16. July 2012 18:42
Comic Con, the annual love fest in San Diego of all things cartoon, visual arts and recently, expensive blockbuster movies, is over for 2012. The last 4.5 days in San Diego was like a huge Halloween party, in July. The local economy is fed directly with revenues from 125,000+ people eating in restaurants, staying in hotels, & purchasing mad amounts of goods. There are locals who rent out their homes and condos, and businesses that lease out space for the off site venues. Hollywood’s movie studios send top brass to network with their ilk, and the LA Times reported these folks are wined and dined off site and never walk through the convention center itself. Comic Con has grown considerably over the years, and it is San Diego's civic leaders responsibility to keep this revenue stream flowing. The Comic Con issue is a supply demand equation....the City must provide additional supply of convention center space for the ever increasing demand of Comic Con. The 2 mayoral candidates, Filner and Demaio, have pledged no further funding for convention center expansion. I feel that would be a huge mistake and not accounting for the bigger picture.
It seems the past 3 or 4 years has seen an increase in the banner wrap ads, those huge banners that form fit the facade of The Marriott and the Hilton. I was thinking that a forward-thinking HOA of one of the many tall residential towers should discuss a contract with a movie studio to shrink wrap their building for a week. The HOA would apply the earnings against the assessment, and help defray a monthly assessment for each homeowner.
31. May 2012 12:39
I attended the debate yesterday afternoon at the Town & Country Hotel in Mission Valley that featured all 4 of the major candidates for San Diego Mayor. It was well worth the cost of the lunch, as my fellow real estate colleagues, all 550 of them in that large conference room, witnessed the final debate before the June 5 primary. Nathan Fletcher resonated with the crowd and he received the loudest cheers and applause. His independence from either party in this non-partisan office race seems to be the right call this time around. Filner is too goofy, with too many jokes, and while I personally like humor, it seemed out of place up on that stage. Dumanis does not have a chance in this race, but her feistiness was actually refreshing. DeMaio appeared to be zipped tight into a Max Headroom-fashioned blue suit, and just seemed so uncomfortable and rambled out the same, memorized, motorized messages that we have been hearing from him for months. To watch for yourself, the debate will air this Saturday, June 2, at 7 pm on local news Channel 10. While the debate offered a format to express ideas succinctly, I think the more telling approach to their respective campaigns and commitment was participation in the Memorial Day parade in Kensington this past Monday. It’s a neighborhood event, 40+ years and running, that heads down Marlborough to Adams Avenue and lasts a little over an hour. Filner and Dumanis rode in cars and waved to the crowds, DeMaio was absent but he had a contingent walking the parade. Fletcher, he walked the route and shook hands with as many as he could reach. I was with a group of about 30 folks on the corner of Middlesex and there was widespread disappointment when we all realized that Fletcher was on the other side of the street, and as the parade moved forward he would not be able to circle back to shake our hands. And I think the people of San Diego like Fletcher because he brings an energy and motivation as well as independent thinking to a political process that has grown shopworn. San Diego is a lively, happy city, and we need leadership that understands that vibe and will be a positive advocate for our future. Nathan Fletcher gets my vote for Mayor of San Diego.
6. April 2012 12:23
Opening day at Petco Park for the San Diego Padres triggers many events in motion. Even with a loss yesterday against the Dodgers, the mood remains the same: Upbeat, Hopeful, Competitive, Youthful. It is just now Spring, but with major league baseball back in town, it feels like summer already. In 2004, when Petco first opened, downtown San Diego was experiencing a renaissance in the real estate market as thousands of brand new condos were being delivered. You had the feeling that living downtown was the future, where everything about you was fun and new and it was all walkable and innovative. Opening day 2012 signals a different kind of start than 2004, this time around it’s more cautious but upbeat still. Our real estate has changed – fewer units for sale & not a single new residential building under construction – it is likely this downtown market will be a seller’s market again, sooner than we think. Record low interest rates combined with the strong spring/summer sales will impact new inventory as it comes to market. If you are going to a Padres game this season, give me a call and I’ll set up a condo tour.
30. March 2012 10:57
The sound of hammers and saws piercing the daytime hours is the making of something positive in the air. Builders and contractors have been idle or cut back drastically the past many years as the “great recession” rolled across the United States. “There were a substantial number of projects deferred in 2008 and 2009 but those cases are much less so today, looking at 2010, 2011 and now in 2012,” states Robert Murray, vice president of economic affairs at McGraw Hill Construction, a construction data firm. The peak of new construction in the U.S. was 2006, with a total of $689.3 billion. In 2011, new construction totaled $421.4 billion. Forbes.com took the McGraw Hill data and dug deeper: which areas spent the most money on new construction in 2011, inclusive of homes, condominiums, apartment buildings, office, retail, warehouses, health care buildings, educational buildings, manufacturing plants and research facilities. Listed below are the top 6 metro areas. Surely this activity provides hope that the upswing is underway, and the recession that took so many victims is behind us.
1) NYC $17.2 billion
2) Dallas $9.5 billion
3) Houston $8.8 billion
4) Washington, D.C. $8.1 billion
5) Chicago $6 billion
6) Boston $5.9 billion
7. February 2012 13:37
I have long maintained that the housing recovery is premised upon the distress inventory clearing out. The distress in foreclosures and short sales is not helped by lenders unwilling to either re-finance or modify loans of qualifying homeowners. If the homeowner can prove income, why shouldn’t the lender re-structure the loan to accommodate a monthly payment that works? It’s a win-win. If my neighbor’s loan was an adjustable rate and re-sets from 5% to 10%, and the payment becomes a tidal wave of debt, a foreclosure might begin. Ultimately, my home’s value will decrease as a result of that neighbor’s distress. President Obama, in his State of The Union speech a few weeks back, said, “I’m sending this Congress a plan that gives every responsible homeowner the chance to save about $3,000 a year on their mortgage, by refinancing at historically low interest rates. No red tape.” Clearly, the devil is in the details. A huge impediment to refinancing is the lender’s appraisal. . In the scenario President Obama outlined, appraisals can =not= have any role in the refinancing process other than a place mark in the file. It can not determine value. If the lender needs to restructure or modify an existing loan to reduce the interest rate or extend the years…if they can create a more stable housing environment and avoid millions and billions in write offs and losses….then that would be the recovery we have been pushing for. A 30-year fixed rate mortgage under 4% is available today. Why not get started?