Marin Real Estate (July 2010)

July 26, 2010

We have multiple economic drivers and underlying fundamentals that impact our local real estate
markets. Housing prices, interest rates, job growth and inflation/deflation are significant variables in
the Bay Area housing market. While we could not predict either the economic shift that began in
August 2007 or the duration of the economic volatility caused by the shift, we do have a few very
positive fundamentals present today.
Interest rates for conforming mortgages ($729,750) and jumbo mortgages are currently at historic
lows since Freddie Mac started recording in 1971 – see rates in the mortgage rate table on page
two. Housing prices remain 20% – 40% off the 2006 / 2007 peak. Inflation is constrained mainly via
Federal Reserve policy and finally, the San Francisco Bay Area job market, while at a 20-year high
for unemployment has stabilized (10.5%) and may be illustrating signs of stability / modest growth.
Whether cyclical, seasonal or “bouncing across the bottom”, our real estate markets remain
volatile and somewhat unpredictable but they are showing early signs of demand returning to the
market versus the 2006 / 2007 peaks. Many of our indicators have turned positive (“green”) for the
first time in nearly two years. The most encouraging indicator is volume (units and $) returning to the
market. Although we are comparing statistically to Q2 2009 which was arguably the second worst
quarter we may have seen in recent history; the increasing volume is a reflection of client
confidence and a precursor to long term stability and ultimately appreciation. The charts on the
inside pages provide more specifics on the local markets.
I see opportunity in our real estate markets every day. My efforts are always focused on
balancing your priorities for a home, your investment and budget tolerances versus the
dynamics in each local market we serve. I strive to match these investment criteria with my
experience, market knowledge and timing to provide the best advice to you and your family.
Please call on me to review your thoughts on our real estate markets.

Marin Real Estate (June 2010)

July 26, 2010

Year over year prices seem to have leveled in many price segments and locations within Marin — some areas have even seen prices increase (albeit nominally). Countywide supply and demand figures suggest an improving real estate environment. Supply is up 12% from last year and sales of entry level (3 bedroom, 2 bath homes with at least 1,500 square feet and priced under $1 million) are up a modest 10% from May 2009. Recent news reports in the local media have noted increased median prices, but that reflects the fact that luxury homes are selling once again after a lackluster 2009. I do not believe prices overall are increasing yet.

[For the rest of the article, Click HERE.]

Marin Real Estate (May 2010)

July 26, 2010

We at Pacific Union International in Marin County, California continue to feel as though the 2010 real estate market is vastly different from that of 2009. Year over year prices seem to have leveled in most price segments and locations within Marin — some areas have even seen prices increase (albeit nominally). Countywide supply and demand figures suggest an improving real estate environment. Supply is up 7%. But the number of sales of 3 bedroom, 2 bath homes with at least 1,500 square feet and priced under $1 million,  are up an incredible 191% from April 2009.

As noted in various recent articles, much of the strength in today’s home sales market stems from the red-hot entry level market segment. As would be expected, with relatively flat inventory and more sales, the absorption rate (e.g., the number of month’s worth of inventory) continues hovering at about 3 months for entry level homes. This is very low. Attractive loan terms and a pervasive sense among buyers that we have hit bottom, is resulting in sales. While in other parts of the country the first time hoe buyer credit has fueled sales, that incentive has had a minimal impact in Marin because of the relatively low income thresholds required to qualify. Below is a chart tracking escrows — roughly one-third of homes are in escrow (and this includes ALL homes in every price band).


  • Kyle Frazier, Broker Associate, Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist (CLHMS), Realtor
  • Christie’s Great Estates | Pacific Union International Marin
  • (415) 350-9440
  • E-Mail Kyle Frazier

Marin Luxury Report (July 2010)

July 26, 2010

As reported in June 2010, “real buyers” continue purchasing “done” homes in prestige locations such as Mill Valley, Belvedere, Ross, Kentfield, etc., along with “value” properties with locational upside, views of San Francisco, southern exposures, and knolltop properties. Marin County’s luxury home real estate market reflects increased sales velocity driven by buyer optimism. In the $2 million to $4 million price band, June 2010 sales eclipsed last year’s total, inventory is down from last year, and the number of homes with accepted offers (in escrow) is high. This combination of factors looks promising for continued improvement. And we are not alone — click HERE for a detailed snapshot of current national trends from the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing. I also believe that the imminent resolution of the tragic oil spill in The Gulf of Mexico will help improve public optimism, which has been suppressed by this calamity.

