Brenda Richardson                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Forbes

It’s about to get even harder for Millennials to buy their first homes.  Nearly 45 million Americans will reach the typical age for first-time home buyers within the next 10 years, 3.1 million more than the past decade, creating stumbling blocks in an already challenging market for those racing for a spot in the starter home market.

The median first-time home buyer in the U.S. is 34 years old, according to online real estate market place Zillow.  There are 44.9 million Americans ages 24-33, or potential future first-time home buyers, compared with 41.8 million people ages 35-44, or potential past first-time home buyers, a 7.4% increase.

For the past several years, a tight supply of starter homes has been a barrier for young potential home buyers.  Starter homes have gained 57.3% in value over the past five years, a median increase of $47,600 while for-sale inventory in this price range has dropped 23.2%, Zillow reports.  Over the same period, the most expensive third of starter homes gained 26% in value, and home in the middle third appreciated 36.8%.

Though the current housing market is cooling off, this coming wave of buyers faces a future starter-home market with now-familiar dynamics:  relatively high demand and low supply, in which the stiff competition among buyers worsens the affordability issues caused by rising price.

“The decision to buy a house is frequently linked to people wanting room for children, maybe wanting to get a yard for their kids,’ say Zillow economist Jeff Tucker.

Other reasons Millennials might want to own a home include security, independence, building equity, stability and financial flexibility, according to a recent survey by Mr. Cooper, the nation’s largest non-bank mortgage servicer and a leading mortgage lender.

But saving for a down payment can be an uphill battle for first-time buyers.  In fact, a recent Zillow analysis found that buyers need 1.5 years longer to save for a down payment than they did 30 years ago and to secure a loan.  Nearly four times as many first-time buyers who obtained a mortgage last year were denied at least once (29%) compared to repeat buyers (8%).

The Mr. Cooper report found that 58% of aspiring homeowners lack of funds for a down payment; nearly half (43%) don’t have a financial plan in place to purchase a home someday; 75% would be willing to work a side job if it meaning owning a home sooner; and 36% would have a roommate if it meant being able to afford a home sooner.

Some markets provide better conditions than others for first-time buyers with a combination of lower home values, strong appreciation forecasts, available supply and a high share of listings with a price cut.

The three best markets for first-time home buyers in the 2019 home shopping season are Tampa, Las Vegas and Phoenix.

“These are relatively affordable markets with median home values well under $300,000,” says Tucker.  “We’ve also seen a large fraction of listings with price cuts.  That’s good news for first-time home buyers.  It means that buyers have a little more bargaining power.”

San Diego and Boston are expected to see the largest jumps in potential first-time buyers.  Both metros will see a nearly 20% increase in the next wave of potential first-time home buyers compared with the previous wave, according to Zillow.

“Boston and San Diego will have the biggest fraction of people hitting that median first-time buyer age, 34, than anywhere else in the country,” says Tucker, adding:  “One caveat there, though, is people are always free to move.  So if people find that as they age into their mid-30s and look around to buy a home, they could find that it might be too expensive to find the home they would like to live in Boston or San Diego.  And so at the metro level, it’s a little harder to predict the future without a crystal ball.  Just because somebody is a 30-year-old in Boston today, you know they will be 34 in four years, but we don’t know where they are going to live in four years.”

Buyers making a transition from renting to homeownership help ease rental demand, which holds down rent-price growth.  But Tucker acknowledges the other side of the coin, saying “if this coming wave of buyers has to compete fiercely for homes to purchase, that could drive up rent prices as well as home values.”

REALTOR MAGAZINE, March 18, 2019

Americans who are self-employed and freelance or contract workers have long had to struggle to qualify for a mortgage compared with those with W2 forms or pay stubs that lenders can use to verify their incomes.  For the self-employed, the mortgage process can be time-consuming and cumbersome.  Lenders often require extra paperwork, such as full documentation of tax returns from the last couple of years (not just the electronic copy submitted to the IRS).  Even after that, the person may still lack an income steady enough to qualify or face extra fees once they are approved.                                                                    However, mortgage financing giants Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae have recently made changes to an automated system that could help more self-employed individuals qualify for a mortgage.  The new technology automates underwriting for loan applicants who are self-employed or have side income.                          “Applications that previously would have taken days to analyze and verify may now take just minutes, thanks to the use of optical character recognition technology that reads tax returns, identifies what qualifies as eligible income, and integrates it into both companies’ electronic underwriting systems,” reports Kenneth Harney, a syndicated real estate columnist for The Washington Post.                                                                                                                            This frees lenders from having to comb through tax documents and allows them to find the information they need in minutes.  The new system now takes three to five days to process, which slashes hundreds of dollars in costs and trims the risk for the lender, Andy Higginbotham, a Freddie Mac senior vice president, told The Washington Post.                                                                                                                                                                                                            There were about 15 million self-employed individuals in 2015 – which equates to about one of every 10 people in the workforce, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.  Adding automation to the mortgage approval process could give potential home buyers greater confidence as they shop for a home, says Josh Moffitt, president of Silverton Mortgage in Atlanta.  It also could help with meeting contingency-clause financing deadlines in contracts.                                Still, the programs are new, so not all lenders may offer this automated income verification to self-employed applicants yet.  But housing experts say it may be valuable to self-employed individuals to find those that do.

By Dan DiClerico, 2/14/2019

When real estate prices were soaring and the cost of building materials was holding steady, practically any well-planned home improvement project would add value to your home.  In recent months, however, the housing market has started to soften and tariffs are driving up the cost of lumber, steel, and other construction materials. That  means homeowners need to be more judicious in their choice of upgrades to get the best return on the investment.

