December Market Likely to Slow After Record Sales in November
December is here in Marin, bringing cold temperatures (by California standards) and lots of early rain. After a parched fall with the lowest rainfall on record (nearly 0), the skies opened up around Thanksgiving and it hasn’t stopped since.
What didn’t get a break was the pace of home sales. Last month was one of the busiest for us in recent years with 214 homes and condos changing hands, up 5% from last November. Prices were also up with the average approaching $1.6 mil versus $1.450 mil for the same month in 2018. The median also rose, cresting near $1.2 mil versus $1.1 mil for the same month. Those are both up 10% for the month, which should contribute to a year end in the 7%-8% that was forecast at the start of this year. Just keep in mind those prices are for homes and condos. Just homes themselves are always approx $200k higher in value here.
Multiple offers continued right through November with my last three listings getting swarmed with buyers who had cash or preapprovals in hand, ready to close in 3-4 weeks, often with all their due diligence done upfront. Smart sellers continue to prep their homes, with turnkey, move-in condition properties continuing to well outpace fixer uppers of any variety. If they order all their inspections and reports weeks before they sell, they likely will receive several clean, As-Is offers with no last minute, unexpected negotiations. People are busy and seem to prefer to spend their time at home, enjoying their surroundings, instead of embarking on major fix up projects. This is a trend that’s likely to continue, so let me know if there’s anything I can advise on here. Being involved in multiple offers as a buyer or seller is a very distinct specialty that isn’t for the meek or unseasoned. There are a lot of moving parts, with any missteps resulting in potentially big financial missteps.
Where we go from here is anybody’s guess, but if history is any guide, December tends to be our slowest month of the year. This is a great time for sellers to embark on any projects (big or small) to add good value for the early spring market, which we predict will be another strong one for home sales. Buyers, if you find a deal out there that meets at least 6 out of 10 on your Wish List, consider making an offer. Anybody on the market this time of year is usually committed to sell, so don’t be afraid to step up and make an offer. You never know.
Until then, enjoy December wherever you are and let me know what I can help with. Ask me anything. If I don’t already know the answer, I’ll seek it out.
Thanks for reading,