Saturday, September 15, 2007

September Marin Real Estate News

As always, it’s important to view the individual city and price range stats – see the chart below for more details.

For the first time the overall Marin Home Sales market is in a “Strong Buyers” Market.

The median price for single-family, re-sale homes in Marin County rose 6.6% in August, compared to the month before, up 8% year-over-year. The average price rose 2.5%, up 14.2% year-over-year.

Sales of single-family homes were down 12.3% from July, and were off 26.4% year-over-year. Year-to-date, home sales are up 1.2%. Marin is the only county in the Bay Area with higher home sales this year than last.

The median price for condos fell 16.9% to $490,000, a year-over-year drop of 10.7%. The average price lost 6.4% to $633,204, up 6.4% compared to August 2006. Condo sales rose 2.2% from July, but were down 14.8% year-over-year. Year-to-date, condo sales are off 11.4%.

August is a vacation month and home sales typically are slower than in other months. The activity since Labor Day shows that buyer's are in the market.

As you can see from the summary numbers in the report, median prices rose but the number of units sold are down over 26% from the prior year. This is a sign of uncertainty. Many sellers have pulled their homes off the market and are waiting for the market to stabilize. Many buyers are having an issue with the increased mortgage rates and are waiting for the Fed to lower the discount rate. I will give everyone an update at the end of the month. As always, drop me an email with any questions or call me at 415-250-4929.

I’m always searching for ways to bring my clients and readers more local real estate statistics. I’m pleased to announce the launch of my new Marin home Sales Statistics page. To view, go to: Marin Real Estate Statistics.

If you know of anyone who would like to receive this monthly newsletter or is thinking of either buying or selling a home please let me know. I’d love your referrals!


Marin's median home price hit the $1 million mark again last month, but sales of homes slid more than 32 percent compared with this time last year, a real estate research firm reported Thursday.

August's median price for single-family homes rose 8.7 percent from August 2006, when the median price was $920,000. The median price for condominiums in Marin last month - $520,000 - dropped 4.8 percent from $546,500 in August 2006.

The rise in the median - which has hit the $1 million mark three times this year - combined with the decline in volume signals a stable luxury market making up for the lagging low end that has been most affected by the mortgage meltdown, analysts said.

Yet to fully play out is the impact tighter lending practices, including restrictions this summer on jumbo loans over $417,000, have had on markets such as Marin, DataQuick analyst Andrew LePage said.

In Marin, 76.9 percent of borrowers took out jumbo loans in August. In the last week of the month, that number dropped to 69.1 percent, LePage said. "You can say that the jumbo situation had some impact on sales," he said. "It was not a large one - it was noticeable in the last week of the month. What's unclear is if this is the beginning of a trend."

Bay Area homes sold at the slowest pace in 15 years last month as market uncertainty intensified, forcing more buyers, sellers and lenders to the sidelines. Prices remained flat at the regional level but there were local variations, a real estate information service reported.

A total of 7,299 new and resale houses and condos were sold in the nine-county Bay Area in August. That was down 1.7 percent from 7,423 in July, and down 24.9 percent from 9,713 for August a year ago, according to DataQuick Information Systems.

Sales have decreased on a year-over-year basis the last 31 months. Sales last month were the lowest for any August since 1992 when 6,688 homes were sold. The strongest August in DataQuick's statistics, which go back to 1988, was in 2004 when 13,940 homes were sold. The August average is 10,170.

"Homes in the Bay Area are more expensive than elsewhere and most of them are financed with 'jumbo' mortgages. The turbulence in the mortgage markets has made it more difficult to get this type of financing. The question is: does this pull the plug on some market activity, or does it just slow things down? We won't know the answer for a few months," said Marshall Prentice, DataQuick president.

The median price paid for a Bay Area home was $655,000 last month. That was down 1.5 percent from the June and July peak of $665,000, and up 4.0 percent from $630,000 for August a year ago. The median was down in Solano, Sonoma and Napa counties and flat or up in the other counties.

Foreclosure resales accounted for 4.8 percent of August's sales activity, up from 4.5 percent in July, and up from 1.2 percent in August of last year. Foreclosure resales do not yet have a regional effect on prices.

Other indicators of market distress continue to move in different directions. Financing with adjustable-rate mortgages is flat, financing with multiple mortgages has declined significantly. Down payment sizes are stable, flipping rates and non-owner occupied buying activity is flat, DataQuick reported.

To read the entire September newsletter go to: September Real Estate Newsletter

Find out more great info on Marin Real Estate: