San Rafael CA Real Estate Market Report (May 2009 Home Sales Update)

May 14, 2009

As noted last month, San Rafael CA’s real estate market is increasingly fueled by foreclosures and short sales. The low end (under $600K) is just on fire with “fire sale” prices. We are currently experiencing an amazing 69% pending ratio for homes priced at or below $600K (up from 31% in February). San Rafael’s bread and butter homes, priced between $600K and $800K continue selling at a moderate pace with 29% of homes are in escrow. Increasing affordability, low interest rates on conforming loans, an increased presence of FHA loans, and a shifting mindset are all resulting in a strengthening market. Additionally, the $8K tax credit for first time home buyers is likely helping pull some buyers into the fray, despite the income limitations placed on this credit.

Real Estate Market Chart by Altos Research www.altosresearch.com 

Overall, the number of homes on the market rose slightly with 179 homes (up from 174 last month and about 135 last year at this time). What is striking is the comparison between this month in 2006 and today. See below for more on this.

Twenty-six homes sold in April 2009 (up from 19 in March 2009). The average days on market was 118 days, the average sales price was $680,000, square footage was 1,791–roughly $383 per sq. ft. By contrast, in 2006 46 homes sold for an average price of $1.1 million (about $497/sq. ft.). Moreover, the homes sold in half the time (53 days). While the times have changed, the hottest neighborhoods have not: Lucas Valley, The Dominican, and Forbes remain very attractive to many buyers, as to Terra Linda, Trestle Glen, Los Ranchitos, and Glenwood. Finally, if you know anyone interested in a very well maintained Eichler with a wonderful patio, please let me know as I have clients considering a move if the right buyer comes along.

Price Range

Total Homes

Pending Listings

               Up to $600K

               48 (down 4)

                    69%

$600K – $800K

86 (up 21)

29% 

$800K – $1 mil.

48 (up 7)

29%

$1 mil. – 1.5 mil.

47 (up 4)

6%

$1.5 mil. – $2 mil.

19 (down 2)

16%

$2 mil. & Up

11 (down 2)

9%

If you have any questions regarding the current real estate market in San Rafael (Marin County), California, please contact Kyle Frazier, Marin Realtor & CRS, Morgan Lane Marin: (415) 350-9440.

Marin Real Estate (March 2009)

March 24, 2009

Although February was a short and rainy month, Marin County, CA., still experienced a good number of sales. So far in March 2009. we are seeing increasing inventory similar to “normal” years (I hesitate to call 2009 a “normal” year in light of the current economic situation). Recent gains in the stock market are a welcome change. Interest rates are down to about 5% on conforming loans right now, which is great (that is more than 1 full point lower than this time last year). So, it seems the pump is primed. We’ll see if the real estate market responds.

Obviously, the more stringent underwriting policies of lenders are stifling demand. Although word on the street is that at least one big lender has taken steps to loosen up underwriting practices. It is obvious to everybody who comes into contact with the Marin real estate market that home buyers are continuing to wait for the perceived bottom. This, despite the FACT that interest rates are as low as could be realistically expected and prices in many Marin communities and neighborhoods have receded to 2003 or 2004 price levels.

[Click here for the rest of the report, courtesy of NorthBayRE.com.]

Marin Luxury Real Estate (March 2009)

March 24, 2009

While sluggishness has trickled-up into the luxury real estate market in Marin, CA., there is legitimate cause for optimism in coming months. For example, there were 161 new escrows opened in Marin County in February 2009. While the majority of these (68%) were value plays in Novato and San Rafael, it was the highest level seen since August 2008 and was 19% higher than February 2008–encouraging news since we had just 19 “working days” last month. Moreover, the first 2 weeks of March 2009, resulted in 116 opened escrows. In March 2008, we saw just 98 homes go into escrow. That is an increase of 18% over last year. Again, encouraging. For a detailed accounting of national trends, click here for the March 2009 Market Report from Institute for Luxury Home Marketing. Note, if you would like a local report relating to any town or zip code in Marin or San Francisco, e-mail me.

