January 2011 Market Snapshot

Home sales data for Palo Alto, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Menlo Park have recently become available from MLSlistings.com. Here’s a look at data for January from the last 10 years and our commentary about what it means to you. If you would like information about another city or neighborhood, let us know.


In January of 2011 the inventory of single family homes for sale in the Palo Alto / Los Altos / Menlo Park area continued to fall. As consumer confidence improves, home owners are in less of a hurry to sell and buyers are more motivated to buy. The low sales in Los Altos and Palo Alto had more to do with the quality of the homes that were on the market in January. In other words if the homes had been accurately priced, given their location, size, and condition, there would have been many more home sales.

The market is definitely heating up. It will be interesting to see if this trend accelerates. Perhaps there are enough potential sellers sitting on the sidelines that might tip the market balance back with increased inventory when the media begins to report the sales price increases. Either way, we’ll soon find out. The Spring Market has officially begun


The charts below show the median sales prices in January, ’02 through ’11, plus the number of home sales each January, and the number of homes on the market on January 31th 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 December of each year.

Palo Alto Market Activity

Los Altos Market Activity

Menlo Park Market Activity

Los Altos Hills