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San Carlos Real Estate: A Look Back at 2014.

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2014: A Year for the Record Books.

The real estate market in San Carlos, as well as everywhere on the San Francisco Peninsula, will be one that goes down in the record books. Fueled by a robust economy, a booming stock market, and low interest rates, the local real estate market started out of the chutes absolutely on fire and never cooled off the entire year. The exponential job growth in the tech sector brought many new home buyers to the local market, which exacerbated an already critical imbalance between the demand for homes and the available inventory. When you add the unprecedented buying power that buyers wielded this year, you had the perfect storm which absolutely blew the roof off the market.

Even the most bullish of predictions that were made for 2014 market a year ago were surpassed with relative ease. A year ago, I published some predictions about how the market might behave in 2014. While many of the things I predicted turned out to be true, there were several predictions that I was simply wrong about:

If these prices were to continue on the same trajectory, at this time next year the average price for a home in San Carlos would top $1,500,000, at an average of $828/square foot.   The average price of a 3-bedroom home, which is the bread-and-butter of the San Carlos housing stock, would hit $1,445,000.    And remember, these are only average values.  Many homes would thus have to sell for even higher.   Is this where market will be at this time next year?  I’m betting that it won’t…”  — White Oaks Blog, Dec 2013

There will be significantly more listings in 2014 than in 2013.”  — White Oaks Blog, Dec 2013

Interest rates will rise in 2014.”  — White Oaks Blog, Dec 2013

The reason for detailing last year’s predictions above was not to highlight the fact that I was about as accurate as the average weather forecaster, but more to call attention to a couple of key surprising factors that served to push the local market to stratospheric heights. In the charts below, we’ll discuss all of these elements in more detail.
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The San Carlos Real Estate Week in Review: 1-3-15.

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Welcome to 2015 on the White Oaks Blog! There was not much activity to report from the prior week, which was to be expected since it was the final holiday week of 2014.   But last week marked the close of what was the most dynamic real estate years in San Carlos in recent memory.  We will take a look back at 2014 later this week in the blog, but suffice it to say that numerous real estate records were set last year in San Carlos and throughout the Peninsula.  What’s even more incredible is that many of these same records will likely be topped in 2015 if the market continues on its upward trajectory.

So here’s to a prosperous New Year to all, and welcome back to another year on the White Oaks Blog.  Thank you again for being loyal readers of the site.

Here are the details from last week:

By the Numbers.

Below is a high-level view of the market performance for single-family residences in San Carlos. This data is for the week ending 1-3-2015:

San Carlos Housing Data 1-3-15 Prior Week
Closed Sales for the Week: 3 5
Average Sold Price: $1,122,960 $1,611,420
Average $/Sq Foot (Sold) $804 $1,079
Average Sold – Percentage Of List Price: 100% 112%
Average DOM of Closed Sales 24 15
No. of Homes Pending Sale: 16 17
No. of Active Listings: 3 4
Average Price of Active Listings: $1,189,667 $1,377,500
Average DOM of Active Listings: 32 24
Average $/Sq Foot (List) $804 $752
Active-Pending Ratio: 0.19 : 1 0.24: 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 San Carlos Real Estate Week in Review: 12-27-14.

2015 Counter For New Year Illustration

The San Carlos Real Estate Week in Review took a short break last week due to the holidays, and also because there simply weren’t enough real estate transactions to warrant reporting, which is to be expected around the holiday season. So this week’s data incorporates all of the activity over the past two weeks, and will be the final Week in Review in what has been an amazing 2014.

Thank you for being loyal readers of the White Oaks Blog! The readership of the site jumped exponentially in 2014, making it one of  the most sought after resources for information on San Carlos real estate. I’m personally very excited about what lies ahead for the site in 2015, which will mark the eighth year of reporting on everything that makes San Carlos what it is. There will be more in-depth coverage of events and developments that have an impact on living in San Carlos, and a significant increase in multimedia content. Be sure to stay tuned in the coming weeks for some significant announcements, too…

I hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday season.  Here’s to a healthy and prosperous 2015!

Here are the details from last week:

By the Numbers.

Below is a high-level view of the market performance for single-family residences in San Carlos. This data is for the week ending 12-27-2014:

San Carlos Housing Data 12-27-14 Prior Week
Closed Sales for the Week: 5 5
Average Sold Price: $1,611,420 $1,288,000
Average $/Sq Foot (Sold) $1,079 $1,009
Average Sold – Percentage Of List Price: 112% 120%
Average DOM of Closed Sales 15 11
No. of Homes Pending Sale: 17 18
No. of Active Listings: 4 4
Average Price of Active Listings: $1,377,500 $1,344,250
Average DOM of Active Listings: 24 19
Average $/Sq Foot (List) $752 $722
Active-Pending Ratio: 0.24 : 1 0.33: 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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High School Proposal Pits San Carlos Neighbors Against High School District

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Education Showdown.

