June opens Summer 2019 with challenges including a Trade War that could trigger inflation and a rise in interest rates if it lasts longer than 3 months, while the luxury real estate scenario in Southern California experiences almost flat appreciation as it pushes forward. That said, it is the best-looking June in years around Los Angeles due to our wet Winter and Spring, leaving much of our landscape resembling an Irish countryside more than the desert we are. Flowers seem bigger and trees are fuller everywhere you look. Enjoy every day of it!

Total sales have declined year-over-year for 9 consecutive months. Translation: Slowdown . So far, 2019 is the slowest for home sales since 2014 per CoreLogic data. Why the slowdown? Some analysts believe it’s the Affordability Gap between home prices and Buyer’s ability to raise cash or qualify for higher value mortgages. Before 2008’s Great Recession, homebuyers could choose high-risk mortgages and stretch beyond their financial means. Now the rules are tighter and Lenders are wary of risky mortgage qualifying practices. This will keep price appreciation reined in for a long while. Experts forecast only 1-2% price gain ahead for luxury homes in Southern California. But, overpricing a home is the worst action to take today if you plan to succeed when selling.

Choosing your realtor is also more important than ever before because 90% of local realtors haven’t been in business longer than 10 years. Read that again. That means 90% of local agents have never experienced a huge slowdown and do not know how to guide their clients through one. Experience counts , please be sure to ask any agent you interview about their experience level -- hopefully it’s longer than 10 years.

June is my birthday month and this year I’ll celebrate a little longer with more reflection on how blessed all of us are to live in this paradise weather. Also, we enjoy conveniences we wouldn’t have dreamed of 20 years ago, and live in the best nation on earth, even with our national challenges and divisions. It sets up nicely for honoring our heritage on July 4th, just around the corner. Have a swell SUMMER !