Q1 2012 Report – The Facebook Effect – Perception is Reality

Former Republican National Committee Chairman Lee Atwater has been recognized as the person who coined the term, “Perception is reality”. That phrase certainly applies to our current housing market!  Many potential home sellers are convinced they will achieve a higher sales price if they wait until Facebook employees are able to sell their stock after the upcoming IPO. As a result, they are holding off listing their homes for sale. Many buyers believe they will likely have to pay a lot more for homes once Facebook employees are able to cash out. Therefore, those buyers are willing to do “whatever it takes” to prevail in the multiple-offer-feeding-frenzy that is now happening up and down the Peninsula.
We have seen these imbalances in supply and demand before, (’97-’00, ’05-’07) but not at this intensity. The number of all-cash, non-contingent, quick close offers is truly amazing – and extremely daunting for buyers competing with those offers!

MULTIPLE OFFER FEEDING FRENZY IS THE NEW NORMAL

Former Republican National Committee Chairman Lee Atwater has been recognized as the person who coined the term, “Perception is reality”. That phrase certainly applies to our current housing market!  Many potential home sellers are convinced they will achieve a higher sales price if they wait until Facebook employees are able to sell their stock after the upcoming IPO. As a result, they are holding off listing their homes for sale. Many buyers believe they will likely have to pay a lot more for homes once Facebook employees are able to cash out. Therefore, those buyers are willing to do “whatever it takes” to prevail in the multiple-offer-feeding-frenzy that is now happening up and down the Peninsula.

We have seen these imbalances in supply and demand before, (’97-’00, ’05 -’07) but not at this intensity. The number of all-cash, non-contingent, quick close offers is truly amazing – and extremely daunting for buyers competing with those offers!

THE RECOVERY CONTINUES

Atherton and the “hills” markets – Woodside, Portola Valley, Los Altos Hills, Saratoga, and Los Gatos – saw great improvement in the average percentage of list price received by sellers in the first quarter.  This movement indicates that values are rising. And note the average percentage received in Palo Alto! The median sale price in Palo Alto and Los Altos is now above the previous high of ‘07/’08.

See charts below comparing the 2012 and 2011 for closed sales, new listings, average days on the market, median sales price, average percentage of list price received and price per square foot. If you have any questions or would like to discuss your specific neighborhood and real estate needs, don’t hesitate to shoot us an email or call.

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Q1-MedianSalesPriceAverageListPriceReceivedPricsqft