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Daily Business Report — Feb. 12, 2010

County Home Sales Slowed in December

The sale of single-family homes in the county slowed by 37 percent from December while attached residential properties declined by 22 percent, the San  Diego Association of Realtors reported. The median sales price for both types of properties also decreased slightly — 5 percent for single-family homes and a 2 percent decrease for attached units. Compared to January 2009, sales were down 15 percent for detached properties, but up 3 percent for attached, the SDAR said. So far in 2010, the median sales prices continues the upward trend seen in 2009 with detached median price up 11 percent and attached up 10 percent from one year ago.

“It’s not uncommon to see a slight slowing right after the holidays,” said SDAR President Mark Marquez. “We expect the number of sold listings to pick back up, especially in the early part of 2010 because of the home buyer tax credit, which is set to expire on April 30. We also anticipate that median sales prices will hold steady if not continue to increase in the coming months due to demand and lower inventory.”


Total Sold Listings Comparing January 2010 to December 2009

•  Detached: 37.4 percent decrease

January 2010 = 1,162  —  December 2009 = 1,856

•  Attached: 21.8 percent decrease

January 2010 = 735  —  December 2009 = 940

Total Sold Listings Comparing January 2010 to January 2009

• Detached: 15 percent decrease

January 2010 = 1,162  —  January 2009 = 1,369

• Attached: 3.4 percent increase

January 2010 = 735  —  January 2009 = 711

Median Sales Price Comparing January 2010 to December 2009

• Detached:  5.4 percent decrease

January 2010 = $364,000  —  December 2009 = $385,000

• Attached: 2.3 percent decrease

January 2010 = $210,000  —  December 2009 = $215,000

Median Sales Price Comparing January 2010 to January 2009

• Detached:  11 percent increase

January 2010 = $364,000  —  January 2009 = $327,000

• Attached:  10.5 percent increase

January 2010 = $210,000  —  January 2009 = $190,000

County Economic Indicator Shows Improvement

USD’s Index of Leading Economic Indicators for San Diego County rose 0.7 percent in December.  For the first time since April 2004, all six of the components in the USD Index were up in the month. The advance was led by a sharp increase in the outlook for the national economy. Four components — building permits, initial claims for unemployment insurance, local stock prices and help wanted advertising — were up moderately, while local consumer confidence was up but virtually unchanged.  With a revision to last month’s unchanged reading, the USD Index has now risen for nine consecutive months.

With December’s advance, the outlook continues to be positive for the local economy, said Alan Gin, author of ther Index. There are signs of recovery in some sectors of the economy, such as housing, where prices are up more than 8 percent from the low and where there has been a pickup in sales.  Continued strength is expected in the housing market due to low interest rates, federal incentives for first-time and even move-up buyers, and the rebounding economy, according to Gin. On the downside, there is likely to be another wave of foreclosures as adjustable rate mortgages readjust and job losses take their toll. December’s increase puts the USD Index of Leading Economic Indicators for San Diego County at 107.0, up from November’s reading of 106.3.

San Diego Union-Tribune Hires New Editor

The San Diego Union-Tribune has hired Jeff Light, former vice president of interactive for the Orange County Register, as vice president and editor, replacing Karin Winner, who retired at the end of last year after 34 years with the newspaper. “Jeff has demonstrated success both in print and online journalism – and he’s passionate about it,” said Ed Moss, the U-T’s president and publisher. “People have heard us talk about our entrepreneurial and innovative spirit; Jeff embodies this, with boundless energy, which will be critical as we continue to look for ways to offer more value to our readers with news and information that impacts their lives.”

Light has been with the Orange County Register and its parent company, Freedom Communications, since 1993. He previously served as deputy editor in charge of the company’s Website, where traffic and audience have each doubled in the last two years; of the newspaper, where he was in charge of the content and quality of the daily product; and of its 23 community newspapers. He also was a member of the Register’s Pulitzer Prize-winning staff in 1996 and managed investigative teams that were Pulitzer finalists in 2004 and 2005. Prior to that, he was a reporter and editor at Syracuse Newspapers. He holds an MBA from the University of California at Irvine.

First-Time Home Buyers Programs Scheduled

Shea Homes San Diego and the Neighborhood House Association are offering separate assistance programs this month for potential first-time home buyers. Shea Homes’ program is a free seminar from 1 to 3 p.m. on Feb. 20 at the Winding Oaks Recreation Center, 1625 Discovery Falls Drive, Chula Vista. Topics will include 100 percent VA financing, low down payment FHA loans, qualifying for VA and FHA financing, closing costs and how to pay no closing costs or reduced closing costs and tax benefits of home ownership. Shea Homes invites participants to submit questions prior to the event on Facebook or via Twitter. Visit or @SheaHomesSD.

Neighborhood House Association’s first-time homebuyer education class will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Feb. 27 at its social services location at 841 South 41st St. in San Diego. There is a $35 registration fee per household. The class fulfills the requirement for potential buyers to utilize government assistance programs, such as the down payment, closing costs and shared equity programs. It will provide education and counseling on budgeting for a home purchase, finding a home, shopping for a loan and caring for a home. Attendees must pre-register by calling (619) 263-7761, Ext. 139.

