Something is amuck with the high-end housing market in Marin County. By high-end I mean homes selling for $2,500,000 or higher. The following information was gathered from Marin MLS (BARIES) so does not include off-market sales.
Listings are up and sales are down which means something has to give. In the past week alone two months of listing inventory have been added to the market. The 111 listings represent 17 months of inventory. In 2007 there were 181 sales of these high priced homes but in 2009 just 78 sold; off 57%. If we look at the same time period for homes under $2,500,000 sales are off 15%.
It is also interesting to note that the median price of homes under $2,500,000 is 25% down from 2007 to 2009 while the homes over $2,500,000 have only dropped 15% for the same period.
So prices have not dropped nearly as much on the high end but inventory is growing. I feel this is because many of the owners of high-end homes have/had a larger cushion and would hold out for the price they wanted. The buyers did not agree with that strategy and home sales declined. At some point the inventory will get large enough that if someone really does need to sell they will have to price it so it stands out and says “hey buy me, look how low my price is”. Once that happens we have a new comp which hurts the house next door. After all, more listings and fewer sales does not leave many options.