Marin County Real Estate Market Update – November 2012

TRENDS AT A GLANCE

Just like the Bay Area housing market overall, the Marin County market continued its march toward stability and normalcy in November, with strong sales and rising sale prices fueled by increased demand, strained inventory, record-low mortgage rates and robust investor interest.  The demand was driven in great part by renters who, unable to escape increasing monthly rents, are taking the plunge into long-awaited home ownership as affordable prices and record low interest rates offer enticing opportunities.

Consumers nationwide kept on displaying renewed optimism, driving the Consumer confidence index slightly up to 73.7 in November from 73.1 in October, and the highest reading since February 2008.

Locally buyers continued to demonstrate growing enthusiasm, writing multiple offers on well priced homes, with cash buyers and well qualified buyers competing fiercely over the few available homes.  55 percent of all active listings are currently in contract, compared to 32 percent in November 2011.  A balanced market is generally considered to be around 25-30 percent in contract.

A total of 226 homes were sold, down 20.14 percent from October and up 2.26 percent from November 2011. A drop from October to November is normal for the season, although typically it is not quite as significant. The very limited inventory contributed to the drop in sales as many qualified buyers were unable to find a home, or when they did, they often lost out in a multiple offer scenario.

Year to date, 2,759 homes were sold in Marin County, up 20.16 percent from 2,296 homes sold as of the end of November 2011, back to pre market crash levels.  Looking back to year to date sales at this time of year, 2012 sales were the highest since 2005 when they reached 3,205.  As a point of reference, they were 2,129 in 2010, 1,945 in 2009, 1,953 in 2008, 2,366 in 2007, 2,647 in 2006, and 3,205 in 2005.

The median price paid for a Marin County home in November was $722,000, up 1.69 percent from $710,000 in October and 10.23 percent from $655,000 in November 2011.  The low point of the current real estate cycle for a Marin County property was a median of $542,000 in January 2011, while the peak was $996,000 in May 2007.

Meanwhile, the median price paid for a home in the Bay Area was $438,000 last month. That was up 5.3 percent from $416,000 in October and up 20.5 percent from $363,500 in November a year ago. Last month’s median was the highest since August 2008, when it was $447,000. The low point of the current real estate cycle for a Bay Area property was a median of $290,000 in March 2009, while the peak was $665,000 in June/July 2007. (Bay Area data was gathered from San Diego based real estate information service DataQuick as reported in a December 13, 2012 article.)

CITY BY CITY REPORT

 

With a large number of qualified buyers competing for fewer homes, the percentage of homes in contract remains very high overall in the county.  As of today, Greenbrae has reached an incredible 81.82 percent of its active listings in contract, ahead of Novato currently at 73.53 percent in contract.  Fairfax is currently in third position with 63.16 percent of its active listings in contract.  Ross has improved with 46.15 percent in contract from 19.05 a month ago and Belvedere with 30 percent in contract from 28.57 percent.

SALES ACTIVITY BY PRICE POINT

 

While the bulk of the activity remains in the below $1 million price range, the $1 million to $2 million remained over 30 percent and the $2 million to $3 million markets improved from 27.12 percent of active listings in contract to 40 percent.  It is generally considered that a market with over 25% of its active listings in contract is a seller’s market

LOOKING FORWARD TO 2013

The job market in the state of California, and especially in the Bay Area, continues to grow much faster than the national average.  The Bay Area had the lowest unemployment rates in the state in October, and Marin County the lowest in the Bay Area at 5.8 percent.   The region’s real estate markets have mirrored these strong results: Bay Area home sales were up 15.5 percent in November and, as mentioned above, home values increased by 20.5 percent.

With a clear link between strong employment, consumer confidence and healthy housing markets, the Bay Area’s ability to generate high-salary jobs and continued expansion in the high tech industry, trade and tourism points to sustained growth in the Bay Area housing markets in 2013.

If you are thinking of selling your home, feel free to contact me to discuss your particular situation.  If you are planning on selling your home in the New Year, let’s sit down and discuss how to prepare your home for sale to get you the best possible price: it is never too early to start!

If you are thinking of buying, let’s sit down and talk about your needs and your goals.

Unless otherwise indicated, 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.

Sylvie Zolezzi - www.YourPieceofMarin.comAbout 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 and National Unemployment Rates Drop to Four-Year Lows

 

Marin County’s Unemployment rate dropped  below 6 percent in October 2012 for the first time since December 2008.  Meanwhile, San Francisco County’s jobless rate was 6.8 percent and San Mateo’s was 6.3 percent.

On the national front, DSNews just posted a News Alert today about the national unemployment rate plunging to a near-four year low.

