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Ted Strodder

Golden Gate
Sotheby's International Realty
189 Sir Francis Drake Blvd
Greenbrae CA 94904

“August Arrives With a Tale of Diverse Markets Nationwide”

August is here in Marin, bringing more warm temperatures to the county and the local housing market, despite widespread–and often severe–cooling in other areas. It’s impossible not to see some news alert on your phone and computer about a changing housing market nationwide. Inventory is rising and prices are dropping to some degree in all fifty states, with those high growth areas being the hardest hit. This is especially the case in any city where prices rose up to 100% in just two years, reminding us of the hare that drops out before the race is over. This includes Phoenix, Austin, Nashville, Charlotte, Denver and Boise–all places where we heard people were moving to given the cheap housing. Unfortunately, what goes up rapidly often drops just as fast with the housing market. The 15% a year average appreciation we saw in Marin made us the tortoise, but buyers and homeowners here are being rewarded as we watch the headlines in many cities, not just those listed above. Even as that appreciation was just 5% last month, there are plenty of places where they saw a decline of that figure, often many times over. 

The bigger question is where we go from here. I have no idea, is the safe answer, but given what I see on my screen each day, I have to believe we keep plodding forward, even if it’s slightly. There are just too many buyers out there, even today, and just not enough houses. We saw a place on Alta Way in Corte Madera close last week with 14 offers on it and $800k over asking to close at just over $3 mil. Extraordinary, yes, but remember that leaves 13 buyers (at the least) out there still, looking for a single level home on a nice lot, just like that.   

For the record, the the median home price dropped to $1.875 mil and the average down to $2.1 mil for the year. The median likely decreases going forward as more lower end properties sell than higher end homes, especially over $5 mil.  

That’s it for August. It’s a whole new world and I for one am very curious to see what happens. In my thirty-five years of doing this, I’ve never seen anything like what we have right now, even in the face of higher (though certainly not “high”) interest rates. Until next time, enjoy August wherever you are and please stay safe. As always, thanks for reading.