Friday, August 23, 2013

Bay Area Prices and Other Interesting Bits

If you're still interested in buying, but nervous about how much they've increased so far this year, take heart. Yes, they are generally higher than this time a year ago. But, home prices continue to rise beyond the reach of most Californians, according to a new report, with only 36 percent of residents able to afford a median-priced property in the second quarter of 2013 — down from 44 percent in the first quarter.
A closer look at the data, however, shows that homes today are still a bargain when compared with six years ago, when only 11 percent of California residents could afford to buy a house.
The latest affordability report from the California Association of Realtors reflects the robust rebound in housing markets across the state. The median home price was $415,770 in the second quarter, up from $350,000 in the first quarter, which pushed the minimum qualifying income to $79,910, from $66,800.
Monthly home payments, including taxes and insurance, were $2,000 in the second quarter, up from $1,670.
But take a look at the corresponding numbers in the second quarter of 2007: The median price of California homes set a record high of $592,420 that quarter, and residents needed a minimum qualifying income of $146,701 to afford such a home. Monthly payments were $3,668.
Affordability rates have been falling since the first quarter of 2012, when a record-high 56 percent of Californians could afford a median-priced home. The economy at that time was still struggling to recover from the recent recession, and the housing market was just beginning to show signs of improvement.
In the Bay Area, trends are also up, and in many cases less affordable than more rural areas of the state. In Marin, the affordability rate is 20%, low but still better than six years ago. What does this mean?
Well, intensify your search, or, if you've yet to begin, jump right in! Remember, even though prices are up and rates have begun to climb, it still is relatively inexpensive to have a mortgage with rates for 30 year fixed loans averaging in the low to mid fours. Also, although we're still suffering from less than normal levels of inventory, there is a higher number of homes on the market in most price ranges than this past spring. So you do have a better chance. Better move before someone else claims that dream home of yours! Call us for advice and you can soon host your own housewarming bash! Peter: (415) 279-6466; Jane: (415) 531-4091.
Now, for the "Other Bits":
Regardless what your interest in private time activities is, there's likely to be something here in Marin for you to take advantage of. Check out the following list for a start, and have a great day!

Camino Alto Hike: A great Mill Valley hike for anyone who wants a level grade with fantastic views. Dogs can run around off-leash, and there are no ticks at this elevation.
Address: Overhill Road and Escalon Drive, Mill Valley, Calif. 94941

Marin Youth Performers at 142 Throckmorton Theatre: The youth performances are a rare treasure for participating elementary through high-school students – and also for the audiences who attend.
Address: 142 Throckmorton Ave., Mill Valley, Calif. 94941

Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival: Enjoy great food and shop for unusual jewelry and clothing at the annual, kid-friendly, September event — all while raising money for the local schools.
Address: 294 Miller Ave., Mill Valley, Calif. 94941

Old Railroad Grade Trail Park: Start at the Mountain Home Inn and take in the beautiful vistas while hiking the trail before turning around (or grabbing a bite) at the West Point Inn.
Address: 810 Panoramic Highway, Mill Valley, Calif. 94941

Sea Trek Ocean Kayaking and Stand-Up Paddle Center: Rent a kayak or a paddleboard and get some exercise on the Bay (the stunning views are a bonus). Then paddle over to Bar Bocce for lunch.
Address: 85 Liberty Ship Way, Sausalito, Calif. 94965

Sunday Marin Farmers Market: Admire Frank Lloyd Wright’s Marin County Civic Center as you shop for locally grown produce, cheese, bread, and more at the third-largest farmers’ market in California.
Address: Marin County Civic Center, 10 Ave. of the Flags, San Rafael, Calif. 94903

Sweetwater Music Hall: It’s a small venue, so you get a real treat seeing top-tier bands up close. Don’t skip the restaurant – the food by Chef Gordon Drysdale is unbeatable.
Address: 19 Corte Madera Ave., Mill Valley, Calif. 94941

Tiburon Ferry: Enjoy the fresh air and views on a family-friendly ferry ride or a romantic sunset cruise from downtown Tiburon to Angel Island or the San Francisco Ferry Building.
Address: 21 Main St., Tiburon, Calif. 94920


Post a Comment

<< Home