Around the end of summer, interest rates began a slow march higher in anticipation of the Federal Reserve’s forecasted December rate increase. Then on November 8th, news of a Trump Presidency hit and “slowly” turned to “swiftly” in the blink of an election.
The 30-year fixed interest rates have increased almost three quarters of a point in the month since and the S&P has gained 4%. The current wave of enthusiasm recalls the early days of Ronald Reagan after his election in 1980.
Indeed, the determination and persistence of this rally has surprised even the most jaded of traders who have dubbed it the “FOMO rally” (Fear Of Missing Out on future appreciation) and it shows little signs of abating. By numbers alone the US economy is in good shape — a fact confirmed by several of this month’s economic reports.
It appears we have entered an era of higher interest rates, but for good reason. The economy is improving and global demand is heating up, and that is good news for everyone.
Marin Market Snapshot
Every price metric for November is lower than the previous month by a substantial margin. Buyers who can wait for the best pricing find bargains through this season when the weather and holiday hustle diminishes the level of buyer activity, and serious but reasonable offers are well received.
Number of Homes Sold
November was down 6% compared to the same number of sales per month as the previous year. The overall number of sales, 145, declined 26% from October’s 196. Overall, the year-to-date number of sales have declined 13% compared with the same period last year. Off-market sales, which previously were unreported in the MLS, indicated an additional 131 sales for the first 11 months, or roughly 7% of all reported sales. The majority of these were in the price range of $1-1.5 million; however, there was one sale over $5 million and one over $10 million off-market.
Average Price Sold
The average sale price of Marin Single Family Homes decreased 14% in November to $1,311,627, compared to October’s $1,529,891. The $218,264 dip in average sale price is reflective of a softening market and a shift in the luxury market demand in Q4 2016. Compared to the same month last year, average sale price decreased 13%, down $191,504. When comparing the full year-to-date of this year versus last, the numbers actually show a slight increase for the 11-month period. The year-to-date average price of off-market sales is $1.68 million, compared to $1.49 million this year on the MLS.
In Contract by Area
San Anselmo had the highest percentage of homes in contract in November (81%), followed closely by Greenbrae (75%). In contrast, the Beach Cities and Sausalito had the least amount of homes in contract, both at 6%. The next most active markets were Fairfax (67%), Novato (54%), then San Rafael (53%). Ross had the greatest increase of homes in contract in November (40%) compared to zero homes in contract in October.
Home Sales by Area
Novato, San Rafael and Mill Valley continue to see the highest Number of Homes Sold at 40, 28 and 15, respectively. While Novato saw a slight increase in number of homes sold (3) compared to October, both San Rafael and Mill Valley remain significantly below October sales. Belvedere and Ross had zero sales recorded, while Tiburon saw a 50% decrease in home sales, suggesting a shift in demand for the luxury market fueled by affluent buyer hesitation. Average Days On Market ranged from 20 in Tiburon, to 120 in Kentfield.
Sales by Price Point
The majority of homes both available and sold were between $1-2 million. Homes under $1 million and above $5 had the lowest inventory in November. There were a total of 70 homes available priced between $2 and $5 million, and this price range had the most Months of Inventory. There was only one sale on the MLS over $5 million and 27 homes available in that price point and above.