It is clear to me that with minimal social proof, buyers will return to the market and pent-up demand will create a surge in sales figures. The $8,000 no-strings-attached credit from the government (for first time home buyers, loosely defined as someone who has not owned a home for the past 3 years and meets income limitations), the increased conforming loan limit (set to go back up to $729,750 some time in April 2009), and a pronounced level of increased affordability across the board is a recipe for sales. I should also note that with the increased conforming loan amount, buyers with 25% down (and who otherwise qualify) will be able to obtain top-shelf financing for purchases of a little over $1.6 million.

[Click here for the rest of the article, courtesy of ImagineMarin.com].

San Rafael Real Estate Market Report (March 2009 Home Sales Update)

March 9, 2009

Following Novato’s lead, San Rafael’s real estate market is gathering momentum at the low end as foreclosures and short sales drive the market. We are currently experiencing 31% pending ratio for homes priced at or below $600K. Although not as strong a market segment as Novato, I would still characterize it as competitive price band.

Importantly, San Rafael’s bread and butter homes, priced between $600K and $800K continue selling at a rapid clip — 31% of these homes are in escrow (up 2% from January 2009). Low interest rates on conforming loans are helping many buyers in the lower price ranges attain home ownership. Meanwhile, rates for conforming jumbo loans are a bit higher and apparently not being embraced by buyers as the San Rafael housing market is flat above $1 million (see lower chart). But, the $8K tax credit for first time home buyers should also help pull buyers into the fray as value priced properties come onto the market. Amazingly, we have 15 homes currently being marketed under $500,000 (there were just 5 last month), and another 16 under $600,000. Overall, the number of homes on the market remains relatively low, with 153 homes (up from 142 last month). 

As many inquiries come in regarding the distressed market, the chart below illustrates the number of, and percentage of, distressed sales so far in 2009.

SFH Sales – January 1 – March 6, 2009

   

Total

 

Distressed

 

% of Total

Marin County

 

142

 

46

 

32%

             

San Rafael & Novato

 

73

 

34

 

47%

             

All Other Cities

 

69

 

12

 

17%

             

Source:  BAREIS March 8,2009

         

Roughly 50% of the sales in Marin County this year were in San Rafael and Novato. Of these San Rafael and Novato sales, nearly 50% were distressed sales. In all other cities the distressed component of the market is roughly 17%. 

Despite the relatively high ratio of pendings in San Rafael, only 12 homes sold in February 2009 (granted, that is a short month), which is 33% lower than January 2009. The average days on market was 148 days, sales price was $673,000, square footage was 1,846–roughly $394 per sq. ft. San Rafael’s strongest micro-climate markets in were Terra Linda, Lucas Valley, and Peacock Gap. Finally, if you know anyone interested in an Atrium Eichler on a quiet cul-de-sac, please let me know as 25 Calafia Court in Terra Linda is currently active.

Price Range

Total Homes

Pending Listings

                Up to $600K                    42 (up 2)                     40%

$600K – $800K

61 (up 9)

29% 

$800K – $1 mil.

35 (no change)

11%

$1 mil. – 1.5 mil.

33 (up 6)

0%

$1.5 mil. – $2 mil.

11 (down 1)

10%

$2 mil. & Up

16 (up 3)

0%

If you have any questions regarding the current real estate market in San Rafael, CA, please contact Kyle Frazier, Marin Realtor & CRS, Morgan Lane Marin Real Estate: (415) 350-9440. 

Marin Luxury Real Estate (January 2009)

January 14, 2009

While many bankers, lawyers, and executives received annual bonuses this year, many others did not. It can be expected that the resulting impact on the luxury market will be felt. Last month I noted a sluggish high end for Marin County real estate and nothing much has changed. In fact, sales and escrows slowed further. National number reflect a similar trend. Click here to view the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing’s Housing Report dated 1/4/09. If you would like a similar report relating to any town or zip code in Marin or San Francisco, e-mail me and I will send you a pdf of the report.

