San Mateo Real Estate - February 2012

Raziel Ungar

February 29th, 2012 - 2 min read
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Sales Pace Ahead of 2011

In 2011, sales were at their highest level since 2006 in the City of San Mateo. Through the first two months of 2012, sales activity has been even higher (with 68 homes sold versus 64 in the first two months of 2011). Sales were up at the same time that the number of new listings is down.  Homes that end up selling in San Mateo (and around 1/4 do not sell) do so in about two months on average; some faster and some slower. Looking at the past four months, there have been 196 homes listed, versus 229 in the same period in 2010/2011.

Not surprisingly, with fewer listings and more sales, inventory declined. While inventory typically falls in the winter months, it has been exceptionally low. At the end of each of the last three months, inventory has been less than 100 homes, which has not happened since the beginning of 2007. Less inventory often puts upward pressure on home prices as each buyer has to compete for fewer homes.

Recent Price Signals Stronger than 2011

Average selling values, median selling values and average prices per square feet all fell about five percent in 2011. However, in recent months, these declines appear to have stopped. The 12 month moving average trend lines in the chart below all show flat or upward movement in the past few months.

Although it is just one month, February 2012 had a positive sign for potential future price appreciation in the City of San Mateo real estate market. The sales price to list price ratio was above 100 (though just barely at 100.2), for the first time since September 2007. What this means is that on average, the buyers were bidding above asking prices. While one month does not make a trend and the ratio can get skewed by sellers taking their home off the market and then re-listing at a different price, it is still meaningful when it moves above or below 100. In the boom years of 2004, 2005 and 2006, the ratio was above 100 nearly every single month. In recent years, the ratio has been in the 97-99% range, suggesting sellers were having to drop prices slightly to attract buyers.

We will have to take a wait-and-see approach for the next couple of months to know for sure, but when you factor in rising sales, fewer listings, less inventory, no longer declining prices and sales price to list price ratios above 100, it suggests movement towards more of a buyer's market in San Mateo.

Thinking of buying or selling a home in San Mateo?

If you're interested in learning more about the San Mateo real estate market, considering selling your home in San Mateo, or thinking about moving to San Mateo, please drop me a line and I'd love to connect with you.

By The Numbers - San Mateo Real Estate for 2012

Current Month YTD Total or Average
February 2011 February 2012 Jan - Feb 2011 Jan - Feb 2012
Sales 32 33 64 68
Days on Market 51 55 63 57
Months of Supply 4.5 2.2 4.4 2.4
Average Price $717,000 $753,000 $692,000 $818,368
Median Price $595,000 $650,000 $615,500 $662,868
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