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Marin County Report



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Marin Home Prices, Market Conditions & Trends

A Comprehensive Guide to Home Sales & Values


September 2018

In July 2018, Paragon Real Estate merged with Compass.

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Appreciation Trend Overviews





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Updated Home Price Tables
by City & Bedroom Count


These 2 tables reflect 2018 YTD sales reported to MLS. When there were too few sales for meaningful analysis, the cell was left blank, but even many of the prices included are based on a relatively small number of transactions - many Marin markets are quite small. Sometimes, there are anomalies: For example, the median sales price of a 5-BR house was less than for a 4-BR house in the same city. That is the way it is in real estate: The devil is always in the details, and this is simply a broad brush overview using generalized statistics. How these prices apply to any particular home is unknown without a specific comparative market analysis.






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The Ebb & Flow of Listings & Sales

We are just entering the second most active selling period of the year, the relatively short season running from mid-September to mid-November. It typically kicks off with a surge in new inventory in September and so it has in 2018: 136 new listings came on market in the first week. How buyers react to these listings will give us our next big indicator of where the market is going - and that data will begin to become available in October.






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The Marin Luxury Home Market







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Median Sales Price Trends
5 Selected Marin Markets


The five biggest markets in the county by total number of individual sales, of all prices, are San Rafael and Novato - these 2 cities have by far the most sales - then Mill Valley, Tiburon and San Anselmo. If you would like trend data on another Marin city or town, please let us know.












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August 2018 Report

In July 2018, Paragon Real Estate merged with Compass.

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While we wait for the autumn selling season to begin in earnest, this report will take a look at Marin and Bay Area market trends from a variety of angles, starting with home prices.









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Paragon & Compass Merge

We are pleased to announce that Paragon Real Estate has joined forces with Compass in order to deliver a new level of support and service for our clients. Founded in 2012, Compass is a real estate technology company now operating in 30 regions with over 90 offices across the United States, including New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Seattle, Washington D.C., Dallas and Miami. With the merger, the Compass Bay Area team consists of more than 500 agents closing more than $4.5 billion in annual sales volume.


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Bay Area Housing Affordability

The California Association of Realtors (CAR) just released its Q2 report on housing affordability, which we have illustrated in the 3 charts below. (For some reason, CAR calculates the Q2 Marin median house sales price at a little less than our MLS analysis, but the difference is not material.)







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The Luxury Home Market

Spring 2018 was a strong market for high-end homes in Marin, though as is typically the case, it was not as hot as the market for more affordable homes. These dynamics were consistent across the Bay Area.


Bay Area Sales by County

In total sales volume, Marin has the fourth largest luxury home market in the Bay Area, but if population is taken into account, it has the largest proportionally: Both SF and San Mateo have about 3 times the Marin population, while Santa Clara has 7 times more residents.




Luxury Market Seasonality

As illustrated by the next 3 charts, the Marin luxury market is fiercely seasonal. Typically, there is a large burst of new listings in September, which fuels the relatively short autumn selling season. In mid-November, market activity plunges, and the expensive home market does not pick up again until early spring.







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Trends in Market Dynamics

Time on Market to Acceptance of Offer


As the market get hotter, listings sell faster.






Sales Price to List Price Percentage

As the market get more competitive, overbidding increases.




General Market Seasonality

Market activity climbs steeply from the beginning of the year to peak in spring, slows in midsummer, spikes back up in autumn, and then plunges for the mid-winter holidays.




Months Supply of Inventory (MSI)

The stronger the buyer demand as compared to the supply of listings available to purchase, the lower the MSI. Generally speaking, MSI figures around the Bay Area have been flirting with historic lows in 2018.




Percentage of Listings Accepting Offers

As the buyer demand increases, higher percentages
of listings go into contract within the quarter.




Price Reductions

Sellers reduce prices most often at two times of the year: At the end of spring and early summer as they try to sell unsold listings before the summer slowdown, and then at the end of autumn before the market dives into its winter doldrums. It is an effort to grab the attention of buyers anew before or during periods of reduced demand.



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Mortgage Interest Rates
Short-Term and Long-Term Trends

Two of the factors that have worried market analysts have been the big changes in federal tax law limiting the deductibility of state and local taxes, and interest rate expenses - changes that affect more affluent, higher home cost areas like ours most dramatically - and increasing interest rates. So far in 2018, buyers appear to have shrugged off any such concerns, and dollar-appreciation rates have generally accelerated since the beginning of the year.

Interest rates play a big role in housing affordability, and their drop after the 2008 crash played a vital part in the market recovery of the past 6 years. It has typically been very difficult to predict interest rate changes with any accuracy, though most economists believe they are headed higher. The questions being: If so, how high? And how will buyers react?



30 year interest rates long term

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It is impossible to know how median and average value statistics apply to any particular home without a specific, tailored, comparative market analysis.

These analyses were made in good faith with data from sources deemed reliable, but may contain errors and are subject to revision. It is not our intent to convince you of a particular position, but to attempt to provide straightforward data and analysis, so you can make your own informed decisions. Median and average statistics are enormous generalities: There are hundreds of different markets in San Francisco and the Bay Area, each with its own unique dynamics. Median prices and average dollar per square foot values can be and often are affected by other factors besides changes in fair market value. Longer term trends are much more meaningful than short-term.

Compass is a real estate broker licensed by the State of California, DRE 01527235. Equal Housing Opportunity. This report has been prepared solely for information purposes. The information herein is based on or derived from information generally available to the public and/or from sources believed to be reliable. No representation or warranty can be given with respect to the accuracy or completeness of the information. Compass disclaims any and all liability relating to this report, including without limitation any express or implied representations or warranties for statements contained in, and omissions from, the report. Nothing contained herein is intended to be or should be read as any regulatory, legal, tax, accounting or other advice and Compass does not provide such advice. All opinions are subject to change without notice. Compass makes no representation regarding the accuracy of any statements regarding any references to the laws, statutes or regulations of any state are those of the author(s). Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

© 2018 Compass


Annual Median Home Price Appreciation Rates
Market Values by City, Bedroom Count and Price Segment
Luxury Home Sales & Where Best to Look in Your Price Range

Mid-Year 2018 Report

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Marin, SF, CA & U.S.
Median Home Price Trends






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Annual Median Sales Price Changes
by Dollar and by Percentage


Appreciation is typically viewed through the lens of percentage changes, but looking at dollar-value increases is another angle that is sometimes more interesting. Below are charts measuring appreciation by both parameters.







Comparing the first half of 2018 to 2017, the Marin median house sales price increased by an astounding $135,000. However, it is not a given that the second half of the year will see home price appreciation at similar rates: Prices could indeed increase further, or they might plateau or even tick down instead. For the last 7 years, spring has typically been the most feverish selling season of the year and has often powered most of the appreciation occurring over the full year.

Median sales price is that price at which half the sales occurred for more and half for less, and it is often affected by other factors besides changes in fair market value, such as changes in inventory or in luxury home sales. Sometimes median sales prices in a particular community fluctuate without great meaningfulness. This is especially true in smaller towns with relatively few sales and wide ranges of sales prices. A specific comparative market analysis of a particular property is sometimes the only way to gauge appreciation trends.


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Home Value Appreciation by City

Median Sales Prices
2011 through Mid-2018












Average Dollar per Square Foot Values
2012 through Mid-2018, Selected Cities





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Home Sales & Prices by City & Bedroom Count

Reflecting 12 Months Sales through Mid-2018














There are also tables available for Marin 2-bedroom and 6-bedroom house sales, and for 3-bedroom condo sales, which we are happy to provide upon request.


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Where Best to Look in Your Price Range
Home Sales by City & Price Segment






Luxury Home Sales by City



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City Sales Breakdowns

Moving north from the Golden Gate Bridge
to the Sonoma County border














Coastal and western Marin communities are small with relatively few home sales in any 12 month period, but we can provide more information on their sales and prices upon request.


