As we inch closer to the November elections our market is tinged by the uncertainties
surrounding the outcome and the future. Clearly we are a divided country with enough issues for a
prime time reality show. North County Real Estate has stabilized in the midst of this angst but forward
momentum is sporadic.
The number of residential single family home sales in the first three quarters of 2012 is almost
identical to the sales in the first three quarters of 2011. There are close to 1100 residential single family
homes and homes on acreage that have closed escrow through the first three quarters of 2012. The
average price for residential single family North County homes is $270,000 which represents a 4% year
to year increase. Today our market is on solid footing.
Inventory of homes for sale has taken a dramatic turn downward. Only 440 residential North
County homes and homes on acres are currently for sale as compared to 630 similar properties at this
time in 2011. New homes construction is very low, foreclosures are fewer and some sellers remain on
the sideline waiting for better days. To have a 30% drop in inventory and see just a 4% bump in prices
illustrates the uncertainty that still permeates our market. There is no real economic growth driving this
market. We are in a defensive economic environment and real estate is getting more attractive by the
Our wine industry has certainly improved over the last few years. The major wineries in North
County are acquiring and expanding their control of land in our area. Thousands of acres are being
prepared for future planting by wineries seeking to expand their brands and control their supply of fruit.
Many high quality wineries continue to receive accolades throughout major wine periodicals. Our hotels
are doing fine and much of our tourism success is due to the success of our wine industry. The wine
industry has also aided home sales in the North County.
Higher end, million dollar type properties are seeing much more activity in North County.
Closed million dollar properties have increased slightly and pending sales are much higher than last year.
Prices are very attractive on these upper end properties. Construction costs have really not gone down
much so values look favorable when compared to replacement costs.
The commercial real estate market continues to have solid investor interest. Tenant activity is
still low which reflects our weak economy. Small retail operations continue to go in and out of leased
locations. Apartments for sale are moving if priced right. Commercial land is dormant.
There is a bit more activity in finished lots for sale. The new homes that have been built are
absorbing at a decent pace and a decent number. Inventory of finished lots for sale is very low with no
real additional inventory to come online anytime soon. Net of an economic slowdown, finished lots will
continue to rise in price.
The only easy day in real estate was yesterday. Our North County Community is better off than
many similar areas but that position is tempered by California’s woeful economic position. Survival has
supplanted growth as the norm. Our North County is well positioned for prosperity if our State and
Country get moving in the right direction.
Written by Pete Dakin – Owner Re/Max Parkside Real Estate