Marin County Real Estate Market Update – September 2013

Home sales - www.YourPieceofmarin.comThe California and National Real Estate Market – Backdrop to the Marin Market

California real estate markets in 2013 have been riding down a fast and furious road to recovery. Housing prices rose so precipitously in some markets earlier this year, particularly in the Bay Area, that some experts even started talking about reoccurrence of a bubble. Dramatic increase in prices however was largely driven by lack of available inventory of homes for sale under $2 million, as well as significant presence of investors and cash buyers. Tight market conditions led to a substantial rise in multiple offers, sales occurring on the day of listing, and selling prices far above the asking ones.

While market conditions are clearly favoring sellers, there are indications that some of California’s real estate markets may now be at a turning point and cooling down a little. Nationally, investors are playing a smaller role. Rising prices and interest rates have shrunk investors’ profit margins and the share of investors decreased to 16 percent in July from 22 percent at the beginning of 2013. Distressed sales as a share of total sales have also come down dramatically to 17 percent, which is the lowest level since the end of 2007.

Nationally, the Fed had planned to reduce the rate of bond purchases, known as quantitative easing. However, the sub-par economic indicators caused the fed not to taper bond purchases after all, which has resulted in a recent drop in 30-year interest rates from 4.5% back down to around 4.25%. According to Dan Green, a nationally recognized mortgage expert, mortgage rates started this week closer to 4.00% for borrowers willing to pay at least 1 discount point at closing. It may be time to finally lock that rate! Mortgage rates have not been this low since mid-June — 19 weeks ago. This is good news for home buyers who require loans and for sellers who cater to these buyers.

Overall, Marin property values are up 3.6 percent this year, an apparently slower rate of growth than the rest of the Bay Area’s, according to figures released on Monday, October 14, 2013 by the state Board of Equalization, reported Janis Mara in a recent Marin IJ article. However, Marin’s lower rate compared to the region and the state is attributed to less turnover and higher prices and is not a sign of slower growth, experts said. “The total value of state- and county-assessed property in California on Jan. 1 of this year was $4.6 trillion, a $191.5 billion increase and 4.3 percent higher compared with the same date last year… Values rose 5.5 percent in the Bay Area, but only 3.6 percent in Marin, to $59 billion, the board said.” Why this more moderate growth in Marin? “Property values in Marin are typically higher than in other counties and did not fall as precipitously as in other areas. Hence, the comeback is less dramatic.”

The Market for Single Family Homes in Marin stayed relatively unchanged from last month, with the exception being the sale of the Villa Belvedere, the Marin Designer showcase, offered at $35,880,000. Decker Bullock Sotheby’s International Realty represented both the buyer and seller in this confidential sale.

Total market snapshot  - Marin County - September 2013

Home Sales in Marin by Area

The Average Sale Price for Single Family Homes in Marin is now $1,177,759, just 3% under the peak in 2007, while the Average Price Per Square Foot is $549, still 9% under the peak of $601. Belvedere had the highest home sale last month in excess of $20 million. The next highest priced sale was for $6,740,000 in Ross. The Beach Cities of Stinson Beach, Bolinas and Muir Beach had the longest Average Days on Market at 175. The area with the fastest turnover was Fairfax at 21 Days, and Greenbrae at 27 Days.

Home Sales by Area - Marin County, CA - September 2013 - www.YourPieceofMarin.com by Sylvie Zolezzi

Homes in Contract

Sausalito has experienced a rebound with 57% of the total available homes in contract. This portends well for the Marin Market as Sausalito is more of a discretionary purchase location. Sausalito is followed by Novato at 52%, Larkspur at 50%, Corte Madera at 47%, Mill Valley at 46% and San Rafael at 44%. The fewest homes in contract were in Belvedere with 29 homes listed and one in contract, followed by Tiburon at 13%; these markets have luxury homes that have a limited exclusive buyer pool.

