Real estate

The second-quarter home prices soared to a record high despite the many economic problems caused by the pandemic. This seems contrary to what I would have expected. I guess there’s still a lot of money out there.

Sales volume was down this half, inventory is rising and average selling time is down. The good news is mortgage rates are down and stock market is recovering.

Prices for the second quarter this year topped $1.4 million, something never seen here before. Average home price for the coast now stands at $1,460,000, up 8 percent from first-half of last year and up 9 percent from full year 2019. Median home price for the first half of the year is $1,325,000. Prices ranged from $405,000 for a 430-square-foot cottage in La Honda to $5.9 million for a 28-acre oceanfront home in Half Moon Bay.

Sales volume is down 12 percent from the first half of last year and has been declining for many years. One-hundred-and-ten homes sold this half compared to 125 in 2019, 135 in 2018, 147 in 2015, 52 in 2009 (our worst year), and 206 in 1999 (our best year). Volume is down 12 percent from 2019 and down 47 percent from 1999. There were no distressed sales this year.

Available inventory (see my column dated July 8) is low while homes sale pending is high. Six percent of all inventory is under $750,000 and 29 percent is above $2 million. As of June 30, there were 82 total listings of which 50 were available and 32 were sale-pending. Inventory is down 23 percent over same time last year.

Average selling times numbers are understated this year as our listing service froze Days On Market during shelter in place. Now that number is 39 days compared to 44 days in 2019, 35 days in 2018 and 43 days in 2017. Eighty percent of all sales occurred in less than 30 days and 40 percent of all sales went over list price. Homes sold this half for 99 percent of list price compared to 98 percent last year.

This chart shows average home prices by quarter from 2007 to present. As you can see, prices since 2017 have exceeded $1.3 million for all but two quarters and this year both quarters topped $1.4 million.

Based on what’s sold and sale-pending, I expect the third quarter to look good in term of prices with volume soft and inventory rising as is customary for this time of year.

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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