Friday, January 20, 2006

More December Results for Marin

Here are some more results about December sales in Marin care of my "favorite" rag the Marin IJ. The IJ reports that December's median sales price for SFH in Marin dropped from $920,000 to $900,000. Yet West Bay RE claims the December median is $960,000 and that it went up! Who is right? How can the facts be so confused not just in degree but also in direction? I think this just goes to show that realtor data cannot be trusted to be accurate; they will bias things in their favor. Am I too cynical? Maybe. I continue to wait for the Marin Assessor's Office data to be published but that will take them months. Can we even trust the Marin Assessor's Office?

Some choice quotes:
Marin's median single-family home price dipped to $900,000 in December, down from $920,000 in November, as the housing market continued a decline in sales, a real estate information firm reported Thursday.

Single-family home sales in Marin eased to 198 in December from 241 in November - a 17.2 percent drop from December 2004, when 239 single-family homes were sold, according to La Jolla-based DataQuick information Systems.

Across the Bay Area, single-family home sales for December were at 6,125, down 16.4 percent from December 2004, when 7,328 homes were sold.
But everything is ok; we are just getting back to normal say the "experts" with their commission-based agenda:
"It's the leveling off that we've been talking about," said Kathy Schlegel, president of the Marin Association of Realtors. "It's the normalization of the market - it's healthy and more balanced."

"The big news is that there's no bubble bursting," Schlegel added. "There may be a little bit of air being let out - but no bursting."
And this from my "buddy", Jack McLaughlin:
"My question is what's going to happen in March?" said McLaughlin, a partner with Vision Real Estate Group in Corte Madera. "We expect things to be quiet right now - but the last few years, things have been jumping in the spring.

"Is that going to happen again this year?" he said.

"I think this is sort of the bottom of the correction," McLaughlin said. "I think we've got the makings of a strong market - usually after the Super Bowl things pick up."
Yeah, right, whatever you say Jack. Frankly, I think this bust has just begun; we've got a hell of a downward ride ahead of us. But what do I know? I can't see the future any better than these guys. But I think my inflammatory comment about their "commission-based agendas" was spot on. Maybe they didn't like it, but it is true nonetheless. As reviewed by this blogger, property is dropping in price all over the Bay Area, not just Marin. Sonoma is getting hammered. I don't know what is going to happen in the Spring any more than you do or any more than these so-called "experts" do, but it isn't looking too good for the Bay Area that is for sure. I suspect there will be increased activity in the Spring but if there is a gain it will not be anything to write home about if you know what I mean.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Read that article too.

Problem is all the news reporters interview RE broker reps for these articles. Since RE's are paid comissions on points of the selling price, one would think there is a conflict of interest on getting a real "opinion" on the market.

You got to show both sides, which these articles don't seem to take on with a critical view. I trust an RE agent about as far as I can throw one.

Jan 20, 2006, 11:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not looking good for Sacramento either:

4.6% Decline in Median Sale Price since August Peak

Home Prices Decline For 4th Straight Month; Existing Home Sales Down 30%

From the Sacramento Land(ing) Blog

Jan 20, 2006, 12:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The worst mistake sellers can make is to wait too long to get their properties on the market," Schlegel said.

Yeah, God forbid you should wait and see, noodle on it for a while or -- horrors! Hang on to the damn thing. You are depriving these poor realtors of their Mercedes lease payments! Gotta keep that volume going!

Jan 20, 2006, 2:52:00 PM  
Blogger moonvalley said...

down the street from us in Sonoma, there is a weekly RE'ltor meeeting in the a.m. Usually the street is crowded with MBs BMWs, Hummers etc and the Vintage House conference room is packed. Yesterday morning while walking the dog we saw only three people in attendance.

Jan 20, 2006, 3:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The big news is that there's no bubble bursting"


"I think we have the makings of a strong market-usually after the super bowl things pick up"


Jan 20, 2006, 4:15:00 PM  
Blogger Marinite said...


I think it is currently a pathetic 12%. Do you mean "what happens when our affordability is 10%?" or something like that?

Jan 20, 2006, 5:11:00 PM  
Blogger sf jack said...

Excellent point, caddis.

moonvalley said:

"down the street from us in Sonoma, there is a weekly RE'ltor meeeting in the a.m... Yesterday morning while walking the dog we saw only three people in attendance."


Ah, but let us not forget about playing golf in January in shorts, driving 4 hours to skiing, nor the fact that the market will ignore rising inventory numbers and go on yet another upward leg after the Super Bowl.

Jan 20, 2006, 5:12:00 PM  
Blogger marine_explorer said...


If I'm not mistaken, isn't it there already? Any predictions for spring? I think we'll see a bit more inventory over fall. How many realtors does Sonoma actually need?

Jan 20, 2006, 5:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm being quite silly, no one mentions affordability and no one seems to think it matters. It's a significant number ( State wide )

Jan 21, 2006, 6:07:00 PM  
Blogger Marinite said...

mlztx -

Affordability (actually, the lack thereof) has been a significant issue for this blog for some time. I assure you that the pathetically low affordability in Marin and elsewhere has not been forgotten here.

Jan 21, 2006, 6:55:00 PM  

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