As we enter January and energy consumption increases with the cold weather, one simple way to conserve on heating costs is to install a programmable thermostat. If you do not have one, the following video created by Home Depot shows the basics: Programmable Thermostats
As we enter 2010 todays blog looks at active inventory and pending sales as reported by our Multiple Listing Service for Menlo Park,San Carlos and Redwood City. (These statistics are for class one-single family homes). As of today’s date, our MLS reports the following:
51 Active Listings
33 Pending Sales
23 Active Listings
14 Pending Sales
93 Active Listings
83 Pending Sales
Today’s post takes a look at sales in Menlo Park from December 2008 through December 2009 as reported to our Multiple Listing Service. (These stats do not include sales not reported to MLS and are informational only). 335 single family homes sold during this 13 month period. The average sales price in December 2008 was $1,063,000 versus $1,034,000 in December 2009. As of December 29,2009 there were 2 months supply of inventory at the current rate of activity. During December of this year the average sales price was 96.8 of list.
The statistics indicate that the entry level price point continues to be very active.
Today’s post takes a look at sales in San Carlos from December 2008 through December 2009 as reported to our Multiple Listing Service. (These stats do not include sales not reported to MLS and are informational only). 250 single family homes sold during this 13 month period. The average sales price in December 2008 was $901,000 versus $1,067,000 in December 2009. As of December 29,2009 there were 1.3 months supply of inventory at the current rate of activity. During December of this year the average sales price was 96% of list.
Tomorrow’s post will take a look at Menlo Park.
I recently received the following Coldwell Banker Reality Check Article :
After enduring three years of a declining real estate market, 2009 brought
a much needed break for the hard hit real estate sector. Driven largely in
part by the economic stimulus that helped the housing market emerge from the recession, it leaves many of us wondering what is next for real
estate. Will housing prices rebound? Will the new extended and expanded
tax credit be just what the doctor ordered? Will the luxury market recover
similarly to the entry level?
Our Reality Check writer recently sat down with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage President Rick Turley to answer these questions and more as they discussed the 2009 housing market and what we may expect in 2010.
How would you say the housing market faired in 2009? Did it live up to
your expectations or falter?
“Although it was a challenging year, I believe it was a year of transition
in many of our markets. We bounced along a rough bottom but at the same
time, we are really prepared for a modest and consistent improvement. The second half of 2009 was when we finally saw a jumpstart. I think that
really stems from consumer confidence. Does a buyer feel confident in
his/her employment and finances? If so, then buying a home is typically a
good option. Another way that the government is reinforcing the viability
of buying a home is by offering the tax credit.”
Do you feel the tax credit was an important factor in the market
“Undoubtedly, the tax credit was an important factor in our market’s
turnaround. We didn’t really know this for sure until we started looking
at the number of closed escrows in September, October and November. The number of properties that went under contract increased as we grew closer to the November 30th, the original expiration date for that tax credit. It was a very clear indication that once potential buyers realized they might miss out on the $8,000, tax credit if they did not move quickly, many buyers got off the fence and began to act. The number of property showings was up. The number of properties that were sold was up. Then, we saw the extension of the tax credit and we saw yet another market adjustment. I wouldn’t say that the market has been slowing, but there has been a softening of the frenzy. I think as buyers near the new expiration date of April 30, 2010 that they will once again begin to act.”
Do you think the extended and expanded tax credit will solidify our market recovery?
“Certainly the increased activity that we’ve had in the lower end market
has been good; but in and of itself it probably will not create a
market-wide recovery. To have a market- wide recovery, we have to be able to engage the move-up buyer. We have to remind the move-up buyer that now may be the best time in our history to step up to the higher priced homes.
The fact is, you probably have never gotten as much value, thanks to
interest rates current affordability. Six months to a year from now, we
probably won’t be able to say the same. We are certainly recognizing that
the tax credit is compelling if a potential buyer is confident in his/her
finances or future employment.”
Why is it such a great time to move-up?
“It’s all about the power of leverage. The fact is that in most markets,
inventory is very low in the entry priced home range. So buyers in that
market are often competing against other buyers for the same home making it more of a seller’s market. However, it is a buyer’s market in the
mid-level and upper end markets so you truly get the best of both worlds
when you choose to move-up.”
There is a lot of talk about the impact of inflation. Do you think people
should be concerned about it?
“Certainly people need to be aware that inflation is very likely. The
government has devoted a great deal of money to stimulate our economy and in order to strengthen our dollar over time, more than likely we will see higher interest rates which will mean less buying power for a home buyer.
