San Diego Market Update – October 2013


In California, the median home price was $361,000, up 28.5 percent in August, compared to the prior year states DataQuick. This was the 18th consecutive month in which the state’s median sale price rose year-over-year. In the last 17 months, the median home price in the six-county Southland increased year-over-year with doubledigit increases over the past 13 months. The median sales price that includes new, resale houses and condos was $385,000, up 24.6 percent from 2012.

JoelBlumenfeldBHHS Oct2103


Effective September 23rd, Prudential California Realty will become Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties…


Effective September 23rd, Prudential California Realty will become Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties.

The announcement of our brand name change to Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties represents a defining moment in real estate. It unites the strengths of industry leaders to bring unparalleled operational excellence, innovation and integrity.

Our commitment is to market California real estate at the highest level and be the most trusted real estate company in the California market. Our company, along with this powerful, new network will serve to exemplify the reputation of Berkshire Hathaway – recognized as the No. 1 company in Barron’s annual ranking of the world’s 100 most respected companies.

“Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices is a new franchise built upon the financial strength and leadership of Brookfield and HomeServices,” said Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO Berkshire Hathaway Inc. “I am confident that these partners will deliver value to the residential real estate industry, and I am pleased to have Berkshire Hathaway be a part of the new brand.”

We honor the trust you have placed in us to assist you with your real estate needs and look forward to the opportunity to exceeding your expectations under our new name.

Why is the debut of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices such major news?

When one of the most highly regarded companies in the world puts its name on a real estate sign, the entire field is dramatically changed. Of all the real estate firms people can choose from, this one is in a class by itself.

Who is Berkshire Hathaway?

A worldwide holding company based in Omaha, NE, Berkshire Hathaway ranks number one on Barron’s 2013 list of the world’s 100 most respected companies. Its chairman and CEO, Warren Buffett, often called the Oracle of Omaha, is regularly cited by Time magazine as one of the world’s most influential people.

Why is the launch of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices important to me?

• Real estate is local, but property marketing is global. When your home carries the Berkshire Hathaway brand, it’s immediately recognized and esteemed by buyers all over the world. The name stands for strength, integrity and trust, and buyers who see it on a yard sign are instantly impressed.

• Selling your home could be the biggest financial decision you’ll ever make. It’s reassuring to be backed by a company legendary for trust, integrity and stability. “Berkshire Hathaway wants to be in businesses that are enduring,” says Warren Buffett. He sees real estate as that kind of business.

• Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices is also grounded in the financial strength, efficiency and long tradition of parent companies that are immersed in every aspect of residential real estate. Having that depth of expertise on your side is invaluable.

How does the new brand change your company and your personal service?

It enhances both of them dramatically. Our 3,000 plus professionals — from top agents with exceptional market knowledge and negotiating skills to superbly trained staff — will still represent clients from the same convenient offices. We’ve simply been equipped with the most extensive suite of services and tools in real estate, and given the power to connect you with one of the strongest and most respected brands in the world.


I’ll be honored and excited to use all these advantages to give your home a cachet that has worldwide impact, showcase it across our international network, and find your best buyers, wherever they are.

Joel Blumenfeld Prudential California Realty
A: 2365 Northside Dr. Ste. 200, San Diego CA 92108 C: (619) 508-2192 W:

Prudential California

Top 5 Reasons Why You Need A REALTOR


Joel Blumenfeld, REALTOR – CA BRE#01889382

If you are thinking about buying, selling or relocating or know of someone who could benefit from a free current market analysis of their home, please don’t hesitate to call or e-mail me at

Search All Homes in San Diego please visit or download my custom app: Text JOEL to 619-344-8300, or click this link:

San Diego Market Update – September 2013

Real Estate Home Prices Still Rising

As we move through the last few peaks of warm summer temperatures, we are witness to a few notable high points in the real estate market as well. National homes sales in the last 30 days ending mid-August have increased by 18.8 percent compared to the same time last year says DataQuick. Additionally, in California we find an estimated 48,118 homes sold in July, up a solid 21.8 percent from the prior year.
SanDiegoMarketUpdate 2013Sept

Joel Blumenfeld, REALTOR


If you are thinking about buying, selling or relocating or know of someone who could benefit from a free current market analysis of their home, please don’t hesitate to call or e-mail me at

Search All Homes in San Diego please visit or download my custom app: Text JOEL to 619-344-8300, or click this link:

Safe Zones: 20 Most Crime-Free Cities in America

Violent crime rose in the U.S. last year for the first time since 2006, according to FBI statistics. However, the recent 1.2 percent increase belies a long-term trend: America is becoming a much safer country.

