Los Alto Hills Market Update January 2014
Like most of the Silicon Valley, the inventory of homes for sale in Los Alto Hills has been very low. The number of homes actively listed has steadily declined since May of last year, before picking up slightly in January. The median sales price has been on a four month slide as well, although prices remain above year-ago levels. Some highlights of the current single family residential market include:
– Inventory lower than at any time in past 10 years
– Median Sales price lowest since May 2013
– January price per square foot at all-time high
Only 16 homes were actively listed at the end of January. While that was three more than at the end of December, it was six fewer than were available a year ago. It was about one third the level of May 2012, which was already low by historical standards. Low inventory is putting a damper on sales as well. Five sales went pending during January, up from three in December. The only market segment with a significant amount of inventory was homes priced over $5 million (see below). The number of months of inventory has increased the past couple of months but on average, was about the same in 2013 as 2012 (4.2 months).
Closed sales have also been low. 114 sales closed during 2013, the same number as in 2012. For five of the past six months, closed sales were lower than they were a year earlier.
The median sales price for sales closed in January was $2,557,500, down 11% from $2,875,000 in December. That was still more than 18% higher than the median price for January 2013 of $2,160,000. While the median sales price has fallen for the past four months, it has generally been higher than the previous year, as can be seen in the chart below.
The median sales price may have fallen recently but the price per square foot certainly has not. The price per square foot for January’s closed sales was $1,417, up from $1,151 in December and $758 a year ago. That is the highest average price per square foot for any month in at least five years. Homes have been selling for more relative to their list price as well. That ratio was 99.8% in 2013, compared to 98.1% in 2012. For January, is shot up to 109%. The following chart shows the price per square foot for the past three years.
Sales closed in January were on the market and average of 42 days, up from 34 in December but down from 58 a year ago. The sample size has been very small lately, with only four closed sales in January and eight in December.
Price Range Analysis
Generally speaking, homes priced under $3 million have accounted for the largest share of sales, while those priced over $5 million make up the bulk of the inventory.
75% of sales that went pending in January and 100% for December were homes priced under $3 million. Yet, only 12% of Los Altos Hills’ inventory was in this segment. Inventory is less than a third of what it was a year ago, while the number of sales that went pending was the same in January 2014 as January 2013.
Homes priced from $3 million to $4.999 million have seen inventory steadily decline since early last year. Only four homes were actively listed in this price range at the end of January, down from five at the end of December and seven a year ago. Only one sale went pending during January, which was still more than December’s zero. This segment accounted for 25% of Los Altos Hills’ inventory at the end of January and 25% of sales that went pending during January.
63% of Los Altos Hills’ inventory at the end of January was homes priced at $5 million or more, while none of the pending sales in January were in this segment. The inventory of homes in this price range has stayed relatively high.