The Multiple Listing Service is our most efficient means to sell a home and the most reliable source of local market information. The following information was taken from our local MLS and is deemed reliable but not guaranteed.
According to our local MLS provider (ProMLSlistings.com), there currently are 98 single family homes for sale in Los Altos. Of these, 23 are under contract. That leaves us with 75 homes that are actively being marketed for sale on the MLS.
Above is the July through September (3rd Quarter) sales statistics for Los Altos single family homes since 2004. As one can see, over the last five years, listings have averaged 141 and sales have averaged 95. However, there continues to be a downward trend for both listings and sales. In fact, in the third quarter 2008, the number of listings was off by approximately 19% and the number of sales was off by approximately 28% over their five year averages. How has this overall decline in listings and sales affected Los Altos real estate values?
In a word (actually two words), just slightly! The graph below depicts the year over year sales prices (for 3rd quarter of each year) for single family homes in Los Altos since 2004.
As one can see, both the median and average sales prices have gone up every year. Although the year over year increases aren’t the large scale ones we saw from 1997-2000 or 2003-2005, they are trending in the right direction.
Days on the market continues to hover around 27-30 days. If you have a home on the market for 4-6 weeks (especially in the lower price range), it might be time to adjust the price or ramp up the marketing efforts.
Interesting enough, the average sales price to list price ratio continues to remain strong, hovering around 100%. In Q3 2004, the average sales price to list price ratio was 101.06%. In Q3, 2005 it was 100.03%. In Q3, 2006, 99.11%. In Q3, 2007, 99.77% and in Q3 2008, 99.03%.
This year’s market will continue to be driven by the first time and Los Altos home buyer and those who want to move up. Those are the two markets that appear to be the most active. We are seeing a few multiple offers (the exception rather than the rule) on properties priced between $1,400,000 and $1,800,000.
As we head to the late fall and early winter, our market activity will continue to slow. As always, pricing strategies and how one prepares one’s home for the market will be extremely important.