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The San Carlos Real Estate Week in Review: 8-30-15.

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The Scoop.

Listing activity picked up somewhat last week in San Carlos, certainly when compared to the prior week. Six new homes jumped into the fray, and only two went into contract. This succeeded in bringing the inventory back out of the single-digit range, but only back up to 12 total units for sale in the entire city. Even as we head into September, this is a paltry inventory level for what normally is a robust Fall market.

Condo and townhouse buyers enjoyed a (relatively) healthy uptick in new listings, with four new units debuting on the market — this succeeded in bringing the inventory total up to 5 total units.  That’s certainly not a huge number, but it’s over double where we started last week at this time.

With the month of September starting tomorrow, there are about 2 months left in the calendar year of decent real estate activity – maybe an additional two weeks if November turns out to be a dry one again like it has in previous years.  Here’s to hoping that buyers get quite a few more listings to choose from before the end of this year.

Here’s the recap from last week:

The Numbers.

Below is a high-level view of the market performance for single-family residences in San Carlos. This data is for the 7-day period ending Sunday 8-30-2015:

San Carlos Housing Data 8-30-15 Prior Week
Closed Sales for the Week: 2 8
Average Sold Price: $1,770,000 $1,536,876
Average $/Sq Foot (Sold) $909 $967
Average Sold as Percentage Of List Price: 110% 112%
Average DOM of Closed Sales 12 16
No. of Homes Pending Sale: 22 22
No. of New Listings: 6 3
Total # of Active Listings: 11 7
Average Price of Active Listings: $1,772,700 $2,256,754
Average DOM of Active Listings: 10 23
Average $/Sq Foot (List) $791 $841
Active-Pending Ratio: 0.50 : 1 0.32 : 1

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How Will the Stock Market Woes Impact San Carlos Real Estate?

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Roller Coaster Ride.

The last few days have provided some of the most mesmerizing stock ticker-watching of any period since the end of the recession as the global stock markets have taken a monumental shot to the proverbial jaw. Since Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has seen three consecutive trading days of triple-digit losses based on concerns about the slowing economy in China and how that may impact the U.S. economy.  This is the biggest drop in the market in at least the last 7 years.

I don’t know about you, but I have been glued to the Bloomberg Channel watching the market thrash about, trying to find some sense of stability. The swings in momentum have been simply breathtaking.

For those with significant equity positions in the market going into last Friday, it’s obvious that these are gut-wrenching developments. Losing 10-15% of one’s portfolio in roughly the same period of time as a Giants homestand must be tremendously unnerving. And yet for others, it may present an opportunity to roll the dice and buy some favorite stocks on their weakness.

But the question that I have heard repeatedly since Friday is this: How will impact the local real estate market? The answer is this — it’s too soon to tell. Here’s why….

Two Key Components.

The recent market volatility will impact today’s Peninsula home buyers in two basic ways:  Financially, and emotionally.  Let’s take a quick look at both.

  • Financial Impact: When it comes to the Peninsula real estate market, the financial impact of the plunging stock market will vary depending on what communities you are looking considering. For higher-end communities like Palo Alto, Hillsborough, and Los Altos Hills that have been prime destinations for Asian investors, I believe they will feel a more acute impact since many of their purchases are all-cash, and often from foreign buyers. In fact, many agents that specialize in these communities have sensed a pull-back from foreign investors for a number of weeks before the market hit the skids. For communities like San Carlos, Redwood City and Belmont, I believe that the impact will be less. While home buyers will certainly feel the sting of the devaluation of their portfolio, the fact remains that most of these buyers are still taking out loans that will represent at least 60% of the funding for their home purchase. So the impact will be a little less severe, simply because their purchase is not 100% dependent on the value of their portfolio. In fact, one could even argue that the stock market correction may help buyers in the long run, since the Federal Reserve may choose to delay their widely-anticipated rate hike that is slated for next month.
  • Emotional Impact. This is a far more subjective criteria, and it will vary from buyer to buyer. Much depends on one’s market particular philosophy (i.e., is this a normal correction, or the sign of a bigger trend?) and of course, how much of their purchasing power is currently tied up in the market. Much like the pricing in today’s housing market, memories of what has happened over the past week will be very short if the market recovers most of its value in short order. It’s just like the home buyer who was worried that he overpaid — until the following week another house sold for even more.