Investment Forecast Dinner Set for March 4

Three experts on investing and the economy will be featured at the 2010 Annual Investment Forecast Dinner on March 4 sponsored by the CFA Society of San Diego. CFA stands for Chartered Financial Analyst. The event will be from 5:30 to 9 p.m. at The Estancia Hotel in La Jolla. Speakers are Christopher Thornberg, founding principal of Beacon Economics, one of the earliest predictors of the crash of the housing market; Thomas Lee, chief U.S. equity strategist and a managing director at JPMorgan; and David Goerz, senior vice president and chief investment officer of HighMark Capital, adviser of the HighMark family of mutual funds. CNBC Reporter Jane Wells will moderate their presentations. Individual tickets for the program are $95. They can be ordered online at

Sorrento Mesa Industrial Building Sold for $1.65 Million

A 14,822-square-foot industrial building at 6975 Flanders Drive in San Diego has sold for $1.65 million. CB Richard Ellis identified the buyer as Todd Tedesco and the sellers as Russell and Jill Levan, Eileen Spiegelman, Martin Spiegelman and Claire Stanley. Dean Asaro of CB Richard Ellis represented the sellers. Randy LaChance of Voit Commercial represented the buyer. Built in 1990, the industrial building features 25 percent office and 75 percent warehouse and light manufacturing area. The building will be used for a tile warehousing and distribution company.

William Lyon Homes Finishing Model Homes in Carlsbad

Blossom Grove model

William Lyon Homes is nearing completion on the construction of model homes for the first of three Carlsbad new home neighborhoods opening this year at The Foothills. A Feb. 27 grand opening is scheduled for Blossom Grove, which will offer 110 single-family homes priced from the low $600,000s. Rockrose will open at The Foothills in March. Rockrose will offer 101 new homes with pricing to start in the low $600,000s. The Foothills guest builder D.R. Horton has started construction on its model home complex at Alcéa, which is expected to celebrate its grand opening in May. Alcéa at The Foothills pricing is expected to start in the low $500,000s. When completed, The Foothills will have 404 homes on 157 acres. A 2.6-acre residents-only Swim Club will include a resort-style swimming pool, children’s pool, picnic area with barbecues, paddle courts, grass playing areas and a yoga exercise circle. Brookfield Homes will build several neighborhood pocket parks and a trail system at The Foothills. Nearly half of the property at The Foothills will be preserved as permanent open space.

SDSU Offers Leadership Certificate Program

Jeff Campbell, former CEO of Burger King, will lead a SDSU certificate program scheduled for every other Friday between Feb. 26 and May 7 from 7:30 a.m. to noon at the SDSU Extended Studies/Gateway Centers, 5250 Campanile Drive, San Diego. The program is titled “Leading Strategically: Critical Skills for Effective Leadership During Challenging Times.” The program is targeted to individuals with a minimum of five years’ business experience and focuses on sharpening critical thinking skills, refining personal leadership practices and skills, gaining outstanding business results through others, and creating high performance teams. Besides Campbell, instructors include the former CEO of Mail Boxes Etc., the former president of the Ken Blanchard Cos., two retired military officers and a management professor from the SDSU College of Business Administration. For more information, call (619) 594-5640.

New Hires at Bailey Gardiner

Bailey Gardiner has added Amy Cellar as interactive designer and Steve Solberg as an advertising account executive. Cellar has more than 10 years of Web design, programming and creative experience in both agency and in-house settings. Solberg’s background is in advertising and marketing, including his previous role as account manager at Aviatech.

Business Datebook

Feb. 16

CELEBRATION: The Asian Business Association of San Diego holds its 16th annual Lunar New Year Celebration featuring Lucky Lion Dancers, a casino night with prizes and Chinese cuisine. 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., dinner from 6:15 to 7:15 p.m., no-host bar, Fat City Steakhouse/China Camp Restaurant, 2137 Pacific Coast Highway, San Diego. Cost: before Feb. 16, $30 to ABA members, $35 for nonmembers; at the door, $40 members and nonmembers. Register online at For more information, call (858) 277-2822.

Feb. 18

ROUNDTABLE: Hal Varian, chief economist at Google, will speak on “Predicting the Present with Google Trends” at the Economics Roundtable, 7:30 a.m., UCSD Faculty Club. Admission is $50 per person, includes continental breakfast and parking. For more information and registration, call (858) 822-0510.

Feb. 23

LUNCHEON: State Controller to Speak at Asian Business Association Luncheon State Controller John Chiang will be the guest speaker at the Asian Business Association’s Rice Club Luncheon at the San Diego Hall of Champions in Balboa Park. Chiang will discuss the financial condition of the state and how it impacts small business. Registration is at 11:45 a.m. followed by networking and buffet from noon to 1 p.m. and the program from 1 to 1:30 p.m. The cost is $25 for ABA members, $30 for nonmembers and $35 at the door. To register online, visit

Feb. 24

DIGITAL FORUM: A forum on social media marketing will feature social media strategist and coach Jason Baer, who will lead a panel discussion on the topic. Sponsored by LEAD San Diego and Bailey Gardiner. 7:30 a.m., continential breakfast and networking; 8 a.m., presentation by Baer; 8:45 a.m., panel discussion. USD’s Joan B. Kroc Theatre, San Diego. $20 general admission, $15 for LEAD San Diego members. For more information, call (619) 280-5323.

Feb. 27

WORKSHOP: The San Diego chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers sponsors a “Day with Designers,” a public workshop to provide information on practical interior design basics and how to select an interior designer, among other tips. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Art Institute, 7650 Mission Valley Road, San Diego. Advanced tickets available for $35 by visiting Tickets at the door are $45. For more information, call (858) 646-9896.

Daily Business Report is produced by REP Publishing Inc., publisher of San Diego Metropolitan magazine and the North Park News. (619) 906-4104.

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