Mortgage Market Week in Review – October 26, 2012

If you are thinking of buying a home or refinancing your mortgage to take advantage of today’s amazingly low rates, make sure to check my blog every week end for my weekly Mortgage Market Review courtesy of Terra Mortgage. And don’t hesitate to give me a call with any question or for a referral to Marin’s top mortgage professionals.

MORTGAGE MARKET WEEK IN REVIEW

The Fed met this week and confirmed they will stay the QE3 path for now. And this morning the 3rd Quarter GDP estimate was released and it showed U.S. economic growth picked up at a 2% annual rate (accelerating from Q2’s 1.3%). While this is certainly positive news, growth still falls shy of the 2.5% needed for several quarters to put a dent into the jobless rate. And at the end of the week interest rates continue to hover just above the record lows of a couple weeks ago. 

CURRENT INTEREST RATES | OCTOBER 26, 2012

CONFORMING RATES
($200,000 – $417,000) 0 POINTS
• 30 Year Fixed: 3.375% (3.47% APR)
• 5/1 ARM: 2.250% (2.35% APR)
JUMBO RATES
($625,501 – $2,000,000) 0 POINTS
• 30 Year Fixed: 3.875% (3.97% APR)
• 5/1 ARM: 2.875% (2.96% APR)
CONFORMING (HIGH-BALANCE) RATES
($417,001 – $625,500 cap by county) 0 POINTS
• 30 Year Fixed: 3.750% (3.82% APR)
• 5/1 ARM: 2.875% (2.96% APR)
RATE TRENDS
Rates are FLAT compared to last week.
Rates are FLAT compared to last month.
Rates are DOWN compared to one year ago

THE TIME TO “BUY OR REFI” IS NOW!
MBA Economist predicts rates will rise to 4.4% in 2013
 
The MBA (Mortgage Banking Association) announced their annual rate forecast and they see interest rates rising to 3.9% in the first quarter of 2013 and eventually rising to 4.4% by the fourth quarter of next year. 
 
Of course this is only a prediction and the MBA has been wrong before; Last year the MBA predicted the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage would average 4.4% for 2012. Instead, rates plummeted to an all-time record low of 3.8%, spurring a flurry of purchase and refinance activity.
 
However, if you are a potential Buyer, Seller, or Home Owner considering a refinance, one has to ask, what are you waiting for? 
 
On September 13th the Federal Reserve announced a historic third round of easing (“QE3”) during which the Fed will purchase Mortgage Backed Bonds and pump an unprecedented $80 Billion Dollars a month into the U.S. economy through the end of 2012 and an additional $40Billion/mo. thereafter (indefinitely) until the economy shows signs of a recovery. As a result, interest rates immediately dropped to all time lows.
 
The goal of the Fed’s QE3 plan is to encourage lending by lowering interest rates, particularly for mortgages.  Lower interest rates have three effects.  First, they spur home sales. Second, they encourage refinancing which puts more money into consumers pockets. And third, they indirectly persuade investors to move money into the stock market which stimulates employment and consumer spending.
 
And so far it appears the Fed’s efforts were not misplaced. Signs of a housing recovery have been evident in the recent pick-ups in home prices, home sales, and new construction. Foreclosures are also down.  Some economists believe this emerging recovery will produce slow and modest improvements in home prices, construction and jobs, but a growing contingent believe a rebound will be much stronger as pent-up demand for home purchases drives building and in-turn home prices higher.
 
Today interest rates are extraordinarily low and home affordability is at an all-time high. It is important to remember The Fed is charged with fighting inflation and as the economy recovers and begins to pick-up steam, inflation will return, and the Fed will be forced to raise interest rates in order to fight it.  Therefore we are encouraging our clients to take advantage and lock in today’s interest rates which at some point in the future will seem absurdly low by comparison.

*******************************************************************************************

This article was reprinted courtesy of Gina Kemsley – Copyright © 2012 Gina Kemsley, Terra Mortgage Banking, All rights reserved.

Gina Kemsley – Senior Vice President – Loan Consultant, Terra Mortgage Banking

Office: (415) 464-3144 – Cell: (415) 828-0218 – Email: gkemsley@terramb.comWebsitewww.terramortgagebanking.com/loan-officers/gina-kemsley

 

Stinson Beach

 ________________________________________________________________________________

About the author:  The above Real Estate information on Marin County Real Estate was provided by Sylvie Zolezzi.  I can be reached via email at Sylvie@YourPieceOfMarin.com or by phone/text at 415.505.4789.  I am an award winning Realtor specializing in luxury residential real estate in beautiful Marin County, just north of the Golden Gate Bridge.

My goal is to provide you with the best home buying or selling experience possible by combining my business and financial experience with meticulous attention to detail and a warm, personable and caring approach to meeting your needs.  I have an excellent track record as a successful, results-oriented negotiator and effective communicator.  My analytical skills and understanding of current market conditions, along with my ability to utilize a broad range of cutting edge technological and innovative marketing resources, make me an invaluable real estate resource.

I am a long term Marin County resident and home owner.  I strongly believe our quality of life is extraordinary and practically unmatched. I love our community, quaint towns and vast open space and never tire of their breathtaking beauty.  I know the neighborhoods, the schools, the amenities; I know where you want to live.  I know and love Marin County!

