Bull Unleashed in San Mateo

‘Hyper-priced market’ cited as shockwaves trail first-ever $3M Highlands Eichler sale
Fridays on the Homefront
The recent surprising $3M+ sale in the San Mateo Highlands of an Eichler home (living room pictured above) on Tarrytown Street has been raising eyebrows. It's one prime example of real estate's astounding recovery in 2021 from a pandemic-related slump. "Is it going to continue?" asks listing agent Glenn Sennett rhetorically. "Who knows." Property photos courtesy Barry & Rosemary Brisco

After 12 months of an unprecedented number of unprecedented occurrences jolting our lives, we have to apologize for the following real estate news: it's time to break out the 'U word' once again.

"We broke the mold," exults realtor Glenn Sennett, three days after selling the first $3-million Eichler home in the San Mateo Highlands.

The recent surprising sale of 1547 Tarrytown Street for $3,008,000—on an asking price of 'only' $2.5 million—is but one example of real estate's astounding recovery in 2021 from a pandemic-related slump.

The California Association of Realtors reports that, through February 2021, Bay Area homes were selling, on average, for four percent over the listing price with an average stay of only ten days on the market.

Fridays on the Homefront
Tarrytown atrium.

Sennett, a 40-year real estate veteran with Coldwell Banker, and Eric Boyenga, another longtime Eichler Network realtor, agree that homes in their respective Peninsula and South Bay regions are selling even higher and faster than that. The Tarrytown house, for one, supports their claim in a big way—20 percent over listing price.

"It's a hyper-priced market. You can sell it in a day if you want," said Boyenga, of the Boyenga Team/Compass, of the "pent-up demand" in his region of Palo Alto to San Jose. A veteran of reportedly more than 400 Eichler sales, Boyenga marvels, "There's more motivated Eichler buyers [now] than I've seen in my 25 years."

There have, of course, been $3-million Eichler sales in other Bay Area towns—Palo Alto, for instance—but not in either of Joe Eichler's two tracts in San Mateo, the Highlands and 19th Avenue Park. Boyenga said he has sold at least five Eichlers for $3 million or more, including a "very small" one in Menlo Park in 2019 for $3.8M.

By contrast, Barry and Rosemary Brisco, the sellers of Sennett's current Highlands' listing on Tarrytown, bought their Eichler in 2000 for $735,000, which is approximately $1.124 million in 2021 dollars.

Fridays on the Homefront
Realtors Glenn Sennett (left) and Eric Boyenga (right). "I think people have realized their own mortality during [the pandemic]," says Boyenga, "and realized maybe they need to live their life now."

"That was in a very hot market, and I was convinced I had paid too much," Barry said with a laugh about his 1,700-square-foot home, adding, "At the time, it was a lot of money for a house this size."

In the process of converting two of their four bedrooms into offices and updating the 1959 home in an authentic mid-century modern style, the Briscos became Eichler aficionados with home improvement know-how. What's more, between 2000 and 2005, Barry served as co-chair of Eichler Historic Quest, the committee that landed the first two Eichler tracts, both in Palo Alto, onto the National Register of Historic Places.

Fridays on the Homefront
Tarrytown kitchen.