Coastside Real Estate

Sales volume by price category

By all metrics, 2014 was an excellent year for Coastside real estate. Everything was moving in the right direction, especially for sellers.

That is certainly the case for home sales as we’ve had six straight years of increases in volume. While volume has been rising, we are still below the level of sales in 2004 when it peaked. Sales volume is up 3 percent from 2013, but its still down by 21 percent from 2004 and 26 percent from our all time high back in 1999.

A question you may have is why did home prices go up so much while volume moved so little? To me, it’s the combination of extremely tight inventory all year combined with home affordability.

Last year 316 homes sold compared to 308 in 2013, 288 in 2012, 151 in 2009 and 429 in 1999 (our best year). While volume has improved for the past six years, it’s still has a way to go to get back to previous levels.

This chart shows how many homes sold by price category since 2000. Up until 2008, homes under $500,000 were hard to find. That’s all changed with more foreclosures at the low end. Also, million dollar homes were on the rise up until 2009, but that changed too as financing for expensive homes became more difficult.

The number of home sales under $500,000 dropped dramatically over time, increased from 2009-2011, and fell again as prices rose. In 2000, 29 percent of all sales were in this category while now it represents only 4 percent of the total.

The percent of sales in the $500,000 to $999,999 range hasn’t really changed much during this period. Today, 57 percent of all sales are in this category compared to 60 percent back in 2000.

Million dollar home sales have been increasing over time up until 2009. One-hundred-twenty-one of these expensive properties sold in 2014 compared to 75 in 2013, 24 in 2009 and 113 in 2005. Now 38 percent of all sales are over $1 million while it was 14 percent in 2000.

As I’ve been saying for many years, your housing money goes farther here than in other parts of our expensive county. Alternatively, the cheapest home in Hillsborough sold for $1,675,000 (3230 square feet). And the most expensive home sale in the county last year also sold in Hillsborough. A modest 36,000-square-foot home on six acres sold for only $29 million! Sure wished I sold that.

Steven Hyman is the broker and owner of Century 21 Sunset Properties. He can be reached at 726-6346 or at

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