Lower South vs. Lower North: History and 2021 Market Metrics

Lower South vs. Lower North: History and 2021 Market Metrics

  • Geoffrey Nelson
  • 10/15/21

Lower South Hillsborough and Lower North Hillsborough together comprise what locals refer to as "Lower Hillsborough." Please see my custom Hillsborough Google Map for more detail on these areas: https://hillsboroughblog.com/Hillsborough-CA-Neighborhoods

Lower Hillsborough, collectively, is perennially and historically the most valuable, most prestigious, and most in-demand real estate area of the Town. Certainly buyers in either Lower South or Lower North will never go wrong on their lifestyle and investments. These are legendary areas mostly in the flats just west of El Camino, heralded for architectural beauty, timeless prestige, and suburban convenience in a woodsy garden oasis. But each area presents unique differences that shape the livability and influence the values.

Lower South Hillsborough is home to famed mansion rows such as West Santa Inez, Bridge Road, Roehampton, and Roblar, among others. Hillsborough's earliest 19th century estate of the Howard Family traces back to this region around El Cerrito and De Sabla Roads. Banking magnate A.P. Gianinni prospered here while founding one of the world's largest financial institutions of Bank of America. Charles Templeton Crocker constructed the majestic Beaux Arts masterpiece Uplands II in Lower South Hillsborough during World War I, under the expert hand of architect Willis Polk. The estate and mansion are today the campus of Crystal Springs Uplands School. The Tobin family of Hibernia Bank success, also left their mark in Lower South Hillsborough with a brilliant early 1900s Shingle Style still standing on Poett Road. Areas of Lower South offer 1-acre or 2-acre sites on flat topography. The usability of the land and the quality of surrounding homes are two key benchmarks that drive the value. I have represented Hillsborough's #1 Sale of 2020 for $16,225,000 on Lower South's Bridge Road. Lower South's charismatic streetscape of mature specimen trees, privacy hedges, sculpted gardens is within walking distance of downtown San Mateo. Lower South's public school assignments are primarily South Elementary, Crocker Middle, and San Mateo High School. 

Lower North Hillsborough is the Town's grand dame of history and prestige. It was here that the development and incorporation of the Town of Hillsborough blossomed in the years 1894 - 1910. Prior to Hillsborough's incorporation as a Town in 1910, the first development was promoted as Burlingame Park, and the housing desirability emerged in tandem with the newly founded Burlingame Country Club and the Burlingame Train Depot. Today, the fairways of the golf course still form a scenic backdrop for many Lower North streets such as Brookvale, Floribunda, Eucalyptus, and New Place Road. This year I have represented the #1 MLS Sale in Lower North so far at $11,425,000 on Marialinda Court. I have also represented the sale of one of Hillsborough's oldest structures at 2240 Redington Road this year. The Burlingame Country Club, as well as famous legacy estates, enhance the ambiance of Lower North. Masterpieces of La Dolphine, Strawberry Hill, and Rosecourt still stand along with vestiges of gates and pillars. The iconic gates of George Pope's Edgecourt Estate frame the entrance to one of the most desirable Lower North streets, Geri Lane. Much of Lower North Hillsborough is walkable into downtown Burlingame Avenue. If I were pressed to make a list of the Top 5 streets in all of Hillsborough based on value, desirability, and aesthetics, surely many of them would come from Lower North. Lower North's public school assignments are primarily North Elementary, Crocker Middle, and Burlingame High. 

So far in 2021 Lower South Hillsborough has posted 22 closed sales in MLS with an average price per sq. ft. of $1,359, and an average days on market of 83 days. The average sales price in Lower South is $5,907,773, and the Median Sales price is $5,487,500. The highest sale was posted on West Santa Inez at $12,750,000 for a 1.21 Acre legacy estate needing considerable updates. 

As of this writing in 2021, Lower North Hillsborough has posted 23 closed sales in MLS with an average price per sq. ft. of $1,595, and an average days on market of 36 days. The average sales price in Lower North is $7,456,000, and the Median Sales price is $6,958,000. The highest sale posted was my listing on Marialinda Court at $11,425,000 for a brand new modern farmhouse of 6,160 sq. ft. (including ADU) on a .55 Acre lot. 

As one astute reader has already pointed out, this analysis is based only on those sales reported to MLS. Other Off-Market sales have occurred in both neighborhoods that can impact overall metrics outside the scope of this report. 

Region # of Sales Avg $ per sq. ft. Avg Sale Price Median Sale DOM
Lower South 2021 22 $1,359 $5,907,773 $5,487,500 83
Lower North 2021 23 $1,595 $7,456,000 $6,958,000 36

* Year to date as of this writing, reflecting 1/1/2021 - 10/14/21


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Top Agent Geoffrey Nelson excels with a 20 year track record in Burlingame, Hillsborough, and San Mateo Real Estate. A reputation as a premier listing agent, off-market strategist, and architectural specialist.