The just released Remodeling 2019 Cost vs. Value Report is one of the best tools for targeting remodeling projects with maximum bang for the buck.  Below are the top winners, along with tips from HomeAdvisor’s remodeling pros on ways to add even more value to the upgrade.

1.  GARAGE DOOR REPLACEMENT

ROI:  97.5%

The near-perfect return on this project is because it improves both a home’s beauty and functionality.  Faulty garage doors can cause flooding, threaten your home’s energy efficiency and provide access to burglars.  Garage door updates also function as aesthetic upgrades.

HomeAdvisor’s homeowner survey puts the average cost of a garage door installation at $1,080.  It might be worth spending more on a double-layer door with added insulation and a galvanized steel skin if you live in a region with extreme weather.

2.  MANUFACTURED STONE VENEER

ROI:  94.9%

Any project that improves a home’s curb appeal will add value.  Installing stone veneer checks that box in a pretty cost-effective way.  Engineered stone siding mimics the look of pricier, natural options.  It also places less stress on the frame and foundation of your home than heavier alternatives.

The average cost of siding replacement at about $9,625.  A stone veneer can be installed for less, especially if it’s only used as an accent, like along the bottom third of the street-facing facade.

3.  MINOR KITCHEN REMODEL

ROI:  80.5 %

If you’re planning to live in your home for decades, going all in on your dream kitchen makes sense.  but if this isn’t your forever home, a mainly cosmetic kitchen makeover will deliver a much bigger return.  Kitchen overhauls improve the looks and usability of your home.  Replacing old fixtures and appliances will also increase your home’s energy efficiency.

The average kitchen remodeling cost is around $22,200, compared with $52,800 on a large-scale renovation.  You’ll be able to do a lot on the more modest budget, including new countertops, floor, and fixtures, as well as cabinet refacing, which will help give the kitchen a new look.

4.  DECK ADDITION

ROI: 75.6%

Anytime you increase a home’s usable living space, you improve its market value.  A new deck accomplishes this, while also creating a strong connection to the outdoors, a feature that ranks high on most home buyer’s wish list.  Building a new deck costs homeowners an average of about $7,225 on new decks.

Expect the project to cost more if you choose an exotic hardwood for the decking, such as ipe or tigerwood.  Whichever material you choose, be sure to rope off a full-scale mock-up of the deck during the planning phase to make sure the surface is getting the right balance of sun and shade.

5.  ENTRY DOOR REPLACEMENT

ROI: 74.9%

The front door is part of your home’s first impression.  You don’t want it shabby or out of sync with the architecture of the home.  The average cost of an exterior door replacement is just under $1000, though the actual cost will depend on the material.

High-quality steel doors (which price on the higher end) also prevent leaks and boost the insulation of your home.  Decorative flourishes, such as sidelight and a transom window, will add more to the project cost, though they can be worth the splurge given the added curb appeal they’ll deliver.

The Washington Post, Kathy Orton/February 25, 2019

Mortgage rates’ steady decline is making purchasing a home more affordable just as the spring buying season heats up.

According to the latest data released Thursday by Freddie Mac, the 30-year fixed-rate average dipped to 4.35 percent with an average 0.5 point.  (Points are fees paid to a lender equal to 1 percent of the loan amount.)  It was 4.37 percent a week ago and 4.40 percent a year ago.  The 30-year fixed rate has fallen 16 basis points since the first of the year.  (A basis point is 0.01 percentage point).

The 15-year fixed-rate average slipped to 3.78 percent with an average 0.4 point.  It was 3.81 percent a week ago and 3.85 percent a year ago.  The five-year adjustable rate average dropped to 3.84 percent with an average 0.3 point.  It was 3.88 a week ago and 3.65 a year ago.

“Today’s news from Freddie Mac should give buyers some optimism this spring as mortgage rates remain at one-year lows,” said Danielle Hale, chief economist at Realtor.com.  “But this spring won’t be without it’s challenges.  Most markets are continuing to see rising home prices, which means many buyers will have to make some trade-offs in order to close this year.”

The Federal Reserve released the minutes from its January meeting this week, which showed central bank officials unsure about the need for interest rate increases in 2019.  Although the Fed doesn’t set mortgage rates, its decisions influence them.

“Wednesday’s release of the minutes from January’s (Federal Open Market Committee) meeting paints a picture of a more muted outlook for interest rates over the next year,” said Aaron Terrazas, Zillow senior economist.  “All eyes are on a string of Fed speakers over the coming week, when we will also see a slew of housing market data, which was a soft spot in the economy at the end of last year.  However, the January data are unlikely to provide a definitive judgment on the underlying health of the economy.  The market signal in January home sales and permits is likely blurred by the partial federal government shutdown and the polar vortex that hit much of the country mid-month.”

Mixed economic news is putting a damper on rates.  More than 84 percent of purchase borrowers and 81 percent of refinance borrowers were offered rates below 5 percent last week,  according to Lending Tree’s weekly mortgage comparison shopping report.

Bankrate.com, which puts out a weekly mortgage rate trend index, found nearly two-thirds of the experts it surveyed say rates will remain relatively stable in the coming week.  Michael Becker, branch manager at Sierra Pacific Mortgage, is one who predicts rates will hold steady.

“Mortgage rates follow the 10-year Treasury and have similarly been consolidating with small differences in rates on a day-to-day and week-to-week basis,” Becker said.  “At some point, rates will break out of this tight range and we will see either a spike or drop in rates.  If global economic concerns dominate markets, then we will see a drop in rates.  If optimism based on progress on trade wars or central bank dovishness prevails in the markets, then there will be a spike in rates.  For now, I think rates continue their consolidation pattern and that mortgage rates will be flat in the coming week.

