According to MLS Listings Inc. data, 30 single family homes closed escrow in July within the city of Los Altos zip codes of 94024 and 94022. This is slightly below the 12 year average (for the month of July) of 35 closed sales of single family homes. The graph below documents the last 12 years of listings and sales figures for the month of July.
Homes listed at the lower end of our market (if one could call homes listed between 900K and 1.5 million, the “lower end”) continue to drive the market. In July, there were 16 homes sold that were listed at 1.5 million and below. 7 homes listed between 1.5 and 2.0 million, 3 homes listed between 2.0 and 3.0 million and 4 homes listed above 3.0 million sold. Note: these were the asking prices for the homes not the selling prices.
The homes that were listed under 1.5 million sold at an average of 99.8% of list price. The homes listed between 1.5 and 2.0 million sold at an average of 95.7% of list price. The homes listed between 2.0 million and 3.0 million sold at an average of 97.2% of list price. Lastly, the homes priced above 3.0 million sold at an average of 85.4% of list price (ouch!).
Note: the actual list price to sales price ratios are probably a little less because I have have included only the latest/current list price in the calculations. Some of the higher priced homes have been listed and re-listed at a lower price. Had I used their original list price, the ratios would be lower.
The chart below shows a 12 year history of the average sales price, the median sale price and the average list price to sales price ratio for single family homes that closed escrow in Los Altos in the month of July. It appears that prices are back down to approximately 2004/2005 sales prices.
Lastly, in addition to softer home prices, on average homes in Los Altos are taking longer to sell. In July 2009, it took on average 58 days to sell a home in Los Altos. That is approximately 1/3 longer than the July, 12 year average of 40 days. See details below.
Buyers qualifying for and lenders financing loans above $729,950 remains difficult. Add in some of the appraisal issues associated with the HVCC and the immediate outlook looks bleak for those home sellers who must sell.
Consumer confidence remains shakey yet we are seeing some positive articles about the economy in the press. One thing is for sure, we need more options in the mortgage market.