Sunday, August 13, 2006

Pictures from San Diego

Vacant property being auctioned off,
where Condos could be built

Two large new condo buildings,
and crane being used to build more condos

New condos in downtown San Diego

Condos that are under constructed being offered for sale


  1. Nice looking buildings! It's been a while since I've been to San Diego ... but I do remember the downtown area being in transition. These buildings seem to be an appropriate addition to their downtown ... especially in a place where one usually needs to drive everywhere. My hunch is that these can only get more valuable as their downtown continues to rejuvenate and people continue prefering urban to suburban lifestyles. Are you thinking of buying there David?

  2. Lance,

    "Are you thinking of buying there David?"


    "but I do remember the downtown area being in transition. "

    It is in transition. The downtown is becoming nicer. However, this does not justify paying 425K for new 1br condos. The supply glut of condos is getting worse while demand is falling. Inevitably, prices are also falling.

  3. Yes, everyone get your condo now before they run out:


    but don't worry, at least the city is well run:,1,2546799.story?track=rss


  4. Condos are nothing more than apartments! Make to much noise and get kicked out on you rear. 425K sign me up for two!!...not

  5. My hunch is that these can only get more valuable as their downtown continues to rejuvenate


    My hunch is you will say anything to try and stir up the hornets nest! SD condo prices are down YOY. Enough said!

  6. Lance is an hononary spokesperson for the housing industrial complex.

  7. San Diego's City Center Development Corporation is an excellent website detailing SD's redevelopment plan. The sheer volume of new condos will make for a historic bust.

    The same is true for LA & SF downtowns.

  8. Recent house, condo and co-op sales for central DC listed here. The sale price of the co-ops is an eye-opener. I guess buyers in all categories haven't heard about the bubble yet.

    Link from DC North Monthly

    (Will open as a pdf file)

  9. I love this one:

    "1515 MARION ST NW $790,000"

    Suggest walking down Marion St. on a pleasant day. It is beautiful.

  10. Well I have been having telemarketers calling recently to try to get me to check out their condos in Northern VA. They also say that I am pre-approved for a loan at 1.5%. I wonder how much those payments will balloon when the rate changes :).

  11. I have been visiting this site and viewing comments for awhile, and I finally can't help myself, I have to know. Is this Lance guy for real, or just a troll, or a plant for the real estate industry? Lance, you really can't be serious about the ridiculous posts you provide - are you? Please say no, otherwise I have lost faith in the intellectual abilities of my fellow man...

  12. I think Lance gets too caught up in the "buying is always a good thing" mentality so he ends up defending all kinds of idiocy.

    Lance would buy homself a lot of credibility if he'd respond to some of David's examples of bubble craziness with something like "yes, there are some stupid buyers out there and we can dig up examples of their stupidity, but I don't think they're the ones driving the market." Instead, Lance has to defend every bad bubble buying decision that comes along, which ruins whatever he's hoping to accomplish here.

  13. Condos are nothing more than apartments! Make to much noise and get kicked out on you rear. 425K sign me up for two!!...not

    Of course, in those mostly-vacant San Diego white elephants, it could be *year* before you actually have a neighbor living next door.

    Lance, it's one thing to defend prices in gentrified DC markets, but quite another to defend what's going on in San Diego. That stuff's crazy.

  14. Such negativity ... David posts some pics of some nice condos in the city he is visiting and as any normal person would do I agree with him that they are nice ... Apparently, lots of you bubbleheads are far from normal ... Just jealous, bitter, wannabe homeowners.

  15. David,

    In a place like SD, $425K IS cheap ... The people buying these places are earning upwards of $100K annually and can easily afford them. You don't need to be feeling sorry for them. I'm sure if you look, you'll find plenty of affordable housing in the $200K - $300K range out there too ... just not in convenient, downtown locations. It'd be nice if we could all live where we want to live (like in convenient downtown locations)but it would also be a bit crowded. That's why God made places like Santee some 30-40 mins east of San Diego ... or Silver Spring in our area.

  16. Anonymous said...
    "I love this one:

    "1515 MARION ST NW $790,000"

    Suggest walking down Marion St. on a pleasant day. It is beautiful."