I specialize in Luxury Homes in the following towns in Marin County:  Sausalito, Tiburon, Belvedere, Mill Valley, Corte Madera, Larkspur, Greenbrae, Kentfield, Ross, San Anselmo, San Rafael, Fairfax, and Novato.


Simple Explanation Of The Federal Reserve Statement (October 24 , 2012)

Putting the FOMC statement in plain EnglishThe Federal Open Market Committee voted to leave the Fed Funds Rate unchanged within its current target range of 0.000-0.250 percent Wednesday.

For the ninth consecutive meeting, the vote was nearly unanimous. And, also for the ninth consecutive meeting, Richmond Federal Reserve President Jeffrey Lacker was the lone dissenter in the 9-1 vote.

The Fed Funds Rate has been near zero percent since December 2008.

In its press release, the Federal Reserve noted that, since its last meeting six weeks ago, the U.S. economy has been expanding “at a moderate pace”, led by growth in household spending. However, “strains in global financial markets” continue to remain threat to U.S. economic growth, a comment which references to the Eurozone and its economy.

The Fed’s statement also included the following economic observations :

  1. Growth in employment has been slow; unemployment is elevated
  2. Inflation pressures remains stable, and below 2%
  3. Business spending on equipment and structures has slowed

In addition, the Fed addressed the housing market, stating that there have been “further signs” of improvement, “albeit from a depressed level”.

Finally, the Federal Reserve re-affirmed its commitment to its most recent stimulus program, a bond-buying program known as QE3.

Via QE3, the Federal Reserve has been purchasing $40 billion in mortgage-backed bonds monthly, with no defined “end date”. QE3 is meant to suppress U.S. mortgage rates.

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke has said that QE3 will remain in place until the U.S. economy has recovered in full, at least. It’s a plan that may help home buyers nationwide. Since QE3 launched, mortgage rates have moved to new all-time lows.

The Fed also used its meeting to announce that it intends to hold the Fed Funds Rate near its target range of 0.000-0.250 percent until mid-2015, at least.

The FOMC’s next scheduled meeting is a two-day event and its last of the year, December 11-12, 2012.

Fall in Greenbrae

____________________________________________________________________________________

About the author:  The above Real Estate information on Marin County Real Estate was provided by Sylvie Zolezzi.  I can be reached via email at Sylvie@YourPieceOfMarin.com or by phone/text at 415.505.4789.  I am an award winning Realtor specializing in luxury residential real estate in beautiful Marin County, just north of the Golden Gate Bridge.

My goal is to provide you with the best home buying or selling experience possible by combining my business and financial experience with meticulous attention to detail and a warm, personable and caring approach to meeting your needs.  I have an excellent track record as a successful, results-oriented negotiator and effective communicator.  My analytical skills and understanding of current market conditions, along with my ability to utilize a broad range of cutting edge technological and innovative marketing resources, make me an invaluable real estate resource.

I am a long term Marin County resident and home owner.  I strongly believe our quality of life is extraordinary and practically unmatched. I love our community, quaint towns and vast open space and never tire of their breathtaking beauty.  I know the neighborhoods, the schools, the amenities; I know where you want to live.  I know and love Marin County!

I specialize in Luxury Homes in the following towns in Marin County:  Sausalito, Tiburon, Belvedere, Mill Valley, Corte Madera, Larkspur, Greenbrae, Kentfield, Ross, San Anselmo, San Rafael, Fairfax, and Novato.

 


Home Supplies Drop To Multi-Year Low

As I have been reporting all year, in 2012 sales have been brisk in Marin County.  As a result, our home inventory has reached multi-year lows and the percentage of properties in contract has remained unusually high (over 40% for all of 2012, ranging from a low of 41% in January and a high of 49% in March and April.)  Click here to read my September Marin County Real Estate Market Update.

Nationwide, as the third quarter closed, home resales showed considerable momentum as well.

The National Association of REALTORS® reports Existing Home Sales at 4.75 million units in September 2012 on a seasonally-adjusted, annualized basis, an 11 percent increase from one year ago.

An “existing home” is a home that’s been previously occupied; a resale.

The reading marks the second-highest tally of the year — second only to August 2012 when 4.83 million homes were sold on a seasonally-adjusted, annualized basis. The real estate trade association reports that there are now just 2.32 million previously-occupied homes for sale nationwide.

It’s the thinnest national home supply since March 2005 and, at today’s sales pace, all 2.32 million homes would sell in 5.9 months.

A 6.0-month home supply is thought to represent a market in balance. September’s home supply, therefore, suggests a market which favors sellers. Buyers in many U.S. markets may have noticed this shift. Multiple-offer situations are increasingly common and “right-priced” homes are selling quickly.

The median Time on Market is down 31 percent from last year to 70 days nationwide.

Meanwhile, for purchasers of foreclosures and short sales, September Existing Home Sales report included interesting data on the relative value of buying “distressed” property :

  • Foreclosures sold at an average discount of 21% to market value last month
  • Short sales sold at an average discount of 13% to market value last month

And, although distressed homes remain a large part of the U.S. housing market, their relative size is shrinking.

In September, foreclosures and short sales accounted for roughly 1 in 4 home sales. Earlier this year, that figure was 1 in 3.

