National Association of Realtors Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun, posits that even though the demand for buying is high, the housing market – especially in the West – will struggle to reach its full potential unless the stock of new and existing homes for sale increases significantly. On a national level, new construction housing starts have been drastically below normal levels, around one-third of the 1.5 million units per year average. In the Bay Area, with limited new construction due to land constraints, the problem with lack of inventory is exacerbated. The inventory in Marin is lower than at any time in the previous 10 years; about 70% of last year and 60% of the same period one decade ago.
Home Sales and Market Activity by Price
Homes priced from $1 to $2 million remain the most active market in Marin County with 79 sales in April. Homes under $1 million followed closely with 67 sales. There was an increase of active homes priced between $3 – $4 million, at 35, up from 26 active listings in March. More homes were sold at every price point except $10 million and above, compared to March levels, for a total of 259 sold properties.
Average Sale Price
April saw an increase in average sale price in Marin County for single family homes at $1,603,991, up $168,000 from March averages. The median price, which more accurately reflects the mid-market, was up $123,000, to $1,232,000. There was also a slight increase in average listing price to just above $2 million.
Number for Sale and Sold
Inventory in Marin County continues to seasonally rise following a steady trend upward from January lows. April saw double the inventory levels compared to that low, at 317 active listings. The number of homes sold in April also increased, from 126 in March to 192. Due to inventory constraints, single family home sales in April were roughly 30% lower the same month last year.
Homes in Contract by Area
Fairfax and Corte Madera led Marin County in April for the highest percentage of single family homes in contract at 65% and 75%, respectively. Greenbrae, at 44%, saw the highest increase in homes under contract compared to March levels, at 20%. Larkspur had the greatest decrease in homes in contract at 33%, just half of March’s 67%. Kentfield, Belvedere and San Rafael also had strong month-over-month increases.
Home Sales in Marin by Area
April marked an increase in the number of homes sold in Marin County, 192, from 126 in March. San Rafael and Novato continued to see the highest number of homes sold at 43 and 33, respectively. Mill Valley showed the greatest increase in homes sold at 33, more than double the number sold in March, which was 12. Tiburon, San Anselmo and West Marin also recorded month-on-month increases in number of homes sold.