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

Pacific Union – Christie’s International Real Estate | Marin County, CA Luxury Home Sales (February 2013)

Pacific Union – Christie’s International Real Estate | Marin County, CA Luxury Home Sales (February 2013). Beginning in November 2011, I began to note that Marin County buyers were feeling much more confident — that confidence translated into increased sales in 2012 across the board, from Sausalito to Novato. So far in 2013, year-to-date sales volume is down 9% from a year ago. Units sold are down 15%, but the median price is up 18.5% at $669,000. Average DOM is running at 103 days, which is down 16.75% from this time last year. Truly, the only hindrance to higher sales numbers is the virtually complete lack of homes for sale. Buyers and their agents are desperate for inventory. And this is not limited to just Marin. Agents throughout the San Francisco Bay Area are noting a similar trend.

Here are two examples of completely different market segments reflecting identical inventory shortages:

1) Tiburon & Belvedere — at the time of my writing the Tiburon & Belvedere Real Estate Report for February 2013, there were 9 homes in the MLS under $2 million. ALL of them were in escrow and there was not a single home priced under $2 million available on the MLS.

2) Novato — at the time I wrote my Novato Real Estate update for February 2013, 74% of homes priced under $500K were in escrow. Three of the five available homes were new to market and are in ecrow today. Essentially, the absorption rate in Novato under $500K is a fraction of a month. There is simply not enough inventory to satisfy demand. Investors and eager buyers are bidding up virtually all properties in this entry level price band.

 

Marin County Real Estate Market

Marin County Real Estate Market

Incredibly low inventory, historically low interest rates, a growing pool of “ready, able, and willing” buyers, are combining to make for an unprecedented Marin County real estate market. The sales numbers relative to inventory are truly unheard of. My advice to sellers this year is — “Join The Party!”

CALL ME if you are thinking of selling (350-9440). My systems can get you on market quickly with the very best marketing available. And my negotiation skills will net you more money on the sale of your home.

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

Pacific Union Int’l – Christie’s Great Estates | Marin County, CA Luxury Home Sales (October 2011) — Luxury home sales slowed to 10 in September 2010. This reflects a seasonal lull as Summer travel takes center stage in August and home sales slow in Marin County). 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 soft and “value” is evident in virtually every corner and every price segment of the luxury market.

In line with normal seasonal adjustments, the inventory of luxury homes remains constricted with just 122 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 August 2011 included: Tiburon (1), Belvedere (1); Mill Valley (3); Larkspur (1); Sausalito (1); Ross (1); Kentfield (1). These homes averaged a mere 58 days on market (very low). Their average sales price was $2.59 million (roughly $718 per square foot), with an average of 3,720 square feet. Marin County’s ultra-luxury market (homes priced in the $4 million and up range) accounted for one sale last month — a 2.2 acre estate in the flats of Ross.

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, 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 (August 2011)

Pacific Union Int’l – Christie’s Great Estates | Marin County, CA Luxury Home Sales (August 2011) — Luxury home sales continued through July (our swoon season) — we had 11 trades (there were 9 in January and just 7 in February 2011). While international events of the past 10 months and economic events this past month have made for a turbulent year in the luxury sector, it appears that buyers are continuing to snap up luxury homes that reflect clear value and/or possess unique sales characteristics. Certainly, there are extraordinary opportunities available right now for buyers. Pricing in the marketplace (especially for homes that started off overpriced) is soft and “value” is evident in virtually every corner and every price segment of the luxury market. In line with normal seasonal adjustments, the inventory of luxury homes remains somewhat low — 138 properties are in the MLS over $2 million in Marin (this is somewhat lower than years past as many home value have dipped below $2 million).

Marin County cities recording luxury home sales between $2 million and $4 million in March 2011 included: Tiburon (2), Belvedere (2); Mill Valley (2); Larkspur (1); San Anselmo (1); and San Rafael (1). These homes averaged 119 days on market. Their average sales price was $2.798 million (roughly $763 per square foot), with an average of 3,903 square feet. Marin County’s ultra-luxury market (homes priced in the $4 million and up range) accounted for two sales last month (one in Mill Valley and the other in Belvedere) and there are currently four more of these homes in escrow.

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”).

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

Pacific Union Int’l – Christie’s Great Estates | Marin County, CA Luxury Home Sales (May 2011) — As expected, April 2011 luxury home sales increased — we had 14 trades (there were 9 in January and just 7 in February 2011). While international events of the past several months have been a roller coaster, it appears the stock market’s rally is unabated. 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. There are extraordinary opportunities available right now for buyers. Pricing in the marketplace (especially for homes that started off overpriced) is soft and “value” is evident in virtually every corner and every price segment of the luxury market. In line with normal seasonal adjustments, the inventory of luxury homes has risen over the past month — 144 properties are in the MLS over $2 million in Marin (this is somewhat lower than years past as many home value have dipped below $2 million).

Marin County cities recording luxury home sales between $2 million and $4 million in March 2011 included: Tiburon (2), Belvedere (4); Kentfield (2), and Mill Valley (1); Greenbrae (2); San Anselmo (1). These homes averaged 90 days on market. Their average sales price was $2.699 million (roughly $802 per square foot), with an average of 3,511 square feet. Marin County’s ultra-luxury market (homes priced in the $4 million and up range) accounted for two sales last month (one in Mill Valley and the other in Kentfield) and there are currently three more of these homes in escrow.

