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The San Carlos Real Estate Week in Review: 5/2/2016.

The San Carlos Week in Review is the only in depth weekly recap of the San Carlos real estate market, and it’s available every week on the White Oaks Blog.

New Listing: 29 Hillcrest Road, San Carlos.

29 Hillcrest Road is my latest listing in San Carlos. This fabulous home has stunning views of the San Francisco Bay, and boasts a extremely functional layout.

Dwell Realtors to Sponsor Beach Volleyball at Hometown Days

1st Annual Beach Volleyball Tournament. San Carlos is a pretty physically fit town.  Every year, it seems like more and more athletic teams are popping up across the city, and there are numerous leagues for us older weekend warriors to kid ourselves that we can actually still compete in athletic …

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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The San Carlos Real Estate Week in Review: 3/7/2016.

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The Scoop.

The San Carlos real estate market got a nice shot in the arm this past week with six new single-family homes hitting the market, which is a bit more typical of what we expect to see this time of year. But four of the existing listings went into contract during the same period, so the net impact on the available inventory was only an increase of 2. What’s amazing about this figure is not that there are only 12 homes for sale in San Carlos right now — it’s that the average price of a home for sale in San Carlos right now is just a shade under $2,000,000. Who would have thought that it would go this high?

The next few weeks mark the true start of the Spring real estate market in San Carlos. It will be very interesting to see if we continue to get a surge of new listings, or if we will register yet another consecutive year where were simply fewer homes to choose from.

Here is a look at last week’s numbers:

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 3/6/2016:

San Carlos Housing Data 3/6/16 Prior Week
Closed Sales for the Week: 3 5
Average Sold Price: $1,475,000 $2,110,600
Average $/Sq Foot (Sold) $1,152 $1,053
Average Sold as Percentage Of List Price: 103% 113%
Average DOM of Closed Sales 16 10
Total # of Homes Pending Sale: 12 9
No. of New Listings: 6 5
Total # of Active Listings: 12 10
Average Price of Active Listings: $1,914,967 $1,702,284
Average DOM of Active Listings: 19 18
Average $/Sq Foot (List) $881 $920
Active-Pending Ratio: 1.0 : 1 1.2 : 1

>>> Click Here to Read the Full Post
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Sheriff’s Department Issues Car Burglary Alert in San Carlos

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“Smash and Grabs” on the Rise.

The San Carlos Police Bureau of the San Mateo Sheriff’s Department issued a city-wide alert yesterday warning residents and shoppers about a rise in auto burglaries in the downtown shopping district of San Carlos. This is not a new issue, as vehicle break-ins have been a persistent problem in areas that are in close proximity to Highway 101, like the San Carlos Plaza parking lot (Best Buy, Home Goods) and across the freeway at in the parking lot shared by Izzy’s and the hotel. These areas were prime targets because they allowed thieves a quick exit path to the freeway.

But this recent rash of break-ins has prompted the yet another advisory.

As the police have outlined in the alert below, thieves are resorting to punching out windows and grabbing anything of value in the car — phones, laptops, briefcases — especially if they are left in plain sight. But because the police suspect that thieves are “lying in wait,” they may see potential targets put their valuables out of sight or lock them in the trunk, so they will still break into the car as soon as the opportunity presents itself.

It’s unfortunate to have to post this kind of bad news on the site, but it’s far better to be forewarned than to become a victim.  Here is the Sheriff’s Department alert in its entirety:

In the recent week, there have been numerous auto burglaries throughout the various parking plazas where side windows are smashed and purses, laptops, briefcases and luggage has been taken.  All though these recent incidents were between 5 & 8 pm, this type of theft is also happening during the daytime as well.
The common methods thieves have been using recently are to park in parking lots and watch people as they exit their vehicles.  The victims themselves unknowingly assist the thieves by some of the following actions;

•         Women exit their vehicles and then re-enter the car to put their purse or handbag under the front seat or in the back seat and cover it with a coat.
•         Travelers on business trips will exit the car and place their briefcase/luggage in the back seat or trunk.
•         Laptops and other electronic devices are left in plain view on the front seat
•         Shoppers will carry packages and purchased items back to their vehicle and place them in the back seat or trunk and then return to shopping.
•         Business people at the end of the day “carpool” to dinner from work and upon parking their car, they leave their briefcases and laptops on the seat and cover them with their business coats.

