Marin County Real Estate Inventory (Market Report)

Marin County, California, sits just north of San Francisco?s Golden Gate Bridge, straddling Highway 101, and boasts some of the most valuable real estate in the Bay Area. Homes for sale in Marin County (cities and towns include: Mill Valley, Sausalito, Tiburon, Belvedere, Corte Madera, Larkspur, Greenbrae, Kentfield, Ross, San Anselmo, San Rafael and Novato) have, by and large, maintained their value over the past 2 years.

The following is a brief rundown of the absorption rates and trends (based on last month?s numbers) in Marin County, as of May 1, 2007:

Current Absorption Rates (single family homes):

City/Town Month?s Inventory Up or Down?
Sausalito 2.6 Down 1.7
Mill Valley 1.3 Down .7
Tiburon 2.6 Up .2
Belvedere 2.3 Down 1.3
Corte Madera 2.1 Up 1.1
Larkspur 2.2 Down .2
Greenbrae 1.1 Up .3
Kentfield 1.9 Down .2
Ross 2.7 Down 1.9
San Anselmo 2 Down 1.3
San Rafael 2 Down .2
Novato 3.3 Up .2

As the chart reflects, absorption rates are very low in most Marin towns. Is this is a sign of a strengthening market or just lower inventory? Time will tell. Certainly, these low absorption rates exist in an environment of increasing inventory (Marin currently has 647 active listings, up by about 98 from a month ago). Novato’s 3.3 months of housing inventory is highest in the County, followed by Ross, Tiburon, and Sausalito. At the low end of inventory is Greenbrae (as always) and Mill Valley. Meanwhile, Kentfield, Corte Madera, and Larkspur sit somewhere in the middle.

Generally speaking, when the absorption rate is under 3 months, we consider the market one that favors the sellers. When the absorption rate is between 3 to 6 months, you have a more balanced market. Once you get above 6 months, however, prices tend to make meaningful strides downward. This information, in conjunction with other market statistics, is useful for buyers and sellers to help determine the relative status of the real estate market in Marin or elsewhere. If you would like to discuss the interplay of statistics and market strength, please e-mail Kyle Frazier at [email protected]

*Note: If your town?s absorption rate is not sampled above, or if you would like information on condominiums, please call me at (415) 350-9440 or go to If you would like to discuss how the absorption rate reflects the overall state of the market in general, or in your neighborhood, give me a call.