Thursday, January 10, 2013

January Silicon Valley Real Estate Market Update

Here are my observations of the most recent December 2012 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 or send me an email.

General Market Observations and Comments -- At the end of the year the amount of homes  (single family and condos and townhouses) available broke new record low levels! In Santa Clara County, there were just 534 single family residences on the market, 293 in San Mateo County. Part of this is due to the seasonality aspect as inventory trends decrease toward the end of the year and the other is that this continues the trend set in motion from the early part of  last year. Lowered inventory usually advantages sellers but that doesn't mean buyer are not buying. In fact, 830 homes closed escrow last month in Santa Clara County and 317 did so in San Mateo County. Both counties have the characteristics of a seller's market in most market areas but not all. During December, more than half of the closings had a sales price greater than a list price (58% in Santa Clara County and 56% in San Mateo County). It bears repeating that a well-priced listing has a tendency to develop more activity and have a much higher chance of generating multiple offers.

Which Half Are You? --  In December, it took just 13 days to sell half of the homes in Santa Clara County and 14 in San Mateo County! Keep in mind that these are countywide averages and both saw this decline from the month prior. A neighborhood may vary from these figures so it's best to contact your Realtor for a current reading.

In Santa Clara County, the fastest market area is Cupertino and Sunnyvale (zip codes 95014, 94086, 94087) with a median days on market of just 10 whereas the slowest is Los Gatos and Saratoga with a median days on market of 46 for those that closed escrow during the month. For San Mateo County, the fastest market area is Redwood City with 12 whereas the slowest is the expensive areas of San Mateo County comprising the communities of Menlo Park, Atherton, Portola Valley, Woodside, Hillsborough with 31.

Median Prices Continue to Increase -- Median prices of single family, condo and townhouse homes continue upwards. For single family residences, December saw Santa Clara County's median price, half above and half below or the middle transaction, increase to $697,000 and the median sales price for San Mateo County decreased slightly to $810,000 from the previous month. The upwards trend has been evident since the Spring of 2009.

Recent Overbidding Levels Remain High -- We talked about the frequency of overbidding (sale price greater than list price in 58% of the closes) but a more telling aspect is the magnitude or sales price to list price ratio (SP/LP). In Santa Clara County, the average SP/LP ratio is 102.7% or in the average transaction the seller gets 2.7% above the list price. Hottest area is Los Altos/Palo Alto with 105.9. In San Mateo County the numbers look similar. Overall, the average is 102.3 and the highest is Foster City/Redwood Shores with 104.2.
In Santa Clara County, for the Sunnyvale and Cupertino (zip codes 94086, 94087, 95014) market area, there were exactly none with 51 active single family residence listings. Ditto for Redwood Shores/Foster City area in San Mateo County with just five active listings.

Foster City, California
What's HOT and What's NOT -- In Santa Clara County, the hottest market area comprises Santa Teresa, North Valley, Milpitas, Blossom Valley with a Days of Unsold Inventory (DUI) of 15. In San Mateo County, the hottest area is Foster City/Redwood Shores with a DUI of 10. What's not is Los Gatos/Saratoga in Santa Clara County with a DUI of 61 and the expensive areas of Menlo Park, Atherton, Portola Valley, Hillsborough and Woodside in San Mateo County with a DUI of 99.

Mortgage Rates Bottom? -- While mortgage rates remain at or near recent lows, buyers contemplating a purchase may be surprised to learn that rates moved up. Current U.S. Treasury 10-year notes are quoted at 1.90%, up from the record low of about 1.50% and bond prices look to be topping, it may be long-term prudent to lock in rates before the market moves the rates away from these levels.

Thanks for reading! I'm Tom McEvoy, Realtor with RE/MAX Santa Clara Valley -- On Google+ at +Tom McEvoy. Let me know if you have any comments, questions, observations or any future topics you'd like me to address.

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