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