2011: The San Carlos Real Estate Year in Review.

January 3, 2012


A Bounce-Back Year.

It was pretty evident to me by about mid-February of last year that the slight resurgence we experienced in the real estate market in 2010 was actually a sustainable rally and not just a blip in the middle of a prolonged recession.   3 straight years of economic crisis had taken its toll on the housing market everywhere, and while San Carlos was spared the majority  of the wrath, it did not emerge unscathed.   While 2010 marked the year that home sales bounced back,  nobody was quite sure at the outset what 2011 had in store for the San Carlos real estate market.

But 2011 started with a whole different energy level and a hint of optimism.  Interest rates were at all-time lows, and skyrocketing unemployment (by Silicon Valley standards) began to level off.    There was an air of confidence with buyers that hadn't been seen since probably 2007.    As the year progressed, it seemed more and more likely that 2011 would mark the climb out of the hole for the housing market in San Carlos.

By the Numbers.

By all counts, 2011 was a resounding success over 2010.  More homes sold in 2011 than in 2010, and they generally fetched higher prices on average.  Here are the top-level numbers:

Key Metrics 2011 2010
No. of Sales 278 246 32 (+13%)
Average Price $961,778 $959,647 $2,131 (+0.2%)
Median Price $925,000 $892,500 $32,500 (+3.6%)
Sale vs. List Price 98% 99% -1%
Avg Days on Market 45 43 2 (+4.7%)

Here's a graphical representation of how the unit sales played out during 2011:

2011:  Homes Sold in San Carlos

2011: Homes Sold in San Carlos

What Happened in 2011.

As I discussed in the Top 5 Real Estate Events of 2011 in San Carlos, a combination of rock-bottom interest rates and revived consumer confidence provided the fuel for the resurgent real estate market in San Carlos in 2011.   With more people gainfully employed in 2011 and both conforming and jumbo mortgages at all-time lows, that was the motivation that many needed to get off the fence and actively get into the market.

Multiple offers really never disappeared in San Carlos, even during the depth of the recession.  But they were more commonplace in 2011 as more buyers competed for fewer listings.    Over half of the transactions that I closed in San Carlos in 2011 were deals involving multiple offers.

What Sold in 2011.

Are you curious about what homes sold for in 2011 in San Carlos?  How about finding the sales price for a particular home?   Here's the complete list of homes that sold in 2011 in San Carlos.    The first document has all 278 sorted by sold price, and the second document is the same data, but just grouped by the 6 real estate zones of San Carlos.

Feel free to download both.

What's Ahead for 2012?

The market ended with uncharacteristic strength at the end of 2011, and all indications show that this momentum will carry over into the new year. 2012 should be an incremental improvement over 2011, for the reasons that I outlined in the Top 5 Real Estate Predictions for 2012. A stronger job market, fueled by an increasing number of start-ups and IPO's, will put even more well qualified buyers into the market than we saw in 2011. And with loan money forecast to remain low for another year, they'll have more buying power than they've had for several years.

Stay tuned to the White Oaks Blog in the New Year as we track the progress of the real estate market in 2012.  It should be a very interesting year!

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