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Are We in a Housing Bubble? Experts Say No.

Are We in a Housing Bubble?
Experts Say No. | MyKCM

The question of whether the real estate market is a bubble ready to pop seems to be dominating a lot of conversations – and everyone has an opinion. Yet, when it comes down to it, the opinions that carry the most weight are the ones based on experience and expertise.

Here are four expert opinions from professionals and organizations that have devoted their careers to giving great advice to the housing industry.

The Joint Center for Housing Studies in their The State of the Nation's Housing 2021 report:

… conditions today are quite different than in the early 2000s, particularly in terms of credit availability. The current climb in house prices instead reflects strong demand amid tight supply, helped along by record-low interest rates.

Nathaniel Karp, Chief U.S. Economist at BBVA:

The housing market is in line with fundamentals as interest rates are attractive and incomes are high due to fiscal stimulus, making debt servicing relatively affordable and allowing buyers to qualify for larger mortgages. Underwriting standards are still strong, so there is little risk of a bubble developing...

What Do Experts See on the Horizon for the Second Half of the Year?

What Do Experts See on the
Horizon for the Second Half of the Year? | MyKCM

As we move into the latter half of the year, questions about what's to come are top of mind for buyers and sellers. Near record-low mortgage rates coupled with rising home price appreciation kicked off a robust housing market in the first half of 2021, but what does the forecast tell us about what's on the horizon?

Mortgage Rates Will Likely Increase, but Remain Low

Many experts are projecting a rise in interest rates. The latest Quarterly Forecast from Freddie Mac states:

We forecast that mortgage rates will continue to rise through the end of next year. We estimate the 30-year fixed mortgage rate will average 3.4% in the fourth quarter of 2021, rising to 3.8% in the fourth quarter of 2022.

However, even as mortgage rates rise, the anticipated increase is expected to be modest at most, and still well below historical averages. Rates remaining low is good news for homebuyers who are looking to maximize their purchasing power. The same report...

What Is the Strongest Tailwind to Today's Recovering Economy?

What Is the Strongest
Tailwind to Today's Recovering Economy? | MyKCM

Last year started off with a bang. Unemployment was under 4%, forecasters were giddy with their projections for the economy, and the residential housing market had the strongest January and February activity in over a decade.

Then came the announcement on March 11, 2020, from the World Health Organization declaring COVID-19 a worldwide pandemic. Two days later, the White House declared it a national emergency. Businesses and schools were forced to close, shelter-in-place mandates were enacted, and the economy came to a screeching halt. As a result, unemployment in this country skyrocketed to 14.9%.

A year later, the economy is recovering, and the U.S. has regained more than half of the jobs that were originally lost. However, some businesses are still closed, and many schools are still struggling to reopen. Despite the past and current challenges, there is one industry that's proven to be a tailwind helping to counter all of...

What Experts Are Saying about the 2021 Job Market

What Experts Are Saying about
the 2021 Job Market | MyKCM

Earlier this month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released their most recent Jobs Report. The report revealed that the economy lost 140,000 jobs in December. That's a devastating number and dramatically impacts those households that lost a source of income. However, we need to give it some context. Greg Ip, Chief Economics Commentator at the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), explains:

The economy is probably not slipping back into recession. The drop was induced by new restrictions on activity as the pandemic raged out of control. Leisure and hospitality, which includes restaurants, hotels, and amusement parks, tumbled 498,000.

In the same report, Michael Pearce, Senior U.S. Economist of Capital Economics, agreed:

The 140,000 drop in non-farm payrolls was entirely due to a massive plunge in leisure and hospitality employment, as bars and restaurants across the country have been forced to close in response to the surge in coronavirus infections. With employment in most other sectors rising strongly, the economy appears to be carrying more momentum into 2021 than we had thought.

Once the vaccine is distributed throughout the country and the pandemic is successfully under...

