State of San Diego Real Estate

Health of Real Estate – Rancho Sante Fe/Del Mar

In order to help keep you informed about your local area in an objective way, Premier Magazine will be monitoring the health of different San Diego areas in each edition. In this edition, we look at Rancho Santa Fe and Del Mar.
Too often we want to understand the health of our local real estate, but can only find either raw data or statistics which seem disconnected or contradictory. In order to help keep you informed about your local area in an objective way, Premier Magazine will be monitoring the health of different San Diego areas in each edition. In this edition, we look at Rancho Santa Fe and Del Mar. Other areas we will be monitoring are La Jolla, Solana Beach, Encinitas, Coronado, and Downtown San Diego. With enough reader feedback, we will even add other areas to our list.

Rancho Santa Fe

Rancho Santa Fe real estate (defined for the purpose of this analysis as all attached and detached residential properties listed with the San Diego Multiple Listing Service for 92067 and 92091 zip codes) like most areas in the country, experienced change from 2006 through 2007. However, Rancho Santa Fe real estate was not affected to the same degree.

Generally, within Rancho Santa Fe, inventory levels or the total number of properties available for sale were on average 10% higher in 2007, (Chart A). However, new listings were only on average 2% higher in 2007 (Chart B). What accounted for the higher inventory levels were fewer sales and longer marketing times in 2007 (Chart B & C, respectively). Specifically, on average, the number of homes sold were down 15% with marketing times protracted by 11%. Thus, the higher inventory levels in 2007 were not driven by more sellers rushing to sell, but fewer buyers rushing to buy.

On the valuation side, Rancho Santa Fe did not experience a drop like some other areas; nevertheless, it was not completely immune to the pressure either. Overall, sales values were down about 4.5% from 2006. Over half of this decline appears to stem from sellers setting original listing prices lower, while the rest of the decline appears to come from buyers successfully negotiating a greater discount from the original listing prices (Chart C). With greater inventory levels or supply, longer marketing times, and fewer sales, this general decline in real estate values is modest, relative to other areas in California, and probably reflects greater patience of Rancho Santa Fe sellers.

Del Mar

However, Rancho Santa Fe’s coastal neighbor, Del Mar (defined for the purpose of this analysis as all attached and detached residential properties listed with the San Diego Multiple Listing Service for the 92014 zip code) proved to be even more resilient from 2006 through 2007. In fact, generally speaking, Del Mar real estate exhibited unusually healthy market strength.

While many areas in California saw their real estate inventory levels (or the total number of properties available for sale) rise from 2006 to 2007, Del Mar inventory levels actually contracted, leaving on average fewer homes available for sale in 2007 than 2006 (Chart E), even though average marketing times increased 11% (Chart G).

Part of what contributed to create these lower inventory levels were fewer new listings or homes being put on the market (Chart F). New listings fell by approximately 9% in 2007. Del Mar’s lower 2007 inventory levels were also created by an increase in the number of homes sold in 2007 versus 2006 (Chart F). Specifically, 166 homes were sold in 2006 compared to 193 homes in 2007, resulting in a 16% year-to-year increase in sale count. Thus, even though longer marketing times can exaggerate inventory levels it was not enough to offset the fewer number of new listings and greater number of sales in 2007.

But the news gets even better. On the valuation side, Del Mar experienced an increase in average homes sales value of approximately 3.2%. Apparently, Del Mar sellers were aware of the supply reduction in 2007, because average original listing prices were higher by 4.2% and sellers sold closer to their original listing prices in 2007 than 2006. Specifically, for those homes that actually sold, sellers in 2006 discounted their original listing prices by approximately 10% (Chart G). Yet, in 2007, sellers discounted their original listing prices by only 9% (Chart G). Comparatively speaking, 2007 Del Mar real estate was bright. Not only were more homes sold in 2007, but at a higher average sales price as well.

What’s next?

When reviewing the data that we put together for Rancho Santa Fe and Del Mar, it is important to remember that these areas are comprised of sub-populations, some behaving much differently than others. For example, properties in Del Mar that are on the beach behave differently than some other areas of Del Mar. Likewise, horse property in Rancho Santa Fe behaves differently than some other types of properties in Rancho Santa Fe. What we have presented here is a total snapshot that blends these sub-populations together for the individual areas. We have also integrated the data to explain the individual real estate markets. In next month’s edition, we’ll examine La Jolla and Solana Beach/Encinitas.

Written by Linda and Tom Sansone

Willis Allen Real Estate

www.LindaSansone.com

Phone (858) 775-6356

Feb 2008 Vol 19

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