February 17, 2015

What’s the highest listing-to-sold spread you’ve seen lately?

As we all know… overbidding is once again the norm.

What has been the highest listing-to-sold spread that you’ve seen lately?


Comments (60) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:37 am

60 Responses to “What’s the highest listing-to-sold spread you’ve seen lately?”

  1. Bear of the Year Says:

    This is indeed incredible. Even with the currently limited inventory there should be something that can better worth this price…

  2. steve Says:

    this was in my phone booth comment.

    list 1.285
    sold 1.900

    30+ offers, 10 day close

    obviously listed low intentionally, but still 48% over and a noteworthy $1570/sq ft on a very, very small menlo park lot

  3. Petsmart groomer Says:


    Originally asking $49,000 and sold for $5,000.

  4. SPL Says:

    The listing prices are absurdly low and the overbidding means very little.

    Houses in my nabe in MV are routinely going for $1.4 with multiple offers, but they are still priced around $1.1. At what point does this ridiculous tactic lose its effectiveness? It’s a charade.

  5. nomadic Says:

    We should just adopt Australia’s method of auctioning off property instead of bothering with these listing prices.

    Ten years ago this month I bid 33% over list for a crap house on an awesome lot. I lost it to a buyer who bid 50% over list.

  6. nomadic Says:

    Holy crap, Steve! How did that house sell for $1.9M??? It’s just barely bigger than my last apartment.

  7. 2million$shack Says:

    Sad thing about the house on Arbor is that in spite of being almost $2m, it was likely bought for the land. Small lot, and traffic to the Allied Arts Guild but in an otherwise great location. I’d bet money that it will be torn down 6 months from now and a new $3.5m house will be in its place.

  8. Real Estater Says:

    You guys are really clueless or just playing dumb?

    This is prime Menlo Park here within walking distance to Sand Hill Road. The location is surrounded by greatness: Stanford, Palo Alto, and Atherton. You can’t touch a Palo Alto rebuild at this price. It’s great deal relatively speaking.

  9. 2million$shack Says:

    I don’t think that it is a matter of being clueless. I agree that Arbor went for its current market value and is in an overall good location. Also, that Menlo Park is a better value than Palo Alto right now.

    Am I incredibly disappointed with my current buying power in this market…YES! Unfortunately, my family was not in the position to buy in 2010/11. My call is that it is too late in this economic cycle to buy.

  10. Deertick Says:

    Agreed. It’s too late to buy in this cycle. Cycle being the term because the prices are cyclical and will either stop rising or fall at some point. I have co workers who 2 years ago could have bought in the areas they live in but are now looking at far flung exurbs -and still being out bid. That same level of desperation among buyers is as it was in the last boom. If all buyers simply made their choice strictly about common sense economics the boom would subside quickly. But I’m sure this will be no different this time with people whipping themselves into a frenzy the worse it gets and the higher prices rise.

    BTW… Unlike the period of the last bubble perhaps this time around this forum could. E more Bay Area wide and not just the Silicon Valley environs? Yeah yeah yeah we all know SV is ridiculous. That’s old hat. But now we’re talking crazy prices in places like West Oakland. Open it up a bit and more contributors will likely come.

  11. madhaus Says:

    this blog was always Bay Area wide, it’s just that the two authors lived in Silicon Valley and wrote what they knew. If you have West Oakland crazy, send them in. (it would help if either of us read our burbed.com mail, I guess)

    There was a blogger who was trying to do some great home analysis in Alameda, and I asked him to let me reblog his excellent stuff here. The Realtards in Alameda were pretty nasty to him so he passed, but that offer is still open.

    My million dollar shack in Sunnyvale, if you remember me talking about it, is now a million and a half dollar shack. No more land, although the neighbor fence fell down in the storm.
    Does that count?

