This monthly Real Estate Market Report describes the real estate market conditions in Coastal North County San Diego, and how they have changed over the past month and year.

But first…

2018 Mortgage Limits Have Been Announced

Effective January 1, 2018, the mortgage limit for conventional, VA, and FHA  loans in San Diego County is $649,750. The conforming loan limit is $453,100. Loans at or below this amount usually offer the lowest interest rates.

Loans between $453,100 and $649,750 are called super conforming, or high balance loans. Any loans above $649,750 are jumbo loans.

What’s Happening in the North County San Diego Real Estate Market?

The beginning of January experienced a sharp drop in real estate inventory. While it had been steadily decreasing throughout 2017, it suddenly dropped at the very beginning of the year.

Find out how much you would net from selling your home.

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In Carlsbad, inventory has dropped by 20% from one month ago. The December median sales price for detached homes decreased slightly, from $930,000 in November to $915,000 in December. While the sales prices dropped slightly, however, the price per square foot increased, from $384.51 in November to $409.70 in December. For December sales, most homes in Carlsbad were sold within 3 weeks.

In Encinitas, inventory has also dropped in the past month. There are 29% fewer homes for sale than one month ago. The median sales price for detached homes dropped 6%, from $1,250,000 in November to $1,172,500 in December.  At the same time, the price per square foot increased, from $496.46 to $514.19. The median number of days on market decreased slightly to 24 days for detached homes, and 13 days for attached homes.

In San Marcos, inventory has dropped by 33% from one month ago. The December median sales price for detached homes decreased 7% from November, from $685,000 to $636,000. Most homes sold within two weeks.

In Vista, inventory has dropped by 26% from one month ago. The median sales price for detached homes decreased 6% from November, from $572,500 to $537,500. The median sales price for attached homes increased by 11%, from $345,000 to $385,000. The number of Days on Market increased for Vista sales: in December, most homes sold within four weeks.

Consult the Real Estate Market Report for Your Area

My Real Estate Market Report covers the areas of Carlsbad, Encinitas/Leucadia/Cardiff-by-the-Sea, San Marcos, and Vista.

North County San Diego Real Estate Market Report January 2018

Interest Rates

Interest rates have been stable throughout the year. Fixed mortgage rates for 30-year terms continue to hover around 4.25% for conventional loans. VA and FHA loans have enjoyed lower rates, at or below 4%.

Loan Program Update

FHA Loan Programs offer mortgages with only 3 1/2% down payment.  VA Loan Programs offer $0 down payment mortgages to eligible military active duty and veterans, with no monthly mortgage insurance. Conventional loans are available starting at only 3% down payment, and some of these conventional loans are available with no monthly mortgage insurance. 

All of these loan programs can be used for new purchases, or for refinancing existing mortgages.

Have you had a bankruptcy, short sale, or foreclosure? Find out how long you need to wait to buy again, which depend on the event and the type of loan you want to obtain.

Solar Rebates – 30% Federal Tax Credit Available through 2019

THERE’S STILL TIME TO BUY SOLAR! Federal tax code allows for a one-time 30% Residential Energy Credit to purchase home solar photovoltaic systems. The credit may include any repairs necessary to install the panels, including roofing repairs. Check with your tax professional. This 30% incentive will be available through December 31, 2019, before tapering to 10% in 2022. Read my Solar for Homeowners article series.

Tree Trimming Season is Back

It’s time to schedule your tree pruning! Read more about when to prune your trees.

Cooler Weather = Time to Switch to Waterwise Landscaping

You can get paid to switch our your turf for more sustainable landscaping. Read my article about rebates for turfgrass removal. If you want to learn more about water-wise landscaping, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California offers free California Friendly Landscape classes online. The San Diego County Water Authority also offers free California Friendly Landscape Training classes throughout San Diego County.

Down Payment Assistance

Low- to median-income borrowers may qualify for down payment assistance. Some programs can be layered on top of each other, to maximize your benefit.

Use the California Association of REALTORS® Down Payment Resource Tool to check all available programs. Here are links to my articles about some popular down payment programs:

What’s Next?

Selling Your Home

Are you curious about how much your home is worth? The Real Estate Market Report is a good start, but if you’re interested in the market value a particular property or area, contact me for a specific market analysis. In addition to my Real Estate Market Report,  I also provide information about seller closing costs, to give you the true cost of selling a home.

You can also use my Seller Net Proceeds Worksheet, to estimate your bottom line. You can also read about the seller disclosure process. If you need to sell one home to buy another, here’s how to sell and buy a home at the same time.

If you’re a real estate investor and want to defer paying capital gains taxes by exchanging one property for another, then read my article about 1031 Exchanges.

Buying a Home

If you’re thinking of buying a home, use my Cost to Buy a House Worksheet and my Monthly Housing Costs Worksheet, to help you budget and plan for the future. You can also estimate your Mortgage Approval Amount. Learn more about the Cost to Buy a House and the Cost to Own a Home. If you are a cash buyer, read about Closing Costs for Cash Buyers.

For information about mortgages, you can read my articles about Choosing a Lender, How to Get Mortgage Approval, and How Much Home You Can Qualify to Buy.

If you’re interested in buying a fixer property and hiring contractors to make repairs and renovations, you should consider a Renovation Loan. Renovation loans finance both the property and the renovations, in one single mortgage payment. Renovation loans can be used to finance energy upgrades, like insulationsolar panels, and electric heat pump water heaters. Before you invest in energy efficiency, read about 7 Ways to Finance Energy Upgrades.

Any questions? Send me a message.

Mylene Merlo is a licensed REALTOR® with Allison James Estates & Homes in Carlsbad, California. As a Carlsbad Real Estate Agent, I specialize in residential North County San Diego real estate. I have earned the Green designation and the Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource certification from the National Association of REALTORS®. If you have any questions about real estate in Carlsbad, Cardiff-by-the-Sea, Encinitas, Escondido, Oceanside, San Marcos, Solana Beach, or Vista, call or text me at (760) 637-7231 or send me a message.

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