Marin County median hovers at $1.7M in “volatile” market

Up 11% from year earlier

Marin County (Zillow, iStock)
Marin County (Zillow, iStock)

A mid-market detached home in Marin County now costs $1.7 million.

The median cost of a home within the upscale region north of the Golden Gate rose 11 percent in February over the prior year, the Marin Independent Journal reported. Shrinking inventory pinched home sales 12 percent to 143, from 162 homes during the same period in 2021.

The cost of a detached home ranged from a median of $6.65 million in the unincorporated town of Ross to $1.1 million in Fairfax

The single-family median price – the point at which half the homes sold for more money and half for less – has been hovering around $1.7-million since last spring. It crossed the $1.7 million mark in May, climbed to $1.8 million in July, dipped above $1.7 million in August and September, before settling back slightly.

Rising interest rates and inflation have clouded the market outlook for Marin County and elsewhere.

The U.S. weekly average for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage in early April was 4.72 percent, according to Freddie Mac, the federally chartered mortgage company, up from 3.13 percent a year ago.

Rising mortgage rates normally bring home prices down. But under current market conditions — with many baby boomers moving, millennials buying homes and homeowners picking up second properties — “the old rules don’t apply anymore,” said Patti Cohn, a Marin real estate agent with Compass.

“It’s kind of a market where all bets are off,” she said.

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Stefan Schermerhorn, a Marin agent with Holmes Burrell Real Estate, marketed a four-bedroom home in Tamalpais Valley at the February median price through a network of agents. As he was about to list publicly at $1.495 million, he got a $1.7 million offer through the network.

“I think it’s volatile now,” Schermerhorn said of the market. “I do think interest rates are affecting people’s ability to borrow. There’s a lot of uncertainty, but there’s still a lot of money and cash.”

Throughout the Bay Area, all nine counties reported double-digit price growth year-over-year in February, according to data from CoreLogic, a real estate market research firm. The region-wide median price rose 17 percent from the previous year, topping $1.1 million.

Home sales dropped nearly 20 percent from the previous February, with the steepest declines in Santa Clara, San Mateo and San Francisco counties, according to CoreLogic. With rising prices came slowing sales. San Francisco plummeted 27 percent, Santa Clara dropped 25 percent and San Mateo fell 24 percent from last February. Condo and new home sales also slumped.

CoreLogic economist Selma Hepp said demand remains strong, with about eight in 10 homes selling above listing prices. “It’s just the lack of inventory,” she said.

Bay Area realtors expect prices to keep setting records throughout the year, with many buyers funding purchases with stock market gains after a buoyant two years.

[Marin Independent Journal] – Dana Bartholomew

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