Atherton is named for Faxon Dean Atherton, a wealthy trader from Chile, who purchased 640 acres and established the first large estate in the area. The completion of the railroad in 1863 attracted other prosperous citizens of San Francisco, hoping to escape the summer fog. The Town was incorporated in 1923, and adopted stringent zoning regulations.
|Average household income:||$223,611|
|Number of homes:||2,546|
|Lowest sale price 2018:||$2,100,000|
|Highest sale price 2018:||$23,500,000|
|Average sale price 2018:||$8,323,358|
As a result, Atherton retains the pastoral atmosphere enjoyed by those nineteenth century residents, with majority of properties in this exclusive zip code exceeding an acre. No sidewalks, an abundance of heritage oaks, and a ban on commerce, plus equal access to San Francisco and San Jose have made Atherton one of the most expensive addresses in the country. Atherton has been consistently ranked by a national magazine as one of the top five most affluent cities in the country.
2019 in Review | Atherton
Residential property values in Atherton reached a record high average price in 2019, climbing 5% to $8,735,798. This follows 2018 when the average price increased 45%, and represents a 52% increase in just 2 years but only a 6% increase compared to 2016 when the average price was $8,212,907.
As shown in the quarterly average chart, the second quarter of 2019 saw the highest average price and a new record at $10,606,955. The previous quarterly record high was in 2016 when it exceeded $9.6 million. The highest end of the market was particularly strong with 19 homes sold for more than $10 million, 9 of which sold in the second quarter.
Although the average price reached record highs, the median price of an Atherton home in 2019 declined 10% to $6,000,000. This compared to a median price of $6,650,000 in 2018 and $4,750,000 in 2017; it was almost the same as it was in 2016 when it was $6,002,500. Keep in mind that any properties sold in Atherton off the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) are not part of this review.
The median price has increased 115% since the recession low in 2009 when it was $2,790,000. The average price has increased even faster rising 164% since the recession low in 2009 when it was $3,311,604.
Far fewer homes sold over list price than in years past but there were still 17, or 26%. There were just 4 homes, or 6%, that sold at list price and 44 homes, or 68%, that sold for less than list price.
The average days on market, at 63, was higher than it was in 2018 when it was 52 and 2017 when it was 47. In the recession years, the average days on market was over 100. Pricing was still key to how long a home was on the market. This direct correlation is seen with homes that sold for list price or more, which were on the market an average of 14 days; homes that sold for less than list price were on the market for an average of 86 days.
In 2019, the total number of closed escrows in Atherton (per the MLS) totaled 65, just 2 less than in 2018 but the lowest number since 2008 when 61 properties closed escrow.
Though Menlo Park has its share of luxury properties, its character remains essentially modest. Charming, custom homes on pretty lots line quiet streets. The downtown business district offers a picture of suburban life as shoppers stroll beneath the trees, stopping for a sidewalk coffee, or an ice cream cone. Originally growing up around the train station, built in 1866 and a registered historic landmark, the City of Menlo Park was incorporated in 1927.
|Average household income:||$107,860|
|Number of homes:||11,957|
|Lowest sale price 2018:||$700,000|
|Highest sale price 2018:||$10,075,000|
|Average sale price 2018:||$2,611,707|
The name was taken from the sign “Menlo Park, 1854” which was painted on the gate erected by two early settlers who emigrated from Menlough in Ireland. Today, the excellent school system and the strong sense of community have made Menlo Park a highly desirable place to work and live. Menlo Park is also headquarters for much of the venture capital money fueling the Silicon Valley economy.
2019 in Review | Menlo Park
After 8 consecutive years of rising prices, the average sale price in Menlo Park dropped slightly to $2,569,818. This represents a 1.6% decrease compared to 2018 when the average price was $2,611,707. The high end of the market was strong with a record high sale for an individual home at $10,700,000 plus 6 homes that sold between $7 million and $9.7 million. Menlo Park average prices have increased 107% since the recession low in 2009 when it was $1,242,293.
In 2019, the median sale price in Menlo Park also declined after 3 consecutive years of increases. At $2,200,000, representing a 4% decline, the median price was still 21% higher than it was in 2016, when it declined for the first time after 6 consecutive years of increases. It was also double from the recession low in 2009 when it was $1,097,500. Keep in mind that any properties sold in Menlo Park off the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) are not part of this review.
As shown in the quarterly average chart, the second quarter of 2019 saw the highest average price at $2,797,731 but this did not reach the record high set in the first quarter of 2018 when it exceeded $2.8 million.