For today’s home buyer, September’s Existing Home Sales report may be a “buy signal.”  With home supplies down and demand for homes rising, home prices are poised to increase through the last three months of 2012 and into the start 2013.

———————————————————————————————————————————

Are you curious about your home or what’s going on with sales in your neighborhood?
Please give me a call (415-505-4789) or email me (Sylvie@YourPieceofMarin.com) and I’ll be happy to give you feedback.

Thinking of listing your home?
I would like to believe I am one of the best home marketing solutions in Marin County – with my formidable internet and social media presence, proven systems, powerful marketing plan, strong negotiation skills and in-house staging capabilities.  Call me to find out about the innovative ways I use to market and sell Marin County homes.

Thinking of buying a Marin County home?

Put your search on FAST TRACK! I will help you find the perfect home and will make the process as fun and stress free as possible. Email me to receive my unique buyer’s ebook with a wealth of tips and information to help you understand and get prepared for every step of your home’s purchase.  And feel free to contact me with any questions at 415-505-4789 or Sylvie@YourPieceofMarin.com.

About the Author:  The above Real Estate information on Marin County Real Estate was provided by Sylvie Zolezzi.  I can be reached via email at Sylvie@YourPieceOfMarin.com or by phone/text at 415.505.4789.  I am an award winning Realtor specializing in luxury residential real estate in beautiful Marin County, just north of the Golden Gate Bridge.

My goal is to provide you with the best home buying or selling experience possible by combining my business and financial experience with meticulous attention to detail and a warm, personable and caring approach to meeting your needs.  I have an excellent track record as a successful, results-oriented negotiator and effective communicator.  My analytical skills and understanding of current market conditions, along with my ability to utilize a broad range of cutting edge technological and innovative marketing resources, make me an invaluable real estate resource.

I am a long term Marin County resident and home owner.  I strongly believe our quality of life is extraordinary and practically unmatched. I love our community, quaint towns and vast open space and never tire of their breathtaking beauty.  I know the neighborhoods, the schools, the amenities; I know where you want to live.  I know and love Marin County!

I specialize in Luxury Homes in the following towns in Marin County:  Sausalito, Tiburon, Belvedere, Mill Valley, Corte Madera, Larkspur, Greenbrae, Kentfield, Ross, San Anselmo, San Rafael, Fairfax, and Novato.


Mortgage Market Week in Review – October 19, 2012

If you are thinking of buying a home or refinancing your mortgage to take advantage of today’s amazingly low rates, make sure to check my blog every week end for my weekly Mortgage Market Review courtesy of Terra Mortgage. And don’t hesitate to give me a call with any question or for a referral to Marin’s top mortgage professionals.

MORTGAGE MARKET WEEK IN REVIEW

Housing starts rose 15% in September to 870,000 units (more than 100,000 units above forecast) and single-family housing starts are now above 600,000 for the first time since August 2008 (when they first started to head in the opposite direction). Building permits also rallied 11.6% from August to 894,000 permits (more below). Interest rates moved higher as the bond market took the news as signs the economy is improving and there are now upside risks in GDP forecasts for Q3 and Q4.

CURRENT INTEREST RATES | OCTOBER 19, 2012

CONFORMING RATES
($200,000 – $417,000) 0 POINTS
• 30 Year Fixed: 3.375% (3.47% APR)
• 5/1 ARM: 2.625% (2.72% APR)
JUMBO RATES
($625,501 – $2,000,000) 0 POINTS
• 30 Year Fixed: 4.000% (4.09% APR)
• 5/1 ARM: 2.875% (2.96% APR)
CONFORMING (HIGH-BALANCE) RATES
($417,001 – $625,500 cap by county) 0 POINTS
• 30 Year Fixed: 3.750% (3.82% APR)
• 5/1 ARM: 3.000% (3.08% APR)
RATE TRENDS
Rates are UP compared to last week.
Rates are FLAT compared to last month.
Rates are DOWN compared to one year ago

INDUSTRY NEWS

The Most Optimistic Housing Forecast Yet
By Dave Hershman
 
The long-battered housing market is finally starting to get back on its feet. But some experts believe it could soon become another housing boom. Signs of recovery have been evident in the recent pick ups in home prices, home sales and construction. Foreclosures are also down and the Federal Reserve has acted to push rates on home loans near record lows. But while many economists believe this emerging housing recovery will produce only slow and modest improvement in home prices, construction and jobs, others believe the rebound will be much stronger.
 
Barclays Capital put out a report recently forecasting that home prices, which fell by more than a third after the housing bubble burst in 2007, could be back to peak levels as soon as 2015. “In our view, the housing market had undergone a dramatic over-correction during the prior five years, resulting in pent-up demand for housing purchases that would spark a rapid rise in housing starts,” said Stephen Kim, an analyst with Barclays, in a note to clients. In addition to what Kim sees as a big rebound in building, he’s bullish on home prices, expecting rises of 5% to 7.5% a year. Construction is expected to be even stronger, with numerous experts forecasting home construction to grow by at least 20% a year for each of the next two years. Some believe building could be back near the pre-bubble average of about 1.5 million new homes a year by 2016, about double the 750,000 homes expected this year.
 
