Marin County Real Estate Market Report
My Listing at 145 Bret Harte Road in San Rafael Sold in 4 Hours Last Month
Looking for the latest news on the Marin real estate market? You’ve come to the right place. The March numbers are in and compared to a year ago at the same time, overall inventories (number of homes on the Marin real estate market) are about 39% higher while the median price of homes sold last month was down 2.6%.
I saw one of my most active March months ever, with 4 homes going into escrow in the first half of the month. One home even had a multiple bidding situation with 6 different offers driving the price significantly over asking. This is more and more rare however and I attribute it to both the beauty of this home as well as a presentation and pricing strategy that drove buyer interest. (I get to brag just a little, don’t I?)
So what is driving the market right now? I believe inventories are up because sellers realize the last market peak is likely behind us and are wanting to get their homes on the market in the event we see a longer-term softening in demand. Buyers are also coming out of the woodwork as we see the lowest mortgage rates in a year.
What’s All This Talk About IPO’s?
Last month I mentioned a New York Times article that breathlessly predicted that San Francisco would “drown in millionaires” from the Initial Public Stock Offerings of local companies like Uber, Lyft, Airbnb and even Levi Strauss & Co. This article and others like it have become the talk of the town, and the IPO’s have become part of the public consciousness. Before last month, I had not heard the term “IPO” in months. Now I hear it almost daily.
I do think we may see an impact on the real estate markets in SF and the South Bay, where like Marin County we see inventories up versus prior years and pricing beginning to soften. And what happens in SF impacts Marin, especially southern Marin. This combined with declining interest rates could add some fuel to the market and make the breather we have seen over the last 5 months be just that — a breather until the Marin real estate market resumes its multi-decade march upwards.
I do know it has impacted buyer sentiment – with some buyers saying they are “racing” to find a property not only to get the kids settled in school before next fall, but also to make sure they are not competing with these future IPO millionaires. Time will tell us if this is hype or just “two hours of thunder and two drops of rain” as my momma used to say.
“Eaten alive? We asked financial experts if the IPO boom will really change San Francisco” — San Francisco Chronicle
“Gen Xers’ Adult Children Influence Home Buying Decisions in U.S” — World Property Journal
“Median National Home Value Spikes … to a Quarter of San Francisco’s Asking Price” — San Francisco Chronicle
Let’s Get in Touch
These monthly Marin County real estate market reports are a great place to start as you learn more about the market. Let’s continue the conversation — I am always happy to discuss the market, and the best way to approach it whether you are a buyer or a seller.
Interestingly, I have had several sellers talk to me this spring about selling next spring. That is very, very smart — it gives them the dry summer months to prepare their homes for sale next spring. I cannot tell you how many times I have walked into a newly remodeled home where the seller did not consult with me and thought to myself “If only they had chosen a different paint color…”
To those who read this report, thank you for all your support of my business. I couldn’t do it without you. Call or text me at 415-847-5584 anytime. Let’s talk real estate!
Marin County Real Estate Market Report
April 2019 Dashboards
“For Sale” vs. Sold Home Prices vs. Median Home Prices
Marin Home Prices List Price vs. Sold
Marin County Months of Inventory Based on Closed Sales
Average Price Per Square Foot
Marin County Number of Homes on the Market
What This Update Means For You
SELLERS: The sellers’ market of years past is quickly fading away, being replaced by a market that is much more balanced. Buyers are well-educated and the majority in Marin County are working with very experienced and savvy agents who know values and comparative sales (“comps”). Overpricing in a flattening to declining market can be a fatal mistake, causing your property to become stale and languish on the market. Now, more than ever, an experienced agent armed with the latest market facts and trends is critical. REMEMBER THE THREE P’S: PRICE, PRESENTATION, AND PRICE.
BUYERS: For home buyers, the market is improving as more inventory comes online. However, an increasing percentage of homes never appear on MLS as they are sold “off-market” as pocket listings or top agent referrals. Work with a well-connected agent and be prepared to move quickly. Chances are you are looking for the same things most other buyers are also seeking (see my list below.) Set up property alerts on my website so you can immediately see new homes on the market, and make sure you are pre-qualified so you present a compelling offer. (You may wish to read my article Buying a Home in Marin County for more tips and advice.) One other tip: Ask your agent to run aged inventory reports in and above your price range. Sometimes there are some real gems that the market has overlooked due to pricing or other factors. Sellers may not have caught up with the changing dynamics of the market now — and it may take more negotiation than in the past to strike a deal.
If you are a buyer looking only at online portals such as Redfin or Zillow, and not working with a well-connected agent, you’re not seeing all of the homes available in Marin County.
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
- Easy commute
- Walk to restaurants and shops
- 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.
I hope you have found my 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.
This handy calculator is a great place to start. Then give me a call at 415-847-5584 and let’s discuss.
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:
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