[Click HERE for the rest of the report, courtesy of www.ImagineMarin.com.

 

Below is a chart breaking down current inventory and pending sales. 

 

 

Marin Cities & Towns

$2 Million — $4 Million

$4 Million & Up

Active

Pending

Active

Pending

Sausalito

4

0

1

0

Belvedere

6

3

6

0

Tiburon

23

2

13

0

Mill Valley

6

1

2

0

Larkspur

2

1

0

0

Corte Madera

1

0

0

0

Kentfield

9

0

2

0

Greenbrae

0

0

0

0

Ross

1

1

5

0

San Anselmo

9

0

0

0

San Rafael

6

0

2

0

Novato

2

0

0

0

 

 

Call Kyle Frazier, Marin Realtor & CRS, Broker Associate, Frank Howard Allen Realtors of Marin, at 415/350-9440 for more luxury home market information. You can also e-mail Kyle at mailto:Kyle@ImagineMarin.com.


Marin Real Estate (January 2009)

January 12, 2009

Marin County, California real estate has slowed. While largely a function of the season (Winter is generally slow), macro-economic considerations, and more stringent borrowing guidelines, I feel that the primary source of the current slowdown relates to a perception by home buyers that “now” is not a good time to buy. Nonetheless, interest rates are at ALL-TIME LOWS (the San Francisco Chronicle’s Real Estate section has noted these records lows each of the past four weeks), prices in many Marin communities and neighborhoods are well off their peaks, and there is a wide variety of home choices out there. As evidenced by the investor actvity of the past few months, “now” does have some momentum.

Inventory is down to 503 single family homes for sale (we had about 716 last month) in the Highway 101 corridor (this number excludes Western Marin inventory). 

[Click HERE for the rest of this market report, courtesy of www.NorthBayRE.com.]

San Rafael Real Estate Update (December 2008)

December 26, 2008

The San Rafael real estate market has been the model of consistency this year–up until last month. Although 29% of homes are currently in escrow in the low end (under $800,000), the rest of the market is at a standstill. In the $800,000 to $1 million range, we have 14% of homes in escrow. And when it comes to the higher end of the spectrum, the market is virtually flat-lining with just one home in escrow over $1 million. Nobody can recall a time where the market has exhibited such an utter lack of vitality. 

There are currently 20 houses on the market under $600,000, and another 25 under $750,000. As reported the past few months, it is apparent to me that buyers seem unimpressed with our San Rafael housing inventory and that these buyers are exploring Novato. Click HERE for my this month’s market report provided by www.Novato101.com. Perhaps this is in part due to the fact our San Rafael inventory is very low–just 141 units are currently on the market. I do expect a large uptick in listings come the new year as sellers who decided to sit out this past year begin testing the market early and buyers begin to take advantage of the ever-lower interest rates, which some predict may go down as far as 4%.  

Of the 19 homes that sold in November 2008 (26 sold in October), the average days on market was 123 days. These homes averaged about 2,159 square feet and sold for an average price of about $954,000–roughly $434 per sq. ft. San Rafael’s strongest micro-climate markets in November 2008 included Terra Linda, Peacock Gap, and Lucas Valley. For those of you who missed it last month, check out the October 2008 edition of Architectural Digest for some sublime examples of modern architecture, including an amazing prefab green home built by Marmol Radziner in the Utah desert.

Price Range

Total Homes

Pending Listings

Up to $800K

85 (same)

29% 

$800K – $1 mil.

35 (down 9)

14%

$1 mil. – 1.5 mil.

27 (down 2)

4%

$1.5 mil. – $2 mil.

13 (down 6)

0%

$2 mil. & Up

12 (down 5)

0%

 If you have any questions regarding the current real estate market in San Rafael, California, please contact Kyle Frazier, Marin Realtor & CRS, Frank Howard Allen Realtors Marin: (415) 350-9440.

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