Marin County Real Estate Market Report
April 2020

Marin Real Estate Market Report April 2020 Wildflowers

The Beauty of Spring in Marin Is Almost Here

This is a market report unlike any I have ever written because we are going through times unlike anything we have ever experienced. First and foremost, let me extend to all of you my heartfelt wish that you and your family and friends are safe at home and in good health. We are all adjusting to this “new normal,” uncertain how long it will last and what the future holds, but I do believe we will come out of this with a new appreciation for many of life’s simple pleasures. I for one cannot wait to be able to sit in a room with friends and enjoy a meal together.

I do not believe that anyone wants to be “sold” during a time like this — so you will note that the tone of this month’s report is a bit different than reports in the past. Having said that, for most people their homes are their largest investment, so many homeowners want to know how the Marin real estate market is doing. Buyers are temporarily sidelined for the most part, but still want to have that most basic need met — a roof over their heads. 

I will continue to write my monthly market reports to keep my friends and clients informed during this challenging time.

How Has COVID-19 (aka the CoronaVirus) Affected the Marin Real Estate Market?

How has the pandemic and the associated “stay at home” orders impacted the Marin real estate market? The short answer is — it is too soon to tell. For much of March the market shut down, with the order suspending all showings and open houses. Where are we now?

Golden Gate Sotheby’s leadership team has been working diligently to craft a path forward in a way that puts community health first while allowing business to slowly resume in an extremely limited fashion. Right now here are the requirements until further notice:

  • No open houses including broker’s open houses
  • No showings of occupied homes
  • While not recommended, showings of vacant homes are possible in certain cases and are highly restricted. Some of the restrictions and requirements of showing vacant homes include but are not limited to the following:

Only one agent is allowed to be at any showing. Only two buyers that have been sheltering in place together can be at the property with the agent. Buyers and sellers must both have signed property entry addendums prior to a house being shown. Sellers have additional requirements including posting a social distancing hygiene & health notice, as well as providing proper materials for sanitation and disinfection per the required postings.

This is but a small summary of many adjustments that the real estate industry is making to adapt to an unprecedented situation, with the primary goal being maintaining everyone’s safety and health.

How Was the Marin Real Estate Market in March?

Now that we have the COVID-19 news out of the way, I am happy to provide information on what we saw in March. Overall, we saw the median sold price up 1% and the average sold price up 5.2% versus March 2019. Keep in mind that with 30 and sometimes 45-day escrows, these deals were ratified prior to the crisis and are not necessarily indicative of where pricing will be when the market re-opens.

As one would expect given the situation, new listings were down almost 60% vs. March 2019 and contracts that moved into pending status (contingencies removed) were down 48.6% vs. the same period last year.

The Good News

The good news for the market is that we went into this crisis from a very strong position, fueled by a strong economy, low interest rates, a booming job market and pent-up buyer demand. Theoretically that means that if this crisis can be brought under control sooner rather than later, the market should recover relatively quickly.

No one can accurately predict what the state of the market will be once we are through this, but it is conceivable that the shelter in place order will create pent up demand resulting in a very active buyer activity once the order is lifted. I know from emails I have received from other agents that there are buyers out there now ready and willing to buy vacant homes now or occupied homes once the order is lifted. 

Marin could also benefit from those who are looking to move from more dense areas like San Francisco opting for areas where there is more space between homes and open space in general.

With everyone working from home now, extra rooms for home offices are attractive and seclusion is a valuable commodity. The hillside homes of Marin could find they are suddenly in demand.  

The Not-So-Good News

Even the most-optimistic pundits place a return to the new normal as late as July or August. We may not see “a return to normal” until there is a vaccine or better therapeutics to lessen the impact of COVID-19. In the meantime, we are seeing significant damage to the world economy which could impact how quickly the Bay Area can resume its strong economic activity. BOTTOM LINE: It’s too early to tell.

