San Mateo County Real Estate, June 2024

Report Highlights

 The 3-month-rolling median house sales price and median dollar per square foot value in May hit new all-time highs.
 The number of new listings coming on market in the first 5 months of 2024 was up 15% from 2023.
 Year over year, 2024 YTD home sales rose 14%, while luxury home sales of $5 million+ in April & May 2024 soared 50% from 2023.
 67% of home sales sold for over asking price in May. The average sale closed at 5.5% over original asking price.
 Average days on market were the lowest since mid-2022.

30-year-loan interest rates hovered around 7% in May and early June, which many buyers and sellers have clearly come to accept as the new normal. (And an estimated 30% to 40% of national homebuyers have been paying all cash.) Stock markets once again hit new all-time highs, with substantial effect on household wealth. It is not unusual for home listing and sales activity to slow in summer.

Statistics are generalities, essentially summaries of widely disparate data generated by dozens, hundreds or thousands of unique, individual sales occurring within different time periods. They are best seen not as precise measurements, but as broad, comparative indicators, with reasonable margins of error. Anomalous fluctuations in statistics are not uncommon, especially in smaller, expensive market segments. Last period data should be considered estimates that may change with late-reported data. Different analytics programs sometimes define statistics – such as “active listings,” “days on market,” and “months supply of inventory” – differently: what is most meaningful are not specific calculations but the trends they illustrate. Most listing and sales data derives from the local or regional multi-listing service (MLS) of the area specified in the analysis, but not all listings or sales are reported to MLS and these won’t be reflected in the data. “Homes” signifies real-property, single-household housing units: houses, condos, co-ops, townhouses, duets and TICs (but not mobile homes), as applicable to each market. City/town names refer specifically to the named cities and towns, unless otherwise delineated. Multi-county metro areas will be specified as such. Data from sources deemed reliable, but may contain errors and subject to revision. All numbers to be considered approximate.

Many aspects of value cannot be adequately reflected in median and average statistics: curb appeal, age, condition, amenities, views, lot size, quality of outdoor space, “bonus” rooms, additional parking, quality of location within the neighborhood, and so on. How any of these statistics apply to any particular home is unknown without a specific comparative market analysis.

Median Sales Price is that price at which half the properties sold for more and half for less. It may be affected by seasonality, “unusual” events, or changes in inventory and buying trends, as well as by changes in fair market value. The median sales price for an area will often conceal an enormous variety of sales prices in the underlying individual sales.

Dollar per Square Foot is based upon the home’s interior living space and does not include garages, unfinished attics and basements, rooms built without permit, patios, decks or yards (though all those can add value to a home). These figures are usually derived from appraisals or tax records, but are sometimes unreliable (especially for older homes) or unreported altogether. The calculation can only be made on those home sales that reported square footage.

Photo use under the Creative Commons License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Compass is a real estate broker licensed by the State of California, DRE 01527235. Equal Housing Opportunity. This report has been prepared solely for information purposes. The information herein is based on or derived from information generally available to the public and/or from sources believed to be reliable. No representation or warranty can be given with respect to the accuracy or completeness of the information. Compass disclaims any and all liability relating to this report, including without limitation any express or implied representations or warranties for statements contained in, and omissions from, the report. Nothing contained herein is intended to be or should be read as any regulatory, legal, tax, accounting or other advice and Compass does not provide such advice. All opinions are subject to change without notice. Compass makes no representation regarding the accuracy of any statements regarding any references to the laws, statutes or regulations of any state are those of the author(s). Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

San Mateo County Real Estate, May 2024

April 2024 Market Highlights

Home prices, sales volume, luxury sales, the number of new listings, overbidding, and the speed at which listings sold – all increased as the market moved deeper into spring.

But not every listing sells: Price reductions also rose in April. Preparing, pricing and marketing the home properly still matter.

This report also includes breakouts of home values and market conditions across cities and towns within the county.

Inflation & interest rates: The general inflation reading for March – released in April – unexpectedly ticked up to 3.5%, significantly higher than the Fed’s goal of 2%. This caused mortgage interest rates to climb back above 7% – though remaining well below rates seen last fall. Speculation as to what the Fed may or may not do with its benchmark rate has been shifting for months from optimistic (will cut rates, perhaps several times in 2024) to pessimistic (won’t cut rates this year), back and forth, with the release of each new economic indicator. For the time being, the Fed has been standing pat, as it has since August. In any case, buyers and sellers seem to be taking the recent rise in interest rates in stride, and moving forward with life plans.