  12. steve Says:

    RE, prime MP park lots are 1/4 acre. as the san mateo rd sale shows, they are also $2.75M + the cost of flattening what is there. the issue with Arbor is that it is on a 5700 sq ft lot, across from apartment buildings and not in allied arts. I guess the new sub-prime lot price is $1.9M, but what I am sure of is that the sellers were not expecting to get $1.9M.

    speaking of palo alto, wow: https://www.redfin.com/CA/Palo-Alto/1935-Webster-St-94301/home/590228

    seems well built but still wow!

  13. Real Estater Says:

    Arbor is not prime prime, but it is also not at the prime prime price. There are tons of shoppers trying to get into PA/MP at the $2M mark. These are the people who are above buying $1.5M shacks in Sunnyvale, but can’t quite pull $3M.

    It didn’t take long for Webster to sell at $10M. Believe it or not, there is competition at the $7M – $10M level these days. A friend just sold his property at $8M. There were 3 bidders. The two that lost didn’t have all cash on hand.

  14. Real Estater Says:

    >>Agreed. It’s too late to buy in this cycle. Cycle being the term because the prices are cyclical and will either stop rising or fall at some point.

    This time it’s different. Most buyers in this cycle paid heavy down payment or all cash. They are on solid ground just like the economy. There’s also a lot of cash coming in from China that we didn’t have before. That money isn’t going back to China. The spots in the good BA school districts are limited, and everyone wants in.

  15. deertick Says:

    I can’t believe you said that. “This time its different”. Classic. There is a ring of truth to that though. Each and every bubble form and is sustained differently. Last time it was due to exotic loans. This time its from yet another tech boom and foreign cash investments. The outcome will eventually be the same. It’ll stop at some point due to either one or more unforeseen economic events. Its really just a matter of time.

    As far as this site, perhaps now is the time to consider alternative formats for the stories. For years it was : ” Here’s a XXX house over here, and look at how expensive it is!” That’s sort of worn-out now. The dynamics this time is different.

    The generation affected by this boom are the same age as I was back 9-10 years ago. They too have the same frustrations. A decade ago blogs and forums were the primary form of airing these frustrations. These days its social media. There are innumerable Facebook sites dedicated to housing prices and rent. This is interesting this time because many of those in that age bracket moved here for the tech boom and simply want somewhere affordable to rent.

    What I see from my East Bay environ is that Oakland has undergone the most dramatic change as a result. The last boom nobody would touch Oakland with a 10 foot pole. Now it is THE place to move to if you are young or want to buy a house. I’ve seen neighborhoods that formerly had some serious crime issues transform into cute hipster enclaves overnight. This is dramatically changing the character of the city, much more so than what’s happening in SF.

  16. nomadic Says:

    It’ll stop at some point due to either one or more unforeseen economic events. Its really just a matter of time.

    Time to start bracing for an earthquake.

  17. maryjane Says:

    This one took two weeks to sell but it went for $1,000,000 over asking so it was worth the wait:


  18. BayFan Says:

    Well this time it different I guess – because we have our very own maternity tourism going full speed in CA. The laundered money definitely isn’t going back to China ->http://www.cnn.com/2015/03/03/us/maternity-tourism-raids-california/index.html

  19. wave Says:

    Some recent ones in my area I noticed…

    751k over (37%):

    518k over (30%):

    500k over (23%):

  20. wave Says:

    BTW, West Oakland is a dangerous dump, don’t fall for the realtards trying to sell it as a hipster paradise. SFGate headline today:

  21. 2million$shack Says:

    Here’s one: 776 Cambridge Ave in Menlo Park went $512k over asking of $2,688,000. Immediately listed for lease @ $8500 per month. https://www.redfin.com/CA/Menlo-Park/776-Cambridge-Ave-94025/home/1968177

  22. steve Says:

    2million$shack, prices in menlo seems to be climbing still

    this palo alto house will be interesting to watch. I thought the list was high, but it went into contract right away. whatever updates they did after the last sale were not impressive — inappropriate kitchen, very wrong windows in back. pretty sure they didn’t add value


    Mar 12, 2015
    Pending (Pending (Do Not Show))

    Mar 2, 2015
    Listed (Active)

    Jan 18, 2012
    Sold (Public Records)

  23. nomadic Says:

    Sold for 35% over list in a week last month. How did this sell so cheap in 2010?


