September 2016 Novato Real Estate Market Update | Pacific Union International Home Sales Report

September 13, 2016

 September 2016 Novato Home Sales Report | Pacific Union International | Novato Real Estate Market Update. With the real estate market clearly in transition and the Summer lull in full effect, Novato home sales numbers in August 2016 were stronger than anticipated with a total of 42 sales (exactly the same number of home to sell last year in August 2015). August has never been considered a particularly strong month for sale closings as people are on vacation and seemingly have better things to do than buy and/or sell properties. As with most realtors in Marin County (generally) and Novato (in particular), I feel there is a clear softening in the market over and above what we might expect due to Summer. Many industry observers have commented on “The Shift” and its presence can certainly be felt in all but the new home and entry level markets (both of these market segments continue see buyer demand outstrip inventory).

Overall, in Novato, the 42 trades sold at an average price per foot of $430 (almost exactly the same as last August). Likewise, the presence of Novato’s upper tier / luxury home market (homes over $1 million) has grown considerably over the past year — in fact, I have added a new price band to my analysis focussing on homes priced over $1.5 million. Certainly, more and more buyers feel the “bang for the buck” in driving an extra 10 minutes from Sir Francis Drake is worth it. We are also seeing large numbers of longtime Marin residents selling their multimillion dollar homes in Southern Marin and transferring their tax base to new / newer homes in Novato. We also continue to find that numerous sales are conducted privately, outside of the MLS, via netorking groups such as the Top Agent Network (TAN — Top 10% of agents) and the Marin Platinum Group (MPG — Top 100 agents). Approximately 10-15% of homes are sold without ever hitting the market. Indeed, I sold several homes privately in 2016 at the request of sellers who value privacy and discretion.

Rudnick Estates at Cherry Hill, Novato | Click HERE to see Marin County’s most exciting new home community.

The average sale price for Novato homes in August 2016 was just under $875K . Novato (especially Southern Novato) has unquestionably been one of Marin County’s hottest markets this year due to the good weather, easy commute and bang-for-your-buck.

Overall, Novato real estate sales in August 2016 averaged 50 days on market, were about 2,036 sq. ft., and averaged roughly $437 per sq. ft. Novato’s absorption rate (e.g., the number of months’ inventory of homes for sale based on last month’s sales totals) is currently just under 2 months. This reflects a very tight market —  balanced markets have 6 months of inventory.

Below are the percentages of homes in escrow in each of Novato’s major price bands (note that due to increasing sales prices, I have eliminated the “under $500,000″ price band as few homes are sold for less than that amount and added the “over $1.5 million” price band):
■ 52% of homes priced under $750,000;
■ 40% of homes between $751,000 and $1 million;
■ 21% of homes between $1 million and $1.5 million;

■ 27% of homes between $1 million and $1.5 million.

Of the 42 Novato, CA homes that sold in August 2016:
■ 16 homes sold under $750,000;
■ 17 homes sold from $751,00 to $1 million; and
■ 8 homes sold for $1 million and up.

Single family homes in Rudnick Estates (a brand new home development), Pointe Marin, Marin Country Club Estates, Rush Creek, Hamilton Field, and Bel Marin Keys elicited the highest numbers of calls and showings this past month. If you would like me to run the exact numbers for your Novato neighborhood or if you have any questions about Novato’s schools or many delightful communities, just give me a call at (415) 350-9440. My name is Kyle Frazier. I am a J.D., Broker, Realtor, Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), and a Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist (CLHMS), Top Agent (member), Marin Platinum Group (member) with Christie’s International | Pacific Union International Real Estate. It is always my pleasure to be of service.

Note: I specialize in off-market sales of luxury homes in Marin County . If you appreciate discretion and want the BEST result, call me to discuss your situation.

