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Bay Area Real Estate Sales.com Newsletter

May 2012 Marin Real Estate Stats

In This Month’s Issue:

May 2012 Marin Real Estate Market Update

More Marin County Real Estate Market Statistics

Liz’s Listings and Buyer Needs

What is Your Home Worth today?

Foreclosed and Bank Owned Report for Marin County

Search All The Homes for Sale in Marin County

Marin School, Community and Home Seminar

Looking for a Vacation Home in Lake Tahoe

What do Liz’s Client’s Say About working With Liz McCarthy?


May 2012 Closed Sales (as of 5/23/12)

Single Family Residences

Days on Market



Selling Price

$/Square Foot












May 2012 Closed Sales (as of 5/23/12)


Days on Market



Selling Price

$/Square Foot











Overall Marin County Market Trends:
As of 5/23/2012, there are currently 1220 active homes and condos for sale in Marin County. 570 of these homes (47%) are currently under contract, which equates to a “Strong Sellers Market” up from last month’s “Sellers Market” (See seller/buyer Market Legend below)

Single Family Homes: There are currently (as of 5/23/12) 966 (439 of those are under contract) Single Family Homes for Sale in Marin County. The current ACTIVE/Pending/Contingent average home price for Single Family homes in Marin is $1,591,000 and the median is $899,000.The overall Marin average asking price per square foot is $475/sf; the median is: $392/sf The average sold price for Single family homes in Marin in May was $1,039,431,656 and the median sold price was: $782,165. In April it took 91 average days for Single Family Homes to go pending.

Condos: There are currently 250 Condos for sale in Marin County as of 4/30/12. The current ACTIVE/Pending/Contingent average home price for Condos in Marin is: $409,000 and the median is: $344,000. The average sold price for Condos in Marin County for the month of February was: $327,000 and the median: $240,000.  The overall Marin average asking price per square foot for condos is: $268/square foot; the median asking price is: $190/sf. It is taking an average of 119 days for condos to go pending.

Liz McCarthy’s Thoughts on the Marin County Real Estate Market

We haven’t seen the limited amount of inventory in Marin County since our market peaked back in 2007! It did tick up a bit from April. We currently have record low inventory, at only 1.9 months of available inventory. Take a look at the charts below and you’ll see that the number of pending homes have almost doubled while the inventory is almost at half! If you have been considering selling your home, the market has finally turned back to a Sellers Market!

Did you see my “Sound Off” in the San Francisco Chronicle 2 weeks ago? Here is the link to it:


Liz's "Sound Off" article in Sunday Chronicle Real Estate Section

For the overall bay area, April's sales were stronger than those seen in any April since 2006. Then, 9,129 homes were sold.

It appears that the market is taking a step in the direction of normalization, but only a step. We’re still watching technical indicators more than top-line sales counts and median prices. The mortgage market is critical, as is market mix and the receding importance of foreclosure re-sales,” said John Walsh, DataQuick president.

The uptick in the median sale price was to be expected. It gets tugged up as foreclosure re-sales ebb and activity picks up in the move-up markets, especially in higher-cost coastal areas. We’re seeing the exact same trends with the median on the upside that we saw when it was coming down, just in reverse,” he said.

March 2009 represented the lowest point in the current real estate cycle and the high in the cycle, was recorded in June/July 2007.

For the overall Bay Area, April distressed property sales – the combo of “short sales” and foreclosure re-sales – contributed to about 40% of the market for re-sales. This was down from almost 44% seen during the month before and the 45% seen in the same month a year ago.

We are encountering more and more cash buyers in the market. My feeling is that investment returns are lower than desired, so buyers are putting their money into real estate by paying cash; ie., there wasn't any public record of a corresponding purchase loan found. For the overall San Francisco, Bay Area, cash buyers contributed to 28.8% of April home sales.

Marin County real estate market distress indicators continue to track in multiple directions. Activity in foreclosures remains historically high; however, they are below the peak levels seen over recent few years.

