Mortgage Market Week in Review – March 29, 2013

MORTGAGE MARKET WEEK IN REVIEW

Flight to safetyMortgage rates continued to improve for a third straight week as investors renewed their fears over the Euro zone. The markets closed early yesterday and remain closed today for Good Friday Holiday. The “flight-to-quality” away from the Euro and into Dollar denominated securities has caught many investors by surprise as they were shoring up their positions in anticipation of higher rates in light of improving economic data.  

 

CURRENT INTEREST RATES | MARCH 29, 2013

CONFORMING RATES
($200,000 – $417,000) 0 POINTS
•   30 Year Fixed: 3.625% (3.73% APR)
• 5/1 ARM: 2.500% (2.60% APR)
JUMBO RATES
($625,501 – $2,000,000) 0 POINTS
•   30 Year Fixed: 4.000% (4.09% APR)
• 5/1 ARM: 2.875% (2.97% APR)
CONFORMING   (HIGH-BALANCE) RATES
($417,001 – $625,500 cap by county) 0 POINTS
•   30 Year Fixed: 3.750 (3.80% APR)
• 5/1 ARM: 3.125% (3.22% APR)
RATE TRENDS
Rates are DOWN compared   to last week.
Rates are UP compared to last month.
Rates are UP   compared to one year ago

INDUSTRY NEWS

Home prices in Bay Area up 17.5% in January

Home prices in the five-county San Francisco metro area surged 17.5 percent in January versus a year ago – one of the biggest gains nationwide – according to a key gauge released on Tuesday.

Overall, U.S. home prices registered their biggest annual climb since summer 2006, rising 8.1 percent compared with last year, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller composite index. Every one of the 20 major metropolitan areas Case-Shiller tracks posted year-over-year gains. The annual gains accelerated in 19 of the markets, with Detroit being the only exception.

“The number that jumps off the page is San Francisco’s 17.5 percent increase in the past 12 months,” David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee for S&P Dow Jones Indices, said. “That’s pretty big. Only one city, Phoenix (with a 23.2 percent increase), did better. Compared to the low points, you’re way up there, about 25 percent over the low. It’s a strong comeback.”

3_29_13_newsletter

Source: Bloomberg

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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

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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.

I attract clients who demand excellence—in marketing, negotiations, market knowledge—and a genuine concern for their needs. My association with Decker Bullock Sotheby’s International Realty allows me to provide a high-end luxury experience to all my clients at every single price point.  It also enables me to leverage our unique combination of local knowledge and global resources, providing unmatched exposure to my clients’ properties locally and worldwide.

I view it as a great privilege to be of assistance to people at very important stages of their lives—whether they are newlywed, starting a family, relocating, retiring, divorcing or mourning a loved one—because I view my job as much more than facilitating the sale or purchase of a property, but rather as helping them find their new sanctuary or part with the home where they have raised their children and created so many memories. In addition, I am always excited to help my clients discover Marin County, our stunning sceneries and unmatched lifestyle and find the right home in one of our charming towns:   Sausalito, Tiburon, Belvedere, Mill Valley, Corte Madera, Larkspur, Greenbrae, Kentfield, Ross, San Anselmo, San Rafael, Fairfax, and Novato.

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.


Miniature Castle Revealed: Marin County’s Home of the Week – March 27, 2013

 

21306262I just love it when a historical property comes on the market, and this week I got a real treat! A fascinating piece of Tiburon’s history was just revealed in the shape of a captivating miniature castle sited on a great rock overlooking Raccoon Straits and Angel Island. The home was built in 1895 by a San Francisco architect who had fallen in love with the massive, medieval castles towering above the Rhine, and wanted to build his own miniature castle right here in Marin County.

As reported in a San Francisco News article dated December 18, 1946 edition outlining the history of the castle, it was a backbreaking and expensive job to quarry the heavy building stones from the rocky shore, drag them up the steep slope and set them in place with derricks powered by mules. But the architect, Mr. Behrnd thought it was worth it for the sweeping views.  However his bank account was no match for his dreams.  When the fortress-like, yard-thick walls and thick concrete floors of the first story had been completed, he had gone broke and abandoned the castle and the estate.

