Los Altos single family home sales were down in January 2009. However, given the state of home financing and consumer confidence, I expected the numbers to be even worse. Below is an 11 year history of Los Altos single family homes that have sold in the month of January.
A quick calculation shows that the eleven year average for home sales in January is 18, new listings is 35 and inventory is 52. In January 2009, we were at 7 sales, 41 new listings and 76 homes in inventory. The trend of fewer sales and more inventory continues…
The chart below shows the average and median sales prices for homes sold in Los Altos in the month of January. It appears that sales prices for homes sold in January peaked in 2008. 2009 prices are falling. I wouldn’t use these numbers as gospel because the sample size for the number of sales is pretty small. However, there is a strong inferance that both average and median sales prices are falling.
The chart below shows the list price to sales price ratio of homes that have closed escrow in January 2009. A point to remember is most of the sales (closed escrows) went into contract in the prior month (December). January 2009 was the lowest list price to sales price ratio at 93.9% (for a January) in the last 11 years.
Lastly, the chart below shows the MLS data from the seven homes that closed escrow in January 2009. An interesting footnote is that the three homes that sold above the $2.4 million price point were sold at an *18%+ discount off of their original list prices. The three lowest sales were sold at an *8%+ discount off of their original list prices. So it does appear that higher priced homes are being sold for a higher percentage discount than their lower price counterparts. Could this be a good buying opportunity for a move up buyer in Los Altos? Could there be opportunities for investors to exchange into Los Altos real estate?
Why are home prices dropping? Besides the obvious, “It’s the economy stupid” there are three reasons: (1) listing agents are taking listings too high (over promise and under deliver), OR (2) homeowner’s want too much money for their home (“my house is the best in the neighborhood….”), OR (3) if the property is correctly priced and marketed, prices for homes in Los Altos are falling (ding, ding, ding you hit it on the head!). In reality, it is a combination of all three.
*statistics are from initial listing period through COE (includes properties listed, expired/cancelled and then re-listed again with same brokerage).
Thanks for reading and feel free to contact me for statistics on your neighborhood.
Note: all statistics/charts are taking from MLSListings, Inc. data, our local MLS provider and are deemed accurate but not guaranteed.