In an article dated May 14, 2014, San Diego-based Data Quick, a real estate news service, noted that the 19.8% March-April increase in Bay Area home sales this year significantly exceeded the historical 4.8% average. In spite of this, the 7,555 units sold still fell below the average of 8,978 April sales going back to 1988. According to the article, Bay Area April home sales have ranged from the low of 5,636 in 1995 to the peak of 14,430 in 2004, but have not reached the historical average of 8,978 in any month for more than 8 years.
The article goes on to note that distressed home sales (short sales and foreclosures) continue to fall, and accounted for about 7.4% of the April market in the Bay Area--- down from 8.9% in March and 20.1% a year ago. It notes that investors accounted for about 22.9% of sales in April, down from 25.1% in March and 28.3% a year ago.
A chart featured in the article shows Marin County home prices rose about 4.5% from April 2013 to April 2014--- significantly less than the 19.6% Bay Area increase. The article attributed approximately 3/4 of the year-to-year price rise to an increase in home values, with the rest being due to changes in market mix of homes for sale-- that is, more high-priced homes sold this year than last.
Here in Marin, we checked the local statistics and found that of the 13 cities and towns we follow, 4 were Very Strong Sellers' Markets, with over 56% of homes listed on the MLS in contract as of May 19----Hot, Hot, Hot! Greenbrae led the pack at 73.33%. Sausalito was close behind, at 65.9%, with both San Anselmo and Novato having approximately 57% of listed homes in contract. San Rafael, at 53.23% is a Strong Sellers market! Fairfax (44%), Mill Valley (43%) and Ross (38.8%) are all Sellers Markets. Potential sellers in these markets--- perhaps it is time to take the big leap and place your home on the market while the tide is rising!
Buyers, don't give up. Corte Madera (33.33%) and Larkspur (32%) are Balanced Markets, and for those bargain hunters with a taste for luxury, Belvedere (25.9%), Kentfield (28.57%) and Tiburon (29.33%) are all Buyers' Markets! Act fast- probably won't last.
More next time. Until then, Happy Home Hunting. Call me with your questions--I'm always glad to hear from readers!
Best wishes to all,