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October 2009 Marin Home Sales & Market Update

Typically as we enter into the fall season in real estate, the number of home sales decline from the peak of spring and summer. In Marin, we saw a reverse in this fall cycle. Comparing October 2009 to October 2008, the number of single family homes sales increased by 40% and the number of homes going into contract increased 121%.

Supply decreased by 13% over this same period.  The number of months supply of inventory decreased by 61% to 4.6 months of actual inventory. This number represents a more balanced market.  Last year’s supply of inventory enlarged to  11.7 months which represented an extremely strong buyers market. A seller's market is around 3.5 months of inventory.  At the moment, buyers are buying up the inventory and not a lot of new inventory is coming on the market. We're seeing that most sellers that are selling right now need to sell.
The median sales price was down 14% to $755,880. Two factors play into this decline; the large number of Marin foreclosures and Marin short sales stemming partly from Novato and the lack of higher priced luxury residential sales.
Why this shift in this October's real estate market? 
  • Prices have come down significantly in all price categories, people feel like there is value in buying right now. The activity is the evidence.
  • Money is cheap; interest rates have been hovering around and below 5%.
  • People have cashed out of the stock market and are looking at real estate as a long-term investment. There are a lot more cash buyers now than ever before, even in the luxury market.
  • For some folks, they view this as their opportunity to move up. They might sell for a lower price than before, but they will be making up for it on the buying end.
  • Government incentives expanded and extended into 2010.
As a result of this shift, all price points have seen some positive movement.  We're seeing this more so in the sub $800,000 market, as reflected in the statistics above. This is a category where we see it as a strong seller's market. We are still seeing multiple offers on homes sub $800k, as I mentioned in my blog from early October of this year.  So if you are thinking about selling your home, this would be a good time do it.  Maybe not over the holidays, but definitely in the new year.  More buyers, less inventory, more attention to your home, more competition and as a result more money in your pocket.
October 2009 was obviously an interesting month for real estate in Marin County and I can already tell you that the upward tick last month appears to be carrying into November – especially in towns such as Novato, San Rafael, Fairfax and San Anselmo.   If you’re interested, you can actually track these home sale statistics “real time” on our website right now!  Simply visit the Novato Home Sale Statistics, San Rafael Home Sales Statistics , Fairfax California Home Sales Statistics and San Anselmo Home Sales Statistics page of our web site.  You'll find more links below.
This should provide some perspective on the 'real' real estate market activity in Marin right now. In my opinion, I think this trend will only continue as long as buyer demand holds strong.
I hope you find this information valuable. If you are interested in learning more about the activity in your price point, or need assistance with the sale or purchase of a home, feel free to contact me.
Data Source:  Clarus Metrics. 

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