Marin Market Madness Continues

I was just looking at market stats and came across an amazing one that paints a clear picture of what’s happening around here lately–the absorption rate for Marin homes under a million dollars. It was over 90% for March (April numbers will be out in the next week or so).  You get that number by dividing the number of pending sales for the month by the number of active listings. It’s a little lower for all price ranges, but still pretty crazy, especially compared to the way things were just months ago.


Marin absorption rate for residential properties under $1 million.


Marin absorption rate for residential properties in all price ranges.

If you’d like market stats tailored for your town or price segment just drop me a line at

Marin County Activity Reports for February

Here are the slightly delayed pending rate reports for last month.  We should have the ones for March before long but in the meantime it’s interesting to look at what happened in February. Other than a few areas with a large proportion of luxury listings, like Kentfield, Belvedere, Tiburon, and Ross, most towns in Marin were humming along, and that activity level has continued so we should see similar numbers for this month.

The pending rate is the percentage of the total listings going into escrow. Fairfax had a rate over 100% due to a couple of off market sales–homes that were not listed but were entered into the MLS for comp purposes.

If you’d like stats for your neighborhood or have questions about what’s happening in the Marin housing market feel free to drop me a line at


Marin Real Estate Market Most Competetive in Years

The numbers are in for February, and the anecdotal craziness that agents are reporting in the Marin housing market is supported clearly by the stats. The imbalance between supply and demand has continued, with the months supply of inventory still trending down. If you’ve been actively looking for a home in Marin lately you probably know exactly what I’m talking about, as many listings are selling right away, often with multiple offers. It’s frustrating for buyers but the best time in quite a few years to be a seller.

Marin County months supply of housing inventory

Here’s a look at the overall trend in homes for sale vs. those pending and closing. You’ll notice how the light green bars representing homes for sale are lower lately than they are in the rest of the chart, and the red line that represents houses going into escrow has shot up. There’s an important conclusion to draw from this: if this trend continues it will drive prices up. While it’s nice to see some strengthening in the Marin housing market after the wild ride of the last several years, we like to see things a bit more balanced because it’s healthier all around, so here’s to seeing more properties coming on the market to satisfy the demand.

As always, if you have questions about what’s going on in Marin or would like market stats specific to your town or price range please drop me a line at

Inventory of Homes in Marin Keeps Trending Down

The trend of low inventory and plenty of demand has continued into the new year, with the months supply of homes (based on pended sales) at its lowest level in Marin County since 2006. Basically, there are not a lot of homes coming on the market but there are a plenty of active buyers out there looking. Here’s a look over the last five years:

And here’s a closer look at the downward trend since the peak in 2009:

This trend combined with the amazing weather has made this a good time to bring a listing on in Marin, as we’ve been seeing well-priced homes in popular areas getting multiple offers in many cases. On the flipside this atmosphere can be frustrating for buyers, but we’ll see more inventory heading into Spring.

If you’d like market stats for your particular town or price range just drop me an email at

Some Dramatic Variations in November Pending Rates

2011 is ending with a continuation of the trend we’ve been talking about all year: low inventory and strong demand in many areas and segments of the market. As you can see for the chart below, some Marin towns are fairing much better than others. Fairfax, Corte Madera, and Greenbrae, for example, are very different markets than Belvedere and Ross.

And pending rates go down dramatically as price range increases. Things are going to slow down overall as always as we head into the holidays, but it’ll be interesting to see what happens after the first of the year. Drop me an email at if you’d like market stats for your area or price segment.


Pending rates for August

Here are the pending rates for August.  It’s traditionally a slow month, with people out of town, but there’s still been strong activity in some parts off the county.  Corte Madera, Greenbrae, and Fairfax continue to show a lot of demand relative to a small supply.

And here they are by price range. No surprise that the lower end continues to be stronger than the luxury market.

Marin could really use some more good listings

An interesting year continues, with things still a little wacky in the Marin housing market. We’re still seeing multiple offers on some homes, and then there are some listings that are sitting for months. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, one thing that’s pretty glaring is the continued lack of inventory, especially really desirable houses. Looking at the stats for June, the number of residential properties in Marin is the lowest it’s been in any June in at least the last five years. And the months supply of homes based on pending sales is the lowest it’s been in any month since 2007. It’s 45% lower than this time last year, and 17% lower than June 06!

The conventional wisdom says that July and August aren’t the best time to list a home since people are on vacation, but this could be a good time for sellers to throw that thinking out the window and take advantage of the lack of competition.

Things are still moving in Marin

Looking at the Marin County stats across all residential properties and price ranges through last month, pendings (houses going into escrow) ticked back up and inventory remained lower than any May since 2007. With all the doom and gloom in the media lately about the housing market nationwide, I guess we should feel good that Marin is looking like a different story right now.

With relatively low inventory and sales still pretty brisk the months supply is as low as it’s been in quite a while. It was at 3.4 in May, meaning at the current rate of homes going into escrow it would take 3.4 months to exhaust the current supply. That number was 4.9 in May 2010, and 3.1 back at this time in 2006.

As always, if you’d like stats for your particular town or price segment feel free to drop us a line at

Marin Housing Market Update

Time to look at the stats now that the April data is in. Inventory ticked up from March as expected, but is still substantially lower than it has been in April the last few years. These charts are for all single family homes in Marin County under 2 millon dollars.

Pendings (the number of homes going into escrow) have remained pretty constant from March, but months supply has ticked up a little because of the increased inventory. The market still feels more active than it has in a while, and we’re hearing the same from other agents, though it’s not across the board. Interest level in properties coming on still varies quite a bit depending on the nature of the home, how realistic the price is, and of course the location.

In 2010 we saw a lot of activity in the early part of the year, and then a decline from the beginning of Summer through the holidays. It’ll be interesting to see if this year things stay more consistent and if this feeling that the Marin market is heating up continues. As always feel free to drop us an email at if you’d like stats for your particular area or price range.

The Return of Multiple Offers?

There’s a real feeling of renewed activity in the Marin real estate market so far this year, and we’re seeing more multiple offers than we’ve seen in some time. One Kentfield property listed by an agent in our office received eight offers last week, and that’s not an isolated case. Many homes are getting multiple offers, and others have been selling before most buyers even get a chance to view them, either before actually hitting MLS or before the Sunday open house.

Now this is certainly not what’s happening across the board. There are still plenty of homes sitting on the market, and we’re still seeing price reductions in many cases. But in the more popular areas, homes that have a lot of the features most buyers are looking for–and that are priced correctly–are getting a lot of activity. We’re not back to the way things were at the height of the crazy market in 2005, where even less desirable homes were selling fast and for too much money, but we haven’t felt this level of competition for good homes in years. We’ll have to wait and see how much this is function of the time of year and a low supply, or if it keeps up through the rest of 2011.

Here’s a look at the months of inventory based on pending listings for single family homes under $2 million in Marin, meaning how many months it would take to sell all the homes currently on the market based on the rate at which they’re going into escrow. It was down to 3.3 months supply in March, which was 11.4% lower than the supply one year ago, and 43.3% lower than March 2009. The numbers for April will be out soon and I’m guessing they’ll further reflect the increasing activity and relatively lean supply, but I’ll post some charts when they’re available to give a better picture.

If you’d like market info and stats for your specific area of Marin or price range feel free to email me at