In 1925 Jack Lowe, a veteran sailing ship man and contractor, bought the land and rediscovered the castle, now buried after thirty years under silted mud and rocks and hidden behind poison oak and brush.  Jack cleared the poison oak and brush from the hillside and began excavating the castle.  What he uncovered attested to Berhnd’s skill as a builder and architect.  Under the silt was the huge vaulted living room whose small windows overlooked Raccoon Straits and a fine arched fireplace.  Throughout the whole building the massive masonry and concrete work was a sound as granite.  Into the hill ran three concreted tunnels nearly six feet high and forty feet long.  Jack set carpenters and masons to work renovating the building…

Over the years, the castle has been extensively remodeled and recently upgraded with today’s modern amenities. But it retains its original charm and character with its small windows, low and narrow doors, 3 foot thick walls, the original fireplace, the tunnels and trap door used by bootleggers…and of course the unsurpassed views spanning the East Bay, Angel Island, and the Golden Gate Bridge..

If you would love to own this incredible piece of Marin’s history, you’ re in luck!  The 3,243 square foot castle located at 34 Linda Vista is for sale!  Listed at $2,495,000, it offers a private, gated entry,  beautiful, lush landscaped yard, four bedrooms, three baths, and a remodeled kitchen with new appliances. Oh, and did I say breathtaking views!

And here is the link to an excellent, very well done video including pictures of the original castle and old Tiburon made by the listing agent:

View from Tiburon - www.YourPieceofMarin.com Copyright 2013

Miniature castle in Tiburon, CA - www.YourPieceofMarin.coom

 

Feel free to contact me for more information on this property or for answers to any of your real estate questions about Marin County real estate.

 

 

 

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.

I attract clients who demand excellence—in marketing, negotiations, market knowledge—and a genuine concern for their needs. My association with Decker Bullock Sotheby’s International Realty allows me to provide a high-end luxury experience to all my clients at every single price point.  It also enables me to leverage our unique combination of local knowledge and global resources, providing unmatched exposure to my clients’ properties locally and worldwide.

I view it as a great privilege to be of assistance to people at very important stages of their lives—whether they are newlywed, starting a family, relocating, retiring, divorcing or mourning a loved one—because I view my job as much more than facilitating the sale or purchase of a property, but rather as helping them find their new sanctuary or part with the home where they have raised their children and created so many memories. In addition, I am always excited to help my clients discover Marin County, our stunning sceneries and unmatched lifestyle and find the right home in one of our charming towns:   Sausalito, Tiburon, Belvedere, Mill Valley, Corte Madera, Larkspur, Greenbrae, Kentfield, Ross, San Anselmo, San Rafael, Fairfax, and Novato.

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 Snapshot – March 27, 2013

Market snapshot 3 27 13

The market is hot hot hot!  Fifty four percent of total active listings in Marin County are in contract.  As more inventory comes on the market, it gets snapped up right away, often with multiple offers.  Buyers are still extremely value conscious however and pricing homes correctly to very accurately match their location and condition remains paramount.

Call me with any questions.  I am happy to help with any of your real estate needs.

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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.

I attract clients who demand excellence—in marketing, negotiations, market knowledge—and a genuine concern for their needs. My association with Decker Bullock Sotheby’s International Realty allows me to provide a high-end luxury experience to all my clients at every single price point.  It also enables me to leverage our unique combination of local knowledge and global resources, providing unmatched exposure to my clients’ properties locally and worldwide.

I view it as a great privilege to be of assistance to people at very important stages of their lives—whether they are newlywed, starting a family, relocating, retiring, divorcing or mourning a loved one—because I view my job as much more than facilitating the sale or purchase of a property, but rather as helping them find their new sanctuary or part with the home where they have raised their children and created so many memories. In addition, I am always excited to help my clients discover Marin County, our stunning sceneries and unmatched lifestyle and find the right home in one of our charming towns:   Sausalito, Tiburon, Belvedere, Mill Valley, Corte Madera, Larkspur, Greenbrae, Kentfield, Ross, San Anselmo, San Rafael, Fairfax, and Novato.

