Los Altos Market Conditions April 2014

  • Market remained hot
  • Closed and pending sales rose across market segments
  • Sales price to list price = 118%
  • Price per square foot – $1,127
  • Inventory increased, led by homes price from $1 million to $2 million

The Los Alto real estate market stayed hot in April.  Pending sales were particularly strong for homes at the upper and lower ends of the market.  The median sales price fell but both the sales price to list price ratio and price per square foot hit new highs (for at least the past three years).

The median sales price of a single family detached home in Los Altos in April was $2,310,000, down nearly 5% $115,000) from $2,425,000 in March.  April’s median price was 8% higher $174,000 than a year ago ($2,136,000).  April’s sales closed for 118% of the list price, on average, up from 116% in March and 110% a year ago, seemingly defying gravity.  The average price per square foot jumped 12% in April, from $1,003 in March to $1,127 in April.  That was an increase of $228 (25%) from April 2013’s $899.

Closed sales increased again in April but not nearly as rapidly as the past two months.  33 sales closed in April, four more than in March.  Closed sales were below the level of a year earlier, when there were 43.

Pending sales increased for the fourth straight month.  38 sales went into contract in April, 12 more (46%) than March’s 26 but four less than a year ago.  Inventory also increased, from 18 at the end of March to 25 at the end of April, an increase of 39%.  That was still 10 fewer units than were on the market in April 2013.  Inventory relative to sales that went pending was little changed at about 0.7 months.

April’s closed sales were listed for an average of 11 days, the same as in March, which is very low.  A year earlier, homes were listed for an average of 19 days and the average for all of 2013 was 24 days.

Analysis by Price Range

Homes priced under $2 million led the increase in sales in April with a 62% jump.  21 sales went into contract in this segment during April, eight more than in March.  That was still lower than a year ago, when 27 sales went into contract.  One less home was actively listed in this segment at the end of April (9) than at the end of March (10).  One year ago, 14 homes were available in this price range.  Less than two weeks of inventory was on the market for these homes at the end of April, down from about three weeks at the end of March.  55% of the sales that went into contract in Palo Alto in April and 36% of the inventory at the end of the month were priced under $2 million.

The inventory of homes in the $2 million to $2,999,999 price range nearly tripled, from four at the end of March to 11 at the end of April.  12 sales went into contract, the same number as in March.  Inventory relative to pending sales tripled from 0.3 months at the end of March to 0.9 months at the end of April.   This price range accounted for 44% of Palo Alto’s inventory and 32% of the sales that went pending.

Homes priced at $3 million and up saw pending sales jump from one in March to five in April.  That was the most in this segment since June 2013.  Inventory increased by one unit to five at the end of April.  Inventory relative to pending sales was cut from four months at the end of March to one month at the end of April.