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”).

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 (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.

Marin County, California, Luxury Homes Report (March 2010–Sales and Inventory Analysis)

Marin County, California’s luxury home market continues to recover from the wasteland of late 2008 and early 2009 when it seemed as though the luxury home market would never recover. Yet, as reported in previous months, real buyers continue to snap up homes in prestige locations such as Belvedere, Ross, Kent Woodlands, etc., along with “value” properties with undeniable upside. In the $2 million to $4 million price band, sales are up 300% over last year and inventory is down 25% — this combination of factors looks promising for continued improvement. For a detailed snapshot of current national trends from the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing, click HERE.

$2 Million to $4 Million Luxury Homes

The $2 million to $4 million price band  remains volatile with prices down 17% over the past 2 years. Despite this obvious and well-noted trend, many sellers have not adjusted their asking prices to reflect market realities. As noted in my columns over the past two years, a seller’s refusal to price correctly at the outset of the listing period is the single greatest mistake possible. Often, listing agents are willing accomplices however because they will “say anything” to obtain the listing. However, bottom line costs to sellers is very significant. I have developed a chart that show exactly just how bad it gets over time when Marin County sellers and their agents) overprice their homes — please call or e-mail me for a copy.

Following a lackluster January 2010, sales in February 2010 exploded with 9 trades, despite the typical seasonal slowdown. Moreover, we have another 16 homes currently in escrow. Certainly, buyers are feeling some urge to buy as it appears that the poor economic environment may be improving and the pricing in the marketplace suggests “value.” Inventory remains low (although higher than last month) at just 75 homes on the market.

Cities recording February 2010 sales in this price band included: Belvedere (1), Mill Valley (4), Kentfield (1), and Ross (1), and Greenbrae (2). These homes averaged 139 days on market. Their average sales price was $2.612 million (roughly $649 per square foot), with an average of 4,046 square feet. The absorption rate for Marin homes in this price band is 8.3 months.

$4 Million & Up Ultra-Luxury Homes

The already low inventory level of Marin County’s ultra-luxury market (homes priced in the $4 million and up range) held relatively even this month — there are 40 homes for sale compared with 36 last month. The highest concentrations of homes in this price band are Tiburon and Belvedere. Marin County experienced 2 sales last month in this price band — same as in January. Such limited sales activity vitiates the possibility of meaningful analysis. Sales are expected to pick up in the coming months as we head into the traditional selling season.

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

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

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. As reported all year, the luxury segment remains weighted towards homes priced under $3 million — although 4 homes priced over $4 million sold in October 2009. 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.

Meanwhile, the media has been placing a positive spin on economic news coverage, which will hopefully result in a positive feedback loop. For example, a story run in the A.P. last week noted that economic forecasters are predicting that 2010 will be the first year since 2005 for housing to contribute to the growth of the U.S. economy (based on a survey by the National Association for Business Economics). According to that organization, home prices are expected to rise 2 percent next year and over 80 percent of economists surveyed by the NABE think the recession is over and recovery has begun. In addition, the San Francisco Chronicle ran a story last week regarding how low interest rates have spurred a modest increase in Bay Area home sales in September. Also concurring with the expectation of growth is the Mortgage Bankers Association Chief Economist Jay Brinkmann, who predicts that sales of existing homes will rise 11 percent in 2010, with sales of new homes climbing 21 percent.

For a detailed snapshot of current national trends from the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing, 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 120 days. Of course, asking prices do not necessarily closely reflect selling prices and in Mill Valley, there are lots of homes on the market in the higher price bands, which have not sold.

The year over year inventory levels in Mill Valley have hovered at around 20% higher than last year for 6 months. Meanwhile, inventory in Kentfield is up 80% and Tiburon / Belvedere inventory levels are over 90% higher than last year.

Below is a new chart focusing on the percentage of homes that have experiencd price reductions and the depth of those price reductions, on average. This chart examines these trends in Mill Valley and in Belvedere / Tiburon. It is perhaps not surprising that nearly 45% of listings in Tiburon / Belvedere have experienced a price reduction and those reductions average about 12%.

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

$2 Million to $4 Million Luxury Homes

Heading into the Fall, it is generally expected that sales will wane. Yet, buyer activity has picked up significantly. The number of homes in escrow in this price band is up 33% from last month. It seems that there is a lot of home shopping going on as patient buyers have begun snapping up homes. I expect that next month will see a large surge of sales. Inventory remains low with 128 homes on the market between $2 million and $4 million.

Cities recording sales in this price band included: Tiburon (1), Mill Valley (3), Kentfield (2), and Sausalito (1). These homes averaged 113 days on market. Their average sales price was $2.683 million (roughly $813 per square foot), with an average of 3,340 square feet. The absorption rate for Marin homes in this price band is about 18 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 53 homes for sale. The highest concentrations of homes in this price band are Tiburon, Belvedere, Sausalito, and Ross. As noted earlier, Marin County experienced 4 sales last month, doubling the previous month’s output.

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

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.