Marin from the Air

And this is why we LOVE Marin!! <3

Marin from the air

Marin from the air – Matador Network

WELCOME TO MARIN COUNTY, California, where epic beaches meet rolling hills. Marin has done an outstanding job protecting its natural beauty — the beaches are clean, the air is pure, and open spaces prevail. In other words, it’s an active person’s heaven. Watch the video, and find out why it’s different in Marin and that’s no accident.

Source: http://matadornetwork.com/tv/marin-air/

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Q2 – The Marin County Market at a Glance

Marin County Market Overview

ANALYSIS

From Selma Hepp, Economist Pacific Union International – 07/15/2016

Marin County home shoppers took a more cautious, measured approach in the second quarter, lacking the sense of urgency that characterized quarters past. Buyers were less like to engage in bidding wars, and many refused to settle for properties that fell short of their ideal. Some sellers found that their homes were taking too long to sell and were considering renting them and trying for a sale next year.

That said, top-notch, well-priced properties continued to generate plenty of interest and multiple offers. Homes priced between $1 million and $3 million saw the highest sales volume. As in other parts of the Bay Area, Marin County’s ongoing inventory constraints are hampering affordability for many potential buyers, who are waiting for prices to settle before they can make a move.

Although Marin’s housing market benefits from San Francisco’s strong employment market, the area still posted 4,000 new jobs since last May, translating to 3.6 percent growth. The majority of new jobs added were in the higher-wage professional and business services sectors and also in the education, health, and retail trades.

MARKET PULSE VIDEO

Source: http://brentthomson.pacificunion.com/market-quarter-insights/2016-q2-marin-county-single-family-homes?utm_campaign=website&utm_source=sendgrid.com&utm_medium=email
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Brexit Effect On US Real Estate: Why Millennials May Be Priced Out Of Some Markets

Pricey New York real estate might get even more costly whether or not Britons vote to shuck their membership in the European Union, and millennials might see either more competition from foreign investors pricing them out of the market, or will benefit from falling interest rates — cheaper mortgages — engendered by a faltering global economy.

With the Brexit vote looming Thursday, high-net-worth real estate investors — both individual and institutional — are eyeing New York and other gateway U.S. cities as safe havens, spooked by uncertainty that has crept into the London market in the last year, not only as a result of the contentious Brexit campaign but also because of recent policy changes involving visa approvals and real estate taxes.

New York real estate attorney Edward Mermelstein said big-money foreign investors have been shifting to the U.S. market for the past year, and the turmoil generated by the Brexit campaignhas escalated the trend.

“There is a fairly strong consensus the British economy is going to be negatively affected by Brexit,” Mermelstein said. “Paired with what has been happening recently in the investment atmosphere, it’s only going to put additional pressure on Britain as a place to invest.”

Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors, estimated that foreigners invested $80 billion in U.S. real estate last year. Overall, U.S. real estate is worth approximately $22 trillion, about 2 or 3 percent of it controlled by foreign investors.

Last year, 16 percent of that investment came from China, followed by Canada at 14 percent and Mexico at 9 percent. Eight percent of investment came from India, followed by Britain at 4 percent, France and Germany at 3 percent, and Venezuela at 2 percent.

Countries of Origin - NARForeigners invested $102 billion in U.S. real estate from April 2014 to March 2015, buying homes that averaged $500,000 each.PHOTO: NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS

From April 2014 through March 2015, the Realtors estimate, foreign buyers bought 209,000 houses, valued at $104 billion and representing 8 percent of the sales volume, with Florida, California, Texas and Arizona accounting for half the purchases. The average price of those houses was $500,000, compared to the average U.S. home price of $256,000.

New York real estate attorney Edward Mermelstein said big-money foreign investors have been shifting to the U.S. market for the last year, and the turmoil generated by the Brexit campaign has escalated the trend.

“There is a fairly strong consensus the British economy is going to be negatively affected by Brexit,” Mermelstein said. “Paired with what has been happening recently in the investment atmosphere, it’s only going to put additional pressure on Britain as a place to invest.”

Should Britons vote to go it alone, the British economy is expected to slow, pressuring the pound sterling and bonds.

“The implication of Brexit taking place is that it is looking good for the U.S. market,” Mermelstein said.

Yun said the prospect of Britain turning toward isolationism has raised “questions of confidence,” encouraging investors to seek opportunities elsewhere. “The U.S. will be considered competition or a safe haven,” Yun said, adding that a Brexit implies a reduction in international trade and a negative impact on economic expansion for both Britain and the EU, which will trickle down to other countries.

“That could lead to interest rates falling. The mortgage rate here in the U.S. could begin to decline because of lower GDP [gross domestic product] expansion. That always benefits the housing market,” Yun said.