“We think the recovery is for real this time around,” said Rick Palacios, senior analyst with John Burns Real Estate Consulting. “If you look across the U.S. economy right now, there are only a handful of industries looking at 20-30% growth over the next 4-5 years, and housing is one of those.” The housing rebound can have a ripple effect that could help get the entire economy growing at a much stronger pace, which will add to more demand for housing. “That turn in the [housing] market is occurring now and it should become a boom by 2015. It will be powerful enough … to lift the entire U.S. economy,” said Roger Altman, chairman of Evercore Partners and former deputy Treasury secretary, in a column for the Financial Times. Altman said he expects housing will add 4 million jobs to the economy over the next five years, as pent-up demand for home purchases drives building and home prices higher.
 
Source: CNN/Money

Are you curious about your home or what’s going on with sales in your neighborhood?

Please give me a call (415-505-4789) or email me (Sylvie@YourPieceofMarin.com) and I’ll be happy to give you feedback.

Thinking of listing your home?
I would like to believe I am one of the best home marketing solutions in Marin County – with my formidable internet and social media presence, proven systems, powerful marketing plan, strong negotiation skills and in-house staging capabilities.  Call me to find out about the innovative ways I use to market and sell Marin County homes. 

Thinking of buying a Marin County home?

Put your search on FAST TRACK! I will help you find the perfect home and will make the process as fun and stress free as possible. Email me to receive my unique buyer’s ebook with a wealth of tips and information to help you understand and get prepared for every step of your home’s purchase.  And feel free to contact me with any questions at 415-505-4789 or Sylvie@YourPieceofMarin.com

*************************************************************************************************

This article was reprinted courtesy of Gina Kemsley – Copyright © 2012 Gina Kemsley, Terra Mortgage Banking, All rights reserved.

Gina Kemsley – Senior Vice President – Loan Consultant, Terra Mortgage Banking

Office: (415) 464-3144 – Cell: (415) 828-0218 – Email: gkemsley@terramb.comWebsitewww.terramortgagebanking.com/loan-officers/gina-kemsley

Fall in Sycamore Park, Mill Valley, CA

____________________________________________________________________________________

About the author:  The above Real Estate information on Marin County Real Estate was provided by Sylvie Zolezzi.  I can be reached via email at Sylvie@YourPieceOfMarin.com or by phone/text at 415.505.4789.  I am an award winning Realtor specializing in luxury residential real estate in beautiful Marin County, just north of the Golden Gate Bridge.

My goal is to provide you with the best home buying or selling experience possible by combining my business and financial experience with meticulous attention to detail and a warm, personable and caring approach to meeting your needs.  I have an excellent track record as a successful, results-oriented negotiator and effective communicator.  My analytical skills and understanding of current market conditions, along with my ability to utilize a broad range of cutting edge technological and innovative marketing resources, make me an invaluable real estate resource.

I am a long term Marin County resident and home owner.  I strongly believe our quality of life is extraordinary and practically unmatched. I love our community, quaint towns and vast open space and never tire of their breathtaking beauty.  I know the neighborhoods, the schools, the amenities; I know where you want to live.  I know and love Marin County!

I specialize in Luxury Homes in the following towns in Marin County:  Sausalito, Tiburon, Belvedere, Mill Valley, Corte Madera, Larkspur, Greenbrae, Kentfield, Ross, San Anselmo, San Rafael, Fairfax, and Novato.


Belvedere Climbs to 11th Position on Forbes’ List of Priciest Zip Codes

Forbes released on Tuesday its annual list of the zip codes with the priciest housing. From sprawling mansions in California to urban palaces in New York City,  the usual suspects made the top five, but this year a New York City upper East Side zip code, 10065, topped the list for the first time since Forbes began collecting this data several years ago with a median listing price of $6.5 million.

Inventory is down about 30 percent on average among all the zip codes that made Forbes’ list. This is true especially in Silicon Valley, which is represented on the list by Atherton and Hillsborough, third and fifth, respectively.  Atherton boasts a roster of billionaires including Eric Schmidt, Charles Schwab and Meg Whitman, who help sustain a median home price of $4.9 million.

Belvedere, home of some of Marin’s most luxurious Bay view properties, moved back up from No. 42 in 2011 to No. 11. It had ranked eigth in 2010 with a median price of close to $3.3 million,  The median 2012 Belvedere house carried a price tag of $3.9 million, well ahead of the $3.6 million price in 12th-ranked Beverly Hills.

While the rankings were based mostly on ZIP codes, Belvedere was split apart this year from its neighbor, Tiburon, which shares the 94920 code.

425 Belvedere Avenue, Belvedere

Last year, the two Southern Marin communities shared the rank of 42nd on the Forbes list, and after the split this year Tiburon was left behind at 41st with a median home price of $2.5 million.

Other Marin communities to make the top 100 included Kentfield, which was 60th with a $2.1 million median price (it was 49th in 2011); Stinson Beach, which ranked 80th with $1.8 million; and Sausalito, which ranked 100th with $1.6 million.

Ross, home of many of Marin’s most expensive estates, did not make the list.  The Multiple Listing Service records show 13 sales for the period June 28 to September 28 covered by the survey and a median sales price of only $1.5 million. This low median price for Ross can be explained by the unusually large percentage of lower priced homes: 11 out of 13 were under $2 million and the fact that a number of high end Ross homes were sold off market.

