Marin County Real Estate Market Report
September 2019

Thomas Henthorne Marin Top Real Estate Agent

I Love the Porch — and Everything Else — at 31 Gold Hill Grade in San Rafael!

The August 2019 Marin real estate market numbers are in and we continue to see higher inventories and lower prices than last year at the same time. The median sold price dipped 2.1% vs. August 2018 while the number of homes sold was down 8.5%. 

The Fall Real Estate Season is Here!

Each year right after Labor Day we see a burst of homes on the market accompanied by eager buyers who want to get settled before the holidays of November and December. As I type this, my “new listing alerts” in email look a lot like the first few weeks of spring. The buyer profile is often different this time of year as it is less driven by the school year cycle. Buyers in September / October often tend to be younger couples moving from the city, empty nesters downsizing and job relocations.

In My World…

Thankfully I didn’t experience the “summer slowdown” that is characteristic of Marin real estate. My listings at 329 Greenfield in San Anselmo and 660 Redwood Avenue in Corte Madera both closed in August. I was also happy to help one of my clients prevail in a competitive bidding situation to purchase 20 Pacheco Creek in Novato.

I am very excited to present 31 Gold HIll Grade in San Rafael’s coveted Dominican neighborhood. It is a beautiful newly-constructed home in the modern farmhouse style on an acre of secluded land. I worked with the developer on this project, helping with the design of the home and I am very happy with how it turned out. The 20-foot ceilings in the living room make everyone go “WOW!”

31 Gold Hill Grade also features one of the first Modpools in Marin County… a shipping container pool. It is gorgeous and people love looking in from the glass wall. The shallow end converts to a hot tub by inserting a panel. It’s ingenious and beautiful. It’s like a “smart pool”.

I also have a beautiful home launching later this month in the Sea Cliff neighborhood of San Francisco, and a home on Southern Heights in one of my favorite neighborhoods in San Rafael. There’s more in the pipeline – please keep an eye on my featured listings page of my website.

Real Estate in the News

I was excited to be quoted in this recent story in the San Francisco Chronicle about the best time to buy in San Francisco and Marin County. Of course I wish I had used that old quote — the best time to buy is always five years ago! Given our 50 years of pricing appreciation in Marin, that is especially true here.

We continue to see some of the lowest mortgage rates since 2016, so it’s a great time to buy or refinance. I have a few great loan people I work with, so feel free to reach out if you’re looking for someone. 

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 time 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 1%

Average sold prices decreased by 4.2%

The median sold price decreased by 2.1%.

The average price per square foot sold decreased by 3%

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 29.5% 

Number of homes sold decreased by 8.5%

Months of inventory increased by 40.1%

The average days on market decreased by 2%

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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