To find out which parts of America are the safest, we looked at the FBI’s latest report on crime and found cities with violent crime rates substantially below the national average.

We only included cities with populations of more than 200,000 to exclude suburban areas. Many of the cities are repeat winners from our 2011 report on America’s safest cities.

Irvine, Calif., was the safest city in the country for the ninth consecutive year. The city of just more than 200,000 has one of the country’s top-ranked school systems, a median household income well above the national average, and a crime prevention method that includes keeping a thorough record of violence.

Fifteen of the 20 safest cities are located in the Southwest, including six in California. Conversely, on our list of the 25 most dangerous cities, the only two Southwestern cities were in California.

Clearly there’s a geographic trend here. It should be noted, however, that different crime reporting policies among police departments may make some cities appear safer or more dangerous than they really are.

Neighboring cities Virginia Beach and Chesapeake, Va., are the only two on the list with murder rates equal to or above the national average. However, rape and robbery rates that are substantially below the national average compensate for this difference.

El Paso, Texas, one of the safest cities, is located directly across the Mexico-U.S. border from Juarez, Mexico, one of the world’s most violent cities. Officials there say that drug cartels keep their base of operations in Mexico to avoid encounters with U.S. law enforcement.

It also turns out that safety has its trade-offs: four of the safest cities (Chula Vista, Calif., Hialeah, Fla., Chandler, Ariz., and Henderson, Nev.) also appear on Forbes’s list of the 10 most boring cities in America.

These were the safest cities in 2012:

  • Murder rate: 25% below averageRape rate: 15% below averageRobbery rate: 0.3% below average20. San Diego, Calif.
  • Murder rate: 31% below averageRape rate: 24% below averageRobbery rate: 34% below average19. Laredo, Texas
  • Murder rate: 12% below averageRape rate: 41% below averageRobbery rate: 22% below average18. Chesapeake, Va.
  • Murder rate: 35% below averageRape rate: 46% below averageRobbery rate: 25% below average17. Reno, Nev.
  • Murder rate: 5% below averageRape rate: 85% below averageRobbery rate: 32% below average16. Oxnard, Calif.
  • Murder rate: 47% below averageRape rate: 42% below averageRobbery rate: 27% below average15. Fontana, Calif.
  • Murder rate: 28% below averageRape rate: 2% below averageRobbery rate: 39% below average14. El Paso, Texas
  • Murder rate: 37% below averageRape rate: 25% below averageRobbery rate: 12% below average13. Garland, Texas
  • Murder rate:  Equal to averageRape rate: 52% below averageRobbery rate: 36% below average12. Virginia Beach, Va.
  • Murder rate: 63% below averageRape rate: 36% below averageRobbery rate: 2% below average11. Hialeah, Fla.
  • Murder rate: 32% below averageRape rate: 50% below averageRobbery rate: 20% below average10. Chula Vista, Calif.
  • Murder rate: 65% below averageRape rate: 1% below averageRobbery rate: 46% below average9. Chandler, Ariz.
  • Murder rate: 68% below averageRape rate: 13% below averageRobbery rate: 43% below average8. Henderson, Nev.
  • Murder rate: 90% below averageRape rate: 35% below averageRobbery rate: 73% below average7. Boise, Idaho
  • Murder rate: 71% below averageRape rate: 26% below averageRobbery rate: 55% below average6. Scottsdale, Ariz.
  • Murder rate: 72% below averageRape rate: 55% below averageRobbery rate: 47% below average5. Irving, Texas
  • Murder rate: 73% below averageRape rate: Unreported dataRobbery rate: 11 % below average4. Madison, Wisc.
  • Murder rate: 92% below averageRape rate: 28% below averageRobbery rate: 65% below average3. Plano, Texas
  • Murder rate: 81% below averageRape rate: 76% below averageRobbery rate: 47% below average2. Fremont, Calif.
  • Murder rate: 80% below averageRape rate: 86% below averageRobbery rate: 86% below average1. Irvine, Calif

By Amelia Acosta and Anmargaret Warner!slide=6058382

Americans are on the move!

