Archive for March, 2010

Is Marin high-end real estate about to tumble?

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

Something is amuck with the high-end housing market in Marin County.  By high-end I mean homes selling for $2,500,000 or higher.  The following information was gathered from Marin MLS (BARIES) so does not include off-market sales.

Listings are up and sales are down which means something has to give.  In the past week alone two months of listing inventory have been added to the market.  The 111 listings represent 17 months of inventory.  In 2007 there were 181 sales of these high priced homes but in 2009 just 78 sold; off 57%.  If we look at the same time period for homes under $2,500,000 sales are off 15%.

It is also interesting to note that the median price of homes under $2,500,000 is 25% down from 2007 to 2009 while the homes over $2,500,000 have only dropped 15% for the same period.

So prices have not dropped nearly as much on the high end but inventory is growing.  I feel this is because many of the owners of high-end homes have/had a larger cushion and would hold out for the price they wanted.  The buyers did not agree with that strategy and home sales declined.   At some point the inventory will get large enough that if someone really does need to sell they will have to price it so it stands out and says “hey buy me, look how low my price is”.  Once that happens we have a new comp which hurts the house next door.  After all, more listings and fewer sales does not leave many options.

Warren Carreiro

Sales of Single Family Homes up 50% in Marin

Sunday, March 7th, 2010

This has not been making the newspaper headlines yet but the sale of single family homes has taken off the first couple of months of 2010 up 50% from the same period last year. Perhaps more disheartening to first time Marin buyers is just 18% of those homes sold for $500,000 or less (compared to 22% for the same period last year).

The focus here is single family homes because they are currently hot. This is not permanent as condo prices tend to leap-frog homes when the price differential is great. That is to say when condo prices approach house prices people tend to say lets buy the house, it is just a little bit more and does not have an association fee. The jump to single family home purchases cause prices to go up creating a price difference large enough that condos look like the better deal. As condo sales increase prices go up and thus the leap-frog of prices. This is true of neighborhoods too, when Greenbrae is just a little more expensive than San Rafael that is where the buyers go. Once the price difference is great San Rafael looks more attractive.

For the first two months of 2010 there were 199 single family homes sold and 18% were $500,000 or less. For the same period in 2009, 22% of the 133 homes were $500,000 or less. All the information for this post comes from the Marin County BARIES MLS, which does not include “off market” sales.

For more information contact:

Warren Carreiro

DRE# 01031805