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Marin Market Update 10-11-08:

Marin real estate is still one of the best investments around. Even though prices in other areas of the Bay area have seen price reduction of between 20-30 % Marin homes have held up quite well. We have seen median price declines of 16% from August 07 to August 08 and Average Price decrease of 12.2%.

Some of the reasons for this moderate decline, versus the drastic declines that we have seen in other parts of the county are the following:

Marin County has 80-85% open space restricting expansion of existing housing stocks
-Very few new homes are built in Marin. If they are built they are done by small builders that build on average 4-5 homes per year
-Large new construction projects slated for East San Rafael off of Point San Pedro Road have been delayed due to the economic climate. Other cities such as Ross, Belvedere and Mill Valley have significant building restrictions.
-Building departments in Marin make it difficult to do new construction. They are not interested in having homes torn down. The building departments would rather see existing stock renovated.

I will follow up in the next update on how specific cities are doing in Marin especially those in Southern and Central Marin. To peek your interest Mill Valley, usually one of the bellwether communities is not doing very well. The percentage of homes in contract is 6%. This means that for the 130 Single family homes on the market only 8 homes are in contract with buyers. In a normal Marin market we would see that percentage at over 25. We have not seen these low percentages in contract for 7 years.

Stay tuned for more info....

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