Single Family Inventory

Street Address Status List Price Beds Baths Bldg SqFt DOM
159 FLYING MIST IS A 1980000 5 3 1/2 3691 32
704 CAYMAN LN A 1598000 4 3 2710 15
1032 FLYING FISH ST A 1525000 4 2 1/2 2320 51
231 STAYSAIL CT A 1525000 4 3 2840 5
321 BOWFIN ST P 1468000 4 3 2430 43
710 SOMERSET LN A 1439000 4 2 1/2 2700 47
704 SAN MIGUEL LN A 1388000 4 3 2620 14
1410 SAINT KITTS LN A 1349000 4 3 2300 8
774 WIDGEON ST P 1349000 4 2 1/2 2890 28
109 BEACH PARK BL A 1325000 5 2 1/2 2680 8
1320 SWORDFISH ST A 1320000 5 3 2540 40
977 CRANE AV A 1299000 5 3 2560 137
840 CASTOR ST P 1299000 4 2 1/2 1960 95
127 FLYING MIST IS A 1298000 3 2 1820 84
1128 BLYTHE ST A 1288888 5 2 1/2 2790 28
1194 ESSEX LN A 1275000 3 2 1/2 1790 41
136 FLYING MIST IS A 1250000 4 2 2340 32
852 ARCTURUS CI A 1248000 5 2 1/2 2680 7
980 CUMBERLAND CT A 1189000 4 3 2430 15
720 GULL AV A 1173000 5 3 2540 50
1168 BALCLUTHA DR A 1150000 4 3 2762 43
977 FLYING FISH ST A 1150000 4 3 2450 13
240 SHEARWATER IS A 1149000 3 2 1910 14
970 EDGEWATER BL A 1100000 5 3 2690 221
296 BOOTHBAY AV A 1088888 3 2 1820 10
170 TRIMARAN CT P 1075000 3 2 2030 62
1333 TARPON ST A 1068000 4 2 1/2 2160 14
330 BLUEFISH CT A 1066000 4 2 1/2 2160 59
1422 SAINT KITTS LN A 1049000 3 3 1470 25
757 N CORONADO LN P 1010000 4 2 1/2 2760 57
897 LURLINE DR P 999888 4 2 1/2 2070 214
226 SANDPIPER CT A 998000 5 2 1930 181
1380 RIBBON ST A 988000 4 2 1780 2
648 MATSONIA DR A 965000 4 2 1760 77
1330 RIBBON ST P 965000 3 2 1860 59
229 STILT CT A 948888 3 2 1700 72
1859 BEACH PARK BL A 940000 4 2 1/2 2160 35
540 TRINIDAD LN A 905000 3 2 1/2 2010 1
321 STAYSAIL CT P 899500 3 2 1540 39
435 NANTUCKET ST A 868000 3 2 1280 78
699 SATURN CT P 865000 3 2 1820 0


Well, things have certainly changed. The first time I did a chart like this was in April and at that time there was 18 single family homes on the market and 10 pending sales. The next time was in early June and inventory had risen to 31, then fallen to 23 at the time of that posting, with 18 pending sales. Today we’re at a 2008 high of 32 active listings with only 9 pending sales. It’s pretty hard to argue that this is the slowest it’s been so far in 2008 in Foster City and in my opinion it’ll certainly have an impact on prices going forward. Bottom line…it’s a great time to buy here. This is all particularly strange to me as I personally am as busy as I’ve been all year. I’m working with several sets of buyers right now and have a number of listings coming up…and I’ve heard the same story from other agents I know too. I ran into a friend, who’s the broker/manager of an Intero office yesterday and she told me she’s swamped reviewing files on sales that have taken place in her office. Why this isn’t happening in Foster City is beyond me, but I know that there are many anxious sellers in town right now and good deals can happen for buyers who are willing to get off of the fence. Of the recent listings out there right now some really stand out and are worth a look:

1410 St Kitts listed by Sue Dickey of Alain Pinel for $1,349,000 is my favorite in town right now. Really large yard, remodeled wonderfully and in that great Antigua neighborhood. Not too many back yards in Foster City like this and it’s really private too. It’s a great house and if it doesn’t sell quickly I’ll be shocked!

980 Cumberland listed by John Shroyer of Re/Max Today for $1,189,000. I think this house is priced well for a waterfront. It’s clean, yet needs some updating, but it’s a good value for a 4 bedroom, 3 bath house.

540 Trinidad listed by Brooke Dunbar of Cashin Company for $905,000. This house just came on the market late Thursday and I need to take a closer look at it…but I think it’s sure priced right. It’s got a few issues that need to be done on it, but it seems like a good buy to me at that price…particularly since it’s in Pitcairn.

I’m going to be watching these closely…it’ll be intersting!


  1. Jim – Long time reader, first time poster. You often talk about great deals on homes in Foster City. But just a few years ago, homes were selling for 300K less than they are now. Many have doubled in price in less than 10 years. I grew up in Foster City so I know the “something special” about our city. But we’re clearly in a housing bubble and I don’t think even Foster City will be immune from the collapse in home prices no matter how special we think we are. Yes, prices have already come down some, but even still they are hundreds of thousands of dollars more than even a few years ago. How is it a good deal to buy now?

