We are initiating coverage of the Saratoga real estate market. Each month, we will look at the activity here and discuss developing trends.
In general, the northern California real estate market has been moving toward a more balanced state. For the past few years, sellers have had the upper hand, as buyers aggressively bid on properties, driving prices rapidly higher. The current market is more normal, with buyers being more discerning and willing to take their time.
The Saratoga real estate market has been much steadier than the northern California market in general. Prices have been steady, and inventory and pending sales have fluctuated pretty much in line with expected seasonal variations. The average sale through the first eight months of this year was for about 102% of the list price, compared to 104% during the same period last year. Price increases have begun to slow, however. During the first eight months of 2016, the average monthly year-over-year increase in the median sales price was about 17%. That has slowed to about 4% so far this year.
The other clear trend is that homes are staying on the market longer. The average sale in 2016 has taken about 43 days compared to 33 days in 2015.
Median Sales Price
The median sales price has generally stayed in a band from $2 million to $2.6 million since the beginning of 2015. August’s median sales price was $2,370.000, a 13% increase from $2,097,000 in July and 3% higher than a year ago. The price per square foot in August was $886, little change from July’s $889 or August 2015’s $882.
33 sales closed in August, eight more than in July and two less than a year earlier.
For Sale vs. Pending
August was the first month since February that ended with less than 100 homes for sale here. 95 properties were actively listed at the end of August, down from 105 at the end of July and 101 a year ago. Pending sales have been ticking upward the past couple of months, from 26 in June to 28 in July and 36 in August. 35 sales went pending in August 2015. A 2.6 month supply relative to pending sales was available at the end of August, down from 3.9 months at the end of July but higher than August 2015’s 2.9 months.
Days to Sell
Although the length of time homes are on the market fell in August, the trend has been going up. August’s sales were on the market an average of 36 days, down from 40 in July. August 2015’s sales were listed an average of 32 days. As mentioned earlier, the average sale in 2016 has taken about 43 days compared to 33 days in 2015.
Analysis by Price Range
We will look at the market in three separate segments (homes priced under $2 million, $2 million to $2,999,999, and $3 million-plus). So far in 2016, 20% of inventory and 36% of pending sales have been for homes priced below $2 million. 35% of inventory and 42% of pending sales have been in the $2 million to $3 million price range. While 45% of Saratoga’s inventory has been priced at $2 million-plus, only 22% of pending sales have been in this segment.
Under $2 million
At the end of August, 19 homes priced under $2 million were actively listed. That’s four less than at the end of July. 13 sales of these homes went pending during August, two less than in July. A 3.9 month supply relative to pending sales was on the market at the end of August, up from 2.6 months at the end of July. 20% of Saratoga’s inventory at the end of August and 36% of pending sales during the month were priced below $2 million.
$2 million to $3 million
The $2 million to $2,999,999 price range accounted for 35% of inventory and 42% of pending sales for August. 15 sales went to contract during August, five more than in July. Inventory fell nine units to end August with 33. The increase in sales and decline in inventory decreased supply from 4.2 months at the end of July to 2.2 months at the end of August.
$3 million or over
43 homes priced at $3 million or more were actively listed at the end of August, unchanged from July. Pending sales increased from three in July to eight in August. That dropped supply from 14 months at the end of July to five at the end of August. 45% of inventory at the end of August and 22% of pending sales during the month were in this segment.
Check out these other Real Estate Market Conditions Reports for August 2016: