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

Now that the southbound portion of the HWY 101 widening project has been completed for a little over a month, it is clear that the commute through San Rafael is very much improved. Even salty, hardened naysayers concede that the drive to work is now just a drive, not a battle–estimates range from 25-35 minutes saved each day since the completion of the project. As I have been saying for 2 years, the improved commute will certainly make Novato a viable choice for those who had sworn it off because of the traffic. 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.”

Real Estate Market Chart by Altos Research

Novato’s inventory level remains relatively low with just 142 single family homes for sale. There were 145 homes for sale in February 2009 and 150 homes for sale in January 2009–an odd downward trend. 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) rose again to 7.9 months (it was 4.5 months just a month ago due to the large number of sales in December). If this seems schizophrenic, it is. 

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