The State of Novato Real Estate Market, Now and Then

By
Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Previews International (#1 Marin_Sonoma_San Francisco_North_Bay) DRE# 01415544

The buzz on the local market since the end of last year, although gingerly made, has been that we might have hit the bottom of the market, and are on our way to crawl out of that black hole.

As we held our breath while watching the market during the past five months, we became cautiously optimistic about the market – the Feds declared they plan to hold the interest rate down, the Congress is finding ways to encourage/enable underwater homeowners to stay in their homes, the banks are learning from their mistakes, streamlining short sale processes as well as not flooding the market with bank owned homes, inventory is also low due to homeowners being more careful and are staying put instead of trading up or down without any fear as it was during the boom time. .  

Being in the Bay Area, we are also seeing the economy getting better; the air of optimism is moving from southbay thru San Francisco (where the housing market held relatively strong during the down time); to the northbay.   Similarily, we see buyers coming from different bay areas, from out of state and from different countries.     

We witness the optimism in housing through – shorter time on market, multiple offers, starting from first time homes (or for some, investment properties that can finally generate positive cash flow where it was not possible in Marin county a few years back); to our bread and butter – the $400-$500K range, moving up to the middle range of under $700Ks; all strong sellers’ market, while the upper middle and higher end remain in the buyer or neutral market.   There were no sales over $2,000,000 in years 2012, 2011; while two closed thus far in 2012. .             

To see what a difference two years made, I found my old blog post on a national real estate site back in May 27, 2010 and created a similar one as of May 14, 2012; both using data from local Multiple Listing Services (BAREIS – Bay Area Real Estate Information Service).

One thing to keep in mind is that numbers, although telling, do not tell everything and can be interpreted differently – even though this is Novato data, the same price range does not represent the same range of homes (as market dropped, homes with similar prices are, in general, nicer or bigger than two years ago); some are short sales and stay on market or pending longer.  Novato also has what I called macro areas that respond to the market differently from each other.  So, be very cautious when interpreting the numbers. Another point is that when the sample is small, the percentage can be skewed.   

We are watching the market closely, with news such as Dow trading downwards for the last couple of days, investors cautious about Facebook IPO, it will be quiet interesting to see how the numbers might change once the summer is here.

For specific questions about the market and the trend, please call your trusted Realtor®; and of course, I will be happy to help also.   

(Footnote - Brent suggested that I might provide more Real Estate related information because that's what I have been doing since 2004 and blogging nationwide since 2008.  I am finally able to contribute after completing a couple of big projects last week.)

                                     NOVATO MARKET, as of 05/14/2012

 

 

Total Units

Total Active

Total In Escrow

 % Active

% In Escrow

(*)

2012 vs 2010 (**)

SFDs

195

84

101

43%

57%

S

19%+

CIDs

68

16

52

24%

76%

S

23%+

All SFDs/CIDs

253

100

153

40%

60%

S

18%+

SFD by Price Range

$0-$500K

64

15

48

23%

77%

S

19%+

$500,001-$600K

27

9

18

33%

67%

S

25%+

$600,001-$700K

31

9

22

29%

71%

S

29%+

$700,001-$800K

26

13

13

50%

50%

S

3%-

$800,001-$999,999

19

15

4

79%

21%

B

2%

$1M – $1.25M

13

9

4

69%

31%

N

16%+

$1.25M – $1.5M

8

6

2

75%

25%

B

7%+

$1.5M+

7

7

0

100%

0%

B

15%-

TOTAL SFDs

194

83

111

43%

57%

S

18%+

(*) % in Contract:  40% Sellers' Market 

(**) 2012 vs 2010 - Differences between 2012 and 2010 in % in Contract

                                   NOVATO MARKET - as of 05/27/2010

 

 

Total Units

Total Active

Total In Escrow

% Active

% In Escrow

(*)

SFDs

255

157

98

62%

38%

N

CIDs

89

42

47

47%

53%

S

All SFDs/CIDs

344

199

145

58%

42%

S

SFD by Price Range

$0-$500K

55

23

32

42%

58%

S

$500,001-$600K

38

22

16

58%

42%

S

$600,001-$700K

38

22

16

58%

42%

S

$700,001-$800K

36

17

19

47%

53%

S

$800,001-$999,999

36

29

7

81%

19%

B

$1M – $1.25M

20

17

3

85%

15%

B

$1.25M – $1.5M

17

14

3

82%

18%

B

$1.5M+

13

11

2

85%

15%

B

TOTAL SFDs

253

155

98

61%

39%

N

(*) % in Contract:  40% Sellers' Market

close

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Sylvia Barry

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