Los Altos Market Conditions January 2014

Los Altos Market Update January 2014

Buyer demand for homes has been very strong in Los Altos.  Available inventory has not kept up with that demand, however.   2013 ended with fewer homes actively listed (seven) than at any time in at least 10 years.  Prices have naturally gone up over the past two years as a result.  Some highlights of the current market include:

–        Inventory at ten year low

–        Sales prices are trending up

–        January sales were for 114% of list price, on average

–        Homes on the market for only 28 days on average `in 2013 (48 days in 2012)

Inventory fell steadily from June of last year through December, before picking up slightly in January.  Ten homes were available at the end of January 2014, compared to seven in December and 13 a year ago.  Sales, while also trending down in lock step with inventory have remained relatively strong.  While 2013’s average inventory of 19.8 properties was roughly half of 2012’s 37.3, the number of sales that went pending fell only 11% in 2013.  The following table shows that relationship between inventory and sales for the past 18 months.  There has been less than a month of inventory on the market for the past 14 months.


The median sales price in Los Also has been fairly volatile but has generally trended upwards.  At the end of January 2014, the median sales price for January’s closed sales was $1,925,875.  While that was down from $2,100,000 a year earlier, as can be seen below, prices have been going up.


What has been more impressive is trend in the ratio between the list price and the sales price.  In January 2014, homes sold for 114% of their list price, compared to 96% in January 2013.  In fact, the ratio has risen from an average of 99% in 2012 to 103% in 2012 to 107% in 2013.  The average price per square foot has also risen sharply.  Over the past twelve months, the monthly average sales price per square foot was $85 higher than the average for the same month a year earlier.  And the length of time homes have stayed on the market declined, from an average of 48 days in 2012 to only 28 days in 2013.

Price Range Analysis

Homes priced under $2 million saw inventory drop to virtually nothing late in 2013 and sales tumbled accordingly.  Only five sales went into contract in January 2014, about one sixth the 29 in May 2013.  January also had three fewer sales go pending than a year ago.  Inventory fell from a high of 14 at the end of May to one in December before increasing to four at the end of January.   About four days of inventory was available at the end of January, down from about two weeks at the end of December and about three weeks a year ago.  This market segment accounted for 40% of Los Altos’ inventory at the end of January 2014 and 38% of sales that went pending during the month.  That compares to 22% and 88%, respectively a year earlier.


40% of Los Altos’ inventory at the end of January and 46% of sales that went pending that month were priced from $2 million to $2.99 million.  Four homes were actively listed in this price range at the end of January 2014, the same number as the end of January 2013.  The high water mark for 2013 was June’s 19.  Only two sales went into contract in this segment during January 2014, four less than a year ago and two less than in December.  At the end of January two weeks of inventory was on the market in this price range, down from three weeks in December.


Homes price at $3 million and up had three properties available at the end of January 204, the same as the end of December and one more than a year earlier.  No sales went pending in this segment in January, the same as in December but down from two a year ago.  One third of Los Alto’s inventory was in this price range at the end of January 2014.