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 – March 21, 2013

interest-ratesMORTGAGE WEEK IN REVIEW

Rates moved sideways to slightly higher this week on the heels of ever stronger US economic news. At this point the only thing tempering their movement are potential EU economic problems budding in Cypress, which raise the issue of future problems in Spain, Italy, and France.  Stay tuned because more problems in the EU could be good for interest rates…

CURRENT INTEREST RATES | MARCH 22, 2013

CONFORMING RATES
($200,000 – $417,000) 0 POINTS
•   30 Year Fixed: 3.625% (3.73% APR)
• 5/1 ARM: 2.500% (2.60% APR)
JUMBO RATES
($625,501 – $2,000,000) 0 POINTS
•   30 Year Fixed: 4.000% (4.09% APR)
• 5/1 ARM: 3.000% (3.09% APR)
CONFORMING   (HIGH-BALANCE) RATES
($417,001 – $625,500 cap by county) 0 POINTS
•   30 Year Fixed: 3.875% (3.97% APR)
• 5/1 ARM: 3.000% (3.09% APR)
RATE TRENDS
Rates are UP compared to   last week.
Rates are UP compared to last month.
Rates are UP   compared to one year ago

 

INDUSTRY NEWS

Sudden Rise in Home Demand Takes Builders by Surprise
The housing turnaround seems to have caught almost everyone by surprise.

After six years of waiting on the sidelines, newly eager home buyers across the country are discovering that there are not enough houses for sale to accommodate the recent flush of demand.

“In my 27 years I’ve never seen inventories this low,” said Kurt K. Colgan, a broker with Lyon Real Estate in the Sacramento metropolitan area, where the share of homes on the market has plummeted by one of the largest amounts in the nation. “I’ve also never seen a market turn so quickly.”

The housing turnaround seems to have caught almost everyone in the business by surprise. As desirable as the long-awaited improvement may be, the unusually low level of homes for sale is creating widespread problems for buyers and sellers alike, leading to bidding wars and bubble-like price jumps in places that not long ago were suffering from major declines. In the Sacramento area, where the housing bust took an especially heavy toll, the median sales price has surged 15 percent over the last year, according to Zillow.

Nationwide, sales prices rose 7.3 percent over the course of 2012, according to the Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller index, ranging from a slight decline in New York to a surge of 23 percent in Phoenix. Tracking more closely with the national trend were cities like Dallas, up 6.5 percent; Tampa, which rose 7.2 percent; and Denver, which gained 8.5 percent.

In many areas, builders are scrambling to ramp up production but face delays because of the difficulty of finding construction workers and in obtaining permits from suddenly overwhelmed local authorities. At the same time, homeowners — many of them lifted above water for the first time in years — often remain reluctant to sell, either because they want to wait and see how much further prices will climb or because they are afraid of being displaced in the sudden buying frenzy.

“You see a home go for sale and within a couple days there are three, four, six offers,” said Carrie Miskawi, a mother of three young children who has been looking for a new home for the last six months with Mr. Colgan’s help. She and her husband have decided not to put their current home on the market because they fear it will be snatched up before they have a chance to bid successfully on a new one.

“It’s kind of a Catch-22,” Mr. Colgan said. As long as large numbers of people are hesitant to put their own homes on the market because so few other homes are available, he said, there won’t be many homes available.

Across the country, the raw number of homes for sale is at its lowest level since 1999, according to the National Association of Realtors. In the Sacramento metro area, home listings were down 60 percent in January from a year earlier, compared with 23 percent for the country over all, according to Zillow.

Inventories have been whittled down largely because new construction ground to a standstill for several years. Investors large and small have also scooped up most of the backlog of foreclosures and short sales; about 40 percent of all homes bought in Sacramento County over the last year were purchased by owners who currently live at a different address, according to county records and title data provided by the Fidelity National Title Insurance Company.

But steady job growth has put more people back to work, and families that put off moving because they couldn’t afford it are finally ready to do so. “Distressed” sales are down and conventional sales are up.

Extraordinarily low mortgage rates don’t hurt, either.

