The State of the San Carlos Housing Market
It’s been a roller coaster over the last two years, but the San Carlos housing market is currently a well-oiled machine. I say this because there is not just one price range that is doing well, it’s all of them. The lower market: 750K and under, the mid-market: 850K – 1.250M, and the high-end market 1.4M and up….are all currently moving, and moving quickly.
How did we get here?
October 2008. The first two weeks of October of 2008 were as crazy as ever in San Carlos. Multiple offers were plentiful, and the market continued to hum along. During the second week in October of 2008, the stock market faced one of its worse drops in value. Almost simultaneously, the San Carlos housing market came to a grinding halt.
January-May 2009. San Carlos property values were in a historic freefall. Next to nothing moved in San Carlos. The only properties that sold were those that got in front of the market. With values falling by as much as 20% (above a million dollars) and 12% (below a million dollars), it took motivated sellers in order to establish any type of inventory movement.
Summer of 2009. Signs the the economy may be improving along with historically low interest rates helped fuel some optimism into the San Carlos market, but it was not enough to stop the freefall – only slow it down.
October/November 2009. The prevailing belief in San Carlos is that home prices have bottomed. This is supported by the fact that much of the lower market homes started to move again, many with multiple offers. Sales of homes over a million dollars are still down considerably.
January-March 2010. Multiple offers continue in the low-range homes, but the shortage of inventory in the mid-range starts to fuel multiple offers in that sector as well. The market clearly picks up steam. Factors for the movement include tax incentives, historically low interest rates, and a firm belief that the market has bottomed. Also helping sellers is competition. Many San Carlos buyers were on the sidelines for 2008 and 2009. Many start to feel that they have waited long enough and do not want to miss the nexus of lower prices and low interest rates.
April/May 2010. The run on San Carlos homes spills over to the high-end price zones. Several homes approaching $2,000,000 receive multiple offers. Multiple offers are present in all three levels of San Carlos homes.
Currently for San Carlos:
* 52 active homes, 42 pending homes
* 22 of the 42 pending homes are in the mid-range or higher
* 6 of the 42 pending homes are in the high-end price range
* 5 of the 6 of those high-end homes sold in under 21 days on the market
* Average Days on Market for all pending homes: 32….down considerably from six months ago
* Projected price per square foot for pending homes $540….up considerably from six months ago
* Multiple offers are back, at all levels including the top of the high-end market. While not as powerful as in years past, they are still contentious and filled with anxiety for buyers.
Whether this trend continues or not is speculation. Some feel the market has bottomed, and others are expecting a double-dip in pricing. The one item that is not up for speculation is that San Carlos is currently hitting on all cylinders.
You are so right.
70% of all San Carlos homes that closed in April 2010 sold at or above list price.
In Palo Alto, the number was like 52%.
In Menlo Park, the number was like 37%.
San Carlos market hotter right now than even Palo Alto and Menlo Park.