  24. deertick Says:

    Interesting to see this. Interesting because last week I had to drive through Palo Alto to get somewhere. Its been 2 years since I drove through there. What a royal pain in the ass. The whole town is ridiculously congested and just getting down the road a mile or so takes forever. I would go nuts having to deal with that traffic all the time. If some want to pay a zillion for a little house there, that’s fine with me. Keeps’ em’ out of the East Bay.

  25. BayDweller Says:

    This one is pretty awesome:


    Teardown house.

    Listed Oct ’12 for $2.3M, sold Nov ’12 for $2.7M
    Owner sits on the property and develops some plans, then relists in Jan ’15 for $3.7M, sells 3 weeks later for $5.3M. Spread $1.6M. Spread since Oct ’12: $3M.

    Second one:

    Listed $7M, sold $8.5M – spread $1.5M.

  26. Real Estater Says:

    >> Interesting because last week I had to drive through Palo Alto to get somewhere. Its been 2 years since I drove through there. What a royal pain in the ass. The whole town is ridiculously congested and just getting down the road a mile or so takes forever. I would go nuts having to deal with that traffic all the time.

    As a resident who sets my own hours for the most part, I barely feel the traffic at all.It’s actually kind of fun being in the center of the hubbub watching the worker bees zoom across town.

  27. deertick Says:

    Perhaps because that’s what you are used to. OTOH the quite East Bay city I live in really doesn’t in fact have much of any traffic. I don’t have to “set my own hours” to make traffic bearable. In other words I don’t have to adjust my schedule to make where I live suck less.

  28. 2million$shack Says:

    deertick, do you work in the East Bay? For those of us that work in Palo Alto, moving to the East Bay would only mean dealing with the freeway traffic plus the traffic around PA five days a week. No avoiding PA traffic if you work in the middle of PA…

  29. Real Estater Says:


    Where about are you talking about in the East Bay? 880 is jam packed starting at 6 am. Also, East Bay traffic is full of big rigs and dump trucks that throw up rocks against your windshield and paint. I actually keep a car just to drive to East Bay.

  30. deertick Says:

    Nope. I work in the city. But even if I worked in PA… there is no way I would live there. As mentioned the whole city is a quagmire of traffic. Secondly, the 3 BR house I bought here, in a quite, safe, and pleasant neighborhood for 525k 3 years ago would cost 2-3 million in PA and probably not be all that nice either. Thirdly, I don’t like the atmosphere in PA. Its stuffy, rich, and lacks any charm whatsoever.

    Weighing all of those together and the cost of the commute is a bargain compared to the cost of having to live in PA.

  31. deertick Says:

    “Where about are you talking about in the East Bay? 880 is jam packed starting at 6 am”

    PA is jammed packed…. all the time. Thus you’ll have to come up with another counterpoint.

  32. cardinal2007 Says:

    I’m always surprised at these bidding wars, I bought my condo after it sat on the market for about a month, paid asking price, which was already reduced, and paid 3k less than the previous owner bought it for.

    When I bought my condo there was plenty of competition, and this was 6 months ago, I really wonder about all this talk of crazy competition, because I don’t see it.

  33. Real Estater Says:


    Where is this mythical place with 500K homes, great charm, and no traffic? Does it have a name?

  34. deertick Says:

    The houses aren’t 500k anymore. They were more like 3-4 years ago when we bought. Now they’re more like 800-900k. Alameda. And its an island with a beach too. Very charming downtown and you can walk anywhere.

