Friend: “Is this what you call a slowdown???”
Thomas: “No, this is what I call August.”
That’s the discussion I have with friends and clients like clockwork every year at this time. I thought it an appropriate way to start my August 2016 Marin County Real Estate Market Report. In Marin County, the only time of year to determine if the market is softening is during the spring mega- season or the fall mini-season. The Marin real estate market has been on a fairly steady increase month-to-month since the economic downturn of 2008, and pundits (and buyers!) are waiting for the cycle to shift. There are some signs that the market in San Francisco is cooling, which could have an effect on us, but remember that Marin County never superheated to the levels San Francisco saw. There was some leveling off of the market in the spring, but it was still a strong season for sellers. What happens after summer ends remains to be seen, but the fundamentals are still strong.
Think of Marin County real estate as a blue chip stock which slowly and steadily gains value, adjusting when there are big macro-events. (Having said this, my lawyers require me to state that past performance is no guarantee of future results.) The fundamentals are strong: good job growth numbers, low unemployment, low interest rates, and a county that is rich in open space but short in housing versus demand.
Putting up the signs on Wolfe Grade for an open house at my beautiful listing at 78 Southern Heights Blvd last weekend I noticed that there were no cars on what is normally a very busy thoroughfare. On a Sunday afternoon! Everyone is on vacation and I’m guessing that my counterparts in Tahoe are quite busy showing Marinites second and even third homes. (By the way, we did have a fairly good turnout for the open house that Sunday afterall.)
My business continues to be brisk with some great listings on the market in Mill Valley, San Rafael, and San Anselmo. You can see them on my Featured Properties page. While none of them are in escrow, we are getting good traffic and buyers are searching online from their vacations. This time of year it is not uncommon for me to email disclosure packages to people vacationing in Europe or on safari in Africa.
Also, I have some very exciting listings coming in late September — stay tuned for details.
Key Takeaways in the August 2016 Marin County Real Estate Market Report:
- July saw another decrease in average sale price in Marin County for single family homes at 1,425,590 down $158,000 from June’s average of $1,583,114, which was down $78,682 from the May average. The average price of homes sold is 17% higher than the peak back in 2007.
- Average price per square foot decreased from last month to $566 vs. $613 last month vs. $543 in 2015.
- Homes in contract are starting to decline in central and southern Marin from an average of 50% earlier this year to 31% in Mill Valley from 38% last month, and 41% in San Rafael vs. 45% last month. This is a metric worth keeping an eye on and I’ll be sure to circle back to it in next month’s report.
- July inventory in Marin County decreased again for the second time after a four-month upward trend, with 350 single family homes for sale, compared to 356 in June. Adjusted for the fact that June is a 5-week month, that’s 88 per week in July vs. 89 in June, so just about flat.
Bottom line, this is a great time of year to be a buyer. If you have been sitting on the sidelines waiting for the market to take a breath, now’s your opportunity before the second season starts in mid-September.
Here are more slides and graphs if you would like to drill down into the numbers:
I hope you have found this Marin real estate market update helpful, and I would be happy to answer any questions you might have. Please call or text me at 415-847-5584, or fill out the below contact form, and I will be in touch right away. Feel free to leave your own comments and observations in the comments section below. Enjoy the rest of your summer!