The April 2017 Marin County Real Estate Market Report

78 Southern Heights front exterior

Welcome to my Marin County Real Estate Market Report for April 2017! The spring real estate season — my favorite time of year — is in full swing and it is an exciting time. Each day we see more properties come on the market, and each weekend there are upwards of 200 open houses in Marin County for buyers to tour. Many of the buyers I see each day are from San Francisco, attracted to the weather, good schools and lifestyle of Marin County.

Overall March was a great month for Marin real estate and the trends are now going in the right direction as you will see on my new “Marin Real Estate Dashboard” farther down the page. Once again “for sale” and “sold prices” are moving in tandem. You may recall last fall I commented in my report that “for sale” pricing was moving up while “sold” prices were moving down. That is a warning sign that sellers may be out of touch with buyers on pricing and values. It is our job as real estate agents to help bridge that divide. Average sale price, price per square foot, median pricing and sold prices are all increasing while days on market are decreasing. These are all good indicators of a strong and healthy real estate market here in Marin County.

In my business, my open houses have been very busy each weekend with many visitors trying to get settled so they can take summer vacations knowing the kids are set for school in the fall. It’s the annual game of musical chairs and lasts through May. My listing at 1298 Sanderling Island in Point Richmond went into escrow in 6 days, and my listing at 8 Woodland Place in Kentfield, which will have closed by the time you read this, went into escrow in just two weeks.

Check out my Featured Listings page to see beautiful homes for sale throughout Marin County as well as in Sonoma and Mendocino.

Golden Gate Sotheby's International Realty Logo

We Are Golden Gate Sotheby’s International Realty

Great news — Golden Gate Sotheby’s International Realty launched on April 1st. The new name combines two icons: the Sotheby’s International Realty brand and the Golden Gate, a quintessential symbol of the San Francisco Bay Area for more than a generation. In addition to Marin and surrounding counties, Golden Gate Sotheby’s International Realty will serve San Mateo and Santa Clara counties with two offices in Menlo Park and Palo Alto.

The response to the new company has been phenomenal and agents from the former Decker Bullock Sotheby’s International Realty and Dreyfus Sotheby’s International Realty are excited to a part of this powerhouse brokerage and the #1 trusted brand in real estate globally.

Golden Gate Sotheby's International Realty Badge compressed

San Francisco Market is Softening

Each day I see more and more news articles about how the San Francisco market is softening, and the numbers bear that out. This is worth watching as the Marin County real estate market is an extension of the SF market. As reported in past reports, in both markets we saw a softer 2016 than 2015, and while this spring season has shown encouraging signs, indicators are pointing to a continual gradual easing in the market. Higher interest rates and continued infighting / legislative gridlock in Washington could negatively impact our market. On the positive side our market also moves in tandem with the stock market, which has been on a tear since the election. If this performance continues that could be good for our market, especially the high end above $2.5mm.

What This Means For You

SELLERS: If you’re thinking of selling your home, look carefully at both the increases in inventory (more competition in an admittedly tight market) and in list prices and the decreases in average sold prices. Bottom line: price your home for this market, not for the market in early 2016 or 2015.

BUYERS: For home buyers, the good news is that more balance is coming to the Marin real estate market, and even though inventories are tight they are better than where they were the same period last year. Look for homes that are well-priced and be prepared to move quickly as the intensely competitive spring market ramps up. Set up property alerts on my website so you can immediately see new homes on the market. (You may wish to read my article Buying a Home in Marin County for more tips and advice.)

What Are Buyers Looking For Right Now?

In speaking with buyers, they want it all right now, with the following at the top of their lists:

  • Great schools
  • Single-level
  • Easy commute
  • Walk to restaurants and shops
  • Views
  • Quiet streets
  • Remodeled homes in move-in condition

Smart buyers, which is almost all of them, realize they cannot have all of those attributes and buying a home in a market like Marin County is a series of tradeoffs. For example, they may choose to give up walking to restaurants to be in the hills with a view of the bay. In any event, we are seeing buyers that are more tech-savvy than ever and who have done their homework, reading market reports such as this one and spending a lot of time online looking at homes.

April 2017 Marin County Real Estate Market Report Dashboards

Pricing Dashboard April 2017 Marin County Real Estate Market Report
Inventory Dashboard April 2017 Marin County Real Estate Market Report
1298 Sanderling Island Point Richmond California view from water

1298 Sanderling Island in Point Richmond – In Escrow in 6 Days!

National Real Estate Market Update

Courtesy of Wells Fargo Securities:

“U.S. Review Housing Demand Still High in 2017 —  New data generally show a strong start to the year for the housing market. After January’s cycle-high pace of existing home sales, contract closings dipped in February to a 5.48-million unit pace. This was somewhat expected as pending home sales, which are counted when a contract is signed and are a leading indicator for existing home sales, declined in January. Low inventory of homes for sale and higher mortgage rates were likely restraining resale activity. On the bright side, February’s dip in resales allowed inventories to rebound slightly, but they remain 6.4 percent lower than the same time last year. There is now a 3.8-month supply of existing homes for sale, much lower than a balanced market, which would have around a 5.5-month supply. Lean inventories make this a sellers’ market, as a typical home sold in February was on the market for just 45 days. “

Now on to the charts….

(click slide to enlarge & launch slideshow)

“For Sale” vs. Sold Home Prices vs. Median Home Prices

Marin real estate pricing chart

Marin Home Prices List Price vs. Sold

Chart depicting days on market

Marin County Months of Inventory Based on Closed Sales

Chart depicting months of inventory

April 2017 Marin County Real Estate Market Report Average Price Per Square Foot

Average Price per Square Foot chart April 2017 Marin County Real Estate Market Report

Would you like to see this data for your town only?

I am also now rolling out market update charts for selected towns in Marin. Please click the below for local real estate market updates & charts:

Kentfield Real Estate Market Update

Mill Valley Real Estate Market Update

San Rafael Real Estate Market Update

Tiburon Real Estate Market Update

Just One More: Spring at 2 Foothill in San Anselmo

2 Foothill Road San Anselmo garage and front steps

I hope you have found my April 2017 Marin County Real Estate Market Report informative. Please feel free to add your comments, questions or suggestions in the comments section below. If I may be of any assistance in helping you attain your real estate goals, please call or text me at 415-847-5584 and I will be in touch right away.

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2 replies
  1. Judy LeMarr
    Judy LeMarr says:

    Another wonderfully informative post. Particularly enjoy the bulleted section for what buyers are currently looking for. Accurate, and straight to the point. Great resource read.

    Reply
    • Thomas Henthorne
      Thomas Henthorne says:

      Thank you, Judy, I’m glad you enjoyed the post! It’s definitely an interesting market right now. Entry level is white hot – I just wrote a winning offer on a home that had 13 offers come in. Have a great weekend!

      Reply

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