MARIN COUNTY REAL ESTATE MARKET UPDATE – FEBRUARY 2016
California’s existing home sales in February posted their strongest performance in three years as year-over-year sales recovered from escrow closings in the fourth quarter of 2015 delayed because of the new TRID regulations. Year-over-year sales increased in the state’s major regions, including the San Francisco Bay Area at 6.8 percent.
On the subject of the San Francisco Bay Area real estate market, it seems to maintain the same pattern as last year, with high demand and low inventory. The decline in stock values and its effect on consumer confidence seems to be no match for the continued pent-up demand. The low interest rates are also encouraging buyers to jump in this spring.
Realtor.com’s chief economist conducted a study of the popular site’s data to find out which area in the country has the best availability (good for buyers) and the highest demand (good for sellers), He used the number of listing views by market as an indicator of demand and median days on market as an indicator of supply. He used the results of this analysis to identify the 20 hottest real estate markets in the country—where listings are viewed two to five times more often than the national average, and homes move off the market 44 to 78 days more quickly than elsewhere in the U.S.
And yes, you guessed it: San Francisco sits at No.1 for the fourth month in a row, and markets like Denver, San Jose, and Dallas continue their uninterrupted upward climb.
In Marin County, February’s inventory of homes for sale remained historically low at 206, though improved from a 10-year low in January. Despite the increase month over month, the number of homes for sale was down 34 percent year over year, and just 21 percent of 2007’s record. This lack of inventory coupled with buyer demand is expected to result in increases in average sale prices as we approach the busy spring season. In February, the average sales price was 12 percent higher than in February last year.
161 new listings have already come on the market since the beginning of March, bringing the current inventory today to 310, which is still very low. Sellers, if you are tempted to sit tight and wait until buyers’ desperation reaches its peak, consider this Realtor.com survey which found that “80% of sellers intend to go on and buy another home. That means that [you], too, need to get ahead of the competition in the market. It’s the real estate circle of life!”
HOME SALES BY AREA
The number of homes sold in Marin County in February increased slightly to 93, from 89 in January. Mill Valley, Sausalito, Tiburon and San Anselmo home sales dropped to nearly half their January levels, while Novato and San Rafael showed the highest number of homes sold at 29 and 20, respectively.
HOME SALES AND MARKET ACTIVITY BY PRICE POINT
The luxury market, which was very buoyant in 2015, was slow this February with only 10 sales of properties priced over $2 million, while inventory in that price segment stood at 84, and 15 properties went into escrow. The $1 to $2 million price range remained the most active market in Marin County with 45 sold in February, with inventory at 74 and homes going contingent at 31. Homes under $1 million–which used to be the most active segment of our market by far– followed closely with 36 sales, while inventory was at a very low 57 homes available, and 36 went contingent.
PERCENT OF HOMES IN CONTRACT
Larkspur led Marin County in February for the highest percentage of homes in contract at 75 percent. Novato followed with 62 percent, the Beach Cities at 44 percent and Fairfax, Greenbrae and San Rafael each maintained a healthy 40 percent. Kentfield, Ross and Belvedere saw a lower percentage of homes in contract due to the higher end nature of those markets at 22, 20 and 0 percent, respectively.
AVERAGE PRICE OF AVERAGE LISTING COMPARED TO AVERAGE PRICE OF HOMES SOLD
In contrast to Marin County averages in January where listing prices increased and sale prices decreased, February saw a subtle decrease in average listing price and a nearly 15 percent increase in sale price. The increase in sale price represents a turning point in the slightly downward trend that began last October, and is the result of the increasingly low inventory.
NUMBER OF HOMES LISTED AND SOLD
Inventory increased 25 percent from January as we moved into the nascent stage of listing season, though levels are 30 percent below the same month last year. The number of homes sold in February was nearly the same as January and slightly below the same month last year.
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 Report – February 2016 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.