What to Expect From the Real Estate Market in 2016

San Diego County entered the New Year with the lowest inventory of homes for sale in over 10 years. As of mid-February, that situation remains the same. In San Diego County, the Inland Corridor, and the individual zip codes of the Poway Unified School District, there are fewer homes on the market than any time since early 2004. And, while the new developments in Del Sur and along Black Mountain Ranch are adding more homes for sale, it isn’t any more than developers were selling in 4S Ranch back in 2004, so inventory is really at a decade low.

The next question is, “If inventory is the lowest since 2004, why isn’t the market surging higher like it was then?” The answer is twofold: There are not as many buyers and the buyers that are in the market are a lot more cautious than in 2004. Back in 2004, loan requirements were a lot looser and people were buying multiple homes as speculative investments. Now, qualification standards are higher and buyers have lived through the bubble – they are a lot more cautious.

The flipside is, at least to date, the falling stock market has not impacted local real estate. The danger here is that people looking to purchase might see their cash fall below down payment requirements. Talking to other agents and escrow officers, this is a big concern, but has not happened in any significant numbers so far. It goes without saying (or should anyway) that if you are looking for a home, the money you plan to use for a down payment should not be in any volatile investment.

For the balance of the year (at least through summer), I think most all factors that affect the market point to a firm market with slowly advancing prices. The number of sales will continue to be lower, which is bad for those associated with the industry, but homeowners should do well and buyers will be able to find deals here and there if they are willing to be flexible with their requirements.

Scott Voak, the top selling agent since 2008 (data from SANDICOR MLS as of 12/31/2015). Email him to subscribe to his weekly real estate newsletter – Monday Morning Coffee.


voak_logo_newScott Voak, MBA – Broker
Managing Partner, Inland Corrido
CAL BRE #01153157
10815 Rancho Bernardo Rd #390
16710 Bernardo Center Dr.
(888) 311-6311 |