$2 Million to $4 Million Luxury Homes

True to last month’s prediction, trades were again up significantly in this luxury segment (with 20 sales, Marin County more than doubled last year’s total for the month and equaled May’s numbers) — another 24 homes currently in escrow (more than last month). Pending sales is a good leading indicator of increased sales next month. Certainly, buyers are feeling some urge to buy as it appears that the overall economic and housing environments are improving and pricing in the marketplace increasingly suggests “value.” Inventory remains relatively low at just 159 homes actively on the market (up by 22 from last month).

[Click HERE for the rest of this article, courtesy of www.ImagineMarin.com.]

Marin Luxury Report (June 2010)

July 26, 2010

As reported in previous months, “real buyers” continue to snap up homes in prestige locations such as Mill Valley, Belvedere, Ross, Kentfield, etc., along with “value” properties with locational upside, views of San Francisco, southern exposures, knolltop properties. Without question, Marin’s luxury home market is showing signs of increased velocity and buyer optimism. In the $2 million to $4 million price band, May 2010 sales eclipsed last year’s total, inventory is down from last year, and the number of homes with accepted offers (in escrow) is high. This combination of factors looks promising for continued improvement. And we are not alone — click HERE for a detailed snapshot of current national trends from the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing. The below chart shows the dramatic increase in the number of luxury homes sold in Marin County, as compared with last year.

$2 Million to $4 Million Luxury Homes

True to last month’s prediction, sales were again up significantly in this luxury segment (with 20 sales, Marin County more than doubled last year’s total for the month). Incredibly, we have another 27 homes currently in escrow (more than last month). Pending sales is a good leading indicator of increased sales next month.Certainly, buyers are feeling some urge to buy as it appears that the overall economic and housing environments are improving and pricing in the marketplace suggests “value.” Inventory remains relatively low at just 137 homes actively on the market.

[Click here for the rest of the report courtesy of www.ImagineMarin.com]

Marin Luxury Report (May 2010)

July 26, 2010

Pacific Union International is the leading broker for Marin County luxury homes.

As with many of Marin County’s micro-markets, Marin’s luxury home market is showing signs of increased velocity and buyer optimism. As reported in previous months, “real buyers” continue to snap up homes in prestige locations such as Mill Valley, Belvedere, Ross, Kentfield, etc., along with “value” properties with locational upside, views of San Francisco, southern exposures, knolltop properties. In the $2 million to $4 million price band, sales have eclipsed last year’s low numbers, inventory is down significantly and the number of homes with accepted offers (in escrow) is very high. This combination of factors looks promising for continued improvement. And we are not alone — click HERE for a detailed snapshot of current national trends from the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing. The below chart shows the dramatic increase in the number of luxury homes sold in Marin County, as compared with last year.

[Click on the following link for the rest of the report courtesy of www.ImagineMarin.com]

Pacific Union Real Estate Mill Valley CA. Real Estate Report (July 2010 Home Sales Update)

July 24, 2010

The number of homes sold in the Mill Valley, California real estate market rose and Mill Valley’s touchstone price band ($1 million to $2 million) posted another solid month. In contrast to the previous three years, buyers now speak confidently about our market, recognizing that prices have tumbled significantly, interest rates are extraordinary, jobs numbers have improved, and media coverage concerning real estate has turned positive. Moreover, we are seeing an improved marketplace in San Francisco which is the bellweather for Mill Valley and Marin.

The number of homes for sale in Mill Valley is down incrementally to 143. After the brief slow period in the Summer we can expect increasing inventory after Labor Day. Mill Valley’s entry level price bands (under $1,000,000) are as strong as we have seen them over the past couple of years. Moreover, bread and butter homes of $1.5 mil. and up remain strong and that market segment exhibits undeniable leading indicators of a strengthening market. The chart below tracks prices of “for sale” and “sold” homes at or above $1.5 million compared with last year. Indeed, asking prices are down 6% and sales prices are up 17%. This trend is not evident in every price band.

mill-valley-july-2010

Mill Valley’s 24 sales in June 2010 gave rise to the following averages: an average price of $1,239,025; and about 2,273 sq. ft. (or about $597 per sq. ft.). Note that the price per square foot number is prone to wild swings from month to month. For example, three months ago, the price per square foot was $640 in Mill Valley. This is because the composition of sales varies dramatically from month to month — at best, price per square foot is a blunt instrument. Homes in Tam Valley, Scott Valley, Sycamore Park, and Country Club generated the most calls this month.

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 Kyle@MillValley101.com.

p.s. I currently have several clients who want to sell, but are waiting in the wings. Please contact me to determine if any of these opportunities fit your needs. I am also a member of the Marin Platinum Group with access to dozens of homes not “officially” on the market but available for sale. If you would like my Mill Valley Hot List, call or e-mail me: (415) 350-9440 | Kyle@MillValley101.com.It is always my pleasure to be of service. Christie’s Great Estates | Pacific Union International.