Only in expensive San Mateo County would home prices of over $1.5 million be a bargain. But that’s really the case.
The good news is the spread between the coast and the county is narrowing a bit. At the end of 2017 it was $492,000. It was $667,000 in 2019 and now at the end of the third quarter it’s $633,000. While prices declined modestly in 2019, they showed impressive growth this year with the county prices increasing by 11 percent over both the past 12 months and full year 2019. (Prices on the coast are up 15 percent over a year ago and up 16 percent over full year 2019).
The average price now stands at record shattering high of $2,183,000 (on the coast $1,550,000) compared to $1,992,000 for full year 2019, $1,996,000 for 2018, $1,659,000 for 2016, $878,000 for 2009, and $1,210,000 for 2007. Median home price for the county this year is $1,684,000 and for the coast it’s $1,400,000.
While prices peaked in 2007, sales volume never recovered from its highs back in 2004. For the nine months of this year, 2,719 home sold compared to 2,949 in 2019, 3,060 in 2018, and 3,658 in 2013. Inventory has increased to 705 homes, up 4 percent from last year and on the coast down 1 percent to where it now represents 2.2 month’s supply of total listings. (On the coast, supply stands at 4.2 months.)
Because of above, average selling time of 28 days is same for both 2020 and 2019 (on the coast it’s 33 days) compared to 24 days in 2017, 79 days in 2009, and 28 days in 2005.
Where you also see strength is in the number of towns whose average price tops $1 million. Of the 28 towns in the county that make up our MLS, all but Loma Mar now exceed that amount while 28 did in 2019, 25 in 2018, 16 in 2014, seven in 2009 and 17 in 2007. Nine of 28 towns have average home prices over $2 million.
Atherton remains the most expensive with an average price of $8.4 million followed by Hillsborough, Woodside, Portola Valley, Menlo Park and Burlingame. In case you’re wondering, Loma Mar is the least expensive town in the county with just two sales followed by Colma.
These factors are contributing to homes selling for more than list price with 103 percent in 2020, 104 percent in 2019, 112 percent in 2018, 108 percent in 2017, 96 percent in 2009, and 100 percent in 2007.
This chart shows homes prices for both areas since 2007 with the Coast continuing to be much more affordable.
Steven Hyman is the broker and owner of Century 21 Sunset Properties. He can be reached at 726-6346 or at www.century21sunset.com