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The San Carlos Real Estate Week in Review: 8-30-14.

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 …

Overbidding Hits a Fever Pitch in San Carlos

Home buyers in San Carlos are bidding more aggressively than ever on homes. The month of February 2014 set an all time record for the percentage above the list price for home sales in San Carlos.

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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Are More Hotels on the Horizon for San Carlos?

Hotel-sign

In its upcoming meeting on Monday July 21, the San Carlos Planning Commission will hold a hearing on a proposal to re-zone a two block stretch of Industrial Road between Holly Street and Quarry Road to allow the potential development of more hotels.   There are already a couple of hotel projects  in the works for that area of San Carlos, according to this article in the San Jose Mercury News, and rezoning of these parcels would clear the path for potentially more hotels to be built.

This would certainly be an economic boon to the City of San Carlos, which would stand to reap significant revenues from hotel taxes and increased patronage of the downtown dining area.   And it also fills the need for more modern hotel room capacity for the mid-Peninsula since the Palo Alto Medical Foundation is slated to open later this year, and tech firms such as Oracle continue to grow.

If the proposed zoning change is approved by the Planning Commission, it must ultimately be approved by the San Carlos City Council at a future meeting.  Stay tuned to this site for more details.

What are your thoughts on this proposal?   Feel free to comment below…
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The San Carlos Real Estate Week in Review: 7-12-14.

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The San Carlos real estate market is showing some resiliency as we head into mid-July.  The vacation months aren’t keeping all of the buyers away, as is evidenced by the six homes that went into contract last week.  And while there weren’t enough new listings to counter the number of homes that were snapped up, there were still 4 good new issues to make their debut during the same period which is surprisingly strong for this point in July.

That delta in new listings versus pending sales has resulted in the inventory of homes for sale dropping back into the mid-teens, which is where we have been most of the year.   But it also sends a reassuring signal to those sellers that are considering putting their homes on the market in the coming weeks that buyers are still buying, and that they’ll have fewer homes competing with their listing when it hits the market.

Here are the details from last week:

By The Numbers.

Below is a high-level snapshot of the market performance for single-family residences in San Carlos. This data is for the week ending 7-12-2014:

San Carlos Housing Data 7-12-14 Prior Week
Closed Sales for the Week: 3 10
Average Sold Price: $1,350,296 $1,594,700
Average $/Sq Foot (Sold) $785 $790
Average Percentage Over List Price: 113% 104%
Average DOM of Closed Sales 11 13
No. of Homes Pending Sale: 28 24
No. of Active Listings: 17 20
Average Price of Active Listings: $1,522,611 $1,468,597
Average DOM of Active Listings: 35 33
Average $/Sq Foot (List) $736 $698
Active-Pending Ratio: 0.64 : 1 0.83 : 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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What To See This Weekend in San Carlos.

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If you’re out looking at homes this weekend in San Carlos, you don’t have a huge list to choose from.   The inventory of homes for sale in San Carlos has dropped from nearly 30 just a few weeks ago down to just 19.  That’s to be expected due the traditional seasonal slowdown.  But that doesn’t mean there aren’t some good homes to see in your travels.

In what will hopefully become a weekly mainstay on the White Oaks Blog,  every weekend I will highlight a couple of “don’t miss” open houses that you should check out.  They may not be in everyone’s price range, but there will usually be something unique about the house or the location to make it worth dropping by.  I hope you enjoy this new feature on the blog.

Here are this week’s picks.  Click on the address for more details and photos:

  • 125 Kelton Avenue.    Right in the heart of White Oaks, this home (and the one right next door) have piqued everyone’s curiosity ever since the old home on the double lot was torn down, and new construction began with not one home, but two.   Well, your wait is finally over to see what’s cooking here — and you won’t be disappointed.   At a quoted 3,106 square feet, 5 bedrooms, and 4.5 baths, this is a lot of house — and at a list price of $2,800,000 it won’t be in everyone’s budget.   But this is really a marvelously designed home, with 4 bedrooms upstairs, and one down (the perfect 5BR layout, in my humble opinion).  And where I really think they hit a home run is with the kitchen/great room combo.   It fits the California lifestyle perfectly.  On top of all that, Kelton is just a fantastic White Oaks street too.     125 Kelton is listed by Ben Halali of Amazing Properties, and will be open from 1-4 on both Saturday and Sunday.
  • 2240 Howard Avenue.   One thing that is indeed a relative rarity with homes in San Carlos is a large lot, but 2240 Howard Avenue definitely has one of them.  At 10,964 square feet, it’s not huge by perhaps Menlo Park standards, but it’s a rarity in a town where the average lot is probably half that size.   Situated on the creekside of Howard Avenue, this home has curb appeal to the 1oth degree, accentuated by probably the must stunning Jacaranda tree in the entire city.   It looks to be a very charming and warm home, with stunning landscaping all around.    2240 Howard Avenue is listed by Patricia Peterson of Coldwell Banker, and the first showings will be during the open house hours from 2:00-4:30 on both Saturday and Sunday.