Forbes and Altos Research pulled pricing data for more than 22,000 zip codes in the U.S., then analyzed the 500 most expensive. Only single-family homes and condominiums are sampled in this survey.  Multi-family homes and co-ops are left out, which may be one reason New York City, known for its high housing costs, had not reached number one on the list yet. Four of the top 10 zip codes are in Manhattan this year: Morgan Brennan, real estate reporter at Forbes, said New York City zip codes surrounding famed Central Park were especially expensive.

Here is the list of the top 15 zip codes and their respective median prices:

  1. 10065, New York, NY – $6.534,430
  2. 07620, Alpine, NJ – $5,745,038
  3. 94027, Atherton, CA – $4,897,864
  4. 11962, Sagaponack, NY – $4,180,385
  5. 94010, Hillborough, CA – $4,17,250
  6. 10014, New York, NY – $4,116,506
  7. 94022, Los Altos Hills, CA – $4,016,050
  8. 10021, New York, NY – $3,980,829
  9. 90274, Rolling Hills, CA – $3,972,500
  10. 10075, New York, NY – $3,885,409
  11. 11.   94920, Belvedere, CA – $3, 852,308
  12. 90210, Beverly Hills, CA – $3,630,743
  13. 81611, Aspen, CO – $3,597,756
  14. 10013, New York, NY – $3,561,703
  15. 33156, Coral Gables, FL – $3,317,227

The complete list is available at www.forbes.com/zipcodes.

Belvedere home

_________________________________________________________________________________

Are you curious about your home or what’s going on with sales in your neighborhood?
Please give me a call (415-505-4789) or email me (Sylvie@YourPieceofMarin.com) and I’ll be happy to give you feedback.

Thinking of listing your home?
I would like to believe I am one of the best home marketing solutions in Marin County – with my formidable internet and social media presence, proven systems, powerful marketing plan, strong negotiation skills and in-house staging capabilities.  Call me to find out about the innovative ways I use to market and sell Marin County homes.

Thinking of buying a Marin County home?

Put your search on FAST TRACK! I will help you find the perfect home and will make the process as fun and stress free as possible. Email me to receive my unique buyer’s ebook with a wealth of tips and information to help you understand and get prepared for every step of your home’s purchase.  And feel free to contact me with any questions at 415-505-4789 or Sylvie@YourPieceofMarin.com.

About the Author:  The above Real Estate information on Marin County Real Estate was provided by Sylvie Zolezzi.  I can be reached via email at Sylvie@YourPieceOfMarin.com or by phone/text at 415.505.4789.  I am an award winning Realtor specializing in luxury residential real estate in beautiful Marin County, just north of the Golden Gate Bridge.

My goal is to provide you with the best home buying or selling experience possible by combining my business and financial experience with meticulous attention to detail and a warm, personable and caring approach to meeting your needs.  I have an excellent track record as a successful, results-oriented negotiator and effective communicator.  My analytical skills and understanding of current market conditions, along with my ability to utilize a broad range of cutting edge technological and innovative marketing resources, make me an invaluable real estate resource.

I am a long term Marin County resident and home owner.  I strongly believe our quality of life is extraordinary and practically unmatched. I love our community, quaint towns and vast open space and never tire of their breathtaking beauty.  I know the neighborhoods, the schools, the amenities; I know where you want to live.  I know and love Marin County!

I specialize in Luxury Homes in the following towns in Marin County:  Sausalito, Tiburon, Belvedere, Mill Valley, Corte Madera, Larkspur, Greenbrae, Kentfield,  Ross, San Anselmo, San Rafael, Fairfax, and Novato.


Marin County Real Estate Market Report – September 2012

Most economists agree that the real estate market is finally “off bottom” nationwide and that the recovery appears sustainable in the long term, thanks to low mortgage interest rates, an improving economy and increasing demand in mid- to move-up market segments.  With the consumer confidence index up in September, there is a sense of long awaited stability and renewed confidence.

“As asking prices continue to climb, 2012 will almost surely be the first year of rising home prices since 2006,” said Jed Kolko, Trulia’s Chief Economist. “Right now, prices are recovering across the country, with few local markets left behind. While some of these increases are a bounce back from the huge price declines during the recession, price gains are strongest where job growth has boosted housing demand and where declining inventories lead to tighter supply.”

No wonder our real estate markets in the Peninsula, San Francisco and Marin are sizzling! 

TRENDS AT A GLANCE

In Marin County, the market continues its slow but steady recovery.  Buyers are stepping up, realizing now is the time to lock in headline-making, rock bottom interest rates and low property prices.  Those sellers who are willing to embrace the new market reality tend to have the upper hand, especially in the lower price ranges, due to our limited inventory and sizable pool of motivated buyers.  Thanks to higher availability of Jumbo loans, the market has started shifting to a different mix with more sales of high end homes.  The bottom end of the market is being squeezed by all-cash paying investors out-bidding first time home buyers.  Many sellers are still underwater and unable to move up or down.

