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

Bay Area Luxury Home Sales Reaching Record Levels

$2 MILLION-PLUS HOME SALES SOAR IN BAY AREA

High-end homes throughout the Bay Area sold at a record pace in 2013, according to a recent article in the San Jose Mercury News.

Citing figures from research firm DataQuick, the publication reports that 2,604 homes priced above $2 million sold in the Bay Area last year, a 28 percent jump from 2012 and the largest number since the vendor began keeping records.

Some of these luxury homes are bound to induce a bit of sticker shock. Atherton had the largest Bay Area sale of the year, with one home selling for almost $37 million. A $35 million transaction took place in San Francisco, while the costliest in Palo Alto was $15 million.

Million-dollar-plus home sales were also up across the Bay Area as a whole, growing nearly 41 percent since 2012. Alameda and Contra Costa counties saw the largest increases at this price point: 70 and 63 percent respectively.


U.S. HOME PRICE GAINS BEST SINCE 2005

Home prices across the nation grew year over year for the 22nd straight month and saw the largest gains in eight years, according to CoreLogic’s December Home Price Index.

“Last year, home prices rose 11 percent, the highest rate of annual increase since 2005, and 10 states and the District of Columbia reached new all-time price peaks,” Dr. Mark Fleming, CoreLogic chief economist, said in a statement.

In California, December year-over-year price increases were the second highest in the country, trailing only Nevada. Including distressed sales, prices grew 19.7 percent from December 2012; excluding distressed sales, they increased 16.2 percent.


SILICON VALLEY ECONOMY EXPLODING

The current tech boom is bringing high wages and low unemployment rates to Silicon Valley, so much so that recent SFGate article claims that its economy has returned to heights seen in the dot-com era.

Using data from Joint Venture Silicon Valley‘s annual index, SFGate reports that the region added 47,000 new jobs in 2013. Forty-five percent of households in Silicon Valley now earn in excess of $100,000 a year, and the per capita income is more than $70,000.

While all of those jobs have given the area an unemployment rate of less than 6 percent, they haven’t resulted in home construction meeting market demand. Last year, 33,000 people moved to the Silicon Valley region, yet developers built just 6,500 new homes.

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Marin Luxury Homes | Real Estate | April 2013 Report

Marin County sellers enjoyed the best of both worlds in the first quarter of 2013: Their homes sold quicker than they have in years, and median sale prices rose considerably. For buyers, it was another story. The supply of homes for sale continued to shrink and multiple offers were common – they often faced over a dozen offers for desirable, well-priced properties. In particular, first-time buyers (e.g., buyers who required financing) were disheartened as their bids were overcome by all-cash offers time and again.The tight market prompted a rise in off-market deals – transactions that close without ever being listed on real estate websites or multiple listing services. So far in 2013, I have had several properties close in this manner.Tiburon was especially active in all price points, especially the market for homes priced at $2 million and higher. In Novato, homes priced at $800,000 to $900,000 sold as soon as they became available, and sales rose noticeably in the $2 million-plus market. Mill Valley, San Rafael, and Corte Madera were also busy in the quarter.We also experienced fewer distressed homes coming to market. In recent years, the number of short sales, foreclosures, and bank-owned homes had been on the rise, but that supply has mostly sold. Investors remain active in the market, though their numbers are not as high as in 2011 and 2012.

Looking Forward: We expect to see more homes coming on the market in April and continuing through the summer months. Multiple offers will remain the norm throughout the second quarter, although a greater supply of homes will bring more balance to the market.

Defining Marin County: Our real estate markets in Marin County include the cities of Belvedere, Corte Madera, Fairfax, Greenbrae, Kentfield, Larkspur, Mill Valley, Novato, Ross, San Anselmo, San Rafael, Sausalito, and Tiburon. Contact Kyle Frazier for sales data relating to these communities.

Sellers, Start Your Engines!
After record-breaking results in 2012 for units and volume of residential real estate, activity in the first quarter suggests 2013 will once again reach new highs. Local trends drive the dynamics of our markets, but overall we expect 15 to 17 percent increases in units sold in the Bay Area and price appreciation of 4 to 9 percent.The single most important dynamic driving this growth is our healthy regional job market. Economist Stephen Levy noted that the Bay Area led California job growth in January, with San Francisco at the forefront and the Oakland, Napa, Santa Rosa, and Vallejo metro areas all posting gains far above the state and national average.These are high-quality, high-paying jobs in the technology and professional services sectors. We believe confidence in jobs and business in general is driving consumer confidence and the intense pent-up demand for residential real estate. 2013 may be the last year of this cycle that money (mortgage interest rates) remains on sale as real estate prices lift from the bottom and consistent appreciation returns for a sustainable period of time.Intense demand is occurring even as the supply of available homes remains constrained, and coupled with modest price appreciation is driving the return of equity into homes. This may allow more sellers to realize gains, sell existing homes, and trade up to new dream homes or neighborhoods.These dynamics are occurring in nearly every one of the markets Pacific Union serves, and we expect it to entice move-up buyers to act – making them a likely source for new, mid-tier inventory.
 

