The May 2017 Marin County Real Estate Market Report

2 Foothill Road San Anselmo front exterior of home

Welcome to my Marin County Real Estate Market Report for May 2017! The spring real estate market in Marin County is now in full bloom along with all the flowers. My rose garden has awoken from its winter slumber with a dramatic display of blooms and new growth. The market is also at a fever pitch, with the only negative being lack of inventory, which is actually a national lament.

In April we saw average “for sale” prices increase 4% versus last month and 9% versus April 2016, but sold prices decreased 5% versus last month and were about flat to last year. Sellers may try to push the market up, but buyers are more willing to wait for the perfect home to come along and are well-armed with home value information. Great agents — and there are many — educate their buyers on values at both the tangible level, such as price per square foot, and the intangible level, such as which neighborhoods are especially “hot” right now and seeing increases versus last year.

Average days on market is at a 14-month low, with the average home on market just 38 days in April. The fact that this is an average means that many homes are selling even quicker than that. In my experience I have seen homes sell before they move from Top Agent Network to the Multiple Listing Service.

Sentiment, also known as “conventional thinking,” is that the market will continue to plateau as interest rates increase and San Francisco cools off. I do not foresee a significant correction to our market unless we see turmoil in the stock market — which often funds the Marin real estate market.

In my business, 2 Foothill Road in San Anselmo (pictured above) went into escrow and should close soon after you read this. The rhythm of the market seems to have reached a fever pitch right now with a whopping 203 open houses scheduled for this weekend and my phone ringing with buyers and sellers wanting to take their next steps in this market. Usually we see the market begin to slow down in mid-June as people leave for summer vacations.

Speaking of which, watch my website for a new listing coming soon: 87 Brodea Way in San Rafael’s Country Club neighborhood is a beautifully-built single-level gated estate built in 2001. Great outdoor entertaining spaces, high-ceilings and wide hallways — the agents who have seen this predict it will go quickly. It also happens to be owned by four-time Olympic gold medal sprinter Michael Johnson, who has given me permission to share that information with prospective clients. The gold medals are not included with the home, however!

Check out my Featured Listings page to see beautiful homes for sale throughout Marin County as well as in Sonoma and Mendocino.

Golden Gate Sotheby's International Realty Logo

Bay Sotheby’s Joins Golden Gate Sotheby’s International Realty

As you will recall from last month’s market update, Golden Gate Sotheby’s International Realty launched on April 1st, encompassing the former Decker Bullock SIR offices in Marin County and the former Dreyfus SIR offices in Silicon Valley. Late last month Bill Bullock announced that the Easy Bay’s Bay Sotheby’s International Realty will be joining Golden Gate Sotheby’s International Realty, completing our ring around the bay.

You may read more about the announcement here.

I am excited to be a part of one of the largest Sotheby’s International Realty affiliates in the country, comprised of some of the best talent in real estate in the SF Bay Area. Local expertise + global exposure is a winning combination. Please feel free to call me with any questions.

Bay Sotheby's Logo

What This Update Means For You

SELLERS: If you’re thinking of selling your home, don’t listen to your Uncle Fred at dinner who says it is a sellers market and buyers will pay anything. Buyers are well educated and the majority in Marin County are working with very experienced and savvy agents who know values. Keep an eye on some of the trends we are seeing — that while inventories remain tight, sellers are having a hard time pushing pricing higher than last year.  Bottom line: price your home for this market, not for the market in early 2016 or 2015.

BUYERS: For home buyers, the good news is that more balance is coming to the Marin real estate market, and even though inventories are tight they are better than where they were the same period last year. Look for homes that are well-priced 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.

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.

May 2017 Marin County Real Estate Market Report Dashboards

Marin County Real Estate Dashboard Pricing
May 2017 market report Marin County Real Estate Dashboard Inventory

National Real Estate Market Update

Courtesy of Wells Fargo Securities:

“Housing was a bright spot amid the otherwise disappointing first quarter GDP data. Overall real GDP growth rose at just a 0.7 percent annualized rate in the first quarter, largely due to weakness in personal consumption and inventories. Residential investment rose at a solid 13.7 percent annualized rate in Q1, marking the strongest quarter since Q4 2015. As shown in Figure 1, the gain represents a 0.5 percentage point contribution to Q1 real GDP growth, reaffirming the housing market’s key role in providing support to overall growth…After a sluggish start to the year, existing home sales jumped up in March and edged 1.4 percent higher for the first quarter as a whole.

The average rate on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages Freddie Mac’s Survey was 4.02% during the week ending May 4th, down 1 basis point from the week before. The April average was 4.05% and the March average was 4.20%. All rates quoted have fees and points averaging 0.4% to 0.5% of the loan amount.”

Now on to the charts….

(click slide to enlarge & launch slideshow)

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

Average Pricing Chart

Marin Home Prices List Price vs. Sold

May 2017 Marin County Real Estate Market Report Days on Market

Marin County Months of Inventory Based on Closed Sales

Months of Inventory graph May 2017

April 2017 Marin County Real Estate Market Report Average Price Per Square Foot

Price per Square Foot Graph

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:

Kentfield Real Estate Market Update

Mill Valley Real Estate Market Update

San Rafael Real Estate Market Update

Tiburon Real Estate Market Update

Just One More: A Beautiful Spring Day at the Marin Civic Center

Marin Civic Center

I hope you have found my May 2017 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.

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2 replies
  1. Judy LeMarr
    Judy LeMarr says:

    Once again a fantastic run down and overview of important stats. I love the individual breakdowns of “What this Update Means for You” — Sellers and Buyers. This is a fantastic resource.

    Reply

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