Contrary to popular belief I actually do possess a crystal ball and I consult with it on a regular basis when making real estate guesses, I mean prognostications. Sometimes the ball is a little murky and even misleading, so please don’t shoot the messenger. I'm serious, please don’t shoot me if I’m wrong.
Multiple offers are back!
That’s right, if you are a seller in the Marin market in 2012 and you price your house well you can reasonably expect to see more than one offer, especially in the first quarter of 2012 when inventories are expected to remain low and demand high.
Bottoming out of entry level sectors throughout Marin
In the current real estate climate it’s hard to imagine prices getting much lower. Already for entry level homes it makes more sense to purchase than rent, so buyers should not expect prices to fall further on entry level homes. That would be like looking the gift horse in the mouth. Turn your back on those sales, and the horse may kick you in the rear. Anticipate intense competition for these homes.
Demand for ultra-high priced homes to pick up, slightly
As of Dec. 30, 2011 there have been 154 single-family home sales over $2 million in Marin. In 2010 there were 161. Both years were better than the 127 sales in 2009, which was understandable after the mortgage meltdown of August 2008. To put this into perspective, in 2008 there were 220 sales, and 2007 saw a whopping 283 sales. I’m predicting between 170 and 190 single family home sales over $2 million in Marin.
More that 1800 listings won’t sell in 2012
This year 1,990 listings were cancelled, expired or temporarily taken off the market. There is some overlap, as some homes were listed and didn’t sell more than once. If you think 2011 was bad, 2,299 didn’t sell in 2010, and 2,183 didn’t sell in 2009. In 2008 that number was only 962, and 2007 562. These are a barometer of the health of our market, and 2012 should continue to see improvement.
Persistence of foreclosures and distressed sales
Sorry folks, but distressed properties have not gone away, and I expect them to continue to be an active segment of the market in the coming year. The good news is that these sales will no longer necessarily weigh the market down as they have in the past because prices have already taken such a big hit. It’s common to now see multiple offers on well-priced distressed properties.
This year, we’ve seen 759 distressed sales in Marin, which includes short sales, bank owned properties, VA repos, notices of default and properties in foreclosure. In 2010 that number was 606 and 2009 it was 616. 2008 we had just 411. In 2007, when this cycle began we had 31. With 401 distressed properties currently on BARIES MLS we could easily see 700 or even 800 distressed sales in 2012.