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Additional reports can be found here: Paragon Main Reports Page


Please let us know if you have questions
or if we can be of assistance in any other way.

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It is impossible to know how median and average value statistics apply to any particular home without a specific, tailored, comparative market analysis. In real estate, the devil is always in the details.

These analyses were made in good faith with data from sources deemed reliable, but may contain errors and are subject to revision. It is not our intent to convince you of a particular position, but to attempt to provide straightforward data and analysis, so you can make your own informed decisions. Median and average statistics are enormous generalities: There are hundreds of different markets in San Francisco and the Bay Area, each with its own unique dynamics. Median prices and average dollar per square foot values can be and often are affected by other factors besides changes in fair market value. Longer term trends are much more meaningful than short-term. Late-reported MLS activity may change certain statistics to some small degree.

© 2018 Paragon Real Estate Group


Home price appreciation, listing and sales volumes,
buyer demand statistics and luxury home sales

May 2018 Report, Paragon Real Estate

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Before diving into prices and trends in individual city markets in this month's report, these 3 charts are overviews for Marin County market. In April 2018, the median house sales price hit a new peak price, slightly above the previous high achieved in May of 2017. Since median home sales prices often hit their annual high points in May - illustrated by the gold columns in the first chart - we may well see another increase before spring is over.


Marin monthly median house price chart

Marin average home prices by bedroom

Marin county home sales volumes

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Marin Market Dynamics by City

Though we tend to speak of the real estate market as a single reality, in fact, market size and dynamics vary considerably by community and price segment. As further context to the analyses below, here are links to 2 charts from our April report illustrating home prices and price per square foot values by city: Median Sales Prices & Average Dollar per Square Foot Values

Remember that value statistics can be affected by other factors besides changes in fair market value, such as seasonality, changes in the luxury or new-construction markets, or fluctuations in inventory available to purchase.

Though not yet reflected in the chart below, median sales prices have continued to increase in 2018.


Marin percentage home price appreciation

Marin Price Appreciation by City

Marin sales price to list price percentages

Marin County luxury home sales by city

Marin county home listings by city

Marin home sales by city

Marin County real estate days on market

Marin county real estate months supply of inventory

Many more market analyses can be found further down this web page and via these links:

Paragon Main Reports Page

Marin County Home Price Trends by City

Marin County Demographics

Positive & Negative Factors in Bay Area Markets

Survey of Bay Area Real Estate Markets

Article: 30+ Years of SF Bay Area Real Estate Cycles

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Marin Median Home Prices
Hit New Highs in Q1 2018

Median sales price appreciation, home values by city and town;
media reports of impending doom; market seasonality; interest rates;
& Bay Area rent trends

April 2018 Report

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Consumer confidence is still soaring, and buyers continue to push aside concerns regarding recent financial market volatility, federal tax law changes affecting Bay Area homeowners, and interest rate increases, to fuel heated markets throughout Marin.

In Q1 2018, the Marin median house sales price of $1,325,000 was 10% above the Q1 2017 price of $1,200,000, and a tad above the previous peak reached in Q2 2017. The median condo sales price jumped 18% on a year-over-year basis, and was 6% higher than the recent Q4 2017 high. The market for homes under $2m is particularly feverish with days on market and months supply of inventory hitting 2 year lows in March. Prices usually increase from Q1 to Q2 as the spring selling season really gets going. It will be interesting to see what happens this year.


Marin Median Home Sales Prices by Quarter
since 2012

Median sales prices often fluctuate by quarter or season.
Longer-term trends are more meaningful than short-term changes.

Marin house and condo prices by quarter


Marin Median House Prices by Year
since 1990

Marin median home price by year


Long-Term Home Price Trends
Bay Area vs. National Appreciation since 1987
per CoreLogic S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index

The Case-Shiller Index does not use median sales prices to measure appreciation, but instead employs its own algorithm. This chart compares the national home price appreciation trend with that for high-price-tier houses in the 5-county SF Metro Area. The high price tier applies best to most of the markets in Central-Southern Marin, San Francisco and San Mateo.

In this chart, home prices in January 2000 are designated at a value of 100, thus the reading of 248 in December 2017 signifies a price that has appreciated 148% in the 18 years since then. Notice how similar the national and Bay Area trend lines are, with appreciable variations occurring after the 1989 earthquake, during the dotcom bubble and crash, and during the most recent Bay Area high tech boom.

Case-Shiller SF Bay Area vs National Home Price Appreciation



As always, market dynamics often vary significantly by specific location, property type and price segment, and median prices are often affected by other factors besides changes in fair market value (such as fluctuations in luxury home and new construction sales, and in the average size of homes sold). Late reported sales may affect the median sales prices illustrated in the quarterly chart, though typically only to a minor degree.

A condensed version of our report on the ups and downs in the market over recent decades: SF Bay Area Real Estate Cycles


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Marin Home Values
by City & Town


Sales Reported to MLS, 10/1/17 – 4/6/18


Below is a glance at recent house median prices and average dollar per square foot values broken out by community, for sales reported to MLS in the last 6 months or so - basically since autumn sales began to close in early October.


Median House Sales Prices

Marin Home Price by City


Average Dollar per Square Foot Values

Marin Average Dollar per Square Foot


Marin Median House Sizes
Square Footage by Community

Median home square footage in Marin varies markedly from town to town, and the differences in size gives important context to the differences in median prices and average dollar per square foot values. Note that median home sizes in communities with relatively low numbers of expensive and very expensive home sales, such as Belvedere and Ross in particular, can fluctuate significantly from period to period.


Marin house size

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Marin Market Seasonality

The market has just begun what is typically the busiest selling season of the year, as new listings pour onto the market, and buyers jump on those listings.


Marin RE market seasonality


Percentage of Listings Accepting Offers
within 30 Days (i.e. very quickly)

It is not unusual for more expensive markets to have lower percentages as higher priced homes often take longer, on average, to sell. Not only are there fewer buyers in higher price segments, but overpricing becomes a larger issue, as will be illustrated in the chart following the one below.


Marin Listings Accepting Offers


Marin Pricing & Overpricing

For home listings under $2m, the difference between the median list price and the median sales price is quite small, less than 5%, though when looking at listings that do not sell, but expire instead, the difference swells to 13%. But for homes over that price threshold, the differences get much more striking: The median list price is almost 25% higher than the median sales price, and there is an astounding 46% difference between median sales price and the median asking price of those expensive homes that do not sell at all. Generally speaking, sellers and listing agents in the luxury home segment are much more prone to overpricing their listings beyond what buyers are willing to contemplate paying. Even the most beautiful home has a fair market value based on a rational comparative market analysis.


Marin Home Pricing and Overpricing

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The Facts Regarding Bay Area
Migration, Population & Employment Trends


Alarmist Media Reports Forecast Doom for Bay Area

Many semi-hysterical articles were published in March regarding Bay Area residents fleeing in droves, that more people are leaving than arriving, that Silicon Valley is over, and this may spell disaster for the region. Wow, that sounds very bad - but is not true: Though the rate of growth has considerably slowed from the torrid pace of recent years - which is probably a good thing, since the Bay Area is now bursting at the seams - more people are still arriving than leaving, and population and employment numbers are still increasing. Our report, Will the Last Person Leaving the Bay Area Please Turn Off the Lights covers this topic in much greater detail.

Here are 3 of the charts from our full article, based on recent U.S. census and CA state employment data.


Net domestic and foreign migration in and out of the SF Metro Area,
natural population increases and annual net population growth

SF Bay Area Migration-Population-Jobs


San Francisco & Bay Area populations continued to increase in 2017,
though slowing from the feverish growth rates of previous years.




