San Rafael CA Real Estate Market Report (October 2009 Home Sales Update)

October 15, 2009

San Rafael, California’s real estate market continues leaning heavily on foreclosures and short sales for volume. The entry level price band (under $600K) remains at a slow boil with 64% of home are now in escrow, same as last month. Meanwhile, the $600K to $800K price band (a mix of entry level and move-up homes) rose to 38% of homes in escrow from 31% in September 2009).

It is no secret that our current real estate environment favors buyers, not only because of the state of the market (e.g., prices back down to 2003 levels in many cases), but also because of superior interest rates, FHA loan availability (allowing purchase loans up to $729,000 with 3.5% down), and a shifting mindset by both buyers (who are ready to pull the trigger) and sellers (who are ready to do what it takes to sell).

Housing inventory for single family homes in San Rafael fell to 154 homes (from 169 last month). It is interesting to note that while San Rafael’s inventory has risen and its percentage of homes in escrow has dropped, Novato (the next city north) has experienced the opposite. In fact, in the move up market, Novato sales rates eclipse San Rafael’s by a long-shot.

As reported this Summer, San Rafael listing prices experienced a brief rise, but that trend has reversed and resumed its downward trajectory. By comparison, asking prices in Novato have been rising for several months, leading many to believe that the bottom has formed in Novato. It does not appear this phenomenon is being replicated in San Rafael.

Real Estate Market Chart by Altos Research

Thirty-one homes sold in September 2009. The average days on market was 109 days, the average sales price was $710,946 (down from $846,194 last month) and the average home size was 1,822 square feet — roughly $402 per sq. ft. (despite the dip average sales price, the price per square foot remained virtually unchanged). Homes in Lucas Valley, The Dominican, Terra Linda North, and Peacock Gap generated the most calls and showings this past month.

Price Range Total Homes Percent Pending
Up to $600K 45 64%
$600K – $800K 89 38%
$800K – $1 mil. 50 20%
$1 mil. – 1.5 mil. 34 24%
$1.5 mil. – $2 mil. 10 0%
$2 mil. & Up 10 40%

If you would like me to run the exact numbers for your San Rafael neighborhood or if you have any questions about our many delightful communities, just give me a call at (415) 350-9440. My name is Kyle Frazier. I am a Broker, Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) and a Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist (CLHMS), with Christie’s Great Estates | Morgan Lane International Real Estate. It is always my pleasure to be of service.