Pacific Union International | Novato Real Estate Market Update (April 2014 Novato Home Sales Report)

April 19, 2014

Pacific Union International | Novato Real Estate Market Update (April 2014 Novato Home Sales Report). Novato, CA., experienced 39 single family home sales in March 2014. Given the incredibly low level of inventory, this is a very strong number (I will address the absorption rate below). Buyers continue to snap up desirable homes with very strong terms. Offers on well priced homes are made quickly and decisively. The average sale price was $737K in in March 2014. Novato’s luxury sector (defined as listings over $1 million) continued its impressive performance with 4 sales. Currently, there are 18 homes in Novato under contract with a list price over $1 million (56% of such homes are in escrow).

My advice to sellers remains the same — “Get your house on the market immediately!” CALL ME if you are thinking of selling. My systems can get you on market quickly with the very best marketing available.

Novato real estate sales in March 2014 averaged 66 days on market, were about 2,061 sq. ft., and averaged roughly $375/sq. ft. Novato’s absorption rate (e.g., number of months’ inventory of homes for sale based on last month’s sales totals) is a scantly over 1-month’s worth of inventory (indeed, of the 51 single family homes actively for sale in Novato, roughly 1/2 of them came to market in the past 10 days). Indeed, this is a very low absorption rate — balanced markets have 6 months worth of inventory — with very high buyer demand especially at prices at or below $850K.

Below are the percentages of homes in escrow in each of Novato’s major price bands:
■ 67% of homes priced under $500,000;
■ 73% of homes between $501,000 and $750,000;
■ 39% of homes between $751,000 and $1 million;
■ 56% of homes between $1 million and up.

Of the 27 homes that sold in March 2014:
■ 2 homes sold under $500,000;
■ 33 homes sold from $501,00 to $1 million; and
■ 4 homes sold for $1 million and up.

Single family homes in Hamilton Field, Pointe Marin, Marin Country Club Estates, Rush Creek, and Bel Marin Keys generated the most calls and showings this past month. If you would like me to run the exact numbers for your Novato neighborhood or if you have any questions about Novato’s schools or many delightful communities, just give me a call at (415) 350-9440. My name is Kyle Frazier. I am a J.D., Broker, Realtor, Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), and a Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist (CLHMS), with Christie’s Great Estates | Pacific Union International Real Estate. It is always my pleasure to be of service.

Pacific Union International | Novato Real Estate Market Update (January 2013 Novato Home Sales Report)

January 3, 2013

Pacific Union International | Novato Real Estate Market Update (January 2013 | Novato Home Sales Report). The development of 2013 Marin real estate trends promise to provide an interesting story line in coming months. As has been noted ad nauseum over the past 6 months, incredibly low inventory, historically low interest rates, a growing pool of “ready, able, and willing” buyers, are combining to make for an unprecedented Novato real estate market. The sales numbers relative to inventory are truly unheard of. My advice to sellers this year is — “Get your house on the market immediately!” CALL ME if you are thinking of selling. My systems can get you on market quickly with the very best marketing available.

December 2012 sales numbers for Novato, CA are wildly impressive. With 41 trades, this past December had nearly record number sales in the most inventory constrained environment imaginable. Buyers are making very strong offers in lightning speed on well-priced and/or unique real estate opportunities. The average sale price was $633K in December 2012. While down from October, average prices continue to creep higher if examined a 90-day rolling basis (month to month fluctuations are of little analytic benefit as the composition of closed sales is erratic). Importantly, December 2012 sales included 11 homes over $750K (of these, just one sold for over $1 million — this lone $1 million+ sale was one of my listings in the Country Club neighborhood and, I believe, resulted in the highest price per foot sale in Novato for three years).

December’s Novato real estate sales averaged 103 days on market, were about 2,200 sq. ft., and averaged roughly $305 sq. ft. Novato’s absorption rate (e.g., number of months’ inventory of homes for sale based on last month’s sales totals) is a whisper thin .85 months’ worth of available inventory overall (a mere 35 single family homes are actively for sale in Novato). I have never seen so low an absorption rate for an entire city!

