According to an October 17 report by DataQuick, a San Diego-based real estate news service, a total of 300 homes sold in Marin County in September, at a median price of $750,000. The figure includes both single family homes and condo's and reflects an increase of 15.4% in price and 11.9% in numbers of units for sale, compared to the same period last year. In August of this year, the comparable figures were 350 units sold at a median price of $760,000. The article notes that in the nine-county Bay Area real estate market, September marked the second month of a month-to-month decline in the median sales price which, it stated, reached a high of $665,000 in June/July of 2007, and a low of $290,000 in March of '09.
Although the median price of Bay Area homes has increased year-over-year, every month for the last 18 months, DataQuick's president, John Walsh, predicts "It's likely we'll see year-over-year price gains trend lower for the forseeable future". This, the article states, is a result of higher mortgage rates, increasing inventory of homes for sale, and decreasing purchases by investors, as well as changes in market mix, or the types of homes being sold. For more details, see the complete article.
Further research into the current statistics for Marin County reveals that, overall, there are approximately 878 active listings on the Marin MLS for Single Family Residences and Condo's. 347 of these, or 41%, are in contract, indicating a slight sellers market for the County as a whole. When we checked the numbers back in July, 386 of 878 listed properties were in contract, so market activity, though not slowing dramatically, has dropped back just a bit, creating an opportunity for some buyers who may have felt buffeted by the frenzied pace of offers and sales earlier in the year. The numbers, since they are averages, can obscure the fact that, within the County, individual market can vary greatly.
Currently, the most active markets are: Larkspur-- 9 of 16 listed properties in contract, or 56%; Sausalito--- 20 of 36 properties in contract, or 55.5%;Corte Madera, at 53.8%, with 14 of 26 listed properties in contract; Novato---82 of 163 properties in contract for 50.3%; San Rafael, with 89 of 186, or 47.8%; Fairfax 45.16%; San Anselmo, 43.9%. These are hot sellers' markets with lots of buyer competition, but good homes can be found, with persistence and the aid of an experienced local REALTOR.
Currently active markets with slightly less pressure and competition are: ; Greenbrae at 36.36% in contract, and Mill Valley, at 34.78%.
The markets with the lowest percentage in contract and therefore presenting the greatest opportunity for buyers, albeit mostly on the higher end are: Kentfield, at 29.17% in contract; Ross, 27.27%; Tiburon,23.4%; and, the Queen of them all, Belvedere, with only 9.3% of some admittedly very high-end homes in contract. These communities feature a preponderance of higher-priced homes. But, for the high-end buyer, the opportunities are real. For more details on specific communities, neighborhoods, and individual homes contact an experienced local REALTOR.
More next time!
Until then, best wishes to all,