Santa Clara Valley Real Estate Report – August 2012


Local Market in Need of a Relaxitive
Market conditions in Santa Clara County are creating a high level of frustration, particularly for buyers.

These conditions will resolve themselves, in time. But, it is going to take time for the market to settle down.

Lack of inventory is the most important dynamic at the moment. There are several reasons why inventory is low and will continue to be so for the next two to three years.

First, investors are snapping up entry-level homes and turning them into rentals.

Second, underwater homeowners are unable to sell. According to DataQuick, a real estate tracking firm, about 28% of all homeowners in the county are underwater, with most of them concentrated in the entry-level market. It’s going to take years before they are able to sell.

Third, the large increase in the IPO nouveau-riche over the past few years has fueled demand in the $1MM+ segment of the market.

Fourth, new-home building in the county is moribund.

It’s a perfect storm for home buyers.

The one bright note is the surge in prices since the beginning of the year. We calculate the median price for single-family homes is up 28% since January.

If prices continue rising at this pace, we could see the market loosening up by next spring because many underwater homeowners will be able to breathe again.


Sales of single-family, re-sale homes were up 19.4% year-over-year.

Home inventory was off 32.8% from last July. That’s eighteen months in a row inventory has been lower than the year before.

The median price for homes rose 16.9% year-over-year. This pushed the sales price to list price ratio to 102.1%. The median price has been higher than the year before for the past six months.

The average price for homes was up 17.3% year-over-year. The average price has been higher than the year before for the past nine months in a row.

Pending home sales, another good indicator of market movement, were up 0.6% year-over-year.


for homes bounced up 2.7 points to +4.3.


has been on the up-swing the past seven months. It gained 2 points to go into positive territory for the first time since last June: +0.2.


momentum by using a 12-month moving average to eliminate seasonality. By comparing this year’s 12-month moving average to last year’s, we get a percentage showing market momentum.


The median price for condos gained 19.6% year-over-year. Inventory problems affected sales which were down 3.9% from last July.

Condo inventory was down 77% from last July.

This is an extraordinarily tough market for buyers. It’s important to be calm and realistic. If you don’t know what to do or where to begin, give me a call and let’s discuss your situation and your options.

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Santa Clara Valley Real Estate Report – Nov/Dec 2011


– Pending sales up 9.2% year-over-year, nationwide.

– Notices of default dropped in October.

– The number of properties owned by the banks was down 14.4% year-over-year.

Pending sales were up 10.4% in October compared to September, and up 9.2% year-over- year, according to the National Association of REALTORS®.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said improved contract activity is a hopeful sign. “Home sales have been plodding along at a sub-par level while interest rates are hovering at record lows and there is a pent-up demand from buyers who normally would have entered the market in recent years. We hope this is indicates more buyers are taking advantage of the excellent affordability conditions,” he said.

“Many consumers are recognizing that home buyers in the past two years have had one of the lowest default rates in history. Moreover, continued inventory declines are another healthy sign for the housing market,” Yun added.

“Although contract signings are up, not all contracts lead to closings. Many potential home buyers inadvertently hurt their credit scores and chances of getting a mortgage through easily averted actions, such as cancelling an old credit line while taking on a new one,” Yun said. “Such actions could unwittingly prevent buyers from obtaining a mortgage if their credit score is close the margins of qualifying, or they might get a loan but with less favorable terms.”

NAR encourages consumers to be aware of their credit score and actions which could hurt or enhance it., the association’s consumer website devoted to all aspects of homeownership, offers tips for improving credit scores at

Sale of single-family, re-sale homes fell 4.8% in November from October. Year-over-year, home sales were off 5.9%. Year-to-date, home sales are flat.

Condo sales were off 2.5% from October, but were up 26.9% year-over-year. Year-to-date, condo sales are up 12.3%.

The median price for homes was down 5.1% year- over-year. This is the thirteenth month in a row the median price for homes has been lower than the year before.

The median price for condos was off 12.5% compared to last November.

Inventory of both homes and condos continues to be weak, which should be good for prices. Home inventory was down 28.9% compared to last November: 1,672 homes actively listed. Condo inventory was down 46.1% 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.

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