“The recovery is real,” said John Burns, chief executive of John Burns Real Estate Consulting. “But the pace of the recovery has an artificial component to it.”

Some real estate agents in Sacramento, like Tom Phillips, have resorted to knocking on doors in desirable neighborhoods to see if the owners might, if asked nicely and promised a healthy gain, sell to one of his clients. One couple he represents, Darcey and Jason Schmelzer, just moved into a yearlong rental with their two boys because they sold before they could find a new place. They received four offers on the first day they put their home on the market, with the winning bid about $10,000 above asking price.

For the builders who survived the collapse, the tight market is a signal to get back to work.

Monthly permits for single-family homes in the Sacramento area more than doubled from January 2012 to January 2013, though they are still only a quarter of the level they reached during the bubble. Nationally, the construction industry added 48,000 jobs in February, the biggest increase since 2007.

The housing upturn looks set to continue, finally adding a crucial element of support to the slowly improving economy. The government reported Tuesday that housing permits, while far below their peak, surged in February to their highest level since June 2008, an increase of nearly 34 percent from a year earlier. But it will still be many months before new homes now going through the approval process will be ready to move in.

The New Home Company has ramped up building as fast as it can, said Kevin S. Carson, the president of the company’s Northern California division. Founded in 2009 by the veterans of a major home builder that filed for bankruptcy during the crisis, the company plans to build 120 homes in Northern California this year, in contrast to 50 homes last year.

Construction is expected to take longer than usual, though, and expenses are rising, Mr. Carson said. That is primarily because after six years of almost no local building, skilled labor is scarce.

Many workers in the immigrant-heavy industry have left the area, returning to Mexico and other points south. Others pursued work in Texas’s energy boom, where both drilling and construction jobs have become more plentiful. Those who stayed in the local area often switched to medical data entry, U.P.S. delivery services, or anything else that they could find. Or they filed for disability and dropped out the labor force altogether.

Some, like the 38-year-old electrician Gideon Jacks, are gingerly returning to construction work after taking a hiatus (in Mr. Jacks’s case, the hiatus was in several low-paying jobs at restaurants), but others remain reluctant to return to the hard physical labor and unstable job prospects.

“They say, ‘That’s the last time I’m riding that roller coaster,’ ” said Rick Wylie, president of the Beutler Corporation, a Sacramento air-conditioning and plumbing company. In 2005 he employed 2,100 workers, but by 2009 Beutler had only 270 employees. Mr. Wylie, who currently employs about 550, is now having trouble luring back many workers he let go.

“I don’t mean to complain,” he said. “This is a good problem to have, a world-class problem, to not be able to find workers to do all the work you’re getting.”

The shortages aren’t limited to the workers toiling in the hot sun, either.

“You walk into the permit office, and it’s like a ghost town in there,” said Michael Haemmig, president of Haemmig Construction in Nevada City, Calif., about an hour north of Sacramento. He says local governments were caught off-guard by the suddenly renewed interest in building and do not have enough people in place to handle the paperwork.

“This being California, we have more regulations and permits than ever, and it takes more time to get each permit approved,” he said.

For builders still hesitant to dive into the market too deeply, such delays may actually be welcome, since they help buy more time for prices to rise further.

“If we could build 500 houses right now, could we sell them?” asked Harry Elliott III, president of Elliott Homes, a century-old company that built 250 homes last year and plans 350 this year, compared with a high of 1,400 in 2006. “Possibly, but I don’t want to sell all my lots that I’ve held on to forever and have to give them away at these prices.”

“We lost money for a lot of years, and I’d like to make some money for a change,” he added. “I’m not building because I need the practice.”

Source: New York Times

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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

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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.

I attract clients who demand excellence—in marketing, negotiations, market knowledge—and a genuine concern for their needs. My association with Decker Bullock Sotheby’s International Realty allows me to provide a high-end luxury experience to all my clients at every single price point.  It also enables me to leverage our unique combination of local knowledge and global resources, providing unmatched exposure to my clients’ properties locally and worldwide.

