Encinitas a coastal community along the Pacific Ocean, situated between Carlsbad and Solana Beach to the north and south. The area is popular for its mild climate and the laid-back attitude of the locals.
Encinitas was incorporated in 1986 to include Olivenhain, Leucadia, and Cardif-by-the-Sea. Though these areas are technically part of the city of Encinitas, they have retained their unique identities.
The city is well-known for its active arts scene and festivals, boutique shopping, and fine dining, as well as outdoor activities like golf, surfing, cycling, and hiking.
Encinitas Real Estate
Being a large area, Encinitas naturally has a plethora of housing options for potential homeowners. These options include both new construction and historic homes, condominiums, and townhouses. Single family detached homes range from charming cottages to luxurious mansions.
Many homes feature views of the ocean, lagoons, and rugged coastal hills. Most homes are a short drive from the beautiful Encinitas beaches.
Residents can also take advantage of the high-quality educational opportunities afforded by the local school districts.
Housing Inventories Way Down In North County
Eric Wolff of the North County Times wrote an interesting article about the shortage of housing inventory in North County San Diego that has forced local real estate agents to scramble for houses to show.
The shortage in inventory is attributed to an influx of buyers in recent months, along with a hesitance by many would-be sellers to list their homes for less than they paid for them. The result is a housing inventory of 2.8 months at the current pace of real estate transactions in the region. This is down a staggering amount from the high (or low) point of 15.4 months of inventory set in September 2007.
As Wolff points out, agents have begun a mad dash to find housing matches for their clients, oftentimes seeking out homes before they get their MLS listing. Still other agencies are refraining from adding homes to any databases, opting for what’s called a pocket listing.
For some perspective, housing inventories above 6 months indicate a market with low demand and falling home prices. Inventories between 3 and 6 months are typically normal or healthy housing markets. Inventories of 3 months or lower indicate high buyer demand and often signal impending price spikes.
Pacific View Elementary Rezoning Delayed
The Encinitas City Council once again voted to deny a request to amend the city’s general plan and rezone the Pacific View Elementary School property so an arts center and new housing could be constructed.
The final result was a 4-0 vote, with councilmembers agreeing that they could not approve the request because Encinitas Union School District is currently suing the city over the property.
According to the Encinitas Pacth, the district has been trying to sell the site since June 2003, when the school was closed due to low enrollment. The district filed a lawsuit against the city for denying rezoning requests for residential development at the 2.8-acre parcel.
Timothy Baird, the Encinitas Union School District Superintendent, said the district would drop its lawsuit against the city if the council proceeded with the request.
Councilmembers said they would wait until the lawsuit is resolved before taking up the matter again. If the council accepts the application for rezoning at a later date, the matter would come before the council again during a public hearing with a recommendation from the city’s planning commission.
How Walmart Affects the Price of Your Home
A surprising report released by the National Bureau of Economic Research claims that the opening of a new Walmart within a half-mile could actually increase the value of your home. According to the report, homeowners can expect to see a 2-3 percent uptick in their home’s value–good for around $7,ooo. Houses located between a half-mile and a mile can expect a 1-2 percent price boost–around $4,000.
The research studied home sales in the area of 159 Walmarts buld between 2000 and 2006 2 1/2 years before and after the stores’ grand openings. The study claims the price increase is due to easy accessibility to discount shopping chain.
The study’s authors, as well as North County Times reporter Eric Wolff speculated that access to higher-end shopping or discount chains, such as Target, may further boost a home’s value.
Either way, the study may prove to be consolation for disgruntled Encinitas residents who live within a mile of the forthcoming Walmart.
North County Foreclosures Decline for 12th Straight Month
North County’s real estate market is starting to get on a roll. For the twelfth straight month, the region saw its year-over-year foreclosure rate drop. The streak has industry experts hopeful that the consistent decline may signal the emergence of a strengthening market.
While the news is good, experts are still quick to caution that foreclosure rates are still above a healthy level. Still, the numbers are encouraging.
“We’re a long way off from fully recovered; things are definitely moving in the right direction,” says Jordan Levine from LA-based Beacon Economics.