Each of the above scenarios occurred this week.  Times have changed and motorists need to be more aware of their surroundings and their own actions.  There is a reason why one vehicle is targeted over another…..opportunity.  Next time you reach to place your wallets under the front seat beware that this seemingly innocent action might be all the thief is looking for.

San Carlos as well as many other communities in our area is experiencing these types of thefts.  What we are not experiencing is break-ins where “Nothing” is taken.  Don’t leave anything of value in your vehicle.  If you’re shopping and place packages inside your vehicle, drive off and find another place to park.  When you return home, remove your valuables and lock your car.  Report suspicious persons or behavior to your local Police or Sheriff.

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Welcome to to the White Oaks Blog — the most widely read blog dedicated to the San Carlos real estate market! Have blog updates sent to you automatically by subscribing 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 Listing Update: February 2016.

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Opposing Trends.

As we did at the end of January, and will continue do at the end of each month, below is the year-to-date tally of new residential listings in San Carlos for both single-family residences and for condos and townhomes. This is an important statistic to track because it’s essentially the supply element of the supply-versus-demand equation that is the economic engine for any market, regardless of whether it’s a home or any other commodity. If the supply is tight and the demand is high, prices go up — and vice versa.

So far this year in San Carlos, we have two different trends in play depending on whether you’re talking about single-family homes, or condos and townhouses.

As we have discussed numerous times on the site this year, the rate of new listings for single-family residences in San Carlos has been dropping consistently for the past 4 years. And as of the end of February, nothing has happened to reverse that trend. San Carlos only saw 35 new single-family homes hit the market in the first two months of the year, even despite a Leap Day this year on a Monday.  That’s a 19% drop from just last year, and more significant, the lowest level for the first two months in at least the last 14 years — and conceivably quite a bit longer than that, since the MLS data only goes back to 2002.

This trend has been a thorn in the side of home buyers ever since the market turned upward in 2011. It’s the primary cause of the meteoric rise in home prices in San Carlos, and it’s just an exhausting market for buyers to survive in since they’re virtually guaranteed to be in a multiple offer scenario on any house they write on.

Quite to the contrary, condo and townhome listings seem to be quite robust, with 19 new listings to hit the market since the beginning of the year. Most notably, there have been quite a few units in the past few weeks to pop up in the Brittan Heights complex on top of the hill. This figure is up 27% from just last year, and represents the strongest listing start since 2011.

Why is it such a difference from the single-family home market? I believe there are two factors in play. First of all, more condos and townhomes are held as investment properties than are single-family homes. Investors are keenly aware that prices are at the highest levels they have ever been, and perhaps some are opting to to cash out and move their investment elsewhere.

The other reason is that by definition, the condo and townhouse market is very much a transitional market for many homeowners — it’s a step on the way to a larger home for many families, so one would expect that they will be bought and sold more often — although one has to wonder where these sellers are purchasing, since there are so few single-family home listings.

Here’s the listing data for the first two months of the year:

 

New Listings YTD Feb-16

(Source: Multiple Listing Service.  This data is for homes that were listed on the MLS, or for off-market sales that were recorded on the MLS for comparative purposes. It does not account for any private, unreported sales.)

 
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Welcome to to the White Oaks Blog — the most widely read blog dedicated to the San Carlos real estate market! Have blog updates sent to you automatically by subscribing 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: 2/29/2016.

Leap Year

The Scoop.

Thanks to the fact that we’re in a leap year, we get an extra day before we close the books on February, which means there will be a few more listings to hit the market in San Carlos before we close the books on this month. But regardless of what debuts today, we will still finish the first two months of the year significantly off the pace of last year and even further behind the year-to-date totals that were registered in prior years. There will be a separate post that will update these totals later this week.

Sales prices remain very strong throughout San Carlos. The homes that closed escrow last week registered and impressive average of $1,053/square foot and a $2,110,600 sales price — both of which are well above the metrics that have been set to date. Look for this to continue as long as listings remain tight.

