Whether you are a first time buyer or seller, or have been through multiple transactions, you might be surprised by how quickly the real estate market changes in Los Altos, Palo Alto and surrounding communities. You need hard-hitting historical data, current market analysis, and insider experience to stay informed and succeed in these real estate markets.
As a service to their clients, Jeff Stricker and Steve TenBroeck of Alain Pinel Realtors provide regular market analysis and commentary. You are invited to read the entries below, add your comments, ask questions or contact them directly.
If you need a burst of energy this week, step outside and enjoy the fall colors – magnificent.
The charts on the next page show the median sales prices for the third quarter of each year, ’01 through ’10.
At the bottom of the charts, you will see the average number of days it took to sell that quarter, plus the average percentage of list price received by sellers during Q3 of each year. Currently we are experiencing a “balanced” market – 2 to 4 months of supply of homes for sale in the Palo Alto / Los Altos area – favoring neither the buyer nor the seller. However, the most attractive – and attractively priced – homes are receiving multiple offers.
AUGUST SNAPSHOT: As in July, the number of homes selling with multiple offers (over asking price) continued to increase. All-cash offers continued to be common. Buyers are still picky, however, and cautious to not over-pay. They generally pursued homes with the fewest defects and least amount of work needed to be done (unless they believed they were receiving a significant discount for those perceived deficiencies).
The Fall Real Estate Market Has Returned
For all of you buyers who have been waiting for the right home to come onto the market, you are in luck. This month we have seen a surge of new listings.
Take a look at the chart below. We decided to track new listings and home sales for the first ten days of the month in 2010. As you can see, the sales are fairly consistent from month to month. But, the inventory of homes for sale fluctuates greatly.
What does this mean to you?
Buyers: if you are looking to purchase a home, the greatest number of homes come on the market in the early Spring and early Fall. Be ready to act quickly and sign-up to receive auto alerts.
Sellers: If you have flexibility on when you need to sell, consider listing your property 2-3 weeks before the historical surges in new listings occur. With a lack of inventory, there is likely to be pent-up demand. If you have any questions about the process of selling your home, please consider setting up a complimentary appointment with us. Our detailed market analysis and personalized recommendations on what you can do now to increase your homes’ appeal to potential buyers is a complimentary service we offer.
Be cautious what you extrapolate to your neighborhood market from national real estate media coverage.
Last week the press trumpeted that median home values were up everywhere indicating the housing market was in recovery mode and on solid footing. This week? The number of existing home sales were down nationally by a record amount bringing last week’s cheery news into doubt. How can this be?
Lack of thought and analysis are the reasons the press is so often off the market with their real estate articles. And government meddling is causing the current phenomenon of higher prices and lower number of sales. Fed driven record-low interest rates on larger loans are allowing more higher-priced homes to sell this year. Median home prices go up (not necessarily home values). Last year high-balance loans disappeared for awhile limiting high-end homes sales, and thereby causing median home prices to drop (not necessarily home values).
Read the rest of this entry »