The Bay Area continues to be a high-paying-job-creating machine,
though hiring intermittently speeds up or slows down.



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Mortgage Interest Rates

Interest rate changes are one of many factors we reviewed in a recent report Positive & Negative Factors in Bay Area Markets. It may be that fears of impending rate increases are helping to fuel the strong buyer demand we are seeing so far in 2018.



30 Year Short Term Interest Rates

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MEDIAN List Rents by County
Short-Term Trends since 2011

Bay Area Rents by County

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Additional reports can be found here: Paragon Main Reports Page


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Strong Market Dynamics Continue into Early 2018

March 2018 Update

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It is still too early to come to definitive conclusions about where the year is going, but right now, in most market segments, buyer demand remains very strong for a limited supply of listings. This is especially true in the more affordable home segments, a dynamic playing out around the Bay Area. Of course, whatever the price segment, how buyers respond to a particular listing depends on the specific property and its location, appeal, preparation, marketing and pricing: Some listings sell very quickly, some only sell after price reductions, and, even in a hot market, some do not sell at all.


Home Value Appreciation
Year-over-Year Comparisons

Marin year over year home price appreciation


The 16% year-over-year jump in median sales prices is unusually high and should probably be taken with a grain of salt until substantiated over a longer period of sales. The 7% increase in average dollar per square foot values is probably closer, but possibly a tad low as an indicator of recent home-value appreciation. (Median sales price and average price per square foot appreciation rates sometimes do not move in parallel when the mix of homes sold appreciably varies - for example, in average home size - from one period to the next.) What is indisputable is that significant market appreciation has continued over the past year, and perhaps accelerated over the last 4 or 5 months. We will know more once the spring selling season really gets going in earnest.


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Home Values by Lot Size

In San Francisco, a house worth $1m can sit next to one worth $4m, each on its own narrow, 25-foot-wide, 2500 square foot lot, but in Marin, with more land to stretch out on, home values correlate to a surprising degree with lot size, as illustrated below. Which does not mean this applies to every home in the county, and of course, in Marin, considerable percentages of lots can consist of steep hillside land. Steep hillsides often bring lovely views, while, on the other hand, good-sized, flat yards are highly prized as well.




Additional Chart: Marin Home Sales by Era of Construction


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Appreciation by City & Town
by Year

The next 3 charts look at house value appreciation in cities and towns around the area, from most affordable, to more expensive, to most expensive.

In the most expensive communities, median sales prices sometimes bounce around without great meaningfulness due to the quantities of sales being relatively low, and to the very wide range of home sales prices. That said, it is also true that the greatest pressure of buyer demand in recent years has been in the more affordable home segments - affordable by Marin standards - and appreciation in those communities has typically been more consistent since 2015.


Median House Sales Prices
by City since 2010






Average Price per Square Foot House Values
by City since 2012



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Supply & Demand Statistics

Months Supply of Inventory (MSI)
& Average Days on Market (DOM)


As seen below, as measured by two classic statistics of supply and demand, the market in recent months has certainly not softened in comparison to the last 2 years, and according to Months Supply of Inventory and the Percentage of Listings Selling within 30 Days (the second chart down), it has become appreciably stronger.






Listings Selling within 30 Days
Year-over-Year Comparisons




Active Listings on Market
by Month & by City

This next chart illustrates both the seasonality of the market and the size of the respective city markets in Marin County. We are just now entering the time of year when inventory swells to fuel the spring selling season. The 3 biggest home markets are San Rafael, Novato and Mill Valley. Tiburon is a smaller market, but now constitutes the biggest luxury home market in the county. Some Marin markets - such as in Belvedere, Ross, Kentfield and Larkspur - are very small, but very expensive.



Additional Chart: Marin Sales Volumes by City & Town



Sales, Price Reductions
& Listing That Do Not Sell


General Market Listings under $2m

The last 12 months have been a strong market in Marin real estate, and the great majority of sales under $2m sold very quickly, and averaged a sales price over asking price. Those listings that had to go through price reductions before selling spent an average of 9 weeks longer on the market. And then for every 8 to 9 listings that sold, 1 listing expired and was withdrawn from the market, typically because buyers deemed the property overpriced. This is a low ratio of listings that do not sell.




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Marin Luxury Home Market

Number of New Listings Coming on Market
& Number of Active Luxury Listings by City


Just as in San Francisco, the luxury home market in Marin is fiercely seasonal, with the market slowly waking up in the first two months of the year; soaring in spring, the dominant period for high-end listings and sales; slowing way down for the mid-late summer doldrums; spiking back up for the short, intense autumn selling season; and finally plunging for the winter holidays.







Additional Chart: Marin 2017 Luxury Home Sales by City



Luxury Home Sales, Price Reductions
& Listings That Do Not Sell


This chart illustrates the difference between high-end listings the market deems appealing and fairly priced - on average, selling quickly for full list price - and those that have to go through price reductions prior to selling (on average, an extra 14 weeks on the market), and then those that do not sell at all, but expire and withdrawn from the market. The ratio of listings that do not sell - 1 expired listing for every 3 that sold - is much higher in the luxury segment than in the general market, and this has everything to do with both demand and pricing (or overpricing).




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Rising Mortgage Interest Rates

Short-Term Trends




Long-Term Trends

Long-Term Mortgage Interest Rate Trends


Debt in America

One of the macro-economic factors of concern is that debt levels, of virtually every kind, are hitting new highs in the country (and in the world). This has been heavily subsidized by the historically low interest rates prevailing in recent years, but rates appear to be headed upward, and increasing debt often plays a big role in market cycles.


Debt Taken On to Invest in Financial Markets
(Often a Sign of Investor Over-Exuberance)




Household Non-Housing Debt
Credit Cards, Student Loans, Car Financing




Household Mortgage Debt Service Ratio

The amount of total mortgage debt in the country is now about the same as at its last peak in 2008 (not illustrated on this chart), but because of the plunge in interest rates since then, the ratio of mortgage debt service to disposable income was close to an all-time low in mid-2017. Interest rates have been rising since then, but are still about 30% lower than in 2007. The good news is that so much of mortgage debt in America is now in fixed-rate loans at very low interest rates, which adds much stability to economic conditions, a stability grievously lacking at the time of the 2008 financial markets crash.





Link to additional charts on debt


Additional reading for those interested:

Paragon Main Real Estate Reports Page

Positive & Negative Factors in Bay Area Markets

Survey of Bay Area Real Estate Markets

San Francisco & Bay Area Demographics


Looking Back on 2017
& Forward to 2018


January 2018 Home Price Map
Reflecting 2017 Sales Reported to MLS
Move Cursor over Map to Reveal Prices





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Another strong year in real estate, with continued median home price appreciation in Marin, and indeed throughout the Bay Area.

Link: Marin County Home Value Trends by City

All our Bay Area real estate market analyses can be found here: Paragon Reports

Marin, SF, CA, National Home Price Trends

Marin Median Home Price Trends by Year

Additional chart: Bay Area Median Home Price Trends by County


The chart below, based on CoreLogic S&P Case-Shiller Index data, tracks general price appreciation trends of house in the upper third of prices in the 5-county SF Metro Area (such as those mostly found in SF, Marin, San Mateo and Diablo Valley-Lamorinda). Case-Shiller does not base their calculations on median sales price changes but uses its own proprietary algorithm. This chart has been simplified to only reflect percentage increases and decreases from various points in real estate cycles. Since it covers 5 counties, it is a very generalized illustration.

