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San Carlos Real Estate - July 2012

August 18th, 2012

Homes Selling Quickly in San Carlos

The average days on market for homes selling in the San Carlos real estate market was 17 days in July 2012. In the past three months it has averaged just under 3 weeks, down from about 1 month in 2011. The average days on market measures the amount of time a home spends on the market before it is sold. While not all homes end up selling, those that do are going quickly. Keep in mind that 17 days was the average time spent on the market. Many homes were listed and then sold in 10 days or less. Buyers interested in San Carlos need to 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.

Third Month of Selling Values Above List Prices

For the third straight month, the average ratio of selling price to list price in the San Carlos real estate market was above 100%. While the ratio was not as high as the prior two months it is still 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. We are seeing similar experiences in other Peninsula communities like Burlingame and San Mateo.

Market Still Very Inventory Constrained

One of the likely drivers of offers above asking prices is the extremely low inventory rates. At the end of July 2012 there were about 30 unsold homes on the market. Last there at this time, there were 65 homes for sale! That means that each buyer has about half as many homes from which to choose and each seller has half as much competition from other listed homes. With strong buyer demand driven by a healthy local economy and favorable interest rates, there just isn't enough supply to go around, leading to the aforementioned offers above asking.

Sales Up in 2012

One of the driving factors in the inventory decline has been a rise in sales. In the first seven months of 2012, there were 190 homes sold, as compared to 164 homes sold in the first seven months of 2011. That is an increase of 16%. At the current rate, we are on pace for 300 homes sold in San Carlos for the first time since 2005. Sales reached a nadir in 2009 when there were 236 transactions.

Another positive note for sellers is that a higher percentage of homes are being sold. So far in 2012, 30 homes have had their listing expire or cancelled, as compared to 70 homes expiring or being cancelled in the first seven months of 2011. Not all of these cases represent a failure to sell. Sometimes sellers have a change of heart or change of plans. But, it is a good proxy for how successful sellers are.

Few Signs of Price Appreciation, Yet

Our normal measure of price levels, average price, median price and average price per square foot, show no solid signs of increase yet when we look at the 12 month moving average. Some of the recent upward movement in the average and median price levels are due to bigger homes being sold. The price per square foot is flat when looking at a 12 month moving average. However, the past two months has seen an average price per square foot above $570 in both months. That had not happened since beginning of 2010. We will have to wait a few more months to see if the trend holds.   We would not be surprised to see some price appreciate. The reason is that most sellers set their asking prices based on past comps, maybe a little higher or a little lower depending on how motivated they are to sell or what is their read of the market. If selling values are above list prices (as they have been the past few months) then this suggests that selling values are above past comps, hence prices are rising.

By The Numbers - San Carlos Real Estate for 2012

Current Month YTD Total or Average
July 2011 July 2012 Jan - Jul 2011 Jan - Jul 2012
Sales 31 27 164 190
Days on Market 46 17 30 32
Months of Supply 2.1 1.2 2.8 1.1
Average Price $894,000 $1,015,000 $955,555 $1,012,026
Median Price $902,000 $984,000 $932,421 $950,458

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.