 

Statistics are generalities, essentially summaries of widely disparate data generated by dozens, hundreds or thousands of unique, individual sales occurring within different time periods. They are best seen not as precise measurements, but as broad, comparative indicators, with reasonable margins of error. Anomalous fluctuations in statistics are not uncommon, especially in smaller, expensive market segments. Last period data should be considered estimates that may change with late-reported data. Different analytics programs sometimes define statistics – such as “active listings,” “days on market,” and “months supply of inventory” – differently: what is most meaningful are not specific calculations but the trends they illustrate. Most listing and sales data derives from the local or regional multi-listing service (MLS) of the area specified in the analysis, but not all listings or sales are reported to MLS and these won’t be reflected in the data. “Homes” signifies real-property, single-household housing units: houses, condos, co-ops, townhouses, duets and TICs (but not mobile homes), as applicable to each market. City/town names refer specifically to the named cities and towns, unless otherwise delineated. Multi-county metro areas will be specified as such. Data from sources deemed reliable, but may contain errors and subject to revision. All numbers to be considered approximate.

Many aspects of value cannot be adequately reflected in median and average statistics: curb appeal, age, condition, amenities, views, lot size, quality of outdoor space, “bonus” rooms, additional parking, quality of location within the neighborhood, and so on. How any of these statistics apply to any particular home is unknown without a specific comparative market analysis.

Median Sales Price is that price at which half the properties sold for more and half for less. It may be affected by seasonality, “unusual” events, or changes in inventory and buying trends, as well as by changes in fair market value. The median sales price for an area will often conceal an enormous variety of sales prices in the underlying individual sales.

Dollar per Square Foot is based upon the home’s interior living space and does not include garages, unfinished attics and basements, rooms built without permit, patios, decks or yards (though all those can add value to a home). These figures are usually derived from appraisals or tax records, but are sometimes unreliable (especially for older homes) or unreported altogether. The calculation can only be made on those home sales that reported square footage.

Photo use under the Creative Commons License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Compass is a real estate broker licensed by the State of California, DRE 01527235. Equal Housing Opportunity. This report has been prepared solely for information purposes. The information herein is based on or derived from information generally available to the public and/or from sources believed to be reliable. No representation or warranty can be given with respect to the accuracy or completeness of the information. Compass disclaims any and all liability relating to this report, including without limitation any express or implied representations or warranties for statements contained in, and omissions from, the report. Nothing contained herein is intended to be or should be read as any regulatory, legal, tax, accounting or other advice and Compass does not provide such advice. All opinions are subject to change without notice. Compass makes no representation regarding the accuracy of any statements regarding any references to the laws, statutes or regulations of any state are those of the author(s). Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

San Mateo County Real Estate, April 2024

Q2 Will Probably Be the Hottest Market Since the Peak of the Pandemic Boom

Ever since the beginning of the year, and now moving into the spring selling season, striking shifts in supply and demand have occurred and continued to accelerate, resulting in a dramatic leap in the heat and competitiveness of market conditions. Based on current indicators, and what is being experienced on the ground as new listings arrive on the market, deals are negotiated, and homes go into contract, it appears almost certain that significant home price increases will continue in Q2 2024.

Macroeconomic Conditions

In the 8 weeks through early April, the weekly average, 30-year conforming-loan interest rate has oscillated between 6.74% and 6.94%: Up from January, but still well down from last fall. In the last month, the S&P 500 & Nasdaq stock market indices continued to hit new all-time highs, with substantial effects on household wealth. After the big jump in December-January, consumer confidence is at its highest point in almost 3 years. Monthly inflation rates have remained stable since October, ranging from 3.1% to 3.3%: Higher than the Fed’s 2% goal, but reductions in its benchmark rate later this year are still commonly expected. The latest national unemployment rate reading, at 3.8%, remains close to historic lows; San Mateo County unemployment is at 3.7%.

