it again now: I believe there is pent-up demand in today’s real estate market! The ‘you can never go wrong buying real estate’ crowd has this pent-up demand theory 180 degrees backwards! Personally, I see it not as pent-up demand to buy, but just the reverse! Yes, pent-up demand to sell!

I’ve seen many current San Diego homeowners who have seen their home values drop 30% or more during the last six years who would love to recapture a small amount of that decline. They could then move on to a home more suitable for their current family and economic situation. When we finally do see some modest San Diego home value appreciation, I believe we’ll see a lot more inventory become available from these homeowners.

I usually end these forecast by saying that I hope I’m wrong and things turn out better for homeowners that I’m forecasting. I’d like home prices to make a sharp upswing in 2012, but with the magnitude and longevity of San Diego’s real estate home value bust, I don’t really believe that there is NO chance for such a fairytale snap-back.

Sandpoint Idaho Real Estate Agents – Setting a Standard For Community Service

When MSNBC and Forbes listed Sandpoint, Idaho, as one of the top ten places in the world to live for people who could telecommute, the real estate community was ecstatic.  It seemed that people were waking up to what natives around here have always known–Sandpoint is a perfect place to start a business and raise a family.  Business for real estate agents was hot.  Properties were moving.  People were calling from out of town and investing in local properties. 

Then the bubble began to burst around the country.  At first, it seemed that Sandpoint would weather the storm without much interruption.  However, it eventually became evident that the economic troubles around the country in the real estate world would also impact Sandpoint’s real estate agents.  To their credit, though, many of them seem to have sensed the need for greater involvement.  Instead of retreating into the comfort of the money they had made in good times, they worked in greater numbers on projects badly needed in the community.

What seems especially remarkable to me, though, is that these real estate agents have done this service on an individual basis, rather than trying to organize into official groups or committees.  One by one, they are helping lift the burdens of people around them who need help.  For example, I am aware of one Sandpoint real estate agent who volunteered to help a retired neighbor build a pole barn to store equipment.  Another showed up at an older gentleman’s house with his strong sons and helped split and store the gentleman’s wood for the winter.  (Yes, in Sandpoint many of us still heat with wood.)  Others simply go above and beyond the required minimum in business and make buying and selling real estate in Sandpoint a pleasure. 

They have also continued their excellent service in organized community efforts, as well.  For example, organizations like the Panhandle Alliance for Education, Festival at Sandpoint, and Toys for Tots in Sandpoint all benefit from the generous assistance of real estate agents.

Other professionals seem to have also caught the vision of what is possible.  I’ve been especially pleased to see attorneys (my own profession) volunteer in such community organizations and efforts, both organized and individual. 

This type of service offers a wealth of benefits to individuals and communities.  First, and most importantly, it offers individuals who serve the satisfaction of rendering real help to those in need.  No financial reward can compete with the knowledge that you have helped lighten another’s load.  However, it also helps bring financial rewards to those who serve in this manner.  As real estate agents (and other professionals) serve to help improve local schools, for example, individuals recruited to move into that community are more willing to do so.  As good people move in, more jobs are created, more real estate sales occur, real estate values increase, and everybody benefits, including real estate agents and everybody else. 

The world should take note of the unorganized, but effective, effort of the real estate agents in Sandpoint, Idaho and join in the effort to strengthen our communities.