First-quarter sales showed San Mateo County and the Coastside moving in the same direction. By most metrics, the county outperformed the coast with the price gap increasing. Now, the spread between the average home price for the county and on the coast is $643,000 while it was $466,000 in the first quarter of 2019 and $565,000 in 2018. Keep in mind sales for last two weeks of March were impacted by shelter-in-place.
County home prices peaked in 2007, dropped, and have been on the uptick since 2010. For the first quarter of 2020, the average home price in the county was $2,072,000 (with a median price of $1,600,000), up 11 percent from the comparable period last year and up 6 percent from full year 2019. By comparison, the coast’s average price stands at $1,429 ,000 (median price $1,325,000), up 2 percent from the first quarter of 2019 and up 7 percent from the full year.
Sales volume is off for the county as a whole, being down 5 percent from last year. Sales volume on the coast is down 17 percent.) This year, 680 homes sold compared to 717 in 2019, 746 in 2018, 610 in 2015 and 639 in 2007. Inventory is down 13 percent this year in the county and down 8 percent on the coast. It represents 1.5 month’s supply in the county as a whole and 4.4 month’s supply on the Coastside.
The average selling time isn’t that accurate as our listing area froze the “days on market” in mid-March understating the numbers. The average selling time for the county stands at 30 days compared to 33 days in 2019 and 20 days in 2018. Selling time on the Coastside is 46 days compared to 54 days in 2019.
Of the 27 towns that make up our MLS, 24 have an average price exceeding $1 million (down from 27 in 2019, and 25 in 2018). Atherton is the most expensive town with an average price of $8.7 million followed by Hillsborough at $4.5 million, Woodside at $4.3 million and Portola Valley at $4 million. Only three towns’ home prices didn’t exceed $1 million (La Honda, Loma Mar and East Palo Alto).
Where you also see the change is in the percentage of sales price to list price. Back in 2005 that number was 101 percent. It was 97 percent in 2009, 107 percent in 2015, 105 percent in 2017, 112 percent in 2018 and now stands at 104 percent. (On the coast, it’s even with last year at 98 percent.)
This chart shows homes prices for both the coast and San Mateo County from 2007 to the present. As you can see, the Coastside much less expensive … it’s also a nicer place to live.
Steven Hyman is the broker and owner of Century 21 Sunset Properties. He can be reached at 726-6346 or at century21sunset.com.