Here is a look at last week’s numbers:

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 2/28/2016:

San Carlos Housing Data 2/28/16 Prior Week
Closed Sales for the Week: 5 7
Average Sold Price: $2,110,600 $1,879,286
Average $/Sq Foot (Sold) $1,053 $984
Average Sold as Percentage Of List Price: 113% 114%
Average DOM of Closed Sales 10 6
Total # of Homes Pending Sale: 9 11
No. of New Listings: 5 1
Total # of Active Listings: 11 7
Average Price of Active Listings: $1,702,284 $1,564,798
Average DOM of Active Listings: 18 29
Average $/Sq Foot (List) $920 $763
Active-Pending Ratio: 1.2 : 1 0.64 : 1

>>> Click Here to Read the Full Post
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Welcome to to the White Oaks Blog — the most widely read blog dedicated to the San Carlos real estate market! Have blog updates sent to you automatically by subscribing 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: 2/22/2016.

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The Scoop.

Just like we witnessed last week, there were some eye-popping upsides in the sold column of the San Carlos sold statistics below.  2079 Alma Street fetched a whopping $404,050 over the asking price, and 27 Bayport Court easily set a new sales record for the Greater East Side when it closed at $1,670,000 – or $370,000 over the list price.

New inventory activity was certainly disappointing last week, with essentially no new homes to choose from, less the large land listing of the former Black Mountain property. Heading into the final week of February, the number of new single-family residence listings in San Carlos is way behind the pace of 2015 – which was not a banner listing year in any respect.  Through the first two months in 2015, San Carlos registered 43 new listings. With 7 days to go in the same period of this year, that number sits at 24.  If you were ever looking for an ideal time to sell your home with virtually no competition, this is it.

Here are last week’s numbers:

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 2/21/2016:

San Carlos Housing Data 2/21/16 Prior Week
Closed Sales for the Week: 7 3
Average Sold Price: $1,879,286 $1,970,333
Average $/Sq Foot (Sold) $984 $917
Average Sold as Percentage Of List Price: 114% 199%
Average DOM of Closed Sales 6 9
Total # of Homes Pending Sale: 11 15
No. of New Listings: 1 3
Total # of Active Listings: 7 9
Average Price of Active Listings: $1,564,798 $1,623,643
Average DOM of Active Listings: 29 28
Average $/Sq Foot (List) $763 $733
Active-Pending Ratio: 0.64 : 1 0.60 : 1

>>> Click Here to Read the Full Post
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Welcome to to the White Oaks Blog — the most widely read blog dedicated to the San Carlos real estate market! Have blog updates sent to you automatically by subscribing 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: 2/15/2016.

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The Scoop.

The market didn’t exactly charge out of the gate after Super Bowl Sunday as many hoped it would. In San Carlos, there were only 3 new listings to kick off the Spring real estate season. That puts our inventory at only 9 homes for sale as we start the shortened week.

For those who were hoping that the market might be starting to level off, the closed sales figures this week did little to justify that. Both 620 Terrace Road and 1089 Hewitt Drive fetched whopping premiums of 26% over their respective asking prices, so clearly buyers are still stepping up to the plate to go after the homes that they really want.

A few weeks ago we discussed the seller’s motivation behind the off-market sale. It’s interesting to note that we’re seeing quite a few more off-market sales so far in 2016 than we are normally accustomed to. From what I am seeing, buyers are definitely willing to pay a premium for purchasing a home off-market for the “privilege” of avoiding a potential bidding bloodbath if the house were were to go to on the market.

Here are last week’s numbers:

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 2/14/2016:

San Carlos Housing Data 2/14/16 Prior Week
Closed Sales for the Week: 3 2
Average Sold Price: $1,970,333 $1,797,500
Average $/Sq Foot (Sold) $917 $868
Average Sold as Percentage Of List Price: 119% 99%
Average DOM of Closed Sales 9 80
Total # of Homes Pending Sale: 15 17
No. of New Listings: 3 0
Total # of Active Listings: 9 7
Average Price of Active Listings: $1,623,643 $1,518,818
Average DOM of Active Listings: 28 34
Average $/Sq Foot (List) $733 $751
Active-Pending Ratio: 0.60 : 1 0.41 : 1

>>> Click Here to Read the Full Post
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Welcome to to the White Oaks Blog — the most widely read blog dedicated to the San Carlos real estate market! Have blog updates sent to you automatically by subscribing 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 Counter View to San Carlos’ Anti-Chain Store Ordinance.

February 11, 2016 Downtown San Carlos 1 Comment
chain-stores

An Unlikely Dissenter.