    Sorry, this IS a very pretty street with very well built homes with lots of original detailing. I almost bought there when I was looking. It sounds you are turning your nose up at it. Are you racist? Is that why you think you are too good for it?

  17. Lance -

    By now everyone clearly understands your position - the time to buy is always NOW.

    When others point out how ridiculous home prices are based on fundamentals you point out why they are a good deal.

    And typically throw in some fear inducing talk about rising interest rates, or locking in your payment NOW, etc.

    Almost like a sales pitch. Hmmm.

    It's old. And boring.

  18. Chriso said:

    "Lance, it's one thing to defend prices in gentrified DC markets, but quite another to defend what's going on in San Diego. That stuff's crazy."

    I don't know much about San Diego real estate prices, but I do know that they are higher than DC's. And since these condos are priced at the same (or lower) point than similar condos here, then I can't help but think that they aren't all that expensive for San Diego. I also remember that area from having done some work out there some 8 years back. And even then it was well past the point of being transitional and already being "transistioned" with fairly expensive restaurants and condos all around. I wouldn't imagine it hasn't improved even more since then ... and is probably nicer than our own still gentrifying areas like 14th Street where 1 -bedrooms go for considerably more than $425K. Now, why do you think it is a crazy market out there?

  19. Lance wrote "The people buying these places are earning upwards of $100K annually and can easily afford them"

    Very unlikely as the brochure touts ownerhip costs of "For about 1,508.46* a month you could be living it up in your own downtown digs." These monthly payments are designed to lure people making 60 - 80K .

  20. Anonymous said...
    "Lance -

    By now everyone clearly understands your position - the time to buy is always NOW."

    If this is what you think I've been saying, then you clearly don't understand. What I've been saying is that a smart buyer can buy in any market for a good price. A smart buyer doesn't need to depend on lucking into a major depression or some other doom and gloom scenario to buy a home. A smart buyer ... like any smart person ... makes their own luck.

  21. Lance, I'm the guy who posted the Marion St. information. I said "It is beautiful" because I mean "it is beautiful"

    Why in the world would you read that any other way? I meant it as I wrote it.

    I live about five blocks from there, deeper into the Shaw area.

    Get over yourself. You just acted like a fool because you are too wrapped up in yourself to know any better.

  22. "I almost bought there when I was looking."

    Explain why you didn't buy on Marion St. Did you not buy there because of the prevailing demographic? (note the less-inflamatory form of my interrogatory compared to yours)

    Did you choose Dupont because you are homosexual?

  23. Don't you all know how many GS-15s and ambassadors live in San Diego and who are just salivating to live in those condos?


  24. Lance wrote "What I've been saying is that a smart buyer can buy in any market for a good price."

    I have a home to sell you in Baghdad!

  25. Saw a guy on the on ramp today. Sign said "will trade condo for food." He had a nice Remax jacket on.

  26. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  27. David,

    You have allowed and encouraged this site to become nothing more than a place where bubbleheads can rant and rave and be cheered on by fellow bubblehead faith believers. True discussions of opposing viewpoints and related pros and cons have become impossible. If you are looking for a place where you can find validation and solace for your viewpoints and past and current decisions, then you have succeeded. If you are looking for a place where ideas might be freely exchanged and discussed and knowledge gained all around, then you have failed miserably. Good luck in attaining your pennies on the dollar home purchase ... and in the meantime enjoy the cheerleading coming from your like-minded bubbleheads. There's a lot to be learned from someone just like you.

  28. Lance,

    I'm not a bubblehead. I posted positive news about residential housing in the city of Washington. I even suggested walking down a particular street because "it is beautiful". You took the positive things I said and twisted them around.

  29. Lance,
    There is no reason for you to make any further comments. We will keep in mind that if Lance were here he would tell us to buy and that there is no bubble and that we bubbleheads are all just bitter impoverished renters filled with jealousy.

  30. I think this blog would be better off if David would just simply remove all of Lance's posts.

    Just a thought... not a sermon.

  31. Yeah, just erase his posts and make this another bears-only housing forum similar to the Ben Jones blog.

    Although I may not agree with everything Lance says he does make many soild points regarding the housing market.

