2013 San Diego real estate Outlook
San Diego real estate has been slowly but steadily improving throughout 2012. Also the hottest segment of the San Diego residential real estate market has been typically in the lower price ranges. Also, the residential real estate market inventory in San Diego is quite tight. Now, combine these factors with mortgage interest rates hovering around 3 1/2% and you have a lot of factors in place that portend to indicate that the San Diego real estate market will continue to improve into the New Year.
One thing to me seems certain. .. that in some form or another mortgage interest rate write off deduction is soon just going to be a fond memory. Yes, I don't believe it would be just out-right eliminated, but certainly it will be scaled back perhaps over a number of years or geared toward the total income of individual homeowners. What I'm referring to here, is that the government might very well say for anyone making over $200 or $250,000, the mortgage interest rate write off may just the 50% or 25% , while people who are making less than that, could still possibly have a full write off.
2013 is the first year ever that the Democrats have a majority in the state legislature. As a consequence of this, there has already been talk of various ways to increase taxes for California residents. Yes even though if this last election California moved into the number one spot for the highest state taxes and also increased its sales tax rate, California has not really substantially cut back on spending programs or state employee compensation or extremely generous retirement benefits.
So just within days of the November tax increase elections, California legislators have already started talking about new ways to increase revenue. One LA legislator has already proposed increasing the vehicle registration fees by 300%! But, let's bring this down to real estate… Here the talk has been on how to eliminate or get around California's proposition 13 which put a cap on residential real estate taxes.
It still might be somewhat difficult to eliminate proposition 13, so the insiders seem to be focusing on ways to get around proposition 13. Prior to the Democrats getting their super majority, to pass local school bond issues it required a two thirds vote of the public. So, the talk now has been to pass legislation to reduce this two thirds to a simple majority. If this becomes reality, school districts could propose and pass bonds that will add substantially to homeowners' tax bills. Here, even though proposition 13 itself would remain in place; the easier school bond simple majority will accomplish the same thing … raising taxes on California homeowners.
The third negative factor I see for California home ownership and the San Diego real estate market in particular, is California's own cap and tax program set to go into effect in January 2013.
With Californians already paying approximately 50% more for their electricity than the average for the rest of the nation, this new law is guaranteed to widen that gap even more. Plus, California has increased its mandate so now 33% of electricity produced in or for California must be from renewable sources by 2020.
The way this affects real estate is on two fronts. Census data shows that from 2007 the 2010, California lost almost half 1 million people to other states. During the same time frame, Texas gained 394,000 people. So by making it much more expensive to produce products and services in California we are losing jobs and people that would otherwise be creating more demand for high-priced housing. Also, the increasing utility costs and higher taxes because of this new cap and tax legislation will reduce disposable income for all Californians. Disposable income is one of the main factors in mortgage qualification.
So, when I consider all the factors affecting San Diego and California real estate in 2013, I believe we will see continuing modest improvement that will most likely end up being single digit San Diego housing appreciation for the entire year.
For anyone who would like to see my prior year-end forecast going back to 2005, visit this link:
My San Diego real estate site provides full, unrestricted access to search the entire San Diego MLS home listings . Also, if you want to see the actual current San Diego real estate sales activity and actual closed home prices, please visit San Diego California home sales
Bob Schwartz - Calif. real estate Lic.#00706331 brokerforyou