Marin County CA Real Estate 2013 Year-End Review

Marin County CA Real Estate 2013 Year-End Review

Historically, Marin County Real Estate prices have been stable with only two periods ever showing year to year price drops; in ‘91-’92 during the S&L crisis, ­prices of Marin County Homes fell a paltry -2.7%. During the Great Recession, Marin home prices broke that pattern and fell a whopping -33%. The next recession will likely commence in the next 18-24 months regardless of FED actions. Due to the strength of the SF Bay economy, coupled with strong demand for Marin County real estate, and tighter lending conditions, the next recession’s effect is likely to be closer to the S&L crisis than the Great Recession.


The general trend in Marin Real Estate is strength in the bottom 50% of the market and relative weakness in the top 50%. One reason why high-end buyer’s negotiation strategies have successfully suppressed high-end values is a result of lack of information to support those ­values – which is why we created this newsletter. The data is intended to ­support and clarify the elements of value that contribute to high-end home prices in Marin towns.

There are two stores of value in each home: 1)the ‘Lot/Location’ of the home (and the rights that transfer with title, such as public schools); and 2) Structure Value: layout, finish, curb appeal, etc., of the home.

The price buyers are willing to pay for these two elements of value ­vary considerably from town to town, but also within neighborhoods in each town.  The only County in America that has ­reliable ­‘Lot/­Location’ ­values is Marin County, and The DuPont Group compiles it. Have you ever looked for a home’s lot/location value online? Its not there and ­buyers won’t find anything. Ultimately, lot/location values are the ­primary ­differentiator of home values, hence: “location, location, ­location”.


 Successful negotiation strategies use both emotional and ­statistical techniques to move a home sale forward. The high-end market ­generally requires more statistical data delivered to buyers in formats they can understand and digest.  Key principal: buyers want to buy, they just don’t want to feel like they overpaid.  One reason why high-end home sales take so long to close is sometimes it takes that long for the ­emotional pull of the home to overcome relative confusion about value. If a buyer understands the value proposition of a home purchase they close as quickly as they can.

Shifting gears, the Big News this year is the business cycle high in SFR home unit sales.


 Our 2014 Marin forecast anticipates high demand, a continuation of the low-inventory environment relative to demand, high unit sales ­especially in Central Marin, with stable to increasing prices

The DuPont Group plans to take 12 listings in Marin County this year. If you have plans to buy or sell we ask that you include us when interviewing or recommending areal estate agents. Let us convert our research into a better price for you. Please call Dave DuPont 415-867-6611. Thank you and Happy New Year!

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