Marin County Real Estate Market Insights
I noticed the last few weeks that at each open house we have been attracting buyers from further down the Peninsula than just San Francisco. The prospective buyer’s when asked indicate they are being priced out of the local market, so as crazy as it seems to some the fact is here in Marin it is more affordable to buy than San Francisco or San Mateo Counties. Please see graph below.
Knowing When to Buy
Marin has an affordability index of 17%, which means that only 17% of families can afford to buy a median-priced, single-family home in Marin. Having long-since recovered from the Great Recession, the median sales price (MSP) continues to increase. This has left many of us wondering, is now the right time to buy? There is an old Taoist saying that seems applicable: the best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago; the second best time is now.
The affordability index is daunting; with 20% down, the purchase of a single-family home requires an income of $261,070 to qualify for the loan. That said, since 1990, the MSP of single-family homes has risen consistently. Since September of 2015, the MSP of single-family homes is up 19.9%, and the MSP of condos is up 33.01%. Meanwhile, inventory is decreasing. New listings of single-family homes are down 7%, and new listings of condos are down 22%. These numbers do not indicate that buying will become any easier anytime soon.
I have experience an increase in buyer’s parents/relative’s contributing to the funds for the down payment. And usually when this happens it is not readily available, but only becomes available after the prospective buyers relatives sees how hard it is to get in the market without some help (its a process).