Kyle Frazier, J.D., Broker Associate Ι Pacific Union International | Christies International Real Estate | (415) 350-9440

Marin Luxury Properties Report Pacific Union – Christie’s International Real Estate | Marin County, CA Luxury Home Sales (January 2012)

Pacific Union Int’l – Christie’s Great Estates | Marin County, CA Luxury Home Sales (January 2012) — Luxury home sales have maintained a solid pace over the past quarter (in December 2011, Marin County saw 9 sales over $2 million). It remains very clear that buyers will act quickly, even in the luxury home realm when they feel a particular home reflects clear value and/or possesses unique and desirable characteristics. Extraordinary opportunities are literally around every corner for buyers who can stomach uncertainty — although, it appears, the level of uncertainty has diminished fairly significantly over the past 6 months. Indeed, pricing in the marketplace (especially for homes that started off overpriced) remains on the soft side and “value” is evident in virtually every locale and every price segment of the luxury home market in Marin.

In line with normal seasonal adjustments (we are approaching the end of the slow season), the inventory of luxury homes remains constricted with just 81 properties actively listed over $2 million in Marin. This inventory level is lower than years past as prices have declined substantially in many markets (e.g., such that homes that priced at $2.25 million in 2006 are now priced below $2 million). Moreover, to the extent sellers do not have a compelling reason to sell now, most are waiting for prices to recover rather than trade in today’s market.

Marin County cities recording luxury home sales between $2 million and $4 million in December 2011 included: Tiburon (3), Belvedere (1); Mill Valley 21); and Sausalito (1). These homes averaged 209 days on market. Their average sales price was $2.742 million (roughly $846 per square foot), with an average of 3,683 square feet. Marin County’s ultra-luxury market (homes priced in the $4 million and up range) experienced three trades in December 2011 — Stinson Beach, Mill Valley, and Belvedere each had one sale.

Note: As a member of the Top Agent Network (top 10% in Marin) and the Marin Platinum Group (Top 100 agents), I have access to a database with several dozen luxury homes not currently on the MLS, but discretely offered for sale off-market. Please contact me regarding your specific desires. In addition, if you are looking for an agent to aggressively and intelligently market your home, please call me. I am a Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist.

By: Kyle Frazier, J.D. & Broker, Certified Luxury Home Marketing Marketing Specialist (CLHMS), Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), Realtor with Pacific Union | Christie’s International Real Estate. Call Kyle Frazier at            415/350-9440       for more luxury home market information in Marin County, California (the San Francisco Bay Area’s “North Bay”).

Marin County, California, Luxury Homes Report (September 2009–Sales and Inventory Analysis)

Earlier this month marked the one-year anniversary of the beginning of the equities market meltdown, which profoundly impacted Marin County, California’s luxury real estate market. In our New Economy, real buyers have become less numerous and have placed increased emphasis on prestige locations, views, lifestyle amenities (usable yards, proximity to clubs/shopping, etc.), schools, and sensible scale.

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As reported all year, the luxury segment remains weighted towards homes priced under $4 million — while we had 3 sales of homes priced over $4 million in July 2009, yet August 2009 saw just 1 sale in this affluent price band. Among the sales last month, was a $5.1 million trade in Belvedere (an amazing home on a double lot on the Belvedere Lagoon) and an off-market $8 million Kentfield (both buyers and sellers were represented by my company). The reasons for the slowdown in sales is no mystery, so too are the reasons we will eventually return to normalcy. First and foremost, the economy must give reason for optimism and the stock market must continue to win back gains lost over the past year. Once some of those gains are recaptured, affluent buyers will feel more comfortable with major purchases again. And it looks like we are heading in that direction — last week, Ben Bernanke noted that the recession is likely over and the Wall Street Journal (a media source which is not-so-subtly slanted against real estate investment) noted that real estate “has rarely looked better” — click HERE for article. Also, for a detailed snapshot of current national trends from the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing dated September 13, 2009, click HERE.  And if you would like a hyper-local report relating to any town or zip code in Marin or San Francisco, call me at (415) 350-9440.
The below graph tracks asking prices for 3 “hot” locales in Marin — Tiburon/Belvedere (they are combined here because they use the same zip code), Mill Valley, and Kentfield. Interestingly, while Belvedere continues to see asking prices drop, Kentfield and Mill Valley have seen asking prices increase over the 60 days (although still lower than last year at this time).