 

Statistics are generalities, essentially summaries of widely disparate data generated by dozens, hundreds or thousands of unique, individual sales occurring within different time periods. They are best seen not as precise measurements, but as broad, comparative indicators, with reasonable margins of error. Anomalous fluctuations in statistics are not uncommon, especially in smaller, expensive market segments. Last period data should be considered estimates that may change with late-reported data. Different analytics programs sometimes define statistics – such as “active listings,” “days on market,” and “months supply of inventory” – differently: what is most meaningful are not specific calculations but the trends they illustrate. Most listing and sales data derives from the local or regional multi-listing service (MLS) of the area specified in the analysis, but not all listings or sales are reported to MLS and these won’t be reflected in the data. “Homes” signifies real-property, single-household housing units: houses, condos, co-ops, townhouses, duets and TICs (but not mobile homes), as applicable to each market. City/town names refer specifically to the named cities and towns, unless otherwise delineated. Multi-county metro areas will be specified as such. Data from sources deemed reliable, but may contain errors and subject to revision. All numbers to be considered approximate.

Many aspects of value cannot be adequately reflected in median and average statistics: curb appeal, age, condition, amenities, views, lot size, quality of outdoor space, “bonus” rooms, additional parking, quality of location within the neighborhood, and so on. How any of these statistics apply to any particular home is unknown without a specific comparative market analysis.

Median Sales Price is that price at which half the properties sold for more and half for less. It may be affected by seasonality, “unusual” events, or changes in inventory and buying trends, as well as by changes in fair market value. The median sales price for an area will often conceal an enormous variety of sales prices in the underlying individual sales.

Dollar per Square Foot is based upon the home’s interior living space and does not include garages, unfinished attics and basements, rooms built without permit, patios, decks or yards (though all those can add value to a home). These figures are usually derived from appraisals or tax records, but are sometimes unreliable (especially for older homes) or unreported altogether. The calculation can only be made on those home sales that reported square footage.

Photo use under the Creative Commons License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Compass is a real estate broker licensed by the State of California, DRE 01527235. Equal Housing Opportunity. This report has been prepared solely for information purposes. The information herein is based on or derived from information generally available to the public and/or from sources believed to be reliable. No representation or warranty can be given with respect to the accuracy or completeness of the information. Compass disclaims any and all liability relating to this report, including without limitation any express or implied representations or warranties for statements contained in, and omissions from, the report. Nothing contained herein is intended to be or should be read as any regulatory, legal, tax, accounting or other advice and Compass does not provide such advice. All opinions are subject to change without notice. Compass makes no representation regarding the accuracy of any statements regarding any references to the laws, statutes or regulations of any state are those of the author(s). Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

San Mateo County Real Estate, March 2024

The San Mateo County Housing Market Accelerates Moving into Spring

The factors at play include a rebound in repressed buyer demand, the low inventory of homes for sale, the significant drop in interest rates since autumn, a surge in consumer confidence, financial markets hitting all-time highs, and a growing confidence that the Bay Area is going to be the center of the next big technology boom (AI).

The strengthening of the market is illustrated across a range of indicators included in this report, indicators that will almost certainly continue to improve in coming months. Spring is typically the most heated selling season of the year.

San Mateo County Real Estate, February 2024

Open house visitor numbers have surged, new listings coming on market have risen, the pipeline of coming listings is filling up faster than last year, and the number of homes going into contract is climbing rapidly as the market wakes up. With dramatic improvements since October in interest rates, stock markets and consumer confidence, both buyers and sellers are re-engaging to a much greater degree, and the velocity of the market is accelerating.

However, even as listing inventory begins to rise, it remains very low compared to pre-pandemic norms, and a common seasonal dynamic early in the new year has been for buyers to jump back in faster and in greater numbers than sellers with new listings – especially if buyer demand was repressed in the previous year and economic conditions have rebounded. A big mismatch between supply and demand right from the start of the year deeply affects market dynamics moving into spring, and perhaps the biggest question in 2024 will be how many sellers, who have held off listing their homes since mid-2022, move forward with life plans.

January statistics based on closed sales – sales prices, sales volume, days-on-market, overbidding percentages – will mostly reflect listings that went into contract in late 2023, the slowest market of the year. Spring, typically the most active selling season, should soon result in substantial changes in all these indicators. Depending on the weather, “spring” in the Bay Area can begin as early as February.

