North Palo Alto
North Palo Alto kicked into gear again as prices finished 11% higher than 2nd quarter 2013. More significantly, the quarter ended with a dearth of inventory, contrary to the summer pile-up we saw in 2013. International buyers are again a significant force in the summer market as they shop while they are here for the summer, many with children attending local summer programs. Anecdotal evidence points to a banner 3rd quarter as several record setting sales have occurred in the $5M plus market. All signs point to the market carrying positively into 2015 as lack of inventory remains a major issue. As of this writing, there are only 15 homes on the market in North PA with just 6 being under the 2nd quarter median sale price of $2,832,000.
Southgate/College Terrace/Evergreen Park
Southgate/College Terrace/Evergreen Park (MLS Area 236). Prices jumped 28% over June of the previous year with some notable sales, particularly in Southgate. Buyers sensed value as they snapped up homes in the low $2Ms and investors showed good appetite for multi-tenant units in College Terrace. Notable sales include 1540 Portola (4br, 3ba, 2,084 ft, 5,250 lot) for $3,300,000 and 350 Miramonte, (3br, 2.5 ba, 1,940 sq ft, 8,400 lot) for $2,900,000.
Old Palo Alto
Old Palo Alto (MLS Area 237). The average price in Old Palo Alto shot up 26% over the same period last year and was led by the high end as two homes sold for $15,000,000 and $19,800,000. Land continued to drive up in price and the median price per square foot rocketed to $1,611. Notable sales include 1680 Bryant (4br, 2.5 ba, 3550 sq ft, 11,400 lot) for $5,567,000 and 514 Santa Rita, (3br, 2.5 ba, 2,258 sq ft, 6,600 lot) for $4,000,000.
Green Gables (MLS Area 238). Prices in Green Gables were 16% higher than what we saw during the second quarter last year. Two homes, both built in 1947 and for the most part in original condition, sold for over $1500/sf. 2297 St. Francis (2br, 2 ba, 1120 sf, 6050 lot) sold for $1,760,000 and 1830 Guinda (3 bd, 2 ba, 1856 sf, 7150 lot) sold for $2,828,000. An $11 million construction project at Duveneck Elementary is nearing completion, which will make this already popular K-5 school a magnet for young families.
Crescent Park (MLS Area 238) The average price in Crescent Park also increased 16% over this time last year. Three homes sold on Hamilton Avenue in the second quarter, all over $1250/sf. 1479 Hamilton (8 bd, 7.5 ba, 5225 sf, 9720 lot) was the most watched sale. Built as a spec home with high-end finishes, it sold at the list price of $6,995,000 ($1338.76/sf) The sale with the highest price per sq. ft. this past quarter in Crescent Park, 1457 Pitman (5 bd, 4.5 ba, 3014 sf, 8260 lot) was also new construction, once again highlighting that buyers will pay a premium for new construction in this market.
Community Center (MLS Area 240) The average price in Community Center stayed relatively the same as the second quarter last year most likely due to a 57% increase in inventory. Sales were still robust, however as days on market fell in half, from 30 days to 16 days. Two significant sales took place on Lincoln Avenue. Both homes are situated on 7500 sq. ft. lots and sold for over $1300/sf. 804 Lincoln (5 bd, 4 ba, 4000 sf, 7500 lot), which sits at the corner of Lincoln and Guinda, is a charming home that was completely rebuilt in 2002. It was listed at $4,800,000 and sold for $5,700,000 in 10 days. Another noteworthy sale in Community Center was 1302 Channing which is located directly across the street from Eleanor Pardee Park (5 bd, 3 ba, 2206 sf, 9660 lot) which sold for $3,600,000 in 8 days, the equivalent of $1600/sf.
Professorville (MLS Area 241) Prices in this historic neighborhood remain some of the highest in Palo Alto. Inventory is still very low and properties sell quickly, many of which are “off market” sales. Although the city’s historic review board has a rigorous process for all proposed construction projects in Professorville, this obstacle does not seem to stand in the way of buyers wanting this special location. 262 Kingsley, a 106 year old Craftsman home, (3 bd, 2 ba, 1945 sf, 7200 sf lot) sold for $3,100,00 ($1516/sf) in one week.
Downtown (MLS Area 242) There are really two different markets in Downtown Palo Alto. Of the 12 properties that sold in the 2nd quarter of 2014, 9 of them were townhouses or condos. The two most significant condo sales were 707 Bryant, #306 and 425 Alma, #309. Both of these properties are just a short walk to downtown, have association fees of over $500/mo. and sold for over $1300/sf. The 3 single family homes that sold in the Downtown area in the 2nd quarter had an average price of $1587/sf and all sold in under two weeks. The days on market in this area is half of what is was this time last year, illustrating a strong demand for city living by buyers.