The year over year inventory levels in Mill Valley have hovered at around 20% since May 2009 (much improved from a nearly 60% inventory increase in February 2009). Meanwhile, inventory in Kentfield has doubled this year compared with last year. In combination, Tiburon and Belvedere inventory levels are about 80% higher than last year.

The graph below reflects a 90-day rolling average of asking prices for homes in the topmost quartile (e.g. prices of the most expensive homes) in 3 touchstone Marin County cities: Tiburon, Mill Valley, and Kentfield. As you can see, over the past year, prices have declined, although asking prices appear to have leveled in all 3 towns.
Below is a new chart focusing on the percentages of homes in Tiburon and Mill Valley that have experienced price reductions, as well as a look at how deep those reductions have been, on average.

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

$2 Million to $4 Million Luxury Homes
Summertime is a traditional slow season for Marin real estate because many families focus more on vacations than on home buying. While buyer activity has picked up significantly, home sales in August 2009 were limited to seven. It seems that there is a lot of home shopping going on, but not a whole lot of sales (this August we had 62% fewer sales than one year ago). Inventory remains low with 133 homes on the market between $2 million and $4 million.
Cities recording sales in this price band included: Ross, San Rafael, Novato, Larkspur, Corte Madera, Tiburon, and Sausalito. These homes averaged 123 days on market. Their average sales price was $2.542 million (roughly $655 per square foot), with an average of 4,195 square feet. The absorption rate for Marin homes in this price band is up to 19 months.
$4 Million & Up Ultra-Luxury Homes
The inventory level of Marin County’s ultra-luxury market (homes priced in the $4 million and up range) remained virtually unchanged with 56 homes for sale. The highest concentrations of homes in this price band are Tiburon, Belvedere, and Ross. As noted earlier, Marin County saw just two sales last month — a spectacular Belvedere Lagoon home which sold for over $5 million and an off market sale of a Kentfield estate. There is another Belvedere home currently in escrow. Marin cities and towns with homes priced over $4 million include Tiburon, Belvedere, Sausalito, Kentfield, Ross, Mill Valley, San Rafael, and Novato.

Marin Cities & Towns

$2 Million — $4 Million

$4 Million & Up

Active

Pending

Active

Pending

Sausalito

13

0

7

0

Belvedere

18

3

11

1

Tiburon

33

2

22

0

Mill Valley

30

3

5

0

Larkspur

3

0

0

0

Corte Madera

0

0

0

0

Kentfield

10

3

3

0

Greenbrae

1

1

0

0

Ross

9

1

6

0

San Anselmo

7

0

0

0

San Rafael

7

0

1

0

Novato

5

0

1

0

The above graph identifies the numbers of active listings and homes in contract in the Marin County luxury ($2 million to $4 million) and ultra-luxury ($4 million and up) home market segments. Note that all homes in contract are included in the category “Pending” even though some are technically “Contingent” properties (e.g., the buyers have not removed all contingencies). This information is limited to Marin County’s Highway 101 corridor towns and cities that consistently maintain a monthly inventory of luxury and ultra-luxury homes (Western Marin coastal homes are not included).By: Kyle Frazier, Marin Realtor & CRS, Broker Associate, Morgan Lane Marin Real Estate, at 415/350-9440 for more luxury home market information. You can also e-mail Kyle at mailto:Kyle@ImagineMarin.com.

For help finding the perfect home for your lifestyle, Click HERE, fill out the confidential Home Preferences Survey, and Kyle will personally call you for a consultation.

Marin County, California, Luxury Homes Report (August 2009–Sales and Inventory Analysis)

Marin County, CA’s luxury real estate market segment continues to take shape in the aftermath of the equities meltdown of Fall 2008. In our New Economy, buyers are placing emphasis on prestige locations, sweeping views, grand appointments, compelling “estate history,” and impressive scale. The luxury market in Marin remains weighted towards homes priced under $4 million, although we did have 3 sales of homes priced over $4 million in July 2009. The number of sales in July 2009 is off by 74% from July 2008. The news is not all negative, however, as we had several significant properties trade last month and another 30 luxury homes are currently in escrow. For a detailed snapshot of current national trends from the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing dated August 2, 2009, click here. Note, if you would like a local report relating to any town or zip code in Marin or San Francisco, call me at (415) 350-9440.

