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

Marin County, California real estate has slowed. While largely a function of the season (Winter is generally slow), macro-economic considerations, and more stringent borrowing guidelines, I feel that the primary source of the current slowdown relates to a perception by home buyers that "now" is not a good time to buy. Nonetheless, interest rates are at ALL-TIME LOWS (the San Francisco Chronicle’s Real Estate section has noted these records lows each of the past four weeks), prices in many Marin communities and neighborhoods are well off their peaks, and there is a wide variety of home choices out there. As evidenced by the investor actvity of the past few months, "now" does have some momentum.


Inventory is down to 503 single family homes for sale (we had about 716 last month) in the Highway 101 corridor (this number excludes Western Marin inventory). Reports of multiple offers continue–especially on foreclosure properties. I am informed that a condo which was on the market for 2 days had 14 offers. Obviously, with the equity market in turmoil, some of the sidelined money is finding its way into Marin investment properties which bring in high rents and attract excellent tenants (and, of course, appreciation will return to the real estate market). Open houses over the past weekend were swamped, with report of 20-30 groups filing through. As noted in recent reports, I feel that pent-up demand will expose itself in the new year as hope and positivity resurfaces.


The graph below breaks down the current number of homes (not including condos) for sale and in escrow 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
$650,000-$18 million
$2.295 million-$48 million
$790,000-$37 million 
Mill Valley
$465,000-$4.5 million
$769,000-$3.2 million
Corte Madera 
$595,000-$2.799 million
$875,000-$1.55 million
$839,000-$6.95 million
$1.25 million-$17.5 million
San Anselmo 
$430,000-$2.748 million
San Rafael
$383,900-$6.5 million
$203,950-$3.499 million


Some observations: There is opportunity at the entry level in Tiburon for $790,000, while Belvedere’s most affordable home is listed for $2.295 million. Mill Valley home sales seem to be moderating and poised for an upswing (note that 38% of homes in Mill Valley for sale under $800,000 are in escrow).

For a detailed executive summary providing statistics and trends relating to the Marin real estate market (or any specific zip code), please fill out the above form or call (415) 350-9440. It is always my pleasure to be of service.