May in Marin: Despite Inventory Reduced by Half, Strong Sales Continue, But How Long Will it Last?
Welcome to the New World, and not the one discovered by Columbus. Things are different now for all of us in nearly every aspect of life. What isn’t different is our resolve as Americans to get through this–or any–crisis, intact and maybe down, but certainly not out. We’ve had our challenges before and this too shall pass, ultimately. In the meantime, the resilience we’re seeing out there is incredible. It hasn’t gone perfectly by any means, but it was (and is) a brand new challenge where we all had to think on our feet, while at the same time staying OFF those same feet and sheltering in place. We will get through this, just watch, and the way the real estate community has responded is certainly no exception to our ability for flexibility and compromise. This is my fifth downturn cycle and by all accounts it will be the shortest recovery of all of them.
For those of you who read this blog last month, you know that buyers continued to buy in Marin, even after the SIP was announced here on March 16th. April saw 94 properties go into escrow, down from 109 in March. This is roughly half what we see normally this time of year, but inventory itself is down more than half. So we are seeing fewer sales, but still multiple offers and over asking sold prices for the right property at the right price. Yes, that surprises even us seasoned veterans. We had 120 properties close escrow and post as Sold, down from the 174 of March, but again buyers had slim pickings to choose from.
So even despite restrictions on “safe showings” with masks, gloves, groups of no more than two and social distancing at all times, people continued to look at their home here as a long term investment, so look they did. Some made offers even after simply viewing photos and online videos, with a safe walk thru to follow once the home was able to be temporarily vacant. But as of May 4th, we can now carefully move to showing homes that are occupied but only AFTER prospective buyers have driven by, looked at all posted media and presented proof of being approved for a mortgage or all-cash. There’s also a California PEAD form that needs to be submitted by the agent prior to showing, indicating all the guidelines have been met. We’ll see how it goes.
Let me know of any questions on that. I’m here to help. Meantime, enjoy May wherever you are and please stay safe. As always, thanks for reading.