Case-Shiller San Francisco Bay Area Home Price Trends


Link to our full report on the Case-Shiller Home Price Index

Link to our report on Bay Area real estate cycles

Link to our updated survey of Bay Area R.E. markets

Link to survey of Marin & Bay Area demographics


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Moving into 2018, there are a lot of spinning plates in the air - local, state, national and international factors that could affect markets. 2017 saw real estate markets surge and financial markets soar. After some cooling from mid-2015 to mid-2016, the Bay Area high-tech economy surged back into high speed, with companies leasing enormous spaces in newly built office buildings - which they will presumably fill with new hires. Unemployment rates have flirted with historic lows, and 2018 may see some major local IPOs, which could create great quantities of new wealth. The Bay Area still has probably the most dynamic, innovation-fueled economy in the world and indisputably remains among the great metro areas on the planet - but there are social, economic, political and environmental challenges looming as well.

Link to article: Positive & Negative Factors in Bay Area Markets

Congress delivered an unpleasant holiday present to many Bay Area residents in the form of federal tax law changes limiting the deductibility of mortgage interest and state and local taxes. The effect of these changes make living in an already high cost-of-living area more costly for many residents, and also reduce some of the financial incentives of homeownership, especially for more expensive homes. Predictions on the effect of these tax changes on local housing markets and the business environment range from one extreme (economic devastation) to the other (shrug), and the state legislature is currently working on bills that might blunt the negative financial impacts. It is too early to guess how it will all play out. We live in interesting times.

This report will review real estate trends in 2017, and some of the economic factors that impacted them. Most of the charts are self-explanatory, so we have kept the text to a minimum. Towards the end is an extensive analysis of home prices by city and by bedroom count.


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Marin year over year home price appreciation

Marin Annual Homes Sales Volume

Marin County Sales by City

Marin real estate market seasonality

Marin Homes Selling Quickly

Marin Average Days on Market by Year

Marin Sales Price to List Price Percentage

SF Bay Area Months Supply of Inventory

California Migration Trends in 2016

Link to our analysis of domestic and foreign migration trends

Link to our survey of Bay Area demographics


S&P 500 Index by Year

Annual Mortgage Rate Trends

Marin County Housing Affordability

San Francisco Bay Area Rent Trends

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Marin Luxury Homes Market

Marin Luxury Home Sales by City

Marin Luxury Home Sales by Year

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Marin County Home Prices by City
Best Places to Look in Your Price Range

Marin homes under a million dollars

Marin Homes under 2 million

Marin 2-bedroom house sales by city

Marin 3-bedroom house prices by city

Marin 3-bedroom house prices - B

Marin 4-bedroom home prices

Marin 5-bedroom home prices

Marin 6-bedroom home prices

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Tiburon Belvedere home prices

Mill Valley Sausalito Home Sales

Ross Kentfield Larkspur Homes Sales

Corte Madera Greenbrae Homes Sales

San Rafael Anselmo Fairfax home sales by price range

Novato home sales by price

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Marin condo sales by city

Marin 2-bedroom condo sales

Marin 3-bedroom condo sales


All our Bay Area real estate analyses can be found here: Paragon Market Reports

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It is impossible to know how median and average value statistics apply to any particular home without a specific, tailored, comparative market analysis. In real estate, the devil is always in the details.

These analyses were made in good faith with data from sources deemed reliable, but may contain errors and are subject to revision. It is not our intent to convince you of a particular position, but to attempt to provide straightforward data and analysis, so you can make your own informed decisions. Median and average statistics are enormous generalities: There are hundreds of different markets in the Bay Area, each with its own unique dynamics. Median prices and average dollar per square foot values can be and often are affected by other factors besides changes in fair market value. Longer term trends are much more meaningful than short-term. Late-reported MLS activity may change certain statistics to some small degree.

© 2018 Paragon Real Estate Group


Marin County Real Estate Market Report

Median Price Trends, Average Dollar per Square Foot Values, Luxury Home Sales,
Sales Breakdowns by Price Segment & Bedroom Count, Supply & Demand Analytics

The Paragon November 2017 Report

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2017 has been a high demand, low supply market in Marin and throughout the Bay Area, with median sales price increases pretty much across the board. As mentioned in earlier reports, the greatest pressure of buyer demand has generally been focused on the more affordable market segments, as defined within each overall county market. The recent terrible fires in the wine country will only add to pressures on both the resale and rental markets in the county, especially in its northern communities. Typically, and we will see how it plays out this year, the market begins to go into hibernation just before Thanksgiving and does not really wake up until mid-January - this is especially true of higher-end home segments - but the mid-winter slowdown period can be a good time to buy, as we discuss further in this report.


Median Home Price Appreciation Trends
for Selected Cities & for the County Overall

City Home Price Trends in Marin County

Marin County Annual Median Home Price Trends


Average Dollar per Square Foot Trends
for Selected Marin Cities & Towns

Marin Average Dollar per Square Foot Values by City

Let us know if you would like trend data on a city or town not included on the charts above.


This chart below based on CoreLogic S&P Case-Shiller data compares the appreciation of the more expensive Bay Area home markets (blue line) - such as most of Marin, San Francisco and San Mateo - to the overall national trend (green line), going back to 1987. It is interesting to see where our local appreciation rates have diverged from national rates: The divergence since 2012 has been particularly striking.

Note that the numbers on this chart all refer to a January 2000 price of 100. So, the latest Bay Area reading of 238 means that home prices here have appreciated, according to Case-Shiller, by 138% since January 2000. National home prices appreciated by 95% during that period.


San Francisco Bay Area vs National Home Price Appreciation

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Market Overviews

The largest market segment in Marin is that for 3-bedroom houses.
(In San Francisco, the largest segment is of 2-bedroom condos.)

Marin County Average Sales Prices by Bedroom Count

Marin County Sales by Price Range - Pie Chart

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Luxury Home Sales

Luxury home markets generally cooled around the Bay Area from late 2015 to autumn 2016 - due to all the financial market volatility (Chinese stock market crash, oil price crash, Brexit) and political uncertainty during that period - but recovered in 2017, just as the stock market has surged dramatically higher since the presidential election.


Marin County Luxury Home Sales by Year

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Market Statistics by City & Town

Corte Madera, Greenbrae and Larkspur continue to occupy the sweet spot in the Marin market due to a number of issues, including the combination of being less expensive than some adjacent communities, and having easier commutes to the city than more affordable towns and cities further west or north. (Of course, they are also lovely places to live, but that applies to just about anywhere in the county.) Note that market heat is a matter of degree: Almost every community market in Marin is very strong when compared to historical trends. The statistics of several other cities and towns are very close to those of Corte Madera, Greenbrae and Larkspur, and small differences are not particularly significant when working with general analyses such as these below.

As noted on several of the charts, it is not unusual for the highest priced markets to have somewhat softer statistics: The pool of qualified buyers is much smaller, and luxury homes are typically more prone to overpricing, both of which affect buyer response, time on market and so on.



Months Supply of Inventory (MSI)

The lower the MSI, the stronger the demand as compared
to the supply of home listings available to purchase. Most of
these MSI readings are very, very low .

Marin Months Supply of Inventory by City


Percentage of Listings Accepting Offers

The higher the percentage the hotter the demand.
Most of these percentages are very, very high.

Marin County Percentage of Listings Accepting Offers by City


Average Days on Market

Generally speaking, the fewer the days on market, the stronger the demand.

Marin County Average Days on Market by City


Market Heat by PRICE SEGMENT
as Measured by Months Supply of Inventory

Marin Months Supply of Inventory by Price Segment

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Seasonality & the Real Estate Market

Listing activity, buyer demand and price reductions
all ebb and flow dramatically by season.

