Q4 2015 Market Update – Mountain View

Market Summary

Mountain View was probably the hottest real estate market in the area in 2015. One word pretty much covers everything – UP! Sales were up from 2014, prices were up and even inventory was higher. If it was for sale here it sold quickly; 17 days on average. 20 days is considered a hot market. Buyers were very aggressive in 2015 and if you were selling a home it would have been uncommon to not get multiple offers. 82% of all homes sold here in 2015 did so for more than their list price and the average sale was for 112% of list. The median sales price increased by more than 15% for the third straight year (four straight over 14%).

All price ranges benefited from the rising market. Every price range had an average sales price that was 109% of the list price or greater. What is interesting is that the highest priced homes (those sold for $2 million or more) sold for 115% of list and were on the market for an average of only 11 days (the shortest of any price range). All but one market area saw an increase in the median sales price. See the section below for a review of the MLS areas.

The broader market MAY be plateauing as we head into 2016 but you do not get that sense here. It is possible that the double digit price increases we have become accustomed to over the past four years may slow but I expect prices to continue to climb, perhaps just at a slower rate.

Sellers

It is a great time to be a seller in Mountain View, with demand remaining very strong. Proper staging and marketing will be important to getting the most for your home. Being prepared to evaluate multiple offers and sift through the options will be critical. While multiple offers will be the norm, being extremely familiar with the Los Altos market will be critical to get the most value out of your home.

Buyers

Being prepared to act quickly will be the key for buyers in 2015. Multiple offers will be the norm. Having a solid understanding of the market and your own strengths as a buyer will put you in a position to capitalize on new listings. Having an agent that is intimately familiar with Mountain View and its neighborhoods will you move quickly.


 

Selling Prices

The median sales price in 2015 was $1.7 million, a 16% increase ($232,500) over 2014’s $1,467,500. The average sales price increased 18%. The price per square foot also increased, from $919 in 2014 to $1,072 in 2015, a 17% jump. 2015 was the first year the price per square foot exceeded $1,000 here. Homes have been selling for more than their list price in Mountain View for the past five years but 2015 set a new mark – 112%. Home sold for 111% of their average list price in 2014.

Home Sales by Price Range

2015 again saw the performance of the price ranges being behaving contrary to what happens in most markets. Generally speaking, the loser price ranges are in higher demand so they tend to sell more quickly and for higher prices relative to their list price. The opposite has occurred here for the past two years. As can be seen in the accompanying chart, the highest price ranges (over $2 million sales price were the hottest segment in 2015. These homes sold in an average of only 11 days for 115% of their list price. About 90% of these homes sold for more than their list price. That’s not to say the other segments performed poorly. All segments had average sales prices that were 109% or more of the list price and homes sold quickly, regardless of price. In the $1 million and below segment, two homes drove the average days on the market higher. One home was on the market for 452 days and the other for 243 days. The average for the other five homes in this segment was eight days.

Home Sales

2015 halted a two year decline in sales. The reason for the change was more homes for sale. There were 282 new listings in 2015, 19 more than in 2014. Add that to the fact that 90% of new listings were sold and the result is more sales. That compares to 56% during 2008, the bottom of the market downturn. 253 sales closed in 2015, 21 more than in 2014.

Inventory

Yes, even inventory increased in 2015, the first time since 2009. On average, 15.5 homes were actively listed at the end of any given month. That’s up from 14.3 properties for 2014. While not a big increase, it was a nice change of direction for a market in dire need of inventory. The average supply was virtually unchanged from 2014 at about 1.35 months, relative to closed sales.

Sales Price to List Price

Demand can be measured in a number of ways. One is the ratio of the sales price to the list price. If this ratio is over 100%, buyers were willing to pay over the list price for the property. The ratio increased for the sixth straight year in Mountain View and was over 100% for the fifth straight year. In fact, at 112%, it was over 110% for the second year in a row. Furthermore, 88% of all sales here were for more than the asking price. Anyone buying a house experienced the multiple offers they had to compete with in 2015 that drove sales prices higher.

Average Day on Market

Another indicator of demand is the length of time homes are listed before they go to contract. While this number ticked up slightly to 15.5 days in 2015, it was still very low. Generally, if a market is seeing average times on the market below 20 days, it is considered a hot market. That made Mountain View very hot in 2015.


 

MLS Areas

The multi listing service (MLS) divides the market into MLS Areas. There are eleven such areas in Mountain View, only nine of which have any sales. This section will take a closer look at the individual MLS Areas.

The general story, as with Mountain View as a whole, is one of very strong demand and rising prices.

