Q1-2012 vs 2013 – Half Moon Bay Coastside & Peninsula

This is a summary of the full first Quarter in 2013 compared to the same time last year for the 4 main towns of the Coastside (Half Moon Bay, El Granada, Moss Beach and Montara).  Since we all know that averages never tell the full story, I also break down some prices by neighborhood exhibiting significant price differences or changes.  The purpose of this post is to give you an overall picture of the Coastside real estate market right now compared to a year ago, and also compared to most of the closest cities Over the Hill in mid-peninsula.

For the mid-peninsula snapshot(1), I left out some towns, such as Hillsborough, south coast rural towns (Pescadero, La Honda, etc.) and north peninsula towns such as Daly City, San Bruno, etc.).  I did not include these cities because buyers looking in those areas are not usually looking on the Coastside.  However, during seller markets like the one we are in right now, we see an influx of would-be peninsula buyers, who are looking in San Carlos or Menlo Park and nearby cities, become Coastside homeowners as they search for greater values.  Of course, those buyers realize that their commute (usually there is at least one), will be somewhat longer – depending on locations.

Million Dollar Views

Here’s a snapshot of the Coastside’s Jan-Feb-March 2013.  This quarter is important to note because…

  • This year will mark the first full year of recovery in our market.  There is pend up demand on buyers, still-reluctant sellers, continued low rates –  creating some volatility as our clients begin to put the Recession behind them.  The headlines are not talking about our market – our average sales price for Q1 2013 increased about 1% from a year ago, compared to a 31% jump over the hill.  That being said, we are experiencing increased demand, some multiple offers, and very active open houses in the $699K and under list prices.  It is a good time to buy on the Coastside this year from a purely real estate market perspective.  A $300K-400K price will get the crazy activity, but a recent $600K house got one offer.  It depends on many things, as you can imagine.   Historically, Coastside market activity generally follows peninsula trends.
  • Our price per square foot has jumped 22% causing a shift in interest back to vacant land and an overall improvement in values enabling the remodel homeowners (sellers and non-sellers) to feel that the costs may be justified once again.
  • The Coastside houses are selling more quickly on average than peninsula homes if we look at days on market.  Days on Market statistics can be skewed for various reasons; for this purpose we are looking at general trends. Prospective buyers know the market and they make their move without waiting too long these days.  They also know that there is very little inventory and there is no guarantee of more inventory at any given time.  (Note:  We did see a spike in inventory in Feb/March 2013 on the Coastside).


The Coastside neighborhoods which had at least one sale are listed below.  I only put in the prices where I saw numbers that contribute to the story of change or to explain.  For example:  Alsace Lorraine‘s price range saw one entry level sale (Listed for $550K, sold for $450K – “short sale, house needed work” per Listing Agent remarks) this year and an oceanfront home sold last year.  You may be surprised to see Miramar‘s average numbers down a bit, but again, since this graph is dealing with small numbers it is not statistically significant.  This is just for local information.  This is a good time to buy in Miramar; same with acreage properties south of town (Tunitas Creek, Higgins Canyon, Purissima Creek Rd).   We also see a price drop in Ocean Colony when we compare this year to last year.  Yet, homes in that neighborhood are selling more quickly this year too.  The beach cottages and great family homes in lower El Granada are getting attention this year, as well as westside Moss Beach.  With the Tom Lantos Tunnels opening this spring, the big question on everyone’s mind is what impact the Tunnels will have on values.  We saw a slight uptick in the number of sales in Montara this year, so we will see if activity increases there.  I think we will see more Montara listings coming on the market this year, and those buyers will get a quaint, secluded town with easier and safer access to San Francisco and the Greater Bay Area now…

(1) Belmont, Burlingame, Menlo Park, Millbrae, Portola Valley, Redwood City, San Carlos, San Mateo, Woodside.

Data:  MLSListings, Inc.

Photography Credit:  Barbara Masek Photography

Here is what is available right now in Half Moon Bay, El Granada, Moss Beach, Montara and Pacifica…

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