Interest rates remain low, buyers are convinced that the bottom has hit, so buyers are now trying to get back into the market, But it seems that sellers are continuing to wait until the prices go back up. My general feeling is that the prices although they will start inching back up, will NOT go up to the levels that we had in 2007, as those prices were not sustainable. It was a severe housing bubble that cannot sustain itself.

If you want to sell your home here is what’s VERY important to keep in mind: 1. Price your home for the market TODAY, not for the market a few years ago. Buyers are educated, savvy and will not over pay for a home even with the lack of inventory. 2. Buyers desire homes that have been updated and are in move-in condition.

I would be more than happy to run these charts for you for any particular segment you might be interested in, just send me an email and let me know the town and whether it’s condos or single family homes I can even limit to certain price ranges as well.

Homes sales in Marin vary greatly by town and by price point. Find your city and price range on the charts below to see how your area is fairing compared to the rest of the County.

What Type of Market is Marin In?

The following rates are calculated by taking all of the currently active Properties divided by the number that are under contract (Contingent and Pending). This percentage can give you an overall view of the health of the market (*see the Market Legend below to see what market type that pending number falls into). The higher the percentage the “hotter” the market is for sellers, meaning there are often multiple offers with competitive pricing, which ultimately drives the price up.

Analysis by City:


Extreme Buyers

Strong Buyers


Balanced Market


Strong Sellers

Extreme Sellers

0 – 10% of homes in contract

11-20% of homes in contract

21%-30% of homes in contract

31-35% of homes in contract

36%-45% of homes in contract

46% - 55% of homes in contract

56% - 100% of homes in contract



Mill Valley

Corte Madera
San Anselmo
San Rafael


Analysis by Price Range:


Extreme Buyers

Strong Buyers


Balanced Market


Strong Sellers

Extreme Sellers

0 – 10% of homes in contract

11-20% of homes in contract

21%-30% of homes in contract

31-35% of homes in contract

36%-45% of homes in contract

46% - 55% of homes in contract

56% - 100% of homes in contract

$4M +

$2.5M - $2.9M

$1.3M - $1.9M
$3M - $3.9M

$1M - $1.29M

$750K - $999K
$2M - $2.49M

$0 - $499K
$500K – $749K

Market Legend

0% - 10% of Homes in Escrow: Extreme Buyers

36% - 45% of Homes in Escrow: Sellers

11% - 20% of Homes in Escrow: Strong Buyers

46% - 55% of Homes in Escrow: Strong Sellers

21% - 30% of Homes in Escrow: Buyers

56% - 100% of Homes in Escrow: Extreme Sellers

31% - 35% of Homes in Escrow: Balanced Market

*Based on information from Bay Area Real Estate Information Services, Inc. (BAREIS). Information has not been verified, is not guaranteed, and is subject to change and is based on one period of time.”



More Marin County Real Estate Market Statistics:

For Sale-Sold-Pending-New Listings

The number of homes sold in Marin County during the month of April increased to 267. This was the highest since June of last year. The recent plateau in homes for sale may have come to an end as the homes for sale in April rose to 622. However, this potential upward trend can only be confirmed if the number of homes for sale surpasses 702, recorded in October 2011. The trends seen for pending sales and new listings would not seem to support this kind of confirmation.


Days-on-Market v Sale Price/List Price percentage

The average Days-on-Market (DOM) for sold homes continued its significant decline in April to 73 days. The resulting demand pushed the percentage of sale price/list price up to 98%.


The recent decline in the average months of inventory in Marin County may have ended given the slight increase recorded in April. At the current sales rate experienced in Marin County, it is estimated to take approximately 1.9 months to sell the homes currently for sale in the market.


The average price of homes sold in Marin County during April broke through the most recent support level recorded in October 2011. The average list price of Marin County homes for sale continued its overall upward trend to $1,725,000.


The average price per square foot recorded for homes sold in Marin County during April equaled the most recent support level of $432 recorded in October 2011. The longer term upward trend will be confirmed when the average price per square foot exceeds the $432 mark.