The hottest component of the Novato real estate market (as always) is the entry and move-up levels — homes priced under $500K — 87% of these homes are in escrow — it has been over 75% for months). It remains an extraordinarily strong sellers’ market all the way up to about $750K, where 61% of homes are in escrow.

Below are the percentages of homes in escrow in each of Novato’s major price bands:
■87% of homes priced under $500,000;
■61% of homes between $501,000 and $750,000;
■74% of homes between $751,000 and $1 million;
■13% of homes between $1 million and up.

Of the 41 homes that sold in December 2012:
■14 homes were priced under $500,000;
■26 homes priced from $501,00 to $1 million; and
■1 home priced from $1 million and up.

Homes in The Landing at Hamilton Field, Breakers at Pointe Marin, Marin Country Club, Rush Creek, and Bel Marin Keys generated the most calls and showings this past month. If you would like me to run the exact numbers for your Novato neighborhood or if you have any questions about Novato’s many delightful communities, just give me a call at (415) 350-9440. My name is Kyle Frazier. I am a J.D., Broker, Realtor, Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), and a Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist (CLHMS), with Christie’s Great Estates | Pacific Union International Real Estate. It is always my pleasure to be of service.

The Landing at Hamilton Field — NEW CONSTRUCTION. Prices start in the high – $700′s. Although all homes are currently SOLD, several have yet to close escrow. Please call me at (415) 350-9440 for more information. Or visit our website at www.TheLandingNovato.com.

Pacific Union International | Novato Real Estate Market Update (November 2012 Novato Home Sales Report)

November 18, 2012

Pacific Union International | Novato Real Estate Market Update (November 2012 | Novato Home Sales Report). Incredibly low inventory, historically low interest rates, a growing pool of “ready, able, and willing” buyers, are combining to make 2012 a pivotal year for Novato real estate. While the jury is out as to where the economy is heading with the looming fiscal cliff and worldwide debt crisis, there is growing perception among buyers (note: perception is reality in real estate), that the time to buy is NOW.

October 2012 sales numbers for Novato, CA continue to impress (we had 56 trades — the most since 2005). Buyers are moving very quickly on well-priced and/or unique real estate opportunities. The average sale price was $675K in October 2012 and continues to creep higher if examined a 90-day rolling basis (month to month fluctuations are of little analytic benefit as the composition of closed sales is erratic). Importantly, October 2012 sales included 15 homes which sold for $750K or more in Novato (of these, 4 were over $1 million and another 3 homes are currently in escrow).

October’s Novato real estate sales averaged 100 days on market, were about 2,426 sq. ft., and averaged roughly $293 sq. ft. Novato’s absorption rate (e.g., number of months’ inventory of homes for sale based on last month’s sales totals) is extremely low with just over 1 months’ worth of available inventory overall (a mere 65 single family homes are actively for sale in Novato). The hottest component of the Novato real estate market (as always) is the entry and move-up levels — homes priced under $500K — 84% of these homes are in escrow — it has been over 70% for months). It remains an extraordinarily strong sellers’ market all the way up to about $750K, where 54% of homes are in escrow.

Below are the percentages of homes in escrow in each of Novato’s major price bands:
■84% of homes priced under $500,000;
■54% of homes between $501,000 and $750,000;
■55% of homes between $751,000 and $1 million;
■25% of homes between $1 million and up.

Of the 54 homes that sold in October 2012:
■12 homes were priced under $500,000;
■38 homes priced from $501,00 to $1 million; and
■4 home priced from $1 million and up.

Homes in The Landing at Hamilton Field, Breakers at Pointe Marin, Marin Country Club, Rush Creek, and Bel Marin Keys generated the most calls and showings this past month. If you would like me to run the exact numbers for your Novato neighborhood or if you have any questions about Novato’s many delightful communities, just give me a call at (415) 350-9440. My name is Kyle Frazier. I am a J.D., Broker, Realtor, Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), and a Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist (CLHMS), with Christie’s Great Estates | Pacific Union International Real Estate. It is always my pleasure to be of service.