Buyers remain dubious of price stability for good reason (see chart below reflecting year over year median asking prices in Tiburon, Mill Valley, and Kentfield). But, increased conforming loan limits and a pronounced level of increased affordability across the board should help sales moving forward into the Fall as buyers with 25% down will obtain top-shelf financing for purchases of $1.6 million. While not necessarily “Luxury” territory here in Marin (although declining prices are putting some very nice homes into the sub-$2 million price bands), a sizable segment of buyers of luxury homes must sell their current homes first (80% of buyers are sellers). The chart below indicates that across the trend in Marin’s luxury segment is for lower prices — 10-25% lower than last year in Mill Valley, Belvedere, and Kentfield. 

The year over year inventory levels in Mill Valley have hovered at around 20% since May 2009 (much improved from a nearly 60% inventory increase in February 2009). Meanwhile, inventory in Kentfield has rocketed nearly 90% higher this year compared with last year. In combination, Tiburon and Belvedere inventory levels are about 70% higher than last year. Prediction: Kentfield and Tiburon / Belvedere prices will continue to recede through Q4 2009. Indeed, we can see that trend has set in dramatically in the above chart which tracks asking prices of homes currently for sale.  

Among the sales last month, was a $9.8 million trade in Kentfield after just 3 days on the market. Our agents are noting a more focused approach by buyers. In addition, Carlos Santana’s San Rafael estate sold last month after just a couple of weeks on the market. Indeed, we are also starting to see buyers lose out on properties they loved because they assumed there was no urgency in writing an offer.
 
The graph below reflects a 90-day rolling average of asking prices for homes in the topmost quartile (e.g. prices of the most expensive homes) in 3 touchstone Marin County cities: Tiburon, Mill Valley, and Kentfield. As you can see, over the past year, prices have declined, although asking prices appear to have leveled in all 3 towns.

 Below is a new chart focusing on the percentages of homes in Tiburon and Mill Valley that have experienced price reductions, as well as a look at how deep those reductions have been, on average.

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

The definition of this market stat is: “Percentage of homes on the market that have decreased their asking price at least once over the past 90-day period.” In any market, even in strong seller’s markets, there will always be some number of properties that will decrease their listing price. These may include sellers that drastically overpriced their homes just “to see what they could get” or homes that simply entered the market at a price level above what the market will bear.

Even in strong seller’s markets, the Percent Price Decreased will be 10-12%, so some repricing of individual properties is common in any market. In weaker markets, this value begins rise into the teens, 20%, 30%, and higher. Percent Price Decreased is an incredibly insightful gauge of demand levels in the residential housing market. This statistic illustrates how many listed properties may be behind the “price curve” – listed at a price above what the market is willing to pay for similar properties. However, “Percent Price Decreased” alone does not indicate the overall health of a particular market. This statistic should be combined with other market stats to determine the overall direction of a market.
 
$2 Million to $4 Million Luxury Homes
Summertime is a traditional slow season for Marin real estate because many families focus more on vacations than on home buying. While buyer activity has picked up over the past week, home sales in July 2009 were limited to six. It seems that there is a lot of home shopping going on, but few sales. Inventory has dipped to 126 homes on the market between $2 million and $4 million (down from 135 last month, but up from 110 in March).
 
