Market Trends

Whether you are a first time buyer or seller, or have been through multiple transactions, you might be surprised by how quickly the real estate market changes in Los Altos, Palo Alto and surrounding communities. You need comprehensive historical data, current market analysis, and extensive insight to stay informed and succeed in these real estate markets.
As a service to his clients, Jeff Stricker provides his personal market analysis and commentary on local real estate trends.

  • October Market Trends November 18, 2016

    Are Home Prices Falling?

    Recently local real estate agents have been reporting that local home values are falling, and if you are planning to sell your home in the near future you better do so now.  Their conclusions are based on a drop in the median price for homes that sold during the third quarter of this year.  The conclusion that home values are falling is inaccurate, as the median price reflects what is selling (higher-priced homes versus low-priced homes) more than whether home values are going up or down.  In determining the current direction of home values, I look at:

    1. Inventory levels– remain historically low in most cities at about one month of sales
    2. Percent of asking price received– buyers continue to pay over the asking price in a high percentage of sales
    3. Price appreciation calculated when the same home sells and resells within a short period of time (1-2 years)

    Area home values are currently rising slowly, as local markets normally perform during the second half of any given year.   Approximately 75% of appreciation happens during the first half of each year.


    In the charts below, you’ll find 15 years of data for market activity and median sales price for the month of October for Los Altos, Palo Alto, Los Altos Hills, Menlo Park and Mountain View. You can’t find this level of historical data all in one place anywhere else, so if you have any questions or wish to get more info about your community, don’t hesitate to contact me.

    Los Altos Median Price (more…)

  • September Market Trends October 28, 2016

    In like a lamb and out like a lion – that is how the local real estate markets behaved in Q3. You may recall my commentary during the summer about the slow market, and how I was not quite ready to declare that the market had fundamentally changed. Good thing – market activity turned up from August to September as it normally does each year. Demand for lower-priced homes (under $3 million) was much stronger in September than for higher-priced homes, which is a sign the hot market is maturing. The market for higher-priced homes will slow first when the overall market begins to fundamentally change.

    I expect the market to remain reasonably strong until the end of the year. Why? The number of homes for sale usually drops during Q4 as the holidays approach, keeping demand for available homes reasonably strong until year-end.

    Take time to enjoy the beautiful fall weather and foliage before the busy holiday season arrives!


    In the charts below, you’ll find 15 years of data for market activity and median sales price for the month of September for Los Altos, Palo Alto, Los Altos Hills, Menlo Park and Mountain View. You can’t find this level of historical data all in one place anywhere else, so if you have any questions or wish to get more info about your community, don’t hesitate to contact me.

    Los Altos Median Price (more…)

  • Third Quarter Recap October 26, 2016

    In like a lamb and out like a lion – that is how the local real estate markets behaved in Q3. You may recall my commentary during the summer about the slow market, and how I was not quite ready to declare that the market had fundamentally changed. Good thing – market activity turned up from August to September as it normally does each year. Demand for lower-priced homes (under $3 million) was much stronger in September than for higher-priced homes, which is a sign the hot market is maturing. The market for higher-priced homes will slow first when the overall market begins to fundamentally change.

    I expect the market to remain reasonably strong until the end of the year. Why? The number of homes for sale usually drops during Q4 as the holidays approach, keeping demand for available homes reasonably strong until year-end.

    Take time to enjoy the beautiful fall weather and foliage before the busy holiday season arrives!


    In the charts below, you’ll find 15 years of data for market activity and median sales price for the Third Quarter for Los Altos, Palo Alto, Los Altos Hills, Menlo Park and Mountain View. You can’t find this level of historical data all in one place anywhere else, so if you have any questions or wish to get more info about your community, don’t hesitate to contact me.

    Los Altos Median Price (more…)

  • August Market Trends September 9, 2016

    The real estate statistics below show that the market continued to soften during August. Home sales fell or were flat in most Peninsula communities. The number of homes that sold at or over the asking price, and the average median price, also continued to fall. Last month I said I wanted to see one more month of down-trending statistics for validation of a slower market- and that is what happened. However, August often is a transitional month between the summer and fall markets, and I am not quite ready to call that the market has fundamentally changed. I will update you at the end of September on these market conditions.

