Precipitous Drop in Marin Sales; Tightening Lending Standards Just Starting to Bite
Yawn. The IJ is reporting on old news, stuff we figured out long ago.
Marin's median home price hit the $1 million mark again last month [August, 2007], but sales of homes slid more than 32 percent compared with this time last year... homes priced under $1 million were off by 39.8 percent between 2006 and 2007... in Novato, single-family homes sales were half of what they were a year ago...a 23 percent drop-off in Mill Valley...In Tiburon and Belvedere, sales remained flat. Regionally, Bay Area homes sold at the slowest pace in 15 years last month.In summary, reporting of the county median is a joke because of the luxury market which is still able to prop up the county stats; but the rest of the market, the one that the majority of people here care about, is tanking. Furthermore, as explained before, the bubble is collapsing inward, towards our regional employment center. So we currently see the most distress in north Marin and the least distress in south Marin. Lastly, realtors continue to claim that no matter what the market conditions, it's always a good time to buy and pay them a commission (does anyone even take their self-serving talk seriously anymore?). Nothing new to anyone here on this blog. Enjoy the show.
The rise in the median... combined with the decline in volume signals a stable luxury market making up for the lagging low end that has been most affected by the mortgage meltdown...
"Until the first-time home buyer can get back in the market in a strong way I think we'll see these trends for a while," said Valerie Castellana, president of the Marin Association of Realtors.
Yet to fully play out is the impact tighter lending practices, including restrictions this summer on jumbo loans over $417,000, have had on markets such as Marin, DataQuick analyst Andrew LePage said. In Marin, 76.9 percent of borrowers took out jumbo loans in August.
Realtor Kira Swaim, co-owner of San Rafael-based Tam Realty, said continued real estate jitters make it a great time to buy.