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San Mateo County Real Estate 

Spring 2020 Report


Supply & demand statistics, median sales price trends, sales and values by city, the luxury home market, and the ongoing effects of COVID-19


June 2020


Generally speaking, market activity – as measured by the number of listings going into contract – continued to pick up rapidly in May, bouncing back from the steep plunge following the first shelter in place orders. However, activity in May, which is typically among the busiest selling months of the year, remains well below May 2019. Still, with the easing of shelter in place, as well as the market learning to adjust to new circumstances, it is expected the recovery will continue to surge closer to normal. In fact, based on the strength of buyer demand, some analysts believe the coming months may be busier than in 2019, as sales activity that would have occurred in spring gets pushed into the summer instead. Interest rates hit yet another historic low at the end of May.


Some of the counties outside the inner Bay Area axis of San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Alameda have been rebounding faster. Generally speaking, they are more rural or suburban in nature - 3 of the 4 counties listed above have large urban areas - and/or have significantly lower housing costs. But it is still early days, too soon to jump to conclusions. 


Note: Any statistics derived from closed sales – such as median sales prices, sales volume and days on market – reflect the state of the market 3-6 weeks ago when the offers were negotiated and accepted. They are lagging indicators, and May sales data to a large degree reflects the much softer market in April.


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The May median sales prices below are based on low sales volumes and reflect the much weaker market in April. Sales prices are a lagging indicator reflecting offers negotiated and accepted 3 to 6 weeks earlier. Coming months will give us a better idea of the trend in median home prices.


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What we call the Stanford Circle of cities, on either side of the San Mateo/Santa Clara county line, is the most expensive regional market in the Bay Area - though there are other cities that are very affluent and expensive - Hillsborough, for example. Below is a snapshot of home sales there.


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