Los Altos real estate

Los Altos Market Conditions May 2016

  • Sales flat
  • Inventory highest in three years
  • High end has most inventory
  • Prices stable
  • Days on market very low

May looked a lot like April for real estate in Los Altos. There were more sellers than buyers and while sales were strong, demand was not the same as it was a year ago, or even six months ago. We are still seeing multiple offers on some homes but not as many and not on all properties. While the average length of time homes stayed on the market remained low, that was more the result of the fact that homes priced below where they “should be” sell within about a week, while others stay on the market longer. Last year it was common for homes to receive many offers. Now, getting more than two to three offers is far less typical.

The median sales price topped $3 million for the first time here in May but that was due to mix more so than an increase in prices. Over half of the closed sales in May were homes priced over $3 million. May’s median price was 6% higher than in April and 17% higher than a year ago. The price per square foot slipped for the third straight month to $1,219. That was 6% lower than in April but still 3% higher than in May 2015. On average, sales in May closed for 105.6% of the list price, down from 109.5% in April and 112% a year earlier.

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29 sales closed in May, two more than in April and more than in any months since July of 2015. 38 sales closed a year ago.

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More homes were actively listed at the end of May than in any month since July 2013. May was the fifth straight month that inventory increased in Los Altos. 75 properties were for sale here, up from 58 in April and 47 a year ago. The ramp up in pending sales that we have had since the beginning of the year slowed significantly in May. 30 sales went to contract during May, only one more than in April and one less than a year ago. Inventory relative to pending sales increased from 2.0 months at the end of April to 2.5 months at the end of May.

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The length of time that homes are on the market remained very low in May. That may be somewhat misleading, in that not all homes are selling quickly. Those that do sell (typically priced aggressively low) have tended to sell quickly, while others stay on the market longer. The average number of days on the market was 12 in May, up from nine in April and on par with May 2015’s 11 days.

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Analysis by Price Range

While in strong demand, homes priced under $ 2million make a small percentage of the active market in Los Altos. Only 12% of the city’s inventory and 4% of its pending sales were in this segment. Nine homes were available for sale at the end of May, two more than at the end of April. Two sales went pending during May, compared to five in April. That increased inventory relative to sales from 1.4 months at the end of April to 4.5 months at the end of May.

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The $2 million to $3 million price range continues to dominate the market, with 63% of pending sales and 43% of inventory. 19 sales went to contract in May, one more than in April. Inventory increased by eight units to end May with 32. A 1.7 month supply was available at the end of May, up from 1.3 months at the end of May.

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Homes priced at $3 million or more accounted for 45% of inventory but only 30% of pending sales. 34 homes were for sale in this segment at the end of May, up seven from April’s 27. Pending sales increase by three to nine during May. Relative to pending sales, inventory stood at 3.8 months at the end of May, down from 4.5 months at the end of April.

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