Quick recap of 2009: Since the emergence of the “new economy” (post-October 2008), sales numbers in this price band are down. For example, there were 18 sales in October 2008 (a relatively strong time of year for sales and, of course, these buyers were well into their escrow periods at the time of the meltdown). Then, by February 2009, sales dipped to just 2. As things began to improve in April & May 2009, sales bumped up to 8. And June 2009 was relatively strong with 16 sales. Although that number fell to just 6 in July 2009, I believe we will pleased in coming months with sales numbers. Today, there are 25 homes in escrow in this price band. That portends stronger sales months to come.  
Cities recording sales in this price band included: Belvedere (2), Kentfield (1), Ross (2), and San Rafael (1). These homes averaged 61 days on market. Their average sales price was $2.993 million (roughly $747 per square foot), with an average of 4,177 square feet. As noted above we also have a stockpile of homes in the escrow pipeline, including homes in Belvedere (5), Tiburon (4), Sausalito (2), Mill Valley (4), Corte Madera (1), Larkspur (1), Ross (3), and Kentfield (3), and San Rafael (1). The absorption rate for Marin homes in this price band is up to 21 months. Most sellers seem to understand that they must position their home at the head of the line when it comes to pricing if they want to sell. 
$4 Million & Up Ultra-Luxury Homes
The inventory level of Marin County’s ultra-luxury market (homes priced in the $4 million and up range) remained static with 54 homes for sale. The highest concentrations of homes in this price band are Tiburon, Belvedere, and Ross. Recent activity in this price band is improved. Marin County saw three homes sell last month, including a $9.8 million sale Kentfield, Carlos Santana’s San Rafael estate, and a spectacular Belvedere home. Moreover, there are an additional 5 homes currently in escrow in this price range (including 2 in both Belvedere and Ross). Marin cities and towns with homes priced over $4 million include Tiburon, Belvedere, Sausalito, Kentfield, Ross, Mill Valley, San Rafael, and Novato. The absorption rate for these homes is 18 months.  

Marin Cities & Towns

$2 Million — $4 Million

$4 Million & Up

Active

Pending

Active

Pending

Sausalito

12

2

7

0

Belvedere

26

5

10

2

Tiburon

20

4

21

1

Mill Valley

30

4

4

0

Larkspur

2

1

0

0

Corte Madera

0

1

0

0

Kentfield

11

3

2

0

Greenbrae

2

0

0

0

Ross

6

3

8

2

San Anselmo

6

0

0

0

San Rafael

6

1

1

0

Novato

5

0

1

0

The above graph identifies the numbers of active listings and homes in contract in the Marin County luxury ($2 million to $4 million) and ultra-luxury ($4 million and up) home market segments. Note that all homes in contract are included in the category “Pending” even though some are technically “Contingent” properties (e.g., the buyers have not removed all contingencies). This information is limited to Marin County’s Highway 101 corridor towns and cities that consistently maintain a monthly inventory of luxury and ultra-luxury homes (Western Marin coastal homes are not included)

Call Kyle Frazier, Marin Realtor & CRS, Member of Institute of Luxury Home Marketing, Broker Associate, Morgan Lane Marin Real Estate, Pacific Union International, Christie’s Great Estates of Marin, 415/350-9440 for more luxury home market information. You can also e-mail Kyle at mailto:Kyle@ImagineMarin.com.

Fairfax, CA

Fairfax, California, in Marin County is as beautiful as it is unique. San Rafael lies five miles to the east and San Francisco 20 miles to the south. The last “big” (although it is pretty small) towns you will run across on your way west on Sir Francis Drake Blvd from Highway 101. Beyond Fairfax is the San Geronimo Valley (and gold course). Fairfax has a reputation for being a refuge for the open minded and progressive. It is eclectic and fun with a lively night life, close proximity to fishing (Kent Lake and associated Tamalpais watershed lakes are within bikind distance) and biking trails, and everything else a lover of the outdoors could desire.

Despite being a relatively small town, Fairfax offers a wide assortment of dining establishments, from Chinese to Italian. Within a 30-mile radius of Fairfax are countless recreational and entertainment opportunities. The city of San Francisco, one of the world’s most popular tourist attractions in itself, offers such draws as the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Fisherman’s Wharf and the Haight-Ashbury district made famous by the 60s counterculture movement. Around the Bay Area, visitors and residents alike can find excellent surfing, hiking, camping, boating and opportunities for other outdoor activities. Fairfax residents pride themselves on the alternative lifestyle mood and hippie heritage There is a lively bar and music nightlife scene on Broadway featuring some local talent and lots of Marin-ites. On weekend mornings it is a nexus for bike racers and mountain bikers.

EMPLOYMENT AND ECONOMY

Almost half of Fairfax’s residents work in management or related occupations. The largest industry for males is construction, while the most females are employed in health care. Fairfax is dependent to a significant degree on the economy of the greater San Francisco Bay Area, with many residents commuting to jobs in San Francisco, a major center for finance and commerce. Higher education is also a major employer in the region, as are shipping and transportation.