In 2011 Liz was in the top 2% of all Marin Real Estate Agents, selling over $15M in Marin Real Estate sales and she was the #1 Top Producer with McGuire in Marin County. Liz is also a member of both the Marin Platinum Group as well as the Marin Top Agent Network.

Liz’s Buyers

Liz is currently working with a number of buyers who are ready to purchase a home right away. Here are some of what Liz’s clients are looking for, if you know of anyone selling a home that fits, please contact me right away!

NF: Looking for a private home in Novato, San Anselmo or San Rafael that has charm, Views are important, but home cannot be on a steep slope or have stilts. Must have a garage. 3Bedrooms/2Bathrooms. Cash Buyer up to $700,000

M&BP: Sausalito or Mill Valley, 2/2, up to $800,000, views, private must have a garage. Prefer it to be in decent condition

AS: Novato, small back yard, 3/2 not large (1700sf is fine), Prefer 1 level, but not necessary, high ceilings, prefer updated. $675,000

J&SM: Larkspur or Corte Madera preferred, in the flats, family flat neighborhood, family house 3/2. UP to $1.3M

M&VC: Tiburon Schools (Corte Madera is ok), possibly Larkspur or Greenbrae as well, Family house 3/2 Up to $1.2M

N&ZR: Marinwood, 3/2 up to $650,000

SG: Marinwood, 3/2 up to $650,000

K&KD: Corte Madera, Larkspur 3/2 Family House $900,000

LE: Single Mom, Corte Madera, larkspur, Mill Valley, Tiburon, family house, doesn’t have to be large $800,000

Liz’s Listings:

76 Anchorage, Sausalito - $499,000

Treat yourself to the good life in the Ultimate Marin County Pied-a-Terre, located in the beautiful sea-side town of Sausalito!
You'll feel like you're a world away in this newly remodeled, spacious, and sophisticated one bedroom top-floor Condo in Sausalito. An abundance of amenities includes: organic bamboo floors, a spacious bedroom with large closet and sunny balcony; a gourmet kitchen with new stainless modern appliances; an eight foot granite bar and dining area; immaculate marble bathroom with a king-size luxury tub/shower and chrome fixtures; large living room with travertine switch-on gas fireplace overlooking incredible Bay views; built-in work space, and a private balcony that overlooks a breathtaking 190 degree panoramic view of water and sky that stretches from Mt. Tamalpais sunsets to glorious sunrises over Angel Island, Oakland and San Francisco. 1 car covered car-port with lots of available guest parking.


519 Throckmorton, Mill Valley - $12,000/month (for lease available starting July 2012)


683 South Eliseo, Greenbrae - $529,999


This Greenbrae Condo is located in a rarely available small complex with water views. This spacious 1650+sf unit has two large bedrooms and 2.5 bath. On the main level the living room leads out to a deck overlooking the wonderful waterway views. There is a dining area as well. The unit has incredible storage space with large walk-in closets in both bedrooms and a 2 car-tandem garage with interior access. The small 10-unit Silver Pavilion complex has a swimming pool, sauna and a boat dock, and offers access to nearby bike trails along the waterway. This location offers an easy commute to San Francisco and excellent schools! Incredible $ per square foot value.

Liz’s Current Escrows:

5 Mesa Lane, Mill Valley $389,000 Short Sale (representing Buyers)

397 Headlands Court, Sausalito $395,000 (representing Buyers)

Liz Just Sold:

2012 - $8.3M To Date

212 Spencer Avenue, Sausalito $1,295,000 (represented Buyers)

1247 Highland Avenue, Novato $700,000 (represented Buyer)

6 Merrydale Court, San Rafael $249,000 Short sale (represented Sellers)

209 West Street, Sausalito $551,000 (represented Buyers and Sellers)

40 Oak Mountain, San Rafael $1,202,000 (represented Buyer)

448 Miller Creek Road, San Rafael $669,500 (represented Buyer)

25 Ridgewood Drive, San Rafael $780,000 (represented Buyer)

15 Forrest Lane, San Rafael $184,000 (short sale, represented Buyers)

35 Bernard, Mill Valley $1,650,000 (represented Seller)

529 Rowland, Novato $425,000 (short sale, represented Seller)

2530 Opalstone, San Rafael, Marinwood, $560,000 (represented Buyers)

2011 - $15M in closed sales

2010 - $12M in closed sales


I’ve mentioned in the past, I’m constantly on the look out for information to better prepare my clients to understand the local real estate market. I’ve got 2 great new stat evaluation programs that I’m providing FREE of charge to my clients and viewers of my newsletter!