The Landing at Hamilton Field — NEW CONSTRUCTION. Prices start in the mid – $700′s. We have just one home left (5 beds, 3 baths, 3,071 square feet) priced at $920K. Please call me at (415) 350-9440 for more information. Or visit our website at www.TheLandingNovato.com.

Novato Real Estate Market Update (January 2011 Novato Home Sales Report)

January 4, 2011

Happy New Year! As I write this real estate report, the stock market is at its highest level since the 2008 meltdown began and up 125 points on the first day of trading in 2011 and the headline on CNN Money is “A Hiring Boom in 2011. Really.” Despite historically low interest rates and overall affordability at its best levels recorded, the overall Marin market was down in terms of sales numbers in 2010. Yet, in December 2010, the Novato, California real estate market continued to show very real strength across all price bands, except for homes priced above $1.5 million. This strength was consistent with the rest of the year’s results.

December 2010 was HOT with 41 home sales. In fact, it was hotter than December 2007 (with 26 sales — Note: click HERE for article dating back to January 2008 “Novato Named “Best Affordable” Town by Business News Magazine”) and December 2008 (35 sales) and about even December 2009 (42 sales). The average sales price of Novato homes in December 2010 was $570,724. These homes averaged 111 days on market, were about 2,078sq. ft., and averaged roughly $283 sq. ft. Novato’s  absorption rate (e.g., number of months’ inventory of homes for sale based on last month’s sales totals) sits at 2.4 months’ worth of available inventory overall (99 single family homes are currently for sale in Novato). This is an extraordinarily low number and will rise as sellers begin putting their homes on the market in coming months.

Below are the percentages of homes in escrow in each of Novato’s major price bands:

  • 55% of homes priced under $500,000;
  • 54% of homes between $501,000 and $600,000;
  • 37% of homes between $601,000 and $750,000;
  • 19% of homes between $751,000 and $1 million;
  • 27% of homes between $1 million and $1.5 million;
  • 11% of homes between $1.5 million and up.

Of the homes that sold in December 2010:

  • 25 homes were priced under $600,000;
  • 15 homes priced from $601,00 to $1 million; and
  • 1 home priced from $1 million and up.

Homes in The Landing at Hamilton Field, Breakers at Pointe Marin, Country Club, Rush Creek, and Bel Marin Keys generated the most calls and showings this past month. My new home listing at 10 Audubon Way (in The Landing at Hamilton) closed escrow at the end of the month for $957K (about 3.5% above asking price). If you would like me to run the exact numbers for your Novato neighborhood or if you have any questions about Novato’s many delightful communities, just give me a call at (415) 350-9440. My name is Kyle Frazier. I am a J.D., Broker, Realtor, Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), and a Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist (CLHMS), with Christie’s Great Estates | Pacific Union International Real Estate. It is always my pleasure to be of service.

The Landing at Hamilton Field New Homes in Marin County, CA

The Landing at Hamilton Field had its first sale last month (the sale was consumated upon completion of the home). We have another 4 homes that should be ready for occupancy by the end of January or early February 2011. Pricing starts in the mid-$800,000’s. Please call me at (415) 350-9440 for more information. Or visit our website at www.TheLandingNovato.com

Novato Real Estate Market Update (April 2010 Home Sales Report)

April 19, 2010

The Novato, California real estate market continues to exhibit strength across nearly all price bands (not so for homes priced above $1.5 million). March 2010 saw 43 sales (a huge increase from February’s 24 sales and one higher than the very high December 2009 total). The average sales price of Novato homes in March 2010 rose (again) to $653,072. These homes averaged 91 days on market, were about 2,293 sq. ft., and averaged roughly $298 sq. ft.

