It may be hard to believe, but January 2016 is already in our rear-view mirror. It seems like only yesterday that I was taking the Christmas lights down off the house (there’s more truth to that than I should admit.) Anyhow, as we head into February, I thought it would be instrumental to take a look at the single-family residence listings that hit the market in January, and compare those statistics to the same period of the past few years. In a market where homes are selling so quickly, there’s never an opportunity to establish any real level of inventory. That makes it difficult to get a accurate read if we’re actually getting a steady stream of new listings, or if we’re still in the downward slide that has been plaguing the market for the past four years.
The chart below shows the number of new single family residence listings that hit the market in January of 2016, and compares them to the same period during the previous few years. This statistic is one that we will track, update, and talk about quite often on the blog because there is probably not a single stat that has more of an impact on the local real estate market than this.
As listings go, so goes the market.
San Carlos notched 19 new single-family listings in January, which was down slightly from January of 2015, and about on par with the same period during 2012-2014. The post recession years of 2010-2011 saw a huge bump in new listings, as one might expect during a time when distressed sales had played a much more significant part of the market.
It’s a little too early in the year to draw any decisive conclusions from these numbers. January’s totals simply do not dictate where a year is going to go. A prime example of that was just last year, when I distinctly remember noting how 2015 got off to the fastest start in 4 years — only to see it peter out later in the year and finish with the lowest number of new listings of any year in the entire decade. Trust that we will refresh the chart above every month, and see how 2016 is really shaping up.
What about list prices? As you may have guessed, the average asking price for a home in San Carlos is on the rise. In January of 2016, the average listing price for those 19 homes was $1,564,688 — or an 11% increase of from the $1,410,359 average list price that we saw at this time last year. This should come as no surprise to home buyers, as sellers continue to push the barrier to entry to San Carlos just that much higher.
What Lies Ahead?
As I mentioned earlier, the numbers are simply too close together and statistically too small to tell us very much this early in the year. What we do know is that the economy is a bit more rocky now than it was in early 2015. The volatility of the stock market and concerns about the global economy are leading some experts to believe that the market may be starting to level off. This may be enough of a motivation to get some more sellers to actually sell, which is something this market desperately needs right now.
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