San Mateo Real Estate Market Update September 2011 - Strong Sales

Raziel Ungar

Raziel Ungar

October 15th, 2011 - 2 min read

Now for the latest in San Mateo real estate: 65 homes sold in San Mateo in September 2011. That is a lot of sales for September; in 2010 only 41 homes closed escrow for the month. We have to go back to 2005 to find a more active September. Through the first nine months of the year, there have been 454 homes sold, up five percent from the same period last year.

At the same time that sales have increased, new listings have fallen. For the year, eight percent fewer homes have been for sale in San Mateo. The combination of more sales and fewer listings has driven inventory down sharply, which has been frustrating for many eager buyers looking to take advantage of the excellent interest rates. At the end of September, there were 111 single family homes for sale in San Mateo, which is the lowest September total since 2005. Last year at this time, there were 193 homes on the market. A common measure of inventory is to look at the months of supply, which measures how long it would take to sell the current inventory at the most recent sales rate. In September it was just 1.7 months, which is indicative of a very tight supply. It has regularly been above three months in San Mateo, and the entire county is currently just at three months of inventory. This is an important statistic considering that San Mateo has much wider price diversity than nearby Burlingame and San Mateo, with homes selling from as low as $400,000 to as high as $2.8 million, so it means with that low supply it's fair to infer that both ends of the market are doing well.

Price levels appear steady, though the data may be showing some softening that we have not seen in other Peninsula markets, like Burlingame or San Carlos. Prices per square foot in San Mateo have averaged $465 in the first nine months of 2011, as compared to just under $500 in the same period in 2010. A decline of 7% may seem like a lot, but could be evidence of lower quality homes in less desirable parts of San Mateo being sold, rather than actual declines in selling values.

A continued counterpoint to the notion of softening is that we do not see evidence of sellers dropping prices on a widespread basis. The sale price divided by list price has averaged 99% in 2011, meaning that homes sold for about 99% of their asking price. This is both a strong number and on par for the normal rate in San Mateo for the past few years.

With inventory so constrained in San Mateo, this points to firm pricing relative to overall market trends. In other words, we would not expect San Mateo prices to decline more or increase less than neighboring areas.

As San Mateo has multiple micro-markets, with price levels ranging from $450,000 to over $2 million in the San Mateo Park and Baywood areas, stay tuned for our neighborhood specific market updates which we will feature on a monthly rotating basis. The next San Mateo neighborhood updates will be released in November.

By The Numbers - San Mateo September 2011

Current Month YTD Total or Average
September 2010 September 2011 Jan - Sep 2010 Jan - Sep 2011
Sales 41 65 434 454
Days on Market 61 48 41 48
Months of Supply 4.7 1.7 3.6 2.9
Average Price $804,000 $734,000 $869,613 $807,861
Median Price $720,000 $630,000 $756,325 $722,209


See below for all of the latest real estate market updates:

San Mateo County Belmont Burlingame and neighborhoods (Burlingame GroveBurlingame HillsBurlingame VillageEaston AdditionMills EstatesRay ParkTerrace) Foster City Hillsborough and neighborhoods (Upper Hillsborough, Tobin Clark Estate, Lower Hillsborough) Redwood City Redwood Shores San Carlos San Mateo

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