Marin Real Estate (April 2010)

April 30, 2010

The sun is out and spring sports are underway – it is officially real estate season. We have reviewed cyclical and seasonal trends in MarinCounty in an effort to predict the balance of 2010. We are more optimistic today than we have been in twenty four months. It seems consumer demand for Marin and San Francisco real estate is regaining its stride. While some real estate decisions can be postponed, eventually buyers need to buy and sellers need to sell. New listings and new escrows are both up over 100% since the turn of the year.

April 2009 marked the inflection point when buyers began cautiously re-engaging with the Marin County real estate market. A year later, Q1 2010 results for volume ($) and units (#) are up significantly in the core of the market. Like the job market, the first quarter of 2010 may also indicate the stabilization of pricing; a required first step in our market’s recovery. As we look forward in 2010 we are encouraged by the recent increase in MarinCounty (and Bay Area-wide) new inventory (listings). Since March 1st, MarinCounty has seen over 450 new listings. Over 175 of these homes have list prices in excess of $1 million.

We continue to analyze buyer behavior and sense their confidence when properties are well priced, staged, and properly presented. Buyers are dismissive of homes that are “over-priced” in order for sellers to leave room for “negotiations”.

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Marin Luxury Homes (April 2010)

April 30, 2010

As with many of Marin County’s micro-markets, Marin’s luxury home market is showing signs of increased velocity and buyer optimism. As reported in previous months, “real buyers” continue to snap up homes in prestige locations such as Belvedere, Ross, Kent Woodlands, etc., along with “value” properties with locational upside, views of San Francisco, southern exposures, knolltop properties. In the $2 million to $4 million price band, sales have eclipsed last year’s low numbers, inventory is down significantly and the number of homes with accepted offers (in escrow) is very high. This combination of factors looks promising for continued improvement. And we are not alone — click HERE for a detailed snapshot of current national trends from the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing. The below chart shows the dramatic increase in the number of luxury homes under contract in Marin County, as compared with last year.

$2 Million to $4 Million Luxury Homes

Following a lackluster January 2010, sales in February and March 2010 increased quite a bit, with 9 trades. Incredibly, we have another 28 homes currently in escrow (there were just 16 in escrow last month). This is a leading indicator of increased sales next month. Certainly, buyers are feeling some urge to buy as it appears that the overall economic environment is improving, the DJIA has trended up over 11,100, and the pricing in the marketplace suggests “value.” However, inventory remains low (although higher than last month) at just 96 homes on the market.

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Mill Valley CA. Real Estate Market Report (April 2010 Home Sales Update)

April 19, 2010

I have been chomping at the bit to write this monthly report as the market in Mill Valley is bursting with positive indicators. The number of homes sold in the Mill Valley, California real estate market rose nearly 50% over the prior month. Mill Valley’s touchstone price band ($1 million to $2 million) appears to be striding towards normalcy. Not only is seasonal inventory healthy (with more homes for sale than last year), but so too is the percentage of homes in escrow (see below — it is hard to believe!). With most economic indicators pointing towards recovery, the collective thinking among buyers is that now is as good a time as any to buy a home — whether it is a first home or a move-up home. Keep in mind that buyers in Mill Valley are not buying because of government tax credits (a storyline often told in the national press). These buyers, for the most part, are high earners excluded from such programs. These are simply people who have decided the time is right. It has been well over three years since I have heard buyers speak confidently about the market, secure in the fact that they are buying into a good overall market environment.

Mill Valley Solds

Our current overall inventory of homes is down 72 % from last year, resulting in a reduced absorption rate. 

Mill Valley Absorption Rate

The number of homes for sale in Mill Valley has increased as the Spring selling season is underway — we now have 144 homes on the market. Mill Valley’s entry level price bands (under $1,000,000) are as strong as we have seen them over the past couple of years. In fact, the number of homes in escrow has literally exploded as has sales velocity!

Mill Valley In Escrow

Mill Valley’s 23 sales in March 2010 gave rise to the following averages: 111 days on the market; an average price of $1,154,413; and about 1,826 sq. ft. (or about $640 per sq. ft.). Homes in Tam Valley, Scott Valley, Sycamore Park, and Country Club generated the most calls this month.

Later this month, 617 Springfield Way in Tam Valley will come to market. Priced at $85,000, this special home sits on ~1/3 acre at the end of  a serene cul de sac in a magnificent setting. It features 3 bedrooms and 2 baths upstairs, along with a large unit downstairs which would be perfect au pair quarters or rental it has rented out recently for ~$1,000/mo.

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

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. I am also a founding member of the Marin Platinum Group (limited exclusively to the Top 100 agents in Marin) and have access to about 4 dozen homes not “officially” on the market but available for sale. 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 | Pacific Union International.