Marin County Real Estate Update–September 2008 (Homes For Sale & Price Ranges)

Looking outside last night, my wife commented that it was "dark already" (it was about 7:15 p.m.). I personally confirmed her observation–it looks like the seasons are changing. Predictably, after the annual slowdown of sales in Marin County during the Summer months, it seems as though activity has really picked up over the past couple of weeks. Half of my listings are in escrow (one had 3 offers) and the rest are getting lots of attention. The number of listing is up slightly (it would be up more significantly, but for the high number of Novato homes that are in escrow) and open houses are busy. Buyers seem to recognize that now may be the time to act as they are not convinced the market will tread further south and because of low interest rates (I heard that mortgage rates are down to around 5.75% for conforming loans). Qualifying for those loans is the big issue now–the underwriting process has become very demanding and unforgiving. 

We currently have 756 active listings (up from 748 in August 2008). While Summer is traditionally slower for home sales, buyers continue visiting open houses en mass. Reports of multiple offers continue, especially for aggressively priced Southern Marin homes in good locations and bank owned properties in Novato. And even though the number of homes sold has decreased significantly this year, sellers are holding fast to their prices (particularly in Southern Marin).  


The graph below breaks down the current number of homes (not including condos) for sale in Marin County, California, in September 2008, along with the price ranges for each town/city. 


Marin Single Family Homes For Sale

Homes for Sale
(Active Listings) 
Price Range
$528,000-$18 million
$2.395 million-$27 million
$1.14 million-$43.995 million 
Mill Valley
$625,000-$9.95 million
$739,000-$2.495 million
Corte Madera 
$635,000-$1.999 million
$1,049,000-$3.5 million
$779,000-$5.895 million
$1.499 million-$17.5 million
San Anselmo 
$545,000-$4.495 million
San Rafael
$379,000-$6.5 million
$279,000-$2.999 million


Some observations: Highly desirable Belvedere homes run about $2.4 million, minimum. If you are looking to spend $10 million or more for an amazing estate with views, start looking in Tiburon, which has 7 homes ranging from $10 million to $44 million. 


At the other end of the spectrum, Novato has lots of homes under $600,000. Investors are active (again, amazing rates right now) and all signs point to a busy Autumn for Marin Realtors. Indeed, besides having good air (the best in the country, in fact), excellent schools (click HERE for Forbes’ recent article touting Marin Schools), a relatively short commute (even the Novato commute to San Francisco will soon be improved further when the HWY 101 widening project is completed in December), lots of dedicated open space, beaches, hiking trails, proximity to Lake Tahoe, and everything else we sometimes take for granted living here, we can also be pleased that we don’t see the wild down-swings in pricing like other parts of the country (click HERE for my recent article on Fundy Markets).


If you would like any additional information, please give me (Kyle Frazier, Marin Realtor & CRS), a call at (415) 350-9440. It is always my pleasure to be of service.