3-Bedroom Homes Dominate Sales (Again) in San Carlos.

February 11, 2015

The Staple of the San Carlos Housing Market.

Do you ever get the feeling when you're looking at homes for sale in San Carlos that everything seems to be a 3-bedroom home?  And that finding a decent 4 or 5 bedroom home is like finding a needle in a haystack? Well, rest assured that it's not your imagination.  The sales figures in San Carlos very much back up that perception, as you will see from the chart below.  The standard 3-bedroom home has been the staple of the San Carlos real estate landscape since the inception of the City, and families have been raised in these cozy confines for decades.  But in this booming economy, there is an unprecedented demand for more space than what the quintessential 3BR San Carlos home can offer.

What is driving this demand? The first and most obvious factor is simply that the population of San Carlos is exploding, especially with kids. There are lots of families in San Carlos now with small children, and many other families that want to live here to enjoy the small-town feel and great schools that San Carlos offers. Many of them are looking for more home than the standard 3-bedroom option can offer.  Having raised three children in San Carlos, I can tell you first-hand that it doesn't take much to outgrow a 3-bedroom home with a family of 5. Those numbers just don't line up.

The second factor that is driving the demand for that extra bedroom or two comes from the other direction — people needing that extra living space for the eventuality that a parent (or parents) may be coming back to live with them permanently; or to accommodate guests for extended periods of time.  Because of these factors, many of the older homes in San Carlos are being remodeled to add that extra space that is so important to today's homeowners.

If you're looking to buy that larger 4 or 5 bedroom home in San Carlos (as opposed to building it yourself), the numbers are not in your favor.  Take a look at the following chart that breaks down all of the single-family homes sold in San Carlos in 2014 by bedroom count:

San Carlos 2014 Home Sales - Bedroom Count

San Carlos 2014 Home Sales – Bedroom Count

Of the 284 single-family homes that sold in San Carlos last year, a whopping 47% of them were 3-bedroom.  30% were the 4-bedroom variety, and less than 20% had 5 bedrooms.

If there's any good news in these numbers, it's that this represents a slightly positive trend from 2013 — when 3-bedroom homes account for 51% of all sales, 4-bedroom notched 26%, and 5-bedroom homes had 6% of the market.  But regardless, it's still evident that the 3-bedroom home is still the bread-and-butter of the San Carlos home inventory.

4 Bedroom Scarcity.

As I have written about before on the blog, it seems as if the “holy grail” for many San Carlos home buyers AND move-up buyers is to find a 4-bedroom home in the “flats” of San Carlos — i.e. in either the White Oaks, Oak Park, or Howard Park neighborhoods, so that they can be relatively close to downtown and have a flat yard.

There is some more good news hidden in these numbers.  There were quite a few more 4-bedroom homes to sell in the flats in 2014 than there were in 2013 — a trend that should bring some hope to home buyers, especially if it continues in 2015:


  • 4-bedroom homes sold in the flats:  35
  • % of all 4-bedroom homes sold:  41%


  • 4-bedroom homes sold in the flats:  20
  • % of all 4-bedroom homes sold: 25%

While these numbers are not statistically large, they are trending in the right direction for those home buyers who are looking for a larger home close to downtown.  And as more homes get renovated in this remodeling boom that we are experiencing right now, I think it's a safe bet that these percentages will continue to improve in the coming years, as more of the 3-bedroom homes are expanded and converted.

For now, though, your dream 4-bedroom home in the flats is going to remain somewhat elusive…and very much sought after by other buyers.

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