I view it as a great privilege to be of assistance to people at very important stages of their lives—whether they are newlywed, starting a family, relocating, retiring, divorcing or mourning a loved one—because I view my job as much more than facilitating the sale or purchase of a property, but rather as helping them find their new sanctuary or part with the home where they have raised their children and created so many memories. In addition, I am always excited to help my clients discover Marin County, our stunning sceneries and unmatched lifestyle and find the right home in one of our charming towns:   Sausalito, Tiburon, Belvedere, Mill Valley, Corte Madera, Larkspur, Greenbrae, Kentfield, Ross, San Anselmo, San Rafael, Fairfax, and Novato.

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 House of the Day – Adorable bungalow in Belvedere

Belvedere view home - www.YourPieceofMarin.com by Sylvie ZolezziOne of the things I love most about my work as a REALTOR is the opportunity I have to see wonderful homes of all types every week.  It was raining while I was on Broker’s tour earlier today and I was unable to take any picture. So for today’s feature I have selected a romantic little home in Belvedere with gorgeous views of the water, 214 Bayview Avenue, Belvedere,  that was listed three weeks ago by one of my Frank Howard Allen colleagues at $1,499,000, and received an offer this week.  Too late to buy, but worth taking a look at anyway.

This cute two bedroom, two bath bungalow is perched above the prestigious San Francisco Yacht Club and offers picture-perfect views of the Marina and Belvedere Cove.  Perfect to enjoy morning coffee or evening cocktails on the sunny bayside deck or snuggle up inside near a warm fireplace and mesmerizing views. It’s a great location -close to shops, next door to multi-million dollar properties, AND it has expansion possibilities!

 

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.

I attract clients who demand excellence—in marketing, negotiations, market knowledge—and a genuine concern for their needs. My association with Decker Bullock Sotheby’s International Realty allows me to provide a high-end luxury experience to all my clients at every single price point.  It also enables me to leverage our unique combination of local knowledge and global resources, providing unmatched exposure to my clients’ properties locally and worldwide.

I view it as a great privilege to be of assistance to people at very important stages of their lives—whether they are newlywed, starting a family, relocating, retiring, divorcing or mourning a loved one—because I view my job as much more than facilitating the sale or purchase of a property, but rather as helping them find their new sanctuary or part with the home where they have raised their children and created so many memories. In addition, I am always excited to help my clients discover Marin County, our stunning sceneries and unmatched lifestyle and find the right home in one of our charming towns:   Sausalito, Tiburon, Belvedere, Mill Valley, Corte Madera, Larkspur, Greenbrae, Kentfield, Ross, San Anselmo, San Rafael, Fairfax, and Novato.

 


Marin County Real Estate Market Update – February 2013

Trends at a glance February 2013-Marin County Real Estate, www.YourPieceofMarin.com

As I wrote in last month’s report, the Marin County residential real estate market continues to struggle with record low inventory of homes for sale and high demand, resulting in frequent multiple offers and well priced properties selling over the list price.

Our February inventory of 312 homes for sale stood at 56 percent of the February 2012 inventory of 553 homes and only 31 percent of the February 2011 inventory of 1,021 homes for sale.

The continued low supply is the result of several factors.

  1. Despite a small increase in prices in the past few months, affordability is at historic highs.  With interest rates still amazingly low, buyers are eager to jump into homeownership.  Well priced homes in good condition get snapped up as soon as they come on the market, keeping the supply at a constant low.

With the consumer confidence rebounding to 69.6 after a dip in January to 58.6, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average recording its longest winning streak since 1996 and climbing up to 14,539 on Friday, buyers seem to continue to have an insatiable appetite for real estate in Marin County.

2. Meanwhile, many sellers are reluctant to sell for four major reasons.

    • The first reason is that they are not always aware of the shift in the market.  They may have heard of a friend or neighbor keeping their home on the market for eight months last year without success.  What they don’t know is that a lot of the properties that were on the market for months last year are now selling within a week, often with multiple offers.
    • The second reason is that some sellers, on the contrary, are aware of the increase and are waiting for a full recovery of the value of their home to the high prices of the top of the market.
    • The third reason is that some sellers are worried they will not find a home to purchase if they sell their home.  If you are working with the right agent, you can negotiate terms that can protect you against this potential challenge when you sell your home.
    • The fourth reason is that many sellers are still underwater: i.e. they owe more on their home than it is worth.