EDUCATION

If you are planning to purchase a home in Marin County, you might consider Fairfax, a quirky little town with lots to do.  From its eclectic downtown to its beautiful surroundings, perfect for biking and hiking, Fairfax has something for everyone.  If you have children, an important factor in your decision making process will be finding an area with schools that will meet the needs of your family and children. The Fairfax community’s commitment to ecology is evident in the fact that the school system in Fairfax includes two Green public schools and one Green private school. Fairfax is one of the more educated communities in America, with a full 48.84% of its adults having a college degree or even advanced degree, compared to a national average across all communities of 14.96%.

Manor Elementary School (K-5)

 

250 Oak Manor Drive Fairfax 

 

(415) 453-1544

White Hill Middle School (6-8)

 

101 Glen Drive Fairfax 

 

(415) 454-8390

Cascade Canyon School (K-8)

 

2626 Sir Francis Drake Blvd. Fairfax 

 

(415) 459-3464

Saint Rita School (K-8)

 

102 Marinda Drive Fairfax 

 

(415) 456-1003

 

 

 

Nearly half of Fairfax residents over the age of 25 hold bachelor’s degrees, far higher than the national rate of about 26 percent. There are no institutions of higher learning in Fairfax itself, but Marin County operates two campuses of the College of Marin, a two-year community and vocational school most well-known for its theater program. Other important postsecondary schools in the Bay Area include the University of California at Berkeley, San Francisco State University, the University of San Francisco and Golden Gate University.

WEATHER

Fairfax, CA climate is mild during summer when temperatures tend to be in the 60’s and cool during winter when temperatures tend to be in the 50’s. The warmest month of the year is July with an average maximum temperature of 85.00 degrees Fahrenheit, while the coldest month of the year is December with an average minimum temperature of 40.60 degrees Fahrenheit.

Temperature variations between night and day tend to be relatively big during summer with a difference that can reach 31 degrees Fahrenheit, and fairly limited during winter with an average difference of 17 degrees Fahrenheit. The annual average precipitation at Fairfax is 47.47 Inches. Winter months tend to be wetter than summer months. The wettest month of the year is January with an average rainfall of 9.60 Inches.  

DEMOGRAPHICS

  • Population in July 2009: 15,929. Population change since 2000 -2.23%
  • Median resident age: 41.6 years
  • Median household income: – $68,766
  • Population density: 3324 people per square mile

TRANSPORTATION

Residents who commute to San Francisco spend about 30 minutes each way commuting to work. As is often the case in a small town, Fairfax doesn’t have a public transportation system that people use for their commute.  Most people in Fairfax travel in their own vehicles. Telecommuters are a relatively large percentage of the workforce: 8.21% of people work from home. Residents of Fairfax work primarily in sales jobs (16.69%), management occupations (13.00%), and office and administrative support jobs (11.28%).

 Important Contacts 

Michael Rock

Town Manager

415-458-2345

Larry Kennings

Interim Planning Director

415-453-1584

Judy Anderson

Town Clerk

415-458-2343

Mark Lockaby

Building Official

415-453-2263

Kathleen Wilkie

Public Works Director

415-453-0291

Community oriented sites

http://marindirect.com/fxhistory/
http://www.fairfaxvolunteers.org
http://mcstoppp.org/
http://www.fairfaxvolunteers.org

Kyle Frazier’s ImagineMarin.com (Featuring Luxury Homes in Marin County, California)

I am pleased to introduce ImagineMarin.com — dedicated to providing detailed information about the Marin County, California real estate market, including homes for sale, solds, absorption rates, days on market, trends, statistics, and professional analysis.

Marin County, California real estate is precious and coveted–so much so that about 80% of the land in Marin is designated as open space.

 

Bridging Luxury Homes and Befitting Buyers

Bridging Luxury Homes and Befitting Buyers

Kyle Frazier’s Belief System

Kyle knows that reputations are built one relationship at a time. Sometimes doing the right thing or standing up when it is easier to sit down can test one’s resolve. Yet, over time, these efforts accrete and the bulk good will of past actions benefits future occurances in ways difficult to predict. Some call it karma.

In any event, Kyle’s clients can count on him to: do the right thing, treat everybody with respect (even when the going gets tough), act decisively and responsibly, follow through with promises and obligations, maintain a positive outlook, and most importantly, keep on smiling.

Call Kyle Frazier, CRS at 415-350-9440.