Marin County Real Estate Market Blog | Marin Market Trends

Is real estate the best investment? How does it compare with other economic trends? Shouldn’t I just invest in the stock market?

These are all questions you hear new home buyers ask when considering purchase of a property. There are of course social benefits to owning a home, but what about your long term financial stability? Three recent studies should put your nerves to rest.

RealtyTrac recently released a report comparing home price appreciation to wage growth over the last two years. The study revealed that home price appreciation has outpaced wage growth in 76% of U.S. housing markets during that time period.


And we all know the importance of home appreciation in determining the net wealth of most American families. Merrill Lynch just

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One of the main benefits to owning a home is that you are not a slave to rising rents. As a homeowner, you have the power to lock in your housing cost for the life of a lengthy mortgage.

In today’s growing Metropolitan areas like San Francisco and NYC, it’s easy to get caught in the Renter’s trap and succumb to rising rents as the landlord sees fit. The negative feedback loop occurs when increasing rents make it impossible to save enough for a down payment for a home.  

The top 5 markets where renters have seen the highest increase in rents since 2009 are:

  • New York, NY (50.7%)
  • Seattle, WA (32.4%)
  • San Jose, CA (25.6%)
  • Denver, CO (24.1%)
  • St. Louis, MO (22.3%)

Homebuyers who were able to purchase their home over the same five-year period

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Maybe it’s the very competitive rental market, the recent tech boom in San Francisco, or perhaps the overwhelmingly amount of 20-somethings that can’t finish a meal without checking their Instagram. Whatever the reason, there have been some voiced concern that owning a home, considered part of the foundation of the American Dream, is not important to the younger generations.

However, a recent study by Merrill Lynch has put these concerns to rest and have in fact unveiled that despite the increased sightings of Patagonia vests in the workplace, homeownership is equally important to Millenials as it was for Baby Boomers.

Here are the numbers:


Rest assured, not all values are lost in today’s young people. Owning a home will always make more

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This week’s blog is taken directly from “Keeping Current Matters” blog. A very helpful resource for today’s buyers and sellers.

If you are planning on becoming a homeowner, or moving up to the home of your dreams in 2015, here are four great reasons to consider buying a home now, instead of waiting until spring.

1. Prices Will Continue to Rise

The Home Price Expectation Survey polls a distinguished panel of over 100 economists, investment strategists, and housing market analysts. Their most recent report projects appreciation in home values over the next five years to be between 11.7% (most pessimistic) and 27.5% (most optimistic).

The bottom in home prices has come and gone. Home values will continue to

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Many Sellers believe that Spring is the best time to put their home on the market because of the abundance of Buyers. However, the next six weeks also presents its advantages in this market.

1) Demand is Strong

  • The latest foot traffic numbers show that there are more potential buyers now than any other time in the last 12 months. This includes last spring’s flock of buyers.

2) Low Inventory = Less Competition

  • Buyer Demand continues to outweigh Seller Supply of homes. In other words, it continues to be a seller’s dream market. However, more inventory is expected to come in the spring, at which point sellers will see less return.

3) Quicker Escrows

  • Since most people buy in the Spring, Lenders and Underwriters are not backed up in the
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The secret is out. Mortgage Interest Rates have dropped substantially below initial projections. Although the rates have now reached historic lows, buyers are still waiting in anticipation of them dropping further.

Why has the proverbial interest rate Santa Claus given buyers such a long-term affordable gift? The answer is multi-faceted. However, the main contributor is less inflation.

Oil prices are always a good marker for inflation. You may have noticed that filling up your gas tank has also become substantially less expensive in recent months. What’s the correlation? According to NAR, the Fed uses inflation indicators such as oil price fluctuations to arrive upon their weekly rates. By that logic, interest rates and gas prices are somewhat

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Every January, our brokerage, Decker Bullock Sotheby’s International Realty, releases a very thorough and comprehensive report detailing the past year’s statistics. The 2014 Marin Market Report is now available and ready to be sent off to interested parties.

Highlights from the 2014 Marin Market:

-       Single Family and Condo average sale price was $1.19 Million county-wide, just a hair under 2007 peak average of 1.2 Million. Average sales price for just Single Family Homes was $1,376,407.

-       Largest sale in 2014 occurred in Kentfield for $12,250,000, trailed closely by Belvedere’s $12,000,000 sale.

-       Average Days On Market was 59 county-wide. The most active markets included with Corte Madera, Fairfax, Larkspur, and Mill Valley, all

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After finishing 2014 with near historic lows at 3.7-3.9%, it’s hard to believe affordability for buyers could get much better.

However, the golden ages for buyers may be coming to an end. According to the website Investopedia, interest rates are expected to rise in the latter half of 2015.

“If they do jump to the 5% range it will be a modest hike when compared to historical averages. Rates will still be far below the approximately 8.5% 30-year fixed-rates mortgages have averaged since 1971 when Freddie Mac started tracking them.”

Projections are as follows:

So what does this mean for today’s buyers? I think it’s obvious what I’m about to say: If it’s been on your plate for the past few years, stop waiting. Buy now! Although we are still in a

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The market has, at least for the time being, turned the corner. According to the most recent “Existing Home Sales Report” published by National Association of Realtor (NAR), home sales have risen drastically in five of the six price ranges that NAR measures.


Furthermore, there are other metrics that suggest the market is ready to move in a positive direction for the next few years. NAR and Freddie Mac are both projecting number of home sales to increase over the next two years. The metric used to measure sales projections was existing and new construction.


The recent flood of positive 2015 projections is both motivating and refreshing for buyers and sellers. For buyers, this means your investment will likely be safe and lucrative. Sellers can

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Someone will always find a good reason not to buy a house. Everybody knows that there’s never a good time to move. However, these historically low rates continue to make a case for buying now instead of waiting. I will continue to blog about this because everyone that’s thought about entering the market as a buyer or seller needs to take notice to this profound economic incentive.

Although this chart portrays a monthly payment for a $200,000 mortgage (not very applicable to Marin County), it paints a nice picture of today’s affordability in comparison with recent decades.


See my point? If you’re a seller, these rates will create buyer demand. If you are a buyer, get off the couch and get preapproved.


Alex Narodny

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