There is a mantra that all real estate is local, so when you look at this week’s Altos Research’s report on the entire City of San Mateo you think that the real estate market is in the doldrums, yet as I embark on this report and lay out each zip code, you’ll really see why all real estate is local, local, local. Each zip code within the city is quite different and has been effected by the real estate downturn differently.
The entire city had 199 single family homes on the market last week, which is an increase over previous weeks. Also increasing is the time spent on the market. City wide, only 17 homes sold. City wide the real estate market is a Cold Buyer’s Market. This is a great example of how one zip code in the city, 94401, can drop the entire city in this Market Action Index.
Altos Research divides each market into quartiles from One, the most expensive down to Four, the least expensive within a market. I don’t generally talk about quartiles but today I am introducing them to you to show you the variety of the market. Quartile Three and Four pretty much mirror each other, as does Two and One. The peak of the market was about the same with each of them.
When you see the Market Action Index with all four of them together you get a different picture. The Fourth Quartile has really been the one to feel the effects of the market correction from a high in July 2006 to its current low today. This quartile has bottomed out and is remaining fixed where it is now. The First, Second and Third Quartiles mirror the bottom but it is evident that the Third Quartile has moved up. If you’re new to these reports, the Red Line delineates the difference between a Buyer’s or Seller’s Market. The big drop has to do with a change by Altos Research in how they measured the data. All four quartiles are within the Buyer’s Market but not as low as the Fourth quartile houses.
Meet Quartile One. This is the zip with the most expensive homes in San Mateo. This zip includes San Mateo Park, Baywood, Aragon and Baywood Knolls. Last week there were 43 homes for sale in the 94402 and 5 homes sold. As you can see, this area is considered a Cool Buyer’s Market by Altos. Prices are trending up but so are the number of days on the market before selling. The prices of homes on the market in this zip range from a low of $439,000 to a high of $3,395,000. These are older homes sitting generally on lots around 6000 square feet, unless they are in San Mateo Park where the lots can be as large as 22,000 feet or more. This zip code has pretty much held its price level through all of the corrections that have taken place.
The 94403 zip is the Second Quartile with 74 homes for sale last week and 7 selling. Prices are trending down but the time spent on the market is static. The most expensive home in this zip code last week was listed at $2,180,000 and the least expensive was $448,000. The homes in this zip are a little newer for the city. This zip sits at a Cool Buyer’s Market Action Index of 20. This zip has also held price somewhat over the past year.
94401 is generally the lower priced part of the city. A little bit of this zip dips into San Mateo Park skewing the median price considerably upward. Without those few blocks, the median price would be quite a bit lower. Last week there were 78 homes on the market and 5 sales. The most expensive house for sale in this zip last week was for $3,795,000 and the least expensive was $425,000. The time spent on the market has increased because there are many, many short sales listed in this area. Most of this area sits east of downtown and across 101. Often considered the area for entry level homes this is the area that peaked right at the start of 2007 and has dropped dramatically since. This market sits at the Cold! Buyer’s Market Action Index for Altos Research. This is the zip code that offers the best buys for first time buyers today offering a single family home at the price of a condo or townhouse in other parts of San Mateo or even Foster City.
Tomorrow I’ll talk about the Condo and Townhouse market for San Mateo. Should you want a copy of this data for yourself, let us know and it will be sent off. Better yet, sign up for reports to automatically arrive in your email weekly.