No Shortage of Short Sales in San Carlos…

April 13, 2009



(photo credit:  Roxanne Davis)

Here's a Question….

If you had to guess, what percentage of the single family residences currently for sale in San Carlos are actually short sales?

Is it:

  1. 2%
  2. 5%
  3. 10%

I know that if I had to guess before I had done the research, I would have guessed wrong.   But if you picked 10%, you'd be correct.  (The real answer is 9.6%, but I don't think you can sell 0.6% of a house, so I rounded up.)   So how does that number strike you?

The Economy Hits Home…

I don't know about you, but at first blush I found this number to be surprisingly high.   San Carlos has enjoyed such a long, steady run of increasing home prices and strong demand over the past 20 years,  that it's hard to believe that, on average, one in every ten homes for sale today are being sold short.   But it's an unfortunate byproduct of an economy that drops as significantly as ours did.

But here's an interesting thought  — that number could actually be higher.    It's quite possible that some homes on the market today are being priced very close to what is actually owed on the mortgage —  so when you factor in the cost of sale, and any negotiation wiggle room, what started out as a standard sale may suddenly cross over into short sale range.

How Does This Number Compare?

What does a figure like 10% mean in the bigger picture?  Sure, it might be a tad surprising for San Carlos, but how does it compare to the rest of the Peninsula?  I'm glad you asked.  Here are the neighboring communities to San Carlos, and their respective percentage of short sales** (single family residences only)

  • Redwood City:  24%
  • San Mateo:  16%
  • Menlo Park:  13%
  • Millbrae:  11%
  • Belmont:  10%
  • San Carlos 10%
  • Burlingame: 7.4%
  • Foster City:  0%

So while there's certainly no shortage of short sales to pick from in San Carlos, that 10% viewed in the proper perspective but put in the proper isn't too bad after all.  As we look for other indicators that convey the health of our real estate market,   this statistic may be worth keeping an eye on.

For the complete list of the active short sales in San Carlos, click here:  Short Sales in San Carlos

(**data per the MLS as of 4-12-09.  All homes in this list were declared “short sales” by the listing agent in the MLS.)


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  1. transient on April 14, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    Any numbers on foreclosure sales? I am curious why the house on Barford failed to find any buyers.

  2. Chuck on April 14, 2009 at 3:35 pm

    There isn’t a whole lot of volume with REO’s in San Carlos. Here’s a link with all of the active, pending, and sold REO’s over the past few months:

    As far as homes that are in foreclosure, I don’t have any visibility on homes that are being foreclosed until they are put on the market, either by the owner or by the bank. There are subscription ($$) websites that track notices of default, but I don’t subscribe to those. Barford, like any home that’s for sale in this market right now, just needs to find the right buyer at the right price.

    Thanks for your comment…

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