Much like most of last year, Novato's (and pretty much the entire Bay Area) housing inventory across the board has been slim, thus, a return of multiple offers that helped predicate an overall home pricing increase (particularly single family residences priced under $500k) and the same could be said of condos/townhomes w/ 3 bedrooms. Presently, it appears to be a continuous trend though the start of the housing market traditionally begin in March thru July, then, again, post-Labor Day thru November.
The "entry" level (homes under $500k) of SFRs is by far the most competitive whereby we have 3 groups of buyers vying for a home purchase: first-timers, relocators and investors. Presently, it is not unlikely for a property to be in contract in less than 7 days as predicated by the listing agent establishing a specific date for any/all offers to be reviewed by the seller. For example: The property enters the open market (MLS) on Tuesday, then the broker's tour (which is Wednesday for Novato) followed by a Sunday open house and offer to be reviewed on Monday.
"Mid" level homes (those priced above $500k to around $800k) are also experiencing shorter "days on market" (DOM) than back in '11. However, it would be difficult to provide you w/ specifics due to not knowing the neighborhoods of interest w/in Novato (say, Bel Marin Keys, Country Club, Green Point, Hamilton, Loma Verde, Lynwood Hills, Pacheco Valle, Pleasant Valley, the Presidents, and San Marin just to name a few).
"Upper Mid" level homes ($800k to $1m) tend to be an exception. Ever since "Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac" reduced the jumbo conforming loan limits from $729k to $626 (rounded up and for single units, only) back in Oct. '11, homes priced in this level have experience longer DOM. I anticipate a continued pattern for homes priced w/in this group.
What was surprising for '12 were the increased number of home purchases priced $1m and higher compared from the previous year. And I anticipate the same pattern to repeat here as well.
Overall, the current market suggests a great time to sell one's home. In turn, it is still a great time to purchase a home considering the continued trend of historically lower interest rates (though they have recently edged up a bit). So, if you (or anyone you know) is interested in purchasing a home in Novato, I would advise to go w/ your best offer up front particularly in our "entry" home range.
I hope I've been able to answer your question based on the experiences I'm witnessing as a seasoned Realtor in Novato. I welcome your feedback should you feel incline.
Bradley Real Estate
Inventory of available homes and condo/townhouses is low throughout the county, which has generated multiple offer situations for MANY properties. It has quickly become a seller's market as buyers scramble to get an accepted offer on desirable properties.
If you would like more specific information about a certain neighborhood or development...please let us know. We are very familiar with Novato and could easily and quickly do research regarding a specific area. We tour the new listings in Novato almost every week and are very familiar with the Novato market.
Looking forward to hearing from you!!
Mary Kay and Kathy