Data from sources deemed reliable but may contain errors and subject to revision. Some January numbers are estimates based on data available in early February. Economic conditions can be volatile. All numbers are approximate. Header photo by Deniece Smith, used with permission.

“Although affordability continues to impact homeownership, the combination of a solid economy, strong demographics and lower mortgage rates are setting the stage for a more robust housing market. Mortgage rates have been stable for nearly two months, but with continued deceleration in inflation, rates are expected to decline further. The economy continues to outperform due to solid job and income growth, while household formation is increasing at rates above pre-pandemic levels. These favorable factors should provide strong fundamental support to the market in the months ahead.” FHLMC (Freddie Mac), 2/1/24

“Over the last two months, [consumer] sentiment has climbed a cumulative 29%, the largest two- month increase since 1991…For the second straight month, all five index components rose… there was a broad consensus of improved sentiment across age, income, education, and geography.” University of Michigan, Consumer Sentiment Index, Preliminary January Report, 1/19/24

“The recession America was expecting never showed up…Instead, the economy grew 3.1% last year, up from less than 1% in 2022, and faster than the average for the 5 years leading up to the pandemic. Inflation has retreated substantially [and] unemployment remains at historic lows…” The New York Times, 1/26/24, “Economists Predicted a Recession. So Far They’ve Been Wrong.”

The California Association of Realtors forecasts that compared to 2023, the number of state home sales in 2024 will increase 23%, the CA median house sales price will rise 6.2%, and the average 30- year mortgage interest rate will decline to 6.3%. Jordan Levine, CAR chief economist, 1/18/2024

 

Statistics are generalities, essentially summaries of widely disparate data generated by dozens, hundreds or thousands of unique, individual sales occurring within different time periods. They are best seen not as precise measurements, but as broad, comparative indicators, with reasonable margins of error. Anomalous fluctuations in statistics are not uncommon, especially in smaller, expensive market segments. Last period data should be considered estimates that may change with late-reported data. Different analytics programs sometimes define statistics – such as “active listings,” “days on market,” and “months supply of inventory” – differently: what is most meaningful are not specific calculations but the trends they illustrate. Most listing and sales data derives from the local or regional multi-listing service (MLS) of the area specified in the analysis, but not all listings or sales are reported to MLS and these won’t be reflected in the data. “Homes” signifies real-property, single-household housing units: houses, condos, co-ops, townhouses, duets and TICs (but not mobile homes), as applicable to each market. City/town names refer specifically to the named cities and towns, unless otherwise delineated. Multi-county metro areas will be specified as such. Data from sources deemed reliable, but may contain errors and subject to revision. All numbers to be considered approximate.

Many aspects of value cannot be adequately reflected in median and average statistics: curb appeal, age, condition, amenities, views, lot size, quality of outdoor space, “bonus” rooms, additional parking, quality of location within the neighborhood, and so on. How any of these statistics apply to any particular home is unknown without a specific comparative market analysis.

Median Sales Price is that price at which half the properties sold for more and half for less. It may be affected by seasonality, “unusual” events, or changes in inventory and buying trends, as well as by changes in fair market value. The median sales price for an area will often conceal an enormous variety of sales prices in the underlying individual sales.

Dollar per Square Foot is based upon the home’s interior living space and does not include garages, unfinished attics and basements, rooms built without permit, patios, decks or yards (though all those can add value to a home). These figures are usually derived from appraisals or tax records, but are sometimes unreliable (especially for older homes) or unreported altogether. The calculation can only be made on those home sales that reported square footage.

Photo use under the Creative Commons License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/
Compass is a real estate broker licensed by the State of California, DRE 01527235. Equal Housing Opportunity. This report has been prepared solely for information purposes. The information herein is based on or derived from information generally available to the public and/or from sources believed to be reliable. No representation or warranty can be given with respect to the accuracy or completeness of the information. Compass disclaims any and all liability relating to this report, including without limitation any express or implied representations or warranties for statements contained in, and omissions from, the report. Nothing contained herein is intended to be or should be read as any regulatory, legal, tax, accounting or other advice and Compass does not provide such advice. All opinions are subject to change without notice. Compass makes no representation regarding the accuracy of any statements regarding any references to the laws, statutes or regulations of any state are those of the author(s). Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

San Mateo County Real Estate, January 2024

Dramatically Improving Economic Indicators Suggest a Brighter 2024 Housing Market

■ In the last 2 months of 2023, the average, weekly, 30-year mortgage interest rate dropped from 7.79% to 6.61%. With the fall in inflation this past year, the Fed is widely expected to begin dropping its benchmark rate, probably in multiple steps, in 2024. The consensus forecast among analysts is for further declines in mortgage interest rates.

