Atherton Market Conditions December 2015

  • Sales very low
  • Inventory low but steady
  • Almost all inventory in the high end
  • Uncertainty in the market

There’s no question that the pace of activity in the Atherton real estate market has slowed. Add to the typical holiday lull the fact that the Federal Reserve raised interest rates, there are questions about the global economy, and the turmoil of an election cycle and you have a recipe for uncertainty. That may have kept both buyers and sellers away during December. Even with all that, I would call this market pretty normal. After the hectic pace of the past few years and the rapidly rising prices, it just feels slow.

Both inventory and sales were down in December. Overall inventory did not fall as much as sales but there was very few homes priced under $5 million available. 65% of the city’s inventory was homes priced at $10 million or more. Even for December, sales were low here.

Only three sales closed in Atherton in December, matching November’s sales. We can’t arrive at any conclusion about prices with so few sales, so we’ll have to wait and see how things go the next few months. The three sales were for about $16 million, $9.8 million and $3 million, resulting in the $9.8 million median sales price. The price per square foot was $1,252, which was $279 less than in November. On average, the three homes sold for 97% of the list price, the second month in a row the ratio was below 100%. All three homes sold for less than their asking price.


Repeating November’s output, three sales closed in December. That was the lowest December sales number in at least four years.


20 properties were actively listed at the end of December, down from 29 at the end of November, a 31% drop. Five sales went to contract, up from three in November. The increase in sales and decrease in inventory swung the supply from nearly 10 months at the end of November to four at the end of December. While a four month supply is fairly typical for Atherton, most of that inventory was at the high end. The lower end of the market is much tighter.


December’s three sales were listed for an average of 204 days, up from 64 days for November’s three sales. Two of the three homes were listed for more than 200 days.


Analysis by Price Range

There was no inventory in the under $3 million segment at the end of December and only one sale went pending during the month. That one sale was a fifth of Atherton’s total.


Three homes priced from $3 million to $4,999,999 were actively listed at the end of December, accounting for 15% of all inventory. Those three homes represented a 1.5 month supply. December’s three homes for sale were less than half of November’s seven. Two sales went to contract in this price range in December, 40% of total pending sales.


No sales of homes went pending in December in the $5 million to $9,999,999 price range, while four properties were for sale at the end of the month. 20% of Atherton’s inventory was in this segment.


The $10 million and up market segment had 65% of inventory here, with 13 properties for sale at the end of December, three less than at the end of November. Two sales went to contract during December, one more than in November. A6.5 month supply of these homes was on the market at the end of December.