Atherton Market Conditions March 2014

  • Sales jump
  • Inventory down a little
  • Median sales price up
  • High end sales increase

March was anything but quiet in Atherton, with the both closed and pending sales of single family detached homes at least doubling from February. The number of days homes were on the market continued to climb in April, which was surprising given the low level of inventory, which declined again in March. Sales were up across market segments but rose the most for homes priced at $10 million or more.

The median sales price jumped 43% ($1,562,500) to $5,237,500 from $3,675,000 in February. The median sales price here is volatile from month to month, depending on the value and number of homes sold. That being said, the median sales price in March was the third highest in the past three years ($5,475,000 in October 2013). The average price per square foot also increased sharply in March, from $1,023 in February to $1,196 in March, a 20% jump. That was the highest price per square foot since November 2012. Even though prices were up and inventory was down, sales closed in March received only 100% of their list price, down from 107% in February and the lowest percentage since October of last year.

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12 sales closed in March, up from five in February. That was also four more than closed in March 2013. Demand is clearly strong, so the question is whether or not inventory will keep pace.

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The number of sales that went pending doubled in March, again demonstrating the strong demand here. 16 homes went into contract in March, up from eight in February and seven a year ago. Inventory continued the trend that started in June of last year and fell from 22 at the end of February to 20 at the end of March. Inventory is down 49% from June of 2013, when 49 homes were on the market. One year ago, 30 homes were available. That left only 1.25 months of inventory on the market at the end of March, relative to the number of sales that went pending during the month. That compares to 2.75 months at the end of February and 4.3 months a year ago.

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Even with strong demand and low inventory, March’s closed sales were on the market an average of 87 days, up from 76 days for February’s sales. A year ago, homes were on the market for 69 days, on average.

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Analysis by Price Range

Two homes priced under $3 million were actively listed at the end of March, up from none at the end of February and one more than a year ago. Five sales went into contract in this segment during March, up from three in February and two a year ago. There was less than two weeks of inventory available at the end of March. This segment accounted for 31% of the sales that went onto contract in Atherton but only 10% of the city’s inventory.

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Three sales of homes priced from $3 million to $4.999 million went into contract in March, up from one in February. Inventory was unchanged at two, which was less than three weeks of inventory relative to pending sales. 19% of Atherton’s pending sales during March and 10% of its inventory at the end of the month was in this price range.

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40% of Atherton’s inventory and 25% of pending sales were priced between $3 million and $4.999 million. Four sales went into contract in this segment during March one more than during February. Inventory was unchanged from February at eight. Two months of inventory relative to the sales that went pending were on the market at the end of March.

Atherton-Market Conditions-March-07

Sales of homes priced at $10 million or more increased in March, while inventoyr dropped. Four sales went into contract during March, three more than in February and double the highest number from any month last year (August 2013). The available inventory of these homes fell from 12 at the end of February to eight at the end of March, which was two less than a year ago. This segmetn accounted for 40% of Ahterton’s inventoyr at the end of March and 25% of the sales that went pending during the month.

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