Friday, December 27, 2013

Sausalito Tops List As Fastest Moving Market

One of the things everyone wants to know about sales of houses is how hot is the market, especially in terms of how quickly homes sell once they go on market. Most of the Bay Area is presently in a fast rising market at present, and this goes even more so for many parts of Marin. However, of all of the places in Marin, one is in the top ten fastest markets. That town is Sausalito, which is Number ONE in terms of the speed with which homes sell.

Across Pacific Union’s eight Bay Area regions, single-family homes stayed on the market for an average of 48.5 days in November. And while buyers in some cities and towns can afford to bide their time searching for the perfect property and price tag, those in some of our region’s most in-demand pockets will need to act fast to land a home.
To determine which of our Bay Area markets are zipping along at the quickest pace, we turned to the MLS. As of Dec. 11, here’s the lowdown on days on market (DOM) in November across our regions:
1. Sausalito – 12 Days – The Marin County city of Sausalito tops our list, with an average DOM of 12 in November. Sausalito is the only Marin city where houses stayed on the market less than a month, and homes in the city flew off the shelves 79 percent faster than in the county as a whole.
2. Palo Alto – 16 Days – Buyers in Palo Alto snapped up homes in an average of 16 days, more than twice as fast as in our Silicon Valley region overall. Homes in Palo Alto haven’t sat on the market for more than 20 days since January, and at their September lows were gone in an average of 10 days.
3. Moraga 20 Days – After an October lull, when Moraga homes stuck around for more than a month, the average DOM was down to 20 in November. Moraga was a popular choice for Contra Costa County buyers in the spring and summer, when the DOM ranged from 16 to 19.
4. San Francisco District 1 20 Days San Francisco is one of our fastest-moving markets overall, with the DOM averaging 33 in November. In District 1, which includes the Richmond and Sea Cliff neighborhoods, houses were gone in an average of 20 days, the fastest in two years.
5. Los Altos – 22 Days – With an average DOM of 22, Los Altos is tied for the second-speediest market in our Silicon Valley region. And while serious buyers in the city shouldn’t delay, they have about a week longer than in October, when homes disappeared in an average of 14 days.
6. Menlo Park 22 Days – As in Los Altos, Menlo Park homes for sale were gone in a little more than three weeks. In the third quarter, homes were on the market for between 24 and 45 days, but in October, that number dropped substantially to 17.
7. Piedmont - 22 Days – Homes in Pacific Union’s East Bay region have been hot commodities all year, and Piedmont ZIP codes remain among the most desirable. Piedmont homes for sale left the market in 22 days in November and have never lasted longer than a month so far this year.
8. San Francisco District 6 – 22 Days – The DOM number in San Francisco’s District 6, which includes Lower Pacific Heights and Hayes Valley, has varied widely throughout 2013, ranging from 81 in June to 10 in September. November’s 22 days is the fourth-fastest time frame during which homes in the district sold this year.
9. San Ramon – 23 Days – Buyers haven’t been hesitating to make a move in San Ramon for most of 2013 – homes have never lasted here for more than an average of four weeks. At 23 days, homes in the city sold on an average of 34 percent faster in November than in Contra Costa County overall.
10. American Canyon – 25 Days – Buyers in our Napa County region, where homes stayed on the market for an average of 78 days last month, could afford to take more time deciding than anywhere else in Pacific Union’s Bay Area region. In what could be just an anomaly or the start of a trend, American Canyon homes, which previously had a 2013 DOM low of 40, left the market in just 25 days.

Want to take advantage of the market? Give us a call to help you get your property ready for sale so you too can benefit from this selling speed. Also, if you're a buyer and are having problems competing in this intense market, we can help you "get there first". Peter: (415) 279-6466; Jane: (I415) 531-4091.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Pacific Union Goes to China

As part of its growth and continuing superior position as the prime residential real estate brokerage in California, Pacific Union has been recently making inroads into China. Recently, our CEO was present at a number of top level meetings there.

Pacific Union is both proud and humbled to share the news that our CEO Mark A. McLaughlin was one of just 10 American corporate leaders chosen to attend an exclusive meeting at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing earlier this week. 
The trip provided McLaughlin with the chance to further share Pacific Union's vision of elite performance with some of the wealthiest real estate investors in China.
Pacific Union was the only U.S.-based residential real estate firm invited to the prestigious event, and McLaughlin's attendance underscores our commitment to exceeding client expectations in the key Chinese market - just as we do here in the Bay Area.
"I am humbled by the stature and heritage of Pacific Union's great brand [and] its acceptance and performance here in China," said McLaughlin. "This [trip] represented amazing exposure for Pacific Union as the only U.S-based residential real estate firm at these events."  McLaughlin was one of 30 leaders handpicked to attend a morning meeting at U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke's residence on Dec. 16. During the morning event, multiple Bay Area real estate development opportunities were presented to the group, which included several of the country's wealthiest individuals.
After the meeting, McLaughlin attended an exclusive luncheon at the ambassador's residence, where he was selected to sit at the head table with Ambassador Locke, Tishman Speyer President and co-CEO Rob Speyer, and three of the largest real estate developers in China.
An afternoon meeting at the U.S. Embassy's Bush Auditorium followed, during which 90 more of China's wealthiest individuals joined the group. Discussions at that meeting centered on real estate development opportunities in the U.S. and fostering successful business partnerships between the two countries.