  • Sales came down to 222 from the 15 month high of 306 of August, but remained flat compared to 229 in September 2011.
  • Inventory went up ever so slightly from 611 active listings in August 2012 to 626 in September. However, it was down 34 percent from 948 in September 2011 and 57 percent from 1,471 in September 2010. 
  • With a large number of buyers competing for fewer homes, the percentage of homes in contract remained high at 43, compared to 47 percent in August, 27 percent in September 2011 and 14% in September 2010.
  • Affordability remains high since prices have remained more or less flat despite the increasing number of multiple offers and the decreasing number of distressed sales.

CITY BY CITY REPORT

In September, Novato’s percentage in contract increased to an amazing 64.49 percent, with Larkspur in second position at 53.13 percent in contract.  Ross and Belvedere are lagging behind with 21.74 percent and 17.39 percent in contract, respectively.  No surprise here as the very high end of the market is not experiencing the same high level of demand: the average price for active listings in Ross is currently over $7 million and in Belvedere over $11 million. 

Year over year, sales are similar to last year’s or up in most Marin cities, with an overall increase for the county in sales volume as of September 30 of 18 percent.

SALES ACTIVITY BY PRICE POINT

The bulk of the activity remains in the below $1 million price range.  The $1 million to $3 million markets are holding their own as well with over 30% of active listings in contract.  It is generally considered that a market with over 25% of its active listings in contract is a seller’s market.  It all boils down to supply and demand: our current low inventory and unusually high demand are triggering a high level of activity, resulting in a high percentage of active listings in contract.

Whether you are thinking of selling or buying Marin County real estate, make sure to contact me.  I always get my sellers the highest possible price and my buyers the best possible price. Call me to find out how!

All reports and statistics presented in this report are based on data supplied by BAREIS MLS. Neither the author of this report, the Marin Association of Realtors nor its MLS guarantees or is in anyway responsible for this data’s accuracy.

Sausalito, CA

________________________________________________________________________________

About the author:  The above Real Estate information on Marin County Real Estate was provided by Sylvie Zolezzi.  I can be reached via email at Sylvie@YourPieceOfMarin.com or by phone/text at 415.505.4789.  I am an award winning Realtor specializing in luxury residential real estate in beautiful Marin County, just north of the Golden Gate Bridge.

My goal is to provide you with the best home buying or selling experience possible by combining my business and financial experience with meticulous attention to detail and a warm, personable and caring approach to meeting your needs.  I have an excellent track record as a successful, results-oriented negotiator and effective communicator.  My analytical skills and understanding of current market conditions, along with my ability to utilize a broad range of cutting edge technological and innovative marketing resources, make me an invaluable real estate resource.

I am a long term Marin County resident and home owner.  I strongly believe our quality of life is extraordinary and practically unmatched. I love our community, quaint towns and vast open space and never tire of their breathtaking beauty.  I know the neighborhoods, the schools, the amenities; I know where you want to live.  I know and love Marin County!

I specialize in Luxury Homes in the following towns in Marin County:  Sausalito, Tiburon, Belvedere, Mill Valley, Corte Madera, Larkspur, Greenbrae, Kentfield,  Ross, San Anselmo, San Rafael, Fairfax, and Novato.


Mortgage Market Week in Review – October 12, 2012

If you are thinking of buying a home or refinancing your mortgage to take advantage of today’s amazingly low rates, make sure to check my blog every week end for my weekly Mortgage Market Review courtesy of Terra Mortgage. And don’t hesitate to give me a call with any question or for a referral to Marin’s top mortgage professionals.

MORTGAGE MARKET WEEK IN REVIEW

The Labor Department reported today that the Producer Price Index (PPI) in September rose by 1.1%, above the 0.8% expected but the Core PPI reading was unchanged from August to September.  In addition, the year-over-year Core PPI declined from 2.5% to 2.3%.  This is relatively tame inflation data and gives the Fed cover to continue printing money, for now. Absent any other economic new releases, rates remain flat for the week. 

CURRENT INTEREST RATES | OCTOBER 12, 2012

CONFORMING RATES
($200,000 – $417,000) 0 POINTS
• 30 Year Fixed: 3.250% (3.35% APR)
• 5/1 ARM: 2.500% (2.59% APR)
JUMBO RATES
($625,501 – $2,000,000) 0 POINTS
• 30 Year Fixed: 3.875% (3.97% APR)
• 5/1 ARM: 2.875% (2.96% APR)
CONFORMING (HIGH-BALANCE) RATES
($417,001 – $625,500 cap by county) 0 POINTS
• 30 Year Fixed: 3.625% (3.70% APR)
• 5/1 ARM: 2.875% (2.96% APR)
RATE TRENDS
Rates are FLAT compared to last week.
Rates are DOWN compared to last month.
Rates are DOWN compared to one year ago

INDUSTRY NEWS

Signs a U.S. Economic Recovery in Housing is Finally Taking Root. 
 
By the less-demanding standards of the past few years, the latest housing figures, like many from recent months, look pretty good. As we previously reported, the Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller Home Price Index showed a 1.2% price gain in July compared to a year earlier and prices have risen for three consecutive months.
 
In a separate release, The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported on September 26 that sales of existing homes had risen by 9.3% in August, compared to a year earlier, and that the median price of existing homes sold was up 9.5% over the past year.  Experts are especially impressed that prices of the least-expensive third of homes lead the gains, going up a full 1% between June and July. Those homes had received the worst drubbing in the recent housing market collapse.
 
