Los Altos Market Conditions February 2014

  • Sales and inventory rise
  • Prices increase
  • Homes on the market for fewer days

The Los Altos real estate market definitely strengthened during February. The median sales price, which had fallen for two consecutive months, increased in February. The number of closed sales and those that went into contract during the month both increased. While homes were listed for a shorter period, the available inventory grew during February.

The median sales price of a single family detached home in February was $2,332,000, 21% ($406,125) higher than January’s $1,925,875. This move in the median price should be considered with caution, given the small sample size. With only 12 closed sales in February and eight in January, the median price can swing widely. The longer term trend is more important, and that is still moving up in Los Altos. The median price was 17% or $334,499 higher than February of 2013’s $1,987,501. February’s sales closed for 109% of the list price, on average, down from 113% in January bust still higher than the 106% from a year ago. The average price per square foot was $1007 in February, 5% higher than January’s $963 and 16% higher than February 2012’s $866.


Closed sales of single family detached homes increased from 8 in January to 12 in February, a 50% jump. That was seven fewer sales than closed a year ago, however. The good news is that sales had been declining pretty steadily since August and this reverses that trend, as can be seen in the chart below.


The number of sales that went pending also increased, from 13 in January to 17 in February, a 54% spike. February was the second straight month with an increase in the number of sales that went into contract. Even with the increase in sales, the number of homes actively listed increased again in February, from 10 in January to 14. We’re still below the level of a year ago, when 21 homes were on the market but it’s nice increase given the record low inventory we have seen recently.


The number of months of inventory (active and pending listings) was at its highest level in a year at the end of January, at 3.5 months due to the extremely low level of closed sales. It fell to 3.1 months in February but was still higher than any month besides January in the past year.


The average closed sale in February was on the market for 15 days, down from 30 in January and 50 in December. A year ago, homes were also on the market for 23 days.


Analysis by Price Range

Homes priced under $2 million accounted for 43% of Los Altos’ inventory at the end of February and 65% of the number of sales that went pending during the month. Six properties were actively listed in this segment at the end of February two more than at the end of January but one less than a year ago. 13 sales went pending during February, nearly triple January’s five. 11 sales went into contract a year ago.


There was not a lot of change in the $2 million to $3 million market. Four homes were actively listed, unchanged from January. Five sales went pending during February, one less than in January. 29% of Los Altos’ inventory and 25% of the sales that went pending were in this price range for February.


The inventory of homes priced at $3 million or more doubled to four at the end of February, which was 28% of Los Altos’ total. Two sales went into contract during February, unchanged from January, accounting for 10% of total sales.

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