Home Sales Prices Rebounding in the Bay Area - how is Marin County doing?
The SF Chronicle made breakfast more enjoyable than usual for thousands of homeowners around the bay today. Mumbling over coffee and scrambled eggs: Are there really droves of all cash buyers out there? Should we list our house now? For buyers the article spurred other questions; Is this THE time to buy? Have we missed rock bottom prices? Will rates spike now??
Let's take a closer look at Marin County. It is still too early to say that prices have increased significantly here. The median price has just crept up 2.3% as of August last year. But the number of homes sold has gone up with almost 30% during the same period. As a realtor, I "feel it "on a daily basis. There are more buyers out there, more offers written and more multiple offer situations. But the prices are not driven up much. Why is this? Compared to other counties, Marin is still relatively expensive, and homes are usually priced at market value. Multiple offer situations in Marin are very common, but usually means 3-5 offers. Not 20 or 30 offers as is common in San Francisco.
Inventory remains tight but it doesn't necessarily fuel prices as in other counties. There are no immediate signs that inventory will be increasing. Also, in nearby counties where the percentage of homeowners underwater is much higher than in Marin, it may lead to an increase in inventory as they are starting to regain equity and see an opportunity to sell and move on.
What about rates? Mortgage interests still hovering near all-time lows of 3.55 percent on 30 year fixed loans, are likely to remain super affordable. Especially after the Fed's historic announcement last Thursday. The Fed basically agreed to pump 40 Billion Dollars a month into the economy until they saw signs of a recovery.
Personally, I'm more optimistic about the market than I've been in many years. It is an encouraging trend we are seeing. Every month seems to break a new record in terms of number of sold homes and price increases. August's sales volume was the best in six years for the Bay Area. Let's hope for a safe and steady climb up.
Helen Luttemo, Realtor - Successfully serving buyers and sellers throughout Marin since 2004.