Two months ago, the City Council of San Carlos issued an urgency ordinance that would restrict any “chain” store from setting up shop in downtown San Carlos. This would be accomplished by requiring any business with 10 or more outlets in the United States to apply for a special use permit before they are able to open anywhere in the downtown area. The City Council and the public would thereby have a say in what businesses could (or could not) establish themselves anywhere in San Carlos’ red-hot downtown district.

The idea was to help preserve the unique and eclectic feel that the downtown has projected for many years. Presumably, this ordinance was set in motion by the sale of the building at 652 Laurel Street, which was the home of Mi Ranchito Taqueria and Plantation Coffee Roastery, and the possibility that this prime storefront location on Laurel Street could now become home to a much larger chain store without some sort of stopgap measure. The urgency ordinance was passed by the City Council, and has been in place every since. If by intent alone, it’s not a bad idea.

Now, there is a dissenting voice to the ordinance which has come from the most unlikely of sources – one of the Council members who voted in favor of the ordinance in the first place.

Click below to see Council Member Mark Olbert’s explanation as to why he feels the ordinance is actually not the right solution, despite the fact that he voted in favor of the ordinance back in December. I have a world of respect for Councilman Olbert, his intelligence, and his dedication to the well-being of the City of San Carlos, so I think it’s worth your time to watch this presentation.

Anti Chain Store Ordinance from Mark Olbert on Vimeo.

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Welcome to to the White Oaks Blog — the most widely read blog dedicated to the San Carlos real estate market! Have blog updates sent to you automatically by subscribing 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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Hot Harvest Nights Petitions to Move to Sunday.

hot harvest logo

A Victim of Its Own Success?

If the San Carlos Chamber of Commerce gets the blessing of the San Carlos City Council, Hot Harvest Nights may soon be held on a different day of the week: Sunday. The Chamber has long been the organizer and main sponsor of San Carlos’ incredibly popular farmer’s market, but they also have the challenge of making the event more diverse and popular, while preventing it from becoming a victim of its own success.

Traditionally, Hot Harvest Nights is held every Thursday evening from May to September from 4:00 – 8:00 PM along the 700 block of Laurel Street. Holding the event on Thursday evenings gave it a unique time slot that kept it from competing with other similar summertime markets in adjacent cities. But holding it on Thursday nights also created some of its own challenges.

The 700 block of Laurel Street is home to arguably some of the most popular restaurants in San Carlos, and Thursday nights are prime dining evenings in the downtown area. As the event has grown in popularity, more people are crowding the streets, and parking has become even more scarce than it already is on a busy weeknight in San Carlos. With the Laurel Street closed down all evening and the nearest parking now possibly several blocks away, it makes it a night to avoid for many San Carlos diners.

The other challenging aspect is the simply the time of day. 4:00-8:00PM works fine during the peak summer months, but as we slip into Fall, the weather turns cooler and it gets dark well before the closing time of market.

The Chamber hopes to be able to move the event to mid-day every Sunday, probably from 10:00AM – 2:00PM along the same stretch of Laurel Street. This would minimize the impact on the dinner crowd for the downtown restaurants, while also enabling the event to be held year-round — much like how Belmont conducts their own Sunday Farmer’s Market. There’s also discussion about keeping the street closed for extended hours to allow other events to piggyback onto the farmer’s market. The early afternoon hours will benefit the local restaurants because let’s face it — San Carlos likes to eat and drink.

The idea of moving Hot Harvest Nights to Sunday has been tabled on the Shape San Carlos website.  According to the Chamber, the feedback from the site shows that 2/3 of all residents who took the survey are supportive of the proposed change. If you haven’t already done so, you can register your opinion on the site by taking a very brief survey.

Whether or not Hot Harvest Nights changes from Thursday to Sunday now lies in the hands of the San Carlos City Council.  According to the folks at the Chamber, they will discuss the topic during the February 22nd meeting. I will update the site once a decision is reached.

Time for a Poll.

What are your thoughts? Should Hot Harvest Nights move to Sunday and possibly go year round? Or should it stay as a summer event on Thursday evenings?  Register your opinion on the poll below or in the upper right corner of the blog.

Should Hot Harvest Nights Move To Sunday?

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Welcome to to the White Oaks Blog — the most widely read blog dedicated to the San Carlos real estate market! Have blog updates sent to you automatically by subscribing 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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