What is a “normal” market for Half Moon Bay?

The towns of Half Moon Bay, El Granada, Moss Beach and Montara make up the heart of the "Coastside".  Even though I also include Pescadero - San Gregorio -  & La Honda for points south, and Pacifica - South San Francisco - & San Bruno for points north when looking at market trends, I took only Coastside numbers for this exercise.

So what is a normal market for this area? . . . Generally around 5 months of inventory.

I remember hearing people say last year that we were in a Buyer's Market when we were at 4 1/2 months.  Some of the slowdown may have been partly due to our temporary (5 months) Devil's Slide interruption.  How short our memories can be...  Beginning in 2000 inventory began to hover around 3 months.  if your listing didn't sell after the first open house, something was wrong!  Last year, I knew it was trending in a different direction as the overall market correction began its slow descent, but, in fact, it was not a Buyer's Market yet. It may now finally be the Buyer's turn as we are clearly out of our normal pattern.  In fact, last month's spike to 11 months of inventory, is quite a significant jump for this area and I would be interested to see how it compares to other areas.  We all know that part of the reason is recent lending woes.  Time to sit up, take notice, find your Realtor's business card (or call me).  Carpe Diem - with your downpayment!

Coastside Inventory Table 1998 to 2007

Coastside Inventory Graph for 1998 to 2007 

Is it a Perfect Storm? . . .


  • Historically low interest rates
  • Flakey mortgages no longer available
  • Unprecedented inventory (since ’98; as far back as MLS will go)
  • Highway 1 at Devil’s Slide Tunnel less than 5 years to completion
  • Highway 92 widening project underway
  • Harbor Village almost open
  • Wavecrest to now be open space
  • Half Moon Bay roadway medians on their way to getting enough money for our beautiful strips
  • Downtown Main Street continues to beautify
  • Current media frenzy is a major distraction for the un-savvy (just look at your own numbers!)

For some of us, this time in the cycle of life and the cycle of buying or selling real estate, will be an opportunity.   Be sure to check out the blogs in the rest of our group, San Francisco680 Corridor, Santa Rosa, Oakland, and San Jose, to see status of inventory in other markets around the Bay.