Monday, September 25, 2006

Marin Market Observations by a Local Agent

The latest newsletter from Marin real estate agent Liz McCarthy is out. According to her Marin remains in a "strong buyer's" market what with only 19.2% of listings in contract.

I have spoken at great length with Ms. McCarthy and have found her to be a very honest, forthright, and buyer-centered agent. The fact that she makes a serious effort to compile some statistics is also praiseworthy IMO. I have featured her data before on this blog. Please check out her site and offer any suggestions that you might have to improve it (since she asks for such feedback) as she is clearly committed to providing the best service that she can.

The following comments by Ms. McCarthy I found interesting. This first one bolsters my impression that what has been selling at asking price are the "spotless" houses (the nicest of the nice) and the very expensive houses (purchased by people for whom the increase in interest rates have not (yet) had an effect). Thus, the median/average statistics routinely reported in the main stream media may not be at all reflective of what is actually going on in the market and should be considered more as an indication of the mixture of houses that are selling instead of as a measure of what the average house would sell for. It seems to me quite possible that there is a serious correction going on in the "low end" Marin housing market whereas the "high end" is not yet correcting even though the median/average price statistic is flat, or slightly up, or slightly down during any given month. I will try to nail down this last point with some data later.
Interestingly enough, homes again priced under $500,000 are sitting on the market longer and are currently in a “Strong Buyers” Market whereas homes priced from $500,000 to 999,000 are in a “Buyers Market”. Again, like last month I find it very interesting to note that homes priced from $2,500,000 to $2,999,999 are in a “Balanced Market!” To me, this seems to mean that buyers in the higher end of the Marin real estate market are not affected as much by the increase in interest rates, as they are more likely to be making their home purchases with more cash as compared to mortgages.
It is nice to see agents point out deficiencies with the stats compiled from the MLS:
I’ve decided to no longer track the Sold price changes as compared to the original list price based on DOM. The reason for this is that I’ve just discovered that our MLS system’s way of calculating these stats are not really accurate. Their stats show very little price drop even over time (around 5%), BUT these price changes only reflect the price SOLD compared to the last price change that was made NOT the original list price!!! So basically, overall the price drops are not accurately reflected in these comps. I will list them (based on our MLS way of calculating them) this month, but will no longer track the data.
And a request for improvement:
And for those of you who do read these stats, I’d love to know that you find the information useful! It actually takes me quite a lot of time to track, compile and post the data each month – and I’d love to know that it is being utilized! Send me an email to let me know you like getting it!
My main recommendation to Ms. McCarthy is for her to try and compile her stats on a consistent schedule. If you look back at her previous newsletters her stats are made for differing points in the month which makes month-to-month comparisons problematic.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Marinite...and yes, -gasp- I've been bad about compiling the stats on a timely manner (due to some time contraint issues - 3 months on bed rest and a baby in the NICU for another 4 months). I'm doing my BEST to try to compile the data monthly on or as close to the 15th of the month as possible....

AND I will be even more motivated if I know users are looking for the data.

I wish there was an easier way to create my newsletters (and compile the stats) but maybe that's why other realtors don't do it, as it is quite time consuming. I don't like the ready-made real-estate newsletters that don't give you anything worth while worth reading anyways. I try to send a newsletter that is worth getting and so far I've had favorable reviews.

Sep 25, 2006, 2:17:00 PM  
Blogger daruma said...

I would like to know how to get data on:

listing inventory, as calculated by weeks

previous sales prices for a given property

Are there ways to get this info?

Sep 25, 2006, 6:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe this type of discussion "moves the needle" in a positive direction. I, for one, am tired of hearing the pundits spin facts to suit their wallet. Put the info out there and let people make the right decision for themselves.

I appreciate Ms. McCartney's contribution and dedication to the know, the one who pays for everything at the closing table and nothing in the real estate market happens without.

Sep 25, 2006, 7:35:00 PM  
Blogger fredtobik said...

"for one, am tired of hearing the pundits spin facts to suit their wallet."

me too,,

Is it possible to see percentage of I/O, ARM's, and other special loans that were taken in the last 6 years? and if they were refi'd or paid off?

Sep 26, 2006, 8:06:00 PM  

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