Despite the protests of a vocal San Carlos neighborhood group, the Sequoia Union High School District voted unanimously last week to proceed with the purchase of the industrial complex at 535 Old County Road with the intent of constructing a magnet high school. As reported a few weeks ago on this site, the District is looking to build two magnet high schools within its boundaries as a way to alleviate capacity constraints at its existing schools due to surging enrollment in the area. The other location that the District has purchased for the second magnet school is at 150 Jefferson Drive in Menlo Park. The District hopes that the schools will attract 300-400 students each, according to this article in the Mercury News.

The San Carlos location that has been chosen for the magnet school creates an obvious problem that must be sufficiently addressed by the District: Traffic and parking. On a normal day, the combined intersections where both Industrial Road and El Camino Real meet Holly Street are extremely congested, especially at peak commute times. A big question mark with this proposal is how to accommodate the ingress, egress, and parking needs of 400 students plus faculty without completely overwhelming the area with gridlock.

I know from firsthand experience that when there are baseball and soccer games at Laureola Park, parking and traffic can be extremely challenging, and the attendance at these kinds of events are only a fraction of what a high school will draw on a daily basis. So coming up with a viable solution for this problem should be at the top of the District’s list of priorities if this project indeed moves forward.

And therein lies the big question — whether or not the project will indeed proceed. Neighbors in affected areas of San Carlos are extremely well informed and organized and they have certainly been battle-tested recently, addressing local developments such as the new parking restrictions on Holly Street, the Landmark Hotel proposal, and the Transit Village. The residents don’t object to building a magnet school in San Carlos, or even in the greater eastside section — provided that it’s a sensible location. This particular location creates some real and serious issues that must be adequately addressed.

From the tone of the comments in the Mercury News article, these residents appear ready to dig in their heels on this one.  There is a petition posted on the Greater East San Carlos Neighborhood Association website which is seeking support to block the initiative.

What Do You Think?

What is your opinion of a proposed magnet high school at 535 Old County Road? Good idea, or ill-advised?  Register your vote in the poll below, or as always, voice your thoughts in the comment section.

Should a magnet high school be built at 535 Old County Road in San Carlos?

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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: 12-13-14.

Holiday Calendar

As we enter the final weeks of the year, the pace of activity is starting to slow down.  This is to be expected, since December and January are perennially two of the slower months in the real estate year.   Last week, “2” seemed to be the magic number — two new listings, two pending sales, and two closed escrows.

I would expect more of the same this week as we start the final “full” week of 2014.   Most people who are considering selling their homes will likely wait until after the first of the year to avoid competing with the holiday season. This is a big reason why our inventory is where it’s at  —  a combined total of 5 homes, townhomes, and condos available in the entire city!  I can’t remember a time when inventory was that low.

But rest assured, that will change in the new year…

Here are the details from last week:

By the Numbers.

Below is a high-level view of the market performance for single-family residences in San Carlos. This data is for the week ending 12-13-2014:

San Carlos Housing Data 12-13-14 Prior Week
Closed Sales for the Week: 2 5
Average Sold Price: $1,288,000 $1,255,100
Average $/Sq Foot (Sold) $1,009 $798
Average Sold – Percentage Of List Price: 120% 114%
Average DOM of Closed Sales 11 17
No. of Homes Pending Sale: 18 18
No. of Active Listings: 4 6
Average Price of Active Listings: $1,344,250 $1,467,798
Average DOM of Active Listings: 19 35
Average $/Sq Foot (List) $777 $722
Active-Pending Ratio: 0.21 : 1 0.33: 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.
Get the best coverage on the San Carlos real estate market delivered right to you!
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The San Carlos Real Estate Week in Review: 12-6-14.

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We are moving into the second week of December, and the San Carlos market is showing quite a bit of resiliency to the normal holiday slow-down. Three listings braved the calendar (and the elements) and made their market debut this past week — and why not?  Even with the addition of these three homes, there are still only 6 homes for sale in the entire city! If competition is what you want to avoid as a seller, you can hardly ask for a better climate than what you have right now. There are still plenty of buyers out looking for a home, too, as open houses were reportedly well-attended over this past weekend.