Percent of Homes in Contract - Marin County, CA - September 2013 - www.YourPieceofMarin.com by Sylvie Zolezzi

Marin Market by Price Point

Nearly 70% of Single Family Homes in Marin that are Active and available for sale are under $2 million. There is only 2 months of inventory under $1 million, and 4 months between $1-3 million. The inventory is significantly larger over the $3 million price point. While the sales in September were significant, with 4 sales over $3 million including one over $20 million, there was only one pending sale at the end of September over $3 million and none over $5 million.

Home Sales and Market Activity by Price Point - Marin County, CA - www.YourPieceofMarin.com by Sylvie Zolezzi

Average Sale Price

The Average Active Price of $2,420,773 was down slightly, .3% from last month, but was up over 8.5% from September of last year. The average sold price of $1,177,759 dropped 6% from last month, but was up 19% from the previous September.

Average Listed and Sold Price of Homes - Marin County, CA - www.YourPieceofMarin.com by Sylvie Zolezzi

 

Number of Homes Listed and Sold

The number of Single Family Homes in Marin for sale in September was up 8% compared with last month and down 13% from last year. The closed sales, while up 8% from last year, were down 18% from last month due to the seasonal effects on sales, August being a typically slow month for properties going into contract as many people tend to be vacationing.

Number for Sale and Sold - Marin County, CA - www.YourPieceofMarin.com by Sylvie Zolezzi

 

Do you have questions about your Marin community and/or the value of your home? I would be delighted to provide you with more specific information about your Marin community and/or your home and discuss your real estate options in the short, medium or long term. Feel free to reach out to me at 415-505-4789 or Sylvie@YourPieceofMarin.com.

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white glove serviceAbout 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 offer a wide range of real estate solutions for buyers, sellers and investors, attracting 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 highly personalized service and 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.

 

 

 


Larkspur Masterpiece Reminiscent of Tuscany

162 Marin Vista Avenue, Larkspur, CA in Marin County - www.YourPieceofMarin.com

 

This stunning property will immediately transport you to Tuscany with its mediterranean architecture, ochre colored walls, clay tile roof, provence inspired gardens and stone decks and patios.

Constructed in perfect harmony with its surroundings, this very private residence provides a calming backdrop for your busy life, yet it is only minutes away from historic downtown Larkspur, shopping, restaurants, award winning schools and Highway 101. Nestled against the hillside, the home enjoys breathtaking views of the water, Richmond Bridge and gorgeous lights at night.

This magnificent home was custom built in 2008 with meticulous attention to detail, an open floor plan, and high ceilings providing volume and light.   The numerous view decks and private patios allow for perfect indoor-outdoor living. There is even a roof deck for dramatic entertaining. Lots of parking, easy commute and a hiking trail at your doorstep…

162 Marina Vista Avenue, Larkspur, CA  – Listed by Decker Bullock Sotheby’s International Realty for $2,795,000 – Four bedroom, four baths, 3,200 square feet on one acre.  Call/text me for a showing: 415-505-4789.- Click here for photos

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white glove serviceAbout 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 offer a wide range of real estate solutions for buyers, sellers and investors, attracting 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 highly personalized service and 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.

 

 

 


What the Government’s Budget Deal Means for You

bigstock-Capitol-Hill-Building-12605522 (300x217)Late Wednesday night, the House of Representatives passed a bill ending the shutdown of the federal government. The bill was passed by the Senate earlier in the day. President Obama has signed the bill into law.

Although the legislation reopens the federal government immediately, there could be residual delays in programs as workers address issues caused by the 16 day lapse.

Here is a succinct but very informational and timely update from Blayney White, our in-house lender at Decker Bullock Sotheby’s International Realty.

“As everybody is probably well aware by now, Congress passed the debt and budget deal last night and Obama signed it just after midnight, averting a potentially crippling US debt default.”  Under the agreement reached, a continuing resolution funding government operations through Jan. 15, 2014 was enacted. The measure also raised the debt ceiling to a projected date of Feb. 7, 2014. The Senate will also consider another separate proposal to instruct House and Senate negotiators to reach accord by Dec. 13, 2013 on a long-term blueprint for tax and spending policies over the next decade.

