Monday, November 14, 2011

November Silicon Valley Real Estate Market Comments

Here are my observations of the most recent October 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.

> General Market Observations and Comments -- Closings as well as the number of homes available for sale have decreased these past few months in both counties. Inventory, or the number of single family homes available for sale (supply) has stood at 2,200 in Santa Clara and 1,203 in San Mateo County. These figures are substantially less than those in the year prior. 73% of the inventory in Santa Clara County are traditional and the balance are lender-controlled (short sales 19%; bank-owned/REO's 8%); San Mateo County saw these figures at 77% for traditional, 16% for short sales and 7% for bank-owned/REO's.

Much different with condos/townhouses where 55% in Santa Clara County and 48% in San Mateo County are lender-controlled. Demand continues to point to single family residences (SFR) and away from condos/townhouses so 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 but those often cover additional ownership features and benefits (e.g., some utilities, pool/spa, exercise rooms, and the like). One thing about it is that the owner doesn't have to worry about these items.

As for the available homes for sale -- we're seeing a bifurcated market. How I can tell is that homes available for sale have a median days on market of 69 whereas those homes that closed escrow have a median days on market of just 31. 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 (bank-owned or short sale homes are mainly in this category) stay on the market far longer.

Days of unsold inventory (DUI) for Santa Clara County stands at 57 for SFR's, 48 for condos/townhouses. San Mateo County stands at 83 for SFR's and 72 for condos/townhouses.

Days of Unsold Inventory is a calculation I use to gauge whether the market is a Buyer's market, Seller's market or what we call a Balanced market and is the intersection of supply and demand. In Santa Clara County, the Buyer's market exists for those areas above 90 DUI, a Seller's market would have a DUI reading under 45 and a Balanced market exists in between those numbers.

Mortgage rates remain very favorable in the range in the low 4% area. Since most buyers need a loan to purchase a home, mortgage rates are a major consideration in the decision and ability of the buyers to purchase. Even with lowered sales figures, escrow companies seem to be busy with loan refinance or refi activity.

For October, SFR median prices, half above and half below, stood at $550,000 and $675,000 for Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, respectively. Condos/townhouses stood at $316,500 and $355,000, respectively.

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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