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San Mateo Real Estate - July 2012

August 18th, 2012

Sixth Month of Selling Values Above List Prices

The average ratio of selling price to list price in the San Mateo real estate market continues to be over 100%, particularly for a town with over 20 distinct neighborhoods and a population of around 90,000 people. It was 102% in July 2012, the fifth straight month above 100%. For the year, the ratio is the highest since 2005, in the middle of the last boom in real estate prices.

This is a hugely positive sign for sellers and a strong indication that many properties are receiving offers from multiple buyers. It is a sign that prices are poised to rise. We are seeing similar experiences in other Peninsula communities like Burlingame and San Carlos.

Inventory Remains at Historically Low Levels

Inventory levels remain very low. There were less than 70 homes for sale in San Mateo at the end of July 2012. At the end of July 2011 there were 169 homes for sale and in July 2010 there were over 200 homes on the market. Along with a strong local economy, the lack of inventory is a main driver of the multiple offers we are seeing.  There are not enough listings to go around for all of the buyers out there....

Sales Activity Continues to be Strong

Here is a neat fact. Every single month in 2012 has seen a higher number of sales than in the corresponding month in 2011. The trend held up in July 2012, when there were 63 homes sold, as compared to 53 sales in July 2011. Through the first seven months of 2012, there have been 417 homes sold, as compared to 328 homes sold in the first seven months of 2011. At the current rate, we could see 700 homes sold in San Mateo for the first time since 2006. There hasn't even been more than 600 homes sold in a year since 2006. Sales activity reached a low of 476 in 2008. Higher sales have been a contributing factor to lower inventory. Another factor is that there have been fewer new listings. In 2011, new listings were down seven percent from 2010. So far in 2012, they are down another six percent.

Prices Appear to Be Rising, Ever So Slightly

We are starting to see some nascent signs of price increases in the San Mateo market. The 12 months moving average price per square foot is at its highest since March 2011, while average prices are the highest since May 2011, and median prices are clocking in at the highest since February 2012. As you can see from the chart below, the data does not support a sharp increase in price, but we believe that with buyers bidding above asking prices that is likely to change. How can we be so confident? Well, 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 their read of the market is. If selling values are above list prices then this suggests that selling values are above past comps, hence prices are rising.

We will continue to monitor selling values and see if price trends end up confirming our hypothesis about rising price levels.

By The Numbers - San Mateo Real Estate for 2012

Current Month YTD Total or Average
July 2011 July 2012 Jan - Jul 2011 Jan - Jul 2012
Sales 53 63 328 417
Days on Market 47 21 49 37
Months of Supply 3.2 1.0 3.4 1.3
Average Price $889,000 $985,000 $834,689 $863,293
Median Price $785,000 $825,000 $742,159 $748,465

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.