Sausalito CA Real Estate Update Dec. 2011

December 15, 2011

Filed under: Sausalito — dwdupont @ 7:41 am

Chart Guide: The below charts include a great deal of data. Besides the two charts immediately below titled “Marin Real Estate Pullbacks” & “Southern Marin Price Index”, all charts show annual data, business cycle average and trailing 12 month stats. The business cycle average can be considered a  “Intrinsic Value” estimate. The years where the county or town was trading above the business cycle average relates to market conditions dominated by optimism/exuberance and the years where it trades under this business cycle average is more dominated by fear/pessimism/uncertainty & restraint. The trailing 12 month data column will eventually meet with 2011 data column and is a barometer of which direction the market is heading. If the trailing 12 month number is higher than the 2011 number, it means market conditions were generally better at the end of 2010 then they are today.

Marin Real Estate Pullbacks– shows the severity of the recent real estate downturn, for perspective. There have only been two years since county-wide average data started being compiled where Marin County-wide Real Estate prices declined year on year– after the S&L crisis in 91-92 where Marin County prices decreased a little over 1% each year. Against this back drop of generally stable upward-sloping prices the Great Recession obliterated this trend with large price drops:

Mile High: Southern Marin County Price Index is a town-weighted-average by unit sales. Tiburon & Belvedere RESI prices (condo & SFR) are having very difficult years (both off -20%) as the high end of the market is still very slow and is dragging this SOMA index to the lowest point in the trailing business cycle (about 7 years). Sausalito SFR home prices are down about 3-5% depending on what statistic you consider.

Sausalito Real Estate has led a different course thru the recession than most other Marin Towns– it had a very rapid price fall in starting in 2008 bottoming in 2009 followed by a solid rebound in 2010. Tiburon & Belvedere had softer entries into the recession followed by more severe price drops in 2010 and 2011.

Sausalito commands a different buyer demographic than other towns in Marin. Sausalito buyers typically are looking in North San Francisco as well as Sausalito and it is more of a San Francisco alternative rather than a conscious Marin lifestyle choice. Only, 10% of the residents of Sausalito have children and so generally buyers  are looking to get more house for their money still within a very close radius to the metropolitan pursuits of the city; they aren’t as concerned about schools, flat yards etc; and are looking for a different type of community than what other towns of Marin have to offer.

The median Sausalito Sale price shows a -28% fall from the peak to the trough in 2009, followed by a rebound in 2010 and in 2011 we are flat or slightly off the pace of 2010; and now down -22% off peak market prices.

The below 3 charts show Sausalito CA Property price trends and they all tell a different story: Median Prices, the TDG Index, and average prices.

Sausalito CA Median sale price is actually up for the year about 7%. The TDG index is down -2% and average prices are off  -9%. What this means is that more and more homes are selling around the median and the high end is slow– just like everywhere else in Marin County.

Interestingly– lot values have actually increased in 2011. The second chart below shows that the amount people are paying for the actual structure of the house has decreased about 4%. Please compare these charts together thru the years of the recession.

The most misunderstood market statistic is the below chart selling: $/sqft. Buyers should never try to compare homes by this barometer especially in locations where architecture and lot/locations vary greatly as they do in Marin County. The greatest repository of home value is lot/location which is not explained well by selling $/sqft of the house. It is an interesting statistic for market-wide analysis- and by this metric Sausalito CA Real Estate is down -7% in 2011.

Earning Your Business

The purpose of this Southern Marin Real Estate Blog is to offer greater insight into our local real estate markets than you can find anywhere else– to help you make better decisions for yourselves and your family. The research found in these pages is my competitive advantage in this market. I have yet to find a rational buyer who doesn’t respond to this data; remember most buyers emotionally want to buy a house– they just don’t understand the value proposition. You deserve a agent to represent you on either side of the transaction that has done  their homework.  If you are thinking about listing or buying a home all I ask is that you include me in your interviewing process.

Thank you & Happy Holidays!

Dave DuPont MBA, CFP

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