Are master-planned communities a development of the past?

Much of the history of San Diego County housing has been one of master-plans, including Rancho Bernardo, Scripps Ranch, Carmel Valley, Tierrasanta, 4S Ranch, Mira Mesa and Rancho Peñasquitos.

Master-plans are typically undeveloped areas that are transformed into new communities that include a mix of residential, commercial and places to work. The area is built out in phases and are designed with the hope that residents can live and work in the area.

Real estate consultant Gary London said from the 1970s to 1990s the bulk of new housing came in the form of master-plan communities — mainly up the Interstate 15 and Interstate 5 corridors.

He said a lot of the talk these days is about building dense developments that can accommodate a lot of people, but that is only a recent shift in thinking.

“The way most San Diegans still find themselves housed today are new master-plan communities,” London said, “where to accommodate our growth we built out instead of up.”

He said the difference now is San Diego County is running out of land and voters don’t like new housing projects. A recent example was the proposed Lilac Hills Ranch project that would have included more than 1,700 homes in what is mostly farmland in Valley Center. The plan was soundly defeated by voters in November.

The first big master-plan community in San Diego County outside of downtown was Rancho Bernardo, now the northernmost residential community in the city of San Diego.

The community went from mainly rugged ranchland to 2,000 people in about a year, said the Rancho Bernardo Historical Society. According to the most-recent San Diego Association of Governments data, there was an estimated 50,268 people living there in 2016.

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2017 San Diego County Real Estate Market Review

There is an ongoing and undeniable national housing shortage. Year-over-year inventory levels have been down in most markets for several years now, and that trend is expected to persist in 2018. Consumers are still purchasing for the first time and relocating to other, presumably more ideal homes.
Having the financial ability to make a move clearly seems feasible to many eager buyers amidst a healthy economy, whether life events such as marriage, children, employment change or desirable downsizing is the reason for moving.

There are further positive signs on the horizon, as builder confidence has improved and construction job gains are measurably higher. It will still take more effort than a lone year can provide for building activity to reach a needed level for inventory balance, but a step in the right direction is welcome.

More sellers should feel ready and willing to list in 2018. Economic indicators such as unemployment rates and consumer confidence are in an improved state, and sellers currently hold the keys in the buyer-seller relationship. This does not mean that sellers can set their price and watch the offers roll in. On the contrary, buyers will be poised to test prevailing price points, particularly in markets where home
price increases are outpacing wage growth and in light of the fact that mortgage rates are expected to increase further in 2018.

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Carmel Valley, Poway, Rancho Bernardo, Rancho Penasquitos, and Scripps Ranch housing stats January 2018

Carmel Valley, Poway, Rancho Bernardo, Rancho Penasquitos, Scripps Ranch January 2018 Numbers by Zip Code

Carmel Valley, Poway, Rancho Bernardo, Rancho Penasquitos, and Scripps Ranch
Listings, Sales, Days on Market and more broken out by zip code.

Use the ‘Pop-Out’ to view report or the link to download.

Download (Jan-2018-RB-RP-CV-SR-POW.pdf)

Monthly Market Overview North San Diego County

The number of homes for sale, days on market and months of supply were all down in year-over-year comparisons in a majority of the country for the entirety of 2017, as was housing affordability. And although total sales volumes were mixed, prices were consistently up in most markets. Buyers may not benefit from higher prices, but sellers do, and there should be more listing activity by more confident sellers in 2018. At least that would be the most viable prediction for an economic landscape pointing toward improved conditions for sellers.

Closed Sales decreased 15.9 percent for Detached homes and 8.4 percent for Attached homes.

Pending Sales decreased 4.2 percent for Detached homes but increased 6.0 percent for Attached homes.

The Median Sales Price was up 8.9 percent to $685,000 for Detached homes and 15.3 percent to $449,700 for Attached homes.

Days on Market decreased 26.5 percent for Detached homes and 19.4 percent for Attached homes.

Supply decreased 30.0 percent for Detached homes and 20.0 percent for Attached homes.

Unemployment rates have remained low throughout 2017, and wages have shown improvement, though not always to levels that match home price increases. Yet housing demand remained incredibly strong in 2017, even in the face of higher mortgage rates that are likely to increase further in 2018.

Home building and selling professionals are both cautiously optimistic for the year ahead. Housing and economic indicators give reason for this optimism, with or without new federal tax legislation.

Download (Dec-2017-Monthly.pdf)