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San Mateo Real Estate - September 2012

October 14th, 2012

Buyers Continue to Bid Against Each Other

The average ratio of selling price to list price in the San Mateo real estate market continues to be over 100%. It was 102% in September 2012, the eighth straight month above 100%. Prior to this streak, the last time the ratio went above 100% was in late 2007. We are in the midst of a seller's market as buyers compete for a dwindling supply of inventory. The San Mateo real estate market is also benefitting from historically low interest rates and one of the strongest local economies in the nation, with robust job growth.

The average selling price to list price ratio measures how much the average home sold for relative to the asking price. A ratio above 100% means that the average sale is for more than the list price (though even in this market many homes still sell for less than their asking price, as some sellers price too far ahead of the market).

Price Levels Seen Rising

Given that most homes are priced relative to recent comps, when buyers are willing to pay more than the asking price it is a sign that prices are rising. We are seeing solid signs of price increases in the San Mateo market. The 12 months moving average price per square foot, median selling value and average selling value are all at their highest since December 2010. The data suggests prices have risen somewhere around 5-10%, though depending on the specific neighborhood/home price increases can be more or less than that.

While the market is recovering, there is still a long way to go to match the peak selling values seen in 2006/2007.  Homes sold in the last four months have had average price per square feet in the $500-$525 range. In all of 2011, the average price per square feet was $472. In 2006, the average price per square feet was $627.

Sales Activity Slow in September

Through the first nine months of 2012, there have been 527 homes sold in San Mateo, up from 467 homes sold in the first nine months of 2011. However, in September 2012 there were only 46 homes sold, as compared to 75 transactions one year prior. The slowdown in sales activity mirrors a broader San Mateo County trend. The reason is a lack of available homes for sale, not a sign of weakened buyer demand.

In the first nine months of 2012, there have been 60 more homes sold and 45 fewer new listings brought onto the market. This has pushed down the inventory of for-sale homes to near record low levels. On average, there have been 81 unsold homes on the market at the end of the month in 2012 in San Mateo. Last year, the average monthly inventory was 150 homes. Prospective buyers have many fewer homes from which to choose.

Homes that are listed are more likely to sell and more likely to sell quickly. The number of expired or cancelled listings are down 31% as more sellers find willing buyers. Some sellers may be pulling their home off the market as they expect prices to rise further. The average days on market that a sold home spends listed has been 35 days in 2012, about 2 weeks faster than prior years. Desirable, newly listed homes are selling even quicker, often in two week or less. Eager buyers need to continually monitor what is coming onto the market or else miss out on a large chunk of listings.

By The Numbers - San Mateo Real Estate for 2012

Current Month YTD Total or Average
September 2011 September 2012 Jan - Sep 2011 Jan - Sep 2012
Sales 75 46 467 527
Days on Market 46 35 48 35
Months of Supply 1.9 1.1 3.0 1.4
Average Price $730,000 $910,000 $803,666 $866,793
Median Price $635,000 $863,000 $714,101 $772,328
Avg $ per Sq Ft $453 $514 $467 $497

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.