Danville Express

Real Estate - December 21, 2007

Alamo high end market on the rise

Nothing I see on the news about the dire condition of the real estate market astounds me any more, so I ignore it for the most part and conduct my own research. This month, I took a look at high end properties in Alamo, those properties selling at or above the $2 million mark, to determine how badly they have been impacted by the various and sundry crises that apparently fog the lenses of every newscaster in America. If you make your real estate investments based upon the network news, you may find these results hard to believe.

There are currently 26 high end properties listed as active in Alamo. One is marked pending and a total of 36 high end properties are listed as sold as of Nov. 30, 2007. Average selling price is $2,835,165 compared to an average selling price of $2,627,764 for the same time period in '06 when only 34 properties sold in the same time period. If I am not mistaken, that is a 7.8 percent increase in average selling price and a 5.8 percent increase in unit sales for properties valued at $2 million and up. If those facts leave you wondering about whether you missed the bottom of the market and a buying opportunity, the data presented on the following chart may absolutely unnerve you.

Alamo High-End Market Jan. 1-Nov. 30

Solds Days on Mkt. Avg. Price Median price $ per sq.ft.

2003 17 48 $2,328,235 $2,225,000 $442

2004 29 39 $2,425,773 $2,350,000 $443

2005 44 21 $2,455,113 $2,387,500 $497

2006 34 30 $2,627,764 $2,330,000 $549

2007 36 39 $2,835,165 $2,737,500 $552

Data includes Alamo properties sold for $2 million and up

The number of properties sold above $2 million in Alamo has been steadily increasing since in 2003, with the exception of 2005 when the number rocketed up to 44 before dropping back to a more normal 34 in 2006. If 2007 can be viewed as an indicator, it looks like the upward march continues.

Surprisingly, the average sales price of high end hmes sold during this five-year time period has increased steadily in each of the years reported - not a single backward step. The low was in 2003 with an average price of $2,328,235 and the highest reported number just in for 2007 stands at $2,835,165 or about 21.7 percent more than in 2003. Median price shows similar movement with a small negative blip recorded in 2006. The median price for Alamo high end homes currently stands at $2,737,500 compared to $2,225,000 in 2003 or a slightly greater change of 23 percent. Although it follows a more choppy line, price paid per high end square foot has risen from $442 per square foot in 2003 to $552 in 2007 for an incredible 24.9 percent rise.

No one can predict the future, but the past can certainly be useful in thinking about it. So let's think for a moment about what that means to Alamo's high end market. If the current five-year growth rate slips to only 20 percent over the next five years, it means that the average Alamo high end home now selling for a bargain price of $2,835,165 will be selling at a price of $3,402,198. Can you imagine what this number might be if the newscasters decide that the real estate disaster is over and begin reporting that the market has recovered?

If you would like to receive a copy of our Alamo High End Market Review including the complete details, please send an e-mail to joecombs@thecombsteam.com and place Alamo High End Market Review in the subject line. You will receive a copy via pdf file. You will not be spammed. No e-mail, no worries; call me at 989-6086 to arrange delivery.

Data presented in this column is based in whole or in part on data supplied by the Contra Costa and Alameda Multiple Listing Service and other quoted sources. Joe and Nancy Combs, Remax and the MLS Service do not guarantee the accuracy of this information.

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