Despite the warm, summer-like daytime temperatures, fall has arrived in Marin. The days are getting shorter, the nights cooler, the light has changed, and leaves are turning to beautiful gold and crimson hues.
Our Marin County fall real estate market is also in full swing. After an expected lull in August, the market rebounded in September with an increase in the number of available homes, from 315 to 393. This was the highest number of active single family home listings since October 2014, when it stood at 497. Despite the jump, inventory was still in relative short supply at only 61% of the level experienced during the peak of 2007. The increase in inventory seems to have slowed down the market a bit as the pent up demand is leveling off. I am noticing more price reductions as buyers have more properties from which to choose. There are still multiple offers on premium properties, and cash remains king.
The number of single family homes sold in Marin in September was 174, as compared to 179 in September 2014. However, the number of active listings this September was only 393, compared to 593 in September 2014, a whopping 34 percent decline. The average number of active single family home listings for the third quarter of 2015 was 343 versus 484 for the third quarter of 2014: another comparison illustrating the drastic reduction of our housing inventory in Marin.
The average sale price of a single family home for the first nine months of 2015 was $1,458,000, a 6 percent increase year over year and a 22 percent increase from the peak. The average price per square foot went up for the first nine months of this year was $627, a 3 percent increase over the $609 average for the same period in 2014 and a 12 percent increase over 2007 figures, a more accurate measure of our market trend than the increase in the sales price. The jump in average prices is partly due to the dramatic increase in luxury homes sales. Sales of homes priced over $10 million, a price point in which my brokerage, Decker Bullock Sotheby’s International Realty, represents 80% of the market, have tripled since last year. The number of properties sold over $5 million is up 22 percent from last year.
How does our Marin market stack up to the San Francisco market?
Real estate prices in San Francisco are reported to be leveling off: it’s still too early to get a clear read on what’s happening this fall, but there are some early signs of what may be a slowdown in the crazy boom of the past few years. Inventory of new condos remains extremely low, while inventory of resale condos is at its highest level in two years.
Unlike San Francisco, and most other areas in the country where new homes/condos are being built, Marin will most likely always experience somewhat of an inventory shortage. Because of our no-growth policy, we are not able to build enough new homes to keep up with the ever increasing demand.
What about the California market?
California Association of Realtor Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun, is anticipating a solid real estate market through 2016, barring any significant international change. Current demographics, a growing population of renters, limited new construction over the last decade and tight lending restrictions, all support the price increases from a structural perspective. The recent impressive appreciation does not appear to be a bubble, however, lagging income growth will limit the rate of increase over the next few years if wages are stagnant.
How does our Marin market compare with the national real estate market?
According to the National Association of REALTORS®, this year’s national market is shaping up to be the strongest in close to a decade. 5.31 million homes sold in August 2015 on a seasonally-adjusted, annualized basis, which marks the sixth straight month annualized sales topped 5 million.
Housing has been boosted by rising rents in many U.S. cities, a favorable lending environment nationwide, and interest rates below four percent.
HOME SALES BY AREA
The number of homes sold in Marin County decreased month-over-month by 33 homes, although there was notable growth in Corte Madera, Fairfax, Ross and West Marin.
HOMES IN CONTRACT
The month of September shows all areas with under half of inventory in contract. Greenbrae shows an increase of 25% from last month. Sausalito and Kentfield follow closely behind in highest percentage increase with 13% and 8%.
AVERAGE SALE PRICE
There was an expected decrease in average sale prices in September following the high-end sale in Belvedere the previous month. Average sale prices, excluding the spike in August, have remained stable over the past nine months.
MARIN MARKET BY PRICE POINT
Active listings in Marin County experienced a substantial increase of 78 homes month-over-month. The most significant increase occurred in the $1 million-$2 million range. All price ranges experienced an increase in active listings for the month with the exception of the $4 million-$5 million and $10 million plus ranges which remained the same.
NUMBER OF HOMES LISTED AND SOLD
The activity in Marin County has remained stable over the past six months, although the month of September saw the largest difference in number of homes for sale and number of homes sold since the start of the year. A spike occurred in the number of homes for sale and a slight decrease of homes sold took place in September.
If you are considering selling, let’s meet to discuss how the numbers above have affected your neighborhood’s values and strategize on how to prepare and price your home for maximum returns. If it’s time to buy, let me know so I can give you the inside scoop on each neighborhood that may be right for you.
About the Author:: The above Marin County Real Estate Market Update for September 2015 was provided by Sylvie Zolezzi. I am an award winning, top producing Realtor specializing in luxury residential real estate in beautiful Marin County, just north of the Golden Gate Bridge.
I offer a wide range of innovative and comprehensive real estate solutions for buyers, sellers and investors, attracting clients who demand excellence—in marketing, negotiations, market knowledge—and a genuine concern for their needs. My association with Decker Bullock Sotheby’s International Realty allows me to provide a high-end luxury experience to all my clients at every single price point. It also empowers me to leverage the unique combination of Sotheby’s global resources, Decker Bullock Sotheby’s International Realty’s growing market share and local knowledge with my unmatched social media networks to provide highly personalized service and unmatched exposure to my clients’ properties locally and worldwide.
I would welcome the opportunity to show you how I consistently get outstanding Real Estate results for my clients. I can be reached via email at Sylvie@YourPieceOfMarin.com or by phone/text at 415.505.4789.