Marin Real Estate (July 2010)

July 26, 2010 by  

We have multiple economic drivers and underlying fundamentals that impact our local real estate
markets. Housing prices, interest rates, job growth and inflation/deflation are significant variables in
the Bay Area housing market. While we could not predict either the economic shift that began in
August 2007 or the duration of the economic volatility caused by the shift, we do have a few very
positive fundamentals present today.
Interest rates for conforming mortgages ($729,750) and jumbo mortgages are currently at historic
lows since Freddie Mac started recording in 1971 – see rates in the mortgage rate table on page
two. Housing prices remain 20% – 40% off the 2006 / 2007 peak. Inflation is constrained mainly via
Federal Reserve policy and finally, the San Francisco Bay Area job market, while at a 20-year high
for unemployment has stabilized (10.5%) and may be illustrating signs of stability / modest growth.
Whether cyclical, seasonal or “bouncing across the bottom”, our real estate markets remain
volatile and somewhat unpredictable but they are showing early signs of demand returning to the
market versus the 2006 / 2007 peaks. Many of our indicators have turned positive (“green”) for the
first time in nearly two years. The most encouraging indicator is volume (units and $) returning to the
market. Although we are comparing statistically to Q2 2009 which was arguably the second worst
quarter we may have seen in recent history; the increasing volume is a reflection of client
confidence and a precursor to long term stability and ultimately appreciation. The charts on the
inside pages provide more specifics on the local markets.
I see opportunity in our real estate markets every day. My efforts are always focused on
balancing your priorities for a home, your investment and budget tolerances versus the
dynamics in each local market we serve. I strive to match these investment criteria with my
experience, market knowledge and timing to provide the best advice to you and your family.
Please call on me to review your thoughts on our real estate markets.

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