  32. No, he doesn't.

    Lance has added little true knowledge to the discussion. His own decisions have biased him to the point that he cannot concede even the most obvious truths.

    As he has grown tired, his posts have become increasingly transparent. They all go back to the same point: Now is the time to buy. Interest rates may rise (this is to add a little fear to the sales pitch). Homes are valued fairly, etc. (He says this regardless of the time or place).

    It is a sales pitch plain and simple. Even his contention that homes make a great hedge against inflation is not true. (Articles explaining why were posted earlier.)

  33. Actually, what bothers me most about this exchange is the quick draw of "are you racist?" Lance, let's not be too quick to act the martyr. I've had several discussions with you. I've explained my opposing viewpoint, and listened to yours. I've even said that there are *occasions* where it could make sense to buy in this market, although I think that prices far outstrip what a family can afford on a reasonable budget in the majority of cases.

    Tone it down, eh? It serves no purpose to act the shill.


  34. I was the one suggesting to remove his posts.

    It's great to debate the Real Estate market... but c'mon... does Lance really think he's going to convince me to buy during these awful market conditions? Not a chance. It's like asking me to move into a straw hut during a hurricane.

    Look, sometimes I don't mind his idiotic banter, but I really just can't stand simple naysaying to well thought out, referenced arguments. I mean, if you want to debate the facts... please provide proof to back up your side of the debate.

    I've seen nothing more from Lance than finger-wavering and "you're wrong". This is why I say we should just remove his posts. They no more value to our debates than comic relief.

  35. It looks to me like Lance signed off with his last post.

    I'm the non-bubblehead who was accused of being racist for saying "it is beautiful" in reference to a street near my home that really is "beautiful".

    I think Lance just needs to take a break.

  36. why not just ignore Lance?

  37. Yes ban all non-renters. Then true debate can take place! Free and important insight will flow.

  38. Lance suffers from OCD, he can't help his self. poor, smuck!

  39. Good riddance to Lance. Maybe we'll see him in a year or two begging for money under the H Street overpass.

  40. NAR publishes their 2Q06 numbers tomorrow at 10 AM (according to their website).

    I will find these numbers far more illuminating than anything Lance has ever written.

    My $0.02.

  41. "Don't you all know how many GS-15s and ambassadors live in San Diego and who are just salivating to live in those condos?

    Jerkstore "

    I heard that everybody in San Diego makes 24,000/year just like Jerkstore.

  42. I just moved from San Diego after living there 3 years.

    We rented a 2bd house near downtown for $1600/mo (654 sq feet). The first time landlords were unable to give our deposit back because they purchased a second home in late 2004 and were not able to keep up with the payments.

    After that we moved into 425 W. Beech St. for one year. Another first time landlord. After 1 year he tried raising our rent from $1800/mo to $2000/mo.

    We decided to move and he wanted to know why. LOL. After a more frank discussion, it turns out he purchased the place in late 2004 thinking the prices would rise. (and they did rise a bit). The idea being he would rent it out for a year, then sell it at a tidy profit.

    During the time we were living there, place zillowed out at around $589,000. (870sq feet 2bd/2bth).

    NOW, check a quick check on sees the SAME units on higher floors (7, 11, 14th floor, etc), going for much less. $100K+ less in some cases.

    After we left he tried to sell and was unable. I don't know what he's doing now.

    As far as the people living in that building -- a very high concentration of foreigners driving 6 series Beemers.

    When I'd use the hot tub at night I'd often note that only a tiny % of the units had any lights on. I'd say the building was probably 40% investor driven.

    Check out the building "Acqua Vista", 425 West Beech St. 92101" on for yourself.

    Anyone considering buying anywhere near San Diego NOW would fall into the category of "complete idiot".

    Check back in that area in 2 years. You should be able to buy a 1000 sq ft condo, 2 bd with a great view for $300K.

  43. FYI - re: lance.

    When I first moved to san diego I met 100's of people that lived in million dollar homes.

    Due to the business I was in, I knew their incomes, which ranged from about $50-100K. Almost nobody had a combined income of more than 100K.

    How then were they able to afford such luxury?