■ After its end-of-year rally, the S&P Index was up 25% and the Nasdaq up 45% in 2023 (though it has ticked down in early 2024). This plays a major role in Bay Area household wealth.

■ On an annual basis, the 2023 median house sales price was down 6% from 2022 (the peak of the market), while on a quarterly basis, the Q4 price was up 1% year-over-year.

The 2023 market was characterized by high interest rates, financial market uncertainty, surprisingly strong demand (considering first two issues), and an extremely low supply of new listings – which maintained upward pressure on prices, even as housing affordability dropped. Sales numbers plunged due to loan rates and the inadequate supply of homes for sale, while for prospective sellers, the motivation to move was reduced by the mortgage lock-in effect. With interest rates falling, and economic conditions and consumer confidence rebounding, the big question is how much do rates need to fall for buyers and sellers to start participating in the market in normal numbers again? Right now, the direction is trending positive.

Note: As often seen in recent years, the complex economic, political and social factors affecting interest rates, inflation, consumer confidence, and housing and financial markets can change quickly in unexpected ways. Forecasts and predictions are best guesses based on the interpretation of recent economic data and trends.

“Inflation around the globe is slowing way faster than expected. If economists are right…next year [will see] inflation back to normal levels for the first time in three years.” Wall Street Journal, 12/24/23, “For Much of the World, Inflation Will Be Normal in 2024 – Finally”

“Consumer sentiment…soared 14% in December [due to] substantial improvements in how consumers view the trajectory of inflation…All age, income, education, geographic, and political identification groups saw gains in sentiment…[2024] inflation expectations plunged from 4.5% last month to 3.1% this month.” University of Michigan, Consumer Sentiment Index, December 2023

“Housing starts surged to a six-month high, sales of previously owned homes picked up from a 13- year low and builder optimism boosted by increased interest from prospective buyers. Meanwhile, Americans’ home-buying plans rose this month by the most in more than a year. The bounce back comes as mortgage rates have declined by…the biggest drop over a comparable period since 2009.” Bloomberg News, 12/20/23

“The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage remained below 7%…after 17 consecutive weeks above. Lower rates are bringing potential homebuyers who were previously waiting on the sidelines back into the market…Heading into the new year, the economy remains on firm ground with solid growth, a tight labor market, decelerating inflation, and a nascent rebound in the housing market.” Freddie Mac, 12/21/23 & 12/28/23

Changes in economic indicators didn’t begin to affect market psychology until early-mid November, right before the big holiday slowdown, and the homebuying process takes 30 to 60 days from loan qualification and offer acceptance to closed sale. Significant effects on sales statistics will not begin to show up until early 2024 data starts to become available.

Statistics are generalities, essentially summaries of widely disparate data generated by dozens, hundreds or thousands of unique, individual sales occurring within different time periods. They are best seen not as precise measurements, but as broad, comparative indicators, with reasonable margins of error. Anomalous fluctuations in statistics are not uncommon, especially in smaller, expensive market segments. Last period data should be considered estimates that may change with late-reported data. Different analytics programs sometimes define statistics – such as “active listings,” “days on market,” and “months supply of inventory” – differently: what is most meaningful are not specific calculations but the trends they illustrate. Most listing and sales data derives from the local or regional multi-listing service (MLS) of the area specified in the analysis, but not all listings or sales are reported to MLS and these won’t be reflected in the data. “Homes” signifies real-property, single-household housing units: houses, condos, co-ops, townhouses, duets and TICs (but not mobile homes), as applicable to each market. City/town names refer specifically to the named cities and towns, unless otherwise delineated. Multi-county metro areas will be specified as such. Data from sources deemed reliable, but may contain errors and subject to revision. All numbers to be considered approximate.

