It’s hard for me to believe, but the first three months of 2009 are now behind us. That means two things — a) it’s time to get moving on my taxes, and b) it’s also time for another installation of the San Carlos Real Estate Report Card. Since I’d much rather do b) than a), let’s talk a little about real estate…
In the Shadow of 2008…
You may recall from the report I issued at the end of February that the pace of home sales in San Carlos so far in 2009 has been lagging significantly behind 2008’s pace (and ’08 was considered by all to be a down year.) Well, nothing happened in March of 2008 to significantly close that gap. Here are the details:
|Key Trends||Q1 2009||Q1 2008||Difference|
|No. of Sales||33||50||17 (-34%)|
|Average Price||$985,752||$1,219,884||$234,132 (-19%)|
|Median Price||$950,000||$1,180,000||$230,000 (-19.5%)|
|Avg. Days on Market||47||43||4 (+9%)|
The numbers speak for themselves. The economy continues to keep a lid on the number of homes that sell, and the price that these homes that sell for. But below these numbers, a different story is playing itself out in the San Carlos market…
So, Who’s Buying Homes?
Each week in the “San Carlos Week in Review” series, I highlight the new listings and the home sales for each week. Recently, I started to break out the results by price range, and some obvious trends started to emerge: Right now, the most active sector of the San Carlos real estate market is below $1M. In my opinion, there are two reasons for this:
- First and most obvious, with prices dropping 19% from the first quarter of ’08, there are simply more homes in this price range now. Some of these homes last year would have been well north of the $1M mark.
- First-time buyers are jumping in. With more attractively-priced homes to choose from, and rates for conforming loans now below 5%, many first-time buyers are deciding that this the right time for them to get into the market. I’m seeing a surge in interest from this group of buyers, and other agents I have spoken with echo the sentiment.
How will this impact the rest of the market?
The Domino Effect
If this trend continues, it will have a tangible benefit on homes in the higher price ranges. Why? A significant number of homeowners who are selling homes in the sub-$1M range are “move-up” buyers who are looking for bigger and more expensive homes, but many of them aren’t in a position to move until they sell their existing home first. Consequently, keep in mind that the benefit of this surge won’t be seen right away — quite possibly not until much later this year. But getting entry-level homes moving is a key element to the recovery of any real estate market.
Check back at the end of April for the next Report Card. If you’d like to see the list of all of the homes that sold so far this year in San Carlos, just drop me an email, and I’d be happy to send it to you. But in the meantime, Uncle Sam has requested that you resume your previous tax-related activities…
Welcome to to the White Oaks Blog — the most widely read blog dedicated to the San Carlos real estate market! Have blog updates sent to you automatically by subscribing for free by clicking here. Be sure to follow the White Oaks Blog on Facebook at https://Facebook.com/WhiteOaksBlog , and on Twitter @WhiteOaksBlog.
Don’t miss a single update!