After topping the $2 million mark in April and May, the median price of a single-family home in Marin fell to $1.875 million last month, according to new data released by the county. But that was still a 6.8% increase from the previous June.
At the same time, the number of all homes sold in Marin — including single-family homes, townhomes and condos — fell more than 25 percent in June from a year earlier as market demand slowed amid rising mortgage rates and inflation concerns. The county assessor’s office reported a total of 337 home sales last month, compared to 453 in June 2021.
“The Bay Area economy started the second quarter strong in April and early May, but suffered a major downturn in June,” said Kathy Schlegel, a Marin agent at Golden Gate Sotheby’s International Realty. “The increase in mortgage rates has taken some buyers out of the market, and others are sitting on the sidelines waiting to see what happens to prices in Marin.”
Bob Ravasio, a Greenbrae-based agent, said the slowdown in the number of home sales is a move toward a more balanced market after the crazy seller’s market and bidding wars during the pandemic.
“The real estate market in Marin County is clearly slowing,” Ravasio said in an email. “And as it continues to slow, we are, by some measures, in a ‘normal’ or balanced market, which is pretty good!”
He said sellers need to adjust to the trend and price their homes accordingly as multiple offers dwindle and competition slows.
“The craziness of the last two years is quickly receding, but the bottom is not falling out by any means,” Ravazio said. “If you’re thinking of selling your home, the key right now is to value it appropriately, not necessarily what the neighbor got four months ago with 10 offers, but a more ‘normal’ market price.”
Schlegel said she saw a 27 percent increase in new listings in Marin last month as sellers try to catch the tail end of the rapid rise in home values and demand over the past few years.
“Many sellers who have been waiting to sell are now listing their homes to take advantage of the increase in equity due to the high levels of appreciation over the past few years,” she said.
The median is the point where half the prices are higher and half are lower. In the Marin market, the highest median single-family home prices last month were in Belvedere, with a median price of $4.425 million for three sales; Sausalito, $4 million in seven sales; and Mill Valley, $3.4 million for 23 sales, according to the county.
The California Association of Realtors said the state’s market is cooling. It reported a statewide median home price of $863,790 last month, down 4% from May but up 5.4% from June 2021.
“California’s housing market continues to slow from the frenzied levels seen over the past two years, creating favorable conditions for buyers who lost offers or backed out during the fiercely competitive market,” said association president Otto Catrina , a Bay Area real estate broker.
“With interest rates moving sideways in recent weeks and fewer homes now selling above listing price, prospective buyers have the rare opportunity to see more listings come to market and face less competition that may forced them into a bidding war,” Katrina said.
Jordan Levine, the association’s chief economist, said June’s sales level “was the lowest since April 2008 — excluding the three-month pandemic lockdown period in 2020.”
“The upcoming sales figures also suggest that we can expect further retreat in the coming months,” Levine said. “With inflation remaining high and interest rates expected to rise further in the coming months, the market will normalize further in the second half of the year with softer sales and more moderate price growth.”
The U.S. weekly average for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 5.54 percent as of Thursday, according to Freddie Mac, the federal mortgage company.