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Ted Strodder

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

February Real Estate Market in Marin: Optimism Abounds as Home Buying Starts Early

As we start our second month of 2020 here in Marin, I can sum up the sentiment on the Bay Area real estate market in one word: optimism. Maybe it’s the fluid synergy the way 20 and 20 just flows off the tongue, the renaissance beginning of a new decade, or the fact we all just need a dose of optimism right now. But every buyer, seller, agent and real estate manager or company owner I’ve spoken with so far has said more or less the same thing, “It feels like it’s going to be a great year”. Not just for real estate of course, but for all of us as we move forward with prosperity and hope into the coming year. 

Take a look at the chart to the left of this article. Mortgage rates have dipped back down towards historic lows, motivating buyers to buy and sellers to sell, many of whom trade up or down within the county. Fewer people move out of here voluntarily than almost anywhere else and those who sell, often trade up or down within Marin. (The national average hovers around 7% annually, while Marin is closer to 6%). If you have any doubt if that has been the trend for the last ten years, just take a look at the number of Active listings currently for sale on any given day here. Back in 2010 that number was approx 1200 total homes and condos for sale. Today? That number is exactly 208. Take out the condos and it drops to 155 single family homes. Granted, we will see more come up for sale into the month and once Superbowl is behind us, but even if the number of For Sale signs double, there still isn’t much for buyers to choose from.

Sellers? Keep your expectations well in check. Do not overestimate the value of your great place. Be cautious and reasonable, in line with the market that day. Do not forecast a big uptick in the short term and price accordingly. Be optimistic, but realistic and by all means, do every thing on the punch list put together by you and your agent.  You will be rewarded every time. 

Buyers? The watchwords of “compromise and flexibility” remain very much in place for you in 2020. Get too picky and the market will pass you by, which can be an expensive proposition. If history and current projections are any indication, home prices should be up in the 5% range on average with our usual slow and steady appreciation. No jack rabbit swings in either direction, especially in the lower price ranges in any of our twelve towns. Given buyer activity last month in January, they appear to be out in force with multiple offers being placed on the table already. Let’s see how this blog reads a year from now, but it looks to be another solid year for Marin County real estate. 

Until then, thanks for reading. Let me know of any questions and here’s to continued optimism and a terrific 2020 for all of you. 



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