San Rafael CA Real Estate Market Report (August 2009 Home Sales Update)

August 12, 2009

San Rafael, CA’s real estate market is increasingly fueled by foreclosures and short sales. The entry level price band (under $600K) remains extremely hot (84% of such homes are currently in escrow) and the $600K to $800K price band has seen steady activity with 35% of homes in escrow (same as last month). Increased affordability, low interest rates (rates are down from the time of last month’s report), an increased presence of FHA loans, and a shifting mindset by both buyers and sellers, are impacting these price points in a positive manner. Additionally, the $8K tax credit for first time home buyers is likely helping pull some buyers into the fray, despite the income limitations placed on this credit. It will be interesting to see if the government expands the credit to include ALL buyers and increases the credit amount to $15,000 — that would make a big difference for a lot of people. Overall, the number of homes on the market fell to 142 homes (from 159 last month).

The big news in San Rafael real estate this past month revolved around the sale of Carlos Santana’s 1.7 acre, 7,000 square foot estate, which sold for $4.185 million after a short two weeks on the market. Congratulations Carlos! Meanwhile, San Rafael listing prices experienced a brief rise earlier this Summer, but have again begun a downward shift over the past few weeks. By comparison, asking prices in Novato have been rising for several months, leading many to beleive that the bottom has formed in Novato. It does not appear this phenomenon is being replicated in San Rafael.

Real Estate Market Chart by Altos Research

Thirty-two homes sold in July 2009 (down from 38 in June 2009). The average days on market was 103 days, the average sales price was $802,352, and the average home size was 1,902 square feet — roughly $409 per sq. ft. Excluding the Santana estate mentioned above, the numbers are as follows: the average days on market was 106 days, the average sales price was $693,234, and the average home size was 1,737 square feet — roughly $403 per sq. ft.

The hottest neighborhoods: Lucas Valley, The Dominican, and Gerstle Park remain very attractive to many buyers, as do Terra Linda and Peacock Gap. Finally, if you know anyone interested in a very well maintained Eichler with a wonderful outdoor living area, please let me know as I have clients considering a move if the right buyer comes along.

Price Range Total Homes Percent Pending
Up to $600K 38 84%
$600K – $800K 79 35%
$800K – $1 mil. 41 17%
$1 mil. – 1.5 mil. 31 19%
$1.5 mil. – $2 mil. 20 10%
$2 mil. & Up 9 11%

If you have any questions regarding the current real estate market in San Rafael (Marin County, CA), California, please contact Kyle Frazier, Marin Realtor & CRS, Morgan Lane Marin Real Estate: (415) 350-9440.