An affluent community in the northern California Bay Area's Silicon Valley, the Los Altos community is a mid-sized city with a a high median household income – measured at more than $158,000 in 2007. It lies near the southern end of the San Francisco Peninsula. Because the community makeup tends to be more wealthy than many others in the region, Los Altos real estate tends to also draw higher prices, but it homes here can also maintain their values better because of the unceasing high demand for real estate in the area. But Los Altos was not immune to the effects of the financial crisis, and the past several years have seen home values plummet and inventory soar as the number of foreclosures in Los Altos rose correspondingly with the shape of the local economy.

According to local statistics from the Santa Clara County Association of Realtors, in the month of September there were 85 Los Altos homes for sale, 51 of which were new listings for the month. This inventory was basically unchanged from a year ago, down by just one, but it was up by more than 20 from August's inventory, showing that a number of new houses were brought on the market during this month. Homes spent an average of 43 days on the market before selling in September, a marked improvement from a year ago, when that figure stood at 91 days, and a slight improvement on August's average of 52 days. There were just 19 homes sold in Los Altos in September, down from both a year ago and a month ago, which both saw monthly sales of 29 homes. The average price rose slightly year-over-year, from $1.64 million to $1.68 million, but the median price actually decline on an annual basis to $1.48 million from $1.62 million.

The condo market in Los Altos is not as large as its single-family residential home market, so statistics are more scarce. There were eight new condo listings in Los Altos in September, compared with six a year ago and 11 in August, bringing the month's total inventory to 23, down just one from a year ago but up from just 16 in August. The number of days condos in Los Altos spent on the market before selling surged from a year ago, to 88 days from just 34 days; in August, the figure was even higher, at 120 days, showing that many condos are spending several months on the market before selling due to low demand. There was just a single condo sold in Los Altos in September, compared with two a year ago and two in August. Since the market is small, there are usually not too many sales in one month, so it can be hard to draw statistics like price. Nonetheless, the one condo sold in September sold at a price of $1.1 million, which was higher than the average of the two that sold a year ago, $720,000.

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