For a complete list of what’s open this weekend in San Carlos, just click the White Oaks Blog Open House link.  If you’re interested in a private showing of any of these properties, just contact me and I’d be happy to arrange it (but please only if you’re not already working with another Realtor.)  Happy house hunting!
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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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All-Cash Deals in San Carlos: The Real Numbers.

moneystack

Hype, or Reality?

When you start to listen to the horror stories that buyers have had to endure over the past 18 months trying to land that elusive home in San Carlos, it makes you realize just how competitive the housing market is right now.   With multiple offers, bids that are multiple-hundreds of thousands of dollars over the asking price, and yes, all-cash offers to contend with, it seems as if it takes an iron constitution and a bottomless bank account to succeed as a buyer.

One of the most common complaints that I hear from dejected buyers in this market is that they are losing out to all-cash buyers.  And that perception would make sense with the economic rocket ride we’re on right now.   Salaries in tech are growing by leaps and bounds, as are the stock portfolios of buyers as we witness the Dow blow through the once-unthinkable 17,000 barrier.   Buyers are bringing unprecedented buying power to the table in today’s market.

But what about those all-cash deals?   With all the fear and horror stories that we hear about competing against those dreaded all-cash offers, are they truly as prevalent as many believe they are?   What do you think the percentage of all-cash home sales are right now in San Carlos -    25%?  35%?  50%?

It’s actually quite a bit less than you might think.

Take a look at the chart below…

All Cash 2014-2

All-Cash Sales in San Carlos – 2014

 

Of all of the home sales reported through the Multiple Listing Service (both SFR’s and condo’s) in San Carlos so far this year, only 14% were all-cash deals.   And this is down from 2013, when all-cash deals accounted for 16% of all sales in San Carlos.   Bear in mind that this data does not account for off-market sales that were not reported to the MLS, nor agent error in reporting the financing type.  (Note:  This doesn’t necessarily imply that this percentage would be higher if all off-market sales were accounted for.  Every off market transaction that I completed last year had a loan attached to it.)

Now, at the risk of becoming too desensitized to the sheer numbers that accompany this market, 14% is still a healthy number of extremely well-heeled buyers, especially when you consider how much prices have jumped in San Carlos.   But that number pales in comparison to Menlo Park, where a full 26% of this year’s sales have been all-cash.  In  Burlingame, it’s 26.5%, and in Palo Alto it’s a whopping 33% (although I suspect the unreported off-market transactions in both Menlo Park and  Palo Alto will drive their  percentages higher.)

So, what does this tell us?  All-cash deals clearly are not dominating the offer landscape in San Carlos as many of us may have mistakenly assumed.   But that’s not to say that strong cash positions are not influencing how decisions are being made by sellers in this market.

Cash = Strength.

What we are definitely seeing is a much higher percentage of buyers who are willing and able to put down a substantial amount of cash in their offer to supplement their bank loan.   It is becoming quite commonplace to see buyers shelling out 40-60% cash down payments, almost regardless of the price range.    It wasn’t too long ago that buyers simply put down 20% and financed the rest.

But coming in with such a strong cash position is advantageous for the buyer in several ways — first, it drastically reduces the risk for the buyer if they opt to not have a finance contingency in their offer, which is almost a given strategy in a multiple offer scenario.   Second, it gives the seller a sense of security that they are dealing with a financially strong buyer,  and that the deal will have a higher likelihood of closing (note that this is not always true.)

So the good news for buyers that are still beating the street is that you don’t to be an all-cash buyer to succeed in the San Carlos real estate market.   In fact, I have heard of numerous instances where a conventional offer has beaten out an all-cash offer because the buyers will willing to do more to get the house.

But the bad news for buyers in this market is that cash is still king.  And even though you don’t need 100% of it to buy a house, the more of it you have, the better your chance of success will be.
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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: 7-5-14.

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The week of the 4th of July holiday is normally a slow one for new listings, and this year’s occurrence was no exception — even despite the continued strong market in San Carlos.   Last week yielded no new listings, which obviously makes sense because you sure don’t want the first open house to be on a weekend when nobody is around.

But the holiday week did not keep buyers off the street.  7 houses went into contract, and that took the inventory of available homes down a notch to 20 — still better than the Spring, but not the levels that buyers have enjoyed for the past few weeks.  And if there isn’t another push of new listings in the coming weeks, that number will once again drop back down into the teens.

On the topic of inventory, take note in the numbers below that the average days on market (DOM) of homes on the market is now at 33 days.  This is the first time that it has broken the 1-month barrier all year.  This is a trend that has been increasing in the past few weeks, which seems to suggest that it’s taking homes a little longer to sell lately.  That’s a number that I will certainly keep a close eye on in the coming weeks.

Here are the details from last week:

By The Numbers.

