From Selma Hepp, Chief Economist Pacific Union International – 1/13/2017
Following a slower fall, housing market activity in Marin County regained some speed to finish the fourth quarter slightly up on an annual basis. Nevertheless, overall home sales in Marin were down from 2015. The two price segments that were particularly challenged were homes priced below $1 million and above $3 million. While sales at the lower end were simply constrained by a lack of inventory, higher-priced homes continued to face a cautious buyer pool.
Fewer buyers were willing to bid above asking prices – particularly for higher-priced homes – and bidding wars were less common than in previous quarters. Generally, only homes priced below $1 million saw continued high single-digit-percent appreciation.
The number of homes for sale remained scarce, especially at more affordable price points. The inventory of homes priced above $2 million has remained steady after some buildup during the earlier part of the year, but, due to slower sales of higher-priced homes, the monthly supply of inventory has steadily increased.
Looking Forward: The recent increase in mortgage rates and the uncertainty around the incoming administration’s policies could hold back Marin County housing-market activity in the first quarter. The following quarters will likely see a boost in sales as it becomes clearer how the new administration will impact the Bay Area’s economy.
To read Pacific Union’s real estate and economic forecast through 2019 for Marin, San Francisco, and San Mateo counties, click here.
Defining Marin County: Our real estate markets in Marin County include the cities of Belvedere, Corte Madera, Fairfax, Greenbrae, Kentfield, Larkspur, Mill Valley, Novato, Ross, San Anselmo, San Rafael, Sausalito, and Tiburon. Sales data in the charts includes single-family homes in these communities.