North Bay Business Journal

Monday, December 9, 2013, 5:00 am

Business News: Week of Dec. 9, 2013

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    Banking & Finance

    Mill Valley-based Redwood Trust, Inc. (NYSE:RWT) declared a fourth-quarter regular dividend of $0.28 per share. It is payable on Dec. 27 to stockholders of record on Dec. 13. It is the company’s 58th consecutive quarterly dividend. The board of directors plans to pay a quarterly regular dividend of $0.28 per share in 2014.


    Sonoma Resource Conservation District (RCD) was honored as District of the Year by the California Association of Resource Conservation Districts at a conference attended by hundreds, including RCDs statewide as well as federal, state and local partners. This award distinguishes the Sonoma RCD, a local special district covering 85 percent of Sonoma County, as a statewide leader in locally driven conservation. The Sonoma RCD was selected to receive this award from the 98 RCDs throughout the California. The California Association of RCDs, in presenting the award, recognized the RCD for its leadership, both in the innovative conservation programming they deliver on a daily basis and in the bold move they made earlier this year to consolidate two districts in order to provide this programming more efficiently and consistently. The Sonoma RCD formed earlier this year as the consolidation of two existing RCDs – the Sotoyome and Southern Sonoma County RCDs, which had been serving local landowners since 1945.


    The second year of the “It’s a Wonderful Life in Sonoma County” giving campaign launched Nov. 20. After donating over $5,600 last year to the Secret Santa program, original campaign creators Summit State Bank, Oliver’s Markets and Costeaux French Bakery invited McLea’s Tire and Automotive Centers to join the team to expand the campaign’s reach. Sponsors encourage Sonoma County to celebrate the holiday season by buying a jingle bell for $1 at any of their respective locations. All proceeds go to fund unfulfilled Secret Santa letters through the Volunteer Center of Sonoma County and KZST Secret Santa Program.

    Real Estate

    Marin County’s luxury housing market turned in another strong month in October, with the number of sales surging 47 percent from a year ago, according to a new report by Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. The figures are based on Multiple Listing Service data of all homes sold for more than $1 million last month in Marin County. A total of 106 homes sold for more than $1 million in October, up from 72 in October 2012. Sales in October of this year also were 41.3 percent more than the 75 transactions in September. Meanwhile, the median sale price of a Marin luxury home last month was $1.405 million, down 2.2 percent from $1.437 million a year ago and up barely from $1.4 million in September. The upper end of the luxury market was solid with 12 sales over $2 million, up from eight a year ago. Two other key market indicators were positive last month: Sellers getting a higher percentage of their asking price on average, and homes were selling faster on average.

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