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Marin County Real Estate Market: Mid-Year Report

Marin County’s Real Estate Market
The Paragon Mid-Year Report

Median Price Appreciation Trends, Luxury Home Sales, Dollar per Square Foot Values,

Interest Rates, Sales by Price Range, Sales Price to List Price & Days on Market

July 2015, Paragon Real Estate Group


Short-Term & Long-Term
Median Home Price Appreciation

In 2015, Marin median home prices continued to appreciate and finally surpassed the previous peak values reached in 2007. Due to the much lower interest rates now (see chart further below), the actual ongoing monthly cost of homeownership is still significantly lower than 8 years ago for those who purchase with financing.


Home Price Appreciation by City & Town:
Dollar Increases in Median Sales Prices

If you purchased the theoretical Marin “median house” at the bottom of the market in 2011, this chart shows the increase in its value through mid-2015. The luxury home segment of Marin’s market has performed well in the recovery and, not surprisingly, higher-priced neighborhoods saw the greatest amount of appreciation in dollar terms. Overall, the median house price in Marin appreciated by 47% over this period.

Our interactive maps of North Bay median home prices can be found here: North Bay Home Values Maps


Average Dollar per Square Foot Values

Average dollar per square foot values have increased across the board in Marin communities in 2015.


Marin Luxury Home Sales

Some of the most expensive towns in Marin, such as Ross and Belvedere, are relatively tiny real estate markets as far as sales volume goes – which, of course, only adds to their exclusivity – so the higher volume of luxury home sales are found elsewhere in also expensive but larger communities such as Mill Valley and Tiburon.

The second quarter of 2015 saw a large spike in luxury home sales, similar to that of Q2 of 2014. The spring selling season is typically by far the most active time for high-end home sales in Marin.


Price Reductions, Sales Prices to List Prices
and Days on Market

In the 2nd quarter, the great majority of Marin home sales sold without prior price reductions; these sold quickly, at an average of 4.4% over the original list price – clear indications of a strong market. Those listings that were price reduced prior to sale took much longer to sell, at a significant discount to original list price. And over 100 listings expired or were withdrawn from the market without selling, typically due to being perceived as significantly overpriced: Even in a hot market, buyers usually walk away from such listings.


Marin Home Sales by Price Range

An overview of how Marin’s home sales break down by price segment, which gives much more context to the market beyond the county median sales price.


Mortgage Interest Rate Trends

What is often overlooked in the focus on home prices is the enormous difference mortgage interest rates make in ongoing housing costs. Over the last 4 years, the big decline in interest rates has largely subsidized the increase in home prices since the market recovery began in 2012. For example, the median Marin house price has just surpassed the 2007 peak, but interest rates have declined 35% since then, dramatically altering the equation of monthly housing cost.


Bay Area Home Price Appreciation Rates

Besides the general economic recovery, there are a number of factors in different counties affecting home price appreciation over the past 4 years: 1) the huge decline in distressed property sales in those counties terribly affected by them during the downturn (primarily Solano, Contra Costa, Sonoma, Napa & Alameda), 2) the dramatic surge in luxury home sales (primarily SF, San Mateo, Marin and Santa Clara), and 3) the effect of the high-tech boom in employment and wealth, which radiates out from San Francisco and Silicon Valley, its white-hot centers. The higher priced counties, led by San Francisco and including Marin, saw the largest dollar increases in median prices, but counties rebounding from the distressed property crisis often experienced the biggest percentage jumps.

Note that this analysis uses the combined median county sales price of both houses and condos, so they will not match those on earlier charts.

Median sales prices are often affected by other factors besides changes in fair market value. Seasonality; big changes in the distressed, luxury and new-construction market segments or simply the inventory available to purchase; interest rate fluctuations; and other economic variables can all impact median prices. Short term fluctuations are less reliable than longer term trends.

These analyses were made in good faith with data from sources deemed reliable, but they may contain errors and are subject to revision. Statistics are generalities and how they apply to any specific property is unknown without a tailored comparative market analysis. Sales statistics of one month generally reflect offers negotiated 4 – 6 weeks earlier. All numbers should be considered approximate.

© 2015 Paragon Real Estate Group

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