Many aspects of value cannot be adequately reflected in median and average statistics: curb appeal, age, condition, amenities, views, lot size, quality of outdoor space, “bonus” rooms, additional parking, quality of location within the neighborhood, and so on. How any of these statistics apply to any particular home is unknown without a specific comparative market analysis.

Median Sales Price is that price at which half the properties sold for more and half for less. It may be affected by seasonality, “unusual” events, or changes in inventory and buying trends, as well as by changes in fair market value. The median sales price for an area will often conceal an enormous variety of sales prices in the underlying individual sales.

Dollar per Square Foot is based upon the home’s interior living space and does not include garages, unfinished attics and basements, rooms built without permit, patios, decks or yards (though all those can add value to a home). These figures are usually derived from appraisals or tax records, but are sometimes unreliable (especially for older homes) or unreported altogether. The calculation can only be made on those home sales that reported square footage.

Photo use under the Creative Commons License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/
Compass is a real estate broker licensed by the State of California, DRE 01527235. Equal Housing Opportunity. This report has been prepared solely for information purposes. The information herein is based on or derived from information generally available to the public and/or from sources believed to be reliable. No representation or warranty can be given with respect to the accuracy or completeness of the information. Compass disclaims any and all liability relating to this report, including without limitation any express or implied representations or warranties for statements contained in, and omissions from, the report. Nothing contained herein is intended to be or should be read as any regulatory, legal, tax, accounting or other advice and Compass does not provide such advice. All opinions are subject to change without notice. Compass makes no representation regarding the accuracy of any statements regarding any references to the laws, statutes or regulations of any state are those of the author(s). Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

San Mateo County Real Estate, December 2023

A Sudden, Positive Shift in Economic Indicators

“For the third sixth straight week, mortgage rates trended down, as new data indicates that inflationary pressures are receding. The combination of continued economic strength, lower inflation and lower mortgage rates should likely bring more potential homebuyers into the market.” Freddie Mac (FHLMC)

Stock and bond markets – which greatly impact household wealth, consumer confidence, and interest rates – were generally characterized by deep pessimism in October, but with significant changes in economic indicators such as inflation, and a continued pause in benchmark rate increases by the Fed, financial markets abruptly shifted to enthusiastic optimism in November. That translated into a dramatic plunge in mortgage rates, which has caused mortgage applications to increase over recent weeks.

Since the homebuying process usually takes 30 to 60 days, from loan qualification and making an offer to a closed sale, sales might see a bounce in December, or – since the mid-winter holiday period typically sees the annual low point in new-listing (and thus sales) activity – more likely in early 2024 (subject to these positive trends continuing).

In January 2023, buyer demand saw a substantial rebound due to a similar drop in interest rates in late 2022.

San Mateo County Real Estate, November 2023

Rising Interest Rates Continued to Impact Supply & Demand in October, But Early November Brings Big Shift in Economic Indicators

The heart of the autumn selling season was dominated by global conflict, falling stock markets – and interest rates jumping to their highest point in 23 years, further discouraging buyers who require financing, and prospective sellers reluctant to abandon their current loan terms. Then on November 1st, the October jobs report came out, the Fed extended their pause on raising its benchmark rate, and the Treasury Department issued revised guidance pertaining to upcoming bond sales – and by November 3rd, stock markets had logged their best week of the year, and interest rates had seen a near-record decline. The housing market typically begins its big, holiday slowdown in mid-November, with listing and sales activity declining to annual lows. Considering the volatility that has characterized economic and political conditions, it’s too early to speculate on how these shifts will play out in the coming days, weeks and months. Ideally, rates will continue to normalize and consumer confidence to recover into the new year, with significant improvements to both housing affordability and the equation for homeowners contemplating a sale.

Even if the expected holiday slowdown occurs, sellers of appealing, well-prepared and well-priced homes may still see a quick sale with multiple offers: There are still qualified buyers actively looking to purchase (with financing or all cash). For buyers, mid-winter usually offers reduced competition for listings, and an enhanced ability to aggressively negotiate prices on unsold properties: It can be an excellent time to buy for those who stay in the game.

This report will review trends in home prices, new and active listings, speed of sale, overbidding, listings going into contract, and sales volumes in both the general market and the luxury segment. We have also updated our Bay Area home price tables and maps with detailed data on current values and market dynamics in the cities, towns and other submarkets within the region.

