Marin’s Median Home Price Rises Amid Regional Decline

The median price for a single-detached home in Marin County rose last month, even as prices fell across the Bay Area.

The median — the point at which half the prices were higher and half lower — was $1.77 million in September, according to the latest data from the county assessor’s office. This represents an increase of approximately 3.6% compared to September 2021.

In the nine-county Bay Area, the median price for a single-detached home last month was nearly $1.26 million, a 2.6% year-over-year decline, reported the California Association of Realtors.

Marin recorded 158 single-detached home sales last month, down 32% year-over-year, according to the appraiser’s office. Regionally, sales fell nearly 27%, the association of estate agents said.

“Our market today is more pre-COVID compliant,” said Logan Link, a Compass agent who is president of the Marin Association of Realtors. “At Marin, that means high demand and low inventory, with a fast pace – but not frantic. Buyers are now more demanding than they have been in the past two years, but well-prepared homes and well-priced move quickly and often sell for above asking prices.

At the upper end of the Marin County market, median single-detached home prices last month included $4.75 million on five homes in Tiburon; $3.84 million for two houses in Belvedere; $2.93 million on 10 homes in Sausalito; and $2.9 million on five homes in Larkspur. Ross made a sale for $2.5 million. The lowest median, at Novato, was $1.03 million across 28 sales.

Elsewhere in the Bay Area, median single-detached home prices last month included $1.86 million in San Mateo County, down 5.8% year-over-year; $1.7 million in Santa Clara County, up 4.3%; and $1.65 million in San Francisco, down 5.7%, the California Association of Realtors said.

In North Bay, the median was $987,000 in Napa County, up 3.9% from a year earlier, and $810,000 in Sonoma County, up 7.4% .

In the Marin condo and townhouse market, the median price last month was $875,000, up nearly 21% year-over-year. Sales fell from 81 to 61 during this period.

A townhouse in Belvedere fetched $2.65 million, while eight townhouses in Tiburon sold for a median price of $1.45 million, according to county data.

The Belvedere property, a two-bedroom townhouse on San Rafael Avenue, has been listed for $2.85 million, according to real estate data firm Zillow. The buyers were a couple who were downsizing their home in Sonoma County and didn’t want to be part of a large homeowners association, listing agent Stacy Achuck said.

“It’s definitely moved from a seller’s market to a buyer’s market,” said Achuck, a Compass agent who works out of its Belvedere and Tiburon office. “The houses are still selling, but they absolutely must be finished and ready for the market. Things with quirks, or things that need work, can stick around a little longer if we don’t pay close attention to price and take into consideration what’s happening in the market right now.

While the sale price of the Belvedere townhouse was 7% lower than the asking price, the seller had bought it for $2.2 million in March 2021. The gain was therefore 20% in just one year and half.

Statewide, the median price for a single-detached home was $821,680 last month, up 1.6% from the previous September, the California Association of Realtors reported. Condos and townhouses had a median price of $620,000, up 3.3%.

Oscar Wei, an economist with the association, said one of the reasons the Bay Area had an overall drop in prices could be because more people are leaving the area. Also, home prices are more likely to fall here after peaking last year than anywhere else in the state.

But on a monthly basis, prices across California have fallen since interest rates began to rise earlier this year, pushing up monthly payments and crowding many buyers out of the market.

“The bottom line is always about interest rates,” Wei said. “In the coming months, I wouldn’t be surprised if we continue to see price declines.”

The US weekly average for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage was 7.08% on Thursday, according to Freddie Mac, the federally chartered mortgage company. A year ago, the average was 3.14%.

The Bay Area News Group contributed to this report.

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