Is this the start of the long-awaited and elusive housing recovery — one that would bring a stronger economy overall? Or is the market just taunting us as it bumps along the bottom?
 
“It’s for real. This is absolutely for real,” says Susan Wachter, professor of real estate at Wharton. The market, she says, is poised to enter a “virtuous cycle” where positive trends will spur more positive trends. “This market recovery will continue,” she says, predicting that rising prices will prod potential buyers to buy before prices go up more. That demand will nudge prices up, drawing in even more buyers. “I have been optimistic about this market for six months or a year,” she adds.
 
Several factors have combined to strengthen the market, Wachter says.  Extraordinarily low rates have allowed millions of homeowners to reduce their monthly payments by refinancing.  Moreover, Wachter notes, unemployment, while still high at over 8%, is not rising, and fewer workers feel the threat of layoffs.  The stock market has been very strong, making those with investments feel wealthier.  Worries about a shadow supply are easing.  “People are less likely to walk away when they see prices rising,” she says.
 
Source: Knowledge at Wharton

Old Tiburon

This article was reprinted courtesy of Gina Kemsley – Copyright © 2012 Gina Kemsley, Terra Mortgage Banking, All rights reserved.

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About the author:  The above Real Estate information on Marin County Real Estate was provided by Sylvie Zolezzi.  I can be reached via email at Sylvie@YourPieceOfMarin.com or by phone/text at 415.505.4789.  I am an award winning Realtor specializing in luxury residential real estate in beautiful Marin County, just north of the Golden Gate Bridge.

My goal is to provide you with the best home buying or selling experience possible by combining my business and financial experience with meticulous attention to detail and a warm, personable and caring approach to meeting your needs.  I have an excellent track record as a successful, results-oriented negotiator and effective communicator.  My analytical skills and understanding of current market conditions, along with my ability to utilize a broad range of cutting edge technological and innovative marketing resources, make me an invaluable real estate resource.

I am a long term Marin County resident and home owner.  I strongly believe our quality of life is extraordinary and practically unmatched. I love our community, quaint towns and vast open space and never tire of their breathtaking beauty.  I know the neighborhoods, the schools, the amenities; I know where you want to live.  I know and love Marin County!

I specialize in Luxury Homes in the following towns in Marin County:  Sausalito, Tiburon, Belvedere, Mill Valley, Corte Madera, Larkspur, Greenbrae, Kentfield,  Ross, San Anselmo, San Rafael, Fairfax, and Novato.

 


October is High Time to Think ‘Roof’

There’s nothing like a clear October day to get you wondering how the heck summer disappeared so quickly…or to suddenly flash on how soon winter is going to be here.

Whether or not you are seriously thinking about selling your home in Marin County, now is the time to take on any maintenance issues that could crop up later, when weather conditions might hinder your ability to fix them.

If that suggestion has you thinking ‘roof,’ you are not alone — roofs deteriorate more often than any other part of a home. Any home that has been around for a while will require regular roof maintenance, repair and perhaps even replacement. The usual reasons are sun damage and debris – material that the wind (or windborne animal life) can cause to accumulate up there. The debris can be anything that might divert the flow of rainwater.

The first place to check is the rain gutters. They are practically magnets for all sorts of leaves and other debris.  Since water damage is usually the culprit when roofs need to be repaired or replaced, the gutters and downspouts have to be kept open.  Selling a home takes enough attention without having to worry that potential buyers will notice clogged and neglected gutters — or that the condition of the roof gets them wondering what else has been neglected.

Along with water damage, the other major perpetrator is the sun. Many roofs that have metal or wood paneling are susceptible to deterioration from the summer sun, and winter’s slick weather conditions can turn what today’s easy roofing job is into something truly dangerous, if not impossible.

A home sale doesn’t have to be in prospect for you to be on the lookout for missing shingles, tiles — or any other part that creates what looks like a newfound irregularity. Especially after major storms, don’t forget to keep an eye out for any bare spots. It’s doubly important for anybody considering selling a home: among all the other reasons, a roof near the end of its lifespan can interfere with a successful loan approval.

Selling a home in Marin County involves many moving pieces; I’m happy to help you put together the ones that will bring the results you want.

I would like to believe I am one of the best home marketing solutions in Marin County – with my strong negotiation skills, in-house staging capabilities, and formidable internet and social media presence.  Call me to find out about the innovative ways I use to market and sell Marin County homes.

Fall in Sycamore Park, Mill Valley, CA
Fall in Sycamore Park, Mill Valley, CA

_______________________________________________________________________________________

About the Author:  The above Real Estate information on Marin County Real Estate was provided by Sylvie Zolezzi.  I can be reached via email at Sylvie@YourPieceOfMarin.com or by phone/text at 415.505.4789.  I am an award winning Realtor specializing in luxury residential real estate in beautiful Marin County, just north of the Golden Gate Bridge.

My goal is to provide you with the best home buying or selling experience possible by combining my business and financial experience with meticulous attention to detail and a warm, personable and caring approach to meeting your needs.  I have an excellent track record as a successful, results-oriented negotiator and effective communicator.  My analytical skills and understanding of current market conditions, along with my ability to utilize a broad range of cutting edge technological and innovative marketing resources, make me an invaluable real estate resource.

