March 2018 Novato Real Estate Market Update | Pacific Union Home Sales Report

March 2018 Novato Real Estate Market Update | Pacific Union Home Sales Report. Novato home sales are off to a roaring start in 2018. As noted last month, Novato’s “dual-market” very clearly represents one of the best move-up opportunities I have ever seen. If you are thinking of selling your smaller home to trade up into something bigger or in a better neighborhood, now is maybe the best time in history and who knows how long this will last. I am seeing evidence that the dual market is starting to close up. Yet, the number of homes remains low for homes under $1 million (it is the move up homes that are evidently bumping up price). As of this writing just 8 homes under $1 million are active on the MLS in Novato. February sales of such listings totaled 17.

Consistent with past months, Novato’s absorption rate is under 1 month. That means there are just enough homes satisfy buyer demand for a month. This is extremely favorable if you are seller. At the higher end (anything at or above $1.5 million I consider high end in Novato), there are 20 homes on the market. This price point had 8 sales in February. This is up significantly over historical averages which is why I said earlier that dual market opportunities may be changing.

  • Take away: If you want to trade up in Novato, you are selling in a strong sellers’ price range and buying is a fairly strong buyers’ price range. That is a “WIN.”
  • Call or email me for my Private Inventory List of homes not actively on the market. It may be your best chance to find a home in 2018.

Novato home sales numbers in February 2018 were on rocket fuel — 36 home sales in February is a lot. Off-market sales continue to supplement buyer needs. The best agents in Novato rely on realtor networking to get their buyers into desirable homes. I had two such sales and am very thankful for my high level colleagues and their extraordinary efforts in helping to supplement the low inventory.

Novato’s 36 sales averaged $519 per foot (price per foot has inched upwards over the past year and now stands where San Rafael was about 2 years ago). It remains to be seen whether tax changes will impact sales. I don’t think it will because many of the things people talk about in the media (e.g., the cap on SALT deductions and mortgage interest deduction don’t matter much to Marin buyers — most pay AMT and don’t get SALT deductions to begin with and the cost of the reduced mortgage interest deduction is really limited in impact). Of course, I am not a tax advisor and you should always consult a professional.

What is clear is that more and more buyers feel the “bang for the buck” in driving an extra 10 minutes from Sir Francis Drake is worth it. Novato remains the target for price sensitive buyers and for Southern Marin downsizers selling their multi-million dollar homes in Tiburon, Mill Valley and Ross Valley and transferring their tax base to homes in Novato (and enjoying the better weather).

Also, impacting sales as we move through the first quarter of 2018 are buyers generated by the tragic fires in Sonoma and Napa Counties. These very strong (often all cash) buyers tend to seek out 1-level, ranch style homes (or homes with the Master Bedroom downstairs with the main living areas), as well as the new / newer home communities mostly located in Southern Novato ( This makes these two types of homes a target commodity. As noted above, numerous sales are also being conducted privately by agents outside of the MLS, via networking groups such as the Top Agent Network (TAN — Top 10% of agents) and the Marin Platinum Group (MPG — Top 100 agents). It is estimated that approximately 10-15% of homes are sold without ever hitting the market. This is now a large segment of my overall sales as it is often the only way for me to solve my clients housing problems and/or satisfy their dreams.

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The average sale price for Novato homes in Febuary 2018 was $1.24 million. Novato. Southern Novato neighborhoods, such as Country Club, Pointe Marin and Hamilton Field, remain some of Marin County’s hottest neighborhoods in 2018. Good weather, an easy commute, newer home inventory and a clear bang-for-your-buck advantage relative to the rest of Marin, San Francisco and the Peninsula continue to propel sales and prices upwards.

Novato’s February 2018 home sales averaged 71 days on market (DOM), were about 2,235 sq. ft., and averaged roughly $519 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 about 1 month across all price points. This is an incredibly favorable environment for sellers (especially under $1 million) —  balanced markets have 4-6 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):
■ 50% of homes priced under $750,000;
■ 69% of homes between $751,000 and $1 million;
■ 35% of homes over $1 million.

Of the 36 Novato, CA homes that sold in February 2018:
■ 3 homes sold under $750,000;
■ 14 homes sold from $751,00 to $1 million; and
■ 19 homes sold for $1 million and up.

Single family homes in Marin Country Club Estates, Pointe Marin, 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 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 value discretion and expect high levels of professionalism and service, call me to discuss your situation.