The third quarter showed modest gains in prices with continued softness in sales volume for real estate on the San Mateo County coast. That being said, five of the past six quarters have had average sales prices above $1.3 million.

Sales volume was down most of the year and running slightly below last year. Most of the metrics are positive with the Federal Reserve cutting rates three times this year with one more possibly planned for December. 

Five of the past six quarters have been record-setting with this quarter being in the middle. The average home price for the coast is at an all-time high of $1,349,000, up 2 percent from the comparable period last year and up 2 percent from full year 2018. Sales prices range from $415,000 for a foreclosure in Pescadero to $3.8 million for an oceanfront home in


Sales volume is down this year with a small decrease in inventory. In all, 202 homes sold this year compared to 210 in 2018, 203 in 2017, 189 last year, 233 homes in 2013, 96 homes in 2009, and 305 in 1999, our best year. Volume is down 4 percent from 2018 and down 34 percent from 1999.

Inventory has been rising from 2006 through 2010, but has been dropping from then on. As of Sept. 30, there were 90 total

listings of which 66 were available, down 2 percent from last year.

As you’d expect with the tight inventory and falling volume, the time homes have spent on market is increasing. Average selling time has risen to 46 days compared to 33 days in 2018, 42 days in 2017, 122 days in 2009 and 51 days in 2005. Fifty-two percent of all sales occurred in less than 30 days.

Another interesting statistic that indicates how things are changing is the percentage of homes selling over list price. Forty-three percent of all sales in 2005 went over list price compared to 8 percent in 2009, 29 percent in 2014, 44 percent in 2018 and now 27 percent. Distressed sales are pretty much played out with only one such sale this year.

This chart shows average home prices by quarter from 2007 to present. As you can see, prices this quarter are in the middle of the past six quarters.

Based on what’s sold and

sale-pending, the fourth quarter should be stronger in terms of home prices with volume being below last year. And all the Fed’s rate cuts are keeping rates down, which is good for everyone.


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

Recommended for you

Load comments