Novato’s price per square foot has hovered around $300 for a year now — in my mind, we are seeing the gradual recomposition of the market in the era of the “New Normal.” Prices have stabilized and are holding steady (at least at the entry level). I read that one bank has announced a 95% loan to value ratio for California last week — a product that has been almost entirely absent from the market for nearly 2 years.

Novato’s absorption rate (e.g., number of months’ inventory of homes for sale based on last month’s sales totals) shifted downwards into historically low levels for this time of year) — 3.05 months worth of available inventory overall (131 single family homes are currently for sale in Novato). Below are the percentages of homes in escrow in each of Novato’s major price bands:

  • 66% of homes priced under $500,000 (74% last month);
  • 48% of homes between $501,000 and $600,000 (54% last month);
  • 48% of homes between $601,000 and $750,000 (39% last month);
  • 32% of homes between $751,000 and $1 million (28% last month);
  • 16% of homes between $1 million and $1.5 million (23% last month);
  • 0% of homes between $1.5 million and up.

Amazingly, out of 39 homes on the market under $500,000, only 13 are not in escrow (and several of these hit the market less than a week ago) — this is simply amazing!

Of the homes that sold in March 2009:

  • 19 homes were priced under $600,000;
  • 21 homes priced from $601,00 to $1 million; and
  • 3 homes priced from $1 million and up.

Homes in Pointe Marin, Country Club, Hamilton Field, Rush Creek, and Bel Marin Keys generated the most calls and showings this past month. My listing at 94 Maybeck Street, Novato (South Gate at Hamilton Field) sold for 98.7% of list price in 10 days. If you would like me to run the exact numbers for your Novato neighborhood or if you have any questions about Novato’s many delightful communities, just give me a call at (415) 350-9440.

NEW HOMES: The 3 Model Homes being built at The Landing at Hamilton Field (I am the exclusive marketing agent for this project), located adjacent to South Gate, are expected to be completed in June 2010. We expect that the first homes will be ready for occupancy in August 2010. Pricing will begin in the mid-$800,000’s. Interest surrounding this new luxury community has been significant. Please call me at (415) 350-9440 for more information. Or visit our website at www.TheLandingNovato.com.

Again, if you would like me to run the exact numbers for your Novato neighborhood or if you have any questions about Novato’s many delightful communities, just give me a call at (415) 350-9440. My name is Kyle Frazier. I am a Broker, Realtor, Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), and a Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist (CLHMS), with Christie’s Great Estates | Morgan Lane Marin Real Estate (Pacific Union International). It is always my pleasure to be of service.

Novato Real Estate Market Update (February 2010 Home Sales Report)

February 13, 2010

The frenetic Novato, California real estate market slowed (at least in terms of closed sales) in January 2010. We had 25 sales, compared with 42 sales in December. The average sales price of Novato homes in January 2010 was $525,440. These homes averaged 97 days on market, were about 1,763 sq. ft., and averaged roughly $309 sq. ft. Novato’s absorption rate (e.g., number of months’ inventory of homes for sale based on last month’s sales totals) has dipped to historically low levels — a scant 3.76 months worth of available inventory overall (94 single family homes are currently for sale in Novato). Below are the percentages of homes in escrow in each of Novato’s major price bands: 
  • 86% of homes priced under $500,000 (67% last month);
  • 59% of homes between $501,000 and $600,000 (66% last month);
  • 47% of homes between $601,000 and $750,000 (42% last month);
  • 43% of homes between $751,000 and $1 million (33%  last month);
  • 25% of homes between $1 million and $1.5 million (24% last month);
  • 0% of homes between $1.5 million and up.
Amazingly, out of 42 homes on the market under $500,000, only 6 are not in escrow — this is simply amazing! January closings definitely reflect the fact that “value” oriented buyers were out shopping in in December (considered by many buyers agents to be the best month for clients focused on value to put pen to paper):
  • 20 homes priced under $600,000 sold in January 2010
  • 4 homes priced from $601,00 to $1 million sold in January 2010
  • 1 home priced from $1 million and up sold in January 2010
Homes in Pointe Marin, Country Club, Hamilton Field, Rush Creek, and Bel Marin Keys generated the most calls and showings this past month. My listing at 94 Maybeck Street, Novato (priced at $842,000) went into escrow after just 10 days on the market. If you would like me to run the exact numbers for your Novato neighborhood or if you have any questions about Novato’s many delightful communities, just give me a call at (415) 350-9440. My name is Kyle Frazier. I am a Broker, Realtor, Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), and a Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist (CLHMS), with Christie’s Great Estates | Morgan Lane Marin Real Estate (Pacific Union International). It is always my pleasure to be of service.