Here are the details from last week:

By the Numbers.

Below is a high-level view of the market performance for single-family residences in San Carlos. This data is for the week ending 12-6-2014:

San Carlos Housing Data 12-6-14 Prior Week
Closed Sales for the Week: 5 2
Average Sold Price: $1,255,100 $1,342,500
Average $/Sq Foot (Sold) $798 $675
Average Sold – Percentage Of List Price: 114% 120%
Average DOM of Closed Sales 17 11
No. of Homes Pending Sale: 18 20
No. of Active Listings: 6 6
Average Price of Active Listings: $1,467,798 $1,347,650
Average DOM of Active Listings: 35 25
Average $/Sq Foot (List) $722 $814
Active-Pending Ratio: 0.33 : 1 0.3: 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 San Carlos Real Estate Week in Review: 11-29-14.

December Calendar

It’s kind of ironic that today is Cyber Monday, because there’s virtually nothing for sale in the San Carlos real estate market.  As of this morning, there are only 6 single-family homes for sale in the entire city, which is spot on to what I predicted last week. It’s even worse in the condo/townhouse market — there’s only one of them for sale right now. December is not typically a month that sees lots of new listings, so you can expect that inventory is going to stay in the tank until after the first of the year.

On the topic of new listings, it certainly appears now that 2014 will finish with the lowest level of new single-family home listings to hit the market in the past 10 years — unless a flurry of new listings were to hit in the next 31 days. I will post all of the relevant statistics in the annual year-end wrap-up, but that’s a significant trend that most certainly had an influence on the direction that housing prices headed in San Carlos in 2014…which, to nobody’s surprise, will likely be the highest level on record.

Here are the details from last week:

By the Numbers.

Below is a high-level view of the market performance for single-family residences in San Carlos. This data is for the week ending 11-29-2014:

San Carlos Housing Data 11-29-14 Prior Week
Closed Sales for the Week: 2 8
Average Sold Price: $1,342,500 $1,139,750
Average $/Sq Foot (Sold) $675 $907
Average Sold – Percentage Of List Price: 120% 104%
Average DOM of Closed Sales 11 20
No. of Homes Pending Sale: 20 16
No. of Active Listings: 6 18
Average Price of Active Listings: $1,347,650 $1,244,799
Average DOM of Active Listings: 25 36
Average $/Sq Foot (List) $814 $707
Active-Pending Ratio: 0.3 : 1 1.1: 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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A New High School in San Carlos?

San Carlos Dons

Magnet School Proposal.

When the topic of education comes up in San Carlos, there probably isn’t a bigger lightning rod than the high school situation – or lack thereof, right here in the City of Good Living.

For those of you relatively new to town, San Carlos once had its own high school, which was located where Highlands Park now stands on Melendy Drive. San Carlos High School at that time was the newest of the high schools in the District, but was closed in 1982 due to declining enrollment. The land was sold by the District to developers, and the land surrounding the athletic fields where the school used to reside was converted over to residential property. It was a decision that many San Carlos residents now regret in hindsight, especially now as the District grapples for solutions to solve its rapidly growing enrollment.

If there’s a single shortcoming that ever gets singled out with the otherwise excellent education track in San Carlos, its the lack of a high school.

The option to build another “full-size” high school with athletic fields anywhere on the Peninsula, let alone San Carlos, is virtually impossible due to the lack of the contiguous acreage required, and the restrictions on where such a facility could be built if the acreage was indeed available. This has made the notion of developing multiple smaller “magnet” schools a more feasible solution to the enrollment problem that the District now faces.  In other words, break the problem into smaller bites — not too different than what the San Carlos School District is doing with their “bridge school” solution for 4-5 grades.

The District has taken a definitive step to developing one of these “magnet” high schools right here in San Carlos by entering into contract to purchase the light industrial facility at 535 Old County Road, which is ironically adjacent to Laureola Park (the site of another San Carlos school that was regrettably closed years ago.)  Here is a map of the location:

The school would house approximately 400 total students, which is about 1/5 of the enrollment of either Sequoia or Carlmont High Schools — or, smaller than just the freshman class at either of these schools.   The contract for the purchase of the property has a 60-day contingency period built in to allow the District to complete its due diligence of the location, which involves determining compliance to the rigorous restrictions that are in place regarding where a school can be built today.   If everything checks out, the purchase can close as early as mid-January of 2015.

There’s a great article by Angela Swartz of the Daily Journal with more details about the proposal.  Click here for that article.
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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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What Do You Think?

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