Los Altos #1 in average list price

Posted on January 15, 2013 by  
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U.S. home prices have begun to rebound in the past year. And in the most expensive markets, where the average home sells for well over $1 million, recoveries are among the strongest, increasing between 20% and 50% in most cases.

According to a recent analysis, there are at least 10 U.S. cities where the average listing price for a home in the first six months of this year exceeded $1.2 million.

The majority of these cities are on or near the California coast. For example, in Los Altos, homes sold in the first half of the year averaged a $1.7 million price tag.

These expensive markets are concentrated around the tech industry, which has remained strong throughout the recession. As a result, most of these cities and suburbs are near the heart of Silicon Valley.

Income in the expensive housing markets is among the highest in the country. According to U.S. Census Bureau data, median household income in these cities far exceeds the U.S. median income by at least $20,000. In Los Altos, the median income is nearly triple the U.S. figure of $51,914.

Two cities outside California are on the top 10 list, one of which isn’t even the continental U.S.

Based on the published data, 24/7 Wall St. identified the country’s most expensive cities for buying a home. Homes in these cities had the highest average listing price between January and June of this year. Markets with less than ten four-bedroom, two-bath homes were excluded from the survey.

And now, the Top 10 …


1. Los Altos, CA

Avg. listing price: $1,706,688
Median household income: $149,964
Pct. households $200,000+ income: 43.6%

In Los Altos, the average four-bedroom, two-bathroom home lists for nearly $50,000 more than any other city in the nation. For that price, a buyer could purchase 28 similar homes in Redford, Mich., the nation’s cheapest housing market. In Redford, the average home lists for just $60,490. Currently, asking prices in the San Jose metro area have risen 12.7% year-over-year. This is more than nearly every other metro area in the country.

Carol & I have two new Los Altos homes coming to market in the next week. We also have additional properties that we’ll bring to market in the coming months. If you are thinking about selling in 2013, let us help you get your home ready for market.

2. Newport Beach, CA

Avg. listing price: $1,658,000
Median household income: $107,007
Pct. households $200,000+ income: 37.6%

Located in Southern California, Newport Beach is the 2nd most expensive city to buy a home. Orange County as a whole has a vacancy rate of just 1.5%, among the ten lowest in the nation. Despite a 32.7% drop in home prices from peak to trough during the recession, Orange County’s median price per square foot is $265. This trails only the Honolulu, New York, San Francisco and San Jose metro areas.

3. Saratoga, CA

Avg. listing price: $1,582,434
Median household income: $145,023
Pct. households $200,000+ income: 43.1%

Though home prices in the nearby metro area fell by 25.1% peak-to-trough, Saratoga is yet another example of how the Silicon Valley housing market has recovered. Currently, the median price per square foot for homes in San Jose is $337, more than all housing markets except San Francisco and Honolulu. As of 2010, 43.1% of Saratoga households earned more than $200,000 per year, while 40.9% of adult residents had a graduate degree, versus 10.3% nationwide.

4. Menlo Park, CA

Avg. listing price: $1,506,909
Median household income: $107,860
Pct. households $200,000+ income: 34.9%

Menlo Park is one of just four cities where the average listing price for a four-bedroom home exceeds $1.5 million. As of 2010, the median income in the city was slightly below $108,000. However, the recent Facebook IPO has been a windfall to the area. In June, a real estate listing service reported that the “proportion of million-dollar listings” in Menlo Park — where Facebook is headquartered — rose by 87% between the company’s IPO filing and its first day as a public company.

5. Palo Alto, CA

Avg. listing price: $1,495,364
Median household income: $120,670
Pct. households $200,000+ income: 39.3%

In Palo Alto, 48.7% of adults have a graduate or professional degree — well more than four times the national rate of 10.3%. The city’s proximity to Stanford University, one of the top universities in the nation, may be partly the reason behind the city’s highly educated population. Among the companies headquartered in the city are Hewlett-Packard and Tesla Motors. The city is a large employer of highly skilled employees, as 25.3% of its workers are employed in professional, scientific and management occupations, well above the 10.4% of workers nationwide.

6. Los Gatos, CA

Avg. listing price: $1,444,214
Median household income: $120,971
Pct. households $200,000+ income: 37.5%

Los Gatos is one of several cities near the Los Altos on this list. Like these cities, Los Gatos likely benefits from the overall boom in the local real estate market, which currently has the lowest vacancy rate of all metro areas at just 1%. Currently, a number of unique properties are available in the city, including an 11,000 square feet property with an eight-stall horse barn and a garage that fits 12 cars listed at slightly under $13 million.

7. Rye, NY

Avg. listing price: $1,312,250
Median household income: $146,069
Pct. households $200,000+ income: 53.0%

The average listing price for a four-bedroom home in Rye is more than $1,300,000, or more-than $1 million above the U.S. average. Employees in the often high-paying finance and insurance industries accounted for a 27.8% of employed population in Rye in 2010, well above the 7% average rate nationwide. Among the properties available for sale is a five-bedroom, 7,446 square feet waterfront home for $12.9 million and a 34.2-acre plot of land for $19 million.

8. Kailua, HI

Avg. listing price: $1,238,208
Median household income: $91,082
Pct. households $200,000+ income: 14.7%

Kailua is one of just two cities on this list not located in California. The Oahu Island city is 12 miles northeast of Honolulu, which had a vacancy rate of 2.7% — better than most areas but considerably worse than the other areas on the list. As of October, the median price per square foot for a home in the Honolulu area was $398, more than in any other metro except for San Francisco. A 3/4-acre plot of land, which includes 128 feet of beachfront, is currently for sale for $16 million in Kailua.

9. Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA

Avg. listing price: $1,232,167
Median household income: $74,489
Pct. households $200,000+ income: 18.7%

Carmel-by-the-Sea, a small coastal city in California, is well known for its former mayor, actor Clint Eastwood. Currently, the average four-bedroom, two-bathroom home in the city lists for more than four times the nationwide average listing price of $292,152. One house, despite being not much larger than 2,000 square feet, is currently listed for nearly $4.5 million.

10. San Carlos, CA

Avg. listing price: $1,230,880
Median household income: $110,929
Pct. households $200,000+ income: 30.3%

As of 2010, the median income of households in San Carlos was more than double the U.S. median of $51,914. Over 30% of households in San Carlos earned more than $200,000 per year, more than five times the national rate of 5.4%. Over a twelve-month period, ending in October, it had the nation’s highest median home price per square foot at $473 among all homes listed. In San Francisco, the median age of home inventory was just 45 days as of the third quarter of 2012, lower than in all but seven markets.

 

To get more information about 24/7 Wall St., the original article, or the data they analyzed … click here

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Good News & More Good News

Good News #1 … 2010 is shaping up to be a banner year for real estate in Los Altos.  Comparing the first six months of 2009 with the same time period for 2010, there were 58% more homes sold.  Additionally, we saw an increase in the sales prices of comparative homes year-over-year.

Interestingly, however, the average “days on market” for a home has increased to 87 days.  That is a significant increase for homes which last year were sold in less than 60 days.  So, what gives?

Clearly, lenders are taking a slightly longer to work through the average transaction.  But it’s still feasible to close a transaction in 30-45 days.  Anticipating market demand, for any one home, is still an imperfect science.  However, we have been seeing well priced homes snapped up without dely.

Good News #2 … our last two listing sold in less than a week, and we are confident we can achieve similar results for you.  How did we do it?  We put together an effective plan, executed on that plan in partnership with our clients, and developed an outreach campaign to attract the maximum number of agents and interested buyers.

In all, over 230 Real Estate Agents stop by these two homes on Broker Tour when they first came on the market, in sequential weeks.  Buyer traffic through the properties was consistent from the time 465 Benvenue Ave & 595 Los Altos Ave hit the market.  An average of 270 potential buyers visited each home through open house, while even more buyers came by via private showings.

So, the market remains strong, but inventory is relatively low.  There are a number of buyers looking to move into Los Altos, but they are strategically examining the available options.  With a strong real estate team in place, a seller or buyer could have a tactical advantage, if they utilize the right tools for today’s market.

If you are looking to move into Los Altos, or simply move across town, we are confident that we can help you.  Call us today at 650-823-1434.  We would love the opportunity to earn your business.

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Top 10 Home Sales in Los Altos for 2009

Posted on January 10, 2010 by  
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It is always good to examine where the high-end of our local market has been, to gage the potential price elasticity of market moving forward. Over the past year, the average home in this market sold at a 13% discount off it’s original list price. Here is a summary of the Top 10 Home Sales within Los Altos for 2009 …

#1 … 187 Garland Way

4 Bedrooms in 3,979 sq ft

Listed at $4,150,000

Sold for $3,600,000

When: July 29

Time on Market: 6 months

#2 … 685 Jay Street

4 Bedrooms in 5,441 sq ft

Listed at $3,949,000

Sold for $3,400,000

When: August 28

Time on Market: 3 months

#3 … 1476 Fairway Drive

5 Bedrooms in 4,244 sq ft

Listed at $3,798,000

Sold for $3,300,000

When: December 29

Time on Market: 11 months

#4 … 881 Laverne Way

5 Bedrooms in 4,900 sq ft

Listed at $3,995,000

Sold for $3,250,000

When: May 27

Time on Market: 10 months

#5 … 1520 Montebello Oaks Ct

5 Bedrooms in 5,400 sq ft

Listed at $3,495,000

Sold for $3,195,000

When: July 7

Time on Market: 5 months

#6 … 38 North Avalon Drive

5 Bedrooms in 3,950 sq ft

Listed at $3,498,000

Sold for $3,000,000

When: March 3

Time on Market: 5 months

#7 … 966 Manor Way

6 Bedrooms in 3,770 sq ft

Listed at $3,595,000

Sold for $2,960,000

When: July 29

Time on Market: 2 months

#8 … 316 Sunkist Lane

4 Bedrooms in 3,600 sq ft

Listed at $2,980,000

Sold for $2,895,000

When: January 30

Time on Market: 3 months

#9 … 790 Arroyo Road

5 Bedrooms in 4,000 sq ft

Listed at $3,390,000

Sold for $2,850,000

When: October 2

Time on Market: 4 months

#10 … 710 Loyola Drive

5 Bedrooms in 4,700 sq ft

Listed at $3,250,000

Sold for $2,850,000

When: September 9

Time on Market: 8 months

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2009 Housing Trends for Los Altos & nearby cities

Posted on June 8, 2009 by  
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As we examine the most recent statistics regarding year-over-year trends, the market is beginning to strike a decent balance, at least for May 2009. There are opportunities still out there for buyers, and yet properties are selling at a good clip for the sellers that are not unrealistic about pricing. In short, we have a good equilibrium occurring, without a clear advantage for either buyers and or sellers in the current overall environment.

Below, we have included four charts that highlight: 1) Recent Inventory; 2) Pending Sales; 3) Closed Transactions for May; and finally, 4) A comparison of year-to-date, through May 2009, of homes that have closed escrow.

As of May 2009, overall Closings were up 25% and Sales were up 70% for the west side of Santa Clara County compared to May of 2008. After a slow start to the New Year, Los Altos continues to see a ramping up of homes going into contract; however, we remain roughly 50% behind our 2008 YTD volume. The good news is that we have sufficient inventory of available homes, as we head into the summer months.

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