San Mateo County Real Estate, October 2023

Economic indicators have been challenging since the fall selling season began: Interest rates continued to rise through early October and stock markets generally continued to fall from mid- summer, YTD highs. The country faced yet another threat of a federal government shutdown, which happily didn’t occur, but, unbelievably, another such crisis may soon confront us again. Markets remain volatile and hard to predict, often reacting negatively to positive economic news (such as employment numbers) as they wait for new inflation numbers and try to parse the possible reaction of the Fed. Any definitive impacts on real estate markets of these recent developments, should they continue, won’t substantially show up until Q4 data begins to become available, and, of course, volatility also means that indicators can turn around quickly.

In the meantime, the Q3 median house sales price was up about 2% from Q3 2022, and with a September surge in new listings, the total supply of active listings just hit a YTD high, though still somewhat below this time last year. Year over year, the number of home sales in Q3 was down about 14%, mostly due to the comparatively low supply of listings for sale during most of the summer, though also affected by interest rates. Luxury home sales of $5 million+ increased in Q3 2023 on a year-over-year basis.

The CA Association of Realtors® (CAR) recently issued their initial 2024 market forecast:

“California housing market will rebound in 2024”
CAR forecast: Existing, single-family home sales will increase in 2024 by approximately 23 percent, and the CA median home price is expected to climb by 6.2%. The average 30-year, fixed mortgage interest rate is projected to decline to 6%. Housing supply will remain below normal despite a 10% to 20% increase in active listings, as market conditions and the lending environment continue to improve. [However] the percentage of CA households able to purchase a median-priced single family dwelling will remain very low by long-term standards. CAR Chief Economist, 9/20/23

Statistics are generalities, essentially summaries of widely disparate data generated by dozens, hundreds or thousands of unique, individual sales occurring within different time periods. They are best seen not as precise measurements, but as broad, comparative indicators, with reasonable margins of error. Anomalous fluctuations in statistics are not uncommon, especially in smaller, expensive market segments. Last period data should be considered estimates that may change with late-reported data. Different analytics programs sometimes define statistics – such as “active listings,” “days on market,” and “months supply of inventory” – differently: what is most meaningful are not specific calculations but the trends they illustrate. Most listing and sales data derives from the local or regional multi-listing service (MLS) of the area specified in the analysis, but not all listings or sales are reported to MLS and these won’t be reflected in the data. “Homes” signifies real-property, single-household housing units: houses, condos, co-ops, townhouses, duets and TICs (but not mobile homes), as applicable to each market. City/town names refer specifically to the named cities and towns, unless otherwise delineated. Multi-county metro areas will be specified as such. Data from sources deemed reliable, but may contain errors and subject to revision. All numbers to be considered approximate.

Many aspects of value cannot be adequately reflected in median and average statistics: curb appeal, age, condition, amenities, views, lot size, quality of outdoor space, “bonus” rooms, additional parking, quality of location within the neighborhood, and so on. How any of these statistics apply to any particular home is unknown without a specific comparative market analysis. Median Sales Price is that price at which half the properties sold for more and half for less. It may be affected by seasonality, “unusual” events, or changes in inventory and buying trends, as well as by changes in fair market value. The median sales price for an area will often conceal an enormous variety of sales prices in the underlying individual sales.

Dollar per Square Foot is based upon the home’s interior living space and does not include garages, unfinished attics and basements, rooms built without permit, patios, decks or yards (though all those can add value to a home). These figures are usually derived from appraisals or tax records, but are sometimes unreliable (especially for older homes) or unreported altogether. The calculation can only be made on those home sales that reported square footage.