3. Another factor contributing to the low inventory is that investors are purchasing large numbers of properties, successfully competing with first time home buyers with their all cash offers.  Instead of fixing them up and flipping them, they are holding on to them, strategically turning them into rental properties, taking advantage of today’s great combination of lower values and higher rents.

4. Finally, the short sales and foreclosures which made up a large percentage of the inventory have slowed down and fewer are coming on the market.  This change in the mix of properties is an important factor driving the increase in prices, as a greater number of higher priced properties and a lower number of short sales and foreclosures are selling, thus skewing the average and median prices.  Of course, multiple offers are also a major factor pushing prices upward.

This lack of inventory therefore is likely to continue to be a challenge for the balance of 2013.

Talking about prices of homes, the median price paid for a Marin County home was up year to year in February: it was $684,000, compared to $566,000 in February 2012 and $725,000 in January 2013.   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.

CITY BY CITY REPORT

City by City March 17, 2013 - Marin County, CA - www.YourPieceofMarin.com

* Active here means all listings for sale, including those in contract.

With a large number of qualified buyers competing for fewer homes, the percentage of homes in contract remains high, continuing the trend of 2012.

SALES ACTIVITY BY PRICE POINT

Price point stats March 17, 2013_0001

The bulk of the activity remains in the below $1 million price range, where first time buyers and investors alike are competing for affordable, well priced homes in good condition.  The $1 million to $2 million price range remains quite active as well with close to 42 percent of properties in contract.  The luxury market continues to recover slowly with the $2 million to $3 million range over 27 percent in contract: it is generally considered that a market with over 25% of its active listings in contract is a seller’s market.

If you are thinking of selling your home, feel free to contact me to discuss your particular situation and what today’s market conditions mean to you. If you are planning on selling your home in the spring, let’s sit down and discuss how to prepare your home for sale to get you the best possible price: now is the time!

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

I look forward to assisting you with your real estate needs in 2013!

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.

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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.

I attract clients who demand excellence—in marketing, negotiations, market knowledge—and a genuine concern for their needs. My association with Decker Bullock Sotheby’s International Realty allows me to provide a high-end luxury experience to all my clients at every single price point.  It also enables me to leverage our unique combination of local knowledge and global resources, providing unmatched exposure to my clients’ properties locally and worldwide.

I view it as a great privilege to be of assistance to people at very important stages of their lives—whether they are newlywed, starting a family, relocating, retiring, divorcing or mourning a loved one—because I view my job as much more than facilitating the sale or purchase of a property, but rather as helping them find their new sanctuary or part with the home where they have raised their children and created so many memories. In addition, I am always excited to help my clients discover Marin County, our stunning sceneries and unmatched lifestyle and find the right home in one of our charming towns:   Sausalito, Tiburon, Belvedere, Mill Valley, Corte Madera, Larkspur, Greenbrae, Kentfield, Ross, San Anselmo, San Rafael, Fairfax, and Novato.

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 Market Snapshot – March 13, 2013


Market Snapshot_3_13_2013

The number of active listings has increased from 338 last week.  The number of homes in contract has remained practically unchanged: up one from 384.  Thus the percentage of homes in contract is down a little from 53.2 percent to 51.8 percent.  Generally a balanced market is considered to have 25-30 percent of its listings in contract.

Typically at this time of year the Marin County real estate market wakes up from its winter slumber as sellers awaiting nicer weather start putting their homes on the market.  This year, buyers have been gobbling up the limited inventory at a crazed pace, fighting over the best properties in fierce competitive bids.  We should continue to see an increase in inventory in the coming weeks, but probably not as significant as in years past.  Will there be enough supply to meet the high demand? Stay tuned for my February market report and analysis coming this week end on this blog.

If you would like more information about the market, your town or neighborhood, and an analysis and interpretation of the data, please feel free to contact me.  I can go over what today’s market trends mean for you and discuss your options, whether you are thinking of buying or selling your piece of Marin.  I can be reached at 415-505-4789 or Sylvie@YourPieceofMarin.com.