3 Reasons to Be Optimistic about Real Estate in 2021

3 Reasons to Be Optimistic
about Real Estate in 2021 | MyKCM

This year will be remembered for many reasons, and optimism is one thing that's been in short supply since the spring. We're experiencing a global pandemic, social unrest, an economic downturn, and natural disasters, just to name a few. The challenges brought on by the health crisis have also forced many homeowners to reevaluate their space and what they need in a home going into 2021. So, experts are forecasting that next year is one in which we can be optimistic about real estate for three key reasons.

1. The Economy Is Expected to Continue Improving

Tim Duy from the University of Oregon puts it this way:

There is nothing fundamentally ‘broken' in the economy that needs to heal…there was no obvious financial bubble driving excessive activity in any one economic sector when the pandemic hit…With Covid-19 cases surging again, it is understandably hard to look optimistically to the other side of this winter…Don't let the near-term challenges distract from the economic stage being set for next four years.

2. Interest Rates Are Projected to Stay Low

In the latest projections from Freddie Mac, interest rates for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage are expected to remain at or near 3% next year. These low rates will continue to make homes more affordable, driving demand for housing in 2021....

Should We Be Looking at Unemployment Numbers Differently?

The New York Times recently ran an article regarding unemployment titled: Don't Cheer Too Soon. Keep an Eye on the Core Jobless Rate. The piece suggests we should look at unemployment numbers somewhat differently. The author of the article, Jed Kolko, is a well-respected economist who is currently the Chief Economist at Indeed, the world's largest online jobs site. Previously, he was Chief Economist and VP of Analytics at Trulia, the online real estate site.

Kolko suggests the coronavirus pandemic has broken most economic charts and models, and all the numbers we regularly watch need a closer look. He goes on to explain that the decline in the unemployment number reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) earlier this month was driven by a drop in temporary layoffs. If we strip those out, we're left with what Kolko calls the core unemployment rate. Many economists have struggled with how to deal with the vast number of temporary layoffs, as a complete shutdown of the economy has never happened before. As the article states, in the last unemployment report:

73 percent of all unemployed people said they were temporarily unemployed, which means they had a return-to-work date or they expected to return to work in six months. Before the pandemic, temporary unemployment was never more than one-quarter of total unemployment.

The core unemployment rate handles this issue and also deals with another concern economists have discussed for years: the exclusion of the marginally attached. These are people who are available and want to work, but count as out of the labor force rather than unemployed because they haven't searched for work in the past four...

A Surprising Shift to the ‘Burbs May Be on the Rise

A Surprising Shift to the
‘Burbs May Be on the Rise | MyKCMWhile many people across the U.S. have traditionally enjoyed the perks of an urban lifestyle, some who live in more populated city limits today are beginning to rethink their current neighborhoods. Being in close proximity to everything from the grocery store to local entertainment is definitely a perk, especially if you can also walk to some of these hot spots and have a short commute to work. The trade-off, however, is that highly populated cities can lack access to open space, a yard, and other desirable features. These are the kinds of things you may miss when spending a lot of time at home. When it comes to social distancing, as we've experienced recently, the newest trend seems to be around re-evaluating a once-desired city lifestyle and trading it for suburban or rural living. George Ratiu, Senior Economist at realtor.com notes:

With the re-opening of the economy scheduled to be cautious, the impact on consumer preferences will likely shift buying behavior…consumers are already looking for larger homes, bigger yards, access to the outdoors and more separation from neighbors. As we move into...

Unemployment Report: No Need to Be Terrified

Unemployment Report: No Need
to Be Terrified | MyKCMLast Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released its latest jobs report. It revealed that the economic shutdown made necessary by COVID-19 caused the unemployment rate to jump to 14.7%. Many anticipate that next month the percentage could be even higher. These numbers represent the extreme hardship so many families are experiencing right now. That pain should not be understated. However, the long-term toll the pandemic will cause should not be overstated either. There have been numerous headlines claiming the current disruption in the economy is akin to the Great Depression, and many of those articles are calling for total Armageddon. Some experts are stepping up to refute those claims. In a Wall Street Journal (WSJ) article this past weekend, Josh Zumbrun, a national economics correspondent for the Journal explained:

News stories often describe the coronavirus-induced global economic downturn as the worst since the Great Depression…the comparison does more to terrify than clarify.

