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Here are my observations of the most recent March 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 -- The amount of homes (single family and condos and townhouses) available for sale, after a short spurt, continue to languish at low levels and have actually turned back down! As buyers enter the market, they have fewer choices and we see many instances of multiple offer situations with sale prices much higher than list prices. This has created more of a seller's market situation in many areas in both counties. The market is more brisk in Santa Clara County than San Mateo County, no change from recent past.
Where Have All the Regular Sellers Gone? -- With the reduction in the amount of homes available for sale so far this year, some are asking this question. For Santa Clara County, March inventory was the lowest in a decade! In San Mateo County, the inventory was the lowest since 2005.
First Time Buyers - What to Buy a Home with a 3 1/2% Down Payment? -- You can! These FHA loans have current rates of about 3.875% with no points! The downside -- the government increased the mortgage insurance premiums this month.
Median Prices Increase -- Beware of the month to month numbers you read in the press or see on the internet -- they don't mean much! Year over year is much more meaningful as it eliminates the seasonality of the market. For March, Santa Clara County's median price for single family residences, half above and half below or the middle transaction, increased to $575,500, up 4.6% from $550,250 in March 2011. San Mateo County's median price stood at $725,000, up 7.9% from $672,000 the same month a year ago.
For condos/townhouses, Santa Clara County's median price was $320,000 in March versus $290,000 the same month a year ago, representing a 10.3% increase. For San Mateo County, the median stood at $390,000, up 6.8% from $365,000 in March 2011.
Accepted offers reached near record levels in Santa Clara County (only 2004 was higher). For San Mateo County accepted offers was third highest (only 2004 and 2002 were higher).
Sales (my definition is closed transactions), increased in each county. For Santa Clara County, closings increased 23% for single family residences to 957 from the same month a year ago and increased 35% for condos/townhouses to 581 from 428 in March 2011. In San Mateo County, closings increased 43% for single family residences to 419 from March 2011 and increased 27% for condos/townhouses to 161 from 127 in March 2011.
Days of Unsold Inventory (DUI) continues steady drop in each county -- For Santa Clara County, DUI reached 26.8 days. This means that it would take just about 27 days to clear the current inventory and represents a seller's market. A seller's market has characteristics of shorter time on market, higher probability of multiple offers and a higher probability of sale price to be above list price. San Mateo County had a DUI of 32.6 so has similar market characteristics. Remember that this is a county-wide number so each area may differ. See your Realtor for information on a particular area or neighborhood market condition.
Sale Price to List Price Ratio -- For Santa Clara County, the ratio reached 39.9% or about two in five closings had a sale price above list price. For San Mateo County, the ratio stood at 34.6% or about one in three.
Thanks for reading my blog. I'm Tom McEvoy, Realtor with RE/MAX Santa Clara Valley -- Let me know any comments, questions, observations you may have or any future topics you'd like me to address.
Tom McEvoy, MBA
Realtor/Broker Associate/Seniors Real Estate Specialist
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.