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This Week In the Mill Valley Real Estate Market

Insights, perspectives and a constant stream of information regarding real estate locally and specifically in Mill Valley. It is a challenging market, but Mill Valley is up to it!

How's the market? It's the question I hear constantly from people all around town. I wish I had a crystal ball, but alas, I do not. What I can offer is an interpretation of market fluctuations to help you understand how all the data, stats and trends reflect on your home's value. It is a challenging market, but Mill Valley is an exceptional place. 

Marin as well as Mill Valley has many micro-climates. Real estate sales also have micro-climates. There is the "Big Picture," which is national in scope, the Bay Area and then specifically Marin County. From there the focus is on specific areas or neighborhoods. 

Statistics are what agents use to determine the price of a home. Stats give an overview of square footage, bedrooms, baths and lot size. Price per square foot is determined by these comps, which in turn help to determine the correct price for a property. That is not all there is to it. Once an overview is established, the next step is to drill down to a certain neighborhood to see exactly how that area is performing now and in the recent past. Then the comparison begins with why one home sold and another did not. Agents who specialize in an area or town more than likely have been inside many of the comparables and are better able to evaluate how one house compares to the other.

My point is that real estate is not a science. It is an emotionally based business transaction. Places like Mill Valley, where the inventory of homes is extremely eclectic, makes pricing a bit more complex. Mill Valley has something for everyone!

One thing I have learned over the years and especially in the last four years is our traditional seasonal cycles have proven unpredictable. Thta is again the case this year. Fall, as the season itself implies, is when inventory levels generally fall and along with it sales and prices.  

Specifically in Mill Valley, inventory levels as of the first week of November have been lightening lately and the market has been trending up. Though days-on-the market is increasing, these are mildly positive indications for the market.

This week the median list price for a single family home in Mill Valley is $999,000. There are 98 properties on the market for an average of 139 days.

The market has shown some evidence of slowing lately. Both prices and inventory levels are relatively unchanged in recent weeks. With the highest priced home in Mill Valley at $6,875,000 and lowest at $329,000, Mill Valley is experiencing an extreme buyer's market with only 16 percent of homes sold versus the amount of inventory. If that index is 30 percent, it is indicative of a sellers market. If below, it favors buyers.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Andy Falk November 17, 2011 at 03:09 AM
I liked your blog Stephanie, please keep it up! I hope you don't mind me pointing out that 40% (22 of 55) of Mill Valley single family homes under $1,000,000 are in contract as of this evening 11/16. This is one segment of the Mill Valley market that is really moving. I like to look for the silver linings ...
Thanks, Andy! It is a moving target. Yes, the under $1 million is moving fast! Stephanie

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