Friday, November 20, 2009

November Silicon Valley Real Estate Market Highlights

Here are my observations of October's transactions and market actions for Santa Clara, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, and Monterey counties. You are encouraged to leave your comments and questions or even update us on what you are witnessing in your neighborhood or area.

> Market continues showing strength and improvement -- Market activity has continued to display improvement for six months! For instance, in Santa Clara County, October saw an 18% increase in closings over the same month last year. My analysis of the transactional information reveals:

* Buyers continue to trip over each other to submit offers for homes in the more affordable areas of Santa Clara, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, and Monterey counties. Many offers submitted are for all cash or have substantial down payments. There are still only 22 days of unsold inventory on single family residences in Santa Clara County with a price of under $450,000! For those in the range of $450,000 to $600,000, there is only 33 days of unsold inventory. It is similar in San Mateo County.
* The supply of homes available for sale (inventory) continues to trend lower in each of the four counties without exception. This trend has been virtually uninterrupted since February 2009 and it is still more pronounced in Santa Clara and Monterey counties.
* The sale price to list price ratio continues above 100% in Santa Clara County and stands at 100.8%, continuing an upward trend; San Mateo stands at 99.3%.
* The Days of Unsold Inventory (DUI) continues to improve generally in each county for single family residences and condos/townhouses, respectively. Santa Clara's DUI stands at 47 and 44, San Mateo's DUI is 69 and 77, Santa Cruz's DUI is 108 and 105 and Monterey's DUI is 70 and 83.

> Super-heated Seller's Markets? -- You bet! East Valley, South San Jose, Blossom Valley, Evergreen, Santa Teresa, Santa Clara, North Valley, Milpitas. To refresh you, characteristics of a seller's market are shorter time on the market, fewer number of homes available for sale, higher probability of multiple offers with many sale prices exceeding list prices and a tendency towards price appreciation.

> Buyer's Markets? -- For Santa Clara County, we see buyer's markets in Saratoga, Los Gatos, and Los Gatos Mountains. Los Gatos exhibits the highest Days of Unsold Inventory in the county at 141. To refresh you, characteristics of a buyer's market are longer time on the market, higher number of homes available for sale, lower probability of multiple offers or even an offer with most sale prices below list price. The tendency is to have price depreciation or stable prices at best case under this market condition.

Where do I get "Seller's" and "Buyer's" market information? This is not an opinion thing but a calculation I make using the number of homes for sale (supply) and the number of sales (demand) in the prior month which results in days of unsold inventory (DUI). Additionally, this is not based on price levels but a supply-demand relationship. For instance, the higher-priced area of Palo Alto/Mountain View/Los Altos exhibits a DUI of only 56 which translates into a balanced market.

> Median prices -- Took another jump upwards last month median price now stands at $593,250 for Santa Clara County and $702,000 for San Mateo County. These are UP about 8% from the same month a year ago in Santa Clara County and down 1% in San Mateo Ccounty. I coach my clients to no use an entire county's median price level to decide on whether to buy or sell. To formulate an effective strategy, I use analysis of the supply-demand characteristics on a much smaller area down to the neighborhood in most cases.

> Tale of Two Markets -- Sales of affordable homes in Santa Clara County less than $450,000 level have gotten even hotter than the past few months. There are just 21 days of unsold inventory for single family residences below $450,000 and 41 for homes with prices from $450,000 to $600,000. As the price ranges increase, the DUI increases in what we call a normal pattern. For Santa Clara County, high-priced homes in the $2,500,000 to $5,000,000 range showed a DUI of 242 or about eight months of supply whereas in San Mateo County showed a similar result of 192.

> Polarized Market -- Sales of higher-priced homes (above $1,000,000) are sluggish at best, depending upon area. Last month, there were no sales of $5+ million homes in Santa Clara County and just one in San Mateo County (4.2 years of unsold inventory). With slow movements in higher-priced homes and a white-hot situation in lower-priced homes, I call this a polarized market.

> Forbes Says We're Safe -- According to an article in the Silicon Valley Business Journal, Forbes Magazine reported that San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara was the 7th safest area in the country. Factors included were: violent crime, workplace fatality rates, traffic death rates and natural disaster risk. Silicon Valley was the second safest area behind the Twin Cities of Minneapolis-St. Paul.

> Sellers Be Sooner -- I continue to maintain my recommendation for sellers of higher-priced homes, especially those above $1 million that they should consider selling sooner and having an initially more-aggressive list price as the market usually softens when we go move into the holiday season. In any case, check with a Realtor knowledgeable about the technical aspects of the market conditions to guide you in positioning your home for maximum activity and price while minimizing time on market.

For those considering a purchase of a home in an expensive area like Los Altos Hills, Los Gatos/Monte Sereno, Saratoga, your time is getting closer! Be ready but I think we'll see list prices reduced and sale prices dropping as we get into the holiday season this year. Most years we experience more activity in the early spring and spring so the best time for a purchase is coming up soon!

> Investor's Corner -- Activity continues to trend upwards as more and more investors reenter the market, many of them are completing all cash purchases, especially in the more affordable price ranges. For Santa Clara County, there were 88 sales during the month with 47 of them in the less than $600,000 price range as that price range had a DUI of just 37 whereas the DUI for residential investment properties above $600,000 jumps to nearly a year. For investors who have the ability to purchase higher-priced properties (above $1,000,000), there is about one year of unsold inventory at current sales demand and represents a BUYER'S market as I'm sure there are at least some motivated sellers in that range.

Thanks for reading my blog. I'm Tom McEvoy -- Let me know your comments, questions, observations you may have.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Tastefully Updated Birdland Sunnyvale Home with Cupertino Schools

Open House available this Saturday and Sunday, November 14 & 15
from 1:30pm to 4:30pm, sharp.

~ Established Birdland, Sunnyvale Neighborhood Home with Cupertino Schools ~

Beautiful hardwood floors highlight this tastefully-updated Lindsey home with expanded master suite, kitchen and bathrooms. Kitchen was extensively remodeled and offers expansive, Corian counter tops, upgraded cabinetry and top built-in appliances. Living room can be used as dining room. Step-down family room with gas fireplace and wet bar opens to patio with wood deck and spa — great for family gatherings. Recent upgrades include 40-year roof, gutters/downspouts, and fresh exterior paint. Stocklmeir Elementary, Cupertino Middle, Fremont High School.

Take a Virtual Tour and see more Slides

If you have any questions or comments, please contact me, Tom McEvoy, Realtor at 408-830-0092 or by leaving your comment here.