“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. It was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness.” That’s the opening to “A Tale of Two Cities”, and maybe that’s the best way to illustrate what is happening with the Marin County real estate market.

New Larkspur listing this week: 11 Ward Street, a two bedroom, 3 bath walk-to-town townhouse in downtown!

Real estate is moving more towards a balanced market, which we have been predicting for some time. It is, however, still very localized, with major differences between towns and price points. Areas where buyers still perceive there is value, as well as better entry level pricing, are still doing quite well. At higher price points though, it is well into a balanced market, with inventory growing higher.

So let’s look at two cities in Marin County. Fairfax….aka “The People’s Republic of Fairfax.” Former home of Van Morrison and the Grateful Dead, known for tie dye and alternative lifestyles, right? How about this: family friendly, vibrant downtown with thriving shops and restaurants, and great trail access where there are only fourteen homes available for sale, and half are already in contract?

Tiburon, on the other hand, a place where everyone wants to live with perfect weather, outstanding views, and great proximity to the City has 77 homes for sale, and only 29% are in contract. As gorgeous as Tiburon is, the small town local atmosphere of the Twin Cities (Corte Madera and Larkspur) and Mill Valley, along with San Anselmo, Fairfax and parts of San Rafael are often at the top of the young family buyer’s list.

But the big difference in this tale of two cities is median price. The median priced home for sale right now in Fairfax is $1,100,000; the median price for active homes in Tiburon is $3,444,000. Other luxury-priced markets have a similar story. In Belvedere, 29% of homes are in contract, and in Kentfield, 23%. In the slower moving luxury end of the market, these are good numbers.

In Novato, 46% of listings are in contract, with a median active price of $899,000. Corte Madera has 35% in contract, with a median of $1,195,000. San Anselmo is very similar, with 39% of listed homes in contract. As always, there are pockets where it is still crazy, especially close to town locations. The Rose Lane condominiums for seniors (55+) in Larkspur sold out all of their phases in the first weekends. In Mill Valley, a new condo development right downtown, 33 Lovell, sold their first two units in the first week, at $1000 a square foot.

Pending sale in Inverness, this custom built contemporary just across from the beautiful Chicken Ranch Beach.

Pending sale in Inverness (approx $1m) this custom built contemporary is located just across from the road from a beautiful community beach. You will love crossing the road to get to Chicken Ranch Beach!

Homes that are for sale near downtowns are in particularly high demand. Call me, Bob Ravasio at 415-378-1414 if you would like more detailed information about the market or any of our listings. If you are a buyer, call either of us tand we’ll share our best strategies and timing for buying in Marin.

And please follow Marin Real Estate Insider! Learn all about the real estate markets in some of the most amazing and beautiful communities on United Spaceship Planet Earth! (And yes, that’s a bow to the Republic of Fairfax).