By SARAH WARD
Many buyers may find it laughable to even think about buying a home right now in the middle of this virus pandemic but I am going to put a few thoughts on the table as to why it might be an excellent time to purchase a San Diego property and if you are a seller, listing your property this summer might work out just fine.
Sometimes making a move in a market dip can be a smart idea. San Diego is a world-class destination that will remain in high demand for years to come. A significant proportion of San Diego properties each year are purchased by international buyers seeking a beautiful safe-haven to live. Think about it. Los Angeles is crowded. Northern California has much colder winters and Arizona and Palm Desert get extremely hot. Our small paradise will continue to be in high demand for many years to come. Also, as you have seen driving up the 805 and 15 freeways, high-tech companies continue to populate San Diego and their well-paid employees will continue to be purchasing homes for years in the future. When demand outstrips supply, prices rise and compared to Silicon Valley and parts of L.A., San Diego is still a bargain.
Why purchase a property now, in the middle of a pandemic? There are several reasons. First, interest rates are ridiculously low. Thirty-year mortgage rates, which were 4.5% just a few months ago are now at 2.875% for well qualified buyers! There are two ways to look at this. A mortgage payment on a $600,000 property would drop from $3,040 a month down to $2,526, so that would save a buyer over $500 a month for a 30-year mortgage period. Another way to look at it is that keeping the mortgage payment of $3,040 the same, a buyer could now afford a more expensive property for the same payment. So for that same mortgage payment, and additional $122,000 could be afforded, allowing the buyer to then purchase a $722,000 property (maybe a larger property with a view and pool).
Another reason to buy now is that there is less buyer demand. A few months ago when a quality, well-priced property came on the market, a large pile of offers would come in to the seller. But for the next few months, there will be less competition, giving a buyer a better shot at securing an excellent property. As far as prices, home prices are fairly steady with the thinking that this current state of the market is temporary but a buyer could maybe get a slight discount right now compared to the beginning of the year. We could soon be back to a strong normalized housing market in 2021 and beyond. Now might be just the perfect time to jump into the market and find an excellent property. Call me for a no obligation Zoom meeting to discuss your options and what you could afford.
As far as sellers go, listing a property this June or July might work fine. There are still strong buyers in the marketplace and there is less inventory now. I have been using online techniques to meet with clients and I have perfected online open houses using a live feed from directly inside the subject property for potential buyers to see and be able to answer their questions on the live feed. For interested buyers, we can then schedule an in-person appointment at the property using protective gear. So if you are looking to list in the next month or two, there are excellent techniques to assist in getting a property sold at a good price. Quality properties are still selling fairly quickly. Call me at 858-431-6043.
92115 MARKET REPORT: As expected market activity has dropped in the past month. New single family listings have dropped 50% from last April and pending sales are down 68% but the median home price has stayed fairly steady down only 6% year over year. As an interesting note, I have a second office on Fay Avenue in La Jolla and in the last month the number of high priced properties coming on the market there has nearly doubled. If you have spare time, search the MLS on my website for the 92037 zip code, and properties at $4 million and above. Fineandcoastal.com. You will see some absolutely stunning properties that have just come on the market in La Jolla.
— Sarah Ward is a realtor with College Area Realty.