Kyle Frazier, J.D., Broker Associate with Compass | (415) 350-9440

Christie’s Great Estates | Marin Luxury Homes Report (September 2010)

Christie’s Great Estates | Marin County, CA Luxury Home Sales — With 8 sales, the luxury property market in Marin County again performed admirably in the face of uncertainty. As it is becoming clearer that the overall economic and housing environments are improving, buyers are shaking off media ennui and making offers. Pricing in the marketplace certainly suggests “value” and inventory remains relatively low — we currently have just 132 homes actively on the market.

Cities recording luxury home sales between $2 million and $4 million in August 2010 included: Tiburon (3), Mill Valley (1), Greenbae (1), Ross (1), Corte Madera (1), and Sausalito (1). These homes averaged 117 days on market. Their average sales price was $2.518 million (roughly $732 per square foot), with an average of 2,518 square feet.

Marin County’s ultra-luxury market (homes priced in the $4 million and up range) accounted for one sale last month, a $7 million all cash sale for a new construction view home in Tiburon on 1.2 acres with a gated driveway, infinity pool, and excellent privacy. We currently have 51 homes for affluent buyers to choose from in this high end price band.

Note: As a member of the Marin Platinum Group, I have access to a database with several dozen luxury homes not currently offered on the MLS, but available for sale. Please contact me regarding your specific desires.

By: Kyle Frazier, Certified Luxury Home Marketing Marketing Specialist (CLHMS), Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), Broker Associate, Realtor | Christie’s Great Estates — Christie’s Great Estates. Call Kyle Frazier at 415/350-9440 for more luxury home market information in San Francisco and Marin Counties.

Pacific Union International is the leading broker for Marin County luxury homes.

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

Real estate sales in Marin County’s luxury segment are currently weighted towards homes priced under $4 million. In fact, not a single home priced above $4 million is in escrow (although that could change in a moment as the domino effect is very real in home sales). But, as it stands, the ultra-luxury home sales segment is flat-lining in Marin County, CA. For a detailed snapshot of current national trends from the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing, click here (May 17, 2009 Report). 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.

Yet, the news relating to home starts and permit applications is improving: the West experienced a 42.5% jump in housing starts; the National Association of Homebuilders reported increased confidence (as high as it has been in 9 months); and construction and permits both rose last month (these are considered leading indicators on the macro level relating to housing stability). Nonetheless, the inertia of caution remains firm.

Buyers are dubious of price stability for good reason (see chart below reflecting year over year 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 Summer as buyers with 25% down will obtain top-shelf financing for purchases of $1.6 million. While not “Luxury” territory here in Marin, many buyers of luxury homes must sell their current homes first (80% of buyers are sellers).

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

Curiously, inventory levels in Kentfield and Mill Valley have risen moderately over last year, while Belvedere’s inventory has skyrocketed by over 60%. Prediction: Belvedere prices will continue to recede markedly through Q4 2009. Indeed, we can see that trend has set in dramatically in the above chart.

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

Despite the apparent slowdown, open houses have been extremely busy. Offers are being written. And our agents are noting a more focused approach by buyers. 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.

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

$2 Million to $4 Million Luxury Homes

The scuttle on the street is that the 2009 Spring selling season will continue through the Summer as buyers spend time between school years to locate and buy the perfect home at a value price. Inventory has climbed to 146 homes on the market between $2 million and $4 million (up from 130 last month and 110 in March). 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). In February 2009, we recorded just 2 sales. In April 2009, that number jumped back up to 8 sales.

Cities recording sales in this price band include: Tiburon (1), Belvedere (1), Sausalito (1), Mill Valley (2), Corte Madera (1), and Kentfield (2). These homes averaged 81 days on market (a testament to pricing your home to sell from the outset). Their average sales price was $2.458 million (roughly $721 per square foot), with an average of 3,547 square feet. We also have a good number of homes in the escrow pipeline, including homes in Belvedere (3), Tiburon (4), Mill Valley (5), Ross (5), and Kentfield (2). Last month, 25% of the contracts for homes in escrow were cancelled. The absorption rate for Marin homes in this price band is well over 1-year.

$4 Million & Up Ultra-Luxury Homes

As expected, the inventory level of Marin County’s flat-lining ultra-luxury market (homes priced in the $4 million and up range) rose last month by 33% to 60 homes for sale. The highest concentrations of homes in this price band are Tiburon, Belvedere, and Ross. There was just 1 sale in Belvedere. The Belvedere home was a remodeled estate with jetliner views of the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco — it sold for $5.4 million (about $1,148/per sq. ft.). There are no homes currently in escrow in this price range. 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 cannot be accurately stated as the number of sales is too low to be meaningful.

Marin Cities & Towns

$2 Million — $4 Million

$4 Million & Up

Active

Pending

Active

Pending

Sausalito

10

0

6

0

Belvedere

19

3

11

1

Tiburon

32

4

21

0

Mill Valley

29

5

4

0

Larkspur

9

0

0

0

Corte Madera

2

0

0

0

Kentfield

12

2

4

0

Greenbrae

3

0

0

0

Ross

9

5

9

0

San Anselmo

8

0

0

0

San Rafael

9

1

4

0

Novato

4

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.

Extraordinary Service, Extraordinary Results — Kyle Frazier & ImagineMarin.com (Marin County’s Hub For Luxury Homes)

Kyle Frazier is a certified residential specialist–the highest designation offered by the National Association of Realtors. Client satisfaction is demanding in the rough and tumble world of luxury real estate. Kyle and his dedicated and caring team are there to meet the challenge.

Client Satisfaction Is Paramount

Kyle’s exemplary professionalism manifests itself in many ways, from treating everyone with courtesy and respect, to doing the right thing every time (not just when people are looking).  This focus on integrity and quality have benefited Kyle’s clients with tangible results and bnefitted Kyle with extraordinary good will.

Marin County property owners and real estate investors can rely on regular and consistent services carefully coordinated by Kyle and his team. Kyle’s #1 source of new business is referrals from past and current clients. The equation is simple: Happy clients lead to growth. And happy clients are created and nurtured by properly executed plans, carried out by knowledgable and caring people. This is Kyle’s focus.

Kyle Understands That Everybody Has Particularized And Unique Objectives

There is no cookie cutter approach to buying and selling real estate in Marin County, CA. Motivations of buyers and sellers ratchet along a sliding scale. At any given point in time, motivations can ratchet either direction. Understanding this phenomenon is a crucial skill of successful realtors. While Kyle cannot control the motivations of others, he can and does know how to best leverage knowledge in favor of his clients’ objectives.

Kyle also appreciates the fact that his business only succeeds if his clients’ goals are met via a consistent application of principled and directed action.

Kyle’s Endorsements

With gratitude, Kyle appreciates your stopping by ImagineMarin.com and encourages you to contact him with any questions you may have or to set up an appointment to help determine if Kyle is the REALTOR® for you. Indeed, Kyle believes his clients say it best (click HERE to view his endorsements).