Wisman

The number of homes available for sale increased in the Wisman area in 2015 and sales went up accordingly. There was a 47% increase in closed sales, from 17 in 2014 to 25 in 2015. Those sales didn’t take as long in 2015 (32 days) as in 2014 (50 days). The median sales price in 2015 was $1,438,000, up 24% from $1,160,000 in 2015. The price per square foot went up a more modest 10%, from $753 in 2014 to $831 in 2015. The sales price to list price ratio was little changed at 107.4%. 10% of Mountain View’s sales were in Wisman.

Sylvan Dale

There was a great deal of demand for homes in the Sylvan Dale area and prices went up accordingly. 14 sales closed in 2015, three more than in 2014 and the most since 2005 when there were 26. Those sales took on 11 days, on average, half the time as in 2014. The median sales price jumped 30% to $1,687,000 in 2015 from $1,297,000 in 2014. The price per square foot had a double digit increase for the fourth straight year, rising 18% in 2015 to $810. The average sale was for 106% of the list price in 2015, down from 111% ibn 2014. Sylvan Dale accounted for 5.5% of all sales in the city.

North Bayshore

There have been no sales in North Bayshore for over 10 years

North Shoreline

11.5% of Mountain View’s sales were in North Shoreline. There were 29 sales in 2015, a 22% drop from 37 in 2014. A lack of inventory here was the cause of the drop in sales, as well as the increase in prices. A 37.5% increase in the median sales price raised it to $1,375,000 in 2015. That was the single biggest annual increase here in over a decade, and came on top of large increases the previous four years. IN fact, the median price here has doubled since 2011. The price per square foot topped $1,000 for the first time in 2015 at $1,005, a 17% increase from 2014’s $856. Since 2011, the price per square foot has gone up $474. Homes sold for 112.4% of the list price in 2014, about the same as in 2014. Surprisingly, homes were on the market longer here in 2015 that in 2014 (29 days versus 17 days, respectively).

Rengsdorf

With only eight sales in 2015, Rengsdorf had the second fewest sales of any area in Mountain View. The median sales price here actually declined 16% in 2015, from $1,445,000 in 2014 to $1,225,000. 2015 was the first year since 2009 that the median sales price declined. On the other hand, the average price increased 6% and the price per square foot had an 18% gain. The price per square foot was 924 in 2015. It is difficult to read too much into these price statistics, given the low level of sales, which tend to make averages volatile. The eight sales here closed in an average of 14 days.

Thompson

The Thompson area had a six unit increase in sales in 2015 to 18, 7% of the total. The price per square foot here, like in some other areas, surpassed $1,000 in 2015. In fact, it increased 18% to $1,173, a $185 jump. The average sale was for 115% and took only 11 days. As short as 11 days is, remarkably, it was the first time in three years it took more than nine days, on average, to sell a home here.

San Antonio

Seven sales closed in the San Antonio area in 2015, up from only four in 2014. Prices set records across the board. Homes sod for an average of 117% in 2015, the first time this ratio was higher than 107%. The price per square foot jumped 29% to $1,041 in 2015. The median sales price was up 35% to $1,180,000 in 2015. Again, be cautious with the statistical averages, given the low volume of sales.

Downtown

Sales declined in the Downtown area for the fourth straight year, with only 37 in 2015. That was 13% of sales in Mountain View. After making a 26% increase in 2014, the median sales price was up only 9% in 2015 to $1,572,500. The price per square foot added $192 to 2014’s $999 to bust through $1,000 to $1,191. Homes sold for 114% of their list price on average, up from 112% in 2014. It was the fifth straight year over 100% and the third straight over 110%. Homes were listed for an average of 15 days in 2015, unchanged from 2014.

Grant

22% of all sales in Mountain View were in the Grant area. 56 sales closed in 2015, six more than in 2014. Those sales took an average of only 11 days and were for 111% of the average list price. The median sales price increased from $1,895,000 in 2014 to $2,150,000 in 2014, a 14% increase. Likewise, the price per square foot jumped 16% or $143 to $1,037 in 2015.

Miramonte

After having fallen the past three years, closed sales increased by five units in 2015 to 62, representing 25% of the city’s total. The median sales price in 2015 was $1,907,500, which was 16% higher than 2014’s $1,650,000. The price per square foot extended its streak of increases to six years by posting an 18% rise to $1,221. And for the sixth year in a row, sales prices were, on average, higher than list prices. The ratio was the highest in over 11 years at 115%.

County Area

There have been no sales in the County Area for over 10 years.

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