Sunday, May 15, 2011

May Silicon Valley Real Estate Market Comments

Here are my observations of the most recent April 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 increased a bit more in April than in March, indicating continued strength in the various real estate markets in Silicon Valley. Inventory, or the number of homes available for sale (supply) has increased but it continues to grow at a slower rate than the average of the past 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. For April, this continued to occur but the market with the fewest days of unsold inventory was Sunnyvale and Cupertino. The DUI reading was only 34, clearly a Seller's market! My most recent Sunnyvale listing in the Cupertino Schools attendance area garnered about 200 people in a single weekend of open houses and sold in six days, above list price. This home listed above $1 million.

Days of unsold inventory (DUI) by price range is interesting. The DUI for homes priced under $450,000 was just 32 days; those priced from $450,000-600,000 was 56 days; those priced from $600,000-750,000 was 75 days; from $750,000 to $1 million was 67 days; from $1.0 million to $2.5 million was 73 days; from $2.5 million to $5.0 million jumped to 325 days and finally, those priced above $5.0 million was 443 days. Clearly, the higher priced homes may have to undergo more aggressive price concessions to move in this bipolar market environment.

Days of Unsold Inventory is an indicator I use to gauge whether the market is a Buyer's market, Seller's market or what we call a Balanced market. In Santa Clara County, the Buyer's market are for those areas above 90 DUI a Seller's market would have a DUI reading under 45. Balanced markets are those in between.

Mortgage rates remain in a very favorable range in the high 4's, actually decreased from last month. Since most buyers need a loan to purchase a home, mortgage rates are a major consideration in the decision and ability of the buyers.

Since there were continued problems obtaining accurate detailed statistical information on April 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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