My Own Perspective

I am grateful that I live in such a beautiful part of the country in which to shelter-in-place, and am thankful that I have the means to continue to pay for life’s necessities (I include wine in that list). I am in no hurry to get back to “normal” whatever that is until we can be sure that we can safely resume the activities we took for granted just a month or two ago.

Having said that, there may be some circumstances where it makes sense to market a vacant home and I am also  happy to help buyers who must move now find vacant homes — with proper safeguards in place for their health and mine.

How Can I Help?

As a real estate agent in Marin, I consider myself a part of this community I love and am trying to think how best to serve it. My Marin grocery delivery blog article is getting literally hundreds of reads a day as people try to figure out how to minimize going to the grocery store. Our restaurants are a vital part of our community and are really struggling. Some  of them may not be around after this is over. I have put together a list of restaurants offering delivery and takeout in Marin as well as food delivery services here

I would love to chat with you. Call or text me at 415-847-5584 anytime.

Wishing you health and happiness,


2020 Annual Forecast from Wells Fargo

April 2020 

“Our forecast for U.S. real GDP growth looks like this over the next few quarters: a modest contraction in Q1, a historically large decline in Q2, followed by a recovery that starts in Q3. Specifically, we look for real GDP growth of -1.2%, -22.3%, 7.2% and 4.8% over the four quarters of 2020.  While we expect the rebound to be robust in the second half of the year, it will not be nearly enough to close the output gap that will develop. We have the unemployment rate peaking at 15%-16% in Q2, for example, but only declining to about 8% by year-end. We look for the FOMC to keep the fed funds rate at current levels through at least the end of 2021. Our year-end 2020 forecast for the 10-year Treasury yield remained unchanged at 1.25%.  Our 2020 global growth forecast is now -2.7%. This would easily be the biggest contraction in recent memory, as the biggest annual decline during the Great Recession was just 0.1%. The Eurozone will likely experience a recession at least as bad as the United States, and emerging market economies face a slew of challenges, including a strong U.S. dollar, elevated borrowing costs and collapsing commodity prices.”

Marin Real Estate Market Stats: Full Year 2019

Chart Marin County real estate sales by city
Chart 5 year trend of Marin real estate home prices

Marin County Real Estate Market Report Dashboards

Marin County Real Estate Dashboard:
Home Prices vs. Same Month Last Year

For sale prices increased by 9.3%

Average sold prices increased by 5.2%

The median sold price increased by 1%

The average price per square foot sold increased by 5%

All information courtesy of and copyright by BAREIS MLS and TrendGraphix.
Dashboard compiled by Thomas Henthorne, all rights reserved.

Marin County Real Estate Dashboard:
Inventory Compared to Same Month Last Year

Number of homes for sale decreased by 44.3% 

Number of homes sold decreased by 11%

Months of inventory decreased by 36%

The average days on market decreased by 16%

All information courtesy of and copyright by BAREIS MLS and TrendGraphix.
Dashboard compiled by Thomas Henthorne, all rights reserved.

Marin County Real Estate Market Report Charts

(click any slide to enlarge & launch slideshow)

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

Home prices chart Marin real estate market report April 2020

Marin Home Prices List Price vs. Sold

Days on market chart Marin real estate market report

Marin County Months of Inventory Based on Closed Sales

Chart showing months of home inventory in Marin County

Average Price Per Square Foot

Chart showing average price per square foot in Marin county

Marin County Number of Homes on the Market

Number of homes for sale in Marin County chart April 2020

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.

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

I am also excited to announce that my website now has new real estate market reports by town with more coming soon. Please check these out:

Belvedere Real Estate Market Report

Corte Madera Real Estate Market Report

Fairfax Real Estate Market Report

Kentfield Real Estate Market Report

Larkspur Real Estate Market Report

Mill Valley Real Estate Market Report

Novato Real Estate Market Report

San Anselmo Real Estate Market Report

San Rafael Real Estate Market Report

Tiburon Real Estate Market Report

These are all accessible from the “Market Reports” menu item here on my website at any time.

What do YOU think? What would you like to see in this report going forward? Please leave your comments in the section below.

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