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Burlingame Real Estate - September 2012

October 14th, 2012

Home Prices Continued Upward Advance

Recent data on home prices in the Burlingame real estate market suggest that selling values continue to rise. September 2012 was no exception to the rule. The median selling price was $1.37 million and the average selling price was $1.52 million, the highest monthly figures in over 30 months. The average price per square foot was $694, the highest monthly total in over four years. If the market were able to sustain these selling values, we would be very close to the peak levels seen in late 2007.

While we are not quite there yet (one month is not enough data), September is a continuation of the trend of increasing prices that we have seen in the Burlingame market since the second half of 2011.

In the first nine months of 2012, the average price per square foot has been $655, up nearly 10% from just under $600 in 2011. Looking at the longer view of average price per square feet, the peak was reached in 2007 at $703. Prices dipped to just under $600 in 2010 and 2011. About half of the ground has been made up between the bottom and the peak. However, we are probably even a little closer to the top. In the past five months the average price per square foot has been $670.

A sign that prices may continue is rise is that buyers are still competing with each other and bidding above asking prices, sometimes significantly. The ratio of sales price to list price has been above 100% in each of the last eight months, meaning that on average, homes have sold for more than their final list price. Many of the best homes are selling with 4-8 offers and often with no contingencies, something not observed at this rate of frequency since at least 3 years ago.

Burlingame real estate is benefitting from a couple of factors, some similar to other parts of the country, some unique to our local region. The general positive factors are historically low interest rates, a modest economic recovery and greater consumer optimism about real estate after a number of tough years. What is unique to Burlingame and surrounding areas is that we are experiencing a mini job boom. Nationally, job growth is running at an annual rate of 1%-2%, which is good, but not great. In the San Francisco/San Mateo area, job growth is closer to 4%, the highest of any major Metro area. Santa Clara/San Jose is no slouch at 3%+. Robust job growth and a relatively fixed supply of local housing is putting upward pressure on home prices.

Sales Activity Healthy Again in September

There were 18 homes sold in Burlingame in September 2012, down slightly from September 2011. Through the first nine months of the year, there have been 199 homes sold, up from 173 homes sold in the same period in 2011. The Burlingame real estate market will probably fall just short of 250 sales, but we should easily see the most sales since 266 homes were sold in 2006.

Future sales activity will be limited by the amount of inventory on the market. In 2012, the inventory of unsold homes has been running about 1/3 lower than in 2011. There are always some homes that stay on the market for a long time due unique features or unrealistic sellers. "Standard" offerings are selling very quickly. In September 2012, the average days on market for homes sold was 17 days! Many homes sold in less than 10 days.

Recent Home Sales in Burlingame

Below is a selection of recent Burlingame real estate sales, sorted by area of Burlingame.

These listings really show how quickly homes are selling. Of the 24 homes that sold, all but two sold in less than 35 days. Thirteen sold in less than two weeks! Once you factor in the time to actually see a home and then make an offer, buyers who do a weekly or bi-weekly scan of the inventory will miss the majority of homes that end up selling. In an already constrained market, those buyers will be frustrated. It's important to have the right Realtor monitoring the market for you. A few days or even few hours can really make all the difference.

Look at Easton Addition for example. In September alone, three homes sold in less than five days. A prospective buyer that was checking the market every 2 or 3 days would have missed out on half of the homes sold in the area this month.

There are many notable sales. 611 Bayswater in Lyon-Hoag went for more than $200,000 above the asking price. The 4 bed, 3.5 bath home sold for $1,695,611 just 10 days after being listed for $1,468,888, a strong number for a busier street, despite it being a newer home.  At $606 per square foot, the selling price was right in line with what we are seeing for selling values in Lyon-Hoag in 2012.  The list price worked out to $525 per square foot, which happened to be the level seen in 2011. So if you want an encapsulation of what has happened from 2011 to 2012 in this neighborhood (and Burlingame as a whole) look at the difference between the list and sales price of homes in Lyon-Hoag.

Not all homes sell for greater than the list price. Sellers see prices rising and homes attracting multiple offers, so instead of pricing in line with recent comps they often price higher assuming that is where the market is going. Even in a market where multiple bids are the norm and the average difference between the sales price and list price is positive, nearly half of the recent sales were below list price. Savvy buyers advised properly by their Realtor can save tens of thousands by knowing which homes are priced too far ahead of the market.

By The Numbers - Burlingame Real Estate for September 2012

Current Month YTD Total or Average
September 2011 September 2012 Jan - Sep 2011 Jan - Sep 2012
Sales 20 18 173 199
Days on Market 49 17 37 32
Months of Supply 2.2 2.1 2.6 1.6
Average Price $1,063,000 $1,516,000 $1,264,017 $1,342,327
Median Price $1,000,000 $1,370,000 $1,244,751 $1,245,457
Avg $ per Sq Ft $614 $694 $598 $655

Thinking of buying or selling a home in Burlingame?

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