Wednesday, January 04, 2006

November Results for Marin

Thanks for the support. Yes, it is a serious emergency and it will keep me pre-occupied for some time.

So, I really have little time to blog or even think about Marin RE as I said in my previous post, but I received an email notification from West Bay Realty that I would be remiss to not pass along to you:

November's results for Marin County are out and they don't look good (not very surprising given all that has been posted here on this blog of late). SFH sales are off nearly -30% compared to this time last year. The median price of a SFH fell somewhat and year-over-year appreciation is now in the single digits but the average price increased (maybe someone could do a bar chart and verify that there are some high-end outliers). I would guess that only the nicer houses are selling and people are finding that they can now get more for their money; I suspect it will only get better for buyers.

Condo sales rose 38% from last month (that's not too surprising given how far off they were in October) but they are still down more than -20% compared to this time last year. West Bay RE describes the rise in condo sales as "soared" so I suppose to be fair that means the -20% sales figure should be described as "tanked".

I look forward to confirmation/adjustment of these data from the Marin Assessor's Office.

Watch out for the "dead cat bounce".

From West Bay RE:

Home sales in Marin County fell 24.1% from the month before, and were off 29.2% compared to November 2004. Along with falling sales came rising Days on Market. The time it took to put a home under contract increased seventeen days to 65.

The median price for single-family homes fell 1.3% from October to $935,000. The year-over-year appreciation was 4.8%. The average home price, on the other hand, gained 7.1% to $1,209,845, an annual increase of 11.3%.

The median price for condos rose 0.1% to $540,000, an annual gain of 10.7%. Sales soared, rising 38.1%% from the month before, but off 20.5% from last November.


Blogger marine_explorer said...

And: the recent weather damage around Marin certainly won't help sales activity.

Jan 4, 2006, 4:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard from a friend in San Anselmo who is just about to close escrow on her house that a lot of houses in San Anselmo (and I would also guess Fairfax) have fallen out of contract. Buyers just said no way after the flood damage. Can't be good, when volume is clearly down to begin with. I can't imagine Spring will be an easy time to sell around here.

Jan 6, 2006, 9:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On what evidence does your friend base this assessment? If the houses in question are not in a flood zone, I don't see how why they would fall out. That's like saying people are pulling out in San Rafael or Tiburon or other places that were not affected (or not to the same degree anyway). And falling out of contract on a whim (without it being due to contingencies such as inspections) costs alot of money, typically 10-15k.

Jan 7, 2006, 10:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

a lot of houses in San Anselmo (and I would also guess Fairfax) have fallen out of contract. Buyers just said no way after the flood damage.

On what evidence does your friend base this assessment?

Pardon me, but have you watched the news, or even visited creekside San Anselmo/Fairfax/Ross recently? The situation is far different than Tiburon or San Rafael. Speaking of which, some hillside SR communities experienced serious flooding too. If I were a prospective buyer in any of these areas, the storm would certainly give me cause for concern. And, for a bit of balance, who else can comment on whether flood damage is a legitimate reason for a home falling out of contract?

Jan 9, 2006, 5:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, I own a house in San Anselmo -- saw the damage in person on New Years Eve. My point is, if you are in contract on a home that is not in a flood zone, why would you pull out?

Your informant sounds as though they are tarring all of San Anselmo and Fairfax with the same brush. There were only 100 homes damaged by the flood in SA, out of what, 3000 dwellings? This is no Katrina -- it did not wipe these towns town off the face of the map.

Just to clarify, I did not say that flood damage is NOT a reason to pull out -- flood damage is of course a valid reason to pull out of the contract since the house is not in the condition it was in when the contract was drawn up. However, a fear of flooding, particularly if you are not in a flood zone, is not and could (but does not always) exact a hefty penalty.

I am only questioning your sources assertion. Where is the evidence? Or is this just their opinion and should be considered as such?

Jan 9, 2006, 5:37:00 PM  
Blogger sf jack said...

rejunkie -

Relax - anonymous was just repeating what a friend iterated. Your paranoia will grow tiresome if this keep ups.

We all know you just bought a place in San Anselmo and hope to heck the bottom doesn't drop out of the market and stay there for the next decade.

You and fred need to go have a drink together.

Jan 9, 2006, 6:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anonymous was just repeating what a friend iterated.

And there are several anonymous posters here.
I was merely wondering why that story by "anonymous 1" was called into question, without really knowing the details of the account.

Jan 9, 2006, 9:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sf jack-

I am not paranoid. I am in for the long haul so I am not worried about what blip in the market a flood in San Anselmo would cause.

I just like to separate the facts from the gossip. Knowing (as opposed to supposing) that contracts are falling out is a good indicator of market stress, no? Is that not what we are all interested in learning about as we stir our tea leaves?

BTW, I think I got my numbers wrong -- it as 100 houses in Fairfax and 300-350 (depending on which newspaper you read) for San Anselmo.

Jan 10, 2006, 7:43:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

...or to put this another way, if you could substantiate contracts falling out, would this not be a good time to contact your realtor and put a low-ball back-up offer together on one of these drop-outs?

(no, I am not a realtor and I do not necessarily advocate buying in this market, just identifying a buying opportunity)

Jan 10, 2006, 7:51:00 AM  
Blogger Marinite said...

For the record, San Anselmo floods roughly every 20 years or so. (Maybe that frequency rate will change with global warming.) So flooding should always be a consideration there if you plan on living there for a while.

Jan 10, 2006, 1:23:00 PM  
Blogger Marinite said...

You and fred need to go have a drink together.

Please keep things respectful. Rejunkie and Fredtobic (and all other housing bulls, Marin or otherwise) are entitled to their opinions.

Jan 10, 2006, 1:26:00 PM  
Blogger Marinite said...

And for the record, my family also owns property in Marin and so I guess I also have a "vested interest" in seeing it go up. But despite that fact I still think Marin RE pricing is a total joke. I also view houses as places to live and not as an investment.

[Note to self: maybe I should write my "housing manifesto" so that readers know where I stand in terms of RE.]

Jan 10, 2006, 1:32:00 PM  
Blogger sf jack said...

rejunkie said:

"My point is, if you are in contract on a home that is not in a flood zone, why would you pull out?"


How about a fear of the market tanking?

Or how about using the flooding as an excuse to cancel the contract because of a fear of the market tanking?

Jan 10, 2006, 3:49:00 PM  

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