In an article in late November, we looked at the increasing speed at which homes listed in Mountain View were being bought. At that time, there were 13 homes available in this fast-moving market. A review of the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) in late December showed only five.
It says a lot about a community the size of Mountain View (population about 74,000) when you can count the number of homes for sale on one hand. Bear in mind, though, that inventories everywhere tend to shrink a little during the winter months, but five total homes on the market is an amazingly low number any time of year.
Also realize that with the aggressive buying cycle happening in this city, that total of five homes today could become eight tomorrow if a few more new listings show up and then plummet to two listings the next day if buyers continue to lock in offers at a fast and furious pace.
While Mountain View's homes inventory is currently near rock bottom, the same trend is widespread throughout Silicon Valley: lots of qualified and eager buyers fighting for a shrinking number of homes and paying 5 to 15 percent above the asking prices.
More than asking price
The median list price/median sold price ratio in Mountain View is not as wide as that of a number of other Silicon Valley communities. Still, if you're entering this market, you should be ready to spend somewhat above the figure you see on an MLS sheet.
In the third quarter of 2014, buyers paid a median price of $1,511,000 for homes with a median listing price of $1,398,000, for a premium of $113,000. Here are some other quarters and the positive median price difference homeowners received upon selling their properties:
Q2 2014: $55,556
Q1 2014: $172,500
Q4 2013: $211,056
Q3 2013: $68,767
Q2 2013: $141,556
Q1 2013: $93,500
Based on how fast homes are being bought, it's possible the inventory will remain low in Mountain View for the foreseeable future. If you look at the trend in average days on the market (DOM), Quarters 3 and 4 of 2011 and the first quarter of 2012, had an average DOM of 33.3. All quarters since then have averaged 18.5 days.
The five homes currently available here range in price from $399,900 to $1,999,800. That's more affordable than homes in many other cities in the Valley, but it doesn't mean it's going to be any easier to buy one.
Hadar Guibara is a Realtor with Sereno Group of Palo Alto. She can be reached at [email protected]