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San Carlos Real Estate - September 2012

October 24th, 2012

Prices Moving Upward

Prices are rising in the San Carlos real estate market. The classic measures of price levels, average price, median price and average price per square foot, show signs of increases when we look at the 12 month moving average.

The 12 month moving average sales price has crossed $1,000,000 for the first time since April 2009, and is up 6.5% in the past year. The 12 month moving average price per square foot is up to $558, the highest since the middle of 2009. In the last four months, the average price per square foot has been above $570 each month, averaging nearly $600.  The annual average has been below $550 each of the last three years, so this is a clear sign of price appreciation. September 2012 was quite impressive with an average price per square foot of $645. It is the first month above $600 since September 2008.

Buyers continue to bid above asking prices. For the fifth straight month, the average ratio of selling price to list price in the San Carlos real estate market was above 100%. This is a positive sign for sellers and a strong indication that many properties are receiving offers from multiple buyers. The last time we saw ratios continually above 100% was in 2007. It is a sign that prices are poised to rise further. We are seeing similar experiences in other Peninsula communities like Burlingame and San Mateo.

The reason for multiple buyers bidding above asking prices is two-fold. A strong local economy, historically low interest rates and a general rising optimism in the real estate market has contributed to buyer demand. These buyers have had to compete for a dwindling supply of inventory. The inventory of unsold homes as of September 2012 in San Carlos was 27 homes, down from 55 homes in September 2011. More buyers and fewer sellers has led to a disequilibrium in demand and supply.

With fewer homes on the market, new listings are selling quickly. The average days on market for homes selling in the San Carlos real estate market has been less than 3 weeks in each of the past four months. We have not seen homes selling this quickly since the middle of 2006. Keep in mind that 17-20 days is the average time spent on the market. Many homes were listed and then sold in 10 days or less. Buyers interested in San Carlos should actively follow new listings. Some homes are even sold just a day or two after listing. In cases like that, it is advantageous to already be working with a Realtor who often knows what homes are going to be coming onto the market. Otherwise, prospective buyers may find themselves missing out on new listings and/or being in situations where they have to make a quick offer.

While not all homes end up selling, sellers are much more successful this year. Through the first nine months of 2012, 39 sellers have had their listings expire or were cancelled (taken off the market). Not all of these sellers were unable to sell their home, some of them changed their plans and decided not to sell. Last year at this time, more than twice as many listings, 88, had expired or were cancelled.

Sales Up in 2012, But September Slower

In the first nine months of 2012, there have been 238 homes sold, as compared to 217 homes sold in the first nine months of 2011. Sales have been steadily picking up since reaching a bottom in 2009 with 236 total transactions. September 2012 was a relatively slow month with 18 homes sold, down from 26 homes sold in September 2011. This mirrors a broader San Mateo County trend. This is due to the lack of available inventory, not a lack of buyer demand.

By The Numbers - San Carlos Real Estate for 2012

Current Month YTD Total or Average
September 2011 September 2012 Jan - Sep 2011 Jan - Sep 2012
Sales 26 18 217 238
Days on Market 46 18 32 29
Months of Supply 2.1 1.5 2.6 1.2
Average Price $896,000 $993,000 $957,309 $1,037,336
Median Price $830,000 $1,052,000 $928,558 $988,366
Avg $ per Sq Ft $546 $645 $548 $566

Thinking of buying or selling a home in San Carlos?

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