Belmont_may_2008While reports of drastic median price drops continue in the media, isolated areas which are less impacted receive little or no attention. At some point one might wonder why the news isn’t about areas that are not as impacted—why are prices holding up so well when other areas are suffering the greatest set back in years. But those turning to the mass media are clearly missing the whole story. This week, on June 1st, the Open Homes Guide section of the Sunday edition of the San Francisco Chronicle ran the home price closings—for April!

Forget about the fact that they are typically 1 to 1.5 months behind the market, they dutifully report the numbers without analysis or professional perspective.

May home sales statistics for Belmont are in and while there are no real surprises, that may be the best news yet.

↑At 17, there were four fewer Belmont home sales in May than April. Year over year (adjusted for seasonal selling patterns) there is no change over 2007. In 2006 there were 21 sales in May and at the height of the market in 2005 there were 29. Considering what the rest of the state is going through, we consider this a positive indicator for home values.

↓Of the 17 sales five homes sold over asking, one sold at the asking price and 11 sold under the seller’s asking price. That’s not as strong as last month where nine homes sold over and 10 sold under while two sold at asking price.

↗The average home which sold over asking sold for $61,000 over the seller’s asking price in seven days. The one home that sold at the seller’s asking price sold in one day. Of the 11 homes that sold under asking, those had been on the market an average of 89 days and sold for on average $30,500 less than the asking price. Contrasted to April where the average home sold for $31,000 over asking in 18 days, this is a relatively good sign and clearly one more indicator that seller’s should hire a local professional to assist them in pricing their home right.

↗The median price was $1,098,000 in May. Just last month it was only $930,000. The median size home sold in April was 211 Sq. Ft. smaller than in May. At current going rate of $ 574 per square foot, that adds another $121,000 onto April’s median home price, or conversely, subtracting that from May’s median home price (which is closer to the actual median home size in Belmont), we arrive at an adjusted median home value of $977,000 for May—statistically no change over April’s. Nevertheless, no change is welcome and to have even a slight indication of price stabilization at this point is a positive market indicator.

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↑Positive market force

↓Negative market force

↗↙Probable trend upward or downward

(Click on the spreadsheet for a full size image)

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