Marin County Real Estate Market Update – May 2014

Is a bubble looming in the Bay Area Real Estate market?

Several of my clients have asked me recently if there is a bubble in sight. While all cash purchases, international investors and a pronounced lack of inventory have helped drive Bay Area real estate prices sky high — sometimes beyond pre-recession prices– the dynamics of the San Francisco Bay Area economy are very solid and buyers have to be highly qualified to secure a mortgage.

As potential buyers continued to struggle with a limited inventory, high prices, and a home loan environment that, while improved, remains fussy, DataQuick, a San Diego based real estate information service, recently reported that Bay Area home sales remained below long-term norms in May

A total of 7,898 houses and condos sold in the nine-county Bay Area last month. That was up 4.5 percent from 7,555 in April and down 7.5 percent from 8,541 in May last year, according to DataQuick.

A recent San Francisco Chronicle article paints a graphic picture of the fierce bidding wars resulting from the extreme imbalance between the supply of homes for sale and buyer demand in San Francisco.

The article quotes Ken Rosen, chairman of the Fisher Center for Real Estate at UC Berkeley, who blames the insanity of the market on the Bay Area’s sizzling job market.  “The combination of rapid job growth, a soaring tech IPO market and foreign investors has made San Francisco the most expensive – and competitive – real estate market in the United States,” Rosen said. “The Bay Area has added 75,000 new jobs over the last three years, and 58,000 more San Franciscans are working than at the beginning of 2010, according to California’s Employment Development Department.”

At the same time as demand has skyrocketed, just 0.3 percent of the existing housing stock is on the market in San Francisco, the second lowest percentage in the United States, after San Jose.

We are experiencing some spillover in Marin, with multiple offers in the lower price ranges and a 10% increase year over year in our average sales price. Just like in San Francisco, our inventory continues to be painfully low, especially under one million dollars. However, our market is less competitive than in the city and buyers from San Francisco always comment on how much more value you can get in Marin…in addition to our fabulous climate and award winning schools.

Marin County Market Snapshot

The active inventory for Single Family Homes in Marin increased slightly month-over-month. Sales quantities increased 10% from April to May along with the Single Family Home Average Sales Price, which sits at 13% above the 2007 peak average.

Total Market Snapshot - Marin County Real Estate Market Update May 2014 - www.YourPieceofMarin.com by Sylvie Zolezzi

Marin County Home Sales by Area

Tiburon set the bar for May with the highest sale price at $7M followed closely by Ross at $6.1M. Novato, San Rafael and Mill Valley continue to command the majority of sales in Marin with double-digit closings for the month of May. The average days on market for Tiburon, Sausalito and San Anselmo all rose from the previous month.

Marin County Market Update May 2014 Home Sales by Area

Percentage of Marin County Homes in Contract

Six of the 15 Marin locales in our report have more than half their inventory in contract for the month of May. Generally, a balanced market has 25 percent of its inventory in contract! Of the 15 Marin areas, all 15 are showing that 25% of their inventories are in contract. 64% of Fairfax’s inventory was in contract for May 2014, followed closely by San Anselmo at 60%.

Marin County Real Estate Market Update - May 2014 - Percent of homes in contract - www.YourPieceofMarin.com by Sylvie Zolezzi

 

Marin Market by Price Point

Over 64% of active Single Family Homes in Marin are under $2 million, they also represent 81% of May’s sales. The Months of Inventory figure increased significantly in the $4M-$5M range from 5 the previous month to 28.

Marin County Real Estate Market Update - May 2014 - Sales by Price Point - www.YourPieceofMarin.com by Sylvie Zolezzi

Average Sale Price – Marin County Single Family Homes

For the fourth month in a row, Average List decreased with the Average Sold increasing.  The Average Sales Price for May of $1,378,757 is 10% higher than the same time the previous year.

