The History of San Diego Real Estate: A Look at the Modern Day Industry



In this special series, we will be covering the evolution of the real estate industry from the 1960’s to present day. These posts are based on the industry experience of Coastal Premier Properties Broker, Tom Tucker. It is our hope that by retelling the history of real estate in San Diego County, we will be able to trace the changes at a social, economic, and technological level that have led to today’s current industry profile and the results that have occurred for consumers, for better and for worse. Click here to read about San Diego in the 1960’s, 1970’s, 1980’s, 1990’s, and 2000’s.




San Diego Real Estate History: 2015, Present Day


San Diego County Population: 3,211,252 people

San Diego County Population Growth For The First Half of This Decade: 3.7%

Estimated Number of New Housing Units Built in 2010 or Later: 2,213 Units

Estimated Number of Total Housing Units in the County by 2009: 292,174 Units (Including 47,015 Units Built Prior to 1960)

(information provided by the U.S. Census Bureau, Date of Last Census: 2013)


Five years into 2010 and the industry is still rapidly changing. With so many technology companies racing to be the first to deliver the new, most-cutting edge product and society’s reliance on this type of consumerism, real estate agent’s have been forced to adopt a cutting-edge approach as well. The agent who responds the fastest and has the best tools while still providing the best service at the best price, generally wins. Consumers are now used to being able to shop around for a “product” and that approached has dramatically changed the real estate game.

On a consumer level, the introduction of third-party sites at the beginning of the decade, sites like Zillow, Trulia,, and more, have changed how the public gets their information and what their relationship with their agent is. Consumers have access to a tremendous amount of information about the homes they wish to buy or sell. Not only can see what their neighbor’s home sold for, they can look at high-res pictures and videos of a property, find out when the open house will be, see how long a property has been on the market, and  get up to date information about schools, crime, and more. This wealth of information that is available to consumers at no cost has led to some to question what role real estate agents will play in the future.

This incredible amount of availability, has a dark side, though, one that ensures the place of real estate agents in years to come. The data that consumers receive is not pure. It’s often incorrect, muddied, or unclear. The stack of paperwork and disclosures that a buyer and seller must complete is often overwhelming and it’s often difficult to understand what all those contracts are actually saying. More than ever, consumers need real estate agents to help them navigate the wealth of information they’ve been granted.

The future of real estate looks bright. People are buying properties without ever seeing them, simply by watching video or looking at photos their agent sent. International investments are on the rise. People can review offers and sign contracts from their mobile phone, on a lunch break, or on vacation. New laws protect consumer interests. “Buyer Beware” has become utterly archaic. Disclosures have shifted the nature of liabilities, allowing people to be more confident in the person they’re doing business with and what they’re getting out of the deal.

Simply put, people are able to transact real estate deals in ways that would have been unimaginable fifty years ago. It’s both easier and harder to buy your dream home, today, but it’s exciting nonetheless.


Notable Changes in Real Estate Law From This Decade:


2010: Financial Literacy Outreach. In April 2010, the California Department of Real Estate (DRE) launched its Financial Literacy Outreach Program. In an effort to educate all Californians to fully understand the complexities of real estate transactions, from school-aged kids to senior citizens, the DRE through this program and by partnering with other government agencies dedicated to Financial Literacy, will promote a wide range of activities, resources, workshops and other important events.

2010: SAFE Act Becomes Law. The Federal Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Mortgage Licensing Act of 2008 became law in California with the enactment of Senate Bill 36.

2010: AB 260 was part of an ongoing effort by the Legislature to tighten its regulation of mortgage brokers and strengthen consumer protections following the mortgage crisis. AB 260 (2009) placed restrictions on high cost mortgages including limiting the use of prepayment penalties, yield spread premiums and negative amortization. The bill also codified that mortgage brokers are fiduciaries of the borrower. Brokers are now prohibited from steering a borrower into a loan that is more beneficial to the broker than the borrower.

2011: SB 931 prohibits a lender from pursuing a deficiency judgment against the borrower/homeowner in those cases where the lender consents to a short sale. Difficult economic times brought about a vast number of short sales – sales in which the lender agrees to accept less than what is owed from the homeowner in the sale of the residence. Prior to the enactment of SB 931, borrowers were potentially subject to deficiency judgments which would require them to pay the difference between the loan amount and the agreed short sale price.

2012: Recovery Account Renamed. Senate Bill 706 renamed the Recovery Account to “Consumer Recovery Account.”

2013: DRE Becomes the Bureau of Real Estate (BRE).


Notable San Diego Events From This Decade:


2011: Blackout darkens much of San Diego.


Notable United States Events From This Decade:


2010: Deepwater Horizon incident.

2013: Boston Marathon bombing.

2013: Edward Snowden, a former CIA employee, comes forward and admits that he is the source of the recent NSA leaks.

2014: The Affordable Care Act goes into effect.

2015: The fight over Net Neutrality takes center stage.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s