Below is a high-level snapshot of the market performance for single-family residences in San Carlos. This data is for the week ending 7-5-2014:

San Carlos Housing Data 7-5-14 Prior Week
Closed Sales for the Week: 10 7
Average Sold Price: $1,594,700 $1,690,214
Average $/Sq Foot (Sold) $790 $934
Average Percentage Over List Price: 104% 108%
Average DOM of Closed Sales 13 20
No. of Homes Pending Sale: 24 25
No. of Active Listings: 20 27
Average Price of Active Listings: $1,468,597 $1,421,866
Average DOM of Active Listings: 33 25
Average $/Sq Foot (List) $698 $699
Active-Pending Ratio: 0.83 : 1 1.08 : 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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Special Hearing Tonight: San Carlos Land Swap.

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Critical Juncture.

If you haven’t been keeping close tabs on the local news lately, the City of San Carlos and the San Carlos School District have struck a tentative deal to effectively “swap” two key parcels of their respectively owned properties in San Carlos.     Under the terms of the agreement, the School District would get the 4-acre plot of land on Crestview Drive known as North Crestview Park to build a new facility for the San Carlos Charter Learning Center (SCCLC).   In return, the City of San Carlos would receive the land at the top of Tierra Linda Middle School, which would likely be utilized as additional recreation space.

At their May 27, 2014 meeting, the City Council adopted Resolution 2014-053, initiating the process of abandoning the North Crestview site designation as a “Park” – a key requirement to enable the site to be developed.    At 7:00 tonight in the San Carlos City Council Chambers, the Council will hold a special meeting to hear and consider all public protests to this Resolution.  At the conclusion of tonight’s meeting, the Council is expected to vote to either accept or override the protest.   At least 4 of the Council members must vote to override the protest.

If the protest is overridden, the Resolution then goes on the November ballot for the voters of San Carlos to decide its fate.   If the protest is not overridden, the land swap effectively dies on the dais.  The meeting starts at 7:00 PM at the City Council Chambers at 600 Elm Street in San Carlos.

If you have a strong opinion one way or the other on this issue, obviously tonight is a golden opportunity to have your voice heard by the Council.   It should be a very interesting meeting regardless.
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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: 6-28-14.

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Today marks the midway point in what has been arguably the strongest and most breathtaking year in San Carlos real estate in recent memory — possibly ever.   2014 is only halfway in the books, and the market is on a pace to shatter just about ever price record that one could think of.   The tally at the end of the year will be hard to believe.

Tomorrow we head into what are usually the slow summer months of the year on the real estate calendar — July and August.  Traditionally, the market takes a breather during these two months, and then picks up again in earnest in September.   But while I believe the market is not going to maintain the breakneck pace that it set in the Spring, I don’t believe we’re going to experience the lull in July and August that we are accustomed to seeing.  The right homes will still garner significant interest, but homes “on the fringe” may take a little bit longer to sell, which was a trend that I started to notice in the beginning of June.

Here are the details from last week:

By The Numbers.

Below is a high-level snapshot of the market performance for single-family residences in San Carlos. This data is for the week ending 6-28-2014:

San Carlos Housing Data 6-28-14 Prior Week
Closed Sales for the Week: 7 7
Average Sold Price: $1,690,214 $1,508,514
Average $/Sq Foot (Sold) $934 $820
Average Percentage Over List Price: 108% 117%
Average DOM of Closed Sales 20 16
No. of Homes Pending Sale: 25 26
No. of Active Listings: 27 29
Average Price of Active Listings: $1,421,866 $1,346,842
Average DOM of Active Listings: 25 22
Average $/Sq Foot (List) $699 $697
Active-Pending Ratio: 1.08 : 1 1.11 : 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: 6-21-14.

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One of the key metrics to keep an eye on when you are gauging the temperature of the local real estate market is the Days on Market, or DOM, of the homes that are going into contract.   The larger that number gets, the longer homes are staying on the market before they sell.  This past week in San Carlos, nine different homes went pending, and all but one sold in about 2 weeks or less — in fact,  the average for the entire group was 14 days.   The average DOM of all 29 homes on the market in San Carlos right now is only 22 days, which is a relatively low number.

This is a good indication that inventory is still turning fairly quickly in San Carlos, despite the fact that we’ve seen a sharp increase in new single-family home listings since the beginning of May.   This past week was no exception to that trend, with 10 new listings replacing the 9 that went into contract, which has kept the inventory level almost unchanged from the prior week.  And with prices showing no signs of weakening, that’s pretty strong evidence that the demand for housing in San Carlos is remaining strong as we head into summer.

Here are the details from last week:

By The Numbers.

Below is a high-level snapshot of the market performance for single-family residences in San Carlos. This data is for the week ending 6-21-2014:

San Carlos Housing Data 6-21-14 Prior Week
Closed Sales for the Week: 7 6
Average Sold Price: $1,508,514 $1,718,333
Average $/Sq Foot (Sold) $820 $958
Average Percentage Over List Price: 114% 117%
Average DOM of Closed Sales 16 11
No. of Homes Pending Sale: 26 25
No. of Active Listings: 29 27
Average Price of Active Listings: $1,346,842 $1,435,288
Average DOM of Active Listings: 22 23
Average $/Sq Foot (List) $697 $700
Active-Pending Ratio: 1.11 : 1 1.08 : 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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Chuck Gillooley
Chuck Gillooley
Realtor, San Carlos Resident

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Email: Chuck Gillooley
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