Thursday, January 12, 2006

Marin Market Ratings

Below is a graphical representation of market ratings (e.g., "Strong Sellers", "Balanced", "Extreme Buyers", etc.) for Marin County for the period spanning October, 2004 to January, 2006. I found the data here. To make this bar chart, I arbitrarily assigned an ordinal to each rating as follows:
1 = Extreme Buyers Market
2 = Strong Buyers Market
3 = Buyers Market
4 = Balanced Market
5 = Sellers Market
6 = Strong Sellers Market
7 = Extreme Sellers Market
So, the shorter the bars in the following graph, the more of a buyers market it is; the higher the bars, the more of a sellers market it is.

This time last year Marin was a "Strong Sellers Market". Today Marin is a "Strong Buyers Market".

It is worth taking a closer look at her data. Basically, the "cheapest" houses are in the "Sellers Market" or "Balanced Market" range; anything priced at a million dollars or more is in one of the "Buyers Market" categories. As interest rates rise and/or "exotic" loans become harder to obtain I should think we would see the low end price range convert to one of the "Buyers" categories. But as it stands now, if you want to be in one of the "Sellers Market" categories then you have to lower your price.

And you gotta love the spin this realtor tries to put on her data.


Blogger Out at the peak said...

... what happens if it goes to 0? :)
But seriously, we are on a verge of 1. It might pop up to 3 during spring/summer, but I expect it to be down for the next 2-3 years.

Jan 12, 2006, 11:42:00 PM  
Blogger sf jack said...

That really shows the slowing, doesn't it?

A Realtor(tm) in my neighborhood in the City tried to blunt the changing sentiment on the market by publishing price and volume data from 2000 to last summer in our little neighborhood rag this fall.

She stoppped doing it after October. Why? Because there didn't seem to be a single house "moving" while, at the same time, the "For Sale" signs were popping up like daisies on streets that had not had "For Sale" signs noticeable (by me, anyway) for at least the last five years.

It will be interesting to see should "your" Realtor(tm) keep at it. A year from now, your graph is going to have a lot of short bars.

Jan 13, 2006, 11:05:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's slowing too because especially in Marin, sellers can't absorb moving their prices down. The "dream" of mega multiples is still alive with so many of them.

Jan 13, 2006, 3:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Marin sellers who are unwilling to sell for a discount and who do not absolutely have to sell will find the price of their property determined by the margins.

If I were a seller I would have to wonder: "Do I want to be the one who sets the selling price of my house or do I want someone else who must sell to set the price of my house? Will I be better off selling now for less or letting someone else determine how much I can sell for when the time comes when I am forced to sell?"

Not an enviable position to be in.

Jan 13, 2006, 4:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

BTW, another index of activity is here.

It shows year-over-year comparisons of a "heat index" and we are at lowest point since at least January of 2003. It is calculated slightly differently from the Marin Market Ratings but it has been in decline since the summer. The number does drop every winter but February it usually shoots right back up again for the next spring/summer frenzy. Also, note that condo prices are down January-over-January for the first time since 2002, which of course was right on the heels of 9/11.

Of course one month does not dictate a trend but the condo median has fallen since September.

Jan 13, 2006, 7:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The second link in my last post should have pointed to

Jan 13, 2006, 7:19:00 PM  
Blogger sf jack said...

junkie -


And January 2003 was during the lead up the invasion of Iraq; I remember in the following months (Feb, Mar), sales activity was noticeably slower.

Invasion occurred in mid-March and by mid-April RE took off again (activity-wise; not sure exactly what prices were doing, especially in Marin).

Jan 13, 2006, 7:21:00 PM  
Blogger sf jack said...

anon 1 -

Yes, that's true. I like what you point out. The sellers cannot easily adjust to the new reality, there are almost no bites from the buyers - and voila: stalemate.

And a dead market. Or at least a greatly slowing one.

Jan 13, 2006, 7:24:00 PM  
Blogger sf jack said...

anon 2 -

Love that "bubble quote" of yours over the sellers' heads:

"Do I want to be the one who sets the selling price..."

Jan 13, 2006, 7:26:00 PM  
Blogger Marinite said...

"Do I want to be the one who sets the selling price of my house or do I want someone else who must sell to set the price of my house? Will I be better off selling now for less or letting someone else determine how much I can sell for when the time comes when I am forced to sell?"

Ugh. I've been in that situation and no fun. Well said anon.

Jan 14, 2006, 9:41:00 AM  

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