Marin Active Listings on Market by Month

Marin New Listings and Listings Accepting Offers

Marin Listings Price Reductions by month


Advantages to Buying during the Mid-November to Mid-January Slowdown

Just before Thanksgiving the market typically begins to rapidly subside until starting to revive about 7-8 weeks later. Many buyers simply check out during this period, but there are good reasons for staying engaged - mainly the possibility of getting a much better deal. In late October and November, sellers begin reducing prices in large numbers as they try to capture the attention of buyers before the big slowdown: Buyers should treat these as brand new listings and take a new look. Competition between buyers drops dramatically during the mid-winter period, and since competitive bidding is the biggest single factor behind higher prices, its decline can mean significant savings. Fewer buyers also mean that sellers are often more willing to negotiate: Throw offers in at whatever price you feel is right and see where they go. It is true that the number of new listings coming on markets plunges, but there are still hundreds of listings to consider for those willing to stay in the game.

It is unclear at this time, how the wine country fires may affect market dynamics during what is usually by far the slowest season of the year.


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Mortgage Interest Rates

Interest rates are somewhat above their all-time lows, but still very, very low by historic standards. This is of enormous importance to buyers financing their home purchases.


Short-Term Rate Trends

Short-Term Mortgage Interest Rate Trends


Long-Term Trends

Long-Term Mortgage Interest Rate Trends

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Three Suggestions: As recent events have reminded us, disasters can arrive suddenly and with little warning, so: 1) Contact your insurance agent to make sure your policy is updated to cover the full, current value of your home and possessions. 2) This website contains useful information on being prepared and having a plan in the event disaster strikes: Disaster Preparation Guide & Resources. 3) Many communities now have early-warning communications programs that can automatically email, text or call you in the event of a disaster, and then provide useful ongoing updates on the situation. Check with your county and city governments to see what is available, and sign up ASAP.

Please let us know if you have questions or we can be of assistance in any other way. We have dozens of other analyses specific to the Marin County real estate market in previous reports further down this webpage.

All our Bay Area real estate analyses can be found here: Paragon Market Reports

A Survey of Marin and Bay Area Demographics

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It is impossible to know how median and average value statistics apply to any particular home without a specific, tailored, comparative market analysis. In real estate, the devil is always in the details.

These analyses were made in good faith with data from sources deemed reliable, but may contain errors and are subject to revision. It is not our intent to convince you of a particular position, but to attempt to provide straightforward data and analysis, so you can make your own informed decisions. Median and average statistics are enormous generalities: There are hundreds of different markets in the Bay Area, each with its own unique dynamics. Median prices and average dollar per square foot values can be and often are affected by other factors besides changes in fair market value. Longer term trends are much more meaningful than short-term.

© 2017 Paragon Real Estate Group


Marin County Real Estate Market Report

October 2017 Report

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Marin Average Dollar per Square Foot Values by City
2017 YTD Sales

Marin County Average Dollar per Square Foot Values

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Q3 Comparative Statistics, 2014 – 2017

Inventory slightly down, sales up, and home values increased
year over year in Q3 2017.

Marin County Q3 Market Statistics


Sales Prices to List Prices, Days on Market & Price Reductions
Home Sales under $2 Million

Marin Sales Prices to List Prices


Those listings buyers deemed fairly priced sold quickly and, on average, for 3% over asking price. Listings that had to go through price reductions prior to sale spent 2 months longer on the market and sold at a significant discount to original list price. And then some listings expired and were taken off the market without selling, typically due to buyer unwillingness to pay the price asked.


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Marin Luxury Home Market

For the first time, Tiburon has taken the lead in number of luxury homes sold.

Marin Luxury Home Sales by City


As is always the case in real estate, what one gets for the price paid
varies dramatically by location, as shown by these average $/sq.ft. values.

Marin Luxury Homes Average Dollar per Square Foot


Q3 2017 was unusually strong for Marin luxury home sales
(though Q2 is still the biggest quarter of the year in the luxury segment).

Marin Luxury Home Sales Statistics


Overpricing Marin luxury home listings has very negative ramifications
for final sales prices, average days on market, or whether the listing sells at all.

Marin Luxury Home Sales Prices to List Prices

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Context Economic Factors to Bay Area Housing Markets




We recently completed a report placing the Bay Area housing market within the context of a wide variety of other economic and demographic dynamics, such as population growth, employment and hiring, the stock and the IPO markets, consumer confidence, interest rates, commercial lease rates, aging homeowners (who sell less frequently), housing affordability and new housing construction. Because conditions, trends and cycles seen among them are, more often than not, closely interrelated. In some of these analyses we use San Francisco data due to its availability, but the trends generally apply to Marin County as well (except for current new home construction: among Bay Area counties, Marin is at the back of the pack on this metric).

The full report is online here: Economic Context Report.

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Median Home Price Trends by City

Median sales price is a very general statistic, and changes in median price do not necessarily correspond exactly to changes in fair market value, as it can be affected by a variety of factors. Cities with relatively few sales and wide ranges in individual sales prices are most prone to less meaningful fluctuations: Their values can shift simply due to the specific basket of larger or smaller homes sold in a particular period.

The charts below are arranged in order of 2017 YTD median house sales price, highest to lowest. Remember that median sales prices typically disguise a large variety of prices in the underlying individual home sales. They are best used as a comparative value statistic between areas, and to discern longer term trends in appreciation.


Marin County Belvedere Median Home Price Trends

Marin County Ross Median Home Price Trends

Marin County Tiburon Median Home Price Trends

Marin County Kentfield Median Home Price Trends

Bolinas Stinson Beach Median Home Price Trends

Sausalito Median Home Price Trends

Marin County Larkspur Median Home Price Trends

Marin County Greenbrae Median Home Price Trends

Mill Valley Median Home Price Trends

Marin County Corte Madera Median Home Price Trends

Marin County San Anselmo Median Home Price Trends

Marin County San Rafael Median Home Price Trends

Marin County Fairfax Median Home Price Trends

Marin County Novato Median Home Price Trends

San Geronimo Valley Median Home Price Trends


Please let us know if you have questions or we can be of assistance in any other way.

All our Bay Area real estate analyses can be found here: Paragon Market Reports

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It is impossible to know how median and average value statistics apply to any particular home without a specific, tailored, comparative market analysis. In real estate, the devil is always in the details.

These analyses were made in good faith with data from sources deemed reliable, but may contain errors and are subject to revision. It is not our intent to convince you of a particular position, but to attempt to provide straightforward data and analysis, so you can make your own informed decisions. Median and average statistics are enormous generalities: There are hundreds of different markets in the Bay Area, each with its own unique dynamics. Median prices and average dollar per square foot values can be and often are affected by other factors besides changes in fair market value. Longer term trends are much more meaningful than short-term.

© 2017 Paragon Real Estate Group


Another Hot Autumn Market
for Marin County Real Estate?

September Typically Sees Big Surge in New Listings

September 2017 Report

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After the usual late summer slowdown, the typically very active autumn selling season is relatively short, running from mid-September until mid-November, when activity begins to plunge for the mid-winter holidays. The coming two months will be the next major indicator: Will the Marin homes market continue to maintain the intense high-demand, low-supply heat of this past spring, or will it start to shift and cool? While the entire market is significantly affected by seasonality, the luxury home segment is fiercely so, and September/October will be the peak selling period for high-end homes until spring 2018 rolls around.


Marin County, San Francisco, California
& United States Median Home Price Trends


The appreciation of home prices in the Bay Area since 2011 has out-performed overall state and national markets by a substantial margin.


Marin County, California, US Home Price Trends

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Marin Market: Year-to-Date Snapshot

Marin County Home Sales and Prices

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Marin Median House Price Appreciation

Percentage Increases, 2012 to 2017 YTD

Median sales prices are not perfect indicators of changes in values for specific homes: They can be and often are affected by factors other than changes in fair market value, and shorter-term anomalies are not uncommon. In the more expensive communities especially, the average size of houses sold in a particular period can sometimes vary considerably. What is certainly true is that every part of Marin County has seen large-scale appreciation since the recovery began in 2012.