The Sellers’ Market Heats Up

It has been a bitterly cold few years for would-be sellers in the Bay Area, but spring is bringing welcome warmth for both home values and buyer activity.Home prices have been rising for a year across all of Pacific Union’s eight regions in the Bay Area and Tahoe/Truckee. In San Francisco the median sales price of homes rose nearly 30 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier, and double-digit increases were recorded in all other regions as well.In a recent Wall Street Journal survey economists agreed that home prices will continue rising at least through 2017, and the Bay Area’s strong economy suggests price increases here will outpace those in most of the rest of the nation.Those rising values translate to greater equity, and many homeowners who believe they are “underwater” – owing more on their mortgages than their homes are worth – may be surprised to learn that they’ve regained equity based on recent sale prices for comparable homes in their neighborhood.Why the lift? In part it’s because a persistent shortage of homes for sale has created a veritable army of aggressive and highly motivated buyers who are willing to outspend the competition. For example, in our East Bay offices, 90 percent of transactions in the first quarter involved multiple offers; on average, homes sold for 13 percent over asking price.Homes in the Bay Area sold within weeks of coming on the market, frequently in all-cash deals, and multiple bids pushed sales prices above asking prices in all regions, much to the delight of sellers.
Click to view larger chart.
 

Overall, the increased velocity of real estate activity in the first quarter of 2013 was nothing short of remarkable.This means that sellers looking to trade up to a higher-priced home may now make significant gains in the current market. For example, consider a homeowner whose property was valued at $300,000 in 2006 but dropped 20 percent in value to $240,000, for a loss of $60,000. That same 20 percent drop in value for a higher-priced home – say, a $450,000 home now valued at $360,000 – gives a trade-up buyer savings of $90,000, or a net gain of $30,000 on the new home.Today’s low mortgage rates also offer serious savings to trade-up buyers. In 2002, when the interest rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage stood at 6.5 percent, the monthly payment on a $500,000 loan was $3,160. At current rates, which hover around 3.6 percent, approximately the same loan payment would buy a home with a $700,000 mortgage – a net gain of $200,000.The benefit won’t last forever, so prospective sellers should move quickly: A report from the Mortgage Bankers Association predicts that rates will average 4.4 percent by the end of 2013. That 0.8 point rise will add $230 to the monthly payment on a $500,000 mortgage.So if you’re thinking about selling in this blazing market, don’t get burned by waiting too long. And count on the expertise of a real estate professional who knows the local market to help assess your home’s current value and prospects. Looks like it’s shaping up to be a hot season for sellers!If you have any questions or would like a custom market analysis of your home’s current likely sales price, please call me.

My name is Kyle Frazier. I am a Broker, Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), and Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist (CLHMS) with Christie’s Great Estates | Pacific Union International Realtors.

And if you are a buyer, I am also a member of the Top Agent Network (Top 10% in Marin County) and the Marin Platinum Group (Top 100 agents in Marin County). These are elite agent networks with access to dozens of homes being marketed informally and not on the MLS. It is always my pleasure to be of service. Call me at (415) 350-9440.

Marin Luxury Properties Report Pacific Union – Christie’s International Real Estate | Marin County, CA Luxury Home Sales (December 2011)

Pacific Union Int’l – Christie’s Great Estates | Marin County, CA Luxury Home Sales (December 2011) — Luxury home sales have maintained a solid pace over the past three months (we had 10 sales over $2 million last month, same as November and October. It remains clear that buyers will act quickly in the luxury home market when they feel a particular home reflects clear value and/or possess unique sales characteristics. Extraordinary opportunities are literally around every corner for buyers who can stomach uncertainty. Pricing in the marketplace (especially for homes that started off overpriced) is fairly soft and “value” is evident in virtually every corner and every price segment of the luxury market.

In line with normal seasonal adjustments (we are in the middle of the slow season now), the inventory of luxury homes remains constricted with just 99 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 trade in today’s market.

Marin County cities recording luxury home sales between $2 million and $4 million in November 2011 included: Tiburon (3), Belvedere (1); Mill Valley (1); San Anselmo (1); Sausalito (1); Kentfield (2). These homes averaged 80 days on market. Their average sales price was $2.7 million (roughly $735 per square foot), with an average of 3,978 square feet. Marin County’s ultra-luxury market (homes priced in the $4 million and up range) flat-lined in November as we saw no trades.

