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The San Carlos Real Estate Week in Review: 1-25-15.

The San Carlos Real Estate Week in Review is the only comprehensive weekly summary of the San Carlos real estate market, and it’s published every Monday on the White Oaks Blog.

Chuck’s Sales

Focus = Results. If you hope to succeed in this ultra-competitive real estate market, it’s imperative that you enlist the help of an experienced Realtor who is laser-focused on the local real estate market, and who thoroughly understands the micro-economic nuances of each neighborhood.   The stakes are simply too high …

Behind the Numbers: $2,000,000 Home Sales in San Carlos.

The number of homes to sell for $2,000,000 or above in San Carlos has by almost 70% in 2014. While this may not be totally surprising given the state of the local economy, there are some interesting trends that emerge when we dig into the numbers.

Map of San Carlos Regions

The Realtor Zones. When it comes to residential real estate, the City of San Carlos is divided up into 6 different real estate “zones”: Alder Manor (Area 350), Beverly Terrace (351), El Sereno Corte (352), Howard Park (353), Clearfield Park (354), and Cordes (355). When a home is for sale …

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Stuff the Bus With Toys!

Sheriff

Annual Sheriff’s Department Toy Drive.

Join the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Department this coming Saturday December 6 for their annual “Stuff the Bus” holiday toy drive, which helps shed some cheer on those who are less fortunate this holiday season. The Sheriff’s Department community outreach organizations, with help from the Redwood City and San Carlos Fire Departments, Bianchini’s Market, and Toy’s R Us, will be at various locations throughout the mid-Peninsula on Saturday to collect toys and cash donations in lieu of toys.  In addition, there are dozens of collection barrels located throughout the area that will be available all month for people to drop off unwrapped toys and books.

Last year, the Department estimated that they distributed gifts to nearly 700 local families, and they expect that number to grow even larger this year as more families are stretched to make ends meet during the holidays.

The Saturday festivities will be at the following locations:

  • 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM at Bianchini’s Market, San Carlos
  • 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM at the Toys R Us store in Redwood City.
  • 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM at the Toys R Us store in Foster City

There will be lots of fun activities there for the kids, too, and even free pictures with Santa for everyone who makes a donation.   So don’t miss out on this opportunity to make the holidays brighter for some families in need!

And many thanks to all of the folks at the Sheriff’s Department, and their many partners in this event, for such a fantastic example of holiday goodwill and community support.

14 stuff the bus

 
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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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The San Carlos Real Estate Week in Review: 11-22-14.

Thanksgiving calendar

The fall market is starting to wind down, as it normally does right about this time of the year. Only one new listing hit the market last week in San Carlos, and the inventory of available homes has dropped back down to 13. Worse yet for home buyers, when you take a closer look at that list of 13, easily half of those could be in contract before the Thanksgiving holiday, which will drive that inventory well back back into the single digits.  It will likely remain at that level through the remainder of year, short of some unexpected surge of new listings, which is definitely atypical in December.  After the Thanksgiving week, there are really only 3 weeks remaining weeks in the year that are not interrupted by a holiday, so the number of home shopping days is definitely limited.

Happy Thanksgiving to all the loyal readers of the White Oaks Blog!  I hope you have an enjoyable and memorable holiday with friends and family.

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 11-22-2014:

San Carlos Housing Data 11-22-14 Prior Week
Closed Sales for the Week: 8 6
Average Sold Price: $1,139,750 $1,590,833
Average $/Sq Foot (Sold) $907 $762
Average Sold – Percentage Of List Price: 104% 108%
Average DOM of Closed Sales 20 22
No. of Homes Pending Sale: 16 19
No. of Active Listings: 18 18
Average Price of Active Listings: $1,244,799 $1,391,035
Average DOM of Active Listings: 36 32
Average $/Sq Foot (List) $707 $770
Active-Pending Ratio: 1.1 : 1 0.94: 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: 11-15-14.

calendar17

The pendulum swung back toward the buyers direction this past week in San Carlos, at least temporarily, as ten new listings made their debut on the market. And during the same period of time only one home went into contract, which combined to temporarily push the inventory of single-family homes briefly up to 18.  That’s not a huge number, but it’s 80% more than what we had at the same time just a week ago.  Unless we get a similar push of new listings this week, don’t expect the inventory to stay at this level for long — homes that are on the market now are either going to sell, or you can expect that sellers who haven’t been successful may consider taking their home off the market for the holidays, and try a fresh start after the first of the year.   Either way, I believe we will be looking at fairly sparse inventory from this point through the end of the 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 11-15-2014:

