By Tom York
In its latest report on home sale trends, online real estate site Zillow says few sellers are dropping their price in the current tight housing market—good news for a local economy reeling from the coronavirus. In June, just over 5% of San Diego for-sale listings indicated a price cut, 3% less than this time last year. The reason? Housing is in high demand due to limited supply. The typical price now sits at $633,752, a jump of 5.6% over the past 12 months.
An April survey said nearly 60% of sellers first assumed the coronavirus pandemic would result in a buyer’s market. But buyer demand coupled with tight inventory (down nationwide 21%) has resulted in robust sales and thus no price cuts needed. Only 4.1% of current listings have lowered the asking price compared to 5.6% last year.
Meanwhile, apartment hunters are discovering that the economic fallout from the pandemic is not working in their favor. According to apartment rental site Zumper, San Diego ranks as the 10th most expensive city when it comes to a modest one-bedroom apartment. The median rent was $1,750, down just 1% compared to July 2019. The most expensive city? San Francisco came in No. 1 on the list, with a median price of $3,280. San Diego rents have fallen about 1% the past year. San Diego apartment hunters needing larger digs have a bit easier when compared to 2019. The median price for a 2-bedroom apartment is $2300, down 4% compared to year ago rates.
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North County update. Construction continues apace on the $110-million, 130-room resort hotel overlooking the white dunes of Ponto Beach in south Carlsbad. The hotel —actually located at the north end of Encinitas — now has a formal name and opening date. According to a media release, the Alila Marea Beach Resort Encinitas is slated to open early next year. Alila is a brand of the Hyatt Hotel Corp., and the Encinitas property is the first new-built structure to carry that name in California. The release noted that the word Alila is Sanskrit word for sunrise, so we’re wondering about that decision in view of the fact that the blufftop property faces West and the setting sun. Nonetheless, the property promises to change the folksy environs of Highway 101 in Leucadia and add another bit of hostelry sophistication to the North County Coast. The Alila Marea has been on the drawing boards since the latest 1980s. It was near the start of construction when the Great Recession hit the region more than a decade ago.
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An opportunity of a lifetime? Walmart has been in the news a lot lately, and we have another story of interest to retail entrepreneurs from that giant emporium. The retailer has set an Aug. 10 application deadline for entrepreneurs seeking to put their new U.S.-made products on store shelves. Applicants selected will be invited to pitch buyers via computer on Oct. 1. This year’s Open Call attendees could secure placement deals ranging from a handful of stores in local markets to supplying hundreds, if not thousands of Sam’s Clubs and Walmart.com stores. Walmart has committed $250 billion from 2013 to 2023 for this program. The application and instructions can be found at Walmart-jump.com.
Travel & Leisure magazine names high-profile San Diego area high-end health resort Rancho La Puerta as one of the top international destination spas. The award was part of the magazine’s annual rankings where readers who are inveterate travelers rate their favorite hotels, destinations, airlines, cruises, spas and travel companies. That’s not all. Rancho la Puerta celebrates is 80th birthday in 2020. The facility is located just over the U.S.-Mexico border in Tecate.
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Cable TV and internet provider Cox Communications tabs Poway-based solar energy firm EDF Renewables North America to design and build a 360 kilowatt photovoltaic collector and 560 kW/1,360-kilowatt hour storage facility at its corporate office on Federal Boulevard in East San Diego. The carport and roof-top installation should be able to offset more than 374 tons of carbon emitted into the atmosphere each year. Cox Regional Manager Sam Attisha says the completed project “will help bring us closer to the company’s goal of sending zero waste to landfills by 2024 and to being carbon and water neutral by 2044.
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Though businesses have until Oct. 16 to apply for San Diego County’s new $17 million small business stimulus grant program, officials say it’s best to apply now before funds are depleted. The Board of Supervisors OK’d the program earlier this month using monies from in the federal Cares Act Covid-19 relief bill Congress approved in March. To qualify, nonprofits or for-profit businesses must be headquartered in the county. They must have 100 or fewer people and been operating at least a year as of Feb. 14.
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Finally. The Jewish Community Foundation of San Diego promotes Sharleen Wollach to Chief Impact Officer. Beth Sirull, JCF president and CEO, says Wollach will be working with the agency’s executive team to help guide the foundation into the next decade. The foundation manages over $550 million in assets and has facilitated over $1.5 billion in grants since 1967. Until next week!
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