Where Is The Inventory?

Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 8.55.08 AMEveryone, and I mean everyone, thought there would be more inventory by now. Even the guy I buy potatoes from at the Farmers Market on Sunday morning asked me why inventory was low. We are well below the seasonal average, although inventory increased dramatically the last two weeks. We have 518 homes for sale in Marin, and 39% of those are in contract, so we are in a Sellers market. Sales pressure is much higher on the entry level. And we are starting to see some indications that buyers are pushing back on higher prices. Proof of this is that of the 123 homes for sale over $2MM, only 17% are in contract. In August of last year, that number was 24%, so it means buyers aren’t moving as quickly on the high end.

It is a different world below $1MM. There are 244 properties available, and 126 of them, or 51%, are already in contract. That is what we mean by low inventory.

Buyers need to move really quickly, and be completely prepared to act if they want a home right now. Not just the basics, like a strong pre-approval letter from a credible lender, but now, market knowledge is critical. Nothing suffices for good old fashioned research, and by that we mean seeing as many properties as you can. Learn what you like, what you don’t, what you have to have (three bedrooms? flat yard?) and what is just nice to have (an open floor plan? a garage?). That way when the right house is there, you will be prepared to act quickly, and decisively.

Sellers? There has never been a better time to sell in Marin County. There have never been more eager buyers who want the school districts, commute times, and outdoor amenities that Marin offers. Buyers have never been more willing to accept the potential shortcomings of a home in exchange for ending what for many has been a long and disappointing search. As always, we are happy to consult with you at no charge about the sale of your home, what it would bring on today’s market, and how to maximize the sale price.


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