Portola Valley celebrated its 50th anniversary of incorporation on September 21st with a series of well-attended events at the Town Center. There was something for everyone, starting with an interfaith morning service, followed by children’s events, games, a panel discussion, music, square dancing and a barbecue picnic dinner. The panel discussion was a key highlight for history buffs. It featured residents with many years of deep community involvement, each sharing stories of the town’s early development and the steps they took to protect its defining rural character.
The end of September also brought residents another reason to cheer as the median home price in Portola Valley reached a new quarterly record–$2.949 million, up almost 50% over the same quarter last year. This large jump reflected both the mix of sales and the shortage of inventory. Of the 17 homes that changed hands this quarter, 8 were in Central Portola Valley—our most expensive neighborhood where the homes and lots are large in comparison to other neighborhoods. An overall lack of inventory also contributed to the sharp increase in prices. The number of homes for sale at the end of the quarter was down 40% from last year, on par with the San Mateo County-wide inventory decline.
New listings and closed sales were both down slightly from last year but remained fairly consistent with their historical trends. The one counter intuitive data point for the third quarter is the number of days a home stayed on the market. It jumped sharply from 45 to 102 days primarily because of two properties at opposite ends of the price spectrum that sold after languishing on the market for over a year:
(a) 707 Westridge Drive – originally listed for $13,000,000 – closed at $10,000,000 in July after 438 days on the market
(b) 1108 Los Trancos Road – originally listed for $899,000 – closed for $610,000 in August after 421 days on the market.
During the quarter, there were also a few other upper end sales that traded at a discount to the list price, but for the month ending September the average sale closed at a one percent premium over list.
While most residents of Portola Valley treasure the town and have no desire to leave (as evidenced by the enthusiasm exhibited at the anniversary celebration), those who do plan to sell will find ready reception by an eager pool of buyers looking for well prepared, well priced properties. Please call if you would like more information.