Burlingame Real Estate - June 2012

Raziel Ungar

July 18th, 2012 - 4 min read
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June 2012 - Fitting End to a Strong First Half of 2012

June 2012 was a good encapsulation of the trends we saw in the first half of 2012 in the Burlingame real estate market. Details are below, but in summary, sales are up, homes are selling quickly, inventory is way down, expired/cancelled listings are down 50%, prices are firm to rising,  and many homes are selling above asking prices.

Bidding Wars Continue

We continue to see many homes sold with multiple offers and offers above asking prices. In June 2012, about 2/3 of homes that sold did so for more than their list price.  This is especially prevalent in the lower end of the market, where well-priced homes in desirable locations are sometimes getting 5 to 10 offers. The chart below shows the average monthly sales price to list price ratio.  When the ratio is above 100%, then it implies the average sale is above the final asking price. There has been an uncharacteristic spike above 100% in the last few months. The ratio in June 2012 was 103.0%.

This data shows we are in a seller's market and that prices are/will be rising.

Sales Activity Strong Through June

Sales activity continued to be robust in Burlingame in June 2012, with 37 homes sold.  In fact, while we have seen months with 35 or 36 sales, 37 is the highest monthly total in at least eight years! Through the first six months of the year, there have been 122 homes sold, up from 105 homes sold in the same period in 2011. Even if sales moderate in the second half of the year, we should still see the most number of transactions since 2006.

The heightened level of sales is even more impressive when one considers that the inventory of unsold homes remains low. At the end of June 2012, there were about 30 homes for sale. Last year at this time there were 50 homes and halfway through 2010 there were 77 homes on the market. Without a continued flow of new listings, sales activity will be limited in the next few months. April and May saw a lot of new properties listed, perhaps a sign that sellers are beginning to realize how advantageous the market is right now. June was a bit more subdued, with only 29 homes listed. For sellers that have been sitting on the fence the current market represents an opportunity to sell their house for potentially the highest price they would have likely received in the past 2 to 4 years.

Even with the new listings, the market is still inventory constrained. It can remain constrained even if inventory rises through the summer. The summer months are the most active for real estate transactions. Listings, sales and inventory are typically the highest during this time period, as many buyers and sellers are looking to move without disrupting their children's school schedules.

Signs of Upward Price Pressure

Often when people compare prices between two different time periods they first look at median or average selling values. While those are great metrics for looking long-term, they can be very unreliable in the short-term. The reason is that in a relatively small area like Burlingame, changes in the median and average selling values over a six month period will be driven more by what type of homes happen to be listing/selling rather than changes in the fundamental values of homes. For example, if a lot of homes are selling in the more modestly priced areas like Lyon-Hoag and Burlingame Village then it could bring down the average, even if the price of those homes are rising.  Likewise, if say a lot of large homes are selling, then it might bring up the average price, even if those homes were selling for less than they did in the past.

When we look at median and average selling prices, it appears they hit bottom in early 2011, with firm to rising prices since then. But, the average size of a home sold in Burlingame in 2012 has been about 2,000 square feet, approximately 100 square feet smaller than in prior years. 100 square feet might not sound like a lot, but at $600 per square foot, that is $60,000. That amounts to a $60,000 headwind for the average and median prices.

The average price per square foot can do a better job, especially in the short-term, at measuring changes in selling values. That metric is clearly pointing upward. The average over the past year has been $626, the highest since October 2009! That may even be understating the situation a bit. In each of the past four months, the average price per square foot has been at or above $626.  We have not seen a streak at that level since the beginning of 2009/end of 2008.

Recent Home Sales in Burlingame

This is a selection of Burlingame real estate sales from June 2012, sorted by area of Burlingame.

One theme we are noticing is the strength in the lower end of the market. All of the sub $1 million listings that sold do so for at least or more than their list price. All sold in under 20 days. Many sold in less than a week. One notable example was on 802 Morrell Avenue in Burlingame Gardens. This 2 Bed, 1 Bath, 1,080 square foot home was listed for $648,000, but sold in 8 days for $727,000, 12% above asking price (and an extra $79,000 for the sellers!).

There are eager buyers across all price ranges. The first home on this list is a 5 Bed, 3 Bath, 3,580 home on 1610 Chapin in Burlingame Park that sold for $166,000 above asking in less than 2 weeks.

One other thing to note as you look through the list, is that across the board, the days on market is very low, often less than 2 weeks. With the exceptions of a few homes that languished on the market, and those that do not sell, homes that are selling are doing so very quickly. Serious buyers need to continually stay up-to-date on what is in the market, and be willing to act decisively if the right property is listed. For example, think of a buyer looking in the Burlingables neighborhood. Three homes sold in June...all of them in less than a week! In this market, checking in on what is for-sale every Sunday might mean that you miss your opportunity, so it's important you have the right Realtor monitoring the market for you.

By The Numbers - Burlingame Real Estate for June 2012

Current Month YTD Total or Average
June 2011 June 2012 Jan - June 2011 Jan - June 2012
Sales 34 37 105 122
Days on Market 28 29 33 33
Months of Supply 1.5 0.8 2.8 1.8
Average Price $1,301,000 $1,347,000 $1,261,743 $1,304,556
Median Price $1,280,000 $1,300,000 $1,235,181 $1,199,074
Avg $ per Sq Ft $574 $676 $588 $649

Thinking of buying or selling a home in Burlingame?

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

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