In Portola Valley, named for the Spanish explorer Gaspar de Portola, oak-studded meadows open onto vistas of San Francisco Bay and the unspoiled Coast Range. The area’s first settlement was the logging town of Searsville, founded in the nineteenth century. Farming and cattle ranching were the primary industries until the 1920’s.
|Average household income:||$167,227|
|Number of homes:||2,294|
|Lowest sale price 2018:||$740,000|
|Highest sale price 2018:||$6,450,000|
|Average sale price 2018:||$3,491,606|
After World War II, the valley began to be developed, typically with modest, ranch-style homes on large lots. Long a preferred address of Stanford University professors, Portola Valley has made well-staffed, well-equipped public schools a top priority. The town was incorporated in 1964, with the goal of maintaining the rural ambience of the community, and preserving open space. Today, Portola Valley is known for its unpretentious lifestyle and small-town atmosphere.
2019 in Review | Portola Valley
In 2019, the average sale price of a Portola Valley home reached a record high increasing 2.5% to $3,547,592. This was 91% higher than it was in the recession low of 2010 when the average price was $1,857,652. Contributing to the increase were 4 homes that sold for more than $7 million, including one for more than $13.7 million.
While the average price reached a record high, the median price in 2019 declined with a 9% drop from the 2018 high of $3,340,000 finishing the year at $3,042,500. This was 84% higher than what the median price was just 10 years ago when it was $1,650,000 in 2009. Contributing to the lower median price was the fact that 9 homes sold for less than $2 million. Keep in mind that any properties sold in Portola Valley off the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) are not part of this review.
The first quarter of 2019 saw the highest average price of the year when it reached a record of $4,595,714. The median price did not reach the highest quarter until the second quarter; it was still much less than three quarterly highs set in 2017 and 2018 as the graph shows.
Only 12 Portola Valley homes, or 22%, sold for more than list price, far fewer than 48% in 2018. 8 homes sold for list price and 34 homes sold for less than list price.
It took longer to sell a property in Portola Valley in 2019 at an average of 58 days, up from 41 days in 2018 and 32 days in 2017. Only 15 homes, or 28%, sold in 2 weeks or less. There were 9 homes that were on the market for more than 100 days.
The number of closed escrows in Portola Valley fell to 54 sales in 2019 from 60 sales in 2018, almost matching the lowest of current records when there were 53 sales in 2010. The highest number of sales in the past 13 years was in 2014 with 84 sales.
Woodside, as the name might suggest, began as a logging town centered around the Woodside Store. Beginning in the 1830’s, the local sawmills supplied the first growth redwood lumber used to build much of old San Francisco. As early as 1852, a regular stagecoach ran between San Francisco and Woodside, which by that time had developed into a community of farms, cattle ranches and vineyards.
|Average household income:||$186,359|
|Number of homes:||2,465|
|Lowest sale price 2018:||$950,000|
|Highest sale price 2018:||$20,000,000|
Average sale price 2018:
The forested seclusion of the area attracted well-to-do San Franciscans, who began constructing often-elaborate county estates, some of which still exist. Woodside was incorporated in 1956 with the purpose of limiting development and preserving the bucolic character of the Town. Today, most of the parcels in central Woodside are a minimum of three acres. Horses are a common sight, and there are several equestrian facilities, as well as miles of trails.
2019 in Review | Woodside
Prices declined in Woodside in 2019, following a year of dramatic record high prices. The average price of a home dropped 19% to $3,672,149. This was $875,808 less than the average price in 2018 when it was a record high of $4,547,957. Since the economic downturn in 2009, when the average Woodside price was $1,986,344, the 2019 average price still represented a significant 85% increase.
The median price declined even more, dropping 27% to $2,550,000. This was almost $1 million less than the record high of $3,500,00 set in 2018 but still a 64% increase since the recession low in 2009 when the median price was $1,555,000. Keep in mind that any properties sold in Woodside off the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) are not part of this review.
The high end of the market was strong with three sales for $12.5 million to $16.75 million. There were 23 sales for less than $2 million, which contributed to the lower median price. Homes in Woodside sold slightly faster with an average days on market of 64 compared to 68 in 2018. There were 19 homes, or 29%, that sold in 2 weeks or less but there were also 12 homes that took more than 100 days to sell and as many as 451 days (which was for the highest priced sale in 2019).
Only 12 homes, or 18%, sold for more than list price compared to 31% in 2018. 8 homes, or 12%, sold for list price and 45 homes, or 69%, sold for less than list price.
In 2019, the number of sales increased to 65 in 2019 compared to 61 closed escrows in 2018. This represents a 6.5% increase. In comparison, in 2009, there were only 41 closed escrows, which represented the lowest total since we began writing this real estate review in 1999. The highest number of sales in recent years was in 2004 when there were 108 sales and more recently in 2013 and 2014 when there were 103 and 107 sales, respectively.