In a nutshell, until it is determined whether this was just a blip or an indication of much deeper problems with our complex, global economy, I think it’s simply too early to tell what impact it will have on the local real estate market. It’s obviously not going to be positive, but I don’t see buyers jumping off the train just yet, either.

If you are a home buyer in this market, how have the events of the past few days impacted your home buying strategy?
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The Best of Tour in San Carlos: 8-25-15

The best

1348 Cedar Street.

This week’s broker tour in San Carlos wasn’t much more bountiful than last week’s tour, when there were only two homes to see. This week’s tour only showcased four homes on their first tour, and they all vared widely in terms of current condition and potential value. This week’s pick for (my) Best of Tour addresses both criteria — not only for what the property could ultimately become, but also for how much it may sell for in its present condition.

1348 Cedar Street in San Carlos is a 2BR/1BA, 960 square foot fixer that is listed at $849,000 by Mila Gelman of Vanguard Properties. (Click on the picture below for the listing details).

1348 Cedar Street, San Carlos

1348 Cedar Street, San Carlos

 

What, you ask? Since when is a total fixer worthy of the illustrious “Best of Tour” award on the White Oaks Blog? After all, there is essentially no redeeming value in the structure itself (if you’ve been to the open house, you know exactly what I am talking about). No, the real value in this property is not the house, but the fact that the house sits on a 10,500 square foot flat lot in a prime central San Carlos location.

It goes without saying that quite a few builders and well-heeled buyers who have been waiting for a huge lot like this to build their dream home are drooling over this one. Because of that, look for this one to sell for a silly amount above the asking price of $849,000. (It should certainly set the mark for the highest percentage over the list price of any home kept stats on in San Carlos this year.)

If you’re looking for a clean slate to build your dream home in San Carlos, you won’t find a much better one than this. It will be open from 1:00-4:00 on Sunday, or you can contact me for a private showing. It’s a probate sale, so make sure you’re working with someone who has experience in those types of home sales because there are indeed important differences.

Honorable Mentions

There was three other single-family homes on tour in San Carlos this week. Click on the addresses below for all of the listing details:

  • 2845 Brittan Avenue: A large 4BR/2.5BA homes located in the hills of San Carlos. At over 2,600 square feet, it’s a lot of house for the money. Listed at $1,549,000 by Lindsey Ehrlicher of Vanguard Properties.
  • 2032 Birch Avenue: This is the other fixer that was on tour this week. It also has fantastic upside potential, because it’s in a very desirable Howard Park neighborhood. You just don’t see many homes on those blocks of Birch, Eucalyptus or Arroyo hitting the market very often. Listed at $1,078,000 by Mary Molinari of Coldwell Banker.
  • 1118 Royal Lane: If you’re familiar with the homes on Royal Lane, then you’ll really like this one. It’s super clean on the inside, and sports one of the best locations on the loop, since it’s in the middle away from the main roads. Listed at $1,298,000 by Laura Bertolacci of Dwell Realtors.

That’s the recap from this week’s tour in San Carlos. Let me know if you’re interested in seeing any of these great homes!
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Are you ready to step up to the most comprehensive data available about the San Carlos Real Estate market? Then subscribe to the White Oaks Blog for free by clicking here. Be sure to follow the White Oaks Blog on Facebook at https://Facebook.com/WhiteOaksBlog , and on Twitter @WhiteOaksBlog.
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The San Carlos Real Estate Week in Review: 8-23-15.

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The Scoop.

Buyers were certainly out in force last week in San Carlos as they snapped up eight of the single-family homes that were on the market. The problem is that the sellers were clearly not on the same page, with only 3 new listings to hit the market during the same stretch. The net result is that the inventory of single-family homes for sale in San Carlos as we head into the new week sits at 7.

What’s even more discouraging for buyers hoping to find something in San Carlos is that of those seven homes, four of them are in the upper price range for San Carlos — $2.3M and above, and those 4 have been on the market for an average of 38 days. Of the remaining three, only one is in that sweet spot between $1.5M and $2M.  That’s not much to choose from as we start the new week.

Condo and townhouse buyers aren’t faring much better, either. Starting the week, there are only 2 units for sale in all of San Carlos.

Here’s the recap from last week:

The Numbers.