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 Luxury Properties Report Pacific Union International – Christie’s Great Estates | Marin County, CA Luxury Home Sales (March 2011)

Pacific Union Int’l – Christie’s Great Estates | Marin County, CA Luxury Home Sales (March 2011) — As anticipated, February 2011 luxury home sales were limited to just 7 trades (there were 9 in January 2011). While international events of the past several weeks weigh on our hearts and have had some impact on the stock market, many believe that the overall economic and housing environments are improving, particularly in the Bay Area where the recovery in real estate is being spearheaded by San Francisco. Indeed, there are extraordinary opportunities available right now for buyers as pricing in the marketplace (especially for homes that have remained on the market through the Winter months) is soft and “value” is evident in virtually every segment of the luxury segment. In line with normal seasonal adjustments, the inventory of luxury homes for sale is very low — just 123 homes total on the MLS over $2 million in Marin (this is up from last month and will continue to rise through the Spring).

Marin County cities recording luxury home sales between $2 million and $4 million in March 2011 included: Sausalito (2), Tiburon (1), Kentfield (1), and Mill Valley (1). These homes averaged 192 days on market. Their average sales price was $2.671 million (roughly $711 per square foot), with an average of 3,783 square feet.

Marin County’s ultra-luxury market (homes priced in the $4 million and up range) accounted for two sales last month and there are currently eight more of these homes in escrow. This is a big shift from last month, when at the time of writing my monthly update on this market segment, this strata of the market was comatose. Both of the ultra-luxury homes that sold last month were in Kentfield, had over 5,500 sf of living space, and sat on large parcels (one sat on 1.1 acres and the other sat on 2.5+ acres).

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.

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 Marin County, California (the San Francisco Bay Area’s “North Bay”).

Pacific Union International – Christie’s Great Estates | Marin County, CA Luxury Home Sales (January 2011)

Pacific Union Int’l – Christie’s Great Estates | Marin County, CA Luxury Home Sales (January 2011) — With 6 trades in December 2010, the luxury property real estate market in Marin County (properties and estates over $2 million) experienced one of its slowest months. This, despite the fact most economists and consumers feel that that the overall economic and housing environments are improving. Indeed, for real buyers there are extraordinary opportunities available right now. Pricing in the marketplace (especially for homes that have remained on the market through the Winter months) is softer than ever and “value” is evident in the luxury segment. In line with normal seasonal adjustments, the inventory of luxury homes for sale is very low.

Cities recording luxury home sales between $2 million and $4 million in December 2010 included: Belvedere (2), Sausalito (1), and Ross (1). These homes averaged 190 days on market. Their average sales price was $2.963 million (roughly $835 per square foot), with an average of 3,559 square feet.

Marin County’s ultra-luxury market (homes priced in the $4 million and up range) accounted for two sales last month, which averaged 233 days on market. Their average sales price was $9.125 million (roughly $1,958 per square foot), with an average of 6,000 square feet.

Note: As a member of the Marin Platinum Group, 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.

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 Marin County, California (the San Francisco Bay Area’s “North Bay”).

Pacific Union International | Christie’s Great Estates is the leading broker for Marin County luxury homes.

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

Christie’s Great Estates | Marin County, CA Luxury Home Sales — With 13 trades in September 2010, the luxury property market in Marin County (properties and estates over $2 million) again performed admirably in the face of uncertainty. As it is becoming clearer that the overall economic and housing environments are improving, real buyers are making legitimate offers. Pricing in the marketplace certainly suggests “value” and inventory is steadily increasing — there are now 163 homes actively on the market.

Cities recording luxury home sales between $2 million and $4 million in September 2010 included: Tiburon (4), Mill Valley (1), Belvedere (1), and Kentifield (2). In addition, Nicasio and Stinson Beach also recorded one sale appiece. These homes averaged 154 days on market. Their average sales price was $2.748 million (roughly $784 per square foot), with an average of 2,748 square feet.

Marin County’s ultra-luxury market (homes priced in the $4 million and up range) witnessed three sales last month. These homes averaged 100 days on market. Their average sales price was $5.06 million (roughly $1,177 per square foot) and 4,484 square feet. We currently have 60 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.

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.

Pacific Union International | Marin Luxury Homes Report (August 2010)

Despite the annual Summer swoon, Marin County, CA’s home sales numbers for homes priced over $2 million was strong this year.

$2 Million to $4 Million Luxury Homes

With 16 sales, Marin County again performed much better than this time last year. Buyers feel some urge to buy as overall economic and housing environments continue improving (albeit incrementally) and pricing in the marketplace increasingly suggests “value.” Inventory remains relatively low at just 124 homes actively on the market.

Cities recording July 2010 sales in this price band included: Belvedere (1), Tiburon (4), Mill Valley (6), Greenbae (1), and Kentfield (4). These homes averaged 56 days on market. Their average sales price was $2.745 million (roughly $691 per square foot), with an average of 4,056 square feet.

