New life for one of Oceanside’s oldest buildings

A new life is about to begin for one of Oceanside’s oldest buildings, a brick structure on Pier View Way that opened as a hardware store in 1888, the same year the city was incorporated.

Now known as the Schuyler Building for its original owner, John Schuyler, the hardware store once sold tools and supplies essential to the rapidly growing region. It later served as a grocery store and a boarding house, among other uses. For the past 30 years or longer, it had a laundry on the first floor and the upper floors were mostly vacant and used for storage.

Now the new owner, Tom Aldrich, plans to open a restaurant on the first floor, a 10-room boutique hotel on the second and third floors, and a public outdoor bar on the roof, with views of the surrounding city and the Pacific Ocean a few blocks away.

“Maybe we’ll call it The 1888 Hotel,” Aldrich said. “We want to keep with the historical aspect of it, if we can.”

He’s already gutted the interior of the building and stripped away the stucco that was applied to the brick exterior in the 1930s. That revealed the original signs painted high up on the walls to advertise “Hardware, Stoves, Crockery and Bicycles,” and another one for “Rooms.” On the eastern side facing the alley, they uncovered a smaller sign that says “Contreras and Gelpi, cash grocers.”

“The significance of this building is that it’s been many things,” said Oceanside historian John Daley, who sometimes leads walking tours of notable downtown sites.

“It’s adjusted to the times,” Daley said. “There’s nothing more appealing than for it to be a boutique hotel in today’s world.”

Read the rest HERE. 

San Diego luxury housing could see a boost under tax plan

Major changes to the tax code approved Wednesday by Congress could mean luxury homes in San Diego County will have more buyers, or at the least, see no noticeable change in sales.

The new tax plan reduces the mortgage interest deduction on new loans up to $750,000, down from $1 million. But, it also significantly reduces the corporate tax rate — meaning well-heeled people with holdings in several companies could have some extra money to spend.

Some real estate agents who sell high-end properties were optimistic after the tax vote Wednesday, especially because they said affluent buyers see real estate as a strong investment.

“You’re going to have wealthy people getting dividends, buybacks, and a lot of money to buy that second or third property,” said Brett Dickinson, a Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty agent. “Now you have excess money that you weren’t really counting on.”

There have been 127 homes that have sold for more than $4 million this year in San Diego County as of Dec. 15, said Reports on Housing, up from 93 during the same time last year. Home sales from $2 million to $4 million had the biggest percentage increase in sales, with 712 sales so far this year up from 471 in 2016.

Steven Thomas, chief economist at Reports on Housing, said he wasn’t so sure the tax change would be a windfall for the luxury market. Instead, he said it could simply keep everything about the same because changes to state and local taxes could hurt prosperous Californians.

“It is hard to surmise what it is going to mean to each individual person,” he said. “At the end of the day, we have a hot market. We are selling more and more luxury homes than ever before.”

Thomas said the people in the cut-off range could be most affected. For instance, he said those with a $900,000 mortgage get to deduct the interest on all of it, but if they try to move up to a $1.2 million house after the tax changes, they would lose $150,000 of deductible interest.

Most San Diego buyers do not need to worry about the deduction. The median home price was $529,750 in October and most buyers put 10 to 20 percent down. Even after the tax changes, with 20 percent down, the entire interest of a home costing $937,500 could be deducted.

From January to October, 8.2 percent of mortgages (including purchase and refinance loans) were more than $750,000, CoreLogic said. That was up 6.3 percent from all of 2016.

Read the rest HERE. 

Housing forecast 2018

Next year could feature more money for renters but increased difficulty for potential first-time homeowners, said experts at a housing outlook conference at University of San Diego.

The shadow of pending legislation in Congress colored much of the discussion Thursday, as did continued concern over the number of homes being built.

No one gave specifics, but panelists said they expect home prices to continue to rise because of decreasing numbers of homes for sale.

The Residential Real Estate Conference put on by the school’s Burnham-Moores Center occurs annually and is typically attended by roughly 200 people. Analysts gave several predictions for 2018:

More money for renters: The standard deduction in both the House and Senate versions of the tax plan is set to double from $6,350 to $12,000 for individuals and from $12,700 to $24,000 for married couples.

“It’s good for renters, but bad for homeowners,” said Norm Miller, real estate finance chair at the USD School of Business.

Fewer tax benefits for homeownership: Both Republican-backed plans look to curtail the mortgage interest rate deduction. Right now, about 74 percent of San Diego city homes are valuable enough to take the mortgage interest deduction, Zillow said. After the proposed tax plan, the real estate website said that would drop to 20 percent.

Tim Sullivan, managing principal of Meyers Research, said San Diego County would be hitter harder than San Francisco if the mortgage deduction is reduced because San Diego’s market relies more on mortgages because wages aren’t as high.

“San Francisco is one of those markets that is inelastic because there is so much wealth there. They don’t rely on mortgages,” he said. “With that in mind, San Diego is still a place where incomes matter.”

Less money for subsidized housing: The Private Activity Bond Program and the 4 percent Low Income Tax Credit, both used to build subsidized housing in San Diego County, would be eliminated in the House plan. While the Senate plan leaves it untouched, panelists were preparing for the worse.

There is already a 10-year waiting list for the units operated by the San Diego Housing Commission. Deborah Ruane, chief strategy officer of the commission, said it used to see families stay in subsidized housing for around three years. Now, families are staying seven to eight years.

“There’s nowhere to go next,” she said.

Push for more homebuilding: Analysts say homebuilding has not kept up with population growth. In 2015 and 2016, the region produced roughly 10,000 homes a year. As of the first nine months of this year, San Diego County has had 18 percent less residential building permits issued compared to the same time in 2016.

“It doesn’t matter who you talk to, we’re undersupplied with housing,” said Sullivan.

Read the rest HERE.

Monthly Housing Market Overview North San Diego County

The facts of residential real estate have remained consistent in 2017. In year- over-year comparisons, the number of homes for sale has been fewer in most locales, and homes have been selling in fewer days for higher prices. This hasn’t always been true, but it has been a common enough storyline to make
it an overarching trend for the year.

Closed Sales decreased 16.9 percent for Detached homes and 20.7 percent for Attached homes. Pending Sales decreased 1.9 percent for Detached homes but increased 18.5 percent for Attached homes.

The Median Sales Price was up 12.9 percent to $700,000 for Detached homes and 11.9 percent to $436,419 for Attached homes. Days on Market decreased 14.6 percent for Detached homes and 18.5 percent for Attached homes.

Supply decreased 28.0 percent for Detached homes and 8.3 percent for Attached homes.

New tax legislation could have ramifications on housing. The White House believes that the tax reform bill will have a small impact on home prices, lowering them by less than 4 percent, and could conceivably boost homeownership. The National Association of REALTORS® has stated that eliminating the mortgage interest deduction could hurt housing, as the doubled standard deduction would reduce the desire to take out a mortgage and itemize the interest associated with it, thus reducing demand. This is a
developing story.

Market numbers overview:

Download (Nov-2017-Monthly.pdf)