San Mateo Housing Absorption Rates May 2006-2009

Central Park, San Mateo

Central Park, San Mateo

Where We Are

Whether the bubble is popped and we’re over the hump may still be a question in the minds of some.  But based on what we’re currently seeing, not only in the statistics but in the field, we’re confident – at least for the moment – that the rough market conditions have subsided and we’re looking at stability for the near future.

Are The Banks Holding Back?

The only question in my mind is are the banks holding back on their inventory?  It’s a rumor that nobody seems to have an answer to.  Gary Miljour is asking that same question and getting a lot of different answers.

There’s No Blanket Answer

Tim Harris has a blanket answer that, yes, the banks are holding back and we haven’t seen the bottom.  That’s a somewhat dangerous statement since real estate is local.  Some markets may not have hit bottom, others have.  If the banks don’t have any inventory in those neighborhoods, then the likely conclusion is that they’ve hit bottom.

2006 2007 2008 2009
Atherton 2.8 2.6 6 4.6
Belmont 1 1 2 1.5
Brisbane 1.3 3.3 8.5 5
Burlingame 1.3 1.5 2.4 1.9
Colma 0 2 4 1
Daly City 2.5 3.9 2 1
East Palo Alto 2 4.7 4.3 1
El Granada 2.7 4 3.3 6
Foster City 2 1 1.8 2
Half Moon Bay 2.9 4.2 6.3 6
Hillsborough 2 2.9 5.8 4.3
La Honda 3.3 3.3 3.5 4.7
Loma Mar 1 3 4 1
Menlo Park 1.5 1.7 1.9 1.7
Millbrae 1.6 1.5 2.3 1.2
Montara 5 4.3 7 3.6
Moss Beach 3 4.7 4.5 12
Pacifica 2.4 4.7 3.7 1
Pescadero 6 4 8 3
Portola Valley 2.4 3 2.9 5.5
Redwood City 1.3 2 2.5 1.8
Redwood Shores 1.4 1 5 3
San Bruno 1.3 4 2 1
San Carlos 1.5 2.3 1.8 2.2
San Gregorio 5 0 2 3
San Mateo 1.3 1.6 2.3 1.6
South San Francisco 1.9 4 2.9 1
Woodside 8.8 3.3 12.5 7.6

Month To Month

Previous years’ housing stats are interesting but tracking the year is probably more helpful for those purchasing a home in the near future.

Foster City Recovery

There was a blip in Foster City where inventory was really climbing and there was concern about the direction of prices.  Where they going to come down in one of the only cities in the county where they were holding steady?  Doesn’t look like it.  Foster City’s inventory is back down again.

San Mateo Micro Markets

Although this chart shows all of  San Mateo it doesn’t show the micro markets we have.  The Village is still hot – multiple offers are commonplace right now.  There have been a couple of houses that have sold without hitting the market; I have to question the reasons for that in a neighborhood that has that much interest.

Pacifica Too

Since Pacifica is my home town, I always have to take a closer look.  They’re seeing a similar situation as the Village:  Multiple offers on what’s considered the first-time buyer market.  The one caveat to that is always that the house has to be priced to create that kind of response.

January February March April May
Atherton 25 18 8.6 10.8 4.6
Belmont 3 2 2.3 2 1.5
Brisbane 2 6 5 3 5
Burlingame 3.6 4 3 1.6 1.9
Colma 6 1 2.5 1 1
Daly City 1.3 1 1 1 1
East Palo Alto 1.3 1.6 1.4 2.4 1
El Granada 5 31 11 9 6
Foster City 6.5 10.7 10 2.8 2
Half Moon Bay 7.6 11 7.5 16 6
Hillsborough 7.7 12.8 5.9 5.9 4.3
La Honda 8 5 3.7 6 4.7
Loma Mar 1 1 1 0 1
Menlo Park 3.5 3.4 4 1.9 1.7
Millbrae 5.9 9.5 3 1.6 1.2
Montara 18 17 16 4.5 3.6
Moss Beach 10 16 7 5.5 12
Pacifica 2.8 2.8 1.9 1.3 1
Pescadero 8 4 5 2 3
Portola Valley 11 3.8 3.4 2.8 5.5
Redwood City 3.3 2.5 2.4 2.3 1.8
Redwood Shores 4.7 9 6 2 3
San Bruno 1.6 1.4 1.5 1 1
San Carlos 3.8 2.3 2.8 2 2.2
San Gregorio 2 2 1 2 3
San Mateo 2.9 3 2 2 1.6
South San Francisco 2.5 1.7 1.4 1 1
Woodside 16 6.8 7.3 7 7.6

Absorption Rates

The absorption rate is a quick way to see if the number of homes for sale in San Mateo County is going up or down. It’s just one of the statistics used to evaluate pricing.

What you’re looking at is how many months’ inventory there is on the market. The assumption is that it will take X number of months for all of the houses currently on the market to sell. More inventory = longer to sell.

You can also see if the area is a buyer or a sellers’ market. The National Association of Realtors defines a balanced market as one is which there is 6 months of inventory. More than 6 months, it’s a buyers’ market; less is a sellers’ market.

Vicki Moore About Vicki Moore

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RE/MAX Star Properties
282 Redwood Shores Parkway
Redwood Shores, CA 94065

By Phone:
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Comments

  1. PL says:

    what do the charts show? its not clear to me

  2. admin says:

    Glad you asked Pat. So what we’re looking at is basically supply and demand. Let’s look at the second chart – the one that shows January through May of this year. If you scroll to Pacifica, you’ll see a definite trend there of inventory declining.

    As inventory declines there’s fewer choices for buyers and it’s likely that prices will increase because of the demand.

    The National Association of Realtors defines a buyers’ market as one that has more than 6 months inventory. By looking at the chart you’ll see that cities like El Granada and Half Moon Bay are in a buyers’ market. Cities like Pacifica, San Bruno and San Mateo are considered sellers’ markets.

    Does that help?

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