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San Carlos Real Estate March 26, 2014

San Carlos: The City of Million Dollar Living.

by Chuck Gillooley

Maybe it’s time to change the city’s official slogan?   After you see the stats below, you might very well agree.

If you are dreaming of buying a single-family home in San Carlos, but your budget is under $1M,  I hate to be the bearer of bad news — your chances of finding that home are rapidly evaporating in this white-hot real estate market.

It wasn’t too long ago that if you were a $1M buyer, you could buy a nice 3BR home pretty much anywhere you wanted to be in San Carlos — even in the trendy White Oaks and Howard Park neighborhoods.  Heck, for $1M you probably still had enough money left over for a few upgrades.

In 2012 and 2013, it became much more difficult to land that same 3BR home for under $1M, especially anywhere west of El Camino Real.   If you were determined to live on the west side of town for under $1M, you either had to settle for a 3BR home on a busy street like San Carlos Avenue, or ratchet down your expectations to a 2BR home.   The other option was to start looking in the Greater East San Carlos area for that 3BR home within your budget — but even that wasn’t a guarantee, since there are so few homes that come up for sale in that neighborhood.  And lately, even they are flirting occasionally with 7-figure prices.

Well, that all changed dramatically his year…

Welcome to 2014.

Fast forward to this year, and the unprecedented surge in the local economy has pushed San Carlos to the brink of being a community exclusively comprised of $1M+ homes.   Don’t laugh — we’re almost there.   Take a look at the following graph:

$1M Homes in San Carlos

What does this graph show us?   In 2012, only half of all the homes that sold in all of San Carlos sold for $1M or higher.  If you were only focused on areas west of El Camino Real, that number jumped to 53%.   So far in 2014, a whopping 87% of all of the homes that have sold in all of San Carlos were over $1M — and that number jumps to 91% for all homes west of El Camino.

I think the single most stunning aspect of this chart is that the data is for all homes sold in San Carlos, regardless of size, configuration, or condition — so we’re not just talking about our benchmark 3BR/2BA home.   Even the tiny 2BR/1BA homes are now routinely fetching over $1M… something that was simply unheard of only a couple of years ago.   As we have discussed in a previous post, even the dirt in many neighborhoods will fetch over $1M if someone is able to build their dream home on it.

But what this graph makes painfully clear is that if you’re shopping for a single-family home with a 6-figure budget, you’d better be considering a condo… or perhaps another town.  Because the affordability of San Carlos just took the last train out of town…with the old slogan tucked neatly under its arm.

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