Kentfield Real Estate Review – YEAR-End 2018
An Inside Look at Marin County Real Estate
The Marin County real estate market continues to be uniquely resilient. Slightly fewer homes sold during the first half of this year compared to last year (4.4%) and the average selling price dipped by 3.7% to $1,675,000. Nevertheless, 40% of sellers countywide received multiple bids and sold at prices above the original asking price.
Buyers are willing to pay premium prices for homes that are immaculate, remodeled and well-staged, while homes that require work are spending longer on the market. Trends varied by city, but sales activity and pricing continued to be strong throughout Marin County.
The total number of homes sold in Mill Valley during the first half of this year dipped from 166 to 140 from last year; slightly fewer of those sold at a price above the original asking price (46% vs 53%). Sales of properties priced above $3 million dipped from 19 during the first half of 2018 to 16 during the same period this year with a 5% dip in average selling price. Sales of homes priced between $2 million and $3 million remained constant. Sales in the $1 million to $2 million price range decreased by 15%, possibly reflecting increased sensitivity of those buyers to new caps on property tax and mortgage interest deductions. The percentage of sellers that experienced a price reduction remained steady at 19%. Slightly more sellers received multiple offers (53% this year vs 49% last year). In general, buyer activity remains quite strong.
National factors, including the rebounding stock market, low mortgage interest rates, and employment growth will continue to reinforce buyer confidence. Locally, we anticipate that new buyers will enter the market when IPO lock-up periods expire this fall.
Marin’s desirability and limited inventory remain unchanged and keep its real estate market relatively steady. With 37 years of perspective, the founder of our company points to the exceptional duration of this bull market, and the fact that no run lasts forever. That being said, his experience over many cycles is that the high end of the market is the bellwether, which continues to perform. Home prices appear to be settling near current levels, suggesting a trajectory of more sustainable increases in the future.
Kentfield experienced a significant increase in the number of home sales this year over the same period last year, with a record 44 homes sold versus 31. The average selling price hit a record level, boosted by four transactions over $7 million compared to just one sale in that range in all of last year. Double the number of homes in the $1 million to $2 million range and nearly 50% more in the $3 million to $4 million range sold this year. Still, fewer homes sold at prices over asking, fewer received multiple offers, and a quarter of these sales required price reductions. As pricing moderates slightly, determining an appropriate listing price has become more important.
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