But it all goes back to maximizing your opportunities now, in today’s
market. For those who have been successful in their lifetime, they were
always looking at the opportunity, today. In real estate, in order to do
so, you must sell where the market segment is strong and buy where the
market segment is weak. Today that opportunity resides with the move-up buyer.
“Another important fact to note is how advantageous interest rates are
right now. Some buyers are able to qualify for 30-year fixed mortgages at
Do you think we’ve hit bottom?
“I think in many communities we probably have hit bottom. We are seeing statistical evidence of it in the average sale price and in the number of
homes sold. Interestingly (and I think this may be contrary to what most
people believe), the communities that may have hit bottom are not
necessarily those that were hardest hit by foreclosures. The communities
that are strongest today are those that are clearly most desirable. When
the market gets soft, the people who in previous markets couldn’t afford
their first choice market had to settle for their second or third choices.
But thanks to the opportunities in today’s market, they are better able to
buy into their first choice communities and neighborhoods. It goes back to supply and demand. Those communities that have good schools, good local economies, diverse activities and, overall, are just considered more desirable places to live, are once again driving demand.”
What do you recommend to today’s home buyer?
“Buyers need to understand right now that the market is a little
schizophrenic. You know it is probably the time to buy and you also know
that the market has been challenged. But you may see that in certain
markets, we’ve had lower prices and decreasing numbers of available homes for sale. In that type of area, you might expect to get a lower price than a year ago. But you also need to realize that the market is picking up and that in many markets, we’ve probably hit bottom. For example, if you want to be where the best schools, best hiking trails and best parks are, that will probably be where the best recoveries are likely to occur. To
properly ride the wave, you should find the houses where people want to
be. The problem is that if you wait a year, you’re probably going to run
up against a lot of challenges: increased interest rates, increased buyer
demand, and lower available housing inventory. The combination of those
factors is what is creating more urgency in the more desirable markets
What do you anticipate for real estate in 2010?
“What we’re going to see in 2010 is probably the more desirable
neighborhoods seeing a modest increase in sales price and a decrease in
the number of homes on the market. I predict that we are going to see an
overall stabilization in the marketplace. We are probably going to see on
the whole a slight increase of the average sales price of homes. We’re
probably going to see a stabilization of the market. We probably won’t
ever return to the sales levels of 2005 and 2006 because so many of those
sales were artificially created. Fortunately, I believe that we are now on
the right path toward modest, sustainable growth.”
When will the luxury market begin its turnaround?
“We should see a slight turnaround of the luxury housing market in 2010.
We believe that it will be the last market to turnaround. It was the last
market to experience a turn down and it will probably be the last market
to experience an upturn. As business and the economy strengthen, we’ll
once again see a more robust luxury market.
“The bottom line is there is a lot to be confident about in relation to
the housing market: the tax credit; attractive interest rates; buyer
demand in the entry level market; opportunities in the move-up buyer
market; and sustainable growth. It all adds up to what we anticipate to be
a very productive 2010.”
If you would like more information about the opportunities that are
available in today’s housing market, please contact me today.
Today’s post looks at overall activity for Menlo Park from Oct 2008 to Oct 2009. The post also takes a look at overall data and sales data reported to the Multiple Listing Service in the Willows and Allied Arts Area.
For the city overall, data reported to our Multiple Listing Service indicates that the average sales price was $1,273,000 in Oct 2008 versus $1,337,000 in October 2009. As of October 31, 2009 there were 2.8 months supply of inventory although days on market had increased to 58. (Note this data is informational only and may not be completely accurate as sales not reported to the MLS are not reflected)
The Willows/O’Conner area of Menlo Park did not have any sales reported in Oct 2008 but the average sales price reported to the MLS was $954,000 in November 2008 versus an average sales price of $1,056,000 in October 2009. As of October 31, 2009, there were 1.8 months supply of inventory with average days on market reported at 29 days.
Allied Arts/Downtown data indicates an average sales price in Oct 2008 of $1,478,000 versus $1,585,000 in Oct 2009. As of October 31, 2009, there were 2.3 months supply of inventory with average days on market reported at 52 days.
Low interest rates combined with tax incentives have lead to a very active year. If you are thinking of entering the market, it is important to meet with a mortgage professional early in the search and get preapproved particularly in the entry level price ranges as we are seeing multiple offers for well priced properties. It is also important to educate yourself about the different “micro markets” that comprise the San Francisco Peninsula real estate market.
As we approach the end of the year, many items such as the first-time homebuyer tax credit are receiving a great deal of attention in the press. I recently received this email update which shed some light on the impact of this tax credit on the housing market:
“It’s On The Table!