Foreclosures and notices of default were up in January from the December figures, but experts attribute the increase to a typical two-week layoff of proceedings around the holidays.
Meanwhile, financial institutions seem to have perfected the foreclosure process since the robo-signing scandal of 2010. Foreclosures are being processed at their fastest rate since the third quarter of 2009. With any luck, the decline totals and quicker processing will allow North County to flush the real estate market clear of distressed properties in a shorter period of time that previously expected. A removal of a significant number of these properties will help to solidify the market.
Foreclosures and Defaults Way Down in North County
To update a previous item, foreclosures and default notices stayed steady in 2011 across San Diego County, but new numbers suggest that those figures dropped dramatically in North County, as well as South Riverside County.
According to a study released by ForeclosureRadar, notices of default were down in every ZIP code in North County. Actual foreclosure numbers were more uneven. Many coastal ZIP codes witnessed an increase in foreclosures due to high-end markets tumbling in value faster than the rest of the market. However, most of the rest of the county saw sizable decrease in foreclosures, partially due to lenders allowing sellers to sell properties for less than the amount owed on the loan.
“More servicers and banks are willing to consider a short sale,” said Mark Goldman, an instructor at San Diego State University. “They’re coming to realize they’ll have more income on a short sale than they will on the expense of a foreclosure.”
Last year, lenders send 22.6 notices of default per 1,000 households, compared to the high-water mark of 43.1 notices per 1,000 achieved in 2009. Defaults were down 12 percent when compared to 2010.
Foreclosures occurred at a rate of 11 houses per 1,000 in 2011, down from a peak of 21.1 foreclosures per 1,000 recorded in 2008. Foreclosure auctions were down 14 percent from 2010.
Housing experts still warn that foreclosure rates are still higher than average. A healthy real estate market should see a rate of 4 foreclosures per 1,000 households. Still, the real estate market in North County seems to be on the right track towards a healthy market.
Countywide Coastal Cleanup Day Seeks Volunteers
On September 17, the Coastal Cleanup Day will once again tidy up beaches, bays, rivers, parks and roadsides across San Diego County. The annual event is sponsored by San Diego Coastkeeper and I Love a Clean San Diego.
People interested in volunteering can visit www.cleanupday.org for more information.
The cleanup will run from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and organizers are hoping to recruit 10,000 volunteers to help at 90 sites around the county. The Coastal Cleanup is part of a larger statewide effort to remove trash throughout California. Even the U.S. Navy will be getting in on the act, contributing divers to help clear underwater debris in the region’s ocean and bays.
Organizers estimate that volunteers will remove around 200,000 pounds, or 100 tons, of debris on Saturday. A large portion of the trash, around 82-percent, is made up of non-biodegradable plastics, such as plastic shopping bags and food wrappers that have a negative impact on wildlife. In 2009, volunteers collected 74,000 plastic shopping bags.
A clean San Diego County is beneficial to all residents. Aside from creating a clean and safe environment for beach and park goers, clean coasts help boost real estate and property values for those living near the ocean, bays, lagoons and rivers.
Encinitas: Family Gardening Workshops in August
The Solana Center in Encinitas is hosting a series of workshops to promote gardening and healthy living for families in the area.
The Family Gardening Workshops will be held August 3, 6, and 10. The cost is $15 for an adult/child pair. Two additional children may accompany for $10.
Among the topics covered by workshops are gardening, composting, nutrition, and more. Activities will include scavenger hunts and managing a worm bin, and are designed kids aged 7 – 11.
The mild climate in Encinitas is ideal for growing—in fact, the city’s largest industry is ornamental flower growing. Gardening is a great way to bring your family together and can even increase curb appeal and real estate property value.
Vegetable gardens are also springing up around the county in backyards and community gardens. Growing your own vegetables and herbs is environmentally friendly and will help your family eat healthier. Successful vegetable gardens don’t even require a large yard, they can be cultivated in many urban environments.
For more information on the Family Gardening Workshops, contact the Solana Center by visiting www.solanacenter.org, or call (760) 436-7986.