Report lists Los Altos as priciest real estate market

An annual report released last week by Coldwell Banker revealed that Los Altos tops the list as the nation’s priciest real estate market for a four-bedroom, two-bathroom house.

According to Coldwell Banker’s annual Home Listing Report, the average listing price for such a home in Los Altos is $1,706,688, topping Newport Beach, which came in second at $1,658,000. Eight California cities were listed among the top 10, including Saratoga, Menlo Park, Palo Alto and Los Gatos – ranked third through sixth, respectively.

By contrast, the report noted that the most affordable city to purchase a four-bedroom, two-bathroom home is Redford, Mich., where the average listing price is $60,490. Overall, the report found the average listing price of a four-bedroom, two-bathroom home in the U.S. to be $292,152.

The methodology used for the report analyzes the average listing price of four-bedroom, two-bathroom properties listed on Coldwell Banker’s website, as well as the websites of its affiliates, between January and June 2012. Markets without at least 10 four-bedroom, two-bathroom homes listed on its website and affiliate sites between those dates were excluded from the ranking.

Rick Turley, president of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in the Bay Area, attributed the ranking of Los Altos – as well as several other Bay Area cities – atop the list to the nearby presence and success of several high-tech companies. In addition, the report noted, the high average listing prices are also a reflection of a low housing inventory coupled with high demand.

“The success of many of our native tech companies has shined a spotlight on Silicon Valley and our real estate market in the San Francisco Bay Area,” Turley said. “Listing prices in our market are a product of ongoing high demand, projected population growth and the low inventory levels of homes in what is one of the most desirable locations to live.”

Joe Brown, managing broker at Coldwell Banker’s Los Altos branch, echoed Turley’s sentiments, noting other desirable elements that contribute to the ranking.

“It’s a destination city with great schools and low crime,” Brown said of Los Altos. “It’s really the ideal type of city you look for as a buyer.”

Brown added that the price of homes hasn’t discouraged interest among local and international buyers, despite home inventory “at an all-time low.”

“If a very nice, well-cared-for house goes on the market here for $2.2 million, it’s going to get multiple offers,” he said.

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