Pacific Beach Real Estate Market Statistics

The Pacific Beach real estate market numbers used below are from San Diego’s multiple listing service, a database which Realtors pay to access. This data is entered by real estate agents and regulated by SDMLS.

We like to use medians instead of averages for home prices and days on market, to minimize the effect of outliers skewing our data.

Current (updated 8/03/2020) market sentiment: SELLER’S MARKET – slightly. close to equilibrium. low inventory.

How much does a house in Pacific Beach cost in 2020?

The median sales price for a Pacific Beach house is $1,350,000. This comes from data collected in 2020 (1/1/2020 – 8/3/2020)

How much does a condo in Pacific Beach cost in 2020?

The median sales price for a Pacific Beach condo is $600,000. This comes from data collected in 2020 (1/1/2020 – 8/3/2020).

Are homes in Pacific Beach selling for more or less than the listed price?

For houses that sold in the Pacific Beach real estate market in 2019, homes sold for approximately 97.5% of the listed price. For condos, homes sold for approximately 101% of the listed price.

How long does it take for Pacific Beach homes to sell?

The median days on market for houses that sold in Pacific Beach in 2019 was 22 days. The average days on market for houses that sold in Pacific Beach in 2019 was 35 days. (There are some outliers which really skew this data – comparing median to average).

Pacific Beach home prices and other statistics

As shown in the chart above, there is an upward trend for median sales price in Pacific Beach from 2012-2020.

For some of the discussion about the Pacific Beach real estate market below, I will use 2019’s numbers instead of 2020, because it’s a larger sample size and includes all seasons.

Once we have more data on 2020, I will update this content.

The below numbers are for homes that sold. They do not include the prices of homes that were listed and never sold.

Median Pacific Beach house prices:

The median list price for Pacific Beach houses in 2019 was $1,380,000.

The median sales price for Pacific Beach houses in 2019 was $1,345,000.

Median Pacific Beach condo prices:

The median list price for Pacific Beach condos in 2019 was $599,999.

The median sales price for Pacific Beach condos in 2019 was $605,000.

These numbers hopefully paint a picture of how competitive Pacific Beach’s real estate market is.

  • These numbers are medians, meaning that half of the homes sold for more than 97.5% (houses) and 101% (condos) of list price, and half of them sold for below that.

To help illustrate this point, I’m going to give an example that’s not 100% correct, but will hopefully help conceptualize these numbers:

For every three homes that come on the market:

  • One will sell for more than the listed price
  • one will sell for the listed price
  • one will sell for less than the listed price

You need to know when a home will sell quickly, and possibly for more than list price.

You also need know when a home is overpriced, and can be purchased for a price below what it’s listed at.

Additional information on Pacific beach real estate market statistics:

As with most statistics, there is some fine print. The following points show that there are some issues with the above numbers. However, we work with the numbers that are given to us, and the statistics are still relatively accurate.

  • Sellers tend to drop the price of their home the longer the home sits on the market. The listed price at the time of the sale may not be the original list price.
  • Sellers will sometimes suspend a listing, by either withdrawing the listing, expiring the listing or canceling the listing. When the home becomes “re-listed” with a new price, the new price is now the “list price” used for the above numbers.
  • “Days on market” numbers do not include time on the market for homes that did not sell, or for homes that either were taken off of the active market, and then sold at a later time.
market statistics papers on desk

How do Pacific Beach home prices vary by bedroom?

As we could assume, homes get more expensive as the homes get larger. You may notice that the 4 bedroom condos are much higher than the houses with 4 bedrooms. This is due to the very small sample size, only a few condos in Pacific Beach have 4 bedrooms. For this sample size, the 4 bedroom condos were really close to the ocean in Mission Beach.

Pacific Beach real estate market trends

Trends can help predict future values. For residential real estate, the number of new sellers, escrows and sales are important for calculating how healthy the market is.

The chart above is a larger sample size than some of the charts above. It includes houses, condos, townhomes, twinhomes and rowhomes – effectively all residential classes.

The numbers above show new supply (sellers) and demand (new escrows and sales) in the Pacific Beach market.

Predicting the future of the Pacific Beach real estate market

  • If we see a decrease in sellers entering the market, and escrows/sales remain (relatively) the same, we can expect a future increase in price.
  • If we see an increase in sellers entering the market, and escrows/sales remain the same, we can expect a future decrease in prices.

Now seasonality is important to consider when analyzing these numbers.

