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San Carlos Real Estate October 24, 2017

San Carlos Home Prices Top $1000/Square Foot.

by Chuck Gillooley

Just when you thought home prices couldn’t possibly go any higher in San Carlos, here’s yet another mind-blowing metric to grasp:  The average price of all homes sold in San Carlos so far in 2017 has eclipsed the $1000/square foot mark for the first time….ever.  It wasn’t long ago that we talked about $600/sq foot being rare air that was reserved solely for new construction, but my how times have changed…

Whenever we discuss using price-per-square-foot as a yardstick to assess home values, it’s always important to remember that it is a very rough and high-level metric that has a little less relevance when it’s applied to a diverse housing stock like we have in San Carlos.  Price per square foot is a far more accurate assessment of value when used on a subdivision or condo complex where there is a fixed number of similar footprints and layouts, and fine-tuning the difference in value is then based on location and condition of the property. The Brittan Heights condo complex is a perfect example of this — there are three basic floor-plans in the sprawling complex:  All of the 1-bedroom units are the same size and layout as each other, as are the 2 and 3 bedroom units relative to their peers.

By contrast, single family homes in San Carlos range in size from 800 square feet all the way beyond 5,000 square feet (yes there are homes in San Carlos that even exceed 6,000).  And the biggest thing to remember is that price per square foot does not track linearly across those spans of homes.  Generally speaking,  the smaller the home is the higher the price per square foot will be, because the base line dirt value has a much greater influence on price of a small home than it will for a large one.  And large homes have more “lower value” square footage in areas such as family rooms and living rooms.  That’s not to say that a large home can’t get $1,000/square foot — it’s just a lot less likely.

To illustrate this point, here’s what the 2017 YTD average of $1,009/sq foot for San Carlos looks like when segmented by home size:

Home Size (Sq Feet)
2017 PPSF
<1,500 $1,209
<1,500-2,500 $964
<2,500+ $853

This clearly shows the non-linear relationship between home size and price-per-square-foot. But nevertheless, it is often the first thing that rolls off the tongue when people discuss house prices in San Carlos…. “Wow, that house got over $1,200/square foot!!”   I’m sure you’ve heard that one lately…

So here is a chart of the average price per square foot for all single-family homes in San Carlos, tracked all the way back to 2011:

If you purchased your San Carlos home around 2011 or earlier, this should put a big smile on your face. If you’re a hopeful home buyer watching prices escalate through the stratosphere….umm, not so much.

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