    Anyone considering selling their home during the next 12 months would be wise to get their home market ready now. If the market continues to soften it is best to be able to get your home on the market quickly. If you have any questions or wish to get more specific information about your community please contact me.


    In the charts below, you’ll find 15 years of data for market activity and median sales price for the month of August for Los Altos, Palo Alto, Los Altos Hills, Menlo Park and Mountain View. You can’t find this level of historical data all in one place anywhere else, so if you have any questions or wish to get more info about your community, don’t hesitate to contact me.

    LA-Med-SP---Aug-01-16-fixed

    (more…)

  • July Market Trends August 19, 2016

    As expected, the local real estate market continued its summer vacation during July. However, the monthly statistics are indicating a more substantial change could be underway. The following statistics for July were negative year-over-year in most communities: flat sales, fewer sales at/over asking price; lower percentage of asking price paid on average; month-end inventory higher; average days on market before selling higher; and average and median prices down in several communities. I am not convinced that the hot real estate market is changing now, and want to see at least one more month of down-trending sales statistics for validation of a slower market. I continue to believe that the current weakness is a typical summer lull, and the market will remain strong until next year.


    In the charts below, you’ll find 15 years of data for market activity and median sales price for the month of July for Los Altos, Palo Alto, Los Altos Hills, Menlo Park and Mountain View. You can’t find this level of historical data all in one place anywhere else, so if you have any questions or wish to get more info about your community, don’t hesitate to contact me.

    Los Altos Median Price

    (more…)

  • June Market Trends July 26, 2016

    The hot spring market that commenced in February for local real estate cooled during April, May, and June. An increase in available homes for sale, combined with less buyer urgency, resulted in fewer homes receiving multiple offers during June. Also note that the year-over-year upward trend of median sales price ended during the month. Issues such as a busy street or poor floor plan became more important to buyers, influencing them to wait for the next home without a significant issue. Also, setting an appropriate asking price is now critical to attracting buyer interest.

    Local real estate agents continue to deliberate whether the market has fundamentally changed. It is too early in the summer to know if a fundamental change has occurred, however I expect the market will remain strong (but not overheated) through the remainder of this year. Home values typically double in a market cycle, and that has not quite happened yet. The market has room to go up further before correcting.

    In the charts below, you’ll find 15 years of data for market activity and median sales price for the month of June for Los Altos, Palo Alto, Los Altos Hills, Menlo Park and Mountain View. You can’t find this level of historical data all in one place anywhere else, so if you have any questions or wish to get more info about your community, don’t hesitate to contact me.

    Los Altos Median Price

    (more…)

  • Market Pause or Fundamental Change? June 17, 2016

    During the spring of 2015 and 2016, the number of homes for sale rose in most communities. Each year this inventory increase caused local Realtors and their buyer clients to wonder if the increase signaled a fundamental change to a slower market. In 2015 the market remained strong as inventory levels dropped and demand remained strong over the summer months. Will the market behave similarly this year? Or will potential conditions like more homes for sale or higher interest rates reduce demand? There is a split of opinion among agents currently. I will keep you posted on the latest statistics during the summer!


    In the charts below, you’ll find 15 years of data for market activity and median sales price for the month of May for Los Altos, Palo Alto, Los Altos Hills, Menlo Park and Mountain View. You can’t find this level of historical data all in one place anywhere else, so if you have any questions or wish to get more info about your community, don’t hesitate to contact me.

    Los Altos Median Price

    (more…)

  • April Market Trends May 26, 2016

    During April, most communities experienced increases in the number of homes for sale as well as the number of homes sold. The balance between available homes for sale and homes sold allowed market conditions to remain strong overall.

    However, taking a closer look at the statistics, fewer homes are selling with multiple offers this year. With less competition, homes are selling for less over the asking price. These results indicate that potential homebuyers are being more discriminating in 2016, and the strength of activity for a given home depends to a greater extent on the attractiveness of its features and price. These dynamics are very typical of a mature market where home values have gone up dramatically, and are likely to continue during the coming months. I will keep you updated on these emerging trends.


    In the charts below, you’ll find 15 years of data for market activity and median sales price for the month of April for Los Altos, Palo Alto, Los Altos Hills, Menlo Park and Mountain View. You can’t find this level of historical data all in one place anywhere else, so if you have any questions or wish to get more info about your community, don’t hesitate to contact me.

    Los Alto Median Price (more…)

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