Are The High-End Homes In Marin Selling Again?

In 2009 the sales of homes listed for $2,000,000 or higher dropped off the map.  The number of sales was less than half of the previous year.  83 units sold in 2009 compared to 192 in 2008.

2010 looks to be turning that trend to an upward direction, so for this year 127 homes over two million have sold and we still have three months to go. If the pace keeps up we will have doubled last year’s sales.

While the number of sales is up I don’t feel that tells the whole story of high-end homes in general and in Marin County in particular.  The Wall Street Journal this morning had an interesting article regarding some of the world’s most expensive homes.  The article pointed out that many of these homes had been on the market for a very long time (years for some) without a price reduction.  Then it pointed out some that did reduce the price, some up to half off.  Many of the owners of these homes can afford to wait out the market.

So let’s kick this up a notch and look at Marin homes over five million dollars.  Year-to-date ten of those homes have sold but there are fifty three currently on the market of which two are in escrow.  If you are one of those sellers that need to sell now how would you accomplish that?  I’ll tell you how, drop the price big time.  Okay, easy for me to say but what if your home is already well priced, after all these homes don’t usually sell in a week.  That is the problem, is your home really well priced, really more “special” than the other five plus million dollar homes or are you kidding yourself.  I recently saw an almost $15,000,000 home in Ross and I felt it was very well priced so in that case the sellers will just have to wait for the buyer to come along.

Warren Carreiro, Broker  #01031805

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First Quarter Results: Sales Are Up, More For Your Money

Marin County real estate is on the rebound thanks to low interest rates and buyers getting a little bit more for their money.  In the first quarter last year Marin County MLS had 71 single family sales with a median price of $765,000 with 1737 square feet.

For the first quarter of 2010 there were 95 single family homes sold in Marin County (BARIES MLS), up 34%.  The median price of $665,000 also bought you a little more house, 1851 square feet. The increase in sales is an early indicator that buyers feel this is the time to get a good deal, and it is.  Often the lower priced homes are receiving multiple offers, I just sold one that had 13 offers.

The fear of the federal tax credits expiring is also driving sales, after all if Uncle Sam will help you get into a home with an $8,000 tax incentive combined with very low interest rates, to many, this does seem like the time to buy.  The tax credit is still valid for those that get into contract by April 30 and close escrow before July 1.


Belvedere Added 2 ½ Months Housing Supply in the Past Week

March 17, 2010


What's going on in Belvedere lately?  This small exclusive Marin County enclave has some of the most expensive homes in Marin County.  Last year a total of 23 homes were sold according to BARIES Marin MLS.  In the past seven days five new listings have been added which brings the total to 28, four of which are in escrow.  This means there is over a year of housing inventory on the market.

The price of these listing ranges from $1,795,000 to $28,850,000.  While there are not currently any foreclosures on the market there is a $7,500,000 Short Sale.   A Short Sale means there is more money owed than the house is worth including the sellers closing cost.  This is the only Short Sale in Marin over $3,000,000.

Over the past couple of years the low end of the market has taken a big hit on prices while the high-end homes have not had nearly as significant a decline.

The price of homes is subject to supply vs. demand and if we continue to see new listing without corresponding sales my guess is the selling price will take a dip.

Warren Carreiro

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Sales of Single Family Homes up 50% in Marin


This has not been making the newspaper headlines yet but the sale of single family homes has taken off the first couple of months of 2010 up 50% from the same period last year. Perhaps more disheartening to first time Marin buyers is just 18% of those homes sold for $500,000 or less (compared to 22% for the same period last year).

The focus here is single family homes because they are currently hot. This is not permanent as condo prices tend to leap-frog homes when the price differential is great. That is to say when condo prices approach house prices people tend to say lets buy the house, it is just a little bit more and does not have an association fee. The jump to single family home purchases cause prices to go up creating a price difference large enough that condos look like the better deal. As condo sales increase prices go up and thus the leap-frog of prices. This is true of neighborhoods too, when Greenbrae is just a little more expensive than San Rafael that is where the buyers go. Once the price difference is great San Rafael looks more attractive.

For the first two months of 2010 there were 199 single family homes sold and 18% were $500,000 or less. For the same period in 2009, 22% of the 133 homes were $500,000 or less. All the information for this post comes from the Marin County BARIES MLS, which does not include "off market" sales.

For more information contact:

Warren Carreiro

DRE# 01031805 

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Welcome to Marin County Real Estate

If you are looking to buy a home or investment property in Marin County you likely have already searched for information about Marin County Real Estate from the Internet.  There is only so much you can find on the internet, the real truth about the market and what is available can be learned from a trusted Realtor®

Searching For a Home

Your reason for visiting my website may be to search MLS, then click this link. If you want the ability to customize, save and forward your favorite home searches you will love CleanOffer's advanced search tool that is only accessible through an agent sign up. If you think this tool would help streamline your home or property search, contact Warren Carreiro for immediate access. Another advantage of CleanOffer is the ability to search for homes that may be hidden on the MLS.  Constant networking with REALTORS®, friends, and residents, I may already know of a home you will love that has NOT been listed on the MLS,  to find out contact me, Warren Carreiro

Choosing Your Realtor®

Perhaps you already know where you want to move a concern may be how to choose the best Realtor® that will meet your needs. There is no scientific or mathematical answer to that common question, except that it is important to personally and professionally trust your real estate agent. Some things to think about:

  • Your agent should look out for your best interest above all others.
  • You should enjoy their company as you might be spending a lot of time with them.
  • An agent should be successful yet still have personal time to spend with you, helping you find a home; not push you to buy fast, or simply give you a list of homes to drive-by or visit on Sundays.
  • Honesty, availability, diligent, caring, competent, and likeable is not too much to expect from your real estate broker.

Getting Around Marin

If you are not completely familiar with Marin County Real Estate and simply want to know more about Marin's specific climates, award winning schools, and neighborhood charm within each community; then take advantage of my lifetime of living in Marin County.  I have lived in many of its towns and various neighborhoods including: San Rafael, Corte Madera, and Greenbrae. As you likely know, Marin County towns touch each other so San Anselmo, Fairfax, Ross, Kentfield, Larkspur, Mill Valley, Tiburon, Belvedere, Sausalito, and West Marin feel like home to me as well.

Sellers and Move-Up Buyers

Selling your home for top dollar means preparing it for viewings by agent's and buyer's.  For many homes just packing up the trinkets and some touch-up paint will do.  Others may go as far as a kitchen remodel, new yard and everything else to make it look like a new home.  Perhaps you want to sell your home "as-is" and that is fine too.

When choosing what to upgrade you should expect two dollars back for every dollar invested.  An experienced agent can help you decide which projects have the best return.Your agent will be busy networking with other agents and associates and various marketing activates maximizing it's exposure to the market..

If you would like to know the value of you home in today's market give me a call.

Warren Carreiro, Broker
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Homes You Love. Advice You Trust.



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