Saturday, December 15, 2007

December 2007 Newsletter

I hope this holiday season finds you and your family healthy and happy.

November sales of existing single-family homes in the nine-county region plummeted 39.4 percent, from 5,308 last year to 3,217 this year.

A major reason sales are sluggish despite falling prices in many regions is that it remains difficult to qualify for or afford jumbo loans, still necessary for average home shoppers in the pricey Bay Area. Since summer, when credit rules started getting stricter, fewer lenders are offering financing for more than the $417,000 conforming amount, and those that do are charging more or tightening lending standards. Buyers used jumbo loans for 44.1 percent of home purchases last month, compared with an average of 62 percent for the first seven months of the year, DataQuick said.

In Marin the story is slightly more robust than the majority of the SF Bay area, which is typical of our area which is a bit insulated from the downturn. Single Family Home sales for November in the 13 main cities that we track.

The same story this month as the last where Novato and San Rafael are the hardest hit areas relative to the rest of Marin. Condominiums in Novato have taken a 15-20 percent decline during 2007 and Single family homes about 10=12%. If you do not have to sell because of relocation or financial issues my recommendation is to hold on for the next 6 months.

I have not calculated the average days on market for this summary for one reason and one reason alone. The average days on market (DOM) per the Marin Multiple Listing Service (BAREIS) is NOT calculated correctly. It does not take into account a property that has been on the market with multiple brokers and those that have been removed for 30 days and then relisted. Once this is done it starts the days on market to ZERO. I will be doing an individual report on the actual DOM per community but it is very time intensive as the only way to accurately calculate the number is to look at the property history on each individual property. Since we have 659 single family homes on the market that will take a while. I promise to get you that information for the yearend report.

The median price for single-family, re-sale homes in Marin County was up 7.5% in November compared to last year. The average price was up 10.3%.

Home sales were flat in November at 137 units. Year-over-year, home sales were off 20.8%. Year-to-date, home sales are down 6.9%.

The median price for condos gained 6.0% to $600,000 from October, and it was up 20%, year-over-year. The average price rose 20.7% to $779,309, setting a new record high. Year-over-year, the average price was up 35.2%. Condo sales were up 16.7% from October, but were off 22.2% year-over-year. Year-to-date, condo sales are down 19.4%.

To read the entire newsletter go to: December newsletter