Recent polls show Americans and real estate insiders have faith in today’s economy and are taking full advantage of today’s real estate market. Both buyers and sellers have increased drastically over the last 12 months.. Sales up 7% year over year and Home prices have hit a 5 year high-up 17% from a year ago! The market has definitely recovered and with interest rates still low, and shortage of inventory, more first time buyers are coming onto the market.

one cool thing move

Joel Blumenfeld | BRE# 01889382 |

Why now is a great time to buy a home

This past week I met with Michael Deery, mortgage expert at Citywide Financial regarding the current real estate market and enjoyed the conversation so much that I asked him to share his insights. Here’s what he had to say:

“For buyers still on the fence about buying a home or move-up buyers still waiting to sell, they should take a few things into consideration and try to make a decision soon. For example, interest rates have increased for four straight months, nearly .5 percent during this time; home prices are rising everywhere as multiple buyers are bidding on limited inventory; and the FHA will soon require FHA buyers to pay mortgage insurance for the life of their loan. With these changes, we’re seeing the cost of purchasing a home increasing.

“Home prices are on the rise everywhere, as limited inventory is driving prices up. It’s the old law of supply and demand — as supply falls, demand will rise, and this is why we’re seeing bidding wars for properties going on in most local markets.

“On June 3, the FHA will implement a change that will dramatically increase the cost of FHA loans for consumers. They will require FHA buyers who put down 10 percent or less (which is most FHA buyers) to pay mortgage insurance (‘MIP’) for the life of the loan. Currently, if a home was purchased for $175,000 with 3.5 percent down at a 4 percent mortgage rate on a 30-year term, the MIP would be required for approximately 9 years and 9 months based on normal amortization. The new ruling basically doubles the amount of total MIP if the loan is paid to term. For buyers to avoid these increases, they’ll need to have a signed contract on a property on or before June 3, 2013. So it’s a good idea for buyers planning on using FHA financing to get moving quickly.

“With interest rates on the rise, now is a great time for move-up sellers to sell and buy a new home, as their home will probably sell quickly due to limited inventory. A question some sellers may have: is it better to wait and see if their home appreciates another 3-4 percent over the next 12 months to net more profit, or is it better to sell now and buy your dream move-up home while rates and borrowing costs are still very affordable? Let’s compare.

“Let’s say we have a seller who can purchase a home today for $360,000 with a rate of 3.4 percent. A year from now, the same home costs $371,160 (roughly 3 percent appreciation) and rates have increased to 4.4 percent. By waiting a year to buy, the seller may pay an extra $262 a month, and over 30 years that’s an additional $94,320 to buy the same home ($262 x 360 months = $94,320). So by waiting a year to sell, yes you may gain an additional $11,000 in appreciation, but don’t forget the other half of that equation.

“I believe that now is a great time to buy. With interest rates and home prices on the rise, and with the FHA changes coming in June, these are good reasons we should buy now!”

By U-T San Diego 6 a.m.March 30, 2013

Homes selling faster as buyers outpace supply

Homes sold faster last month than in any February since 2007 as eager buyers met a tight supply of homes for sale, industry figures show.

Homes were on the market for a median of 98 days last month, down from 123 days in February 2011, according to That means half the homes listed for sale in February were on the market for less than 98 days and half for more than that.

Even 98 days is long for many markets.

In Oakland, homes spent just 14 days on the market last month before they went under contract or were pulled off for other reasons, data show. In Sacramento — just 21 days.

“Things are flying off the market,” says Barbara Hendrickson, of Red Oak Realty in Berkeley, Calif., near Oakland.

While eight of the 10 fastest-moving markets were in California, Denver and Seattle made the top 10, too, with median market times of 28 and 33 days, respectively, says.

Nearly all of the markets with low median market times are also seeing big declines in homes listed for sale.

The average dropoff was 48% from a year earlier in the markets with the greatest declines in supply. Most were in California. That compared with a 16% drop for 146 metropolitan regions for which has listing data.

But some metropolitan areas outside of California are also seeing fast sales, the data show.

In 18 non-California cities, the median number of days on the market was less than 60. Those included Phoenix, Washington, D.C., Detroit, Minneapolis, Atlanta, Dallas, Orlando and Fort Lauderdale.

Phoenix has led the home-price recovery, with prices up 23% in December vs. a year earlier, according to the Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller index.

The Phoenix market has been helped by strong investor demand for homes. Atlanta is now seeing a surge of investors, too, as is Orlando, local Realtors say.

With such fast-moving markets, buyers and sellers are less likely to see price reductions on properties and more multiple offers, says Curt Beardsley, vice president with Move, which operates

In Oakland, for instance, two out of three single-family homes that sold in February drew multiple offers, says Aman Daro, marketing director for Red Oak Realty.

Buyers are also more likely to waive home-inspection contingencies to better compete for homes, says Gerhard Ade, Seattle-area real estate broker with RSVP Real Estate.

He recently had a listing priced at $225,000. It got 12 offers and sold for $235,000 to a buyer who waived the home inspection and paid cash.

Cash buyers accounted for 28% of existing-home buyers in January, the National Association of Realtors says.

Cash buyers are often investors. Their presence in a market can be especially tough for first-time buyers, who usually need a loan to buy. Sellers typically prefer cash offers.

​Nationwide, the inventory of homes for sale fell in January to a 4.2-month supply, almost an eight-year low, the National Association of Realtors says. Its data show all homes were on the market in January for a median 71 days, down from 99 days a year earlier.

Julie Schmit, USA TODAY7:08a.m. EDT March 17, 2013

3 Reasons Your Home’s Value is Rising


The housing market is growing so robust that even “hard-hit” regions are getting up off the mat and back in the fight. In California, pending home sales are at a four-year high, according to the California Association of Realtors. That’s increasing homebuyer competition and leading to multiple offers on many homes, the group says.

“The strong increase in January’s pending home sales is an encouraging indication that we’ll kick off the spring homebuying season on a solid start,” says Don Faught, president of the association. “However, a low supply of available homes for sale will affect buyers, especially first-time buyers looking for more affordable, lower-priced homes, since they are having to compete with investors and all-cash buyers.”

According to San Diego-based Data Quick, a real estate technology analytics firm, 13 of the most troubled U.S. housing markets also saw “significant” growth rates in the first 30 days of 2013. Phoenix leads the way with a 24% increase on a year-to-year basis (from January 2012 through January 2013). Sacramento, Calif., clocks in second, at 15%, and Detroit hits third place at 14%. Other “troubled’ metro areas experiencing housing price gains include Las Vegas; Richmond, Va.; San Jose, Calif.; Fort Myers, Fla.; San Diego; and Orlando, Fla.

Data Quick is, well, quick to point out that there is no way of knowing whether those price gains are for the long haul. “The January PIR reviews whether or not there is justification for these elevated growth rates, or if these growth rates are evidence of a new bubble forming in these areas,” says Gordon Crawford, vice president of analytics at the company. “Although these markets are rebounding, there is uncertainty as to whether or not they will sustain consistent growth.” For now, though, growth it is, and at a steady, upward rate. Why the ramp-up in home values? Experts cite three reasons:

Employment is up. Data Quick says the U.S. jobs market is “steadily improving,” and that has fueled home price gains in those hard-hit markets and other metro areas, as well.

The “bottom” has been reached. For years, economists, real estate agents and even homebuyers and homeowners yearned for a real estate market bottom, signaling that the worst is behind us and prices could once again move upward. Apparently, that benchmark has been reached. “During the housing crisis, many were uncertain as to where the bottom in home prices had been reached, causing many owners and investors to patiently wait on the sideline,” Crawford says. “Once interested parties saw a market trough, they eagerly returned to the market.”

Home improvement stocks are up. Revenues at home improvement retailers such as Home Depot and Lowes are up, and that means consumers are once again putting money into improving their most valuable asset — their homes. Fitch Ratings says that store sales figures were up 4.2% at Home Depot in 2012, while Lowes showed gains of 1.4% over the same period. Those growth rates should continue in 2013, Fitch says. “We project Home Depot and Lowes will generate same-store sales growth of approximately 2% to 4%, which is slightly below our forecast for 4% growth in total home improvement spending this year,” Fitch states.

All in all, those trends paint a pretty picture of the U.S. housing market for the rest of 2013. With any amount of luck, there’ll be enough paint left over for 2014.

By| Posted Mar 7th 2013 3:30PM By Brian O’Connell via