Marin Market Update November 2015

Overheard in Marin real estate circles...
  • “We finally reduced our list price by $100,000 after a month on the market, and immediately got a surge of interest, multiple offers and have just sold at the original asking price!”
  • “We went in under asking and got the house… without a counter!”
  • “We priced our home low, thinking we'd get multiple offers and we didn't get one!”
  • “Despite our agent's suggestion, we listed our house $200,000 over their recommended asking price... no offers. We just accepted an offer below the agent's original suggested price.” 
OK, that last one wasn't actually overheard, as most sellers would not admit that they miscalculated the market and didn’t take a professional’s advice, but the others are quite common scenarios in Marin. The stories we're hearing right now are varied -- success stories from buyers and sellers, and stories of extreme frustration.
Some properties are flying off the shelves, perhaps because they are well-priced, expertly marketed, in a great location (close to town, transportation, schools, parks, etc.), look great with very little work to be done, or a fixer with tons of potential.
On the other hand, some properties languish on the market. This is ether because the seller is unrealistic about price, the agent has not marketed the property well, the layout is funky, the location is less than desirable, there is too much work to be done, or it is some combination of these factors.

Rest assured, there are eager buyers out there who are ready to make a move... they just want what they want.
As of November 11, 2015, there are 291 active homes on the market in Marin, ranging from $269,000 to $20,000,000. There are also 82 active condos for sale, ranging in price from $120,000 to $2,150,000.  Here it is broken-down first by price and then by location:

The further we break it down into location-specific, the numbers dwindle even more. You can see there is a true inventory shortage in all categories. Broken-down by a few select Marin cities, one can see where the opportunities lie (for now):

The average days on market for a single family house this past October is 50, down from the average 58 days on market in October of 2014. This indicates inventory is moving a bit faster than this time last year.
As the economy gains a bit of strength, mortgage rates are beginning to inch up. The Federal interest rates are expected to rise in December and although not directly tied to mortgage interest, they do ultimately affect it. If not raised in December, certainly in the New Year. This is a healthy sign that our economy can stand a little stronger on its own. But, it also has immediate effects on affordability, so will most definitely impact some home prices moving forward.
We are right now in a window of opportunity for buyers and sellers to find that perfect balance of list/buy price. It’s a shame more properties are not on the market. Though the market is pretty healthy, with a solid amount of sales, I think we’d be seeing a lot more movement if we had more properties on the market.
If you are interested in more specifics about your town or neighborhood, please don't hesitate to call us. While the market is varied, there are still ways of determining the true value of your home based on its unique features, recent comps and market conditions. And, if you're in the market to buy, let's strategize about how to make the best purchase for your dollar.