  35. Minton Says:

    This talk of it being “too late in this cycle” and to wait for the next one is a bit ridiculous IMO. The longtime peninsula “waiter” has thusfar seen as follows:

    Date Price Comment
    2003 600K Its too late in the cycle, wait.
    2004 800K Its too late in the cycle, wait.
    2005 1.0M Its too late in the cycle, wait.
    2006 1.1M Its too late in the cycle, wait.
    2007 1.1M Its too late in the cycle, wait.
    2008 1.1M Its too late in the cycle, wait.
    2009 1.0M SEE, I TOLD YOU SO!!!
    2010 1.1M Its too late in the cycle, wait.
    2011 1.2M Its too late in the cycle, wait.
    2012 1.3M Its too late in the cycle, wait.
    2013 1.4M Its too late in the cycle, wait.
    2015 1.5M Its too late in the cycle. wait.

  36. deertick Says:

    The world doesn’t revolve around the Peninsula, sorry. The comment regarding cycles was intended for the overall Bay Area. And yes- cycles do matter for even in the most coveted areas- like PA- your charts shows a period of stagnation- which itself also means opportunity.

  37. Minton Says:

    The key word there is “wait”. Wait assumes you have the ability to do something now, but if you “wait” you will be better off in the future.

    With that paramater, how is the guy who was ready willing and able to buy in 2003 @600K, better off by renting for 6 more years and then paying $400K more?

  38. Minton Says:

    BTW – please dont reply : the waiter could have saved more or along those lines. The presumption was you were ready, willing and able, but you waited based on the idea that you would pay less in the future. Could the person be “more ready” by waiting longer? Perhaps, but if thats the case, I would counter that he wasnt really “ready” in the first place.

    Granted, the 07 & 08 waiters who purchased in 09 did indeed benefit as they were on the cusp of the downturn and didnt have to wait for long. Still, you better have your timing right when you tell people to “wait”. I distinctly remember telling a co-worker to wait in 2002, and given what has happened, I regret that to this day.

  39. deertick Says:

    I waited and did so for a long time. As in a lot of us including many who no longer come on this forum knew we were in a bubble and that yes- it would end, which it did, though it took longer than anticipated. In the meantime rent was cheap and thus I saved and saved. The bubble burst and there was about a 6 month period in and around 2011-2012 where prices has fallen enough and interests rates plummeted where it made sense.

    Now it once again doesn’t make any sense to buy.

  40. Minton Says:

    “Now it once again doesn’t make any sense to buy.”

    In what way? If you are saying its just “expensive” then thats a personal decision is it not?

    Now, if you are saying – the signs are clear, there is a very distinct crash DEAD AHEAD then yes absolutely, sing it from the mountaintops.

    That said – it was the inescapeable conclusion to me in 2002 that it was a bubble – +20% a year was clearly unsustainable. Yet, anyone and everyone who listened to me and “waited” is now worse off for it, and for that I am truly sorry.

  41. Minton Says:

    So again – the larger point is, just because we are now in a bubble DOES NOT automatically mean everyone is better off to wait. Is this now like 2006 where it absolutely makes sense to wait, or are we more akin to 2002 when (paradoxically) buying into the bubble makes alot of sense?

    I dont have the answer, and I would caution anyone from making the conclusion to “wait” unless they are willing stake out that ground and die on that hill if necessary. If not, the better answer is to perhaps just stay silent…

  42. deertick Says:

    Not sure how long you’ve been around here. I’ve been here for 16 years. All I can say is that what we’re experiencing right this minute is 1999 all over again. Lots of fluff. There are 3 people in my office- all of whom are paid well- trying to buy houses and they so far haven’t even come close. Every house has 20 offers.

    Let me put it in another way. I also make a good income. There is no way I would consider buying now. People are now totally panic-buying. Its the same exact psychology that permeated the last bubble: Buy now or be priced out forever! People aren’t thinking financially. Its all down to raw emotion and using raw emotion to make a huge financial decision seldom pays out dividends.

    You keep on mentioning how sorry you are/were. Is there a rule written somewhere that says you must buy a house in XXX time period?