    The answer, obviously, is that they purchased homes in that area 5-20 years ago and then kept upgrading as land increased, keeping their payments relatively low and their equity high.

    Many of those people remember San Diego losing nearly 40% of its land value in the early 90's due to a base closure. Some people were just now recovering because they purchased at the height of land values back then!

    Any fool can see the same thing is happening now. It's just a cycle, except this time it's a national cycle - much worse due to the credit bubble, arms, interest only loans.

    The next few years is going to be very ugly.

  44. The WSJ article:

    From Danielle DiMartino. “Many apologists for the housing industry remain insistent that because house prices have never fallen on a national level, they never will. Actually, they already have. Since the fourth quarter, median home prices have fallen about 1 percent, according to data Goldman Sachs mined from the National Association of Realtors.”

    I suspect that will only increase. And it will be nice to put that old adage to rest. Unfortunate that it took this type of bubble to do it.

  45. Bubbleheads,

    Did any of you see the recent Post article about the changing of retail in Dupont Circle.

    According to this article, home prices in Dupont, adjusted for inflation, have increased from $493k in 1990 to 581k in 2006.

    This is a appreciation of inflation plus 1%. This is exactly the rate of apprectiation bubbleheads are always citing is "normal" and the same rate that the economist Schiller has found to be the 100 year norm.

    So the question is, assuming the Post's numbers are correct, is there a bubble in Dupont?

    And think before responding for once.

  46. I just checked zip realty on my old unit... zillowing now for $530K and listed at $525K.

    It appears he has installed granite countertops. heh


    Unit MLS#066065503 3 stories UP, is going for $489,000 with better views.

    Unit #066066816 has hardwood floors and is $455K, same floor!

    and, double yikes...

    Unit #066057486 is on the 10th floor with corner, sweeping views, same sq ft, wood floors. $525,000K

    there are just pages and pages of these, doubt any of these will sell @ these prices.

  47. According to this article, home prices in Dupont, adjusted for inflation, have increased from $493k in 1990 to 581k in 2006. This is a appreciation of inflation plus 1%.

    That's actually almost right, if you figure a 16% total increase in that time span above and beyond the inflation rate. Which leads me to guess that the numbers are bogus, since such does not seem to be the case in other parts of DC or the metro area. BTW, exactly what do you get in Dupont for $581k these days? A nice cardboard box on the corner? I suspect that the price differential for the same unit then and now is much greater.

  48. D in DC,

    I would like to know the source of this article's numbers. As it stands, something doesn't seem right.

    Assume there is no appreciation beyond inflation.

    Then the 2006 price would be $493,000. That means that the inflation adjusted 1990 price would be $331,464.

    This $331K price is nearly twice the amount of the inner VA suburb prices that averaged out at $174,616 in 1990. This latter number I can verify from NVAR:

    To me, prices being nearly twice as expensive in DC versus the inner suburbs doesn't seem right. As I said, if I could find a source for DC housing prices that cover the 1990's this might make more sense.

    If prices were in the $330K range in 1990 then perhaps there is no bubble.

    My $0.02

  49. By the way, this is the inflation calculator I used. Any opinions on these things?

    My $0.02.

  50. "By the way, this is the inflation calculator I used. Any opinions on these things?"

    There are a several "official" calculators out there. Try this one:

    I would be curious if any of the calculators can adjust for the change in the CPI computation that took place n the early 90s.

  51. How refreshing... buildings that aren't short, fat, and boring.

    Why, oh why, haven't Arlington and Alexandria taken advantage of DC's antiquated building height limits to allow for taller buildings? I so wish they would.

    A 50 story tower would be nice for once.

  52. Those numbers can't be right because they don't support dc_too's preferred conclusion.

  53. "I almost didn't notice this one lance: if $425K is "cheap" then how is an average SD household (probably making $70K, to be generous) able to afford to buy an average SD home?"

    Why should these be affordable to average people?

  54. Lance,

    Normally I like your posts that balance out the "bubblehead mentality..."

    While I will agree that San Diego has become much nicer (I spent a weekend in the downtown/gaslamp area). *MUCH* nicer. I belive that unlike downtown LA, there is a good chance of gentrification holding there.

