No Longer a Neighborhood Divided.
The fact that home prices are surging anywhere in San Carlos is hardly newsworthy these days. Unless you’re new to the area, or completely oblivious to local real estate market, you’ve seen house prices absolutely skyrocket throughout San Carlos over the past 3 years.
For those of you not familiar with the Alder Manor neighborhood of San Carlos, it is the section that lies west of the Alameda up until Brittan Avenue (see the map below.) Since this part of San Carlos was developed much later than the flats of White Oaks, Oak Park, and Howard Park, the homes in Alder Manor are generally newer, larger, and are situation on larger lots than the typical 5,000-6,000 square foot lot that you’re accustomed to in the flats. In fact, some of the largest and most prestigious properties in all of San Carlos exist in Alder Manor, and some of the most picturesque streets in the city are right here in this neighborhood (Graceland, Eaton Villa, Timothy, etc..)
But Alder Manor also has the distinction of being the neighborhood in San Carlos that is zoned for the Redwood City School District. (This is widely misunderstood, since the upper part of Alder Manor — La Mesa Drive, Crestview Drive south of Brittan, etc — still resides within the San Carlos School District.) This means that many home buyers who have decided that they absolutely must live within the San Carlos School District boundary have traditionally steered clear of this area, which has somewhat limited the buyer pool in the past.
The latest surge in home prices has not left this neighborhood behind — in fact, the average home price in Alder Manor has jumped a whopping 51% since 2011, which is exactly on pace with the overall average gains in San Carlos:
The average sales price of $1,525,183 achieved in 2014 in Alder Manor was actually slightly higher than the city-wide average price of $1,460,478 in the same year, so this area is clearly home to some of the more nicer and more expensive homes in San Carlos (more on that below).
Redwood City District – Impact on Prices?
One of the big questions with the data above is how much the Redwood City School District factor weighs on the housing prices. In the chart below, I took the same data above by and split it by school district.
What this chart shows is that historically, the average price of homes in the Redwood City School District portion of Alder Manor have grown at the same rate as the rest of San Carlos; roughly ~50% since 2011. It also shows that in the past that average prices have lagged in varying degrees behind the Alder Manor homes that reside in the San Carlos School District.
But it also shows that so far in 2015, prices are continuing to surge for homes in the Redwood City School District, exceeding the average of the other homes in Alder Manor. And speaking of home prices, of all of the homes that have sold above $2,000,000 in San Carlos so far in 2015, a full 25% of these were in the Redwood City School District boundary of Alder Manor.
So clearly, any concern about school districts is weighing less on the minds of home buyers in this neighborhood, and they are clearly more willing to shell out top dollar now to get a larger home and larger lot in one of the most picturesque parts of the city. This effect is being mirrored in other parts of Redwood City, where home prices in the Mount Carmel and Woodside Plaza neighborhoods are absolutely scorching right now, sometimes even rivaling prices that we are seeing in San Carlos.
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