November Market Snapshot

Home sales data for Palo Alto, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Menlo Park have recently become available from  Here’s a look at data for November from the last 10 years and our commentary about what it means to you.  If you would like information about another city or neighborhood, we’d be happy to provide it to you.


The charts below show the median sales prices in November, ’01 through ’10, plus the number of home sales each November, and the number of homes on the market on Nov 30th for Palo Alto, Los Altos, Menlo Park and Los Altos Hills. At the bottom of the charts, you will see the “months of inventory” (number of homes for sale divided by the number of sales), plus the average percentage of list price received by sellers during November of each year.

Here are generally accepted interpretations of the home sales trends in our area.

  • 0 to 2 months of inventory is a “Sellers Market”
  • 2 to 4 months of inventory is a “Neutral Market”
  • 4+ months of inventory is a “Buyers’ Market”
  • Average percentage of list price received exceeds 100% generally indicates rising home values


If you are thinking of selling your home, it is once again a good time to do so as buyers are eagerly buying when the home is accurately priced to market value and there are not too many negative issues with the property.
Inventory has been steadily declining and prices are returning to nearly pre-recession levels. This is a great time to take advantage of extremely favorable interest rates. Look for homes with the fewest irremediable issues.


Commentary –  The Palo Alto market has definitely entered into the “Sellers’ Market” range once again with only 1.4 months of inventory at the end of November. The number of sales were back to the ‘03/’04 level, nearly 25% above the previous nine year average.
The decline in median sales price for the month of November had to do with what was for sale. Values were not falling. In fact, the average percentage of list price received by sellers in November was in excess of 100%. There is a distinct shortage of homes for sale in the $1.5m to $2.5m price range.

Palo Alto Median Sales November

PA Mkt Activity - Nov 01-10


Commentary – The supply/demand ratio is barely in the “Neutral” level at 2.2 months of inventory and heading toward a “Sellers’ Market” similar to Palo Alto. Los Altos’ excellent schools and larger average lot size will continue to attract buyers as the market heats up. This is a strong buying opportunity we believe.

Los Altos Median Sales Price - November



Commentary – Like Los Altos, Menlo Park sellers will benefit from the shortage of homes for sale in Palo Alto. The average percentage of list price received was just below 100% and rising in November. Inventory of homes for sale has been steadily declining, also. Homes purchased now in the areas of Menlo Park with better schools will likely be very good investments going forward.

Menlo Park Median Sales Price November

MP Mkt Activity - Nov 01-10


Commentary – Properties in Los Altos Hills, except for entry level – $2m or less – are still declining in value with 7.4 months of unsold inventory on the market. We expect that we will likely see some REO’s (bank owned properties: Real Estate Owned) start to come to market that banks have been holding onto in hopes that values would rise. When this starts to happen values should quickly hit bottom then begin to rebound. How low the bottom will be is the question. It may be close now – or maybe not. Compared to Atherton, however, Los Altos Hills appears to be a bargain for those willing and able to hold long term.

LAH Med SP - Nov 01-10