Marin County Real Estate Market Report
August 2019

11 Underhill Road Mill Valley Living room

The July numbers are in and we are seeing the trend continue of increased inventory and decreased pricing compared to last year. The median price of homes sold in July in Marin County was down 4.1% versus July of 2018, while the number of homes for sale increased by about 25% for the same period. However the increased home inventory is also driving increased sales, which were up almost 14% compared to the prior year.

Mortgage Rates Tumble Again

Over the last three months we have seen mortgage rates tumble in May, then spike in June / July and are now declining to the lowest rates we have seen since 2016. Thirty year jumbos are at 3.75% as of this writing with no points, according to mortgage specialist Alan Chu of Bank of the West. According to this recent article about mortgage rates, this is driven by the economic uncertainty of the “trade war” with China. We have also seen people moving to safe havens like bonds and gold as the volatility in Hong Kong and the US stock market has escalated over the last week.

Real Estate in the News

During the slower summer months, we often see articles predicting the impending doom of the local bay area real estate market. This summer is no different, however to be fair we are seeing some different market dynamics than we have in summers past.

One of the large market drivers in the Bay Area has been investment by Chinese nationals looking to buy in one of the world’s top real estate markets. According to this recent article in the Marin Independent Journal, “about one-third of foreign purchases in California during a recent 12-month period were made by Chinese citizens. In the midst of a growing trade war, overall Chinese investment in U.S. residential real estate fell from $30.4 billion to $13.4 billion in the last year.”

We are also seeing fewer multiple offer situations, as covered in this recent news story by NBC Bay Area which focused on the market in Silicon Valley. Recently a home in my neighborhood in San Rafael had 11 offers (and 60 disclosures!) but this has become the exception rather than the rule given the healthier home inventories.

What does all of this mean for you? If you’re a buyer, there is more to choose from and you may have more leverage in negotiating. For sellers, pricing and presentation are more important than ever to drive interest and stand out among the competition.

The Second Busiest Marin Real Estate Season is Right Around the Corner

The weeks after labor day are traditionally very busy in the Marin real estate market, with an inventory surge that is second only to the spring season. However this surge slows in November as people begin to prepare for the holidays. It is a great time for Marin County home buyers to look, however, as there is less competition than in spring.

I have some exciting listings in the pipeline, including a new-construction modern gated estate in San Rafael’s Dominican neighborhood. Watch my featured listings page for more details or call me if I have piqued your interest!

New Real Estate Market Reports by Town

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.

Let’s Talk!

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!

Chart showing Marin county home sales by city q2 2019
Chart showing Marin county home sales Q22019 compared to Q22018

Marin County Real Estate Market Report
August 2019 Dashboards

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


For sale prices decreased by 3.2%


Average sold prices decreased by 10.3%


The median sold price decreased by 4.1%.


The average price per square foot sold decreased by 4.8%

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 increased by 25.2% 


Number of homes sold increased by 13.7%


Months of inventory increased by 11.5%


The average days on market increased by 7.1%

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

Marin home prices chart for 13 months August 2019

Marin Home Prices List Price vs. Sold

Selling Price vs Original Price Marin Real Estate Market Report August 2019

Marin County Months of Inventory Based on Closed Sales

Months of inventory chart marin real estate August 2019

Average Price Per Square Foot

Home price per square foot marin county chart

Marin County Number of Homes on the Market

Marin Real Estate Market Report August 2019 number of homes for sale chart

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
  • 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.

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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