Despite a and and the continued economic malaise across the country, Mill Valley actually saw a nice improvement in the state of single family housing in 2010.
The average sale price for the year increased 5 percent from 2009, while the median price increased 9.7 percent in 2010. Those increases compared favorably to Marin County as a whole, which saw the average sale price increase by 4 percent and the media price rise 3.6 percent.
The median price of a home in Mill Valley saw a significant increase as buyers at the higher end came back into the market. If you look at homes at different price points throughout town, you'll see that buyers in 2010 felt a little bit better about the economy and willing to take the plunge into higher-priced homes. There were 30 homes sold for $2 million or more in Mill Valley in 2010, up from 23 home of $2 million or more in 2009, a 30 percent spike.
The current inventory of single- family homes on the market in Mill Valley sits at 92 units actively being marketed, with 30 of those units in contract. With 32 percent of units in contract, the market is getting healthier and shows that inventory is moving. But we have not yet seen a large increase in new units coming on the market. Once March and April rolls in, that should change, giving buyers more choices.
For the condominium market, we saw an increase in sales from 28 units in 2009 to 32 units in 2010. The average sale price for condos dropped year over year, however, from $586,000 in 2009 to $566,000 in 2010. The median price was flat at $530,000.
We are seeing the condominium market struggle to recover, as there are many more distressed sellers in this category. Also, many buyers in this segment are looking for bargains and are swooping in on those homes where they think they can get a great price.
It is difficult to predict what will happen in 2011, as so much is dependent on the confidence the public has in the economy and its recovery. I recently went in to have my car serviced and I asked the service manager how his business was doing. He said there had been a 50 percent increase in service appointments and that the dealer’s car sales are now 50 percent new and 50 percent used cars.
This example probably holds true for the housing market as well. Affluent buyers and sellers can easily afford to take a hit on the sale of their house and take a lower amount if they want to move on to a new one. The majority of folks who do not have to sell are staying in their homes longer, doing renovations and seeing where the market goes in the next few years.