Below is a high-level view of the market performance for single-family residences in San Carlos. This data is for the 7-day period ending Sunday 8-23-2015:

San Carlos Housing Data 8-23-15 Prior Week
Closed Sales for the Week: 8 3
Average Sold Price: $1,536,876 $1,178,333
Average $/Sq Foot (Sold) $967 $823
Average Sold as Percentage Of List Price: 112% 109%
Average DOM of Closed Sales 16 12
No. of Homes Pending Sale: 22 22
No. of New Listings: 3 3
Total # of Active Listings: 7 12
Average Price of Active Listings: $2,256,754 $2,131,583
Average DOM of Active Listings: 23 17
Average $/Sq Foot (List) $841 $767
Active-Pending Ratio: 0.32 : 1 0.55 : 1

>>> Click Here to Read the Full Post
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Are you ready to step up to the most comprehensive data available about the San Carlos Real Estate market? Then subscribe to the White Oaks Blog for free by clicking here. Be sure to follow the White Oaks Blog on Facebook at https://Facebook.com/WhiteOaksBlog , and on Twitter @WhiteOaksBlog.
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The Best of Tour in San Carlos: 8-18-15

The best

2600 Howard Avenue.

Considering that there were only two homes that were “officially” on tour this week in San Carlos, it was hardly a competition to pick the winner for Best of Tour for this post. But frankly, even if there were 10 houses on tour in San Carlos competing with this home, there’s a very good chance the results would have remained the same anyway, because this week’s winner truly has all of the right stuff.

2600 Howard Avenue in San Carlos is a beautifully remodeled 4BR/3BA, 2,606 square foot home that is co-listed at $1,898,000 by my partners Bob Bredel and Tatum Clarke of Dwell Realtors. (Click on the picture below for the listing details).

2600 Howard Avenue is a great house in many ways. First of all, it was recently rebuilt in 2010, so everything feels fresh and modern, especially the rich dark wood floors and the fabulous gourmet kitchen:

2600 Howard Avenue Kitchen

You also get that elusive 4th bedroom that so many home buyers are looking for right now, and most important (IMHO), is that the layout is supremely well designed. Everything is in the right place. With three bedrooms upstairs, and one bedroom down, it’s the perfect setup to keep all of the family together on one level, and have an extra room on the main level for a guest, or a home office.

On the main level, you get that open floor plan that is so appealing to today’s buyers. This makes the home equally functional for either entertaining, or just for casual living for the family.

2600 Howard Avenue FR

 

This home is located smack in the middle of anywhere you want or need to be in San Carlos — it’s not far from about schools, downtown, or either of major commute routes (101 and 280).

If you’re looking for a newer 4BR home in San Carlos, put this one at the top of your list. It will be open from 2:00-4:00 on both Saturday and Sunday, or you can contact me for a private showing.

Honorable Mention

As I mentioned earlier, there was only one other single-family home on tour in San Carlos this week. Click on the address below for all of the listing details:

  • 496 Wellington Drive: A fabulous value for a 3BR home on the west-side of Alameda in San Carlos. Listed at $998,000 by Mike Danao of Better Homes Realty.

That’s the recap from this week’s tour in San Carlos. Let me know if you’re interested in seeing any of these great homes!
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Are you ready to step up to the most comprehensive data available about the San Carlos Real Estate market? Then subscribe to the White Oaks Blog for free by clicking here. Be sure to follow the White Oaks Blog on Facebook at https://Facebook.com/WhiteOaksBlog , and on Twitter @WhiteOaksBlog.
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The San Carlos Real Estate Week in Review: 8-16-15.

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The Scoop.

This past week marked the first of the back-to-school weeks, and the end of summer break for many in San Carlos. It’s shocking to believe that summer break is already over! But it also marks the beginning of what we hope will be a very robust Fall real estate market here in San Carlos. This is traditionally the last 3-month period of the year (August 15 – November 15) that sellers will put their homes on the market before shutting everything down for the holidays.

The activity last week was underwhelming by any standard. Only 3 new single-family listings hit the market, and 4 homes that were put into contract. We are starting the week with an inventory of 12 homes for sale in the entire city, and only one condo. Here’s to hoping we see more this week.

Here’s the scoop from last week:

The Numbers.