The Landing at Hamilton Field, located adjacent to South Gate, is scheduled to begin pouring foundations for the model homes (there will be 3 models) in February 2010. The models are expected to open in May 2010, and the first homes will be ready for occupancy in July 2010. Pricing will begin in the mid-$800,000’s. Interest surrounding this new luxury community has been significant. Please call me at (415) 350-9440 for more information. Or visit our website at www.TheLandingNovato.com.

Novato Real Estate Market Update (January 2010 Home Sales Report)

January 18, 2010

“Give Yourself a Raise. Move to Novato.”

The Novato, California real estate market continues on its journey into recovery. We had 42 sales in December 2010. The average sales price of Novato homes in December 2010 was $634,152. These homes averaged 113 days on market, were about 2,227 sq. ft., and averaged roughly $293 sq. ft. Novato’s absorption rate (e.g., number of months’ inventory of homes for sale based on last month’s sales totals) has dipped to historically low levels — a scant 2.38 months worth of available inventory overall (100 single family homes are currently for sale in Novato).

Below are the percentages of homes in escrow in each of Novato’s major price bands: 

  • 67% of homes priced under $500,000 (74% last month);
  • 66% of homes between $501,000 and $600,000 (65% last month);
  • 42% of homes between $601,000 and $750,000 (53% last month);
  • 33% of homes between $751,000 and $1 million (same as last month);
  • 24% of homes between $1 million and $1.5 million (19% last month);
  • 0% of homes between $1.5 million and up.
Importantly, and in line with recent months, the move-up price bands are exhibiting strength:
  • 23 homes priced under $600,000 sold in December 2009
  • 17 homes priced from $601,00 to $1 million sold in December 2009
  • 10 homes priced from $1 million and up sold in December 2009
Homes in Pointe Marin, Country Club, Hamilton Field, Rush Creek, and Bel Marin Keys generated the most calls and showings this past month. My listing at 94 Maybeck Street, Novato (priced at $842,000) went into escrow after just 10 days on the market. If you would like me to run the exact numbers for your Novato neighborhood or if you have any questions about Novato’s many delightful communities, just give me a call at (415) 350-9440. My name is Kyle Frazier. I am a Broker, Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), and a Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist (CLHMS), with Christie’s Great Estates | Morgan Lane Marin Real Estate (Pacific Union International). It is always my pleasure to be of service.

The Landing at Hamilton Field, located adjacent to South Gate, is scheduled to begin pouring foundations for the model homes (there will be 3 models) in February 2010. The models are expected to open in April 2010, and the first homes will be ready for occupancy in July 2010. Pricing will begin in the mid-$800,000’s. Interest surrounding this new luxury community has been significant. Please call me at (415) 350-9440 for more information.

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

November 6, 2009

Leaves are starting to hit the ground as the days grow shorter. But, Novato’s hot market shows no signs of cooling down. In October 2009, 50 Novato, California homes sold, compared with 35 sales in September 2009. Suffice it to say, the Novato real estate market is hot. Entry level home sales have shown sustained strength for the past 6 months. The number of homes actively listed in Novato remains very low compared with the rest of Marin (and the percentage of homes in escrow remains much higher than the rest of Marin). This exceptional demand is based on stunning affordability (homes are selling now for prices nobody could have dreamed of 3 short years ago) and the fantastically low interest rates.

