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 94 single family homes for sale in Los Altos. Of these, 30 are under contract. That leaves us with 60 homes that are actively being market for sale on the MLS.
Above is the January through July semi-annual sales statistics for single family homes since 2005. As one can see, over the last four years, listings have averaged 281 and sales have averaged 173. However, there continues to be a downward trend for both listings and sales. In fact, in the first six months in 2008, the number of listings is off by approximately 13% and the number of sales is off by approximately 17% over their four year averages. How has this overall decline in listings and sales affected Los Altos real estate values?
In a word (actually two words), not much! The graph below depicts the year over year sales prices (first half of each year) for single family homes in Los Altos over the last four years.
As one can see, both the median and average sales prices have gone up every year except 2006. 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.
An interesting footnote to these sales stats is the fact that the average sales price to list price ratio has also declined over the last four years. In 2005, The average sales price to list price ratio was 104.09%. In 2006 it was 101.78%. In 2007, 101.92% and in 2008, 99.77%. I guess that explains why not too many listing agents are touting their sales price to list price ratio in their advertisements anymore.
The first half of 2008 has not been as bad as many had predicted. We have been fairly insulated from the problems associated with short sales and REO’s . The on-going problem is finding lenders who aren’t afraid to loan money to qualified buyers.
This year’s market will continue to be driven by the first time 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 multiple offers on many properties priced between $1,300,000 and $1,700,000. On homes priced between $1,700,000 and $2,300,000 it’s hit or miss on whether the home gets an immediate offer. On homes priced above the $2,300,000 price point, homes tend to be sitting for awhile and it’s the exception rather than the rule if a home in this price point sells right away. As always, pricing strategies and how one prices one’s home for the market is extremely important.