December was a busy month for Los Altos real estate. I had posted an earlier report indicating that we had 29 sales that closed as of December 28th. That figure is revised down to 26 as some homes sold were misreported. There was one sale at $820,000 that I am not counting in the statistics for the month because it's considered a statistical anomoly. It's less than half the average sales price and well below the normal sale range.
When removing that sale, the average selling price in December 2010 is flat compared to December 2009 at $1.61 million. The mnumer of closed sales is the same at 25 and the inventory is slightly lower at 33 units, compared to 38 units in December 2009.Total sales volume was up about 8%.
There were a few homes that expired on December 31 at midnight so the actual inventory dropped a little as of January 1st. Those homes could come back on the market in the next few weeks. A number of homes were taken off the market in December and are starting to come back on. One property in South Los Altos has come back on with a 6% price reduction.
As expected, the average selling price and median selling prices are up in 2010 versus 2009. The average and median for 2010 were $1.688 million and $1.55 million respectively. The average and median in 2009 were $1.654 million and $1.51 million respectively. These are small increases but they show that the market has recovered and we're now in a balanced market, it is neither a buyers nor sellers market - in general. It is still a buyers market at the high-end for homes priced over $3 million.
The total number of new listings were about the same, 437 (2009) versus 440 (2010). The days on market dropped quite a bit from 65 to 54 in 2010. The total number of closed sales rose significantly from 269 to 334 in 2010. All the figures support a full recovery in the Los Altos area. This should help the general market in surrounding areas as well by bolstering confidence in a prime market, move-up markets nearby such as Mountain View and Sunnyvale should improve as well.
The improvement in the average selling price of about 2% is indicative of where the market will continue to go. The balance of buyers and sellers should keep prices moving up and discounts have all but disappeared. The current low inventory and lack of new listings indicate a potential squeeze in Q1. That will become more clear as we finish out January.