Photo use under the Creative Commons License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Compass is a real estate broker licensed by the State of California, DRE 01527235. Equal Housing Opportunity. This report has been prepared solely for information purposes. The information herein is based on or derived from information generally available to the public and/or from sources believed to be reliable. No representation or warranty can be given with respect to the accuracy or completeness of the information. Compass disclaims any and all liability relating to this report, including without limitation any express or implied representations or warranties for statements contained in, and omissions from, the report. Nothing contained herein is intended to be or should be read as any regulatory, legal, tax, accounting or other advice and Compass does not provide such advice. All opinions are subject to change without notice. Compass makes no representation regarding the accuracy of any statements regarding any references to the laws, statutes or regulations of any state are those of the author(s). Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

San Mateo County Real Estate, September 2023

“The surprisingly quick recovery [of the housing market] suggests that the residential real-estate downturn is turning out to be shorter and shallower than many housing economists expected after mortgage rates soared last year…There still aren’t enough homes for sale to meet demand.” The Wall Street Journal, “The Fall in Home Prices May Already Be Over,” 9/8/23

Generally speaking, the market rebounded much more strongly in 2023 than seemed possible at the end of 2022, when, after hitting historic peaks during the pandemic boom, economic and demand indicators hit their lowest points since the great recession. The decline in the number of sellers putting their homes on the market continues to be an enormous factor in the balance – or imbalance between supply and demand, in the recovery in home prices, and the decline of overall sales volumes. In August, the average, weekly, 30-year mortgage rate, as published by FHLMC, ticked back up over 7%, a situation which continues to significantly impact housing affordability. Perhaps in response, the percentage of buyers paying all cash has been running at its highest national level in 8 years.

After the usual summer slowdown from spring (though, unusually, August saw the highest monthly number of San Mateo County luxury home sales since spring 2022), the autumn selling season began after Labor Day and runs until early-mid November, when the market typically begins its big, mid-winter holiday slowdown. By Thanksgiving, the number of new listings coming on market has plummeted, and December or January commonly sees the lowest level of monthly sales activity.

In the meantime, we expect to see substantial activity this fall. September often sees a considerable jump in new listings coming on market. We also expect that year-over-year median home sales price appreciation will soon turn positive again after 12 months of declines.

Statistics are generalities, essentially summaries of widely disparate data generated by dozens, hundreds or thousands of unique, individual sales occurring within different time periods. They are best seen not as precise measurements, but as broad, comparative indicators, with reasonable margins of error. Anomalous fluctuations in statistics are not uncommon, especially in smaller, expensive market segments. Last period data should be considered estimates that may change with late-reported data. Different analytics programs sometimes define statistics – such as “active listings,” “days on market,” and “months supply of inventory” – differently: what is most meaningful are not specific calculations but the trends they illustrate. Most listing and sales data derives from the local or regional multi-listing service (MLS) of the area specified in the analysis, but not all listings or sales are reported to MLS and these won’t be reflected in the data. “Homes” signifies real-property, single-household housing units: houses, condos, co-ops, townhouses, duets and TICs (but not mobile homes), as applicable to each market. City/town names refer specifically to the named cities and towns, unless otherwise delineated. Multi-county metro areas will be specified as such. Data from sources deemed reliable, but may contain errors and subject to revision. All numbers to be considered approximate.

Many aspects of value cannot be adequately reflected in median and average statistics: curb appeal, age, condition, amenities, views, lot size, quality of outdoor space, “bonus” rooms, additional parking, quality of location within the neighborhood, and so on. How any of these statistics apply to any particular home is unknown without a specific comparative market analysis. Median Sales Price is that price at which half the properties sold for more and half for less. It may be affected by seasonality, “unusual” events, or changes in inventory and buying trends, as well as by changes in fair market value. The median sales price for an area will often conceal an enormous variety of sales prices in the underlying individual sales.

Dollar per Square Foot is based upon the home’s interior living space and does not include garages, unfinished attics and basements, rooms built without permit, patios, decks or yards (though all those can add value to a home). These figures are usually derived from appraisals or tax records, but are sometimes unreliable (especially for older homes) or unreported altogether. The calculation can only be made on those home sales that reported square footage.

Compass is a real estate broker licensed by the State of California, DRE 01527235. Equal Housing Opportunity. This report has been prepared solely for information purposes. The information herein is based on or derived from information generally available to the public and/or from sources believed to be reliable. No representation or warranty can be given with respect to the accuracy or completeness of the information. Compass disclaims any and all liability relating to this report, including without limitation any express or implied representations or warranties for statements contained in, and omissions from, the report. Nothing contained herein is intended to be or should be read as any regulatory, legal, tax, accounting or other advice and Compass does not provide such advice. All opinions are subject to change without notice. Compass makes no representation regarding the accuracy of any statements regarding any references to the laws, statutes or regulations of any state are those of the author(s). Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

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