|First Published in|
One billion, one hundred eighty-five million, four hundred fifty-five thousand dollars changed hands in the ten Monterey Peninsula real estate markets last year. That figure represents a 31.8% gain over the record setting 1999 volume of nine hundred million, forty-six thousand dollars.
We do not need superlatives to describe the performance. The facts speak for themselves. Here are some we have broken out from the accompanying charts.
Median selling prices soared. Digest the one and two year gains:
The figures for Pebble Beach are correct. The median sales price declined a bit from 1998 to 1999 due to the sale of a larger percentage of more moderately priced homes in the Country Club area.
All of the markets did well, but the South Coast (Carmel Highlands, Yankee Point and Big Sur) winning the yearly sweepstakes. South Coast’s median sales prices jumped and dollar volume increased 364%, going from $33,014,000 in 1999 to $120,248,000 in 2000. Forty-five of the 56 sales were over one million dollars. Six sales were in excess of five million dollars, and the top sale reached ten million five hundred thousand dollars.
This performance is even more impressive in light of what has happened in previous years. Although the South Coast has always been expensive, for most of the 15 years that we have practiced real estate here it has been our slowest market, often at the bottom of our Market Barometer Chart. Curiously, that is exactly where it sat when we took our current reading on New Year’s Day.
Maybe the South Coast market will slow in 2001, but our bet is that the thirst for great water-edge properties is not quenched.
Million dollar plus sales prices are becoming more and more commonplace. In the fourth quarter, 40% of the sales in Carmel were over one million dollars. For the Monterey Peninsula as a whole, 20% of the sales topped the million-dollar mark, 60 out of 295 sales during the quarter.
In spite of the large increase in dollar volume, the number of sales declined in 2000, albeit a miniscule 2.7%. Six of the markets had small declines in unit sales and four logged small gains. We are a bit surprised at the volume as we felt that so much had been sold in the 1997-1999 period that fewer offerings in 2000 would result in markedly fewer sales. Considering the high-volume years preceding 2000, the volume performance was good.
The Market Barometer measures activity by comparing the total number of listings with the listings in escrow (under contract). The January 1st reading, for the most part, signals that the market is slowing.
In comparison with the January 1st reading last year, eight markets, at the start of 2001, had lower readings and were moving properties slower than before, one was even and one was ahead. Last January 1st there were 439 listings on the Peninsula, 184 were in escrow, a reading of 41.91%. Subtracting those under contract (184) from the gross number of listings (439), 255 properties were available for buyers.
This year there were 390 listings on January 1, of which 120 were in escrow. That is a reading of 30.77%, down 10% but still very good in historical terms. There were 270 listings available for buyers, 15 more than last year.
This is by no means a drastic decrease in activity or a substantial increase in availability. But the Barometer probably signals that the coming trend is to a slower, more normal marketplace. In addition, asking prices are much higher this year and many people who have been holding stocks are a lot poorer. That combination could be powerful. The flip side is that the Federal Reserve Bank is probably going to continue its cuts, which just might get everything cooking again.
The future has a way of surprising us, so you will get no hard predictions here. Our guess is, however, for flat or small increases in prices and more choices for buyers in 2001.
The charts are based in whole or in part on data supplied by the Monterey County Association of Realtors' Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Neither the Association nor the MLS guarantees or is responsible for their accuracy. Data maintained by the Association or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market.
We have lived on the Monterey Peninsula since 1978 and in the heart of Carmel since 1986. We know the market and have deep experience assisting both buyers and sellers.
Many of our buyers are from out of town and before they act they need to gain an understanding of our local market. If you are an out-of-town buyer, you are extremely dependent on your agent for guidance. We are skilled at assisting you up the learning curve so that you can make sound decisions. The way we prosper is by putting our buyers into good, solid situations.
We know the market and would be happy to evaluate the value of your house at no charge. We know how to help you get ready for market to get the best price for your property. Selling a property is a cooperative effort between the seller and his or her agent. We will guide you on the team approach to success.
Please contact us via email, call us at 831-622-4642, or write us at PO Box 350, Carmel, CA 93921.
"Thank you for making our move to Carmel so easy. Thanks a million for everything."
-- Andre and Marie Esteve, Carmel
» View All
Paul Brocchini ~ (831) 601-1620
Mark Ryan ~ (831) 238-1498