Yun said in addition to New York, cities like Washington, Miami, Los Angeles and San Francisco are most likely to benefit, also possibly the Tampa Bay area in Florida, Chicago and Dallas. Smaller metro areas are unlikely to see much impact unless foreign investors see the bigger markets as overbought, Yun said.

Mermelstein said major European cities, including Paris and Rome, also are likely to benefit and attributes the shift out of London to the British trying to revive the concept of home ownership. British officials are trying to open the market to local purchasers by restricting visa applications and altering real estate tax laws to enable Britons to purchase homes at younger ages.

“Britons value ownership of personal property differently. In many cases they don’t get married until they are able to afford a home,” Mermelstein said. “This has caused the birth rate in Britain in plummet. Families are starting much later. Home ownership has become out of reach for many people.”

Yun said an influx of foreign capital to the U.S. real estate market could make it more difficult for young adults in the targeted cities to purchase property as well.

“First-time buyers are struggling to get into the market as it is. If more foreigners, typically cash purchasers, get into the market, they will face stiff competition to get their properties,” Yun said. “Typically younger purchasers need a mortgage. If they have to compete with foreign buyers with all cash, that hinders first-time buyers from getting their home.”

Mermelstein said, however, the influx of foreign capital probably would have little impact on first-time buyers, likely because they would be looking at the lower end of the market. He sees most investment coming from individuals willing to buy $15 million properties.

“Ten to 15 people will shift the needle significantly,” he said. “An investor I was advising was making London home base. He shifted his business and home to the U.S. His home purchase alone was $40 million. That’s not including the business interests. Individuals are making those kinds of commitments to the U.S. as opposed to Britain. You don’t need too many of them to move the needle.”

Another side benefit to a Brexit would be the creation of an atmosphere of stability in U.S. credit markets, Mermelstein said.

“The commercial real estate market also will continue to attract foreign investment — in secondary markets, not just New York, San Francisco and Chicago,” he said.

Source: http://www.ibtimes.com/brexit-effect-us-real-estate-why-millennials-may-be-priced-out-some-markets-2383618

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Bay Area Suburbs Again Top San Francisco as Hottest U.S. Housing Market

fairfield

While San Francisco may steal the majority of the national headlines when it comes to Bay Area real estate, cities in relatively affordable Solano County are commanding the most attention from prospective homebuyers as June draws to a close.

That’s according to Realtor.com’s monthly look at the 20 hottest real estate markets in the U.S., as measured by a combination of most listing views on its website and the quickest pace of home sales. Homes in these markets typically sell 20 to 38 days faster than the national average, which is 65 days for June.

For the second consecutive month, the Vallejo-Fairfield metro area is June’s top-performing housing market, coming in ahead of San Francisco, which owned the No. 1 spot for much of the past year. The City by the Bay ranked in the No. 2 position, also unchanged from the previous month. Part of Solano County’s appeal is likely its relative affordability when compared with other Bay Area locales. According to the California Association of Realtors, the median sales price for a single-family home in Solano County was $382,000 in May, less than one-third the cost in San Francisco, Marin, San Mateo, and Santa Clara counties.

California continues to dominate the ranks of Realtor.com’s hot markets, placing 11 cities on the list in June. Other state metro areas to make the latest list: Stockton (No. 4), San Diego (No. 5), Santa Rosa (No. 6), Sacramento (No. 8), Modesto (No. 9), San Jose (No. 13), Santa Cruz (No. 15), Eureka (No. 16), and Los Angeles (No. 20). The latter, usually a mainstay on the list, returned to the top 20 after dropping off in May.

In a statement accompanying the report, Realtor.com Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke said that seasonality definitely affects the Golden State’s housing markets. “California markets tend to be fairly consistent — we don’t see huge changes,” he said.

Inventory constraints remain an issue across the country, pushing up prices and making for the fastest-paced June in a decade. Although Realtor.com estimates that 525,000 new listings will hit the market by the end of this month, that still won’t be enough to satisfy pent-up demand. Listing inventory is down by 5 percent from June 2015, while the median list price is up 8 percent year over year to $252,000.

 

 

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Top 3 Tuesday: Best Mountain Bike Trails in Marin

Grab your bike and get moving on some of the best mountain biking trails in Marin!

