Poetry in Motion – Those "Typical Seasonal Things"

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I bet my broker didn’t know I am the whole office!

From this morning’s San Diego Business Journal:

Kris Berg, a broker with San Diego Castles, the Scripps Ranch office of Prudential California Realty, said CAR’s March report should look similar in future months.

Berg, who admits she has a less rosy outlook on the market than both the national and state realtor groups, expects April’s numbers to hold steady.

“I would expect April to be flat or even down some as well,” she said.

She also anticipated that this slow or declining trend will continue for the rest of the year.

What has changed is that the spring real estate season has not picked up as it usually does, according to Berg.

“This spring has been different than past springs because we haven’t seen a lot of the typical seasonal things we usually anticipate. We haven’t seen a huge increase in inventory and we haven’t seen a ton buyer of activity,” she said.

She sees a significant slow down in buyer activity in entry-level purchases. High-end properties in San Diego tend to hold their value better than their lower-price counterparts because that market is naturally less affected by interest rates and tightening of lending standards, according to Berg.

“What we are seeing is that the tighter standards are having a significant effect on the lower price entry-level properties. We have a diminished buyer pool for those homes and that is largely due to the lending issues going on right now,” she said.

Berg expects that diminished buyer pool coupled with high median prices has created a “trickle up effect” on markets of all price ranges. She said if typical first-time home buyers can not sell their condo, in turn they can not buy into the single-family detached market.

“We were starting to feel it a year ago and now it is becoming really clear it is a reality,” she said.

Well, that is sort of what I said, with one caveat. We are not seeing seasonal Spring buying and selling activity to the same extent as years past. And, while I am not generally as bullish as David Cabot, I do agree with his assessment that ours is not the picture of doom and gloom that many perceive. As a footnote, I also said (see the invisible ink) that I anticipate the remainder of 2007 to be sluggish with any reversal of the current market trends to come in 2008. Having gotten that off my chest, we personal put one listing to bed this weekend after a mere four days and with multiple offers, serving as a reminder that there seems to be more than a little life left in our San Diego real estate environment after all.

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