Burlingame Market Report – 01.23.09

Burlingame Market Report

Last week there were 41 homes for sale in Burlingame with the median price being $1,399,000.  Since the median price is always lower than the average, the average price was $1,568,217 and to get this we had to average from the lowest listing at $695,000 to the highest listing at $4,995,000.  Quite a spread!

It is taking longer and longer to sell a home in Burlingame. It’s now averaging 119 days, or 4 months.  We are oly seeing price reductions in 27% of the homes on the market right now, and only 5% are being re-listed if their listing agreement ends.  So, I know you’re asking, what gives?  We are taking listings for 6 months or longer today, not 90 days like we used to do.  It is taking longer to sell higher ended homes because it is harder to get financing. You must have at least 20% down and stellar credit.  And, even then the banks are being capricious, so if you need to buy or need to sell, be prepared.  It will take a long while.

Median Price

The median house in Burlingame is 63 years young and is likely to be 4 bedrooms and 2 baths sitting on a lot between 4500 square feet and 6500 square feet and the house is about 2200 square feet in size.  We just don’t have huge houses here and the price you pay is really for the dirt the house is sitting on, not so much the house sitting on that dirt.  It’s California’s Gold today – land on the Peninsula.  That’s why I refer to San Mateo County as Fantasy Island, we are an island unique to the rest of the Bay Area.

Our research comes to us from Altos Research, and Altos Research looks at data weekly so I have the most up to date research out there.  They also divide the data into Quartiles, and the Median Price within each Quartile.  The First Quartile represents the most expensive homes, those over $2,000,000.  The Second Quartile represents the next most expensive homes or those around $1,500,000 or so.  The Third Quartile represents the next level, or just below the middle and those are around a $1,200,000 price range and finally the Fourth Quartile, or the entry level home for Burlingame averages around $800,000.

You get a better idea of how the Quartile works from the chart to the right, showing the median prices for each Quartile, the median size of house, lot and age.  In Burlingame the newer homes command the highest prices.

What is interesting to me is that the lowest Quartile, Four, with a median price of $799,000 shows the longest time on the market yet with the demand of Burlingame and the high quality of schools these entry level homes, that used to fly off the shelf so to speak, are languishing and I believe this is due to the difficulty in getting loans.  The banks are hording their money and regardless of what Washington DC is saying, banks are not lending easily, with some exceptions and I can lead you to them if you get in touch with me.

Market Action

Altos Research has developed a way of measuring  a real estate market by the number of homes for sale and the absorption rate, or number of homes sold or removed from the market because of an expired listing or cancellation.  They call this the Market Action Index, and Burlingame is a Strong Buyer’s Market.

Altos uses the index of 30 to divide from a Seller’s Market to a Buyer’s Market and the further away the market is from this line, the Warmer or Colder the market becomes.  Burlingame stands at 19 labeling it as a Cold! Buyer’s Market.  The market has been at this level for some time, bouncing along, up one week, down the next but never really climbing.  What we see is that there are several months of inventory for Burlingame buyers to choose from and negotiate over.  We also see that the prices in Burlingame have been pretty consistent in the past year, and this continues to be the case in all four Quartiles, too.

Burlingame is still one of the prettiest cities along El Camino Real.  Named the City of Trees, you know you’ve reached Burlingame when you drive El Camino because of the trees shading the road.  It’s perfect weather, great schools, picture perfect downtown all add to the ambiance.  If you’re interested in seeing more about Burlingame, let us know.  You can reach us at 650-696-2820 or [email protected].

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