Below is a high-level view of the market performance for single-family residences in San Carlos. This data is for the 7-day period ending Sunday 8-16-2015:

San Carlos Housing Data 8-16-15 Prior Week
Closed Sales for the Week: 3 3
Average Sold Price: $1,178,333 $2,001,000
Average $/Sq Foot (Sold) $823 $888
Average Sold as Percentage Of List Price: 109% 113%
Average DOM of Closed Sales 14 28
No. of Homes Pending Sale: 22 21
No. of New Listings: 3 7
Total # of Active Listings: 12 13
Average Price of Active Listings: $2,131,583 $2,074,308
Average DOM of Active Listings: 17 11
Average $/Sq Foot (List) $767 $751
Active-Pending Ratio: 0.55 : 1 0.62 : 1

>>> Click Here to Read the Full Post
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Are you ready to step up to the most comprehensive data available about the San Carlos Real Estate market? Then subscribe to the White Oaks Blog for free by clicking here. Be sure to follow the White Oaks Blog on Facebook at https://Facebook.com/WhiteOaksBlog , and on Twitter @WhiteOaksBlog.
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The Best of Tour in San Carlos: 8-11-15

The best

There seemed to be an abnormally high percentage of BIG houses that were featured on broker tour this week in San Carlos. Of the six homes that were on their first tour Tuesday, half of them were 3,000 square feet or larger. That’s definitely bigger than your “average” San Carlos home, and is generally not the mix one would expect to see on a typical tour week.

But there they were, in all of their grand glory: 281 Dartmouth Avenue at 3,000 square feet, 204 Exeter Avenue at 3,450 square feet, and 313 Oakview Drive at a whopping 4,212 square feet. An interesting side note is that two of these three are flips, which means that investors and contractors are not shy about testing the upper price range of the San Carlos market.

281 Dartmouth Avenue.

My pick for the “Best of Tour San Carlos” this week is not the biggest of the bunch, but in my opinion offers the best of what today’s buyers are looking for. It’s 4BR/3.5BA newly remodeled home that is listed at $3,198,000 by Todd Weidmer at RealSmart Properties. (Click on the picture below for the listing details).

281 Dartmouth Avenue, San Carlos

281 Dartmouth Avenue, San Carlos

281 Dartmouth Avenue is not the typical house that you would expect to find in the northern hills of San Carlos, especially on Dartmouth Avenue where so many of the homes are perched on a steep hillside.  This fabulous home is situated on a massive and beautifully landscaped 14,800 square foot mostly-flat lot, which is a rarity anywhere in San Carlos, let alone in this part of town. The back of the home features fabulous views of the south bay.

281 Dartmouth Avenue - Back Yard

281 Dartmouth Avenue – Back Yard

It seems that no detail was overlooked in the design and construction of this home, starting right away with the intricate craftsman type details of the front entry:

281 Dartmouth Avenue - Entry

281 Dartmouth Avenue – Entry

But what will really capture the eyes (and hearts) of potential buyers is the open, intelligent floorplan of this home. Everything in this home is situated just right, from the placement of the bedrooms, to how the kitchen and great room flow together so seamlessly. It’s the kind of home that can be a cozy, luxurious family home one day, and then host a knock-out dinner party the next.

For those of you that are extra particular about the school district, this home is in the boundaries for Arundel Elementary, Tierra Linda Midddle, and Carlmont High Schools — a triple-play that is very desirable to many home shoppers in San Carlos. (Buyers should verify this data with the respective school districts, of course.)

When a home is listed at over $3M in San Carlos, it really needs to bring the goods. 218 Dartmouth does just that.

Honorable Mentions

There were 5 other homes that were on tour in San Carlos this week. Click on the addresses for all of the listing details:

  • 313 Oakview Drive:  This was a very close second place for my “Best of Tour” pick this week. This is the other of the two flips, and it has LOTS of space at 4,212 square feet. Great views, and an equally great White Oaks location. Listed at $2,595,000 by Medina Begic of Coldwell Banker.
  • 204 Exeter Avenue:  The third of the three large homes on tour this week, it is nicely appointed with lots of space — AND it’s also in the Arundel/TL/Carlmont zone. Listed at $1,788,000 by Donna Colangelo of Intero.
  • 171 Rogers Avenue: A surprisingly spacious 3BR/3BA home in a great central location just off upper Brittan Avenue. Listed at $1,650,000 by Tom Kucsak of Berkshire Hathaway.
  • 509 De Anza Avenue: If there was a category for best sleeper pick of the week, this one would win hands down.  LOTS of potential with this home – it just needs some updating.  Logical floorplan, and a huge 10,140 square foot yard. Listed at $1,449,000 by Michelle Glaubert of Coldwell Banker.
  • 2840 Brittan Avenue:  A lot of house for the money.  Great location on upper Brittan for those who need to get to Interstate 280 quickly in the morning. And it’s another house with a huge lot. Listed at $1,399,000 by Steve Hicks of Gateway Properties.

