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Price Trends for The Upper End

By Datta Khalsa, Broker

There was a time not so long ago when our local MLS used to differentiate their statistics for homes that sold for over $1 Million. Back when they started tracking this statistic, you could buy a decent house for around $300,000, but with the median price of a home in our county running at $1,250,000 these days, it seems like the price tag for the upper end starts at more like $3 Million.

Looking at activity for the upper end using this adjusted entry point shows 14 listings Active countywide, with 4 under contract, showing 22.2% of the current inventory in escrow. In all 52 homes sold for $3 Million or more in the past year. The median timeframe for these 52 sales was 17 Days on Market, with the Median Sale Price running at 98% of List Price, and the highest sale closing at nearly $7.9 Million.

For high-end homes on under half an acre, the majority of which are in the beach areas, there are only 2 listings Active, compared to 3 under contract. You read that right: 60% of the in-town luxury inventory is currently in escrow. And the 36 homes that sold in this limited segment over the course of the past year showed a median time of 14 Days on Market, with the Median Sale Price running at 99% of List Price and the median house size running at 2,480 SF, reflecting a stunning $1,612 per square foot.

The statistics are a little more encouraging for the upper end home buyer looking at properties on more than half an acre of land. There are currently 12 of these to choose from, with only 1 Contingent, representing a more docile 8.3% of the current inventory under contract. 13 homes sold in the past year for this segment, with their Median running at a more relaxed 64 Days on Market, sold prices running at 95% of List Price, and the median house size running at 4,890 SF, for a relative bargain at $721 per square foot.

It's hard to say whether these differences are a reflection of a growing obsession with luxury beach living, increased concerns over fire safety in rural areas, or an increase in numbers of buyers from urban areas like San Francisco. Most likely it’s a combination of all these.

Regardless of what’s driving them, the statistics suggest at least two conclusions: For one thing, you get a lot more bang for the buck if you are open to considering a house on the hill. And for another, if you’ve been sitting on a beach house and considering a change, now could be an ideal time to consider selling it.

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