Sunday, April 17, 2011

April Silicon Valley Real Estate Market Comments

Here are my observations of the most recent March transactions for Santa Clara County real estate and San Mateo County real estate. Your comments and questions are always welcome. If you see something in your neighborhood that you are curious about or have a question, please don't hesitate to share with us. If you have questions or a comment, please leave them here, or feel free to contact me through my website at .

> General Market Observations and Comments -- Closings turned up sharply in March, indicating much stronger markets in Silicon Valley. Additionally, the amount of homes available for sale (supply) has increased as it usually does in the last winter, early spring. However, what's different is that the rate of increase is lower than the average over the last ten years.

Demand continues to point to single family residences (SFR) and away from condos/townhouses. My advice for buyers: if you prefer the life-style of a condo or townhouse, there are better buys possible. Yes, they have homeowner association dues that often cover additional ownership features and benefits (e.g., utilities, pool/spa, exercise rooms, and the like) but the owner doesn't have to worry about it.

As for the available homes for sale -- we're seeing a bipolar market. Homes priced well and in good condition, sell quickly and get the most activity (i.e., higher prices, quicker sale). Overpriced homes or those in poor locations or in poor condition stay on the market far longer and eventually sell with lower prices or as "fixer uppers" or "fix and flips".

Last month, I stated that one of the hot markets was the area comprising the cities of Mountain View, Los Altos and Palo Alto. This continues to occur but has spilled out to include some adjacent areas. One case involves Sunnyvale, where homes in the Cupertino school attendance area are selling rather quickly with multiple offers if they are good values and in good condition. These include those with list prices above $1 million.

Mortgage rates remain in the high 4 to low 5% range. Certainly this is positive inducement for buyer's home affordability. If rates go to 5 1/2%, that would be equivalent to a 10% increase in the price in terms of affordability. Those buyers needing financing could be forced to "buy down" or not buy at all if rates should seek higher ground.

Since there were problems obtaining accurate detailed statistical information on March transactions, I thought to at least provide you some of my observations. I'm available for consultation if you are seeking marketing intelligence and strategies as you firm up your real estate plans.

Thanks for reading my blog. I'm Tom McEvoy, Realtor with RE/MAX Santa Clara Valley -- Let me know your comments, questions, observations you may have or any future topics you'd like me to address.

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