Archive for October, 2011

Santa Clara Valley Real Estate Report – September/October 2011

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– Mortgage rates reach record lows.

– Foreclosure starts surge in August.

– Prices for homes down, year-over-year, for the eleventh month in a row.

Thirty year fixed mortgage rates are down in the low, very low, 4% area.

Which is great for those who have the down payment, minimum 3.5% for FHA-backed loans and 5% for bank loans, and can qualify. Those few, those lucky few. (With all credit to Shakespeare’s St. Crispin’s day speech.)

Then there are the people who would love to refinance, but are underwater. So sorry!

Then again, this is Silicon Valley!!! Where many of the rules that apply to normal people don’t exist. and IPO millionaires are pushing prices up in select cities, where multiple offers rule. Of course, these buyers are usually taking out jumbo loans which are about one percent higher.

Record low interest rates are having NO affect on the market.

In other news, foreclosure starts surged in August, with Bank of America leading the way by nearly doubling their initial notices of foreclosure, according to

In Santa Clara County, According to, the number of bank-owned properties, called REOs, in Santa Clara County have averaged about 2,200 for the past thirteen months.

In the MLS, there are 255 properties listed for sale as REO. We are only counting active listings, not pending-continue to show, which the MLS counts as active.

There are 302 REO properties pending.

That totals 557 REO properties either for sale or in escrow. That’s only 25% of all bank-owned properties in play.


Sale of single-family, re-sale homes fell 15.3% in September from August, but were up 0.4% year-over-year. Year-to-date, home sales are up 0.3%.

Condo sales followed a similar, down 19.4% from August and up 8.3% year-over-year. Year-to-date, condo sales are up 10.9%. There have been more condos sold this year than any year since 2007.

The median price for homes was down 9.2% year-over-year. This is the eleventh month in a row the median price for homes has been lower than the year before.

The median price for condos was up 0.5% compared to last September, breaking a string of twelve months in a row where the median price had been lower than the year before.

Inventory of both homes and condos continues to be weak. Home inventory was down 26.5% compared to last September: 2,154 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 41.7% 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.

Go to my on-line site for the full report, plus a city-by-city breakdown.

If you would like to search for properties in the Santa Clara Valley, go to my online search form at: MLS Search

If you find the Santa Clara Valley Real Estate Report useful and know someone else who might, please feel free to forward this e-mail to them. There is also a four page printable version with more articles here:
Printable Report.


Andrew Hartland

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