“Meanwhile, mortgage applications have finally started to pick up, according to the latest data from the Mortgage Bankers Association.  The market composite index – a measure of total loan application volume – increased 3.6 percent from a week earlier.  the refinance index rose 6 percent from the previous week, while the purchase index grew 2 percent.

The refinance share of mortgage activity accounted for 41.7 percent all of the applications.

“After slumping over the past month, purchase mortgage applications reversed course, rising nearly 2 percent over the past week and 2.5 percent from a year ago,” said Bob Broeksmit, MBA president and CEO.  “With mortgage rates lower than in previous months and holding steady, lenders are indicating that prospective buyers may be eager to start their home search before the spring buying season gets underway.

San Diego home price increases fall behind nation, California

By Phillip Molnar, Union Tribune, January 29, 2019

San Diego home price gains continued to slow in November compared to most of the nation and California, said the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices released Wednesday.

Resale home prices in the San Diego metropolitan area increased 3.3 percent in the year, the third slowest of the 20 cities covered by the index. National home prices were up 5.2 percent in a year, with Las Vegas leading the pack with a 12 percent gain.

Home price increases in November were slower year-over-year nationwide, with many analysts attributing higher mortgage interest rates leading to decreasing affordability — especially in costly areas.

Los Angeles metro area prices increased 4.4 percent in a year, also below the national average. San Francisco was only slightly above with a 5.6 percent yearly gain.

Alan Gin, economist at the University of San Diego, said it is important to note that prices are still rising. However, he said home costs already being near record highs means there’s not much wiggle room for potential buyers.

“A lot of people right now are just priced out of the market,” he said. “That’s why you’re seeing sales slow, as well.”

Gin said other parts of the San Diego economy are still strong, especially with a low unemployment rate, so the region’s slowed home price increases might be an aberration.

Still, declining affordability of potential homebuyers in San Diego County is of concern to some business leaders who see themselves competing with lower cost states. Gilman Bishop, principal of local development firm Bishop & Company, said workers who continue to stay in the region will face commutes farther and farther away.

“This hurts recruitment and retention, and makes our region less competitive overall,” he said.

The indices evaluate home prices by more than just price, tracking repeat sales of identical single-family houses as they turn over through the years. It is a favorite of economists, who use it to get a more complete view of the market instead of just the median home price.

A slowdown in sales, down for six months in a row year-over-year for San Diego County, will continue to slow price appreciation as the inventory of homes for sale continues to build, wrote Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors, in an analysis of November’s index.

Yet he said it is unlikely the national home price would actually decline because of a shortage of moderately priced homes, as well as a strong job market.

“In 2019, home prices in many markets look to trail income growth for the first time since 2012,” he wrote. “That is a healthy development of keeping housing affordability in check.”

The median price for a resale home in San Diego County was $605,000 in November. The interest rate for a fixed rate, 30-year loan was 4.81 percent at the end of November, said Mortgage News Daily, up from 3.98 percent a year earlier. That means the monthly cost for a median priced home (assuming 20 percent down) went up around $237 in a year.

Since November, mortgage rates have gone down. On Nov. 2, rates were around 5 percent but were down Tuesday to 4.61 percent, meaning home sales could pick up with the lower rates.

“Throughout the recovery, home shoppers have proven to be both remarkably sensitive to short-term volatility in rates and markets more broadly,” said Zillow senior economist Aaron Terrazas, “and also to have short memories once things stabilize, however temporarily.”

The highest annual price gains in November were in Las Vegas (12 percent), Phoenix (8.1 percent) and Seattle (6.3 percent) The lowest gains were Chicago, at 3.1 percent, and Washington, D.C., at 2.7 percent.

La Jolla Polar Bear Plunge   Jan. 1

Join the La Jolla Cove Swim Club at their annual Polar Bear Plunge and chili potluck. You don’t have to swim or even get wet, but if you do, you get to say you did. Wear warm clothes and bring chili, soup, or another warm food to share. Cider and coffee will be provided.

Time/Place: 10am / La Jolla Shores

Contact: www.lajollacoveswimclub.com

Cos-Losseum Cosplay Con (C3)   Jan. 5

We focus solely on the art and passion for Cosplay.  While also keeping our show smaller, more personable, and affordable we also manage to provide you with activities, guests, and all the aspects one would look for in a Convention of this style.

Time/Place: Four Points Sheraton Hotel, San Diego

Contact: www.cos-losseumcon.com

Springboard West Music Festival   Jan. 10-12

For three days, emerging artists from all over the world, industry professionals and locals will gather in Ocean Beach to celebrate the future of music. a two-day “Band Bootcamp” where 40 bands and 10 solo artists cherry picked from the over 3,000 submissions will attend workshops, panels and pitch sessions with veterans and professionals in the music industry. Culminates on Saturday with the wildly popular Band & Brew Crawl.

Time/Place: 10am / Ocean Beach Playhouse

Contact: www.springboardwest.com

soundON Festival of Modern Music   Jan. 10-13

Brings together an international roster of composers and performers to present a four-day exploration of contemporary chamber music. The four-day long series of concerts, performances, workshops, lectures, and art is curated by Franklin Cox and Christopher Adler.

Time/Place: Athenaeum Music & Arts Library, La Jolla

Contact: 858-454-5872 / www.ljathenaeum.org/sound-on

Poway Winter Festival   Jan. 11-12

Whether you’re building a snowman, sledding down the snow hill, roasting marshmallows by the campfire, making silly faces in our free photo booth, or taking a spin around the synthetic skate rink, come experience the magic and charm of winter like never before! A variety of old favorites and exciting new specialty and food vendors will be on-site.

Time/Place: Fri 5-9pm, Sat 3:30-8:30pm / Poway Community Park

Contact: 858-668-4671 / www.poway.org

Gem Faire   Jan. 11-13

Gem Faire, established in 1989, has become a world-renowned marketplace for the finest in gemstones, beads, jewelry, minerals, fossils, meteorites, lapidary equipment, metaphysical items and much more at the lowest prices today.

Time/Place: Fri 12-6pm Sat 101m-6pm, Sun 10am-5pm / Del Mar Fairgrounds

Contact: 503-252-8300 / www.gemfaire.com

SD Resolution Run 5K/10K/Half Marathon   Jan. 13

Get ready to shed a few of those holiday pounds and lighten the impact you leave on the earth at this inspirational waterfront event that benefits Wild Willow Farm & Education Center, an eco-friendly organization supporting a healthier SoCal food system. Post-race Wellness Village.

Time/Place: 7:15-10:30am / Tecolote Shores South Park, Mission Bay

Contact: www.sandiegoresolutionrun.com

Fallbrook Chamber Member Expo   Jan. 16

Free to attend! A great opportunity to discover and learn about all that our community has to offer. Light appetizers, cash bar, networking, prizes, Aquaterra same-day dining discount.

Time/Place: 3-7pm / Pala Mesa Resort

Contact: www.fallbrookchamberofcommerce.org

Borrego Springs Film Festival   Jan. 17-21

A young and popular Southern California juried film festival in the categories of narrative, documentary, animation, latino, and short films. BSFF filmmakers are honored guest in our town. We’ll treat you to a wonderful opening gala, parties, a private lounge area, and discount lodging in Borrego Springs.

Time/Place: Borrego Springs Performing Arts Center

Contact: 760-440-5338 / www.borregospringsfilmfestival.org

Kids Marathon Mile   Jan. 19

1-mile fun run for kids of all ages and abilities. Participants can run, walk, skip or stroll, or even be pushed in a stroller or carried on a back as they wind through the park, making their way to an exciting, spectator-filled finish line. Each finisher is presented with a shiny finisher’s medal and treated to a fun post-event party with a DJ, activities, light refreshments and booths.

Time/Place: 6:30-10am / LEGOLAND California, Carlsbad

Contact: 760-692-2900 / www.carlsbadmarathon.com

City Heights Health Fair   Jan. 19

M.E.M.O. at UCSD is holding our annual Health Fair, a free event that is open to the public, and include representation from a wide variety local health providers and mobile clinics for all to enjoy. Our goal is to engage and educate lower-income families in San Diego communities so that they can seek out various local providers of health-related services to help them build happier and healthier lives.

Time/Place: 8:30am-12:30pm / Copley-Price Family YMCA

Contact: www.eventbrite.com

Travel & Adventure Show   Jan. 19-20

Discover the Leading Destinations, Local Travel Experts, Top Celebrity Personalities, Comprehensive Content, and Exclusive Travel Deals That You Just Can’t Find Anywhere Else. Get a taste of faraway cultures at the Taste of Travel Theater and feel the rhythm and vibes of distant lands on the Global Beats Stage.

Time/Place: Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 11am-4pm / SD Convention Center

Contact: 203-878-2577 / www.travelshows.com

Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade   Jan. 20

The parade is filled with dazzling floats, phenomenal High School Bands, Drill Teams, College, Fraternities & Sororities, Churches, Peace and Youth organizations. This parade is coordinated by the Zeta Sigma Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., the oldest African American fraternity in America, founded in 1906.

Time/Place: 2-5pm / Harbor Drive – Embarcadero

Contact: 619-264-0542 / www.alpha-zsl.org

Carlsbad Marathon & Half Marathon   Jan. 20

Our 26 fully staffed course support stations, continuous entertainment and unsurpassed volunteer support are just a few of our outstanding features. We also offer each participant a gender specific long-sleeve technical fabric shirt, virtual goody bag, spectacular finisher’s medal, post-race mylar blanket, refreshments (including chocolate milk!) and more.

Time/Place: 7am-1pm / The Shoppes at Carlsbad

Contact: 760-692-2900 / www.carlsbadmarathon.com

San Diego Restaurant Week   Jan. 20-27

A FEAST for the senses at over 180 participating restaurants. Dine deliciously at restaurants offering prix-fixe menu options throughout San Diego County. This foodie-favorited week is the perfect time to take a culinary tour throughout the diverse and thriving food culture of San Diego. For one week only, over 180 participating restaurants will offer three-course prix-fixe dinner menus for $20, $30, $40 or $50 per person and/or two-course prix-fixe lunch menus for $10, $15 or $20 per person. Contact: www.sandiegorestaurantweek.com

Martin Luther King Jr. Day   Jan. 21

Outdoor cultural arts & craft vendors marketplace, and Oneworld Cafe – vegetarian food served! Featuring:

Native American Ceremony, Danza Azteca, West African Dance, Afro-Cuban Percussion and Dance, Middle Eastern Belly Dance, Hip Hop Performance by Junkyard Dance Crew and More!

Time/Place: 12-8pm / WorldBeat Center, San Diego

Contact: 619-230-1190 / www.worldbeatcenter.org

San Diego Sunroad Marina Boat Show   Jan. 24-27

We’ll have the brands and companies you’ve come to know and love, as well as new marine services and products, free boating seminars, boat rides, libations and more. New & Pre-Cruised Sailboats and Motor Yachts at our In-Water Display. Dozens of Marine Vendors with the Latest Nautical Products & Services. Delicious Food and Drink Sponsored by our Local Restaurants. Special Boating Events and Boat Rides for Kids and Adults. Lots of Fun for Real Boaters!

Time/Place: Sunroad Resort Marina: 955 Harbor Island Drive

Contact: 619-497-5254 / www.bigbayboatshow.com

Farmers Insurance Open   Jan. 24-27

Come to enjoy everything San Diego has to offer! The ocean views, the world-class competition, and fan attractions including, The Michelob ULTRA Zone, Fan Village, autograph areas, a variety of locally themed concession stands and much more!

Time/Place: Torrey Pines Golf Course, La Jolla

Contact: 858-886-4653 / www.farmersinsuranceopen.com

Winter Home Decorating/Remodeling Show   Jan. 25-27

Hundreds of exhibitors for all of your home improvement needs from landscaping, remodeling, home additions and more. For 44 years Home Show USA has been bringing buyers and sellers together in a neutral setting, by producing a one-step shopping center for home and commercial improvements. Discounts offered by exhibitors.

Time/Place: 10am-5pm / Del Mar Fairgrounds

Contact: 800-999-5400 / http://homeshowsusa.net

Save Your Scraps   Jan. 26

Join I Love A Clean San Diego (ILACSD) and the City of Chula Vista for a organics workshop. Learn how to keep organics out of the landfill by shopping smart, storing food properly, and composting your scraps. Join us for a fun informational session with a free make and take project, an ‘eco kids’ craft corner, and raffle prizes too!

Time/Place: 10am-12pm / Montevalle Community Center, Chula Vista

Contact: www.chulavistaca.gov

Santee Active Lifestyle Expo & USATF National 50 km Racewalk Championships   Jan. 26

Watch professional athletes compete, Health & wellness activities, Extreme obstacle courses, Firefighter challenge, BMX trick shows, Vendor fair, Free breakfast (while supplies last).

Time/Place: 7:30am-2:30pm / Santee Trolley Square

Contact: 619-258-4100 x219 / www.santeeactiveexpo.com

San Diego Cat Show   Jan. 26-27

The nation’s finest cats will vie for top honors at “Food & Water Bowl XXIV,” the largest annual cat show on the West Coast. There will be more than 450 cats from more than 42 recognized cat breeds in competition.

Time/Place: Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 9am-5pm / Del Mar Fairgrounds

Contact: 760-746-7800 / www.sandiegocat.org

Lung Force Walk   Jan. 27

Join us as we walk together to raise awareness and funds to defeat lung cancer and raise our voices for lung health. LUNG FORCE Walks are a time to laugh, learn and imagine a world free of lung disease. Our walks promote fitness and help forge lasting connections between participants.

Time/Place: 7:30am / NTC Park, Liberty Station

Contact: http://action.lung.org/SD

San Diego Black Film Festival   Jan. 30- Feb. 3

In order to spotlight African American & African Diaspora Cinema, we screen over 100 films each year: Comedy, Drama, Documentaries, Animation, GLBT, Horror, Religious, Foreign/African Diaspora, Shorts, Feature Films and music videos.

Contact: 619-232-0401 / www.sdbff.com

SDSU Writers’ Conference   Jan. 31-Feb. 2

Whether your goal is direct feedback on your work from a top-tier agent or editor, or simply to elevate your craft and enjoy the camaraderie of a literary community, the 2019 SDSU Writers’ Conference is for you.

Time/Place: DoubleTree Hotel San Diego/Mission Valley

Contact: https://ces.sdsu.edu

Encinitas Tree Lighting & Holiday Parade   Dec. 1
Thousands of people will be on floats and in bands with tens of thousands more cheering them on.  Tree lighting ceremony with a brief appearance by Santa at the Lumberyard at 5pm.
Time/Place: 5:30-7:30pm / Coast Highway 101

Contact: www.encinitasca.gov

Winter Wonderland Festival   Dec. 1
Children will have the chance to frolic in real snow, create winter-themed arts and crafts, and even rendezvous with live reindeer! Food and drink will be available.
Time/Place: 3-8pm / California Center for the Arts

Contact: www.artcenter.org

Chula Vista Childrens Faire   Dec. 1
Real Snow Hill, Pictures with Santa, Childrens Train, Elf Yourself, Games, Crafts, and more!
Time/Place: 2-5pm / Memorial Park

Contact: www.starlightparade.com

100 Years of Philippine Cinema   Dec. 1
Weve invited 2 exceptional Filipino films created by 2 award winning filmmakers from the Philippines. Ang Larawan (The Portrait) by Loy Arcenas and Lorna by Sigrid Andrea P. Bernardo.
Time/Place: 4pm & 7pm / Museum of Photographic Arts, Balboa Park
Contact: www.facebook.com/sdfilipinocinema

Fallbrook Christmas Parade   Dec. 1
Toyland Christmas The Christmas Parade marks a special day in early December when Fallbrook residents and visitors alike come to enjoy this gift to the community.
Time/Place: 5pm / Main Avenue: Ammunition to Ivy
Contact: www.fallbrookchamberofcommerce.org

Chula Vista Starlight Parade   Dec. 1
A variety of colorful floats, caroling groups, marching bands, dance teams, classic cars, and other participants will usher in the holiday season as part of SD Countys largest nighttime parade.
Time/Place: 6-8pm / Third Avenue Village

Contact: www.starlightparade.com

North Park Toyland Parade & Festival   Dec. 1
Vintage cars, marching bands, dance groups, beauty queens, city officials and Santa Claus.
Time/Place: 10am-3pm / University Avenue

