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Real Estate Rumble
John Wilcox & Tracy Weaver | Powerhouse Properties


Photo Virginia Lawrence


Everyone can feel it: something has shifted big time! From Del Mar to Rancho Santa Fe and points in between and up and down the coast, the buzz is the market has made a dramatic shift. Low inventory, good prices, and some pent up demand are creating a sense of urgency and timeliness we have not seen in a number of years. There was a time during the downturn when buyers had the sense they had all the time in the world when a listing hit the market. Not so anymore. For the good properties priced right, we know our clients better move fast and be prepared to act if they want to make a run at it.

The good news for buyers is that we’re looking at almost 2004 prices in some cases…and interest rates we haven’t seen in decades and may never see again. But around Del Mar and neighboring high-end areas, we’re also seeing quite a few cash transactions even at the super-luxury level. Just look at the stock market: if you happen to have a few shekels and have enjoyed a 15-20% increase in your portfolio in the last few months but not sure how long that will sustain, we’re seeing people move some of that money to real estate.

More than anything, people seem to be feeling more confident in general and they realize – especially in our beautiful areas along the Southern California coast – the opportunity to own here is as good as it’s been in years. A quick check of the market shows prices in Old Del Mar, for example, have gone up from last year with an average sales price of $2,328,000 for all properties sold in the last six months compared to $2,137,000 for the same period a year ago, an almost ten percent increase. That is also reflected in the number of closed transactions with forty-two sales in the last six months in Old Del Mar compared to twenty-five for the same period a year ago.

So there is a real sense that the real estate market has solidly corrected its course. What we’re hoping for is smooth and stable improvement where reasonable prices and attainable demand make for steady growth, not the wild hyperactivity leading up to 2007. Ultimately, that’s what creates win-wins and makes for happy buyers and sellers…and agents!

One last note about the shifting dynamics the last four or five years: In some ways it’s evened things out to create the need for more hands on, personalized attention than ever before, even as far as presenting offers in person and taking extra time with a cover letter. These are good things, in our opinion, and help create a healthier market and industry.

And it’s about time!


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