Marin Newsletter August 2019


Marin County Real Estate

Home Sales & Values by City and Price Segment, Market Seasonality, Luxury Home Sales, Market Dynamics by City, Foreign Homebuyers
August 2019 Report

The May Case-Shiller Home Price Index was released in late July for the 5-county SF metro area. This chart illustrates the difference in appreciation rates between the Bay Area (higher price markets) and the entire country. Case-Shiller does not use median sales prices but its own algorithm to calculate appreciation. January 2000 home price = 100; 250 = a home price 150% above that of Jan. 2000.

Needless to say, there are many factors behind home sales and values in different communities. Home size is one of them, and median sales prices are not apples to apples comparisons: For example, the median home square footage in Belvedere is almost twice that found in Fairfax.

Home Sales by Price Range

Market Seasonality

After the summer slowdown, new listings typically spike back up in September to fuel the relatively short autumn selling season. Come mid-November, activity begins to plunge for the mid-winter holidays.

Luxury Home Sales

The luxury home market is even more fiercely seasonal than the general market in the ebbs and flows of its activity. September commonly sees a big surge in new listings. Many high-end listings that don't sell in autumn will be pulled off the market in late November and early December to wait for activity to pick up again in February and March. 

Market Indicators by City

There are many factors at play in supply and demand, and it is not unusual for higher price markets to have softer buyer-demand dynamics than more affordable areas, though this is not always the case. Not only are there many fewer buyers for the most expensive homes, but, generally speaking, overpricing is a more common issue with such properties. Of course, in every city and every price segment, there are homes that sell very quickly, homes that go through price reductions, and homes that don't sell at all.

Foreign National Home Buying Tumbles

According to a new report by the National Association of Realtors - based on a survey of its member agents - the purchase of U.S. homes by foreign nationals plunged in the 12 months through March 2019. California, and the Bay Area in particular, have been top destinations for international homebuyers.

Stock Market Hits New High

The last 12 months have been an extremely dramatic time for financial markets as illustrated below. The confidence or fear generated by its swings has been a considerable factor in real estate markets. A parallel dynamic has occurred with the swings in interest rates.

Market Statistics by Price Segment

To a significant degree, within county markets around the Bay Area, market dynamics often correlate better with price segment than with city location - though that is not always true. The most expensive segments often see significantly softer demand statistics.

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