Not as graphically pretty as the above report, but will actually give you a VALUE of YOUR home. Additionally, you can make changes to your “home” which will change your homes valuation. This is nice for running scenarios (like do I add on to my house to make it bigger or add bedrooms?) This report will give you an instant home valuation. You do have the option of entering your email address to receive updates of when new homes sell.

Free Marin Home Value Report


Fabulous stats program that breaks down city statics. Will show you weekly average and median prices, days on market, Additionally, you can sign up to receive a detailed weekly market update of your interested city. Whenever you view this page the graphics will automatically update to the most current data, so check back often, or even better, sign up to receive alerts of when new statics are released by city.

FREE Statistical Reports by Marin Town

Of course, if you have any questions please call me at 415-250-4929 or drop me an email at Liz@BayAreaRealEstateSales.com


I’ve been tracking the Marin County Foreclosure data since April of 2009. In April 2009, there were a total of 1,033 total distressed homes in Marin County (per the County Tax records) and as of May 23, 2012, the number is 1,112. The number of distressed homes is down 200 from a year ago and was the lowest number of distressed homes since I’ve been charting the data. I take this to mean that the number of underwater mortgages in Marin may finally be decreasing.

Doing a quick search in our MLS as of 05/23/2012, I show that currently only 335 total distressed home are listed for sale on the mls (10/2011 there were 436): 82 Bank owned; and 253 that are short sale/ NOD or in foreclosure. This is an interesting number as in the County of Marin there are 1,131 distressed homes (according to the tax records), but only 335 of these homes are currently for sale.

Explanation of a “distressed” or bank owned home

After the filing of a Notice of Trustee Sale, there are only three possible outcomes. First, the sale can be cancelled for reasons that include a successful loan modification or short sale, a filing error, or a legal requirement to re-file the notice after extended postponements. Alternatively, if the property is to be “sold at auction”, this is typically done on the court house steps at the County Court house. The bank will place the opening bid. If a third party, typically an investor, bids more than the bank's opening bid, the property will be sold to the third party; if not, it will go back to the bank and become part of that bank's REO inventory. In order to purchase a home at the foreclosure auction, the buyer needs to have cash and also be prepared to purchase the property and clear any other liens that may be outstanding (property taxes, HOA dues, etc). The reason here in Marin we don’t see a lot of homes being purchased at the court house steps is the fact that the opening bid is higher than what the house is currently worth.

What is a short sale?  according to wikipidia:

“A short sale is a sale of real estate in which the proceeds from selling the property will fall short of the balance of debts secured by liens against the property, whereby the lien holders agree to release their lien on the real estate and accept less than the amount owed on the debt. Any unpaid balance owed to the creditors is known as a deficiency. Short sale agreements do not necessarily release borrowers from their obligations to repay any deficiencies of the loans, unless specifically agreed to between the parties which is typically the case in a non-recourse loan (where the mortgage was used to purchase the home-owners principal residence.”

A short sale is often used as an alternative to foreclosure because it mitigates additional fees and costs to both the creditor and borrower; however both will often result in a negative credit report against the property owner.

Liz has closed a number of short sales this year (representing both buyers and sellers). If you are feeling a hardship with your home, please feel free to confidentially contact me.


Number as of 5/23/12



Auction Sale


Bank Owned





FREE…..You can search for Marin listings directly on BayAreaRealEstateSales.com: Search for Homes

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The following links will take you to home searches for different cities in Marin.
All search results are displayed from the highest price to the lowest price. You can scroll through pages at a time.

Belvedere Homes For Sale

Corte Madera Homes For Sale

Fairfax Homes For Sale

Greenbrae Homes For Sale

Kentfield Homes For Sale

Larkspur Homes For Sale

Mill Valley Homes For Sale

Mill Valley Condos For Sale

Novato Homes For Sale

Novato Condos

Ross Homes For Sale

San Anselmo Homes For Sale

San Rafael Homes For Sale

San Rafael Condos For Sale

Sausalito Homes For Sale

Tiburon Homes For Sale

Marin Luxury homes priced over $2M - $3M Marin Luxury Home Search:

Marin homes priced over $3M Marin Luxury Home Search:

Floating Homes for sale: Sausalito House Boats

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Are you considering a move to or within Marin County?

Starting in 2010 Liz starting conducting regular Marin School, Community and Home Seminars. To date, she has held 10 of these seminars to rave reviews! In these seminars, Liz goes over:

1.   Marin Schools

2.   Preschool information

3.   Micro Climates of Marin

4.   Commuting to and from San Francisco

5.   Marin Communities

6.   Average Home prices in different Marin towns

7.  Current Mortgage Market update (given by a banking/mortgage expert)

Next Seminar date:

May 29, 2012 Sports basement, The Presidio, SF

June 14, 2012 Sports Basement, The Presidio, SF

Contact Liz for more info

If you are interested in attending an upcoming seminar, you can find the dates, locations and details to RSVP here:



Liz is SUPER excited to announce that she recently was able to take advantage of the market price drop in the Lake Tahoe Area and just purchased a 2nd home in Truckee! She’ll be renting this home out to friends so if you are interested, the home is available rent starting May 1st! Pictures and more to come soon!

Liz is happy to announce a new partnership with Linda Granger, a top producing Lake Tahoe Real Estate Broker. From this point forward, I will include a link to her blog. If you would like any detailed information on homes in Lake Tahoe, let me know and I will get you in touch with Linda. You can search for Tahoe Homes directly from the Lake Tahoe Home Search and Blog:

What is happening in the Tahoe Market?

Click on the link above to view the graphs for this article: “The 2012 first quarter report also shows dips around the lake overall in regard to sales prices from one year ago, which is reflected by the median price of a home in Lake Tahoe which is now $317,000 and the average home price which is $623,645, down 25 percent and 31 percent respectively.” Read a lot more here: Lake Tahoe Real Estate:


I had the pleasure of working with Liz McCarthy in the winter of 2012.  My client, serving as executor of an estate, hired Liz to list and sell the estate's single family residence in Sausalito.  From my first contact with Liz, I knew my client had made the right decision in hiring her.  My client and I worried that the property would be challenging to sell, but Liz was not deterred.  I was very impressed with how much effort she put into determining the listing price, and how positive, yet realistic, she remained throughout the entire sales process.  She promptly returned every phone call and email from listing to close of escrow, and she checked in with my client and me on a regular basis. Her efforts paid off for my client - the house sold quickly and for a sum which exceeded our expectations.  My client and I could not have asked for a better sales experience.


In my 10 years practicing law I have represented countless clients in probate sales, and Liz stands out as one of the best realtors I have ever worked with.  If you are looking for a Marin County realtor, look no further.  Hiring Liz will be the smartest decision you make when you decide to buy or sell real estate.”

-Laura S. Brooks, Attorney at Law

Sausalito property, 2012


If you would like to have Liz help you sell your Marin home or help you find a home, or you know of someone that could benefit from her services, just send her an email: liz@BayAreaRealEstateSales.com or give her a call: 415-250-4929

Be sure to check out all the other great content & features of my website:


Liz McCarthy, PMN

Real Estate Broker, e-PRO certified

McGuire Real Estate, Top Producer and Partner

McGuire #1 Agent for Marin County 2011

2010 President Marin Women’s Council of Realtors

Top 2% of Marin agents 2011

Verified members of Marin Top Agent Network & Marin Platinum Group





Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/lizsmccarthy

Twitter: www.twitter.com/lizsmccarthy

DRE License Number: 01421997

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