Contact: www.toylandparade.com

OB Holiday Parade   Dec. 1
See the Point Loma Marching Band strut their way down the street or the SD Roller Derby Dolls. VW Beetle club and classic Woodies. Motorcycles, bright-lit floats and countless bands that fill the beach with live music.
Time/Place: 5-7pm / Sunset Cliffs Blvd & Newport Ave
Contact: 888-615-3518 / www.obtowncouncil.org

Lions Tigers & Bears Christmas Festival   Dec. 1
Watch as lions, tigers, bears, mountain lions, leopards, bobcats and other sanctuary animals open their holiday gifts and enjoy their new Christmas trees. Silent auction, opportunity drawing, food trucks, a full bar, shopping at the LTB Gift Shop and Santa!
Time/Place: 1-4pm / 24402 Martin Wy, Alpine

Contact: www.lionstigersandbears.org
Vista Chambers Candyland Parade   Dec. 1
The parade route starts at Civic Center parking lot, turns right on Eucalyptus, right on S. Santa Fe, right on Broadway, left on Citrus, left on Main Street and ends at the Wave Waterpark.
Time/Place: 1-3pm / Vista Civic Center
Contact: 760-726-1340 / www.cityofvista.com

Little Italy Tree Lighting & Christmas Village   Dec. 1
Families, friends and visitors will be able to experience a tree lighting, a Christmas Village with seasonal vendors, festive dcor, live music and entertainment, holiday treats, Santa Claus and more.
Time/Place: 4-8pm / India St & W Fir St
Contact: 619-233-3898 / www.littleitalysd.com

Mission Hills Artists Holiday Art & Craft Sale   Dec. 1

A collective of local artists, dedicated to supporting and promoting creative people who live or work in Mission Hills. Free admission and free parking.

Time/Place: 9am-3pm / Mission Hills United Church of Christ: 4070 Jackdaw Street

Contact: www.facebook.com/MissionHillsArtists

Storytime Breakfast with The La Jolla Library   Dec. 2
Delight in a breakfast buffet, variety of holiday-themed drinks, dessert and a fireside reading of Dr. Seuss: How The Grinch Stole Christmas led by the La Jolla Library.
Time/Place: 8-11am / Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa

Contact: www.nightout.com

La Jolla Christmas Parade & Holiday Festival   Dec. 2
Marching bands, floats, vintage automobiles and Santa Claus. Church bells peal with a fly-over. There is also a Holiday Festival and Tree Lighting Ceremony.
Time/Place: 1:30-5pm / Girard Avenue & Prospect Street

Contact: www.ljparade.com

San Pasqual Battle Day   Dec. 2
Commemorating the 1846 Battle of San Pasqual of the Mexican-American war with battle reenactment, military encampment, food and entertainment.
Time/Place: 10am-3pm / 15808 San Pasqual Valley Road, Escondido
Contact: 760-737-2201 / www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=655

Kringle Mingle   Dec. 2
Come get free photos with Surfing Santa in his vintage Camera Camper Sleigh. Listen and dance to lively musical performances. Enjoy a cup of warm savory soup from Rimels, scrumptious holiday treats and cookies from VGs Donuts and much more. Childrens Craft Pavilion.
Time/Place: 1-5pm / North Courtyard of Cardiff Town Center
Contact: www.cardiff101.com

Santa by the Sea   Dec. 2
Free pictures with Santa, treats, games and entertainment, plus a holiday tree lighting!
Time/Place: 3-5pm / LAuberge Amphitheater, Del Mar
Contact: 858-735-3650 / www.visitdelmarvillage.com

SoNo Fest & Chili Cook-Off   Dec. 2
40 local restaurants competing in a chili smackdown. 30 local handmade vendors. Local craft beer and wine garden.
Kids Fun Fest area with bounce houses, carnival games and more. Live entertainment.
Time/Place: 11am-5pm / Thorn & 32nd Streets in North Park
Contact: www.sonofestchilicookoff.com
Hanukkah Celebration & Menorah Lighting   Dec. 3
Celebration, live entertainment, photo opportunities, and more! Guests are invited to partake in an evening of ice skating at the Rady Childrens Ice Rink after the Menorah Lighting.
Time/Place: 5-9pm / Liberty Station

Contact: www.libertystation.com

Alpine Village Christmas Parade & Snow Festival   Dec. 7
Imaginative creative entries for this hometown range from lights on pets and bikes to actual floats and huge trucks! The snow sledding, Santa Claus, entertainment, childrens activities and vendors begins at 7pm.
Time/Place: 6:30-9pm / Alpine Creek Town Center
Contact: 619-445-2722 / www.alpinechamber.com

Coronado Holiday Parade & Open House   Dec. 7
Santa arrives via the Ferry at the Coronado Ferry Landing, a festive parade follows down Orange Avenue and Santa lights the Christmas Tree in Rotary Plaza.
Time/Place: 3:20-8pm / Coronado Ferry Landing
Contact: 619-435-7242 / www.coronadochamber.com

Balboa Park December Nights   Dec. 7-8
Friends, families and the community are invited to come together for festive fun, food and attractions throughout the park, including complimentary admission to Balboa Park museums from 5-9pm.
Time/Place: Fri 3-11pm, Sat 12-11pm / Balboa Park
Contact: www.sandiego.gov/december-nights

La Mesas Holiday in the Village   Dec. 7-8
Walk the streets of La Mesas historic downtown and enjoy live music and dance, cozy fires, craft vendors, food, and a kids area with holiday movies and activities.
Time/Place: 5-9pm / La Mesa Village
Contact: 619-606-2028 / www.lamesavillageassociation.org

Mission Bay Christmas Boat Parade of Lights   Dec. 8
A distinctly California celebration, features boats decorated for the holidays that will sail around the Bay.
Time/Place: 6-9pm / Mission Bay & Beaches
Contact: 858-488-0501 / www.mbyc.org

Poways Christmas in the Park   Dec. 8
Horse-drawn hay and pony rides, petting zoo, and face painting. Steam locomotive train rides, model trains, and live entertainment. Holiday sweets and warm dinner foods. Tree lighting and Santa!
Time/Place: 3:30-8:30pm / Old Poway Park

Contact: www.poway.org

Oceanside Harbor Parade of Lights   Dec. 8
Fishing boats, sail boats, yachts, kayaks and dingys dressed up in holiday swag and circle the Oceanside Harbor to enchant onlookers at the harbor, restaurants and beach.
Time/Place: 7-9pm / Oceanside Harbor

Contact: www.oceansideyc.net
Santas Holiday Festival   Dec. 8
Come take pictures with Santa. Each family will have the opportunity to make a memorable holiday ornament. There will be face painting, crafts and refreshments. Dont forget to do a little holiday shopping in the Gift Shop.
Time/Place: 10am-3pm / Rancho Buena Vista Adobe, Vista
Contact: 760-726-1340 / www.cityofvista.com

Jingle Bell Run   Dec. 8
The Arthritis Foundations original Jingle Bell Run is a fun way to get decked out and be festive, while racing to raise funds and awareness to cure Americas #1 cause of disability.
Time/Place: 6:30-11am / Liberty Station NTC Park
Contact: 619-468-5986 / https://events.arthritis.org

Red Nose Run  Dec. 9
A holiday 5K that benefits Fresh Start Surgical Gifts and Semper Fi Fund. Participants are encouraged to dress in their best Holiday apparel and a prize will be awarded.
Time/Place: 12:30-5:30pm / Powerhouse Park, Del Mar
Contact: www.therednoserun.com

Del Dios Trail Half Marathon, 10K & 5K   Dec. 9
All courses feature dirt service roads or single track trails, with elevation gains between 100-500. We are proud to offer our Kids Dash.
Time/Place: 6-11am / Lake Hodges Visitors Center, Escondido
Contact: www.enduranceraceseries.com/del-dios

Santa at the Lakes   Dec. 9
Santa Claus, snow sledding, carnival rides, smores, food, face painting, arts, crafts and so much more!
Time/Place: 10am-3pm / Santee Lakes Recreation Preserve
Contact: 619-596-3141 / www.santeelakes.com

San Diego Bay Parade of Lights   Dec. 9 & 16
More than 80 boats lavishly decorated sailing by the shores for all to see. The parade proceeds from Shelter Island past Harbor Island, the Embarcadero, Seaport Village, Pier at Cesar Chavez Park and the Ferry Landing in Coronado.
Time/Place: 5pm / San Diego Bay

Contact: www.sdparadeoflights.org

ISA World Adaptive Surfing Championship   Dec. 12-16
The ISA World Adaptive Surfing Championship serves as the preeminent platform for physically challenged surfers to display their talents in competition.
Time/Place: See website for schedule. / La Jolla Shores
Contact: 858-551-8563 / www.isasurf.org

San Diego Santa Run 5K & 1 Mile Race   Dec. 15
A series of runs that will take place on Garnet Ave featuring a 5K fun run and 1 mile run waves that include run with your dog, kids run, and a competitive wave.
Time/Place: 8:30-11am / Garnet Ave. and Bayard St.
Contact: 858-412-6787 / www.sandiegosantarun.com
Old Town Las Posadas   Dec. 15
Based on the story of Mary and Josephs search for shelter in Bethlehem. Fiesta de Reyes invites you to enjoy the holiday spirit with festive decorations throughout the park, entertainment, and holiday experiences for the whole family.
Time/Place: 12-8pm / Old Town San Diego
Contact: 619-291-4903 / www.oldtownsandiego.org

Dirty December Poker Fun Run Half Marathon & 10K   Dec. 15
In addition to a costume contest and holiday theme, this run will involve a poker element your poker hand could give you bonus time!
Time/Place: 9am-12:30pm / Sycamore Canyon Open Space Preserve
Contact: http://dirtyfeet.us

San Diego Holiday Half Marathon   Dec. 15
Starts on Penasquitos Drive in front of the Hotel Karlan then travels SW along Carmel Mountain Road along the 56 bike path and finishes at the beautiful Torrey Pines State Beach.
Time/Place: 5am-12pm / Hotel Karlan, Ranch Penasquitos
Contact: www.sandiegoholidayhalf.com

The Vet + Pet West Gaslamp Holiday Pet Parade   Dec. 16
All pet owners and their furry, feathered, and scaled companions are invited to don their favorite costumes and put their best paw, wing, and fin forward for this jolly promenade and pet expo.
Time/Place: 1-5pm / MLK Promenade Park, San Diego

Contact: www.gaslamp.org

San Diego International Auto Show   Dec. 27-30
Over 400 vehicles from 30+ global manufacturers. Be among the first in the US to see more than 20 debuts of newly unveiled vehicles not yet in showrooms that are expected to be on display at the show.
Time/Place: Thur-Fri 10am-9pm, Sun 10am-7pm / SD Convention Center
Contact: 858-550-0080 / www.sdautoshow.com

Solar Turbines 5K Run/Walk   Dec. 31
Athletes will run past 100,000 cheering spectators. Runners, families and spectators can watch the remainder of the parade that features colorful floats, bands and inflatable characters.
Time/Place: 9:45am / San Diego Harbor Front

Contact: www.holidaybowl.com

SDCCU Holiday Bowl   Dec. 31
This signature San Diego event annually showcases a thrilling game between some of college footballs most competitive conferences, the Big Ten and the Pac-12.
Time/Place: 4pm / SDCCU Stadium

The key 30-year mortgage rate broke through the 5 percent threshold earlier this month, faster than most analysts expected.  Rates haven’t crossed that watershed mark for seven years, but what that means for the housing market is more of the same, according to analysts.

Homes sales will stay in a holding pattern – hurt by higher rates but also helped by the strong economy.

“The higher rates will ensure that home sales will go sideways and house-price growth will slow into the low single digits as homebuyers adjust to the higher rate,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Analytics.  The higher rates will affect would-be home shoppers in high-cost cities the most, particularly out West, Zandi said, but looser credit standards and the strong job market should ease the blow on the market as rates move even higher.

“I expect fixed mortgage rates to rise to a peak of 5.5 percent over the next 12 to 18 months,” Zandi told Scotsman Guide News.

The Mortgage Bankers Association reported this week that 30-year fixed rates with conforming balances averaged 5.05 percent, going over 5 percent for the first time since 2011.

“We didn’t expect to hit 5 percent until maybe later in the year,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting.  “So, we got an upside surprise on rates.”

Kan said MBA’s forecast hasn’t changed, though.  The strong economy and low unemployment with wages rising by close to 3 percent will keep homebuyers in the market.

Crossing the 5 percent line will weigh on consumers’ minds, however.

“It is like the stock market, right?” Kan said.  “When you hit certain points, there is definitely sort of a reaction to that.  When we were talking about the 4 percent mortgage rate, there was a lot of buzz around that in the refi world.”

Kan said homebuyers will likely accept the higher mortgage cost, or look at less expensive houses.  “(At) 5 percent, yes, it is going to be another psychological mark, but historically what we have seen is that people looking for homes tend to already have made that decision (to buy),” Kan said.  “Most people don’t change their minds based on a change in rates.”

Higher rates have already slowed the pace of home-price growth.  If the rates remain at around 5 percent, the prices could fall in some California markets, said George Ratiu, the director of quantitative and commercial research for the National Association of Realtors.  Ratiu said it is becoming a matter of simple math in some markets.  A half percentage point increases in rates in high-cost cities adds a hefty increase to the mortgage payment.  Buyers on the margins may not be able to afford that anymore.  The listed prices eventually must come down.

“It is pretty clear that the current rates are likely to push out many buyers in the market, particularly first-time buyers,” Ratiu said.  “Either prices have to come down or incomes have to go noticeably higher to compensate for that.”

San Francisco, Ratiu noted, would be one market where prices could flatten or decline.  A person earning the U.S. median wage can buy less than 1 percent of the homes on the market in that city now.

“You have to get into the $200,000 (earnings range) to get anywhere near half the available listings,” Ratiu said.  “When you compare that to a place like Dayton, Ohio, for example, the $50,000 (earnings) mark gets you access to roughly 50 percent of the available listings.  It tells you the picture is much more severe in California.”

“Autumn  Chill’?

By PHILLIP MOLNAR  San Diego Union Tribune                                                                                                                                                                  September 26, 2018

Existing home prices in July for the San Diego metropolitan area increased 6.2 percent in a year, it’s slowest pace since January 2017, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices released Tuesday.

San Diego’s price increases were the second-slowest in the West, only ahead of Portland, said the index, which studies the metropolitan areas of 20 major cities.  The San Diego region still slightly outpaced the national average of 6 percent.

The indices evaluate home prices by more than just price, tracking repeat sales of identical single-family houses as they turn over through the years.  It is a favorite of economists, who use it to get a more complete view of the market instead of just the median home price.

Price increases have slowed throughout much of the nation, with experts citing a variety of reasons:  A gain in the number of homes for sale, rising mortgage interest rates and rent growth slowing, which may limit some pressure to buy.

“A slight autumn chill has fallen over the housing market, and after an incredibly hot past few years, it’s probably fair to say the cool-down is a welcome development for many would-be home buyers,” Zillow senior economist Aaron Terrazas wrote.

Las Vegas led yearly price increases at 13.7 percent, followed by Seattle at 12.1 percent and San Francisco at 10.8 percent.

David Blitzer, managing director of the index, wrote in a report that 15 of the 20 cities studied saw smaller monthly increases than the same time last year including San Diego) Sales of existing single-family homes are down, he wrote, but residential building permits were up.

“Rising home prices are beginning to catch up with housing,” he said.

Following national trends, San Diego has seen more homes available for purchase over the last few months.  In July, there were 7,021 listings, up from 5,828 in July 2017 and 6,571 in July 2016, according to the Greater San Diego Association of Realtors.

Mark Goldman, real estate lecturer at San Diego State University, said the local market was strongly affected by increasing interest rates, more so than other parts of the nation, because of higher prices in California.

“Even if the house stayed the same price,” he said, “the house got more expensive because interest rates are higher.”

The interest rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate loan was 4.72 percent at the end of July, Mortgage News Daily reported, up from 4.1 at the start of the year.  The median home price for a single-family resale home was $630,000 in July, which meant the monthly mortgage payment (assuming 20 percent down) went from $3,044 at the start of the year to $3,275 by July.

Despite the recent slowdown in price gains, local business leaders and the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce are still worried about the ability of workers to own homes.

“Although indicators are suggesting that prices are no longer consistently increasing at the same outrageous pace, home ownership is still out of reach for too many San Diego families,” wrote Sean Karafin, the chamber’s vice president of economic research.

While all cities in the index increased in prices, the slowest yearly increases were in Chicago at 3 percent and Washington, D.C., at 2.7 percent.