It’s not really news that prices are high in the Bay Area, but check out this column in SFGate to compare what you need to make to buy a home here with the situation in other cities around the country. These income figures are based on the median price for a home in the metro areas as a whole and don’t take into account taxes, insurance, and other costs (or down payment), but are still useful in looking at relative affordability between cities. Maybe not a list you really want to be at the top of, but the demand for homes in Marin and other areas around SF is off the charts.
At least for now, they have just about completely dried up. We talked about this back in 2012 when they had slowed to a trickle, and that trend has continued. In December 2010 there were 31 new short sale listings in Marin, but last month that number was down to 4. There were a total of 10 active short sale listings, compared to the 234 on the market back in December 2010. Not that we should need distress sales to have any inventory in Marin, but this is certainly part of the story when looking for answers about this extended period of super low levels, as Janis Mara was doing in her recent IJ article.
In this chart the green bars show total short sale inventory, while new short sale listings coming on each month are represented by the blue line. It makes sense that they are going away as prices rise enough so that owners are no longer underwater on their mortgages.
The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau’s new rules for underwriting mortgages will start next week, and they will mean some buyers who qualified for a loan before will not meet the requirements under the new standards, especially those who were close to the debt-to-income ratio cutoff or those considering an adjustable rate loan. There will be lenders offering loans outside of the new guidelines, so we’ll have to see how it all shakes out, but this would be a good time to check in with your mortgage banker or loan broker if you were pre-approved last year.
You can also find more info at the CFPB website.
Stephen brought on a great new property this week. It’s a 3/2 Victorian home zoned for mixed use, plus a 2/1 apartment above the 3-car garage in back. The main house has period charm, including clawfoot tubs and beautiful wood details, and the location is amazing for those wanting to be near downtown. Open both Saturday and Sunday this weekend, 1-4. Asking price is $1,050,000.
It’s sounding like the government shutdown thing could mess with the housing market the longer it goes on. Here’s an article from the IJ, quoting a couple of the loan people we work with a lot. Let’s hope they get it together and get the government running again, and also avoid defaulting on the debt ceiling, which by all accounts would be a disaster. But in the meantime, a good idea to discuss potential delays with your mortgage person if you’re getting into contract on a home during all of this.
There’s been a lot of talk lately about the effect of rising interest rates on the market, including this article from SFGate. While it’s not hard to imagine that 6% mortgages and the corresponding reduction in affordability would have an impact on the demand for Marin’s high priced homes, that would still be a relatively decent rate by historical standards. And we’re far from that at this point anyway–just was quoted 4.375% for a jumbo 30 year fixed today from our in house Wells Fargo affiliate. Of course that assumes a 780 FICO, but that is still a very low rate. Going to be an interesting fall!
The numbers for July are in and there are no big surprises. Housing inventory in Marin remained very low–almost unchanged from June–and there are still lots of homes being sold. We have been feeling anecdotally that things have felt less crazy as we’ve gotten into July and August, and though it is still very common for there to be multiple offers on desirable properties, the number of offers in competitive situations seems in many cases to be smaller than at the height a few months ago.
Of course, with the real estate market being pretty dependably cyclical, we would expect things to slow down a bit this time of year, as people take vacations and are focused on other things, and then we see a little bump in activity in the fall with the slowest time coming over the holidays.
Much of the inventory that’s not selling quickly is in the higher price ranges, so supply and demand are still very out of line for entry and mid level homes. The picture looks more encouraging for buyers over the last couple of months when you look at all price levels combined as in the chart above, but less so when you take higher end listings out of the stats. Here it is for properties under $1.5 million. Notice how the total number of available listings (the light green bar) was much closer to the number of homes closing in July (the dark green bar).
If you have questions about what’s happening in the Marin market or would like stats tailored to your segment or area, please don’t hesitate to drop me a line at email@example.com.
We’re back to blogging after a hiatus due to technical difficulties, and thought we should look at the stats for Marin. When we last posted there had been an uptick in new listings–more in one month than we’d seen in a couple of years–and we were interested in seeing if that was just a seasonal thing or a sign of a trend that might help the low inventory problem. So far it looks like it was just a good April for new listings, as that did not continue for May and June (the blue line in the chart below).
Months supply of inventory was up just slightly in June to 1.6, which is still incredibly low.
It’s been a while since we’ve looked at the stats, as we like to do here at Blog by the Bay, and as insane as the Marin market has been this year there might be a small bit of positive data for those hoping to buy a home in Marin. Anecdotally I can attest to just how completely crazy things have been, but at least there are more new listings coming on than we’ve seen in some time. Inventory is still extremely low and those homes are getting snapped up quickly, but at least more sellers are starting to bring homes on, as you can see by the blue line in the chart below which shows the number of new listings each month in Marin County over the last three years. And the blue line is higher than the red line, which shows the number of homes going into escrow.
This is not to say things are heading back to a balanced market by any stretch, but this trend is what we would need to continue for some time to make that happen. This is the time of year we normally see an uptick in new listings, but last month we had more than we’ve seen in years, which can only be good news. Unfortunately for buyers nothing has changed so far, and it’s been the most competitive atmosphere in memory, with multiple offers not just probable but expected in most cases. Here’s a look at the months supply in Marin overall, which as you can see is still hanging around the one month mark, and it’s under one month in the lower price ranges.
Okay, this is one of the coolest homes I’ve seen in a while, and I’ve been meaning to get a post up about it. Kim Morgan at Frank Howard Allen brought on this amazing one-level house in Loch Lomond last week, and it’s the sort of unique place we just don’t see come on the market very often. It’s huge at 3807 square feet (per the tax records), has 4 bedrooms, and 8 bathrooms, counting the two in the pool house. When a lot of people think ofÂ Mid-Century Modern in Marin they think of all the tracts of Eichlers in Terra Linda and Lucas Valley, but this is custom Mid-Century of another level, in a great neighborhood of upscale homes.
Much of it is original, but seems to be in very good shape, and it’s on a big, flat lot with a pool. With the proper updating touches this home will be a Modern showcase. Think martinis, Mad Men, and pool parties. I believe they said they’ll be looking at offers on Wednesday, so as of this posting there may still be time to check it out.
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