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

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

As reported in June 2010, “real buyers” continue purchasing “done” 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, and knolltop properties. Marin County’s luxury home real estate market reflects increased sales velocity driven by buyer optimism. In the $2 million to $4 million price band, June 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. I also believe that the imminent resolution of the tragic oil spill in The Gulf of Mexico will help improve public optimism, which has been suppressed by this calamity.

$2 Million to $4 Million Luxury Homes

True to last month’s prediction, trades were again up significantly in this luxury segment (with 20 sales, Marin County more than doubled last year’s total for the month and equaled May’s numbers) — another 24 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 increasingly suggests “value.” Inventory remains relatively low at just 159 homes actively on the market (up by 22 from last month).

Cities recording June 2010 sales in this price band included: Belvedere (2), Tiburon (4), Mill Valley (5), Sausalito (1), Corte Madera (1), San Anselmo (1), and Kentfield (3). These homes averaged 93 days on market. Their average sales price was just over $2.7 million (roughly $831 per square foot), with an average of 3,537square 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) remains even — we have 69 homes for buyers to choose from. There were 2 homes to sell in this ultra-luxury price band in June 2010; both in Belvedere. They averaged $4.29 million, 145 days on market, 4,196 square feet and just over $1002 per square foot. There are four additional homes in this price band in escrow. I look forward to coming months as this important segment of the Marin real estate market continues to improve. 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 (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 Luxury Homes Report (April 2010–Pacific Union International)

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 Belvedere, Ross, Kent Woodlands, etc., along with “value” properties with locational upside, views of San Francisco, 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 under contract in Marin County, as compared with last year.

$2 Million to $4 Million Luxury Homes

Following a lackluster January 2010, sales in February and March 2010 increased quite a bit, with 9 trades. Incredibly, we have another 28 homes currently in escrow (there were just 16 in escrow last month). 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 environment is improving, the DJIA has trended up over 11,100, and the pricing in the marketplace suggests “value.” However, inventory remains low (although higher than last month) at just 96 homes on the market.

Cities recording March 2010 sales in this price band included: Belvedere (1), Tiburon (3), Mill Valley (1), and Kentfield (3). These homes averaged 141 days on market. Their average sales price was $2.627 million (roughly $660 per square foot), with an average of 4,062 square feet. The absorption rate for Marin homes in this price band is approximately 10 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 50 homes for buyers to choose from, compared with 40 last month.

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 just one sale last month in this price band — a $6.5 million all-cash sale. 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 — 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 (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.

Marin Luxury Homes Report (December 2008)

Marin County, California, Luxury Homes Report (December 2008–Sales and Inventory Analysis)   Ponzi schemes, equity markets, banking woes, mounting unemployment, diminished home values and equity, generalized fear, and a palpable spending paralysis continue to weigh down and negatively impact luxury real estate sales in Marin County, California. I struggle to find the appropriate adjective to describe Marin County’s current luxury home market. Torpid? Sluggish? Drowsing? You get the idea. The same holds true nationwide as caution and prudence carry the day (click here to view the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing’s Housing Report dated 12/12/08).

There are 85 homes on the market between $2 million and $4 million. As predicted in last month’s update, November sales slowed significantly following the mid-September meltdown in the financial sector–there were only 5 sales (down from 19 in October). Each of the following cities or towns had one sale: Mill Valley, San Rafael, Tiburon, Belvedere, and Kentfield. The average days on market for the homes that sold was 80 days and the average sales price was just over $2.58 million (roughly $849 per square foot), with an average of 3,209 square feet. Belvedere and Tiburon have 5 and 3 homes, respectively, currently in escrow. 

The inventory level in Marin County’s ultra-luxury market (homes priced in the $4 million and up range) has again dropped precipitously (as is common this time of year). There are now 34 active listings, compared with 49 in November. Belvedere and Tiburon provide a large percentage of our ultra-luxury homes. Other cities / towns with homes in this price band include Kentfield, Sausalito, Mill Valley, Ross, San Rafael, and Novato. Somewhat surprisingly, there were no sales last month (we can usually expect at least 3 sales per month during the slow season). Further underscoring the pervasive caution gripping buyers, we currently have no ultra-luxury homes in escrow.  

