Real Estate in Marin continues to experience unprecedented price appreciation due to extremely low inventory and high demand.* Marin County, as a whole, saw prices up 13% and volume down 19% YTD (year-to-date) vs. the same January through May period last year. Average Marin home prices are at a record $2,382,023. In Kentfield and Ross, this dynamic is even more extreme. Prices are up a whopping 18% YTD while volume is down 25%. The average sales price for single family homes in Kentfield/Ross this year is at an all time high of $4,943,639. San Anselmo saw the greatest appreciation for this time period with a 25% increase in sales prices. Novato, with typically the greatest sales volume in Marin, saw volume off 30%.
What’s driving the escalation in home prices? Simple economics of low supply and high demand.
The majority of homes are going for well over the list price with multiple offers. For Kentfield and Ross, bidding wars have been feverish and the price points eye popping due to such limited inventory. Young millennials starting to marry and have families are currently the largest demographic buying homes. Their desire for idyllic suburban Marin living has fueled this unprecedented demand. These young millennials will pay a premium for move-in ready homes and they will compete fiercely for the few that come to market.
There have recently been homes in Kent Woodlands that have sold for more than $2M over the list price!
Headline Making Hot Sales
- A home in Kent Woodlands that sold in March for $5,800,000, sold two months later after only two days on MLS for $2M over asking after some upgrades and new finishes – May sale price $10M
- A pristine, move-in ready home listed in Kent Woodlands, listed at $2,995,000, sold for $4,205,000 with 7 offers*
- A home in Ross sold recently for $18M in just 6 days
- Highest sales-to-list price was for a tear down in Kentfield which sold at 47% over its list price – likely to developers who see gold by flipping the property
Primarily, it is the homes that are in excellent condition, with all the upgrades and finishes, that result in the highest offers. Dated homes in premiere locations are also in high demand where there’s value in fixing and flipping. Contingent offers are becoming a thing of the past as buyers realize they can not compete with contingencies for desirable homes.
In Marin, 29% of homes are sold for cash and those buyers who are financing their purchase are looking for ways to compete with cash offers. Visit our website blog at boulevardmarin.com to learn about the options of how best to Compete in a Market Where Cash is King including bridge loans, innovative fin-tech programs and getting fully underwritten by your lender to avoid the need for a loan contingency. The landscape of options is complex and every buyer’s situation varies.
In recent years, declining interest rates helped stimulate demand and subsidized the surge in home prices. Early in 2022, rising interest rates fueled frantic demand as buyers rushed to avoid further increases. Big rate increases coupled with peak prices, may ultimately put a damper on purchases and prices going forward. Even cash buyers may be impacted by volatility in the stock market, inflation and overall financial uncertainty. As of June 1, the average rate on 30 year mortgage rates is 5.4%, up over 70% in 2022.
“It’s hard to predict where the market is headed, especially with rising interest rates and a declining stock market. Home sales data lag a few months due to the long timeline for the home search and closing process, so future indicators won’t be available until likely late Q2 or Q3. Some agents are reporting less traffic at open houses and fewer bids on predicted hot properties. Overall, there’s still way more demand than inventory but price appreciation is predicted to slow.”
While these cooling trends are expected to have a more significant impact on the national housing market, it is unclear how much the local Ross/ Kentfield market with its predominance of buyers long with tech sector and stock market cash will be impacted.
Boulevard Real Estate was founded by fourth-generation Marin native Elizabeth “Bitsa” Freeman. Bitsa’s expertise in the local market, reputation for genuineness, honesty and deep community connections have made her a top-producing luxury agent throughout Marin County. Boulevard is proud to be certified as a Green Business by the California Green Business Network, and awarded Marin IJ Readers Choice Best Realtor Honor for four years running- 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022.
*Note: All data in this article based on MLS data for Single Family Homes sales Jan 1 to June 1, 2022