Novato CA Real Estate Market Update (April 2009 Home Sales Report)

While the pipeline of new properties and overall inventory levels increases dramatically throughout most of Marin County, CA. (this is the prime selling season, after all), Novato’s inventory level remains at a seasonally adjusted low with just 152 single family homes for sale. There were 142 homes for sale in March 2009. Perhaps we are on the back side of the distressed property curve. Meanwhile, the absorption rate (e.g., the number of months of inventory currently available in Novato) dipped dramatically from 7.9 months in March to 6 months today (note: earlier this year, we were down to 4.5 months due to the large number of sales in December 2008). Absorption rates and the days on market averages provide a telling insight into the overall state of the market. More on this below. 

Real Estate Market Chart by Altos Research

As mentioned in prior months’ market updates, it seems that buyers are hypnotized and mesmerized by foreclosures and short sales — as if these properties hold some promise of value and an assurance of happiness. But, instead many buyers of these homes would do it differently if given another chance. After all, many of these homes are in rotten condition and entail lots of work. Wise buyers focus on real value and keep attuned to the benefits of homes that display “pride of ownership.” Not that all distressed sales are problem properties, but caveat emptor for those lured by the siren call of distress.

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