Marin Home Sales Jump, Median Price Continues to Rise

Counties across the Bay Area saw the number of homes sold increase on a year-over-year basis for the 16th month in a row in October.

The number of homes sold in Marin jumped substantially in October compared to the same period a year ago, while the county's mdia home price continued to rise as well, a real estate information service reported.

DataQuick reported Wednesday that 335 homes were sold in Marin during October, up nearly 46 percent from the 230 that were sold in October 2011. The sales also were a major uptick from 268 homes sold in Sept. 2012.

The median home price in Marin also rose in October, hitting $660,000, up 9.5 percent from a year earlier. The median price in September was $650,000, DataQuick reported.

Those trends matched those across the nine-county Bay Area, which saw the number of homes sold increase on a year-over-year basis for the 16th month in a row in October while the median price paid rose for the sixth month, according to Dataquick. The firm said the trend was the result of a gradual rebalancing of the real estate market.     

A total of 7,795 new and resale homes were sold in the Bay Area last month. That was up 13.8 percent from 6,850 in September, and up 21.0 percent from 6,444 for October 2011. Sales for the month of October have varied from 5,486 in 2007 to 13,392 in 2003, while the average for all months of October since 1988, when DataQuick’s statistics start, is 8,587.

The median price paid for a home in the Bay Area was $416,000 last month. That was down 3 percent from $429,000 in September and up 18.9 percent from $350,000 in October a year ago. The year-over-year percentage increase was the highest since May 2010, when the $410,000 median rose 20.1 percent.

“We’re still watching the market regain the ground it lost after 2007," DataQuick President John Walsh said in a statement. "It’s unclear exactly much of today’s apparent price increase reflects actual growth, and how much reflects a change in market characteristics. The two factors obviously play into each other. We’re definitely seeing less distress and foreclosure activity, and more mid- to up-market sales. Supply is limited, and getting through the mortgage process is still rough.”

Here's a Bay Area breakdown of home sales and median price: 

All Homes #Sold  #Sold  % Change Median Median % Change Oct. 2011 Oct. 2012 Oct. 2011 Oct. 2012 Marin 230                        335 45.7% $602,909 $660,000   9.5% Alameda 1,308 1,618 23.7% $340,000 $384,000 12.9% Contra Costa 1,329 1,454 9.4% $250,750 $302,500 20.6% Napa  102 152 49.0%  $310,000 $365,000  17.7% Santa Clara  1,417 1,718 21.2% $450,000 $535,000 18.9% San Francisco 448 572 27.7% $635,000 $794,500 25.1% San Mateo 566 717 26.7% $525,000 $626,500 19.3% Solano 554 598 7.9% $188,000 $216,000 14.9% Sonoma  490                         631 28.8% $283,500 $350,000 23.5% Bay Area  6,444 7,795 21.0% $350,000 $416,000   18.9%
Jack November 15, 2012 at 02:38 PM
- unless you include the sales of foreclosed houses and short sales, which this advertisement doesn't. Hey, another advertisement posted as a news story on Patch?
Rico November 15, 2012 at 04:43 PM
And, in my area, there was one house that has been on the market for 6 years, but they finally gave up and pulled it off the market, another house that also has had been on the market on and off for 4 years finally sold for half of the asking price, so that is one of the sales advertised in this article. There are many houses for sale up here, but they are not being snapped up very quickly. There are many more that were for sale for years, but the sellers gave up. Apparently the housing market in Mill Valley is not very hot now, or for the last 6 years. That is a good thing for potential buyers who have enough money to buy a house without taking out a loan for it, I guess credit is tight now.
Magoo November 15, 2012 at 08:04 PM
People can augue back and forth about the value to their houses due to the schools around here. There are plenty of other reasons why some people desire to live in these parts. The most important factor by far is it is an easy commute to the City. It is just over the hill in Corte Madera where the back up usually starts. It is that way around the world. The closer the property is to a big city, the more expensive the property is. The second most important factor which determines the market value of a property is the current interest rates. I don't have the data, but if the interest rates were in double digits, the house prices (values) would be dramatically lower as the number of people who could afford the mortgage payments would drop substantially. 20 years ago the interest rates were about 18% for a 30 year fixed.
Rico November 16, 2012 at 03:12 AM
To get a better picture of the housing market in Mill Valley, this article should have also posted how many years on the market and what percentage of the asking price that the houses sold for. Without those 2 important statistics, the article does have not provide much useful information. Right now, many people would be surprised at how many years these houses have been on the market, and the few that have been sold, the sellers have had to reduce their final sale price by 50%, and that is in Mill Valley. So, the proximity to S.F. is not so much a factor now like it used to be. And about the 101 commute, I was working down at gate six in Sausalito today until 5:00 pm. I saw the traffic backed up the Waldo Grade going down as far as I could see, and it was thick all the way as far as I could see going north too. That is an indicator that many people are working now, and many more are traveling north because they thought that they can't buy a house in southern Marin. So, that may have been true 10 years ago, but the way the market in Mill Valley is now, it looks like things might be changing a bit. Now is a very good time to buy in Mill Valley, many houses have recently sold for 50% off the original asking price, making houses more affordable, that is a very good thing. Also, If developers pay attention to demographic trends, they will be less likely to invest in building more housing, especially high density housing like Blithedale Terrace.
Dave Robertson November 18, 2012 at 09:26 PM
I expect the housing market is being affected by the fiscal uncertainty that is gripping the country at this time. People who can afford upper end homes in Marin likely are affected by the likely jump in tax rates on Jan 1. The passage of California prop 30 likely adds to that. Since it also has been proposed that "wealthier people" should have a cap in deductions, it could drastically affect the housing market as well. Some people can borrow money from banks these days, but it would be nuts to put large amounts of cash in any home. When Marin County has a higher median price than Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, then you know something is off here. Frankly, the reason escapes me - but there are lots of people living down in the Peninsula and South Bay that have a great deal of cash. If many Mill Valley houses are selling for half their original asking price, then that price was originally way too high. Then again, Mill Valley is an odd market in that there are lots of older, smaller and less expensive homes mixed with very high end, expensive homes. What we need above are figures from 2004 - before the bubble. It would give a better basis for comparison.


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