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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.

I attract clients who demand excellence—in marketing, negotiations, market knowledge—and a genuine concern for their needs. My association with Decker Bullock Sotheby’s International Realty allows me to provide a high-end luxury experience to all my clients at every single price point.  It also enables me to leverage our unique combination of local knowledge and global resources, providing unmatched exposure to my clients’ properties locally and worldwide.

I view it as a great privilege to be of assistance to people at very important stages of their lives—whether they are newlywed, starting a family, relocating, retiring, divorcing or mourning a loved one—because I view my job as much more than facilitating the sale or purchase of a property, but rather as helping them find their new sanctuary or part with the home where they have raised their children and created so many memories. In addition, I am always excited to help my clients discover Marin County, our stunning sceneries and unmatched lifestyle and find the right home in one of our charming towns:   Sausalito, Tiburon, Belvedere, Mill Valley, Corte Madera, Larkspur, Greenbrae, Kentfield, Ross, San Anselmo, San Rafael, Fairfax, and Novato.

 


Mortgage Market Week in Review – March 8, 2013

job-marketMORTGAGE MARKET WEEK IN REVIEW

Mortgage rates vaulted higher .25% after today’s employment report showed an unexpectedly high number of jobs created in February. Employment is the single most important piece of domestic economic data and the 236,000 new jobs created by US employers in February was well above the market’s expected 165,000.  The Unemployment Rate fell to 7.7%, which marks a four year low.  So far in 2013 rates have increased .5% and for interest rate watchers hoping for lower rates, it’s hard to ignore long-term up-trend.  Prospective buyers take notice; the time to act is now.

CURRENT INTEREST RATES | MARCH 8, 2013

CONFORMING RATES
($200,000 – $417,000) 0 POINTS
• 30 Year Fixed: 3.750% (3.86% APR)
• 5/1 ARM: 2.625% (2.73% APR)
JUMBO RATES
($625,501 – $2,000,000) 0 POINTS
• 30 Year Fixed: 4.000% (4.09% APR)
• 5/1 ARM: 3.000% (3.09% APR)
CONFORMING (HIGH-BALANCE) RATES
($417,001 – $625,500 cap by county) 0 POINTS
• 30 Year Fixed: 4.125% (4.22% APR)
• 5/1 ARM: 3.125% (3.22% APR)
RATE TRENDS
Rates are UP compared to last week.
Rates are UP compared to last month.
Rates are UP compared to one year ago

INDUSTRY NEWS

Eliminate The Mortgage Interest Deduction… Not So Fast!

In the contentious debate over whether to reduce or eliminate the home-mortgage interest tax deduction — or leave it alone — one fact has been virtually unchallenged: The popular write-off used by millions of American owners costs the government massive amounts of revenue, somewhere in the range of $100 billion a year. This adds to the federal deficit and debt, and so it ranks high on the hit list of most tax reformers’ agendas, including the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles deficit commission’s plan. President Obama himself called for limiting it throughout his first term in office, and ran on a platform to pare down its costs in his re-election campaign. The compromise congressional tax package that ended the “fiscal cliff” crisis Jan. 2 also contained a limitation on the write-off, targeted at high-income taxpayers.

But hold on… How much does allowing owners to deduct the interest they pay on their home loans really cost the government?

Congress’ technical experts on the subject have come up with new estimates that should figure into congressional deliberations expected later this year on overhauling the federal tax code.

Their findings: The home loan write-off costs tens of billions of dollars less than the government previously believed. One day after the Internal Revenue Service released its latest instructions for homeowners on claiming the mortgage-interest write-off for the upcoming tax season, the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation published revised estimates indicating that because of changes in the economy and tax legislation, the cost of the deduction for fiscal 2013 will be $69.7 billion. That’s a dramatic reduction from the committee’s own earlier numbers. In a projection released in January 2010, it said the cost of the write-off in fiscal 2013 would hit an all-time high of $134.7 billion. Under the revised estimates, costs will slowly rise into the $70 billion-plus range over the coming several years and will only exceed $80 billion in fiscal 2017, when they hit $83.4 billion. Sure, these are all eye-glazing, monstrous numbers. And there’s no question that write-offs can be criticized for being skewed toward wealthier owners, especially in higher-cost markets on the West and East Coasts. But the fact remains: There’s less fiscal meat here than previously advertised. The write-off is still a large and vulnerable target, but it’s not as costly as widely portrayed. You could even argue that if congressional tax reformers are looking for reductions in projected “tax expenditures” to reduce deficits, they just got a nice chunk via the revised estimates from the Joint Tax Committee, their own in-house technicians.

