Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Marin County prices: PLUNGE

Marin House Prices "Plunge" in January
This is West Bay RE's latest commentary on January, 2006's market performance. I'll put together some charts tomorrow evening because I am too darned tired now.

What a way to start the year. Home sales in Marin County, while not at their lowest level ever, are certainly close to it. With only 114 homes sold in January, sales were off 28% from December and 24% from January 2005. This is the third lowest number of sales in any one month since we've been keeping records: January 1998.

The median price of single-family homes in Marin County also took a nose-dive in January, falling 8.6% from December to $877,500, and, gasp, down 5.7% from January 2005. This is the first year-over-year drop since June 2003. Also, it's the first time the median price has been below $900,000 since December 2004.

The question becomes, is this an aberration, or the start of a new trend? On one hand, the depth of the plunge in January is an aberration. On the other hand, the trend is towards a buyers' market. Looking at pending sales, we see an increase of 13% for homes and 29.6% for condos this month. This portends increasing sales in the month's ahead.

Condo sales were also way down in January with 26 units sold, only one of the all-time low of 25. Interestingly, condo prices set new record highs with the median price rising 12.1% from December to $580,000 and the average price gaining 24.5% to $719,763. That's a rise of 39.1% year-over-year, another aberration.


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