Zumbrun goes on to explain:

From 1929 to 1933, the economy shrank for 43 consecutive months, according to contemporaneous estimates. Unemployment climbed to nearly 25% before slowly beginning its descent, but it remained above 10% for an entire decade…This time, many economists...

How to Honor a Veteran Today and Everyday

How to Honor a Veteran Today and Everyday | MyKCM

One hundred years ago, on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, we marked the end of the “war to end all wars.” That day, which was to be observed annually on the eleventh day of the eleventh month, became known as Armistice Day and then, later on, became Veterans Day.

But Veterans Day is not for veterans. They don’t serve for thanks or recognition. Veterans Day sets aside a day for those of us who haven’t worn the uniform to acknowledge those who have.

So today, we honor and remember.

If you ask a military family, ANY military family, how you can help them, they will respond without hesitation, “Make sure my service member is taken care of.”

If you ask a service member, ANY service member, how you can best honor them, they will respond without hesitation, “Take care of my family.”

Don’t know anyone who has served or is serving? More than likely, there are veterans in your midst. Each year, 260,000 military personnel relocate to new communities, and another 230,000 transition out of the military. In total, there are 22 million veterans among us in the world.

For those who relocate through a Permanent Change of Station (or PCS), it can be a pretty stressful time. There isn’t a lot of time to find a new place to live and the timeline is more accelerated for finding a place to call home.

MILLIE is an online community and digital marketplace that connects members of the military...

Terra Linda 3/2 Eichler not on MLS Until 5.31.17

Coming Soon at $900,000, this is a wonderful home for your family or excellent investment opportunity. 3 Bed 2 Bath Terra Linda Eichler with Family Room and Two-Car Garage . Great light. Original mahogany paneling. Two-car garage. Close to Scotty's Market, Terra Linda Community Center and Pool; Great for kids! In good, mostly original condition with some upgrades over the years. Move right in, or remodel to your own specifications! Tenant-occupied. Please do not disturb tenants. Please contact Fred Anlyan at Marin Modern for details and information 415-847-0602 or email fred@marinmodern.com

More photos can be seen at http://www.752pennyroyal.com

...

The Anlyan Report 4.16.17. Marin County February Home Sales, Prices Down From Year Ago

According to Core Logic/Data Quick, a real estate news service, the number of homes sold in Marin County in February, 2017 was 164, down 9.9% from February of 2016. The median sales price of a Marin County home was also down 4.7% in the same period.

Here's how it broke down:

City           Feb'17 #Homes Sold  Median$ Feb'17   Median$ Feb'16  Difference  

Mill Valley            28                     $1,260,050            $1,009,500             +24%

San Rafael          41                      $  791,050             $650,000               +21%

Novato                46                      $ 664,000             $675,000                 -1.6%             

The Data Quick report notes that, Bay Area Wide, it is normal for the number of housing units sold to increase about 2.8% from January to February in any given year. However Marin home sales declined 11.4% in the 1st two months of 2017, with 185 units sold in January and only 164 sold in February. Median prices during that period did increase very slightly from $810,000 to $815,000, a gain of .06%. Prices in Mill Valley and San Rafael Increased significantly and other Marin cities (Belvedere, Greenbrae, Larkspur, and San Anselmo) experienced wide swings to the minus side, however with relatively small numbers of sales, the individual homes sold can have an...

Current Homes for Sale
Southern Marin
City # Price Range
Belvedere 9 $3.8m - $22.5m
Mill Valley 43 $585k - $12.5m
Sausalito 12 $475k - $4.8m
Tiburon 24 $940k - $13.8m
Central & North Marin
City # Price Range
Corte Madera 7 $789k - $3.8m
Fairfax 7 $795k - $3.5m
Greenbrae 10 $628k - $3.8m
Kentfield 8 $1.6m - $18.0m
Larkspur 9 $497k - $5.3m
Novato 46 $363k - $4.3m
Ross 4 $2.8m - $7.3m
San Anselmo 17 $799k - $3.8m
San Rafael 63 $105k - $6.2m
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