The average number of days that a Palo Alto house stayed on the market during the first half of 2013 was 20 days. A condo took 33 days to sell. But it was less than a week for homes in a new Palo Alto development that went on sale this month.
At Classics at Monroe Place, a development of 26 homes on the former Palo Alto Bowl site at 4329 El Camino Real, four homes previewed on Saturday, July 13. Bids were proffered by 6 p.m. Sunday and offers accepted by 6 p.m. Monday. The prospective new owners had 48 hours to back out.
Officially, the houses were on the market for six days.
The housing market has been competitive this year -- and subject to bidding wars -- so the quick sale was not a surprise to local Realtors.
"It's not unusual for something to sell this fast," noted Coldwell Banker, Palo Alto, agent Nancy Goldcamp. "Especially new construction and in entry level."
The four homes were all three-story, a little more than 2,000 square feet. Two were free-standing; the other two shared a wall. The base asking prices were $1.51 to $1.62 million.
"There were multiple offers on each," said Cindy Riccardi, the development's community sales manager, and each went for a little more than the base price.
Monroe Place's bid method is really "not that typical," noted Barbara Chang, an agent with Coldwell Banker, Los Altos, who was representing a couple interested in one of the four houses.
But it's also been awhile since a newly constructed development has been offered, she added.
To ensure quick sales, bidders all had to be pre-approved by Classics' designated lender, who was on hand at the open house; offers were accompanied by $10,000 deposit checks.
By 1 p.m. on Saturday, about 60 groups had already gone through the two open model homes, according to Frances Ibay, also a community sales manager. In the kitchen of the first unit, caterers were busily refilling platters, expecting around 300 people.
By end of day, there were closer to 350, according to Riccardi.
The development is still under construction and isn't expected to be completed until the end of the year, Ibay said. So the first new owners won't be able to move in for about 12 weeks, she added.
Ten of the homes are single-family detached and 16 are townhomes with a common, insulated wall with an air gap. All homeowners pay $131 in monthly homeowners-association dues.
Homes will be offered over the next few weeks, a couple at a time, Ibay said. Those will be sold at a set price to the first qualified person who makes the offer, she said.
A four-story Hilton Hotel is being constructed on the front of the property, along El Camino.
Although Classics at Monroe Place is located in Palo Alto, children who live there will attend Los Altos schools.