There’s no question that the government’s first-time homebuyer tax credit has spurred a significant amount of sales this year. Latest estimates show that some 400,000 additional sales occurred this year due to the first time home buyer tax credit, which is about 8% of all sales this year.
In the latest news, The Senate has reached a compromise on extending and expanding the $8,000 tax credit for first-time home buyers. While its passage remains uncertain, this plan would extend the existing credit for first-time homebuyers, worth up to $8,000, while offering a new credit of up to $6,500 for some existing homeowners. The reduced credit would be available to homeowners who have been in their current residence for a consecutive five-year period in the past eight years. Lawmakers in Washington also raised the qualifying income limits to $125,000 for single taxpayers and $250,000 for joint taxpayers, from the current $75,000 and $150,000. Under the Senate compromise, buyers must have sales agreements in hand by April 30, but they will have until June 30 to go to settlement, said the sources. The measure still faces votes in the full Senate and the House.
The U.S. Senate won’t vote until next week at the earliest. As soon as they do we intend to create a piece that will allow you to communicate the news to your clients.
This week, Business Week reported “The broad improvement in the housing indicators in recent months leaves no doubt that the long-awaited housing recovery is finally under way.” The article went on to report: “Policy alone cannot explain the 24% gain in existing home sales since January, nor the 22% increase in new-home purchases, the 40% rise in single-family housing starts, and the recent upturn in home prices. The primary driver is historically high affordability. Fixed 30-year mortgage rates are at 5%, a multi-decade low, and prices have plunged a total of 30% since May 2006, based on the Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller Home Price Index. By that price gauge, homes are well undervalued relative to both rents and aftertax income.”
Source: Rick Turley, President, San Francisco Bay Area Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage.
The final vote has yet to take place. More to follow.
Today’s post takes a look at active inventory and pending sales recorded by our Multiple Listing Service as of today’s date. Currently there are 60 active single family home listings in San Carlos. As of today, our MLS indicates 33 pending sales for single family residences. (Class 1). The pending sales range in list price from $378,888 to $2,990,000. The median list price among the pendings is $875,000. The average list price for these pending sales is $994,321. (The final sales price is not known until these transactions close escrow). Once again it is important to note that averages are just that: averages.
My email inbox contained the following market update concerning the overall San Francisco Bay Area Real Estate Market which includes our Peninsula Real Estate Market:
“Yes, the housing market has rarely looked better.”
That was the headline in a September 2 Wall Street Journal article. Click here to access it: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204047504574386802310702622.html. This was a really interesting piece which looked at numbers from Standard & Poor’s and NAR. Following is an excerpt from the article:
“Last week, Standard & Poor’s reported that its S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price index of real-estate values increased this past quarter over the first quarter of 2009, the first quarter-on-quarter increase in three years. Its index of 20 major cities also rose for the three months ended June 30 over the three months ended May 31, with only hard-hit Detroit and Las Vegas experiencing declines. The week before that, the National Association of Realtors reported that sales volume of existing homes was up 7.2% in July from June.
In short, the data suggest that real-estate prices hit a bottom some time during the second quarter, and have now begun to rise. There’s no way to be certain that this marks the end of the long, painful correction that followed the real-estate bubble, but clearly prices are no longer in free-fall. That means if you’ve been sitting on the fence, it’s time to act.
Ordinarily I’d never try to time the real-estate market, but I can understand why buyers have been cautious. Few want to buy in down markets, just as stock buyers avoid bear markets. And for most people, of course, buying a house is a much bigger decision than buying a stock. But with real-estate prices nationally now down about 30% from their 2006 peak and showing signs of turning up, the prices aren’t likely to go much lower. Every real-estate market is local, and so there may be a few exceptions. Overall, though, I can’t imagine a better time to buy than now.”
Although I’ve been sharing this view for quite some time, it is nice to see the preceding quote from the Wall Street Journal, and to hear someone from the media say that it’s a great time to buy”
Source: Rick Turley, President San Francisco Bay Area Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage.
For those first time buyers who may be sitting on the fence, the federal tax credit for first time home buyers currently applies only to those transactions that close by November 30, 2009. (See tax advisor for qualifying criteria). It may very well be time to get off the fence.
Looking for a five bedroom home with four and one-half baths? Look no furthur than 547 Exeter Way in San Carlos Ca open this Sunday September 13 from 1;30 to 4:00 p.m. Features include: Formal DR, Formal LR, Family Room, Upstairs Play Area, and Private Master Bedroom Suite with Private Den/Office Attached. Included in the five bedrooms is a separate Au Pair or Guest Room. Wonderful San Carlos location makes this a must see for those San Francisco Peninsula home buyers looking for quality and space. Listed for $1,095,000. Come by and take a look!