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Ted Strodder

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

“It’s 2023, Will the New Year Bring a New Housing Market to Marin?”

January is here in Marin, bringing lots of needed rain and lots of questions from everybody on just about everything that has to do with the housing economy: worldwide, nationwide and locally. While I can’t comment on all on the first two, I thankfully do have a bit of feedback and data on where Marin stands with our own, highly localized housing market. “Solid and steady so far”, would sum it up, though that was last year in 2022. Who knows in 2023, but I for one am cautiously optimistic, at least for the average or lower price ranges of the county. I get regular texts, emails or calls on this, along with being stopped in the grocery store (by Jeff, the Manager, today actually) with everyone curious if home prices will ultimately drop here. “Not yet”, is my stock answer, continued with “But we’ll see”. While my crystal ball broke in 1986 (my first year of doing this, go figure), I’ve learned that the only way you can have an idea of where you’re going is to first see where you are, then look back and see where you’ve been. Here’s some data on that.   

The most striking difference between 2021 and 2022 is the volume of transactions. If you follow this newsletter at all (or stop me in the grocery store) you know that we had fewer Active listings for sale last year than any of us can remember. And I have a pretty good memory. For example, as of today, there are only 127 Homes for Sale in the entire county of 255,000 people. That’s WAY down from the 1200 we used to have back in the 90’s, when the average Days on Market (DOM) was around 100. Today it’s 24.

So obviously not a lot of people are selling and it would further explain while our total number of sales is down by more than half! We had 4516 homes sold in 2021 for $9.7 billion and only 1890 in 2022 for $4.1 billion. 

For the year, prices are up only 7%, half of what they were in 2021. This is actually right in our strike zone of annual appreciation here and is a very low, healthy number. Home prices never skyrocket here, but they also don’t plummet in a challenging economy, excluding the national financial crisis of 2008-2010. But even then, we saw brief 10%-15% reductions, far less than most areas. Will that happen here again? It doesn’t feel like it, not given the pent up demand to buy. But read this newsletter in a year and we’ll see.  

That’s it for now. Until next time, enjoy January and all of 2023 wherever you are and please stay safe. As always, thanks for reading.