Santa Clara Valley Real Estate Report – August/September 2011


– Where are all the foreclosures?

– Home and condo sales strong in August.

– Prices dip.

With all the pundits talking about phantom inventory and the huge surplus of foreclosures, one would expect a massive number of bank-owned properties to be on the market.

They are not. Inquiring minds want to know why not.

First, let’s look at some numbers. According to, the number of bank-owned properties, called REOs, in Santa Clara County have averaged about 2,200 for the past thirteen months.

Yet, in the MLS, only about 220 properties are listed as REO. Now, remember, banks are not in the real estate business so they won’t be selling these properties themselves. They will be listing them with real estate brokers.

Which begs the question, why aren’t the rest of the REOs on the market?

Well, it’s pretty simple. The banks don’t like to lose money. If they put all these properties on the market at once, prices would plummet.

The banks are being very judicious about selling their REO property.

For a more complete report on Santa Clara County foreclosures, see the page three article.


Home sales were quite strong in August. The sale of single-family, re-sale homes rose 22.6% from July and were up 14.3% year-over-year. Year-to-date, home sales are up 0.3%.

Condo sales were also strong in August, up 17.6% from July and up 17.3% year-over-year. Year-to-date, condo sales are up 11.2%. There have been more condos sold this year than any year since 2007.

Prices, on the other hand, dipped last month.

The median price for homes was down 5.3% year-over-year. This is the tenth month in a row the median price for homes has been lower than the year before.

The median price for condos was off 13.7% compared to last August. That’s twelve months in a row the median price has been lower than the year before.

Inventory of both homes and condos continues to be weak. Home inventory was down 23.4% compared to last August: 2,222 homes actively listed. Please note, only active listings are included in this figure. Numbers from the local associations include properties that are also in a pending status, meaning they have an accepted offer, but haven’t been taken off the market.

Condo inventory was down 34% year-over-year.

Please remember, while statistics are nice, they will not determine the price you pay or get for a property. That will come down to you and the buyer or seller.