San Carlos Housing Data 11-15-14 Prior Week
Closed Sales for the Week: 6 3
Average Sold Price: $1,590,833 $1,833,333
Average $/Sq Foot (Sold) $762 $776
Average Sold – Percentage Of List Price: 108% 117%
Average DOM of Closed Sales 22 11
No. of Homes Pending Sale: 19 23
No. of Active Listings: 18 10
Average Price of Active Listings: $1,391,035 $1,632,066
Average DOM of Active Listings: 32 57
Average $/Sq Foot (List) $770 $760
Active-Pending Ratio: 0.94 : 1 0.48: 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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San Carlos Youth Softball Registration Now Open.

November 14, 2014 Living in San Carlos 2 Comments
SCYSA-Logo

Spring Rec League Sign-Ups.

Although the youth soccer season hasn’t even wrapped up yet, it’s time for your aspiring athletes to start planning ahead for next year, especially if you have a softball player in the house.  The San Carlos Youth Softball Association (SCYSA) announced that registration is now open on their website for the Spring 2015 season.

SCYSA is a fantastic fast-pitch softball league that’s just for the girls.  The spring league is more of a recreational pace, with a focus on balanced teams, and an “everyone plays” approach –much like AYSO soccer.   Teams generally play against other teams in San Carlos, and it’s a great time for the girls.

If your daughter is an advanced softball player and wants a higher level of competition, then she probably already knows about the San Carlos Force summer select team.  This is a tryout-based team that plays tournament ball over the summer months, and sometimes into the fall.  San Carlos has put some very competitive Force teams on the field in the past few years, several of which have made it all the way to the National Championships.  And quite a few players have graduated from the Force program to shine on local high school diamonds, and even nationwide at the collegiate level.

More details about sign-ups can be found on the SCYSA website.

Play ball, ladies!
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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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Redwood City’s Downtown Development Will Impact San Carlos Real Estate..

Box

Redwood City is Growing Up.

It seems as if you can’t drive anywhere through downtown Redwood City these days without bumping into some sort of major commercial development project that’s in process. With no fewer than four different construction cranes that are towering over the horizon and cavernous underground garages being carved out, downtown Redwood City is on a development tear unlike anything we’ve seen in recent history. Between new upscale apartment complexes, high-end condominium/retail buildings, and simply commercial office space, downtown Redwood City is rapidly growing “up” right before our eyes.

And this development is not going unnoticed by Silicon Valley.

Redwood City is no stranger to hosting technology companies. One of the biggest tech giants in the world has its iconic glass towered headquarters in Redwood Shores, and a whole slew of start-ups are filling the office towers all around the Oracle mothership. Also, the Seaport Office Park is home to a number of tech companies including Dreamworks, and it’s looking very likely that one of the biggest tech companies on the planet will swallow up the majority of that office park very soon (more on that below.)  As the tech-based economy continues to grow at a breakneck pace, companies are simply running out of office space in the traditional Silicon Valley locations and are starting to look at the mid-Peninsula as the next frontier.

Downtown is Hot.

Up until just recently, there has been no real magnet to draw tech companies to the west side of 101 in Redwood City. The integration of relatively large technology companies into urban downtown areas is far from commonplace in Silicon Valley. Anyone who works in technology knows what I’m talking about — with the exception of San Francisco, the vast majority of tech companies are located in business parks that are usually devoid of restaurants, bars, dry cleaners, and coffee shops. It’s the primary reason why companies such as Google and Facebook have pulled these amenities back onto their campuses and offer them for free (or heavily subsidize them.) Sure, it’s a hiring perk, but the real reason behind these benefits is w0rker productivity. Google in particular figured out that employees are at their working desks working for far more hours every week if they don’t have to drive all the way to downtown Mountain View to get lunch every day. Now, employee subsidized cafeterias are almost commonplace in larger tech firms.

Redwood City has spent the better part of the last decade painstakingly revitalizing its downtown area. The theater complex was genesis of the downtown rebirth, and now the remainder Broadway and the Courthouse Square is teeming with new restaurants, bars and specialty shops. It’s anything but the “Deadwood City” that I grew up in. Until just recently there has been only one ingredient from the formula that was missing from attracting technology companies to the Redwood City downtown — office space.  And thanks to the brilliant foresight of the Redwood City planners, that missing ingredient will soon be filled.