1. Willow Camp Trail, Stinson Beach

willow camp

2. Five Brooks Trail, Point Reyes

5 brooks

3. Ridge Trail, Bolinas

5 brooks

Photos:

http://www.mtbhol.com/California2005/Day_4.html

Point Reyes – Five Brooks Trail Head – Stewart, Coast, Old Out Road, Almea, Greenpicker, Stewart Loop

http://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/bolinas-ridge-trail-olema?select=JYzRUOvAfWalIgLyKmvemg

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Brexit: Something is Rotten in Denmark

brexit

Great Insight from Pacific Union’s Chief Economist, Selma Happ

Executive Summary:

  • The United Kingdom’s unexpected vote to leave the European Union, otherwise known as “Brexit,” was not accounted for in global financial markets prior to the vote. Thus, stock market volatility is sorting out the anticipated effects going forward.
  • While the financial market volatility will persist, the direct impact on the U.S. is minimal.
  • U.S. economic fundamentals remain strong, as they are based on domestic activity. Indirect impacts may actually bode well for U.S. housing markets, as investors seek safe, stable investments.
  • However, more volatility may be in store in the weeks to come.

To say that global financial markets were not pricing in Brexit prior to the vote is an understatement. Financial markets have gone haywire overnight, with many recalling the sell-off following the Lehman Brothers collapse in 2008. While volatility will stay with us for some time, the current situation is nothing like the 2008 financial crisis. And though no market was spared again, Europe’s fragile markets suffered from a severe lashing and will likely to continue on the rollercoaster ride.

Nevertheless, the Brexit vote still does not mean that the U.K. will leave soon; the referendum is not legally binding, and only Parliament can pass the legislation to leave the EU. Even if this happens, it would take at least two years for the EU and the U.K. to renegotiate their bilateral agreements. However, since no one yet really understands the full implications of Brexit, a period of volatility and much uncertainty is likely to persist.

Who Wins and Who Loses?

Unfortunately, it is easier to surmise Brexit’s direct effects than its indirect effects. In principle, the exit decision should have little direct impact on the U.S. or global economies. The U.K. economy accounts for only 4 percent of global gross domestic product. Also, U.S. exports to the U.K. comprise only 0.4 percent of our GDP, while the U.S. receives just 3 percent of its imports from the U.K. Additionally, our country’s bank exposure to U.K assets represents only 3 percent — thus a potential U.K. recession would have a limited impact on U.S. financial systems.

Among all parties impacted, the outlook for the U.K. is the haziest, followed by the uncertainty that will shadow over the EU. And while the direct impact on the remaining 27 EU countries is somewhat limited, the indirect effects cannot be fully foreseen at this point. The volatility and debate over what the next steps should be will not bode well for confidence or economic growth, and it may lead to further loosening of monetary policy.

Indirect Effects on the U.S. Could Help Our Housing Markets

Brexit’s indirect effects on the U.S., however, may not be so gloomy. First, the Federal Reserve’s decision to raise interest rates will most likely be further delayed due to this development. Also, with global financial uncertainty seemingly everlasting, U.S. Treasuries are continuing to look very attractive and will probably woo many investors. Both factors are going to keep interest rates low — particularly mortgage interest rates.

Also, U.S. economic fundamentals are essentially unchanged, and the country should continue to post solid job and wage growth. U.S. housing markets may further benefit from global uncertainty, as they are still perceived as safe, relatively stable, and to some extent underpriced, especially when compared to London’s exorbitant real estate market.

Selma Hepp is Pacific Union’s Chief Economist and Vice President of Business Intelligence. Her previous positions include Chief Economist at Trulia, senior economist for the California Association of Realtors, and economist and manager of public policy and homeownership at the National Association of Realtors. She holds a Master of Arts in Economics from the State University of New York (SUNY), Buffalo, and a Ph.D. in Urban and Regional Planning and Design from the University of Maryland.

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Top 3 Tuesday: Best Dive Bars in Marin

Summer is here! Stay cool and enjoy a drink at one of these local watering holes.

1. Smitty’s Bar, Sausalito

smittys

2. Silver Peso, Larkspur

silver peso

3. 2am Club, Mill Valley

2am

 

Photos

http://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/smittys-bar-sausalito

http://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/silver-peso-bar-larkspur

http://foodio54.com/restaurant/Mill-Valley-CA/fdc06/The-2AM-Club

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Economic Straight Talk: A Tale of Two Economies: The U.S. and California

Real Estate Economic Analysis from leading expert  and Pacific Union Economist Selma Happ

house on money

This year has certainly not been without its challenges. Since January, news has kept pundits and the general public going back and forth on the state of the economy. This week’s news is no exception in that regard.

Wednesday’s Federal Reserve announcement to hold interest rates steady was highly anticipated. After all, the latest U.S. jobs report came as a shock to even the most pessimistic of observers. However, the perspective looming in the most recent statement was somewhat new and sheds light on how the U.S. government sees the future path of the economy — and what it expects to do through the rest of the year.