McLaughlin capped off his busy Monday by attending a small private dinner with nine other guests, including the founder and CEO of heavily trafficked Chinese real estate Web portal
Calling his trip "exhilarating" and "the experience of a lifetime," McLaughlin said his attendance at the events helped build on Pacific Union's growing momentum and recognition in China.
Pacific Union runs a China Concierge Program to help Chinese buyers identify real estate opportunities in the U.S. McLaughlin plans to continue to expand the initiative by hiring a full-time staffer in San Francisco dedicated to assisting buyers in mainland China to invest in Bay Area real estate or relocate to the area. The company also will launch a Mandarin-language microsite explaining its services.

This is just the latest example of how Pacific Union is leading the residential real estate industry in a wide of ways. It is this type of leadership that only benefits the firm's clients. So, if you're thinking of buying or selling a home, you would clearly benefit from this type of forward thinking and initiative. Give us a call and see what we and Pacific Union can do for you! Peter: (415) 279-6466 or Jane: (415) 531-4091; or email us at: . We look forward to being able to assist you.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Rates Down Slightly

Although mortgage rates have risen the past year from their 2012 all time lows, this past week, they did recede a little bit. However, even with that small drop, they now sit about one full percentage point above their lows of last year. What does this all mean? Well, it means, obviously, that it now costs more to borrow than at this time last year. More importantly, the trend is that rates overall will continue to rise through year end and into 2014. So, if you're thinking of buying a new home, better to get it done sooner than later, if for no other reason than saving yourself some money.

If, as part of your plans, you also need to sell your existing home, it is also a good idea to have it ready to go as soon as we're past the holidays. That's because buyers will be out in full force as soon as the holidays are done, looking for their next home. They're doing so this soon because of the rising cost of borrowing, and also because at the start of the year there's less inventory than later in the spring, and they want first shot at it. Time to get ready for this surge!

Either way, we can help you. Call: Peter: (415) 279-6466; or Jane: (415) 531-4091. We'd be happy to help you get the best options for your particular needs!

Friday, December 06, 2013

Two Items--Both Important!

This week we have two items of news for all of you. One is important if you're living in or near Petaluma, while the other covers the Bay Area in general.

Let's start with the Petaluma one first. Pacific Union has opened its latest office in Petaluma, starting with 19 of the area's most highly regarded Realtors. Located at 755 Baywood Drive, it will handle all of the real estate needs of people in the immediate area in and around Petaluma. Jim Michaelson is the Manager. Joining him are:  Deb Cheda, Steven Cozza, Jan Frost, Gael Grove, Nieves Hargrove, Heidi Hemstalk, Robin Hubbard, Kerry Jones, Ellen Lesher, Alan Maciel, Rose Marshall, Shari Nadale-DeSantis, Tony Parrish, Sean Payne, Molly Row, Kathryn Santos, and Ted Weber.

This fits right with PU's growth in the county.
Over the past three years, Pacific Union has made significant strides in capturing a bigger piece of Sonoma County’s market share.
Between 2010 and the end of the second quarter of 2013, Pacific Union increased its market share in Sonoma County by 181 percent. Pacific Union now ranks third in Sonoma County market share year to date, and we look forward to gaining even more ground in the region through 2014 and beyond.

Now, for the second important item.
Pacific Union has written several stories recently about the surprising strength of the Bay Area’s real estate markets in the normally slow autumn months. Our optimism is confirmed by the latest sales figures from the California Association of Realtors, which show that Bay Area home sales rose 13 percent from September to October  – in marked contrast with the statewide average, which fell 3 percent for single-family homes.
Homs in San Francisco's Bernal HeightsSan Francisco and San Mateo counties posted the highest sales gains, both up 30 percent in a month’s time.
Alameda and Solano counties also saw robust sales, both up 24 percent, followed by Marin County (up 14 percent), Sonoma County (up 9 percent), and Santa Clara County (up 2 percent). Sales were down 4 percent in Contra Costa County and 2 percent in Napa County.
Comparing October sales data with year-ago figures also shows the Bay Area’s resiliency: While statewide October sales dropped 11 percent from 2012 to 2013, they held steady (up 0.1 percent) in the Bay Area.
Meanwhile, the rapid rise of home prices eased a bit in the nine-county Bay Area, with the median price slipping 1 percent from the previous month but rising 15 percent from a year earlier. Statewide, the median price fell 0.3  percent from September to October but rose 25 percent over a year’s time.
Marin County was home to the highest median sales price in the state in October, at $959,740, followed by San Mateo County ($910,000), and San Francisco ($844,510).
Median sales prices elsewhere in the Bay Area: Santa Clara County ($770,000), Contra Costa County ($740,200), Alameda County ($618,930), Napa County ($497,730), Sonoma County ($469,900), and Solano County ($294,920).
Statewide, the median sales price in October for a single-family home was $427,290.
The CAR figures dovetail with Pacific Union’s own October Real Estate Update, released two weeks ago, which tracks a variety of statistics from more-narrowly focused regions. Our report also noted more-moderate increases in home prices and tightening inventory.
An earlier story, examining data from the CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indexes, noted that three Bay Area regions finished among the top 10 in the United States in terms of yearly price increases.
No matter what your Real Estate needs, we can handle them to your complete satisfaction! Give us a call: Peter: (415) 279-6466; Jane: (415) 531-4091; or email us at . We look forward to being able to help you.