I am a full believer that pictures say more than words do. I just ran a report to see how the market has been in San Mateo for single family and condo/townhouses this past year. San Mateo has about 90,000 people living in it making it the second largest city in the county. Prices run from entry level condos and houses into many millions of dollars for a huge house. In the early part of the year past, the banks would not lend to anyone trying to buy a house that required what they like to call a jumbo-jumbo loan, the high end of the market tanked. After arm twisting by the Fed and the administration in Washington DC, the banking wallets opened up and we began to see these loans offered once again. This made the high end of the market warm up and we saw some action.
We’re looking first at single family houses sold between November 2008 and November 2009. Sorry, I won’t have the December data until next week so if you’d like to see it let me know and I’ll get it to you. The end of 2008 and into first quarter we were still seeing bank owned sales. They have diminished since then. We see some, but not a huge amount any longer. Does that mean they are gone from San Mateo? Doubtful. We all anticipate seeing many more short sales and bank owned (REO’s) in 2010. The Wilkas Group is prepared to help all of our clients with this kind of a market having taken specialized training to be able to guide both buyer’s and seller’s through the many different things that bank’s require. If you want to buy a short sale or REO, use an agent who understands how to navigate through the process.
What are we seeing here? The number of houses sold really didn’t change much for most of the early part of the year, because of the loan situation. FHA loans were the loan of choice for most people through the first half of the year. From mid-year though, we began to see the market warm up. The drop in November could be because of the usual decline of demand at year’s end when seller’s often remove their house from the market until the new year, and buyer’s are thinking about the holidays.
Let look at the Condo-Townhouse market in San Mateo.
One would expect to see more sales of condos as most of them are entry level purchases but many former condo buyers were able to buy a single family house this past year. What is interesting is that prices didn’t drop as dramatically in San Mateo as they did in other cities in the State. This shows some of the uniqueness of our County.
There is still a huge disparity in the number of condos and townhouses for sale verses those sold. It’s a strong buyer’s market for condos and many are very affordable. The number of sales has been pretty consistent all year long. There are many condos to select from as you can clearly see by the number for sale.