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Ted Strodder

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

May Marin Market: Same Story One Year Later

May is here in Marin and as I stand at my ergonomic desk to write this, something occurs to me: So little has changed in the past year, I could take the newsletter for last May and just cut and paste it here. The home buying frenzy has continued, despite a much lower stock market and much higher interest rates, neither of which has slowed buyers seeking the new dynamic of what “home” means. It’s now a much more important place to call live, work and play, not just a place to sleep. This has nudged buyers to write bigger and bigger offers, believing this will be a 15-20 year home, so why not pay a little more today for a great place to live? At least this is what we’re seeing in the nicer areas of California. Anyway, here’s what I said 12 months ago. See if this sounds familiar: 

May 1, 2021

As the sun warms the county, people are moving from indoors to out. Given the new relaxed mask mandate, out they will go. We’ve all been cooped up and restricted for much too long and this summer couldn’t come at a better time. Walk the trails, ride the bike paths or just stroll the open air malls of Corte Madera these days. Not only can you see the relief in people’s eyes, you can feel it.

Unfortunately, there’s not much relief for Marin home buyers these days. Inventory remains at record lows, with home sales setting new highs every day, though with higher values, not higher volume. This is good news for sellers, but most of those folks are going to turn right around and become buyers. Very few go back to renting. As I say when I counsel folks when they’re proposing to sell, “Great, your house will sell quickly and likely at a record price for the neighborhood. Now where you gonna go?” 

See what I mean? Still the same low inventory of homes and high inventory of buyers, though the next few months will be very telling on that. May and June tend to be a big buying and selling season for Marin, with people trying to get their housing plans locked and in place by the end of July. Any interest rate increase usually propels buyers forward even further (and often faster) for fear of higher rates to come. That’s how it’s gone for the last three decades for me, anyway, but we’ll see this year. It’s a new world, so we won’t know where we’re going until we look back and see where we’ve been. For now, it appears to be more of the same. Until next time, enjoy May wherever you are and please stay safe. As always, thanks for reading.