Marin County Home Price Appreciation

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Seasonality

New Listings Coming on Market

This next chart illustrates the striking ebb and flow of activity by season. September usually sees the last big surge of new listings hitting the market before the year ends, and that surge fuels most of the sales in the autumn season.



Marin New Home Listings


Marin Luxury Home Market
Active Listings by City

Spring sees the highest volume of luxury home listings, but after declining for the summer, they usually spike again in September. This chart also delineates the city markets that dominate high-end home sales volume in Marin: Tiburon-Belvedere has the highest number of houses for sale at $2m and above, sometimes exceeding 60 active listings in a given month; next comes Mill Valley and Kentfield-Ross; then San Rafael and Sausalito; and finally a few cities and towns which usually have no more than a handful or two of such listings at any given time. (This chart does not include a few other towns with lesser activity in this segment.)



Marin County Luxury Home Listings

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Market Dynamics Statistics

Sales Price to Original Price (SP-OP) Percentages
The Marin Market & Overbidding Asking Prices

Generally speaking, the higher the demand, the greater the competitive bidding, which is what leads to sales prices going over asking prices. Almost all the SP-OP percentages in the area during the feverish Q2 market were high by historical standards. It is not uncommon for more expensive home markets to have lower SP-OP percentages than the more affordable cities, but there are a number of factors at play.


Marin County Overbidding List Prices


Months Supply of Inventory (MSI)

The lower the months supply of inventory, the higher the demand as compared to the supply of homes available to purchase, i.e. a lower MSI equals a hotter market. The entire Bay Area has been experiencing very, very low MSI figures recently, but typically the less expensive inner counties (such as Alameda and Contra Costa) have been seeing the extreme lows, with more expensive markets somewhat higher.

Within Marin, the MSI in the more moderately priced communities, usually experiencing the highest pressure of buyer demand, have generally been lower than in the more expensive cities, though all areas have seen low MSI figures since spring began.


Marin County and Bay Area Months Supply of Inventory

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National Housing Affordability

This next chart illustrates home affordability for selected metro areas across the country as calculated by the National Association of Realtors. The 7 Bay Area counties, in our 2 metro areas, are the least affordable in the nation - not the happiest of distinctions, except for those planning to sell and move out of the area.


U.S. Metro Area Housing Affordability


Bay Area House Markets

Since San Francisco is considered the big city in the Bay Area (though San Jose is actually larger), it seems counter-intuitive that its house market is one of the smallest. Marin is just slightly lower, even though its population is about 70% less. Owners in the Bay Area (and the nation) are getting older, and selling their houses ever more infrequently, and new house construction has lagged well behind demand. Condo sales now dominate the SF market. These are major factors behind the supply and demand dynamics prevailing in counties around the Bay Area.



Bay Area House Markets

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Bay Area Home Price Appreciation
per the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Index

Earlier in this report, it was mentioned that median price changes can be somewhat unreliable as exact indicators of appreciation of fair market value. However, the S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index measures appreciation using its own special algorithm tracking resales of the same home. This first chart below, based on Case-Shiller, is a simplified, smoothed-out look at the up and down cycles over the past 33 years in the higher end of the Bay Area real estate market, which predominates in much of the city, Marin, San Mateo, as well as enclaves in Alameda and Contra Costa. Because the Index covers 5 counties, it merges the differences between their separate markets into a single trend line: SF and San Mateo, the centers of the high-tech boom have recently, in this latest rebound, had somewhat higher appreciation rates than Marin. However, as indicated earlier, Marin has still seen very dramatic increases since the recovery began.



San Francisco Bay Area Home Price Cycles


This second Case-Shiller chart illustrates how homes in different price segments around the Bay Area have recently been appreciating at considerably different rates. C-S divides all the Bay Area house sales into thirds by number of sales: low-, mid- and high-price. As illustrated in the lower green line, the higher-priced segment went flat in appreciation in 2016, but then jumped back to life in 2017. The most affordable price segment (top blue line) has been experiencing the highest pressure of buyer demand and competitive bidding, and since April 2016, has out-appreciated the high-price segment, 12.4% to 4.3%, i.e. almost triple the rate of increase. The mid-price segment (gold line) has been in between, appreciating by 7.8%.

This dynamic is generally true within each county, as well as in the Bay Area as a whole, as buyers search for homes they can still afford in the area they wish to live.

The numbers on this chart all refer to a January 2000 home price of 100. Thus 262 signifies a price 162% higher than in 2000.



Case-Shiller SF Home Price Trends by Price Tier

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Mortgage Interest Rates

Since the election, interest rates have seen a wild ride, first up and then down. As of the end of August, rates hit their lowest point so far in 2017, a significant financial advantage for buyers.



Mortgage Interest Rate Trends


Please let us know if you have questions or we can be of assistance in any other way.

All our many Bay Area real estate analyses can be found here: Paragon Market Reports

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It is impossible to know how median and average value statistics apply to any particular home without a specific, tailored, comparative market analysis. In real estate, the devil is always in the details.

These analyses were made in good faith with data from sources deemed reliable, but may contain errors and are subject to revision. It is not our intent to convince you of a particular position, but to attempt to provide straightforward data and analysis, so you can make your own informed decisions. Median and average statistics are enormous generalities: There are hundreds of different markets in the Bay Area, each with its own unique dynamics. Median prices and average dollar per square foot values can be and often are affected by other factors besides changes in fair market value. Longer term trends are much more meaningful than short-term.

© 2017 Paragon Real Estate Group


Marin County Home Prices & Trends


The Paragon Mid-Year Report

Highest median house price ever; a new peak in luxury home sales;
community home price tables; Bay Area home price maps

July 2017

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A Very Hot Spring

Median Sales Price Appreciation
by Quarter since 2012





After another feverish spring market, the Marin County median house price hit a new quarterly peak in Q2 2017, $82,000 above the high hit in Q2 2016. This dynamic was prevalent around the Bay Area.

Our Survey of County Markets around the Bay Area

And as illustrated in the chart below, Marin luxury home sales also hit a new peak, rising 17% above the number of sales in Q2 2016. It is not unusual for luxury home sales to hit their highest numbers of the year in Q2, reflecting the spring sales season, and this is one of the factors behind the increase in median sales price.


Luxury Homes Sales
by Quarter since 2014




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Home Price Maps

We have just updated our median home price maps for the Bay Area, San Francisco, Marin County, Diablo Valley & Lamorinda, and the Wine Country. To access them, click on the map image below and then roll your cursor over the maps on the webpage.





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Home Prices by City & Bedroom Count














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Breaking Down Sales by Price Segment

Median sales prices typically disguise a wide range of prices in the underlying individual home sales, which is what these charts illustrate.















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Building Cranes Everywhere in San Francisco

If you have recently been in San Francisco and have wondered at the amount of construction currently underway and planned, here is a brief summary: Approximately 64,000 housing units, 31 million square feet of commercial space and 25 hotels with 4685 rooms are now in the SF new construction pipeline. 5700 housing units, 10 million square feet and 5 hotels are currently under construction. The city is in the midst of one of its biggest building booms in history. Note that if economic conditions change, planned projects can change very quickly as well.


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Bay Area Rent Trends




San Francisco still has the highest rents in the nation (the light blue columns in the chart above), exceeding even Manhattan (in second place, delineated by the dark blue line), but they have been dropping since recent peaks in late 2015/early 2016. Generally speaking, rents around the Bay Area have either declined, in what had been the hottest markets, or seen their appreciation rates significantly slow, over the past year or so. The Marin rent-price trend line is very similar to the San Mateo line.


