Marin luxury real estate market holding its own

I was recently quoted in this Marin IJ article.  I hope you find it as interesting as I did.

Marin’s luxury real estate market is holding steady with sales essentially unchanged from last year, held back by a dearth of homes on the market, experts said.

Forty-eight homes valued at more than $4 million sold between Jan. 1 and Aug. 31, 2015, while 49 such homes sold during the same period in 2014, according to Bay Area Real Estate Information Services, a North Bay multiple listing service.

Full Article: http://www.marinij.com/business/20150905/marin-luxury-real-estate-market-holding-its-own

photo Mike Jacobsen

Here’s why home sales are finally surging

WASHINGTON (AP) – Real estate has gotten hot again.

Home sales are on pace for their best year since 2007. First-time buyers are streaming back into the market. Prices are skyrocketing, aided by a stronger job market and tantalizingly low mortgage rates that are creating pressure for buyers to act fast.

The resurgence is a sign that the U.S. economy – after muddling through a sluggish, six-year recovery – has re-discovered another source of growth. Buyers are more confident about their own prospects. But many also appear ready to close sales quickly because of concerns of being potentially priced out of the market by rising mortgage rates and home values.

By JOSH BOAK
AP Economics Writer

full article

CIVIC CENTER FEES

In a rarity at the Civic Center, county officials trimmed a host of planning permit fees by 7% this week.  Second unit permits will plummet from $1,135 to $500 consistent with the county’s affordable housing goal.  A sign permit will cost $200, down from $515.  A lot line certificate of compliance will be $2500 down from $2940.  A notice of exemption from requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act will cost $200 down from $370.  An overall long range planning surcharge will be set at 10%, down from 10.5%.

However, some planning fees rise slightly, and some will soar, including the cost of appealing a Planning Commission decision to the Board of Supervisors, which increases from $770 to $1200.  A big tree removal permit rockets from $150 to $600.  New charges include a $15 “technology fee” to offset software and high-tech maintenance costs.  Staff time for general services is billed at $130 an hours.

Fees covering food, restaurant, water well, septic, pool and related inspections by the Environmental Health Division were increased 5% – 10%.  Inspection fees of produce stands and water well drilling, and domestic water supply permits will remain the same.

Marin Independent Journal (6/5/2015)

The Best and Worst Airlines

As airlines shrink personal space in coach cabins, they are also finding other ways to aggravate travelers: Flight delays, cancellations, lost baggage and complaints all increased last year.

Passengers got hit with bad weather, a crippling fire at a key air-traffic control center near Chicago and runway resurfacing closures in San Francisco and Newark, N.J. Several merged airlines had problems of their own as they sought to combine operations of two airlines into one.

U.S. airlines canceled nearly 66,000 more flights last year than in 2013, and the percentage of canceled flights jumped to 2.7% from 1.9% the previous year, according to flight-tracking firm FlightStats Inc.
For more information, please visit: http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-best-and-worst-airlines-1421254623Airline Scorecard

San Francisco Metro Area Still Posting Double-Digit Percent Annual Home Price Gains

The San Francisco metro area is one of just three major national regions where year-over-year home prices are still growing by double-digit percentage points, according to the latest S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices.  Still, the rate of annual appreciation in the region has slowed significantly since earlier in the year. For details, go to http://bit.ly/1rLNJOJ