Several tech start-ups have already “seen the light” with respect to what downtown Redwood City can offer.  Evernote (one of my favorite apps) has their corporate headquarters toward the end of Walnut Street, and tech start-ups Turn Inc., and YuMe Inc. have also chosen downtown Redwood City as their headquarters for the reasons cited above.

Those developments alone are quite newsworthy for this part of the Peninsula. But two recent announcements have thrust Redwood City into the “big leagues” as an aspiring technology hub.

Box and Google…Coming Soon.

GoogleThe only thing more eye-popping than the mere physical presence of the Crossing/900 building project that looms over the corner of Jefferson Avenue and Middlefield Road was the announcement that pre-IPO cloud storage company Box signed a lease to occupy all of both buildings. That would effectively bring all 1,100 employees under one roof, with room for ample expansion in the future. It was an aggressive move, but one that was lauded by those who understand what downtown Redwood City has to offer.

In another stunning development, it was recently announced that Google closed on the purchase of 6 of the towers in the Pacific Shores office complex at the end of Seaport Boulevard. While this doesn’t count as a “downtown” development, it exponentially raises Redwood City’s credibility as a technology hub, and will bring thousands of Google employees to the mid-Peninsula.

The Impact.

Will all of this development in Redwood City have an impact on the real estate market in San Carlos?  Absolutely.   First of all, it’s important to note that a significant chunk of the development that’s going on in downtown Redwood City is indeed housing – mostly in the form of mid-rise condos and apartments. For example, the old Mel’s Bowl on El Camino will soon be the home to The Lane on the Boulevard, an upscale 141-unit lease-only living facility. So clearly, developers have thought this through and are working to provide attractive housing for this incoming wave of tech workers who would like to shorten or avoid the unmanageable commutes that are now the norm in the valley. These options will certainly be attractive to the Millenials who want to live in a vibrant community that’s very close to their work, but who are perhaps not ready to commit to the responsibility of owning a single-family home just yet.

For all the rest, the net effect of this explosive growth is that it will bring many more well-educated and well-compensated professionals that much closer to San Carlos.  The very qualities that have made San Carlos such an attractive zip code for technology professionals — great schools, vibrant downtown, and neighborly feel — will become even that much more attractive because of its close proximity to their new work address.  Just look at what Google’s presence has done to real estate prices in Mountain View and Los Altos, and how Facebook blew apart the housing market in Menlo Park. It’s not a stretch to see the same thing happening to San Carlos in the near future, especially if the perceived discrepancy in the quality of their respective schools continues to cause buyers to eschew Redwood City in favor of San Carlos.

That’s obviously great news for people who already own a home in San Carlos, because this will simply push the demand for their homes and subsequent prices higher.  But this should serve as a shot across the bow for buyers that are still hoping to land a 94070 address in the coming years. Their competition is about to get much stronger.

It’s already happening.
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The San Carlos Real Estate Week in Review: 11-8-14.

calendar2

It’s decision time for those homeowners that are still on the fence about whether to put their home on the market this year, or to wait until the spring market of 2015. With only about 2.5 weeks until the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, there’s still theoretically time to list a home and get it into contract before we slip into December. The recent unseasonably warm weather certainly doesn’t make it seem as if we’re already in the second week of November. And when you combine that with sales results like those posted below, and the fact that there are only 10 single-family homes for sale in the entire city, it makes that decision even more challenging.

The good news for home sellers is that the market is still incredibly strong, and buyers will continue to be in the hunt throughout the holiday season.  That means if the home is prepared well and priced correctly, it will definitely sell – regardless of whether it’s the second week of November, or the week before Christmas.

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 11-8-2014:

San Carlos Housing Data 11-8-14 Prior Week
Closed Sales for the Week: 3 5
Average Sold Price: $1,833,333 $1,460,000
Average $/Sq Foot (Sold) $776 $780
Average Sold – Percentage Of List Price: 117% 104%
Average DOM of Closed Sales 11 29
No. of Homes Pending Sale: 23 21
No. of Active Listings: 10 14
Average Price of Active Listings: $1,632,066 $1,529,190
Average DOM of Active Listings: 57 40
Average $/Sq Foot (List) $760 $735
Active-Pending Ratio: 0.48 : 1 0.67: 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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