All our Bay Area real estate analyses can be found here: Paragon Market Reports

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© 2017 Paragon Real Estate Group


Feverish Spring Markets Prevail In Marin
& around the Bay Area

As Buyers Compete for Inadequate Supply of Home Listings,
Median House Sales Prices Hit New Highs Almost Everywhere

June 2017 Market Report

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Year-over-Year 3-Month Median Sales Prices
March-May, since 2012: Marin, San Francisco, Sonoma



This chart above compares median house sales prices since 2012 for March through May sales, year-over-year, for Marin, San Francisco and Sonoma Counties. Marin median prices are illustrated by the dark gray columns. Like Marin, most Bay Area Counties hit new peaks in median sales prices this spring, often by significant margins.


Median House Prices
in Selected Marin Cities & Towns






The two charts above take a look at year-to-date 2017 median sales prices as compared to the previous 6 years, for 10 Marin communities. There has been consistent overall annual home price appreciation continuing into the present year. However, median sales prices sometimes peak for the year during the feverish spring market, so final prices for all of 2017 may be lower in some cities and towns than what is showing year to date.

And the below chart graphs median condo sales price appreciation since 2011.



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Comparing Us and Them

Bay Area & National Appreciation Trends since 1987
through March 2017

The numbers on the Case-Shiller chart below all relate to a home price of 100 in January 2000: 50 denotes a home price 50% below then; 230 signifies a price 130% above January 2000.



This chart compares the S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Indices for the 5-county San Francisco Metro Area high-price-tier market (which reflects the Marin and city of San Francisco markets best) in the blue line and the United States market in the green line. It goes through March 2017, the last report Case-Shiller has released as of early June, so it will not reflect the appreciation of April and May.

The national and Bay Area appreciation trend lines are similar except for 3 periods: Right after the 1989 earthquake, the rise and fall of the dotcom bubble, and the recent high-tech boom in the Bay Area. Looking beyond the difference in appreciation rates since 2012, 70% vs. 40%, the difference in dollar appreciation in median house prices over the 5 years is enormous: over $550,000 for Marin vs. $70,000 for the U.S.


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Marin County Luxury Home Market

The number of homes sold in Marin for $2 million and above (red line) hit a new monthly high in May, while the number of active listings (blue columns) was a little below the peak hit in May 2016. This chart also illustrates the seasonality of the luxury home market: Most active in spring and early autumn; slower in mid-summer and much, much slower mid-winter.




Luxury Home Sales by City & Town
12 Months Sales Reported to MLS



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Marin & Sonoma Coastal & Rural Markets
12 Months Sales, Selected Communities



Stinson Beach and Bolinas had very high median sales prices in the past year, albeit for a relatively small number of sales. Russian River offers among the lowest home prices in the Bay Area.

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Market Statistics

Comparing Listings Selling With & Without Price Reductions


Sales Price to Original List Price (SP-OP) Percentage
Overbidding & Underbidding Asking Prices

In April and May of 2017, listings that sold without going through price reductions (blue columns), i.e. homes the market deemed appealing and well-priced, averaged a sales price 3 to 4% above asking price, signifying strong demand and, often, multiple bidding between buyers. Those listings that had to go through one or more price reductions before selling (green line) averaged a sales price 10% below original asking price.





Average Days on Market (DOM)

In April and May of 2017, listings that sold without going through price reductions (blue line) had an average days-on-market of 27 to 29 days, what would be considered a very quick sale, while those listings that had to go through one or more price reductions before selling (green columns) averaged a days-on-market of 70 to 87 days.





The two charts above not only illustrate the positive effects of preparing, pricing and marketing a home properly, and the negative effects of not doing one or more of the three, but also the ebb and flow of demand of the market during the different seasons. Typically, one sees the highest sales-price-to-list-price percentages and lowest days-on-market in spring, while mid-winter has statistics reflecting much lower demand.

It should be noted that in a changing market filled with relatively unique homes in a wide variety of different locations, pricing correctly can be a challenge. Whether seller or buyer, the only practical method to assess current fair market value, is to take an honest look at what has happened and is happening in the market with other comparable, or as comparable as possible, properties.

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Mortgage Interest Rates

As of June 12, mortgage interest rates have continued their decline from the first of the year. Interest rates remaining so low by historical standards, and the fear that they may soon go up, is probably one of the factors behind the very hot markets seen around the Bay Area this spring.


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Dynamic of Strong Buyer Demand vs. Low Listing Inventory Continues

May 2017 Marin Market Report

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By quantity, home sales in Marin are dominated by Novato, San Rafael and Mill Valley, while the highest median sales prices are typically found in smaller towns. Median sales price is that price at which half the sales sold for more and half for less. It can be and often is affected by factors besides changes in fair market value, especially in very expensive communities with relatively low numbers of sales at a very wide range of individual sales prices.


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Marin Median Home Price Appreciation
Monthly, Quarterly & Annual Trends

Monthly Median Price Trends - 2 Years

Monthly median prices are most prone to less meaningful fluctuations,
but, for what it is worth, Marin median house prices hit a new high in April.




Quarterly Trends since the Current Recovery Began
House & Condo Median Sales Prices since 2012




Long-Term Annual Median House Price Appreciation



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Market Dynamics Statistics by City & Town

We last did these analyses 7 months ago, but Corte Madera remains the hottest market in Marin by a variety of standard real estate statistics, of which 3 are below. Apparently, it is hitting the sweet spot between relative affordability compared to surrounding communities, and ease of commute.








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Market Dynamics by Price Segment

As occurring around the Bay Area, the markets for more affordable homes (as defined within each county) are usually the hottest segments: In Marin, houses under $1,500,000 and condos under $1,000,000. Note that in these analyses, condos over $1,000,000 constitute a very small, very expensive segment by county condo price standards.

This does not mean that appealing, more expensive homes that show well and are priced correctly are not selling quickly in Marin: They often sell very quickly indeed. However, generally speaking, it is true that the most expensive home segment is most prone to overpricing, and its homes have to appeal to a relatively small group of very affluent buyers.









The New York Times recently had an excellent article regarding the dwindling frequency at which owners are selling their homes, a change with significant ramifications for supply and demand dynamics. (To read, click on the underlined link above.)


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Marin House Sales by Era of Construction



Before the bridge and WWII, Marin was a relatively unpopulated county of small towns. A surge of home construction occurred in the 3 to 4 decades following, until it slowed way down due to low-growth initiatives and the big drought that began in late 1975. (For those who did not live here then, an emergency supply pipe had to be constructed over the San Rafael-Richmond Bridge to bring water to Marin. On the other hand, the weather was beautiful every day for years.) Developers soon moved their attentions to Sonoma and the East Bay, which saw explosive growth in new home construction.


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Various Economic Indicators
That Can Impact the Market


Bay Area Employment & Unemployment Rates

Marin typically has the lowest unemployment rate in the Bay Area, and it must be close to the lowest in the nation as well. Overall, the Bay Area is seeing the lowest rates in 15 years, but the picture in hiring and new high-tech hiring in particular, is a bit unclear with recent shifts up and down.







S&P 500 Stock Index

Maybe some irrational exuberance at play since the election?




Housing Affordability

Perhaps the biggest social, economic and political issue
in the Bay Area right now: Remaining close to all-time lows




Mortgage Interest Rates

Up after the election, down since the new year began,
rates remain extremely low by historical standards



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According to the May 12 edition of the San Francisco Business Times, Paragon is now the 7th largest residential brokerage in the Bay Area, and of the top 25, Paragon had by far the highest rate of growth of any SF or Marin brokerage, increasing its sales volume by 42% in 2016. According to the Business Times, Paragon also had the highest sales per agent figures of any brokerage with at least 100 agents.


April 2017 Marin County Market Report

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Market Seasonality

Supply & Demand Statistics

Real estate is greatly impacted in a number of ways by seasonality. As illustrated below, by almost every metric, spring is typically the hottest market of the year.





