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 take from our local MLS and is deemed reliable but not guaranteed.
According to our local MLS provider (ProMLSlistings.com), there currently are 108 single family homes for sale in Los Altos. Of these, 42 are under contract. That leaves us with 66 homes that are actively being market for sale on the MLS.
Below is the sales history of single family homes sold via the MLS in the city of Los Altos since 2005. The results are broken down quarterly and on future posts I will be including the monthly sales stats for South Los Altos, the Highlands area of Los Altos, the Country club area of Los Altos and North Los Altos as defined by our MLS board. Note: if you would like specific sales statistics for a specific area, please contact me and I would be happy to create a post detailing that information.
The above graph depicts the number of new listings and compares it with the number of sold properties over the same period of time. Three points to make about this information. (1) Not surprising, new listings and sales peak in Q2 and then bottom out in Q4 of each year. (2) Since 2005, there has been a steady decline in the numbers of listings and sales each year. (3) Sales in the first quarter of 2008 are the lowest since 2001. How has the overall decline in listings and sales effected our local real estate values?
Since Q1 2005, both the average and the median sales prices for single family homes in Los Altos have steadily increased and/or appreciated. The median sales price appreciated from $1,642,000. to $1,892,000. This is approximately a 15% gain in 3 years. FYI, I tend to use the median sales price because it is less sensitive to extreme variations in sales prices (either high or low). Since we are going into Q2, we should see an increase in listings and sales.
This graph shows the overall decline in inventory the past three years. It also highlights the fact that 2007 was a year where listings were at near record lows (25% off the average of the last 10 years). In fact, if you compare the annual number of new listings, 2007 was the lowest (400) in the last 10 years. 2000 was the next lowest with 481 listings.
The continuous days on the market (CDOM) statistic is fairly useless because that number has consistently hovered around 30-35 days. In tight seller markets, it drops to the mid 20’s and in strong buyer markets, it increases to the mid 50’s. So we’re talking a difference of 3 weeks on the market. In my mind that is statistically insignificant.
2008 has started with some good signs. Inventory is creeping back up and days on market is down. Does this mean that we’ll continue to get more inventory to sell? I hope so. Will sales take off? That’s the big unknown. We are seeing multiple offers on several properties and no offers on others. I think pricing strategies will become more important as the year progresses. One thing is for sure, our market has always been affected to a large degree by the amount of good listings to sell.