How Has Marin County Changed Since 1964? A Lot.

I came across a March 9, 1964 issue of the then San Rafael Independent Journal. Of course, the real estate section was of particular interest to me.

A luxury home in Loch Lomond was hoping to fetch $46,950. Today the average sales price is $1,462,250. 31 times higher.

A 3 bedroom home, $21,000. Back then they didn’t advertise the addresses. Today the average sales price for a 3 bedroom  home in Marin is $1,294,954. 61 times higher.

A 2 bedroom home on one acre, “steps to everything” in San Anselmo, $19,150. Today the average lot size for homes sellling in San Anselmo is .1557 acres, or 6783sf. And the average sales price for a 2 bedroom home in San Anselmo is $872,083. Over 45.5 times higher.

100 yards from the Ross border, $28,750. Today homes in San Anselmo, near the Ross border, are selling for an average of $1,552.000. 54 times higher.

Walking distance to Mill Valley Golf Course and “near” the Swim andTennis Club, $32,000. Today, homes within walking distance to the Mill Valley Golf Course are going to set you back about $3.5M. Over 109 times higher.

My how times have changed! (To see homes that are currently for sale in Marin County, click here.)


This made me wonder if the price of everything else had changed as much…

In 1964 a gallon of milk was $1.00. Today it is $5.00. So 5 times higher.

A loaf of bread was $0.22, now it’s $5.00. That’s 22.73 times higher.

A gallon of regular gas was $0.25, now it’s over $4.00, with today’s average price in Marin at $4.16. That’s 16.64 times higher.

Going to the movies cost $1. Now the price ranges from $10-13. So let’s call that 11.5 times higher.

The average income in Marin County was ~$10K per year. Today it’s around $150K. 15 times higher. Much lower than the increase in the average home price.

Marin County residents spent an average of $194 per year on healthcare. Today they spend an average of $12,000 per year. That is about 62 times higher. Why did the cost of healthcare increase so much more than other non-housing expenses? The answer is multi-pronged.

In 1964 California colleges were tuition free for state residents, only charging for labs, health and athletic programs. In 1960 Berkeley was still tuition free. By 1968 it implemented a fee of $300 per year. Today, Berkeley’s tuition ranges from $8,967.25 to $30,630.75To compare apples to apples, the tuition at Berkeley is 30 to 102 times higher.

Only 19% of Marin residents were college graduates. Of course, back then you didn’t need a degree to get a job.

There was 100% employment. 100%. (You can see more factoids about Marin County here.)

6.5% of people walked to work, 14.5% were self-employed and 7.3% worked at home.

66.7% of homes were owner occupied and 33.3% were tenant occupied. (I can remember when I saw apartments for the very first time on San Anselmo Avenue, where it runs parallel to Center Road, just west of downtown.)


Thanks for indulging me and my curiosity. To see homes that are currently for sale in Marin County, click here.

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