  2. Jim Minkey says:

    Thanks for your comment TL. I’m honestly not running for Foster City Real Estate PR guy, I actually do believe what I’m saying…and of course I’m perfectly capable of being wrong. Having said that I don’t believe in any inevitable collapse of housing prices, and it’s certainly not at all clear to me that we’re in a “housing bubble”, and here’s why:

    1)Almost 3 million square feet of office space will open up in Foster City in the next few years…and much of it is already filled (IBM, Reardon Commerce and Gilead Sciences) It seems logical to me that we’ll see a positive impact on home values here as a result. I’ve actually already talked to people about moving here from those companies. In other words, more demand=stability in housing values

    2)The Peninsula is a unique, “world” economy and I don’t think it can be questioned that it’s the world leader in innovation, venture capital and scientific discovery. Check out Richard Florida’s book “Who’s your City?

    3)I have not been in an, nor personally held, an open house this year that wasn’t crowded. This can’t be minimized TL, If you go to Sacramento or Modesto and you walk into an open house there’s a good chance you’ve been the only one there all day. If we’re getting 100 people at average open houses that certainly tells me there are buyers out there. The thing is, how long are these people willing to put off buying? Are families willing to stay in their too small starter homes or condo’s or rentals for several more years just in case prices plummet? I don’t think they will. I guess it all comes down to this…there’s too little existing housing to meet the demand of people who want to live in this area. This isn’t south San Jose or Antioch or Sacramento…you name the place. Our values are protected by our natural geography and the demand to live in it.

    4)I’m pretty darn busy right now, and judging from the conversation I can hear coming from the offices around me as I write this, I’m not alone in saying that. Maybe I’m some weird abberation and I’m unique in my busyness but I don’t think so. I learned a long time ago that if I’m swanped the market’s on fire and if I’m slow…so is the market. I know this isn’t scientific…I just think in a market where we’re likely to see radical price drops I wouldn’t be as active as I am. By the way…ALL of the people I’m working with are well qualified, have good down payments and can afford to buy here.

    I think it’s a good time to buy because you can negotiate downward, as a buyer you’re likely to have the last word! Pretty basic isn’t it? Buy when people are scared and you have no competition. I sure wish gas was under $2.00 a gallon again…do you think I’m going to hold my breath waiting for that to happen? Same principle too…the demand is the reason for $4.50 a gallon. I don’t see greatly diminished demand here for homes either…yet. I’m thinking I won’t.

  3. Thanks Jim. I guess we’ll see. As they say “only time will tell”.

  4. Your “Single Family Inventory” chart is quite nice. However, it would be nice if you could also post original list price, any price drops, and final sale prices in the chart. Thanks.

  5. Jim Minkey says:

    Thanks for the suggestion AP! I’ve been trying to figure a way to do that and so far have been stumped. I don’t want a post that takes up the whole page. I read alot of other blogs and, at least for me, the blogs that are long on statistics are just plain boring. I want to have fun. I’m either going to create a link to sold comps or create a monthly or quarterly report on them specifically. If you’re really interested in doing some in depth analysis on FC comparables please feel free to call me. I’d be happy to crunch numbers with you.

  6. Jim – Just following up on my post from about 2 months back. Do you still stand by your comments or are you ready to admit I was right? Is it still unclear to you we’re in a housing bubble or have you faced reality?

  7. Jim Minkey says:

    Actually, I think the jury is still out. I haven’t seen any sellers reducing their prices in panic. There has been sales in FC since this all erupted with Lehman on the 15th and it’ll be interesting to see where they close, but this isn’t the stock market where we get to see tangible evidence of reduced equity immediately. I know that you’re hoping for crashing prices here but it’s too soon to tell if it’ll happen or not.

    By the way, have you faced the reality that I was right about 160 Barkentine? It sold right after you bashed it…maybe you should go after some other FC listings?

  8. 🙂 I’ll give you 160 Barkentine. I’ll be interested to see the final sales price, though.

    But you can’t deny the price drops we’ve seen recently. 350 Staysail 100K, 710 Somerset 100K. I don’t know of any houses sold recently that went for their original asking price. I’m not claiming the market is dead. I’m just saying we reached our peak, and we won’t hit the trough until. . .I’ll be conservative and predict 2010 as the start of a rebound. That means anyone buying now is buying on the way down. Sure, you can do it. But is that the smartest thing to do economically? As you mentioned in your latest post, buyers are hitting the sidelines. Sure, some sellers are going off market, but I can guarantee you that buyers can hold out longer than sellers. That pressure can only result in a one way price move.

    I’ll also document my prediction here that we’re yet to see an additional 15-20% price decline in Foster City. That means decent single family homes will be selling for 700K or less. We can revisit in 6 months and see how that prediction pans out (It might be overly optimistic, I’m tempted to go lower; 500K perhaps).

  9. Jim Minkey says:

    This, honestly, is really fun! If we see 20% reductions in Foster City I’ll buy you dinner at Turtle Bay.

    160 Barkentine closed at $990,000. $1000.00 over asking. (I know, I know…it had taken a price reduction)

    The most money ever spent for 350 Staysail’s floorplan was $1,183,000 last year at 333 Sunfish. Staysail is currently listed for $1,229,921. It was $1,339,931. In all fairness, it does have a very large 10,000 sq ft lot and thus the place, presumably, has more value.

    The most money ever spent for 710 Somerset’s floorplan was $1,300,000. This place started at $1,439,000 and is now $1,338,000. It’s not as updated as the $1.3 place.

    The fact of the matter is that the values of these two houses hasn’t fallen at all. They were both priced too high to begin with and they’re adjusting to reality. If they had been priced at $2,000,000 and were reduced to the level of their last comparables would we say that their values had plummeted 40%?

    Having said all of that, I predicted awhile ago that we’d see 5% reductions this year. I’m leaning to 10% when all is said and done assuming that the fear that we’re living with takes 6 months to subside.

    By the way, what are you willing to offer me if values fall 10% or less?

    I’m going to move these comments to the off market post, maybe we can keep the thread going.

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