Hamilton Landing and Hamilton Marketplace Win Awards

December 18, 2008

Projects associated with Novato’s Hamilton Field continue to rack-up recognition — Hamilton Landing (a robust business hub now occupying the former hangers (circa 1930) of the Hamilton military base) and Hamilton Marketplace (a diverse new shopping center with a mega-deluxe-Safeway (and associated gas station), Peet’s, Starbucks, Jamba Juice, banking, restaurants (still to come), pet supplies, and more) were named “Top Projects in the North Bay” by the North Bay Business Journal. Both feature unique architecture and green building elements. Hamilton Marketplace also incorporated solar power.

[Click here for the rest of the article, courtesy of www.MarinCRS.com.]

Marin County Real Estate (December 2008)

December 15, 2008

Insofar as Marin County goes, the holiday season is not traditionally an active time for home sales–this year is no exception. Inventory is down to 607 homes for sale (we had about 716 last month). Although reports of multiple offers continue–especially on well-priced bank owned properties in Novato–even the foreclosures are sometimes taking a long while meandering to a close. Despite the ongoing financial crisis, interest rates are very attractive and they are being pushed down further for those that qualify. I do feel that there is a large level of pent-up demand that will expose itself in the new year. But, until then, enjoy your families, your friends, and the holidays. 

The graph below breaks down the current number of homes (not including condos) for sale … [Click HERE for the rest of the article, courtesty of www.NorthBayRE.com].

Marin Luxury Homes (December 2008)

December 15, 2008

[…] There are 85 homes on the market between $2 million and $4 million. As predicted in last month’s update, November sales slowed significantly following the mid-September meltdown in the financial sector–there were only 5 sales (down from 19 in October). Each of the following cities or towns had one sale: Mill Valley, San Rafael, Tiburon, Belvedere, and Kentfield. The average days on market for the homes that sold was 80 days and the average sales price was just over $2.58 million (roughly $849 per square foot), with an average of 3,209 square feet. Belvedere and Tiburon have 5 and 3 homes, respectively, currently in escrow. 

The inventory level in Marin County’s ultra-luxury market (homes priced in the $4 million and up range) has again dropped precipitously (as is common this time of year). There are now 34 active listings, compared with 49 in November. Belvedere and Tiburon provide a large percentage of our ultra-luxury homes. […]
[Click HERE for the rest of the article, courtesty of www.ImagineMarin.com]

Novato Real Estate Market Update (December 2008 Home Sales Report)

December 10, 2008

“Unscrew the locks from the doors! Unscrew the doors themselves from their jambs!” Never thought Walt Whitman would appear in a real estate article? Neither did I. Yet, this past year’s real estate market in Novato evokes a poetically disjointed and disarticulated scene from Leaves of Grass. It’s been 20 years since I read the book, but I recall the broad themes carrying despair and hope within and between stanzas of its several poems. Those same themes echo metaphorically within our Novato market.

On the one hand, as prices dip back to 2003 levels for condos and entry level homes, those who bought these properties with 100% financing are often finding themselves well underwater. And those positioned to buy are now snapping up Novato’s value properties at previously unfathomable prices. By way of example, earlier today I e-mailed some clients about a Novato condo they sold  in 2006 for $420,000–it is currently a short sale priced under $200,000. Alternately, the number of Novato’s upscale homes in escrow equates with the rate of the traditionally stronger Southern Marin market. As such, Novato “contain[s] multitudes.” 

Although the number of single family homes on the market in Novato is well down off its high earlier this year–there are currently 172 active single family home listings–there are many outstanding values out there as Sellers now understand and appreciate the need for aggressive pricing. The relatively large foreclosure inventory in Novato continues to deflate values in most neighborhoods. Of course, some neighborhoods have been hit worse than others. However, the general condition and the stringent sales requirements forced upon buyers of these homes continue to repel many buyers who refuse to be bullied or take on potentially expensive repairs. Additionally, the rock bottom pricing strategy often utilized are leading to multiple offer situations which are anathema to many buyers who have no inclination to compete.  

While 2 years ago, there may have been 2-5 homes priced under $600,000 in Novato at any given moment, there are about 10 homes in Novato priced under $400,000 right now. Unbelievable? My investor clients agree that Novato is the “Valhalla of Value” in Marin County.

Certainly, we are seeing young and old alike flocking to Novato where the stringent requirements of lenders can more easily be met as compared to the higher priced communities of Southern and Central Marin. About the same as in November 2008, we currently have 32 homes listed under $500,000 and an amazing 60% of these are in escrow. There are a total of 96 single family homes today priced under $600,000 (with 23% in escrow). At the top end of the spectrum, Novato’s $1 million-plus market has slowed, but still boasts a respectable 15% of homes in escrow–right in line with Novato’s southerly neighbors. 

Twenty-seven Novato homes were sold in November 2008–down by 9 from October 2008. These homes averaged about 103 days on market, were about 1,977 sq. ft., and sold for an average sales price of $608,000 (roughly $320 per sq. ft.). Homes in Hamilton Field, Pointe Marin, Country Club, Rush Creek, and Bel Marin Keys generated the most calls and showings this past month. If you are thinking of buying, please call my office at (415) 350-9440 as I have a long list of people who would like to sell their homes, but are not quite ready to list their home officially.


Price Range

Total Homes

Pending Listings

Up to $500K



$500K – $600K



$600K – $750K



$750K – $1 mil.



$1 mil. & Up




For a brief explanation of the importance of the statistic addressing the percentage of “Pending” listings, click HERE. If you would like me to run the exact numbers on your neighborhood, just give me a call at (415) 350-9440. It is always my pleasure to be of service.