Burlingame Market Report 12.18.08

Real Estate Agent with Engel & Völkers - Carlsbad Village DRE# 01343201


This past week the City of Burlingame had 54 houses for sale.  The Median price was $1,484,444 (an unlucky number in Chinese numerology).  The average price, which is always higher than a median was $1,595,334.  The least expensive house for sale last week was for $695,000, a Short Sale, and it's now a pending sale.  Believe it or not, this is good new, kind of... The median price has gone up but so has the average number of days on the market it is taking to sell that house which is 99! Almost half of the houses listed have seen a price reduction.  You may wonder why Realtors seem to get price wrong and let me tell you it is an inexact science and changes by the minute and is something for a later post.

Now, this data is from last week, and I just went on the MLS to see what, if anything, had changed from the chart.  Right now, as I am writing this, Burlingame has 40 houses on the market.  When a house is for sale over the holidays you can be sure you are dealing with a serious seller, and there are 40 of these in Burlingame right now.  The difference between the two sources has to do with time and additional data that Altos Research uses, including For Sale By Owner. 


Altos Research likes to break down the real estate market by Quartile.  Quartile 1 is the top quarter of the market with a median price of $2,350,000 and for this you likely will see a 4 bedroom, 4 bathroom home likely in Easton Edition or the Hills, and somewhere around 3000 square feet in size.  Quartile 2 sits below in the middle-upper half and sees a median price of $1,695,000.  This house will also likely have 4 bedrooms but only 3 baths and is around 2700 square feet in size.  As we move to the lower half of the market, Quartile 3 sees a median price of $1,317,750.  For this you also might get 4 bedrooms but only 3 baths and a smaller home just around 2000 square feet in size.  The bottom of the market, Quartile 4 sees a median price of $918,500.  These are the smallest houses with a median size of 1300 square feet and 2 or 3 bedrooms and 1 bath. 

Burlingame12.18.08_Median Price

What I love about the Altos Research charts is how clearly they show the market.  Looking at the Median Price, you can clearly see that prices were at bottom right at New Year 2008. Then they moved up and then bounced at another low around the second quarter of the year.  Prices have risen since then. So you ask, What Gives?  I know you're thinking that the news media says prices are dropping everywhere so how can this be happening?  Perhaps, since I am not an economist, it has to do with the high desire of Burlingame, the great schools, the proximity to both San Francisco and the Silicon Valley and the very present shortage of housing in San Mateo County.  Now don't get me wrong, prices have declined in Burlingame, just like everywhere else, but just not as dramatically.


Burlingame is a Buyer's Market.  It's been one for over a year and yes, if you can afford to buy here, you won't go wrong.  There are several months of inventory to select from, we haven't seen any wild swings in the market for a very long time, and even though we're seeing prices going up, there's really no reason for it, and if you're serious about buying you will likely have a good chance at getting the seller to listen to a good offer and negotiate.  The Market Action Index is something Altos Research developed to show the break between a Seller's Market and a Buyer's Market.  The red line sitting at 30 is the delineator.  It also shows the balance between supply and demand in a nice form.

If you like information like this, you too can receive it right in your email.  Just let me know and I'll have it sent.  There is money to lend to people who are qualified to get it.  If you fall into that camp, we'd love to show you some of the beautiful houses for sale in Burlingame.  Call me at 650-696-2820.

Comments (1)

Jean Joh
8z Real Estate - Millbrae, CA
SF Peninsula RE Specialist

Hi Lenore, thanks for the information as well as the tip for using Altos Research.  I'm in Millbrae, right across the street (live on the border) from Burlingame, and it really is a beautiful area.  Hope to do business with you sometime in the near future.

Jan 18, 2009 09:17 AM