We love a good week of increasing inventory. We've had several of them over the past month and the excitement it's creating is energizing. Perhaps this burst is happening now that there are a few solid days of sunshine, and perhaps a little early, but the Spring selling season is upon us and very welcomed by all!
Price & Volume
Marin buyers are loving that there’s a little choice out there. Are they waiting for more to come on the market to make their decisions? Not really. Those who have been looking for a while, maybe even lost out on a few multiple offers, are not messing around this time. They've realized that when you see something they like (or even something that comes close), they must take the plunge and BUY!
It's a process that most home buyers go through when they first come to Marin. Check out this article in Sunday’s Independent Journal. They're surprised by what you can get for your money, compared to the Midwest town they've come from, or even when comparing to the East Coast. They make a few tentative offers thinking that prices couldn't possibly go higher, and then they get shut down. Just like that...rejected!
Sometimes it takes a few tries before the novice Marin buyer can be in the running, and some get the game much more quickly than others, but it is a process, and it takes time. Somewhere in between failed attempts and the increases in the "absolutely highest possible price we can afford,” comes the realization of just how much you really do getting for your money here in Marin. They look up between open houses and see Mt. Tam towering over them in the near distance, or the great views of the Bay, or the wonderful sense of community they see in the town centers. They find it easy to go back and forth to their temporary apartment in San Francisco and realize how strategically located Marin is to the City. The Marin experience starts to take hold and then BAM...they're hooked! It's usually not long after that realization that they enter escrow on their first Marin home.
Some of the monthly stats are below, but for the most part we're still looking at relatively low inventory but steadily increasing. As of this writing, there are 248 active single family homes on the market (about 6 months of inventory). Hopefully, enough to meet the backlog of demand. Interest rates are holding steady, perhaps creeping up just a tad, but still incredibly attractive in the grand scheme. Home prices rising a bit, up just 2% over last year at this same time from median sale price of $1,150,000 to $1,174,500.
We've seen a lot of off-market sales these past few months and are doing what we can to discourage this practice. It's not great for either the buyer or seller and leaves a lot of unanswered questions about true value for both parties. Comps don't always get posted, so new values are harder to determine. And, for those buyers diligently trying to find their ideal home it can be frustrating to miss out on what could have been their dream home that never hit the market. Poor sellers, too... they could have made more money on their sale had these buyers only known about it.
Single Family Homes Sold in February 2017 vs February 2016
Last year at this same time, 95 single family homes were sold. This February, we saw just 76 sold — while slightly fewer than last year, the median sale price was much higher. These moderate price increases are driven by a general lack of inventory and continued high buyer demand, especially in the more affordable, mid-range prices. More new listings are being added to the MLS every day, and inventory numbers are up at this writing year over year. We are even seeing some old listings that didn’t sell last year pop back up on the market, and surprise surprise, they’re suddenly much more attractive! What some worry about is that the Marin housing inventory flow will start to dry up as we go deeper into Spring. Our Spring selling season in 2016 went well into June. Are we peaking early with our Spring inventory? Hopefully, not, but we will be watching carefully in the coming weeks to gauge. We can’t stress enough to sellers how advantageous it would be for them to put their homes on the market now. Buyer demand is the strongest I’ve seen in a long time. Multiple offers are common and all cash, non contingent offers are winning more often than not. It’s always best to work with your agent and figure out a strategy to put your best foot forward given your own specific circumstances. There is still hope!
The most expensive home sold in Marin in February was 179 Avenida Miraflores in Tiburon, which sold for $3,675,000 after 92 days on market.
Trends of Homes Sold in Marin in Varying Price Ranges in February
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