    But hey- if others want to buy then go for it. It only makes property value go up for me.

  43. Minton Says:

    “You keep on mentioning how sorry you are/were. Is there a rule written somewhere that says you must buy a house in XXX time period?”

    Definitely not. Let me say for the record, there is nothing wrong with long term renting. America has an infatuation with ownership that is unhealthy, IMO.

    That said, if you are ready, willing and able, yet decide to “wait” if you dont know or define what exactly what you are “waiting” for, that can be a very large mistake.

    You undercut yourself by mentioning it feels like 1999 btw. As we can now all say, thanks to hindsight, buying in 1999, jumping into the frenzy and outcompeting anyone and everyone was absolutely and emphatically the best move one could make.

    Yet, like you, I have been here this long and did buy into that frenzy (year 2000). It was a sickening feeling – but my thoughts at the time were, “I am going to be here a long time” if it does (god forbid) drop 10-15-20%, I can deal with it”.

    As it is now 15 years later, principal is being blitzed off, and I am suddenly contemplating paying the thing off. Yet, I cant help thinking how horribly screwed I would have been had I waited for the frenzy to subside, which really didnt happen until 2012.

    The moral of the story is, (paradoxically) that getting in early to a buy buy buy, emotive frenzy is often a good idea – but buying late into a buy buy buy emotive frenzy is a horrible one. Thus, the timing of the issue is critical. Are we now in 1999, or are we in 2006? I dont know, and frankly, I dont think that you (or anyone else) does either.

  44. deertick Says:

    Guess we’ll have to agree to disagree then. Patiently waiting was a good idea for me. I rented and wound up saving a ton of cash, was able to be more flexible with my career, and by the time the market subsided put down a very sizable chunk of a down payment. The house will be paid off in 5 years or less at this point. Its absolutely in an area I really wanted to live versus simply picking a house- any house- that I could get my hands on that I see those who panic tend to do. My decision was totally a financial one: simply put for a brief period rent and buying reached parity with one another.
    Had I bought in the frenzy many of those above things I mentioned wouldn’t have happened. I’d probably be like a lot of people I know looking now who if asked would much rather live somewhere specific but instead are looking in far-flung and totally random areas they know little about….just so they can have a house- any house- so long as they can beat all the other offers.

    But really I suppose we could both be wrong. The truth of the matter is that the best time for anyone to buy is whenever they have enough savings and good jobs and so on to buy.

  45. Minton Says:

    “But really I suppose we could both be wrong. The truth of the matter is that the best time for anyone to buy is whenever they have enough savings and good jobs and so on to buy.”

    We actually agree more than we disagree. People (at least people here) arent stupid. You are either ready or you are not. You are either in a stable job, or you are not. You are willing to make the location/distrance tradeoffs, or you are not.

    The one, (and only one IMO) exception that justifies a “wait” is if you are absolutely and emphatically sure that you are on the precipe of a large downturn such that waiting is the only sensible option. Is inventory building as it was in 2006, is months of inventory passing 6 + months with no sign of abating? Is there any verifiable sign or data that is outside of our natural skittishness about making a large purchase that can verify our feelings? Or is this just the natural state of a psychosis that constitutes much of what we see in the RBA?

    Right now, the answer to the above is no. Thus unlike in 2002 when I was spouting off based on little more than anecdotes or my feelings about the state of affiars, I have learned that my natural state of risk aversion is not always indicative of reality. Thus, unlike 2002, I am going to be a bit more reserved before I again sound the alarm about how it is now again time to “wait”.

  46. DreamT Says:

    1999 was an excellent time to buy, so were 2002, 2005, 2008, 2011… Just not always for the same reasons. The 2005 window was the only time we could buy because we could only offer 10% down and I could sense that the opportunity would close soon (which it did 2 years later, for good). When prices took a slight dip in 2009 it was probably the worst time to buy for anybody who wasn’t all cash, even though most people who said to wait would have advised to time 2009. These days the challenge is finding a house+location you like, since inventory is at its absolute lowest, so non-first buyers don’t sell either and cause a vicious cycle. Many more people have given up trying, that’s probably why burbed languishes except when RE pops up.

