December 30, 2009

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Belmont Housing Market Report for November 2009 Well it’s another one of those tricky months where the numbers tell an inaccurate story when it comes to the value of Belmont homes. (Click on the graphic for a full size view) MEDIAN HOME PRICE Looking at the raw numbers, the median home value in Belmont dropped from $912,500 last November to $784,000 this year. That’s a whopping 14% decrease but wait—let’s look at what really happened. This November Belmont had three short sales which greatly impacted the results. More importantly was that the majority of the homes sold were much smaller than they were last year. Larger homes sell for less per square foot (since land is a constant). Therefore if many smaller homes sell in a given period the price per square foot statistic will rise while the median home price will fall. Watch for this inversely proportional relationship to guess when there might be more to the story than meets the eye. The median size Belmont home which sold in 2008 was 2095 Sq. Ft. and only 1568 in 2009. The difference of 342 square feet multiplied by the smaller price per square foot median of $488 last year means the adjusted median home value in Belmont this November would be $950,000, or an increase of 4%. NUMBER OF SALES The most impressive statistic is the number of sales which at 22 almost tripled from 2008. That speaks volumes as to consumer confidence in the local market. If sales were up because values were dramatically depressed,...
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Mid Peninsula Housing Trends--2009 What happened in 2009 and what might be in store for 2010? THE PAST The median price in San Mateo County ended the year at $678,750 which is a dramatic drop from 2008’s year-end median price of $795,000. It continued to drop precipitously throughout the beginning of 2009, though it appears that January of 2009 was its lowest level when the median price reached $553,750—the median price has not been that low since 2000. It wasn’t until April of 2009 that the median price reached the $600,000’s and the last four month have seen small but steady increases culminating in December’s median price of $750,000. But don’t read too much into these increases. Much of the median price increase is a result of larger homes selling do to the low interest rates and higher conforming limits. Belmont and much of the mid-peninsula were less affected by the declines. The median price in Belmont dropped from $920,000 in 2008 to $833,725 in 2009 (9.4%). There are several factors which contributed to mid-peninsula cities faring better in declining markets. THE BACK STORY Beginning around 2001, many first time buyers entered the market with very little cash and qualified for adjustable teaser rate loans at an artificially low interest rate. Zero down financing meant that that if prices were to drop, they’d be in a negative equity position, making it impossible to refinance out of their adjustable loan. When the banks allowed people to qualify for a loan based at the artificially low...

Drew Morgan

Sponsored by Drew & Christine Morgan"Helping People Make Good Decisions"smReal Estate Sales and ConsultingCarlmont Associates

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