There are fewer sellers entering the market around the holidays.

Similar to how we can analyze the supply (sellers) affecting price, we can also see how demand (new escrows) affects price.

  • If supply remains the same, and new escrows increase, we can expect a future increase in prices.
  • If supply remains the same, and new escrows decrease, we can expect a future decrease in prices.

Typically it’s rare that only one variable (supply or demand) changes at a time.

The equation gets a bit more complicated when we consider situations where both the supply and demand increase or decrease at the same time. Although the specifics matter, the market would usually be in a similar equilibrium, and prices would remain similar, if both supply and demand increase at the same rate, or decrease at the same rate. If the increase or decrease is not the same, we will have to calculate which (supply or demand) has a ‘net increase’.

  • If supply increases and demand decreases, or vice versa, you will see a faster and more dramatic change in prices.

What percentage of Pacific Beach homes sales use financing?

Over the last year (4/27/2019 – 4/27/2020) there were 497 homes sold in Pacific Beach. 145 of those homes were bought with cash.

Now, some of these cash buyers may have secured financing outside of the purchase. What does this mean? Some cash buyers refinance properties after purchase, or use loans that are not “required” for the purchase, and thus are not written into the purchase agreement (such as a “hard money loan”).

From these numbers, we know that at least 352 of the 497 transactions used financing. More than 70% of the homes bought in Pacific Beach were purchased with a loan.

Beyond the PB real estate market numbers

“We’re not in Kansas anymore…”

Pacific Beach is a competitive and expensive real estate market. You will need to keep this in mind when buying a home in Pacific Beach.

If you have purchased a home before in a city other than San Diego, you should not assume that the Pacific Beach real estate market will be a similar experience.

I had a past client tell me once,

“Oh, we know what the market is like. We purchased a home in Tulsa, OK”

This is not Tulsa.

This is not Chicago.

Think of all of the major cities in the US.

Then think of the major coastal cities, which tend to have more international demand.

Then think of the coastal towns within those cities.

Then think of the most popular tourist areas out of those towns.

That’s Pacific Beach.

Why am I sharing this with you? So that you understand that the Pacific Beach real estate market may be different than what you are used to. I want to set your expectations that Pacific Beach homes for sale may not sell for less than the listed price. You may not always be able to negotiate 10% off of the list price like you see in the tv shows or movies.

That’s not to say that deals cannot be found. Just that it’s important to understand the market or have a real estate agent who understands the market.

Psychology of the Pacific Beach real estate market

Would you rather:

  1. Buy a home that’s competitively priced, is a good fit for your situation, where you may have to offer more than list price?
  2. Buy a home that is overpriced, has issues, and has been sitting on the market for a while where you can buy it at a discount?

There are good things about each situation.

There are people that get a “buyer’s high” whenever they feel like they have gotten a deal. People love deals, and people love feeling like they got a price that’s better than what someone else would have paid. So it’s natural for buyers to want to make an offer below list price to feel like they have gotten a deal.

However, getting a a “deal” will typically mean you’re going to have to find a home that has “low demand”.

What does “low demand” mean for a home in Pacific Beach?

This is the whole, “Supply vs. Demand” theory. Low demand for homes in Pacific Beach, typically mean somethings wrong with the home. The home could be:

  • In need of repair
  • Will not qualify for a loan and requires a cash offer
  • On a busy street
  • Overpriced
  • Has complications, with either tenants, sales terms or building restrictions

If you are open to buying a home that has low demand, you can sometimes get a deal. If the house is priced accordingly, for the issues, you may still end up buying it for close to list price. However, if the house is priced similarly to homes nearby without any issues, the home will likely sit on the market for some time, and Buyers may be able to eventually buy it at a discount.

Some of the best “buys” I’ve experienced have come from either offering “list price” on the first day the home came on the market, or offering more than list price when there were other offers.

Why?

Because I knew there would be more offers coming soon, and it would sell for more than list price if there was a bidding war. These homes that have “high demand” have a large pool of buyers that would like to buy the home. For these situations, timing and strategy are of the utmost importance.

At the end of the day, houses are unique. Losing “the one (that got away)” probably means more to a buyer, than possibly over-paying by $5,000. Most buyers, after years of appreciation and seeing their homes value go up, would be happy to tell you that they would be fine knowing that the second highest offer for the home was $5,000 less than what they paid.

Talk to your real estate agent to learn more about the numbers behind the Pacific Beach real estate market, and develop a strategy!

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