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

July 17, 2009 by  

The Novato single family home market seems to be forming a bottom. Prices appear to be leveling out and the percentages of entry level homes in escrow are very high. I know that many foreclosure sales and short sales are getting multiple offers. I have several clients who have faced as many 9 to 20 offers in competition for a single family home. This activity bodes well for sales in the higher price bands.

Moreover, in June 2009, Novato had 38 sales (up from 32 in June 2008). Indeed, this reflects an upward trend over the past few months—May 2009 had 44 sales. Of course, many of these are bargain priced homes such as REO’s or short sales. But, nonetheless, the inventory is rapidly being absorbed as there is extraordinary pent up demand.

Perhaps more significantly, the average sales price of Novato homes jumped up to $666,124 in June 2009. This is an increase from $564,770 in May 2009. While there was one $2 million plus sale (an off market sale), which supported this increase in average sales price, even stripping that outlier sale from the equation, the revised average sales price was over $622,000—a strong bump upwards.

We believe that the move up market has begun to find its legs in Novato and that there are definite signs of improvement in this very important market segment. Interestingly, and in line with recent months, the move-up price bands are selling as well as the entry level price bands:

  • 17 homes priced under $600,000 sold in June 2009
  • 17 homes priced from $601,00 to $1 million sold in June 2009.

As of today, here are the percentages of homes in escrow in each price band:

  • 78% of homes priced under $500,000;
  • 57% of homes between $501,000 and $600,000;
  • 43% of homes between $601,000 and $750,000;
  • 25% of homes between $751,000 and $1 million;
  • 25% of homes between $1 million and $1.5 million;
  • 15% of homes between $1.5 million and up.

There are 131 single family homes currently for sale in Novato, CA (there were 141 in June 2009). Novato’s absorption rate (e.g., the number of months of inventory currently available in Novato) remains extremely low. In March, we had 7.9 months worth of inventory. Last month, the absorption rate fell to an unbelievable 3.04 months. Today, while up a bit to 3.45 months, it remains very low! Absorption rates, along with days on market averages, provide a telling insight into the overall state of the market. And today’s shrinking inventory and exploding sales evidence a pent up demand and reflect the increased affordability of Novato real estate. Also, note below that the 90-day rolling average of Novato home prices has jumped up — I consider this an additional leading indicator that market forces are establishing a bottom.

Real Estate Market Chart by Altos Research

As noted above, thirty-eight Novato homes sold in June 2009 (down from 44 in May 2009). These Novato homes averaged about 148 days on market, were about 2,128 sq. ft., and sold for an average sales price of $666,124 (roughly $316 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



$500K – $600K 35 57%

$600K – $750K



$750K – $1 mil.



$1 mil. – $1.5 mil.



$1.5 mil. & Up



For an 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 for your neck of the woods or have any questions about Novato’s many delightful neighborhoods, just give me a call at (415) 350-9440. My name is Kyle Frazier, Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), 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.”


2 Responses to “Novato Real Estate Market Update (July 2009 Home Sales Report)”

  1. Novato Real Estate Market Update (July 2009 Home Sales Report) | Marin Real Estate -- Homes For Sale on July 17th, 2009 11:35 am

    […] [Click HERE for the rest of the article, courtesy of]  […]

  2. Marin County, CA. Real Estate Update — July 2009 (Homes For Sale & Price Ranges) | Marin Real Estate -- Homes For Sale on July 20th, 2009 8:50 pm

    […] of the snake and is currently hitting apparently sustainable levels of inventory and demand. Click HERE for our July 2009 analysis of Novato’s real estate market, courtesy of […]

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