17 April, 2013

Median Home Prices Reach New Record Highs

The first quarter of 2013 produced new record prices in our local housing market. Inventory remained low, demand has been off the charts, and the influx of cash buyers willing to pay well above the list price is astonishing.

The result is an incredible increase in median home prices from a year ago.  The median price for single family homes went up 27 % in Palo Alto (from $1,727,000 to $2,195,000), 6.4% in Menlo Park (from $1,094,000 to $1,325,000), and 19% in Atherton (from $3,075,000 to $3,600,000). There were few sales to chart in the first quarter in Portola Valley and Woodside. The median price was $2,025,000 in Portola Valley and $2,055,000 in Woodside.
The sale price was 109% of list price in Palo Alto, 104.3% of list price in Menlo Park, 100.6% of list price in Atherton, 97% of list price in Portola Valley and 98.5% of list price in Woodside. During the first quarter, there were only 102 new listings in Palo Alto, 102 in Menlo Park, 43 in Atherton, 23 in Portola Valley and 59 in Woodside.
The off-MLS market has also been active, with most homes selling with multiple offers.
Consequently the spring season is proving to be very challenging for local home buyers. The average buyer is facing fierce competition from investors and other cash buyers. Almost a third of local home buyers were cash buyers.  
The townhouse/condominium market was not as strong as the market for single family houses during the first quarter. 24 units sold in Palo Alto, with a 1% increase in median price (to $893,000), and 16 units sold in Menlo Park with a 4% increase in median price (to $963,000).
Today’s market is the ultimate seller’s market. If you are thinking about selling your home it is a great time to sell. If you are a buyer, make sure that you have an agent with intimate knowledge of the local market to help you compete with other potential buyers.

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