    However, to suggest buying into the poster child of the housing bubble... Please, tell me you were kidding. There are ways to be an optimist in this market and by all means share that knowlege...

    But San Deigo is a train wreck in progress. I already have multiple coworkers with vacant condos who are desperately trying to sell. If they don't sell, they will go BK. If they rent, they'll go BK in a few years.

    I don't ignore Lance as his counterpoint can be informative. We "bubbleheads" could be wrong. But... I'm not buying, I've sold all my stocks except for two that I think will hold out in a bad recession, etc.

    But I am getting married! Luckily, my bride to be agrees with me that home prices are gong to drop and drop hard. (Otherwise, why are the same homes for sale *throughout* 2006??? There are a dozen we'd be happy with that are a bit overpriced... I'll wait for the forclosure sale.)

    California is going to implode in this market. I cannot turn around at a dinner party without running into *muliple* people with investment properties.

    Some are smart like VA_investor and are cash flow positive and just want to hold onto good long term cash flow positive properties that can be turned over to their children at low appraisal values (and have their prop 13 roll over). Some will do ok... Some will hang on and endure the pain... Most are going to the cleaners.

    Southern California is going to get hammered in this downturn (to paraphrase Thornberg's comment on OC).


  55. "
    The point is that if lance terms $425K "cheap" then he must concede that there is a price bubble because the demand for such housing simply cannot be sustained, given income levels."


  56. By the way, back here in DC. On HousingTracker, inventories have been flat for a month, and the median asking price has fallen $10,000, or about 2% over the past month. So the question is, when do prices stop falling, and how far do they have to fall to get inventory back down to equilibrium?

    And as far as the X-factor goes, will there be upward pressures on inventory over the Fall and into 2007 because of resetting ARMS?

  57. Inventory has been basically flat since May.

  58. The interesting fact about the falling asking prices is it seems lately as if single family homes are actually a higher percentage of listings than a few months ago.

  59. Keith: By the way, back here in DC. On HousingTracker, inventories have been flat for a month, and the median asking price has fallen $10,000, or about 2% over the past month.

    It's not surprising that with all the condos becoming available that the median price of housing overall (or even for condos) has gone down in DC. These are mainly inexpensive (less than $500,000) condos coming on the market. It makes sense that their sheer numbers will lower the median selling price even if the prices on houses and luxury condos continue to go up. Like selling prices, median prices are determined on the margins.

  60. So Lance went underground (anon.) to make his usual idiotic digs at others' alleged income. What restraint! Yet the conversation has turned, dear Lance...almost as if a metaphoric landlord has come into your psychological apartment while you were away, rummagin through your virtual "stuff." (Isn't the looming landlord thing your favorite boogeyman?) Ouch.


  61. Jerkstore, you bring it on yourself.

  62. If only Bush would announce a new program to appoint 52,000 new Schedule C GS-15s for those 52,000 new condos coming online in DC over the next 24 months. This thing could just fix itself.


  63. Yet for some reason inventory just doesn't go up. Weird.

  64. My 213 cousins will be arriving soon. They and their anchor babies will be able to occupy probably 9 or 10 of these new condos.

  65. -> "Home Prices in Deep Freeze."

    LOL. Soon bitter home-debtor Lance will be in foreclosure. Intelligent savvy bubbleheads will swoop in buy homes at 50% off 2005 prices. DC/NOVA realestate will be much cheaper in a few years. I hope we will see a large increase in realtor suicides.

  66. Speaking in terms of northern San Diego county prices on a large number of condo conversions are all ready falling. One that comes to mind first is a complex that began sales "from the high 200's" less than a year ago now selling "from the low 200's" talk about losing the shirt off your back. Having your property devalue almost 100k in a year is just too crazy for me.

    That being said I'm a firm belever that RE isn't a bad investment. In the short term yes, but in the long term no. Values may come down, but they will go back up.

  67. Those photo's tell a good story but, you should drive around downtown San's worse!

  68. Bunch of Wusses. Sideline cry babies, that's probably how you deal with all events (wife, job..) in you lives.

    Sorry bunch of babies.