Moving Out Before Selling: San Mateo

Aalto Insights Team
Nov 24, 2021

Moving Out Before Selling: San Mateo County Deep Dive

Below, you'll find our deep dive into San Mateo County for Real Estate Myth #1: To move out or not to move out?

Time on market

Result: little difference in time on market between occupied and unoccupied homes outside of an extreme recession.

The 82,376 home sales across San Mateo County told a story somewhere between what we found in Marin County and the 680/24 Corridor, respectively.

Like Marin, for all but the deepest period of the recession, owner-occupied homes and vacant residences moved at similar speeds, with owner-occupied perhaps gaining a slight edge.

However, much like the 680/24 Corridor in Contra Costa County, the average time on market is quite brief, with the median home selling in 9 days in 2021.

Thus, as with the 680/24 Corridor, moving out before selling likely makes sense if it brings with it a premium on the selling price.

*Note that only cities with over 1,000 homes sold are listed.  County total includes all cities within the county.

Price per square foot

Result: In contrast to Marin County and the 680/24 Corridor, unoccupied homes in San Mateo County sold for slightly more ($6 price per square foot) than occupied homes.

For this analysis we looked at 82,376 sales of homes with square footage between 1,000 and 10,000 sq. ft. across 680/24 Corridor between 2007 and 2021. This slight benefit to homes being unoccupied vs occupied in San Mateo was observed across home sizes, though smaller homes saw a slightly larger advantage; unoccupied 0-2 bedroom homes sold for $11 ppsf more than owner occupied, while the gap was only $5 ppsf in 3+ bedroom properties.  

While most cities in San Mateo County saw higher prices for unoccupied homes, East Palo Alto was a sizable outlier with owner occupied properties selling for $78 higher ppsf than unoccupied homes.

*Note that only cities with over 1,000 homes sold are listed. County total includes all cities within the county.

Aalto is a real estate broker licensed by the State of California, License #02062727 and abides by Equal Housing Opportunity laws. This article has been prepared solely for information purposes only. The information herein is based on information generally available to the public and/or from sources believed to be reliable. No representation or warranty can be given with respect to the accuracy of the information. Aalto disclaims any and all liability relating to this article.

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