Marin County Real Estate Update — February 2009 (Homes For Sale & Price Ranges)

As of this writing, the Stimulus Bill and its apparently watered down home buyer tax credit is being finalized. Yet economists and consumers are grim. Ergo, the Marin County, California real estate market continues its slow and steady march into the teeth of a tireless media storm of negativity. Yes, the market overall is fairly slow, but not as slow as it may appear. Sales in Northern Marin’s Novato were up 30% January 2009 over January 2008–as I like to say, "Give Yourself a Raise–Move to Novato!" 

The chart below shows a 90-day rolling average of Mill Valley’s new listings and absorbed listings (e.g., sales), comparing current numbers with those of last year. Note that the while the numbers for new listings are about the same, the number of absorbed listings is up in 2009 over 2008. Again, while the wheels of the real estate market are sticking and squeaking, they have not fallen off (although sellers are advised to wear seat belts). If you would like a similar chart for any other town or city in Marin or San Francisco, please let me know.


Real Estate Market Chart by Altos Research


Obviously, the more stringent underwriting policies of lenders are stifling demand. In addition, I am quite aware that some home buyers are continuing to wait for the perceived bottom, despite the FACT that interest rates are as low as could be realistically expected and prices in many Marin communities and neighborhoods have receded to 2003 or 2004 price levels. As evidenced by frenzied investor activity, particularly in Novato, there is definite traction at the low end. And once prices stabilize at the low end, the rippling effect upwards will follow.

Inventory is up to 583 single family homes for sale (we had about 503 last month) in the Highway 101 corridor (this number excludes Western Marin inventory and condos). Mill Valley has an impressive (for this time of year) 10 new listings on the market. Reports of multiple offers continue–especially on foreclosure properties. I am informed that a condo on the market for 2 brief days had 14 offers last month. That frenzy continues today. Interestingly, one of the most visited pages on any of my websites is an article I wrote a while back on lease-options (a.k.a., rent-to-own properties).  


Open houses over the past weekend were swamped, with 20-30 groups filing through one of my listings in Terra Linda (by the way, if you know anyone iterested in an Atrium Eichler on an amazing lot, have them call me) and another 15 groups investigating my new view condo listing in Sausalito. There is definite excitement out there.


The graph below breaks down the current number of homes for sale and price ranges in Marin County’s HWY 101 corridor (e.g., Marin’s coastal communites are not included) in January 2009, along with the price ranges for each town and/or city.


Marin Single Family Homes For Sale

Homes for Sale
(Active Listings) 
Price Range
$490,000-$18 million
$1.050 million-$48 million
$1.095 million-$37 million 
Mill Valley
$685,000-$5.7 million
$719,000-$2.75 million
Corte Madera 
$625,000-$2.799 million
$899,000-$12.539 million
$1.095 million-$6.95 million
$1.05 million-$17.5 million
San Anselmo 
$479,000-$2.695 million
San Rafael
$375,000-$6.5 million
$313,000-$3.199 million



For a detailed executive summary providing statistics and trends relating to the Marin real estate market (or any specific zip code), please call me any time (I am Kyle Frazier, Marin Realtor & CRS) at (415) 350-9440 or e-mail me at [email protected] . It is always my pleasure to be of service.