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Real estate prices go up, while volume points to a softening market

FALLBROOK – Home prices rose while other metrics revealed slowing real estate activity in two prime North San Diego County housing markets, Jerry Kalman, a real estate agent with HomeSmart Legends here, reported Sept. 6.

“There was some heavy discounting, particularly among properties that languished on the market. About one-fourth of the 63 sales in August were equal to or better than the original asking price,” Kalman said. “All but one of those that sold at a premium price went into escrow within 30 days of when they were listed.”

Market times for properties remaining on the market as well as for those selling expanded in August. Time on the market for those entering escrow remained at an average of 53 days, while the time to sell soared almost 100 percent from July as the days on market reached two months.

According to Kalman, 77 homes came off the market in August, bringing the total at month-end to 99 units in escrow, which continued a pattern of month-to-month declines beginning in the peak month of June. In August, the average listing price of those off the market dipped marginally to $666,000.

The inventory for both detached and condo-styled homes decreased also, dropping to 227 properties.

“Declines such as these are part of a seasonal pattern most real estate markets experience heading into the end of the year and should not be construed as the onset of a major correction,” Kalman said.

Once again, two-thirds of the activity was financed with conventional mortgages. Veteran’s Affairs and Federal Housing Administration transactions dropped to 17 percent of the activity, while cash buyers in Fallbrook and Bonsall represented 18 percent of the transactions. Time on the market for both VA/FHA and cash transactions started to stretch out in August.

According to Kalman, the average selling price per square foot in these two communities, an important metric used as a rough starting point on setting values because of the diverse nature of homes here, slipped 5 percent to $257. Bonsall dropped to $270 per square foot while Fallbrook dropped to $244. The San Diego County average was up a tick to $379 per square foot. Three high-end homes, all in Fallbrook, closed escrow in August, and all of them were conventional transactions with a surprisingly low average of $233 per square foot. Nine more, five in Bonsall, are in escrow. There are 57 of these million-dollar-plus properties on the market, once again making up one-fourth of the active listings. Most of them are in the larger community of Fallbrook.

In August, seven condos, four in Bonsall, sold after an average market time of 17 days. Six condos, four of them in Fallbrook, were in escrow with an average market time of just over a month. Entering Sept., 14 condos were on the market, eight in Fallbrook.

Kalman’s data for the reporting periods ending Aug. 31 came from Sandicor and CRMLS, San Diego and Riverside counties’ multiple listing services for realtors. This report represents properties listed or sold by various brokers in the region. He uses this information as a community service to analyze market trends and provide professional insight into real estate activity.

HomeSmart Legends is located at 701 S. Main Ave., in Fallbrook.


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