Q1 2008 Home Sales Results for San Carlos.

April 2, 2008



(Editor's note: Due to a glitch in our marginal MLS software, the numbers originally used in this post were inaccurate. The new numbers below should accurately reflect the San Carlos sales figures. Sorry for the confusion.)

The arrow tells the whole story. Sales volume in San Carlos plummeted in the first three months of 2008 compared to the similar period last year. And if you recall from my 2007 recap post, the volume in 2007 was already down from 2006 by about 5%. If there's any good news, the average and median prices continue to climb despite the drop in volume.

Here's the summary of what happened in San Carlos in Q1 of 2008:

  • Total # of Homes Sold: 48 Homes sold in Q108, which is a 28% decrease from 67 sold in Q107
  • Average Sales Price: $1,255,962 in Q108, which is a 13.4% increase over $1,107,925 in Q107.
  • Median Sales Price: $1,186,000 which represents a 17.43% increase over 1,010,000 in Q107.
  • Average DOM: 35 Days in Q108, which is 6 days longer on average than the 29 Days in Q107.

A few observations on this data:

  • Inventory is looooow. San Carlos has rarely had more than 50 active listings at any given time this year, which is rare for the Spring buying frenzy. As soon as there's a burst of new listings that takes us over 50, a similar number goes into contract and we're back in the 40's again.
  • Increases in median and average prices don't necessarily guarantee a healthy market. You can argue that much of the increase is due to the abnormally low inventory. San Carlos will always be a desirable place to live, and when the supply goes gets constrained like it is, the prices will get an artificial push upwards.
  • Consumer confidence is shaken. Fewer people are selling right now, and buyers seem to be much more hesitant to make offers. Hence, the DOM average trended longer in Q1, even though the number of sales went down.

Will things pick up? I think they will — the general feeling is that we're finding the bottom of the market, and last week showed some promise with a relatively high number of new homes hitting the market. Stay tuned.

In the meantime, click on this link for details on all of the homes that sold in San Carlos in the first quarter –> San Carlos Q1-2008 Sales Figures

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  1. transient on April 2, 2008 at 5:14 pm

    What do you think made that house on 17 Granite Ct so attractive? The view? The kitchen? The location?

  2. SC resident on April 2, 2008 at 6:10 pm

    I also wonder whether a small fraction of the low inventory could be attributable to more families deciding to stay in their current homes and adding square footage to their starter homes instead of moving. Now that San Carlos has a vibrant downtown and great schools, many families see this area as a place to stay for a long time.

  3. chuck on April 2, 2008 at 7:31 pm

    Great question. Granite sold quickly due to a combination of reasons — it’s in the white-hot $1.1M- $1.5M range, and it’s in “move-in” condition. As you correctly stated, the kitchen was completely re-done, and much of the house has been updated. It was simply the best option on the market during those short 4 days.

    Ironically, Granite feeds into the Redwood City School District, which historically has tempered prices on the west side of Alameda — and wrongfully so, I might add, since it feeds into Clifford which is a great school. But that clearly had no effect on this sale.

    Thanks for your comment,


  4. chuck on April 2, 2008 at 8:00 pm

    SC Resident,

    Excellent point — I actually did exactly that about 8 years ago. We decided to stay put and remodeled our home instead of moving to a larger one. There are numerous remodel projects going on right now all over San Carlos, so I believe this indeed has an effect, albeit a lesser effect than some of the economic forces in play right now.

    For just that reason, I always encourage buyers to pay special attention to lot size (and neighborhood) when choosing a home. You can always change the structure, but you can’t make create more land where there isn’t any.



  5. transient on April 2, 2008 at 8:45 pm

    What about the pool on 17 Granite? Do you think it added to the value? Seems to me people either really like a pool or hate it.

  6. chuck on April 2, 2008 at 9:12 pm


    Once again, you’re correct. Pools are very personal and subjective — some folks like them and some don’t. There are safety concerns as well as maintenance costs to consider.

    Another consideration is available space. Obviously, the larger the yard you have to work with, the more putting in a pool makes sense.


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