Marin County Real Estate Market Update - May 2014 - Average Sale price - www.YourPieceofMarin.com by Sylvie Zolezzi

Number of Marin County Homes Listed and Sold

Finally, a quick snapshot of the number of Single Family Homes in Marin for sale in May 2014 which decreased year-over-year by 7%, but increased slightly month over month. Sales decreased as well year over year, but were up month-over-month.

Marin County Real Estate Market Update - May 2014 - Homes for Sale and Sold - www.YourPieceofMarin.com by Sylvie Zolezzi

Are you thinking of buying or selling real estate in Marin? Let me put my technological and negotiating skills, experience, and market knowledge to work for you and help you reach your goals. Contact me at 415.505.4789 or Sylvie@YourPieceofMarin.com.

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White glove service - www.YourPieceofMarin.com by Sylvie ZolezziAbout 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 service all of Marin County’s beautiful towns: Sausalito, Tiburon, Belvedere, Mill Valley, Corte Madera, Larkspur,Greenbrae, Kentfield,Ross, San Anselmo, San Rafael, Fairfax, and Novato, with a special focus on Central Marin.


Thirty Days of Mt. Tamalpais

I recently finished a really fun project on Facebook and Instagram: a series of thirty photos of Mt. Tam I had simply titled “Thirty Days of Mt. Tam.”  Click on the link for the Facebook Album with all thirty photos.

This photo posted on Day 15 was the most popular of the collection.
This photo posted on Day 15 was the most popular of the collection.

 

The feedback was wonderful and it inspired me to start another series soon.  Stay tuned and make sure to join the 5,000 plus people who have LIKED my Facebook Page.

But before I do start the next series I decided to research Mt. Tam and refresh my memory as to why it is often nicknamed the Sleeping Maiden. I went to Wikipedia and found the following somewhat disappointed details:

Mount Tamalpais (known locally as Mount Tam) is a peak in Marin County, California, often considered symbolic of Marin County. Much of Mount Tamalpais is protected within public lands such as Mount Tamalpais State Park and the Mount Tamalpais Watershed.

Geography

Mount Tamalpais is the highest peak in the Marin Hills, which are part of the Northern California Coast Ranges. The elevation at the East Peak, its highest point, is 2,574 feet (785 m). The mountain is clearly visible from the city of San Francisco and the East Bay region.

The majority of the mountain is contained in protected public lands, including Mount Tamalpais State Park, Muir Woods National Monument, and the Mount Tamalpais Watershed. It adjoins the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (which in turn adjoins Point Reyes National Seashore) as well as several Marin County Open Space Preserves. This provides nearly 40 miles (64 km) of continuous publicly accessible open space. Some of the lower slopes of Mount Tamalpais fall within several cities and unincorporated communities of Marin County, including Mill Valley, Tamalpais-Homestead Valley, Stinson Beach, and Kentfield. These areas are generally developed, consisting of mostly low-density single-family homes.

Etymology and cultural history

Still according to Wikipedia, the name Tamalpais was first recorded in 1845. It is closely based on the Coast Miwok name for this mountain, támal pájiṣ, literally “west hill”. Various other etymologies have also been suggested, but they are unsubstantiated.

One holds that it comes from the Spanish Tamal país, meaning “Tamal country,” Tamal being the name that the Spanish missionaries gave to the Coast Miwok peoples.

Another holds that the name is the Coast Miwok word for “sleeping maiden” and is taken from a “Legend of the Sleeping Maiden.” However, this legend actually has no basis in Coast Miwok myth and is instead a piece of Victorian-era apocrypha.

How disappointing! Despite the dubious authenticity of this Legend of the Sleeping Maiden, I will continue to think of our mountain as a beautiful maiden who keeps a watchful eye over our county between her naps!

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White glove service - www.YourPieceofMarin.com by Sylvie ZolezziAbout 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 service all of Marin County’s beautiful towns: Sausalito, Tiburon, Belvedere, Mill Valley, Corte Madera, Larkspur, Greenbrae, Kentfield, Ross, San Anselmo, San Rafael, Fairfax, and Novato, with a special focus on Central Marin.