 

Marin Cities & Towns

$2 Million — $4 Million

$4 Million & Up

Active

Pending

Active

Pending

Sausalito

6

0

1

0

Belvedere

7

3

9

0

Tiburon

24

5

11

0

Mill Valley

15

0

3

0

Larkspur

6

1

0

0

Corte Madera

0

0

0

0

Kentfield

8

0

2

0

Greenbrae

0

0

0

0

Ross

5

1

5

0

San Anselmo

11

0

1

0

San Rafael

10

0

2

0

Novato

3

0

1

0

 

The above graph identifies the numbers of active listings and homes in contract in the Marin County luxury and ultra-luxury 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, Broker Associate, Frank Howard Allen Realtors of Marin, at 415/350-9440 for more luxury home market information. You can also e-mail Kyle at mailto:Kyle@ImagineMarin.com.

Marin Luxury Homes Report (November 2008)

Marin Luxury Homes Report (November 2008) The traditionally slower season for luxury homes sales is here. Nationwide, the number of homes sold in the luxury market is down this month (although sales were up about 7% nationwide as compared with September 2007-the most recent data available). The financial debacle is unquestionably impacting (or should I say, infecting) the market. Marin County buyers in these price bands are often portfolio investors, entrepreneurs, executives, or business owners and all are now feeling the bite of economic decline and many have decided to spell their purchasing decisions for the time being.  Meanwhile, the number of such homes has increased, placing pressure on pricing. Indeed, even portfolio buyers have taken a wait and see approach. 

Inventory in Marin County, California’s, luxury home market (e.g., homes for sale between $2 million and $4 million) is holding steady. There are 130 homes on the market, compared to 129 homes in October 2008. October saw a respectable number of sales with 15 homes sold–same as September 2008. Mill Valley again experienced the most luxury home sales (with 5). San Rafael had 4 sales, Tiburon had 2 sales, and Sausalito, Belvedere, and San Anselmo each saw 1 home sold in this price range. The average days on market for the homes that sold was 117 days and the average sales price was just over $2.785 million (roughly $756/per sq. ft.), with an average of 3,896 square feet. Belvedere and Tiburon have 4 and 3 homes currently in escrow. I expect the number of sales next month will drop precipitously as the full effect of the stock market’s recent plunge takes hold.

The inventory level in Marin County’s ultra-luxury market (homes priced in the $4 million and up range) has seen an more exaggerated decline this month. There are 49 active listings, compared with 46 last month. Tiburon, as always, leads the pack in this price band with 13 homes for sale and Belvedere follows with 9 active listings. Other cities / towns with homes in this price band include Kentfield, Sausalito, Mill Valley, Ross, San Anselmo, San Rafael, and Novato. There were just 2 sales last month (September 2008 had 3 sales). Reflecting the uncertainty of the times, no ultra-luxury homes in Marin County in escrow. The homes that sold last month averaged 243 days on the market, sold for an average of about $5.25 million ($964/sq. ft.), and were 5,372 square feet.   

 

Marin Cities & Towns

$2 Million — $4 Million

$4 Million & Up

Active

Pending

Active

Pending

Sausalito

7

1

1

0

Belvedere

9

4

9

0

Tiburon

33

3

13

0

Mill Valley

22

0

4

0

Larkspur

7

0

0

0

Corte Madera

1

0

0

0

Kentfield

9

2

2

0

Greenbrae

1

0

0

0

Ross

4

2

6

0

San Anselmo

16

0

1

0

San Rafael

13

1

3

0

Novato

5

0

1

0

 

The above graph identifies the numbers of active listings and homes in contract in the Marin County luxury and ultra-luxury 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, Broker Associate, Frank Howard Allen Realtors of Marin, at 415/350-9440 for more luxury home market information. You can also e-mail Kyle at Kyle@NorthBayRE.com. It is always a pleasure to be of service.