Marin County Real Estate Market Report
March 2020

57 Loring Avenue Mill Valley living room and kitchen

57 Loring Avenue in Mill Valley – Just Listed!

Welcome to my monthly Marin County real estate update for March 2020. The spring real estate season is underway, and buyers are out in full force. Home inventories declined 5.7% versus the same period last year while most pricing metrics began trending upward, with the exception of median sold pricing which was down 4.4%. It is a turbulent time with the Corona (COVID-19) virus continuing to spread and a stock market that is showing volatility unlike anything we have seen since the financial crisis but so far the market here in Marin continues to perform very well.

The Impact of COVID-19 (Corona) Virus on the Marin Real Estate Market

Many of us are wondering what the impact of the spread of the COVID-19 (Corona) virus will be on the Marin real estate market. Recent stock market declines have been the largest since the financial crisis, and the Federal Reserve has responded by cutting interest rates a half a percentage point. While residential mortgage rates have declined some, most financial institutions seem to be taking a “wait and see” approach to adjusting their rates. The San Francisco Chronicle published this week an interesting article on the topic: “Treasury yields have fallen to record lows. Why haven’t mortgage rates followed?”

The local market has been driven by several factors including shortage of supply, a booming job market, low interest rates and high stock market returns. All of those factors except the last one — the stock market — are unchanged for now. That means to me that in the short term at least we should not see a significant impact to our local market.

However how local real estate agents market homes may change when and if the virus becomes more prevalent. Agents who rely on more traditional tools to market properties such as open houses may need to beef up their social media and online presence and prepare more robust and compelling property marketing videos since buyers may be less likely to be out and about, only touring homes they have thoroughly vetted online.

In the short term, I will make sure the hand sanitizer pumps at my brokers and public open houses are full, avoid shaking hands and follow the other recommendations the CDC has made in preventing Corona virus. Golden Gate Sotheby’s has released a number of guidelines for its agents including suspension of all food at open houses and cancellation of upcoming group meetings.

Fortunately I already have a best-in-class online presence and have devoted a lot of time to building a robust property video capability that I am proud of. I am currently evaluating additional technical options for presenting properties to sellers who may not want to tour homes in person.

For my buyers, my website is equipped with a number of tools to allow them to virtually tour properties online. Some of my sellers are opting to suspend open houses. We are all figuring this out together.

I do not mean to minimize this in any way and I defer to the experts on what this pandemic will look like and its impact. However, I am thinking a great deal of how to best serve my clients in this ever-changing world. I would like to wish all of you a continued healthy and safe 2020.

In My World: SOLD! SOLD! SOLD!

Now that we have the COVID-19 virus out of the way, let’s get back to my favorite topic, real estate. I have had a very busy winter and early spring, far exceeding my expectations. Buyers and sellers are out in force, and my phone has been ringing constantly with new clients wanting to buy or sell homes. Let’s hope that continues!

At this point, all of the homes I launched for sale so far in spring are either sold or are in escrow. Some have sold before we even placed them on the market, saving my clients the inconvenience of open houses.

Just Listed & Coming Soon

I have a number of exciting property launches this month, including 57 Loring Avenue, a modern stunner built in 2017 in Mill Valley. This home is currently offered as a pocket listing and is not on MLS. I also just launched 125 Bayview Drive in Mill Valley, a gated retreat with incredible views off Panoramic Highway.  Finally, I also just launched 481 Cascade Drive in Mill Valley, a beautifully remodeled home on bucolic Cascade Drive. That’s just March!

Coming in April is a gorgeous new-construction Modern Farmhouse estate in the Dominican neighborhood of San Rafael and a mid-century modern in Fairhills

I am thankful for all your referrals and support.

57 Loring Avenue | Mill Valley

57 Loring Avenue in Mill Valley exterior

125 Bayview Drive | Mill Valley

125 Bayview Drive in Mill Valley Rear Deck

Marin Real Estate Market Stats: Full Year 2019

Marin county sales by city chart
Marin county 5 year real estate market trends chart

Marin County Real Estate Market Report Dashboards

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

For sale prices increased by 15.9%

Average sold prices increased by 6.6%

The median sold price was down 4.4%

The average price per square foot sold increased by 5.6%

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 5.7% 

Number of homes sold decreased by 18.3%

Months of inventory decreased by 16.7%

The average days on market decreased by 9.1%

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 Marin County Real Estate Market Report 2020

Marin Home Prices List Price vs. Sold

chart showing selling price vs listing price Marin County Real Estate Market Report 2020

Marin County Months of Inventory Based on Closed Sales

Chart showing months of inventory Marin County Real Estate Market Report 2020

Average Price Per Square Foot

Chart showing average price per square foot homes sold Marin County Real Estate Market Report 2020

Marin County Number of Homes on the Market

Chart showing home inventories in marin 14 month history Marin County Real Estate Market Report 2020

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.

2 replies
  1. Wendy Loesch
    Wendy Loesch says:

    Howdy, Thanks for the 411. I am wondering if it is expected from real estate professionals and experts for housing prices to drop drastically due to the impact of what is currently happening locally and globally with Coronavirus. Now that I wrote my question, I kind of answered it, there are no experts, this event is unprecedented.

    Based on your experience.I’d like to know your opinion on whether shelters are going to be harmed or helped by “shelter Order.” THX so MUCH
    Oh yes, I’m asking because I’m on the fence with my property in Novato.

    • Thomas Henthorne
      Thomas Henthorne says:

      Hi Wendy, Thanks for the question! Right now it’s very difficult to tell what’s coming – we are in unprecedented times. I will reach out to you directly via email to see if you would like to discuss your specific situation further and to see if I can help in any way. Very best, Thomas


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