Source: Ken Harney, The Nation’s Housing

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

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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.

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.

I attract clients who demand excellence—in marketing, negotiations, market knowledge—and a genuine concern for their needs. My association with Decker Bullock Sotheby’s International Realty allows me to provide a high-end luxury experience to all my clients at every single price point.  It also enables me to leverage our unique combination of local knowledge and global resources, providing unmatched exposure to my clients’ properties locally and worldwide.

I view it as a great privilege to be of assistance to people at very important stages of their lives—whether they are newlywed, starting a family, relocating, retiring, divorcing or mourning a loved one—because I view my job as much more than facilitating the sale or purchase of a property, but rather as helping them find their new sanctuary or part with the home where they have raised their children and created so many memories. In addition, I am always excited to help my clients discover Marin County, our stunning sceneries and unmatched lifestyle and find the right home in one of our charming towns:   Sausalito, Tiburon, Belvedere, Mill Valley, Corte Madera, Larkspur, Greenbrae, Kentfield, Ross, San Anselmo, San Rafael, Fairfax, and Novato.

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 – March 1, 2013

MARKET WEEK IN REVIEW

Rates improved this week as the stock market retreated in fear of the pending sequester.  All eyes will be watching the indexes next week to see what effect the sequester actually has. Stay tuned.

CURRENT INTEREST RATES | MARCH 1, 2013

CONFORMING RATES
($200,000 – $417,000) 0 POINTS
• 30 Year Fixed: 3.500% (3.60% APR)
• 5/1 ARM: 2.500% (2.60% APR)
JUMBO RATES
($625,501 – $2,000,000) 0 POINTS
• 30 Year Fixed: 3.875% (3.97% APR)
• 5/1 ARM: 2.875% (2.97% APR)
CONFORMING (HIGH-BALANCE) RATES
($417,001 – $625,500 cap by county) 0 POINTS
• 30 Year Fixed: 3.750% (3.80% APR)
• 5/1 ARM: 2.875% (2.97% APR)
RATE TRENDS
Rates are DOWN compared to last week.
Rates are UP compared to last month.
Rates are UP compared to one year ago

INDUSTRY NEWS

Bay Area Home Prices Up 14.4 Percent!

The San Francisco Bay Area is the second hottest real estate market in America (second only to Phoenix).  The S&P/Case-Shiller Index for December revealed a gain of 14.4 which was the biggest gain since July 2006 and far outpacing the rest of America which registered a 6.8 percent gain.

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

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

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.

Golden Gate Bridge - www.YourPieceofMarin.com

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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.

I attract clients who demand excellence—in marketing, negotiations, market knowledge—and a genuine concern for their needs. My association with Decker Bullock Sotheby’s International Realty allows me to provide a high-end luxury experience to all my clients at every single price point.  It also enables me to leverage our unique combination of local knowledge and global resources, providing unmatched exposure to my clients’ properties locally and worldwide.

I view it as a great privilege to be of assistance to people at very important stages of their lives—whether they are newlywed, starting a family, relocating, retiring, divorcing or mourning a loved one—because I view my job as much more than facilitating the sale or purchase of a property, but rather as helping them find their new sanctuary or part with the home where they have raised their children and created so many memories. In addition, I am always excited to help my clients discover Marin County, our stunning sceneries and unmatched lifestyle and find the right home in one of our charming towns:   Sausalito, Tiburon, Belvedere, Mill Valley, Corte Madera, Larkspur, Greenbrae, Kentfield, Ross, San Anselmo, San Rafael, Fairfax, and Novato.

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.