Lamarre Report October 2011
The Lamarre Report: Marin Real Estate Intelligence
Despite the grim national and international economic news and the stock market's volatility, there is good news in real estate to report as we enter the fall season.
Nationally in August, sales of existing homes rose 8.5% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.47 million, up 20.2% from the 3.72 million pace of August 2010. Also, U.S. home prices were up for the fourth month in a row, according to the latestStandard & Poor's/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices.
California's trough in residential real estate investment occurred in the second quarter of 2009, according to economic data. Since then, six quarters of personal income growth, Silicon Valley's recovery, and historically low interest rates have all contributed to a modest recovery.
Marin County Market Update
Whenever I review California and Bay Area market trends I'm reminded of how fortunate we are to live in Marin County. Take for instance the following Median Price Report.
Every County listed reported a drop in the median price of existing detached single family homes from August 2010 to August 2011 except one: Marin.
And, while a 1.6% increase is not what we'd have preferred, it compares favorably to Napa with a 10% reduction and Sonoma which was off 10.5%.
Sales volume is also on the rise. In September we placed 212 single family detached homes into escrow. That is the highest volume of monthly sales since May, 2007.
September also marked the reversal of a 3 month decline in the number of new listings coming on the market. We listed 4% more properties in September than we did in August. That followed a 3% drop from July to August. At the same time, demand continues to grow. September sales were up 37% over August after an 18% decrease from July to August.
In September we sold 28.7% of all available listings! Another indication of strong demand are the number of multiple offers that we are encountering. It is not at all unsual for well-maintained, well-priced homes to receive 2-8 offers within a few days of coming on the market. This is especially true in the under $2 million price range for homes in good school districts.
Demand is so good, however, that it continues to outpace new supply resulting in a historically low "months supply of unsold inventory." The MSI number represents the number of months it would take to sell all of the existing inventory based on the current rate of sale. A healthy amount of inventory would be a 4.5 month supply. As you can see, in September, we dropped to 3.5months.
This imbalance in supply and demand is benefiting sellers to the extent that the laws of economics apply - in this case, high demand + low supply = increased prices. And, as we saw above, prices are slowly moving up.
The following two charts break down the County pending rate into Cities/Towns and Price Ranges. This will give you a better idea of the level of activity for your home. To be more precise, I'd be happy to complete an analysis specific to your property. Just give me a call or drop me an email.
Many clients are asking me about distressed sales in Marin. The good news is that Marin's percentage of distressed properties, compared to sales of non-distressed properties, is lower than that of surrounding counties, and on par with that of San Mateo and Santa Clara counties (both economic powerhouses).
Moreover, the number of distressed properties on the market in Marin has declined significantly --over 46% -- over the same quarter last year. Even taking into consideration the decline of inventory countywide, this is a good trend. We aren't out of the woods yet, but Marin's housing market is showing overt signs of recovery.
88 Culloden Park Road -- exclusively listed for $2,250,000
IN ESCROW: 51 Frances Avenue, Kentfield, list price $1,499,000
8 Woodland Place, Kentfield, $3,925,000
A huge thank you to my clients for a great year!