A new crop of homes has hit our inventory-starved County, and Marin Buyers could not be happier. There are currently 370 homes for sale and 153 have come on the market since President's Day. This is what many have been waiting for. Buyers who have been watching the market, are pre-approved and ready to act, can reap the benefits of this new Spring harvest. We’ll see how they react. Sometimes when a lot of inventory hits, buyers can freeze. They hope that a more perfect home will appear in the coming weeks. But those who hesitate can miss an opportunity, and then find themselves with fewer choices down the road than they had hoped for.
Pricing remains critical in this highly charged market. Sellers going too high may miss out on a buyer that dismisses their home because of the price. Better to start at a more realistic place and let the market determine how much it should sell for. While many homes continue to get multiple offers, by and large it is less frequent and less frenetic.
The national economy continues to show signs of strength, with recent reports showing better-than-expected gains in private sector employment. Furthermore, recent gains in oil prices helped global equity shares hit a two-month high. European and Asian equities rose on anticipation of further monetary easing in Europe, and stimulus measures in China. San Francisco Fed President John Williams stated that the U.S. economy is weathering difficulties in international markets, and that there is no tangible risk of a recession. In light of recent positive reports on the economy, it is expected that the Fed will resume their course of rate hikes this year.
While fewer properties were sold this February, overall prices did increase in Marin. January and February started off slowly, but look for some solid numbers in March with inventory on the rise. Housing prices are still predicted to rise moderately this year at about 6%, which is a healthy increase, though not as dramatic as in the last few years that saw 10-15% or more appreciation.
The median home price for Marin in February was $1,141,400, up 14% from last year at this same time. For a typical buyer today, purchasing a home at this median price, with a down payment of 20% ($228,280), and a 30-year fixed rate of 3.375%, the monthly mortgage (not including taxes and insurance) would be approximately $4,036.87. The good news is interest rates are still amazingly low, so doing research will help you find the loan package that works best for you.
Single Family Houses Sold in February 2016 vs February 2015
The majority of properties sold this February in Marin (single family homes and condominiums combined) were under $1 million dollars. Of the 60 sold properties under $1M, most of them were in Novato (28) and San Rafael (19). Novato’s under $1M properties were mostly single-family homes, while San Rafael had a majority of condominiums in that range. There were 30 total condominiums sold in Marin this past February with a median sales price of $464,000, versus 49 sold last February 2015 with a median sale price of $505,000.
The San Francisco Market affects Marin because it’s still frantic and extremely expensive. Conditions there are driving buyers here and some are coming from as far away from Silicon Valley because you get more for your money in Marin. If you'd like to know more CLICK HERE
All in all, we're seeing a more “normal” market. Prices are rising, but not at the clip they rose in the past few years. Sales are slower, but we attribute that to low inventory levels and expect to see a significant upward change in the coming months. Well-prepared buyers will win by knowing the market, what’s available and having a good sense of recent comparable sales. We can help you with that.