Marin Home Sales Drop in 2008

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Marin Real Estate
For the fourth consecutive year, single-family home sales dropped in Marin County. Although, in the beginning, the Marin real estate market began 2008 in full force and was doing better than expected, but as the year went on, home sales began to drag. Eventually, home sales dropped year over year four out of the last five months of 2008.

The median price for re-sale homes in Marin dropped more than nine percent in 2008. The median price in Marin rarely sees a drop in the median price and has only happened one other time since I began keeping track in the mid-90's. The previous drop happened in '06, however, that was almost insignificant, dropping less than a 1/2 percent. In December, the median price dropped more than twenty-three percent year over year, falling under $700,000, which has not been seen since the middle of 2003.

Marin home sales were down just under twenty percent. Initially, in early '08, San Francisco and Marin's real estate markets appeared to be doing quite well and easily outperforming the rest of the Bay Area. However, as the year went on and especially the latter part of '08, the Bay Area markets that were underperforming began to usurp their position and have increased their sales, while Marin and San Francisco sales diminished.

Condo sales in Marin improved more than fifteen percent year over year. In December, the median price for a condo saw an increase of nearly nineteen percent compared to the previous month, but saw an overall drop of more than forty-two percent compared to the year before.

The drop in the median price is largely due to the amount of foreclosures and short sales. The areas most affected are Novato and San Rafael, where average prices are tanking, but home sales are up. Novato saw an increase of almost thirty-five percent year over year. The numbers do not necessarily represent all of the areas in Marin, like Mill Valley and I am not suggesting that the value of homes have dropped. Once the amount of foreclosures drop, then we will begin to see some better numbers.

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