While the average sales price of Novato homes rose in August to a remarkable $713,440 (based in large part on the makeup of sales), that number fell back to Earth in September — $646,389. Last month, the average sales price rose to $667,788.

Certain zip codes are performing exceptionally well. For example, in 94949 (Southern Novato) the percentage of homes in escrow is up 38% from last October and the average days on market is down 70%. This is simple supply and demand. Savvy buyers waiting for “the bottom to hit” recognize that we may be there and that any further price erosion will be outweighed by increased interest rates which are likely around the bend. Surely, home buyers in Novato are finding that it is increasingly difficult to identify “turnkey” homes under $550,000. In the 94949 zip code, median prices year over year dipped a mere 3%. I think many observers would be surprised. Local agents are all talking about a “bounce” in prices over the past several months.

Below are the percentages of homes in escrow in each of Novato’s major price bands:

  • 78% of homes priced under $500,000 (up from 73% last month);
  • 60% of homes between $501,000 and $600,000 (down from 66% last month — we have 5 new listings that just came on the market or this number would be higher);
  • 45% of homes between $601,000 and $750,000 (down from 53%);
  • 31% of homes between $751,000 and $1 million (about the same as last month);
  • 23% of homes between $1 million and $1.5 million (down from 31%);
  • 0% of homes between $1.5 million and up.
Importantly, and in line with recent months, the move-up price bands are selling as well as the entry level properties:
  • 26 homes priced under $600,000 sold in October 2009
  • 16 homes priced from $601,00 to $1 million sold in October 2009
  • 5 homes priced from $1 million to $1.5 million sold in October 2009
In fact, more homes sold in October 2009 in the $1 million to $1.5 million price band in Novato than sold in Mill Valley in that same price band. I have been saying for years that the Novato luxury market is on the rise and we are seeing tangible sales figures support my predictions. This trend also coincides with the extraordinary high percentages of homes in escrow. Meanwhile, inventory continues to shrink with just 117 single family homes currently for sale in Novato, CA.

Real Estate Market Chart by Altos Research www.altosresearch.com

Novato homes that sold in October 2009 averaged 100 days on market, were about 2,267 sq. ft., and sold for an average sales price of $667,788 (roughly $310 per sq. ft.). Novato’s absorption rate (e.g., the number of months of inventory currently available in Novato) has dipped to historically low levels — just 2.3 months worth of available inventory overall.

The chart below reflects activity in the $800,000 to $900,000 price band. In this “move-up” price band, there is less than 2 month’s inventory. Lower price bands are even more constrained. Generally speaking, 5-6 months of inventory reflects a balanced market and anything under 4 months, a seller’s market.

Homes in Pointe Marin, Country Club, Hamilton Field, Rush Creek, and Bel Marin Keys generated the most calls and showings this past month.

If you would like me to run the exact numbers for your Novato neighborhood or if you have any questions about Novato’s many delightful communities, just give me a call at (415) 350-9440. My name is Kyle Frazier. I am a Broker, Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), and a Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist (CLHMS), with Christie’s Great Estates | Morgan Lane Marin Real Estate (Pacific Union International). It is always my pleasure to be of service.

“Give Yourself a Raise. Move to Novato.”

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

August 12, 2009

Last month, for the first time since I began writing Novato monthly updates back in 2006, I stated that it appears that the Novato, CA. market (for single family homes) seems to be improving in two meaningful ways. Certainly, sales have risen from last year and we have several months of increasing sales (as the inventory of short sales and foreclosures is quickly snapped up by motivated buyers).