$4 Million & Up Ultra-Luxury Homes

The low inventory level of Marin County’s ultra-luxury market (homes priced in the $4 million and up range) continue to shrink — we have 61 homes for buyers to choose from. Just one home in this price band sold in July — a $6.9 million, 4 Bed, 7 Bath home with panoramic views of the entire Bay Area.  

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 — Pacific Union International. 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.

Pacific Union International | Marin Luxury Homes Report (June 2010)

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

As reported in previous months, “real buyers” continue to snap up homes in prestige locations such as Mill Valley, Belvedere, Ross, Kentfield, etc., along with “value” properties with locational upside, views of San Francisco, southern exposures, knolltop properties. Without question, Marin’s luxury home market is showing signs of increased velocity and buyer optimism. In the $2 million to $4 million price band, May 2010 sales eclipsed last year’s total, inventory is down from last year, and the number of homes with accepted offers (in escrow) is high. This combination of factors looks promising for continued improvement. And we are not alone — click HERE for a detailed snapshot of current national trends from the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing. The below chart shows the dramatic increase in the number of luxury homes sold in Marin County, as compared with last year.

$2 Million to $4 Million Luxury Homes

True to last month’s prediction, sales were again up significantly in this luxury segment (with 20 sales, Marin County more than doubled last year’s total for the month). Incredibly, we have another 27 homes currently in escrow (more than last month). Pending sales is a good leading indicator of increased sales next month.Certainly, buyers are feeling some urge to buy as it appears that the overall economic and housing environments are improving and pricing in the marketplace suggests “value.” Inventory remains relatively low at just 137 homes actively on the market.

Cities recording May 2010 sales in this price band included: Belvedere (4), Tiburon (5), Mill Valley (1), Sausalito (1), Larkspur (1), Ross (1), San Rafael (1), and Kentfield (6). These homes averaged 86 days on market. Their average sales price was just over $2.7 million (roughly $882 per square foot), with an average of 3,963 square feet. The absorption rate for Marin homes in this price band has fallen dramatically and is down to approximately 4 months.

$4 Million & Up Ultra-Luxury Homes

The low inventory level of Marin County’s ultra-luxury market (homes priced in the $4 million and up range) bumped upwards this month — we now have 69 homes for buyers to choose from.

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.

The highest concentrations of homes in this price band are Tiburon and Belvedere. Marin County experienced two such sales last month (one Kentfield and one in Ross) in this price band with an average sales price of $4.875 million (these homes averaged 4,694 square feet). We currently have two additional homes in escrow (compared to zero this time last year). I look forward to coming months as this important segment of the Marin real estate market continues to improve.

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

Pacific Union International | Marin Luxury Homes Report (May 2010)

As with many of Marin County’s micro-markets, Marin’s luxury home market is showing signs of increased velocity and buyer optimism. As reported in previous months, “real buyers” continue to snap up homes in prestige locations such as Mill Valley, Belvedere, Ross, Kentfield, etc., along with “value” properties with locational upside, views of San Francisco (such as those in Sausalito), southern exposures, knolltop properties. In the $2 million to $4 million price band, sales have eclipsed last year’s low numbers, inventory is down significantly and the number of homes with accepted offers (in escrow) is very high. This combination of factors looks promising for continued improvement. And we are not alone — click HERE for a detailed snapshot of current national trends from the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing. The below chart shows the dramatic increase in the number of luxury homes sold in Marin County, as compared with last year.

$2 Million to $4 Million Luxury Homes

True to last month’s prediction, sales were up significantly in this luxury segment (with 17 sales, we more than doubled last year’s total for the month). Incredibly, we have another 26 homes currently in escrow. Again, this is a leading indicator of increased sales next month. Certainly, buyers are feeling some urge to buy as it appears that the overall economic and housing environments are improving and pricing in the marketplace suggests “value.” Inventory remains relatively low at just 136 homes on the market last month.

Cities recording April 2010 sales in this price band included: Belvedere (2), Tiburon (4), Mill Valley (6), Larkspur (1), Ross (1), San Rafael (1), and Kentfield (2). These homes averaged 92 days on market. Their average sales price was just over $2.6 million (roughly $749 per square foot), with an average of 3,585 square feet. The absorption rate for Marin homes in this price band dipped dramatically and is down to approximately 4 months.

$4 Million & Up Ultra-Luxury Homes

The low inventory level of Marin County’s ultra-luxury market (homes priced in the $4 million and up range) bumped upwards this month — we now have 63 homes for buyers to choose from.

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.

The highest concentrations of homes in this price band are Tiburon and Belvedere. Marin County experienced two such sales last month in this price band with an average sales price of $7.3 million (these homes averaged 9,290 square feet). As with sales in the lower luxury price band, we expect sales to pick up in the coming months as we head into the traditional selling season. We currently have six such homes in escrow (compared to zero this time last year). I look forward to coming months as this important segment of the Marin real estate market continues to improve.

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