I am a long term Marin County resident and home owner.  I strongly believe our quality of life is extraordinary and practically unmatched. I love our community, quaint towns and vast open space and never tire of their breathtaking beauty.  I know the neighborhoods, the schools, the amenities; I know where you want to live.  I know and love Marin County!

I specialize in Luxury Homes in the following towns in Marin County:  Sausalito, Tiburon, Belvedere, Mill Valley, Corte Madera, Larkspur, Greenbrae, Kentfield,  Ross, San Anselmo, San Rafael, Fairfax, and Novato.


Mortgage Market Week In Review – October 5, 2012

If you are thinking of buying a home or refinancing your mortgage to take advantage of today’s amazingly low rates, make sure to check my blog every week end for my weekly Mortgage Market Review courtesy of Terra Mortgage. And don’t hesitate to give me a call with any question or for a referral to Marin’s top mortgage professionals.

MORTGAGE MARKET WEEK IN REVIEW

This morning, U.S. unemployment data was released and it showed an unexpected drop to 7.8% in September.  Yes you read correctly, the unemployment rate fell last month by a whopping 0.3% from a previous 8.1% reading. This represents the lowest employment rate since January 2009.  The drop in unemployment rate is a particularly strong sign as more Americans returned to the labor force to resume their hunt for work. The only asterisk to this report is the rise of Americans who are working part-time even though they wanted full-time work.  Bonds are off and rates have moved slightly higher as a result of this good economic news. 

CURRENT INTEREST RATES | OCTOBER 5, 2012

CONFORMING RATES
($200,000 – $417,000) 0 POINTS
• 30 Year Fixed: 3.250% (3.35% APR)
• 5/1 ARM: 2.625% (2.72% APR)
JUMBO RATES
($625,501 – $2,000,000) 0 POINTS
• 30 Year Fixed: 4.000% (4.09% APR)
• 5/1 ARM: 2.875% (2.96% APR)
CONFORMING (HIGH-BALANCE) RATES
($417,001 – $625,500 cap by county) 0 POINTS
• 30 Year Fixed: 3.625% (3.70% APR)
• 5/1 ARM: 2.875% (2.96% APR)
RATE TRENDS
Rates are UP compared to last week.
Rates are BETTER compared to last month.
Rates are DOWN compared to one year ago

 

INDUSTRY NEWS

New Data Suggests Slightly Stronger Growth in 3rd Quarter
 
Wholesale inventories in July rose by the most in five months, exceeding forecasts and suggesting economic growth started the third quarter on slightly better footing than expected. 
 
The Commerce Department reported Wholesale inventories climbed 0.7 percent in July to $485.2 billion.
 
Inventories are a crucial element in the government’s measure of changes in gross domestic product. Weaker growth in inventories dragged on the economy during the second quarter, when the economy expanded at a 1.7 percent annual rate.
 
July’s gain in inventories was enough for some economists to raise forecasts slightly for third-quarter G.D.P.

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Are you curious about your home or what’s going on with sales in your neighborhood?
Please give me a call (415-505-4789) or email me (Sylvie@YourPieceofMarin.com) and I’ll be happy to give you feedback.

Thinking of listing your home?
I would like to believe I am one of the best home marketing solutions in Marin County – with my strong negotiation skills, in-house staging capabilities, and formidable internet and social media presence.  Call me to find out about the innovative ways I use to market and sell Marin County homes. 

Thinking of buying a Marin County home?

Put your search on FAST TRACK! I will help you find the perfect home and will make the process as fun and stress free as possible. Email me to receive my unique buyer’s ebook with a wealth of tips and information to help you understand and get prepared for every step of your home’s purchase.  And feel free to contact me with any questions at 415-505-4789 or Sylvie@YourPieceofMarin.com

This article was reprinted courtesy of Gina Kemsley – Copyright © 2012 Gina Kemsley, Terra Mortgage Banking, All rights reserved.

About the author:  The above Real Estate information on Marin County Real Estate was provided by Sylvie Zolezzi.  I can be reached via email at Sylvie@YourPieceOfMarin.com or by phone/text at 415.505.4789.  I am an award winning Realtor specializing in luxury residential real estate in beautiful Marin County, just north of the Golden Gate Bridge.

My goal is to provide you with the best home buying or selling experience possible by combining my business and financial experience with meticulous attention to detail and a warm, personable and caring approach to meeting your needs.  I have an excellent track record as a successful, results-oriented negotiator and effective communicator.  My analytical skills and understanding of current market conditions, along with my ability to utilize a broad range of cutting edge technological and innovative marketing resources, make me an invaluable real estate resource.

I am a long term Marin County resident and home owner.  I strongly believe our quality of life is extraordinary and practically unmatched. I love our community, quaint towns and vast open space and never tire of their breathtaking beauty.  I know the neighborhoods, the schools, the amenities; I know where you want to live.  I know and love Marin County!

I specialize in Luxury Homes in the following towns in Marin County:  Sausalito, Tiburon, Belvedere, Mill Valley, Corte Madera, Larkspur, Greenbrae, Kentfield,  Ross, San Anselmo, San Rafael, Fairfax, and Novato.