Mill Valley CA. Real Estate Market Report (September 2009 Home Sales Update)

September 18, 2009 by  

The Mill Valley, CA. real estate market fulfilled low expectations in August 2009 with 22 sales — same as in July 2009. It has become apparent over the past several months that asking prices have largely halted their downward spiral. As is evident in the graph below, which tracks the median price per square foot (down from $740 to $612), in Mid-June prices flattened out in Mill Valley and have more or less remained stable. It will be interesting to see whether this flattening out carries over into the sales prices of homes trading this Fall and Winter.

Real Estate Market Chart by Altos Research
Based on last month’s sales total of 22, we currently have an overall inventory of homes sufficient to last a bit more than 5.5 months (virtually the same as August 2009) — this is called the absorption rate. This is still a HUGE reduction from the absorption rate from May 2009, which stood at well over 8 months. The number of homes in escrow is also up by over ten percent from last month, which suggests that sales activity will increase in the late Fall and into the Winter months (as is normal for Mill Valley). We think there are many real buyers out there who have been waiting for “a sign” to buy — we don’t know what that sign will be (there are likely to be many “signs”), but we feel it will likely come soon.

Real Estate Market Chart by Altos Research

As with Marin overall, the most active segment is the sub $1 million price bands, which can be characterized as neutral markets, favoring neither buyers nor sellers. Well over half of last month’s sales were under $1 million. The number of “bread and butter” homes (those priced between $1 million to $2 million) currently in escrow is up from 12% last month to about 18% this month. Meanwhile, the luxury market in Mill Valley (homes from $2 million and up) saw very limited activity last month (just 1 sale) — but there are 7 such homes in escrow.

Price Range

Total Active Homes

Pending Listings

Up to $800K

17 (same)


$800K – $1 mil.

19 (up 1)


$1 mil. – 1.5 mil.

35 (down 5)


$1.5 mil. – $2 mil.

19 (up 1)


$2 mil. – $4 mil.

30 (same)


$4 mil. & Up

5 (up 1)


Mill Valley’s 22 sales from August 2009 gave rise to the following averages: 111 days on the market; an average price of $911,857; and about 2,109 sq. ft. (or about $449 per sq. ft.). Homes in Tam Valley, Scott Valley, Sycamore Park, and Country Club generated the most calls this month. If you would like more information about neighborhoods, sales, schools, or local Mill Valley services references, just give me a call at (415) 350-9440 or e-mail me at

Readers of my monthly reports on Mill Valley, CA. are well aware of my love for Mill Valley. And what’s not to like? For starters: (1) A quick and easy commute to San Francisco, (2) often spectacular views of the Bay, the Golden Gate Bridge (a short 5-10 minutes down HWY 101), and Mt. Tam, (3) excellent schools, (4) pleasant weather, (5) a mellow, laid back ambiance, (6) a town square unlike any other in Marin (you have to go to the town of Sonoma for anything like it), (7) diverse social events (think Mill Valley Film Festival & The Dipsea Race), (8) lots of good restaurants, and (9) excellent shopping choices, including non-gentrified, family-owned boutiques and shops of all kinds.

p.s. I currently have several clients who want to be sellers, but are waiting in the wings. Please contact me to determine if any of these opportunities fit your needs. If you would like my Mill Valley Hot List, call or e-mail me: (415) 350-9440 | It is always my pleasure to be of service. Christie’s Great Estates | Morgan Lane Marin and Pacific Union International.


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