Hallelujah! — Northern Marin Commuters Rejoice

January 31, 2009

After several years (6 long years) the Highway 101 freeway widening project will result in a free-flowing, uninterrupted four lanes beginning Monday February 2, 2009. It is estimated that the widened freeway will lessen overall congestion and improve commute times through Marin by upwards of 15 minutes. Novato commuters rejoice!

Marin Luxury Homes (January 2009)

January 15, 2009

While many bankers, lawyers, and executives received annual bonuses this year, many others did not. It can be expected that the resulting impact on the luxury market will be felt. Last month I noted a sluggish high end for Marin County real estate and nothing much has changed. In fact, sales and escrows slowed further. National number reflect a similar trend. Click here to view the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing’s Housing Report dated 1/4/09. If you would like a similar report relating to any town or zip code in Marin or San Francisco, e-mail me and I will send you a pdf of the report.

[Click HERE for the rest of the report, courtesy of www.ImagineMarin.com.]

Call Kyle Frazier, Marin Realtor & CRS, Broker Associate, Frank Howard Allen Realtors of Marin, at 415/350-9440 for more luxury home market information. You can also e-mail Kyle at mailto:Kyle@ImagineMarin.com.

Marin County Real Estate (January 2009)

January 12, 2009

Marin County, California real estate has slowed. While largely a function of the season (Winter is generally slow), macro-economic considerations, and more stringent borrowing guidelines, I feel that the primary source of the current slowdown relates to a perception by home buyers that “now” is not a good time to buy. Nonetheless, interest rates are at ALL-TIME LOWS (the San Francisco Chronicle’s Real Estate section has noted these records lows each of the past four weeks), prices in many Marin communities and neighborhoods are well off their peaks, and there is a wide variety of home choices out there. As evidenced by the investor actvity of the past few months, “now” does have some momentum.

Inventory is down to 503 single family homes for sale (we had about 716 last month) in the Highway 101 corridor (this number excludes Western Marin inventory). 

[Click HERE for the rest of this article, courtesy of www.NorthBayRE.com.]

Novato Real Estate Market Update (January 2009 Home Sales Report)

January 10, 2009

With just 150 active listings (there were 172 homes for sale last month), Novato, California is experiencing far lower inventory levels than we have become accustomed to over the past several years. This low inventory is giving rise to some unexpected numerical results. For example, because Novato sales figures are up from last month (we had 35 sales in December 2008). The resulting absorption rate for Novato single family homes is just over 4.25–this figure represents the number of months of inventory currently available in Novato. Anything under 4 months has traditionally been considered a SELLER’S MARKET. Now, I am not saying that Novato’s real estate environment is one that favors sellers, I am just pointing out an anomaly in the numbers. 

Foreclosed homes continue eroding values in many parts of town. Of course, some neighborhoods have been hit worse than others. However, sub-par conditions and unattractive terms are deterring many buyers who are instead taking the safe road and focusing on non-distressed home sales. As of this writing, Novato boasts 13 homes on the market priced under $400,000. I call Novato the “Valhalla of Value” in Marin County. Certainly, we are seeing young and old alike flocking to Novato. The number of homes listed under $500,000 is up to 57–and an impressive 46% of these are in escrow. There are a total of 82 single family homes priced under $600,000 (with 38% in escrow). At the top end of the spectrum, Novato’s $1 million-plus luxury market has continued to lure value shoppers from Southern Marin. As I tell my clients, “Give Yourself a Raise. Move to Novato.”

Thirty-five Novato homes were sold in December 2008–up 8 from November 2008. These homes averaged about 131 days on market, were about 1,945 sq. ft., and sold for an average sales price of $594,000 (roughly $315 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 because of market conditions are not quite ready to list their home officially. I am also receiving many call regarding lease-options. 

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.