MarinÂ County Update
In the last 44 years, there have been only two years (excluding 2008 & 2009) when average home prices in Marin County have decreased from one year to the next: -1.2% in 1991 and -1.4% in 1992â€“ after the S&L crisis.
Marin County average residential home prices fell -12.7% in 2008 and -21% in 2009.Â Â
Â A unit-sale weighted average of Southern, Central & Northern Marin show Southern Marin prices are down -17.4%, Central Marin down -13.1%, and Northern Marin down -18.4% from 2008 levels.
For much more more information from a mile high perspective please see right nav bar, click & read â€œMarin Updateâ€.
Belvedere Real Estate
Belvedere current market conditions mimic the larger trend in Marin County– the lower part of the market is very active and the high end is really slow.
Statistically Belvedere home prices, like Tiburon home prices, have shown remarkable resilience so far. However– there are a number of homes in BelvedereÂ on the market that have been sitting for over a year at what I consider to be very attractive prices and still haven’t sold. Several homes come immediately to mind. The truth is that the wealthier a town is the longer home owners can hold out during periods of dropping prices. But they can’t hold out forever. There are about 10 homes currently on the market in Belvedere at pretty much ludicrous prices. Sellers in Belvedere who are reading this blog are encouraged to read the Marin Update blog and to Google “T2 Housing Report” or call me and I will email the report to you. If you needÂ or want to sell your house in the next 5 years I would suggest being very aggressive with pricing now to capture the demand that is clearly present.
The low end of Belvedere real estate is very strong right now with all the homes in the bottom quartile that are on the market currently in contract. The middle market and upper end is still very slow.Â Also– notice that over 50% of the homes on the market are clustered in the top pricing quartile– while this part of the marketÂ has been quite slowÂ for a while and inventory has backed up in this market segment– it is alsoÂ historically a characteristic of mispricing relative to exisitng demand:
There are a few homes that have sold at remarkably low prices in 2010, but most of the homes that were for sale and didn’t sell are either off the market temporarily are in the process of refinance.
Several brokers who have been in the business for a while anticipate that 2010 we will see more foreclosures in Marin than we did in 2009; wealthier people can simply hold out longer.
4th Quarter comparisons
Notice the rates of return above and below when you add the effects of leverage (mortgage). Why would you invest your money in anything else? During the early Bubble years I worked at Merrill Lynch as CFP/Financial planner/advisor and everyone i spoke with in the Bay Area was investing in real estate. Young professionals were taking $50,000 bonusâ€™ and leveraging up into $2mm investment properties. I tried to tell everyone we were approaching the end of the cycle and that prices were bound to correct. Unfortunatelyâ€“ there was no data to draw from that showed that real estate prices could actually go downâ€¦ so everybody assumed it was a risk free investment; and by comparison stocks, bonds and mutual funds looked relatively boring with low returns.
The average home buyer inÂ Belvedere needs almost $1,000,000 cash in the bankÂ to afford a downpayment onÂ an average home with a 70% mortgage, while alsoÂ retaining a rainy day fund of cash left over in the bank should anything go wrong.
The town of Belvedere has about 890 homes and just over 2,000 residents and surprisingly few kids.
In 2008 and 2009, Dave and the DuPont Group areÂ leading agents in Marin County Real Estate. Since the recession began in earnest in 2008, Dave personally closed over 36 sales and $47m in real estate sales, and his group has closed over $60m.Â For 2 years running Dave has sold more homes than any other agentÂ at DB Sotheby’s Intl Realty.Â The data in these pages represents the extra mile we go for clients and is our competitive advantage over other agents in all parts of Marin. Now is not the time to select an agent to represent you because they are a friend or even because they may have represented you in the past. The work habits most realtors has evolved over the past 20 years are not translating well into selling homes in todayâ€™s real estate environment where home buyers make decisions because of financial considerations as opposed to emotional ones.
Dave is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP), Certified Financial Manager (CFM), received his MBA from Pepperdine University, a CA real estate broker and worked for approximately 10 years in the San Francisco financial district. This Blog works in conjunction with The DuPont Groups primary web site.
Please call me to discuss this information in more detail 415-867-6611 â€“ Dave