But, perhaps even more importantly from the perspective of home owners, it also appears that prices at the entry level (e.g., properties priced below $500,000) have bottomed out. As evidenced by the chart below, the 90-day rolling average of Novato home prices has been rising since May 2009. Obviously, higher asking prices do not, ipso facto, result in higher sales prices (some local real estate companies train their agents to give sellers high estimated sales prices in an effort to get any all listings — a major breach of our ethical and fiduciary obligations, in my opinion). But, experts consider this development a leading indicator that market forces are pushing prices higher. I have written in past months about the high level of competition in Novato’s entry level real estate market. This phenomenon also supports the notion that we have hit bottom.

In July 2009, Novato experienced 47 sales (up from 38 in June 2009). Of course, many of these are bargain priced homes such as REO’s or short sales. But, the inventory is rapidly being absorbed. We feel there is extraordinary pent up demand. Perhaps more significantly, the average sales price of Novato homes was $632,078 in July 2009 (up from $622,000 last month, excluding one off the market sale of a $2 million+ home). While a bump of just over 1% may not seem like much, its psychological impact on buyers waiting for bottom may prove significant.

As a result of the above, we believe that the move-up market will continue to improve in Novato — there are clear signs of improvement in this very important market segment. As of today, here are the percentages of homes in escrow in each price band:

  • 82% of homes priced under $500,000 (up from 78%);
  • 61% of homes between $501,000 and $600,000 (up from 57%);
  • 40% of homes between $601,000 and $750,000 (down from 43%);
  • 27% of homes between $751,000 and $1 million (up from 25%);
  • 30% of homes between $1 million and $1.5 million (up from 25%);
  • 6% of homes between $1.5 million and up (down from 15%).

Interestingly, and in line with recent months, the move-up price bands are selling nearly as well as the entry level properties:

  • 27 homes priced under $600,000 sold in July 2009
  • 16 homes priced from $601,00 to $1 million sold in July 2009

There are 138 single family homes currently for sale in Novato, CA (there were 131 in July 2009). Novato’s absorption rate (e.g., the number of months of inventory currently available in Novato) remains extremely low. In March 2009, we had 7.9 months worth of inventory. This month, our absorption rate has fallen to an unbelievable 2.99 months! Absorption rates, along with days on market averages, provide a telling insight into the overall state of the market. Generally speaking, 6 months of inventory reflects a balanced market and anything under 4 months, a seller’s market. And today’s shrinking inventory and exploding sales evidence a pent up demand and reflect the increased affordability of Novato real estate. It is rumored that more bank owned inventory will be generated in the Fall as banks continue hiring processors and moratoriums are lifted. We will see if this comes to pass and how it affects our market.

Real Estate Market Chart by Altos Research www.altosresearch.com

As noted above, 47 Novato homes sold in July 2009. These Novato homes averaged about 110 days on market, were about 2,107 sq. ft., and sold for an average sales price of $632,078 (roughly $304 per sq. ft.). Homes in Pointe Marin, Country Club, Hamilton Field, 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 calls regarding lease-options.

Below is a breakdown of the Novato real estate market by price band:

Price Range

Total Homes

Pending Listings

Up to $500K

49

82%

$500K – $600K 36 61%

$600K – $750K

47

40%

$750K – $1 mil.

62

27%

$1 mil. – $1.5 mil.

37

30%

$1.5 mil. & Up

18

6%

If you would like me to run the exact numbers for your Novato neighborhood or if you have any questions about Novato’s many delightful neighborhoods, just give me a call at (415) 350-9440. My name is Kyle Frazier. I am a Broker, Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), and Member of The Institute of Luxury Home Marketing, with Morgan Lane Marin Real Estate. It is always my pleasure to be of service.

Now that the the HWY 101 widening project has been completed on both north and southbound lanes, the commute through San Rafael is very much improved. Southbound commute traffic is reduced by about 25 minutes. The improved commute will certainly make Novato a preferable choice for those who want more house for the money, yet were scared off the traffic we experienced during the highway construction period. Moreover, the first-time home buyer credit of $8,000 (this is a flat out gift from the government) certainly helps those who qualify. As I tell my clients, “Give Yourself a Raise. Move to Novato.”

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