Los Altos real estate

Los Altos Market Conditions October 2015

  • Demand surprisingly strong but spotty
  • $2 million – $3 million price range most active
  • Price indicators mixed
  • Inventory falls

The Los Altos real estate market was surprisingly strong in October, although demand was not universal. The market is a bit like a Dalmatian – spotty. Some areas and some homes are seeing quite a bit more demand than others, with location and pricing driving activity. The $2 million – $3 million price range seems to be the sweet spot at the moment, as that segment has had the most sales. Inventory remains low, keeping a lid on sales. Prices are mixed but on average homes are still selling well over their list price. The market feels like it may be plateauing, at least in the short term.

The median sales price in October was $2.9 million, $20,000 higher than in September and $387,500 higher (15%) than a year ago. After setting a new record last month, the price per square foot retreated 8% in October to $1,252. That was still 15% higher than October 2014’s $1,089. The average sale was for 108% of the list price in October, down from 110.5% in September and 111% a year ago. October was the first time we have been below 109% since January.

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23 sales closed in October, one less than in September and seven less than a year ago. It was the fifth straight month that closed sales declined.

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After increasing by 12 units in September, inventory fell by the same number in October, to end with 37 homes actively listed. That compares to 32 homes on the market at the end of October 2014. Pending sales rose from 24 in September to 27 in October, which was still below the 30 pending sales a year earlier. Inventory relative to pending sales fell from 2.0 months at the end of September to 1.3 months at the end of October.

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Homes were on the market an average of only 14 days in October, a sign that, while the market may not be as strong as it was over the summer, homes priced and presented properly are very much in demand. One year ago, homes were also listed for an average of 14 days.

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Analysis by Price Range

The sub-$2 million segment did not see a lot of change in October. Pending sales increased by one unit and inventory fell by one. Six properties were actively listed in this segment at the end of October, 16% of Los Altos’ total. Four sales went to contract during the month, accounting for 15% of all sales here. A 1.5 month supply was available at the end of October, down from 2.3 months at the end of October.

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The $2 million to $2,999,999 price range appears to be the sweet spot in Los Altos. 63% of all pending sales were in this segment. Pending sales increased from 13 in September to 17 in October. Inventory had a hard time keeping up, falling form 26 at the end of September to 15 at the end of October. Those 15 homes were 41% of all homes for sale.

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Six sales of homes priced at or above $3 million went to contract in October, down two from eight in September. Inventory was unchanged at 16 homes. Inventory relative to pending sales fell from 2.7 months at the end of September to 2.0 months at the end of October. 43% of Los Alto’s inventory and 22% of its pending sales were priced at $3 million or more.

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