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Blaine Morris Weighs in on Marin Home Prices in the Marin IJ

Marin home prices hit summer lag

After climbing to record highs earlier this year, the average Marin home sale price dipped slightly in July to $930,000, down 2.1 percent from the $950,000 median a year ago, according to CoreLogic, a Bay Area real estate tracking firm.

At the same time, the number of all Marin homes sold rose slightly to 320, up 5.3 percent from the 304 homes sold in July 2016, CoreLogic said.

“I’m not at all surprised,” Kathy Schlegel, of Golden Gate Sotheby’s International Realty in San Rafael, said regarding the slip in median prices. “The busiest months for buyers are April and May, and those sales close in May and June, so the numbers in spring and early summer are always higher, and then they taper off in July and August.”

Blaine Morris, of Pacific Union Real Estate in Kentfield, agreed.

“Prices do tend to slack off a little bit in the summer from what they were in the spring,” he said. “People go on vacation, some buyers are holding off for the fall home season — there’s not as much competition.”

The Bay Area as a whole had the lowest number of home sales for a July in six years, CoreLogic said. A total of 7,534 new and resale houses and condominiums were sold in July 2017 in the Bay Area, down 2.6 percent from the 7,737 homes sold a year ago.

“The San Francisco Bay Area posted modest year-over-year gains in home sales this May and June, but a tight inventory and waning affordability have taken a toll,” said CoreLogic research analyst Andrew LePage.

The Bay-Area-wide median home price rose 9.1 percent from the $695,000 median price a year ago to $758,000, LePage said.

“The supply-demand imbalance has been the main driver of rising prices,” LePage said. “Although the region’s median sale price dipped in July below the all-time high of $770,500 set in June, it was still up 9.1 percent from a year earlier.”

Schlegel said it seemed that some Marin buyers may have gone on “summer break.”

“Because of all the competition in the spring, some buyers got buyer fatigue,” she said. “After losing to all the competition, some buyers just took some time off.”

Morris, a past president of Marin Association of Realtors, said he has “three homes in contract, but none had multiple offers.”

He said there were fewer scenarios of “seven or eight multiple offers” and more of “three or four offers.”

“Since there were more homes selling in Marin, that means there’s more inventory and less of a sense of urgency, and so less people are out there bidding on any one property,” he said.

He said buyers may be holding out to see the new listings this fall before they jump at the first opportunity.

“People last year were buying houses they liked, but didn’t love,” Morris added. “This year, people are waiting to fall in love.”

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