Updated July 2019
Los Altos homes are one of the most desirable in Silicon Valley. A quiet family-oriented community with top-rated elementary through high schools throughout the city. A great central location with relatively short commutes to most high-tech companies. A very cute downtown village and close proximity to the new San Antonio shopping center, downtown Mountain View and downtown Palo Alto.
This chart shows the distribution of final sales prices for single family residences in Los Altos during 2018. The entry price point is now at $2.0M with most “move-in” ready homes in the $2.5M to $3.5M price range.
Median prices declined by 3% during the first half of 2019 compared to 2018 which rose by 12.7% and by 11.4% 2017. The average annual price appreciation for Los Altos homes over the past 20 years has averaged 7.2% per year since 1998 (CAGR).
Market demand for Los Altos homes remains very strong. Average Days on Market (red line) are still at historic lows and the final sales vs. list price (blue line) are still averaging over list price. The decline in final sales vs. list price reflects a decline in the number of competing offers, which are now typically in the 2-4 range.
The supply of New Listings increased by 16.5% during the first six months of 2019 compared to the same period last year. On the other hand, the number of Closed Sales declined by 5%. Both remain at historically low levels.
The finals sales vs. list price has shifted noticeably with few sales over 10%. The scatter chart shows shows the % over/under list price for homes sold in the first half of 2019 and during 2018. Note that homes that sell after one weekend on the market typically sell for over list price, which is usually the result of multiple offers. Note this shows the current list price and does not include any price reductions.
The $/SQFT varies significantly by size of home. The above scatter chart provides a good view into the distribution of home sizes and the $/SQFT for 2018 sales. The 2019 YTD average $/SQFT declined to $1,399 from last year’s average of $1,503, a 7% decline.
The average quarterly median price provides some insight to the ebb and flow of the market over the past 20 years. Note the short-lived (5 quarters) Internet Bubble and that the only significant “decline” in home values (~15%) over the past 20 years was the result of the global “Great Recession”.
This monthly median prices for Los Altos homes provides a closer look at our current market. Keep in mind that fluctuations may be due to a change in the mix of homes selling in a particular month, not necessarily changes in home values.
The average days on market continued at historic lows during March-April of this year. The uptick in May coincides with the spike in New Listings during the same month.
The monthly inventory of Active Listings increased significantly during the first half of 2019. The May-June spike is partially due to the spike in New Listings during the month of May.
The monthly average sales price over/under list price percentage has declined significantly during the last half of 2018 and continuing into the first half of 2019. Strongly suggests a shift in market demand and a reduction in the number of competing offers.
The supply of New Listings increased 16.5% during the first half of 2019 compared to the same period last year. Not clear if this will become an increase in the total annual listings or a shift from the second half to the first.
The monthly number of Closed Sales is also very seasonal. January is usually the low-point of the year followed by a ramp-up in Feb-March. Note that “Closed Sales” are sales that have closed escrow, which typically occurs the month after the actual sale (Pending, In-contract).
Sources: The data above is obtained directly from MLSlistings, the multiple listing service (MLS) serving Santa Clara and San Mateo counties. The information is deemed to be accurate, however is not guaranteed.