Months supply of inventory (MSI) and average days on market are classic measurements of the heat of the market. The lower the MSI reading, the stronger the demand as compared to the supply of homes available to buy: The MSI in Marin for non-luxury homes has generally remained very low in recent years. MSI for luxury homes fluctuates much more by season, but, as is common, it has dropped significantly as we enter the spring selling season. Of course, the strength of buyer demand also affects how quickly listings will sell, as illustrated in the average days on market chart.








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Median House Sales Price Trends

10 Selected Marin County Cities & Towns, since 2010


Note that outsized jumps up and down in median and average value statistics in very expensive communities with small numbers of sales (such as Belvedere and Ross) often have more to do with changes in inventory than changes in fair market value. However, generally speaking, the highest-priced communities saw a flattening or declines in median sales prices in 2016, while prices in more affordable areas increased. This has been a relatively common dynamic around the Bay Area in the past year.

It is impossible to know how median and average value statistics apply to any particular home without a comparative market analysis tailored to its specific location, condition, size, amenities and visual appeal.

If you would like value trend data on a Marin town or city not included in this sampling, please let me know.






Average Dollar per Square Foot Values

10 Selected Marin County Cities & Towns, since 2012






When one steps back to look at annual trends, the picture usually becomes clearer than with often fluctuating monthly or quarterly data. We looked at annual trends by a variety of classic real estate statistical measures in our March newsletter, which can be found further down on this webpage.


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Average House Size

Though there are many important factors at play, average house size unsurprisingly plays a big part in both median sales prices and average dollar per square foot values. The average square footage of a house in Ross or Belvedere is more than double that of a house in Fairfax.



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Interest Rates

Constantly shifting economic and political factors continue to affect rates: Mortgage interest rates are significantly up since the election, fluctuating up and down since the year began, but still far below historical norms. This is a factor everyone is watching carefully because of its potential impact on affordability, already a big issue in the Bay Area.




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Marin Median Home Prices
Reflecting MLS Sales, 1/1/17 - 6/30/17

Mouse over map for median price icons


More analyses can be found here: Marin County Home Prices & Trends by City


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Where to Look to Buy
for the Price You Want to Pay


The county market for houses under $1,000,000 and for condos is dominated by San Rafael and Novato, by far the biggest cities in Marin. Moving into higher price ranges brings other cities into the picture, notably Mill Valley, San Anselmo and Corte Madera. And in the luxury home market, $2 million and above, Mill Valley, Tiburon and Kentfield become the sales leaders. Some of the most expensive home markets have very small numbers of sales in any given year.










What Can I Buy for $1,200,000 or $2,000,000?

Below are illustrations of the wide range of homes one might buy at two different price points in Marin. The higher the column, the greater the square footage of the home. (Note that the bathroom specifications can be a little screwy, for example 2.3 or 1.7 baths, because these are averages of homes sold at these approximate price points.) Since these charts cannot factor in a great many criteria for value, such as condition, attractiveness, decks, gardens, extra parking, views and so on, they are very general takes on the markets around the county.

For $1,200,000, in 2016, one could have purchased a 4-bedroom, 3060 square foot house in Novato, or a 3-bedroom, 1847 square foot house in Mill Valley, or a 1266 square foot cottage in Tiburon.




As mentioned, many of the highest end home markets in Marin are quite small, so when looking at this specific price point in a particular town, sometimes only one sale came up. However, the sales still give an idea of the wide range of homes one could have purchased in different areas of the county for $2 million, from very large houses on acreage in some places, to a 1 BR house in Belvedere and a major fixer-upper in Ross.



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Market Summary

January and February constitute the slowest sales months of the year and are subject to significant seasonal issues - many of their sales went into contract in December - so coming to definitive conclusions about where the market is heading based on their data is difficult. However, for what it is worth, comparing the 2-month period of 2017 to the same period a year ago, the median house sales price in Marin, at $1,125,000 was 2.5% higher. General inventory levels remain quite low when compared to demand, except in the luxury segment where demand appears to have softened over the past year while the number of listings for sale has ticked up.

This chart below reflects the latest Case-Shiller Home Price Index for the 5-county metro area house market, going through the end of 2016. It illustrates how in 2016, more affordably-priced houses continued to appreciate significantly, while the most expensive segment basically flattened. Generally speaking, this is a common dynamic around the Bay Area.



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Selected Market Dynamics Snapshots

For the most part, these statistical angles on conditions and trends indicate a general stabilizing in the market, 2015 to 2016, with some hints of cooling from the considerable heat of recent years. Most of the following charts show the changes in the market as the recovery began in 2012 and through to 2016.


New Listings Begin Pouring onto the Market Again

The period from March through June is usually the most active selling season of the year, and we will soon have more conclusive indications of where the 2017 market is headed. This next chart illustrates the dramatic surge of new inventory that starts in February and fuels sales during this period.




Average Days on Market




Average Sales Price to List Price Percentage




Percentage of Sales Accepting Offers within 30 Days

The hotter the market, the greater the percentage of sales that happen quickly, and the higher the percentage of sales price to asking price for the new listings snapped up. In 2016, both of those measurements declined a little but still remained high by any historical standard.




Listings Expiring or Withdrawn (No Sale)

A significant increase in listings expiring or being withdrawn without selling can signal a growing disconnect between what sellers believe their properties are worth and that price buyers are willing to pay. Though there was a small increase in 2016 in these no-sale listings, the number still compares very well with previous years when the market was quite strong. It will be a statistic to watch as the new year develops.

The gap between the median sales price of homes selling ($1,195,000) and the median list price of homes not selling ($1,792,500), at almost $600,000, suggests either the market is becoming saturated with more high-end listings than can be absorbed, or that overpricing is becoming a more serious issue.




Unit Sales Volume

Drops in sales volumes can occur for totally different reasons: A decline in demand, as occurred after the financial markets crash in 2008, or a decline in the number of listings available to purchase, or some combination of the two. This is another dynamic to keep a close eye on in 2017. However, it should be noted that as sales volume dropped in 2016, the overall median sales price increased about 8% from 2015, though, as mentioned previously, appreciation has varied by price segment.



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The chart below is specific to the Marin County market, illustrating median house price movements since 1996. All parts of the Bay Area saw similar trends, though the percentages up and down varied between markets.



It is interesting to note that the year of highest percentage appreciation in the past 25 years was 2000, the height of the dotcom bubble, and not in our most recent boom. This is consistent across all the markets we have tracked in the Bay Area. However, by dollar appreciation, as opposed to percentage change, following years have seen by far the greatest increase in prices.


Gold, Google, Soybeans
& Marin Home Price Appreciation




This chart above is a somewhat lighthearted, but we believe accurate look at how various 2011 investments would have played out through 2016. When calculating appreciation, purchase and sale dates are critical factors, and changing those can alter the results significantly: Using 2011, the last bottom of the real estate market, as the purchase date certainly plays to the advantage of home price increases. If you bought gold or soybeans in 2011, you really should have sold them a couple years ago at the height of the commodity price boom.

Besides the appreciation percentage noted, buying a home in 2011 with all cash would have generated large, additional financial returns in the form of extremely low monthly housing costs. Buying it with 20% down supercharges the return on cash investment, and that is before adding in other advantages: Even with an 80% loan, by 2016 your monthly housing costs, with recent low interest rates and tax advantages, would be well below market rents. Then there is the huge capital gains exclusion on the sale of a primary residence, which would not apply to other investments.



Long-term Marin Median Home Price Appreciation



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What Costs How Much Where in Marin

Sales & Prices by City and Home Size










These analyses were made in good faith with data from sources deemed reliable, but they may contain errors and are subject to revision. It is not our intent to convince you of a particular position, but to attempt to provide straightforward data and analysis, so you can make your own informed decisions.

© 2017-2018 Paragon Real Estate Group
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