- Prices continue to soften
- Median price lower than year ago for 4th straight month
- Price per square foot below $1,000
- Sales and inventory drop
- Holiday slowdown and economic uncertainty
The normal holiday slowdown affected the Menlo Park real estate market in December. Added to that was uncertainty about the global economy, the looming presidential election and the fact that the Federal Reserve raised interest rates. All these factors kept at least some buyers and sellers on the sidelines, driving inventory, lower and prices lower. In fact, December was the fourth straight month that the median sales price was lower than it was a year before. The market appears to be “normalizing” somewhat, from the frantic pace of the past few years to a less hectic but still strong and robust market.
The median sales price in December was $1,585,000, a 13% or $230,000 decline from $1,815,000 in November. December was also 21% lower than December 2014’s $2.0 million. From December 2014 to September 2015, the median sales price was at or above $2 million, with the high being $2.4 million in February.
For the first time in a year, the price per square foot fell below $1,000. December was $962, 11% of $117 lower than in November but still 12% or $105 higher than a year ago. The sales price to list price ratio at 101% was at its lowest point since April 2012. The ratio in November was 102% and in December 2014 it was 105%.
23 sales closed in December; one short of November’s 24 and equal to a year ago.
Pending sales fell more than closed sales in December. 17 sales went to contract in December, a 41% fall from 29 in November and a 23% decline from a year ago. Inventory plunged 44%, from 41 homes at the end of November to 23 at the end of December. December was on par with December 2014 when 22 homes were on the market. Inventory relative to pending sales was little changed at 1.35 months at the end of December. One year ago, there was a one month supply available.
Properties were listed for an average of 30 days in December, up from 22 days in November and 29 days in December 2014.
Analysis by Price Range
Both pending sales and the inventory of homes priced under $2 million fell in December but continued to make up the lion’s share of Menlo Park’s total. 14 properties were actively listed at the end of December, ten less than at the end of November. Those 13 properties were 60% of December’s inventory. Pending sales fell by 12 units, from 29 in November to 17 in December (65% of total sales). That was five less than went to contract a year ago. A 1.3 month supply was available at the end of December, down from 1.6 months at the end of November.
26% of Menlo Park’s inventory (6 homes) was priced from $2 million to $2,999,999. That was one less than at the end of November. Two sales went to contract, accounting for 11% of all pending sales in the city. That was five less than went pending in November. Relative supply doubled, from 1.4 months at the end of November to 3.0 months at the end of December.
The inventory of homes in the $3 million-plus market segment was cut from 10 at the end of November to three at the end of December. Those three properties were 13% of the total available for sale. Pending sales also fell sharply in this segment, from nine in November to four in December, which wer 24% of all sales in Menlo Park. Inventory was cut from a 1.1 month supply at the end of November to about three weeks at the end of December.