Blayney points out that “[s]ince the release, the bond market has been all bid as the media focuses in on the growth implications of the shutdown and the likelihood that Fed tapering is now off the table for at least 8 months.   The thinking being that Q4 economic growth will be severely impacted by the shutdown.  This morning, for example, eBay lowered their sales forecasts as consumer spending has already dropped off in front of the holiday season.”

“It’s likely the slowdown will impact economic data in throughout the first quarter of 2014 and the Fed will not attempt to taper while Yellen transitions into her new role as Fed Chairwoman,” Blayney forecasts. “It’s been all buying in mortgages as Fannie 3.5s are up 20/32nds and testing 102-handle dollar prices once again.  10 years are trading well with the yield at 2.58%. This all indicates lower mortgage rates.”

This is good news for you if you are in the market to refinance your mortgage or buy a Marin County home.  After spiking up about 1% to 4.5% during the recent months, the 30-year fixed rate has hovered between 4.11% and 4.16% for the past week according to MarketWatch.com and is likely to trend downward.

If you need a recommendation for a top-notch mortgage professional, feel free to contact me.  I will make sure to match you with the right person.

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white glove serviceAbout 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 offer a wide range of real estate solutions for buyers, sellers and investors, attracting 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 highly personalized service and 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.


Buying or Selling Your Home? What the Government Shutdown Means For You

Are you in the process of buying or selling your Marin County home?  You could be affected by the Government shutdown.  Here are excerpts from the National Association of Realtors’ summary of what the Shutdown means for Realtors and their clients.  I anticipate the main two issues for most Marin County buyers (and sellers as a result) stem from the IRS and Social Security shutdowns as buyers applying for mortgages are not be able to obtain tax return transcripts and verify their social security numbers.  Let’s hope the shutdown ends soon!

update

What a Government Shutdown Means for REALTORS® (As of October 1, 2013)

Congress has failed to approve a Continuing Resolution (CR) providing funding for most government operations. Therefore, spending authority for most of the government expired at midnight on September 30, 2013. Until legislation providing for funding is signed into law, many offices and programs of the federal government are now shut down. This means many, but not all, government programs, including some that impact federal housing and mortgage programs, have been suspended or slowed due to the lapse in government funding. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) requires each agency to have contingency plans in place. The information below is based on NAR staff review of agency agency contingency plans for the current shutdown and past experience with previous shutdowns and near-shutdowns.

Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

The IRS is closed and has suspended the processing of all forms, including tax return transcripts (Form 4506T). These transcripts are required for many kinds of loans, including FHA and VA, so delays can be expected if the shutdown is protracted.

Social Security Administration (SSA)

The Social Security Administration is closed and has suspended most customer service functions. According to the SSA Contingency Plan, verifying Social Security numbers through the Consent Based SSN Verification Service will also be suspended during the shutdown, a further complication for mortgage processing.

Federal Housing Administration

HUD’s Contingency Plan states that FHA will endorse new loans in the Single Family Mortgage Loan Program, but it will not make new commitments in the Multi-family Program during the shutdown. FHA will maintain operational activities including paying claims and collecting premiums. Management & Marketing (M&M) Contractors managing the REO portfolio can continue to operate. You can expect some delays with FHA processing.

VA Loan Guaranty Program

Lenders will continue to process and guaranty mortgages through the Loan Guaranty program in the event of a government shutdown. Expect some delays during the shutdown.

Flood Insurance

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confirmed that the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) will not be impacted by a government shutdown, since NFIP is funded by premiums and not tax dollars. Changes to the flood insurance program scheduled to take effect on October 1 will be implemented as scheduled.

Government Sponsored Enterprises

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will continue operating normally, as will their regulator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, since they are not reliant on appropriated funds.

Treasury

The Making Home Affordable program, including HAMP and HAFA, will not be affected as the program is funded through the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act which is mandatory spending not discretionary.

To read the full NAR article, please click here.

Terra Linda-San Anselmo Open Space Preserve

If you are thinking of buying or selling a home in Marin County, feel free to contact me for a fact based, no obligation consultation on your best options in today’s market.

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white glove serviceAbout 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 offer a wide range of real estate solutions for buyers, sellers and investors, attracting 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 highly personalized service and 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.