Reading between the lines suggests that the Fed won’t do anything. While many Federal Open Market Committee members anticipate at least one interest-rate hike by the end of year, the uncertainties raised in Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet Yellen’s speech won’t be resolved any time soon, including a lack of inflation, a lack of productivity, slowing job growth, international economic developments, and the upcoming vote on Britain potentially exiting the European Union (otherwise known as Brexit). And to top it off, there is the U.S. presidential election in November.

Nevertheless, it is important to point out that some of these uncertainties have become notoriously complex to measure, which is making the Fed’s job increasingly difficult. Many of the economic measures used today, such as inflation and productivity, rely on assumptions that were developed well before the technology era — when consumer baskets were weighted differently. Even a recent article in The Economist calls into question the usability of gross domestic product as a measure of economic prosperity.

Aside from inflation and productivity, consumers currently feel pretty good. They appear to be spending increasingly more on online purchases and dining out. And despite some speculations about slowing consumer spending, the last retail-sales report suggests that it has not weakened but that households have changed where and how they spend their money.

Also, businesses are feeling better. A survey of CEOs at the largest U.S. firms suggests that businesses plan to step up capital expenditures this year, which is a welcome turnaround in investment. But just to point out how confusing the news headlines can be, these are two that appeared in The Wall Street Journal earlier this week — both referring to the same survey:

CEOs Turn More Bullish About Business Investment: A Business Roundtable survey shows improving outlook but muted 2016 growth projection
Weak Business Investment Weighs on Policy Makers: CEOs are pessimistic but many plan to increase capital spending during the rest of the year
Take those headlines how you will, but there is still a plenty of optimism and fuel to keep the American economic engine firing for some time. And even if the growth does not appear staggering, there are no indications of immediate risks for the U.S. economy. There is no major buildup in asset prices, personal debt ratios are low, and price-to-earnings ratios for technology companies are one-fifth of what they were in 2000.

Also, the most recent economic data for California suggests that the state is doing better than most other global economies. On its own, The Golden State’s output ranks it as the sixth largest economy in the world, once again surpassing France and Brazil. California’s exceptional growth of 4.1 percent in 2015 exceeded the U.S. growth rate of 2.1 percent and France’s 1.1 percent. Last year, California created the most jobs of any state, including Florida and Texas collectively, which are the second- and third-most-populous states.

California, along with the other West Coast states, benefited from growth of information-technology and knowledge-based industries in general. Information and professional, scientific, and technical-services jobs were the major drivers of growth in all states that ranked as the highest performers in the last year and were the major contributors to the overall nation’s output growth.

However, the future is a little less clear. The next national jobs report, which comes out in early July, will be telling. Also, The California Employment Development Department released May’s job numbers this morning, showing an increase of 15,200 jobs in May. This number is consistent with the low national numbers released earlier in the month and will likely be revised upward. April’s job gains were revised by over 10,000 to show 70,000 jobs added. Over the last 12 months, California added jobs at a rate of 2.8 percent compared with 1.7 percent nationwide.

Certainly, adding jobs through the first half of the year shows that the Bay Area can expect slower growth than we saw last year — that is the nature of economic cycles.

As we approach full employment, which is already the case in the Bay Area, it becomes harder to see strong year-over-year job-growth numbers moving forward. That doesn’t mean we’re nearing another recession, but only that we are reaching a plateau in the current economic cycle.

Selma Hepp is Pacific Union’s Chief Economist and Vice President of Business Intelligence. Her previous positions include Chief Economist at Trulia, senior economist for the California Association of Realtors, and economist and manager of public policy and homeownership at the National Association of Realtors. She holds a Master of Arts in Economics from the State University of New York (SUNY), Buffalo, and a Ph.D. in Urban and Regional Planning and Design from the University of Maryland.

SOURCE: http://blog.pacificunion.com/a-tale-of-two-economies-the-u-s-and-california/

 

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Top 3 Tuesday: Best Pizza in Marin

1. Pizzeria Picco, Larkspur

picco pizza
2. Bar Bocce, Sausalito

bar bocce
3. Tony Tutto, Mill Valley

tony tutto

 

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Pacific Union’s May 2016 Real Estate Update

may forecastAt $1.25 million, the median sales price in Marin County reached a one-year high in May. Homes sold in an average of 34 days, the quickest pace of sales in a year.

The MSI increased slightly from April to 1.6, and buyers paid just a hair less than original prices: 99.7 percent.

Defining Marin County: Our real estate markets in Marin County include the cities of Belvedere, Corte Madera, Fairfax, Greenbrae, Kentfield, Larkspur, Mill Valley, Novato, Ross, San Anselmo, San Rafael, Sausalito, and Tiburon. Sales data in the adjoining chart includes single-family homes in these communities.

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