First time buyers have not seen numbers like this in years. For the past few years (looking at the first quarter of the year for single family homes in MLS), 2005, 2006, and 2007 specifically; only 7% to 9% of Marin County homes sold for less than $600,000. For the first quarter of 2008 28% of homes sold for under $600,000.
It is an interesting number because it is more difficult for new buyers to get loans. Most buyers tend to spend as much as they can afford when buying a home which means these were not buyers looking at $700,000 homes and then deciding they could get what they wanted for under six.
Where are these buyers coming from? There is not a statistic to answer that question but here is my take. In the past there were so few homes available at that price and those that were on the market did not offer much appeal. Now when a buyer goes looking for a home and can’t spend over $600,000 they have some nice homes to choose from. In Marin the lower price homes were hit the hardest with the mortgage mess. This put price pressure on sellers to lower prices and they have.
If you thought you could not afford a single family home in Marin that may not be true any longer.Warren Carreiro, Broker Warren@RealtyOfMarin.com www.RealtyOfMarin.com