Marin County CA Real Estate Update – Q4 and 2010 Review

Marin County CA Real Estate Update – Q4 and 2010 Review

Southern Marin County Update Q4 2010

Sales in Southern Marin surged in weeks leading up to Thanksgiving.

Four segments of the Southern Marin SFR market:

  • Entry level (below $1.2m): activity in this segment has been very brisk for 15 months.
  •  Middle Market ($1.2m-$3m): Momentum in the entry level moved into the middle market about 6 months ago and the data has clearly improved.
  • High End (above $3m): Buyer activity reached the high end about 4 months ago.
  • Ultra-High End (above $7m): Improving but still very slow

The primary active buyer demographic now continues to be families looking for good public school options, finished homes with lawns (not remodels), preferably with views, 4 beds+ and 3.5+ baths.

Buyers continue make purchase decisions primarily because of perceived value. The sales cycle for homes that are priced correctly is generally short and sweet. Sellers who price their homes above the market hoping to “find the right buyer” are setting themselves up for a long disappointing sales cycle in market full of value hunters; and the wealthier a buyer is (to a point) the more focused they are on value.

The market data pretty clearly shows that a bottom was placed in most market segments in the various towns of Southern Marin during the third quarter of 2009. We are reluctant to call it “The Bottom” due to various sticky macro financial issues, but the direction of economic data appears headed in the right direction and this coming Spring is likely to be the best Spring selling season we have had in 3 years.

High End Update: Marin County does not bear high end pricing (>$10m) like other premium real estate markets around the world. Records show 7 closed deals above $10m in Marin since 2005 versus 25 in San Francisco, and many others closed off market (privately) in SF. There are currently 13 homes above $10m available for purchase in Marin and none are in contract. While many of these homes are truly remarkable: showcasing the latest and greatest in luxury living, many others are simply mispriced.

Belvedere is statistically the worst Mill valley and Sausalito have corrected more than Tiburon. Mill Valley and Sausalito are improving. Tiburon homes are still in correction mode except for Tiburon condos which really bounced in 2010.

Please see the individual town pages.

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