I keep detailed market reports and charts which are updated monthly. This year has shown that selling prices are more or less flat. It's the asking prices that you will see come down. The price that the homes actuall sell for is pretty much flat.
Mill Valley and Marin in general had a huge run up with the credit that was created by Wall Street. Money was cheap and easy to obtain which caused a huge bubble to the Marin housing market. With the turn of events, many home owners cannot afford their obligations and are going to loose their homes in 2010-2012. Many borrowers are in exotic mortgage products that they cannot get out of. As this inventory hits the market through short sales, foreclosures and bankruptcies it will cause the prices to continue to correct. If you look at earned income and quality of life you will have to run a lot of data to really make a informed decision, it appears that we are going to return to the 1999-2001 price range and that will be the "bottom". A huge snag in the selling and buying process is the appraisals. If the property does not appraise at a certain price, then the property cannot be financed.
If you are considering selling your home, the way to achieve "top dollar" is for you to sell the property with financing. You can charge a reasonable interest rate to the buyer and each month the buyer would make the monthly payment to you. This way you get around the appraisal issue and you will get a decent return such as 5% or 5.5% interest rate compared to a CD which is paying around 1% or a high risk investment such as wall street types.
Foreclosure Options Network
Think "supply and demand"....Mill Valley values will not necessary track the same as all of Marin or the Bay Area in general. Southern Marin, including Mill Valley, historically aligns with prices in the northern quadrant of San Franciso--and usually trails those trends by several months.
A chart of average Marin values for the past 50 years will show a distinct increase year after year except 1990-93 when there was a leveling of value and then the current market with a decrease. The amount of price decline has differed neighborhood by neighborhood, so it's tricky to look just at the averages. If you're trying to decide whether to sell now or wait, it's important to look at the properties for sale now and recently sold in your neighborhood. Then, ask yourself honestly, how does your house compare. Homes with "flaws" (like no yard or difficult access) and those that need a lot of fixing are taking a bigger price hit than they would have in 2005 -6.
Unemployment and foreclosures are lower in southern Marin than most places in the state so this bodes well for a quicker recovery. Prices and demand seem to be improving this spring both in San Francisco and Southern Marin, so depending on a seller's motivation and the specifics of the property, it could be a good time to sell. A recent sale in the Scott Valley neighborhood garnered 12 offers and the selling price exceeded the asking price by $200,000. You're lucky to be a home owner in Mill VAlley. maryann
It is hard to say where prices will be in the next few years anywhere... which seems like a real great way to dodge the question... but Mill Valley is one of the most desirable places to live in the Bay area. Most of Marin is as well. We have great weather, great schools, a close proximity to San Francisco, lots of great hiking, biking, clean air, etc. So if values go down in the Bay area in general it is likely values will go down in Marin and Mill Valley as well, but Marin and Mill Valley will always be amongst the more desirable places to live due to the quality of life up here. Looking at the history of prices in the entire Bay area Mill Valley itself has held its value quite well compared to other areas. We live in Mill Valley and love it because we can easily get into the city but still feel like we are in the "country" while we are here, and we love to go for hikes, bike rides, etc. If you ever need any advice or guidance we would be happy to help.