Saturday, May 25, 2013

How Hot is Hot? Westwood Knolls and San Mateo Knolls

I set out to write about another home selling hot spot in the Bay Area - Westwood Knolls and San Mateo Knolls / Laurel Creek Farms in San Mateo, but was interrupted multiple times. Finally, as the day came to an end I went back to my writing. My first and only sentence I wrote said “There are only six listings in the Westwood Knolls and Knolls / Laurel Creek Farms”. Just to be on a safe side with numbers I went back to search and the number was different! There are only four listings left. It is the end of Friday and we are just about to start the Memorial Day weekend. While many people prefer to go away for the weekend, it is also a great weekend to start selling homes. I quickly checked the details. 324 Greenfield Ave and 3502 Michaels Dr houses changed status to pending, the former after seven days on the market and the latter one after nine days. There are six pending for this area now with the average thirteen days on the market (time from listing on MLS to the moment an offer is accepted).

324 Greenfield Ave

But where exactly are Westwood Knolls and San Mateo Knolls?  They stretch from El Camino Real to Alameda delas Pulgas (Westwood Knolls) and from Alameda delas Pulgas to the Sugarloaf Mountain in the West and from W. Hillsdale Blvd. to Belmont border in the South. 23 homes sold in this since the beginning of the year and 15 out of them or 65% above the listing price. From March 7th three of them sold on “200” and “300” blocks of Greenfield Ave. The 324 Greenfield will be number four. All three that already sold, closed above the asking, one for $2,015,000 (asking $1,599,000),

278 Greenfield Ave
another for $1,360,000 (asking $1,249,000) and the 3rd for $1,251,000 (asking $1,050,000). The 324 Greenfield was listed for $1,288,000 and of course we don’t know what the accepted price is. So, the 200- 300 blocks of Greenfield Ave are the hottest area of already hot Westwood Knolls and San Mateo Knolls / Laurel Creek Farms area. Three sales and one pending in ten weeks long period sold $243,000 or 20% above the listing! Greenfield Ave is really hot. You might not fully appreciate why Greenfield Ave homes are selling so well from the pictures presented in this post, but it has a breath taking panoramic view of the Bay from SF to beyond San Mateo bridge. This has certainly something to do with why they sell so well.

View from Greenfield Ave

But make no mistake, these homes were extremely well prepared for sale, especially the 278 Greenfield Ave home. This is what it takes today to sell house for a top price. Either a brand new house or brilliantly remodeled house. Of course a good view will not hurt. It looks as “good views” help more than ever. Is it because of younger buyers and more “easy money”? I leave answer to professional market researches.

Next week I will write about home selling in Marin and in a week or two give you an update on the Greenfield Ave.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Burlingame Real Estate On Fire - Part 2

Supply and demand at work

In my recent post “Burlingame Real Estate on Fire” I described the dramatic increase in Burlingame home prices as a result of limited supply. While the price increases are quite common at the moment in many locations in the Bay Area, Burlingame is the third most desirable City in the Northern California and certainly deserves a closer look (to find out why, please read my previous write-ups Why is Burlingame so Desirable? and Why is Burlingame So Desirable? More Reasons and More Facts). In my previous post I used data from the beginning of the year until March 22nd, in this one I am commenting on the sale data for the period from March 23rd until May 10th.

Within 6 weeks since March 23rd we observed market forces at work. The increased demand and led to significant increase in the listing and selling prices (81% of homes sold in first 3 weeks of March sold above the listing price) and that led many owners in Burlingame to believe that it might be the right time to sell. Let’s then look to what happened since March 23rd .

The number of listed, pending and sold homes dramatically increased. In the period of last 6 weeks 33 homes sold comparing to 36 that sold during 11 weeks from the beginning of the year until March 22nd. As of today (May 10th) we have 27 homes active and 32 are pending and 68% of all homes sold from the beginning of the year were sold at or above the listing price. This number increased to 76% for sales completed during the last 6 weeks. Six of the ten most expensive homes sold during that time are located in Easton Addition reasserting this area as either one of the most, or the most desirable part of Burlingame.  But if so many homes were sold or are being sold at the present time, is it enough to cool down the demand and slow down the price increases? Will prices continue increasing or the market already picked? We will find out in next few weeks.

The next couple of weeks will clearly show the direction of where the market is heading and sustainability of the recent price increase. In the meantime, let me share with you interesting homes that either recently sold, are pending, still active on the market at the present time or just are worth of showing.

A few months ago San Francisco Magazine heralded Burlingame Terrace to be among 10 up and coming neighborhoods in the Bay Area. Here are pictures of few homes in this neighborhood.

1321 Sanchez Av (still active as of May 8th)

1105 Edgehill Dr (pending)

 736 Neuchtal Av (pending)

Willborough Pl (none of these properties are on the market at the present time) - a block-long strip of early 20th century Tudor revival homes. To read more about this place click here: Willborough History.


1401 Vancouver (pending)


105 La Mesa (pending)

Will prices in Burlingame continue increasing as fast as until now or increased number of houses on the market will put further increases in check at least for now? As I mentioned in my previous post: “By summer 2013 we will know if it is a transition to a fully fledged boom or something else…”.