The article pointed out that Superstorm Sandy blew a hole in economists’ crystal balls as the economy added 146,000 jobs and the unemployment rate fell to 7.7 percent in November, the lowest level since December 2008, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported Friday.

Economists had forecast payrolls would grow by 93,000 and the unemployment rate would increase to 8.0 percent from 7.9 percent. The storm, which struck the Northeast at the end of October, had been expected to stall new hires and business creation.

Job growth for October was revised downward from 171,000 to 138,000, and September was revised from 148,000 to 132,000.

For the full article by DSNews, please click here.

Marin County lifestyle - www.YourPieceofMarin.com - copyright 2013

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Sylvie Zolezzi - www.YourPieceofMarin.comAbout 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 Holiday Tipping Guide

gift1 (224x240)

With the elections finally behind us and Marin County property prices on the rise, public sentiment is markedly improving.

My guess is that 2012 will likely mark the year that holiday tipping makes a comeback, too. “People are more generous this year because when the economy gets better, people do better” is what international etiquette expert Jacqueline Whitmore had to say.  The founder of the Protocol School of Palm Beach added: “They tend to be happier around the holiday time.”

That’s true outside of Palm Beach, too: many Marin County homeowners who felt forced to become latter day Scrooges during the previous few years may be feeling slightly less anxious about the future of the family budget.  Those who feel they want to thank the people who help run their households and maintain their property will, as usual, run into the perpetual query: what’s enough?  What’s too much?

Like gift giving in general, tipping is totally optional – if there were hard-and-fast rules, part of the pleasure of giving (and receiving) would be lost.  Nevertheless, I thought I would share these guidelines I came across in a story on Yahoo! Finance:

Garbage Collector     
Suggested Tip: $15 to $30

Beautician     
Suggested Tip: Cost of One Session

Dog Walker
Suggested Tip: One Week’s Pay

Extracurricular Instructors
Suggested Tip: Creative Gift

Landscaper/Gardener
Suggested Tip: Cost of One Visit

Personal Trainer
Suggested Tip: Cost of One Session

Mail/Package Delivery
Suggested Tip: Gift

Teacher
Suggested Tip: Gift/Gift Cards

Favorite Real Estate Blogger

Suggested Tip: Your Next Home Purchase or Your Next Listing

(Okay, I might have added that last one.)  But with property values on the rise, if you are considering buying or selling a home this winter, you needn’t let the holidays delay your plans.  Sometimes the best time to buy or sell a property in town is when everyone else is out Holiday shopping!

Anthropologie Holiday window - Corte Madera, CA - www.YourPieceofMarin.com by Sylvie Zolezzii

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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.

Sylvie Zolezzi - www.YourPieceofMarin.comAbout 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 – November 30, 2012

MORTGAGE MARKET WEEK IN REVIEW

The FHFA announced yesterday that the conforming loan limits of 2012 will be the same in 2013.  As for rates, soft economic data, along with tame inflation reading is supporting the Bond markets today as the month of November comes to an end.  Mortgage rates remain relatively unchanged from last week and range-bound in historically low territory.  

CURRENT INTEREST RATES | NOVEMBER 30, 2012

CONFORMING RATES
($200,000 – $417,000) 0 POINTS
• 30 Year Fixed: 3.375% (3.47% APR)
• 5/1 ARM: 2.500% (2.60% APR)
JUMBO RATES
($625,501 – $2,000,000) 0 POINTS
• 30 Year Fixed: 3.750% (3.85% 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% (3.69% APR)
• 5/1 ARM: 2.875% (2.96% APR)
RATE TRENDS
Rates are SAME compared to last week.
Rates are SAME compared to last month.
Rates are DOWN compared to one year ago

More New Households Sprouting Up.
 
Americans are setting up house at the fastest rate in more than six years, an indication that recession anxiety, which prompted adult children to move in with their parents and single people to postpone marriage, is starting to ease.
 
The nation added 1.15 million households in the 12 months that ended in September, according to the most recent Census Bureau data. That is a significant rise from the past four years when an average of 650,000 households were formed annually. While what economists call “household formation” is running a little lower than the average 1.25 million added annually during the boom years, the latest data nevertheless represent an important shift.
 
Rising household formation, which is tied to employment growth, means more students are finding jobs when they leave college, more adult children are leaving their parents’ homes and more couples feel confident enough about the future to tie the knot. It could also mean that immigration is picking up. “During the recession, a lot of those major life events like marriage, children and migration were put on hold,” said Kenneth Johnson, a senior demographer at the University of New Hampshire’s Carsey Institute. “It may be that there are couples who are thinking about living together, and they’re thinking, ‘The jobs picture is getting better. It’s time to make the next step.’ ”
 
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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.

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.