  47. Real Estater Says:

    If you wait, you will never be ready. Waiting or saving as a strategy has failed time and time again in the Bay Area. If you bought, you immediately save money because you are no longer throwing away a flat screen TV each month in rent. Soon after, you start making money, simply by living there. As the saying goes, with real estate you buy and wait, not wait to buy.

  48. Real Estater Says:

    RE cycle doesn’t really apply in the Bay Area. The dot com bust and the financial crisis were anomalies. Normalcy is constant appreciation. Use the 90% rule. Don’t act based on exception.

  49. nomadic Says:

    So, RE, you’re saying we’ve had two black swan events in the last decade?

  50. 2million$shack Says:

    Peninsula homes have depreciated during times of US recession (2001 & 2008). Granted, they appreciated tremendously more during times of expansion. We are 6 years out of the last recession. The question is how much appreciation is left before the next recession and how much will prices depreciate during the recession. No one knows. I’ve placed my bets that we are 1 -2 years from a downturn and it is worth waiting. Even if only inventory increases, I’ll be happy with that.

  51. 2million$shack Says:

    Oh and in 2002 we were less than 1 year out of a recession. That is a great time to buy as it is the early stage of the business cycle which on average lasts 6 years.

  52. deertick Says:

    “RE cycle doesn’t really apply in the Bay Area.”


  53. john181 Says:

    1398 mcpherson st 95051. 1160 sft 1950s tract home in busy rental area. Poor schools. Ask 799 pending 950k. Insanity or smart buy?????

  54. Real Estater Says:

    >>So, RE, you’re saying we’ve had two black swan events in the last decade?

    We’ve had one. After the dot com bust, the stock market crashed, but Bay Area real estate continued to go up.

    The banking crisis was a once in a lifetime event. It will never happen again.

  55. Deez Says:

    “We’ve had one. After the dot com bust, the stock market crashed, but Bay Area real estate continued to go up.

    The banking crisis was a once in a lifetime event. It will never happen again.”

    That particular crisis probably won’t happen again… But there’ll be something else to replace it. We had the Opec embargo, Iran war, S&L Scandal, dot-com bubble, and the mortgage crisis over the course of the past four decades.

    Will the next large event be one of those? Probably not. But it’ll be something…

    While the peninsula does have the benefit of bigger and better stock valuations than in the past, like any other industry, the tech sector won’t be the bee’s knees forever.

    It’ll probably take a bit, probably decades, but prices will drop as tech becomes a distributed commodity.

  56. nomadic Says:

    I haven’t read it yet, but this looks like an interesting summary of the bay area RE cycles.


  57. Real Estater Says:

    The graphs in your link shows that it’s a perpetual up trend, except for a one time event that will never happen again.

  58. deertick Says:

    RE, if you want to try and pretend that over 150 years of continual boom and bust cycles simply don’t exist then by our guest. Do the prices show a gradual upward motion over a long period? Generically yes. However that doesn’t account for reality when the bubble pops. As I’m sure you are well-aware each and every time a bubble pops MANY homeowners found themselves deeply underwater or worse- had to sell and of those many went bankrupt.

    Nevertheless busts are a good thing. Its healthy. It makes inventory available and lowers prices. I bought my house for well over 250,000 bucks cheaper. Now its probably worth 30% more than what I paid, not like I care, but I’m showing that the bust was good for me.

    It is irrational to blatantly be absolutely, steadfastly insistent that real estate is ALWAYS in the black. Its simply not true and history backs that up.

  59. nomadic Says:

    Here’s a big spread between list price and selling price that caught the attention of the Buzzfeed of the business world.


  60. Real Estater Says:

    Just sold for $1M over asking:


    Must’ve moved out to Alameda to avoid traffic.

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