Real estate

This is normally the time of year when inventory is at its highest levels. Like so many other things this year, “normal” is a thing of the past.

Inventory levels are the lowest they’ve been in the past five years for the third quarter and just barely above the second quarter levels. In fact, inventory has been extremely low now for many years.

As of Sept. 25, there were 85 total listings of which 45 were available and 40 were sale-pending. That’s down from 91 total listings at the same time last year and 92 total listings back in 2018. Inventory levels are down 7 percent from last year and up 8 percent from two years ago.

There’s not much good news for buyers unless you’re looking for an expensive home. Price reductions are continuing this quarter representing 25 percent of total listings, slightly less than 28 percent last year. Of the 21 homes that have lowered their prices, almost half are priced over $1.5 million.

What’s also unusual about this year is the large number of homes sale-pending in comparison to available homes. While total inventory is the lowest in the past five years, the number of homes sale-pending is the highest and by a lot. That shows how fast things are selling now and at record prices.

So, what’s for sale on the coast? Prices of the 85 total listings range from $570,000 for a 1,040-square-foot house in La Honda to $17.5 million for a Pescadero 17,000-square-foot home on 50 acres. Only 5 percent of all listings are priced under $750,000, up from 1 percent in 2019.

There’s nothing for sale under $500,000. Between $500,000 and $750,000 there are four listings. Between $750,000 and $1 million there are eight listings. Between $1 million and $1.5 million there are 32 listings. Between $1.5 million and $2 million there are 19 and there are 22 listings above $2 million.

Looking at inventory by town, the South Coast has 13 total listings, Half Moon Bay has 31 listings, El Granada has 20, Moss Beach has 11 and Montara has 10.

This chart shows available and sale-pending inventory over time. Inventory started to rise from 2006-2010 as prices and volume declined. Inventory then declined as prices and volume started to recover.

The number of homes sale-pending is the best indicator of future activity. Based on that, the fourth quarter looks like it will be very strong.

Steven Hyman is the broker and owner of Century 21 Sunset Properties. He can be reached at 726-6346 or at century21sunset.com.

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