Marin Luxury Homes (January 2009)

January 12, 2009

While many bankers, lawyers, and executives received annual bonuses this year, many others did not. It can be expected that the resulting impact on the luxury market will be felt. Last month I noted a sluggish high end for Marin County real estate and nothing much has changed. In fact, sales and escrows slowed further. National number reflect a similar trend. Click here to view the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing’s Housing Report dated 1/4/09. If you would like a similar report relating to any town or zip code in Marin or San Francisco, e-mail me and I will send you a pdf of the report.

[Click HERE for the rest of the report, courtesy of

Marin Real Estate (January 2009)

January 12, 2009

Marin County, California real estate has slowed. While largely a function of the season (Winter is generally slow), macro-economic considerations, and more stringent borrowing guidelines, I feel that the primary source of the current slowdown relates to a perception by home buyers that “now” is not a good time to buy. Nonetheless, interest rates are at ALL-TIME LOWS (the San Francisco Chronicle’s Real Estate section has noted these records lows each of the past four weeks), prices in many Marin communities and neighborhoods are well off their peaks, and there is a wide variety of home choices out there. As evidenced by the investor actvity of the past few months, “now” does have some momentum.

Inventory is down to 503 single family homes for sale (we had about 716 last month) in the Highway 101 corridor (this number excludes Western Marin inventory).

[Click HERE for the rest of this article, courtesy of]

Mill Valley Real Estate Market Report (January 2009 Home Sales Update)

January 11, 2009

Entering the new year, there is optimism that the Mill Valley, California real estate market will gather traction following the slowdown of late 2008. I suspect that the “undercover buyers” who have been sitting on the sidelines waiting for the “right time” to buy will make their move as new inventory hits the market and old inventory prices recalibrate (downwards). Although many buyers still believe prices may slip a bit more, many of them also appreciate the fact that interest rates have never, ever been lower (this was the 4th week in a row with record low rates)–these rates are not likely to last. Mortgage math punishes those who don’t lock in at the lowest rate possible–even if prices dipped 5%, if interest rates went up 1-point, the monthly payment would in many cases be higher. In light of the once in a lifetime low rates, surprisingly low prices, and the wide variety of home choices, I anticipate an up-tick in activity. Also, those who were fortunate enough to receive a year end bonus for 2008 (I know that quite a few San Francisco companies and law firms handed out their regular bonuses) are set to move forward on their purchases.

In a reversal from the past quarter, the percentage of homes in escrow under $800,000 rose to 38% (it had been as low as 15% in November) with an absorption rate of 7 months (e.g., a 7-month supply of homes). Overall, Mill Valley inventory dipped to 74 homes for sale. Just 7 “bead and butter” homes (those priced between $1 million to $2 million) are currently under contract. Meanwhile, the luxury market in Mill Valley (homes from $2 million and up) continues hibernating–a mere one luxury home has an accepted offer in place.

As for sales, we had 10 Mill Valley home sales close escrow in December 2008 (there were 14 in November 2008). They averaged 127 days on the market and sold for an average price of about $917,000 with about 1,890 sq. ft. (or about $493 per sq. ft). The numbers from December reflect the fact that 7 of the 10 sales were priced under $1 million (in Mill Valley, these are generally entry level homes).

Homes in Boyle Park and Sycamore Park continue to be in low supply and high demand. If you would like more information about neighborhoods, sales, schools, or local Mill Valley services references, just give me a call at (415) 350-9440 or e-mail me at It is always my pleasure to be of service.