That’s the recap from this week’s tour in San Carlos. Let me know if you’re interested in seeing any of these great homes!
_____________________________________________________________________________

Are you ready to step up to the most comprehensive data available about the San Carlos Real Estate market? Then subscribe to the White Oaks Blog for free by clicking here. Be sure to follow the White Oaks Blog on Facebook at https://Facebook.com/WhiteOaksBlog , and on Twitter @WhiteOaksBlog.
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A Precipitous Drop in New Listings Squeezes the Mid-Peninsula.

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The Market is Tight Everywhere.

As I have written about numerous times on the blog, San Carlos is in the midst of an extremely tight real estate market in 2015 that is characterized by paltry inventory levels and the lowest number of new listings of any year in the past decade. So far this year, the number of new single-family residence listings in San Carlos has dropped a whopping 21% from just last year.

It’s no wonder it seems like there are never any houses on the market to choose from, right?

But if you’re shopping for a home anywhere else on the mid-Peninsula, chances are that you’re experiencing the very same tight market conditions. Nearly every community on the mid-Peninsula has seen the number of new listings drop in 2015 compared to last year, with San Mateo being the lone exception. That phenomenon is playing a huge role in driving up home prices to all-time highs on the mid-Peninsula.

How much has the listing pipeline dried up this year? The table below compares the number of new single-family residence listings so far this year compared to the same 7-month period last year in the communities on the mid-Peninsula:

Community Listings YTD 2015
Listings YTD 2014 Difference
Burlingame 135 180 -25.0%
San Carlos 167 210 -20.5%
Belmont 143 168 -14.9%
Foster City 65 74 -12.2%
Menlo Park 242 259 -6.6%
Redwood City 420 444 -5.4%
San Mateo 410 428 +4.4%

Source: Multiple Listing Service (MLS).

Now since this data is pulled directly from the MLS, it is not taking into account any homes that were sold off-market and not recorded later on the MLS for comparable purposes. So it’s quite possible that the data for some of the higher-end markets of the mid-Peninsula like Menlo Park and Burlingame might not be as accurate as other communities, simply because they tend to have more off-market sales.

But if one assumes that the percentage of those non-reported sales remained relatively constant over the past few years, then the general assumption should bear out that there are simply fewer homes for sale this year on the mid-Peninsula.  Regardless, it’s an undeniable fact that there are fewer homes being marketed on the MLS this year than there were last year.

It’s the Economy.

What’s the reason behind this? Quite simply, it’s the economy. We are in the midst of the strongest job market the Bay Area has seen in decades. People simply aren’t moving out at the rate they normally do because all of the high-paying jobs are right here. Even many retirees are choosing to stay put on the Peninsula to be closer to their grandkids, or because they prefer the weather and lifestyle here.

Many “move-up” buyers are also being forced out of this market, too. These are people who already own a home in the area who would traditionally move up to a larger home as they outgrow the starter home that they’re in. But many of those homeowners are finding it impossible to compete against strong, non-contingent offers — especially if they have to sell their home first before purchasing their next home. So many move-up buyers are forced to stay put and expand their existing home, which has resulted in a remodeling boom on virtually every block on the Peninsula. That’s great for housing contractors, but not so good for home buyers because each one of these would have been a new listing in a less heated market.

On top of all that the Peninsula is almost 100% built out, meaning there is no room for any significant new housing.  There is no land on which to build large housing developments like you have in the East Bay, so the only option left is to go vertical, which a number of communities like Redwood City are aggressively pursuing.  That means the total stock for single-family residences on the Peninsula will remain essentially unchanged going forward.

So until something significantly changes in the local economy, get used to the housing market being extremely tight. When we revisit these stats at the end of the year, it’s very likely that 2015 will go down in the records books as the lowest number of new listings for many communities on the Peninsula.
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Are you ready to step up to the most comprehensive data available about the San Carlos Real Estate market? Then subscribe to the White Oaks Blog for free by clicking here. Be sure to follow the White Oaks Blog on Facebook at https://Facebook.com/WhiteOaksBlog , and on Twitter @WhiteOaksBlog.
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