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Mary Pope-Handy
Realtor
ABR, CIPS, CRS, SRES
Sereno Group Real Estate
214 Los Gatos-Saratoga Rd
Los Gatos, CA 95030
408 204-7673
Mary (at) PopeHandy.com
License# 01153805


Selling homes in
Silicon Valley
:
San Jose, Los Gatos,
Saratoga, Campbell,
Almaden Valley,
Cambrian Park and
Santa Clara County

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Posts Tagged ‘trends’

How is the Santa Clara County condo market?

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

Condominiums and townhouses in Santa Clara County have enjoyed rapid appreciation and almost perfectly steady improvement in the market in the last 18 months or so.  Today we’ll take a snapshot view of it with a few graphs.  First, let’s consider the average Days on Market (DOM) and the sale price to list price ratio for condos and townhouses in Santa Clara County.

Santa Clara County Condos and Townhomes Average DOM & Sale to List Price Ratio July 2 2013

Santa Clara County Condos and Townhomes Average DOM & Sale to List Price Ratio July 2 2013

 The chart above shows some calming down in the Santa Clara County condo market.  First, it appears that the sale price to list price ratio stopped its wild ascent and has reversed itself some in June 2013.  But also, it seems that the days to sell leveled out (and stopped its decline).  Just to check on the apparent trend, I went to MLSListings and ran the numbers for the closed sales just yesterday and today (July closings).  The average sale price to list price was 106%, a tad lower than what we saw in June.

What about new inventory vs sold homes?  In the chart below, we see that the gap between them widened in June: more inventory, fewer sales (of course the June sales were contracts ratified in May, in most cases).  This also suggests a loosening in the condo market here. It’s not suddenly a buyer’s market, but perhaps we are seeing the beginning of a trend reversal?  Have a look at the chart:   (more…)

Santa Clara County residential real estate market update for February 2013 listings and sales

Monday, March 11th, 2013

How's the market?Residential real estate prices in Santa Clara County rose in February 2013 by  34.5%. That’s the 5th month in a row that the median sales price has been higher than the year before by more than 20%. This is why we are saying it could be a bubble. The median price for single-family, re-sale homes is up 53% from the lowest part of the market, which happened n March 2009. Santa Clara County as a whole is still 21% below the peak which occurred in June 2007. That said, some areas area already back to peak pricing, including the hotbed areas of Cupertino, Sunnyvale, Mountain View and Palo Alto.

FEBRUARY SINGLE FAMILY HOME MARKET STATISTICS FOR SANTA CLARA COUNTY

Sales of single-family, re-sale homes were down 21.4% year-over-year (due to lack of inventory, not lack of interest by buyers). There were 585 homes sold last month in Santa Clara County. The median price for homes jumped 34.5% yea-rover- year. The median price has been higher than the year before for the past thirteen months. The sales price to list price ratio has been over 100% for the past twelve months. It was 103.8% for February 2013. That is the highest the ratio has been since April 2005.

The average price for homes was up 25.8% year-over-year. Pending home sales were down 33.5% yearover- year. That’s the fourth month in a row pending sales have been down, portending a slow first quarter in 2013.

Santa Clara County single family homes real estate market statistics for listings and sales February 2013.

Next let’s see the median and average home prices over time along with the number of sales.  Note how sharply the number of sales is falling off while prices are rising.  This is a factor of critically low inventory. (more…)

The Silicon Valley real estate market bubble – it’s back!

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

Another bubble?Hearing the real estate market “war stories” about dozens of offers on Silicon Valley properties and overbids ranging from 20 – 55% has convinced me that this is a bubble. At least, this is what a bubble looks like, sounds like, feels like, and acts like.  Maybe I’m wrong.  Maybe it’s not a bubble.  But would I buy property with these conditions?  I don’t think so – it would depend on the home, the area, the price point and the level of interest it was generating.  Overall, though, when the market is this hot, I get worried that emotions are running the show and common sense has been lost in the dust.

What do the numbers say?  I just logged into MLSListings.com and see that right now, in all of Santa Clara County there are 760 single family homes (houses & duet homes) for sale which are truly available and not sale pending or under contract.  In the last 30 days, 542 single family homes have sold.  That’s 1.4 months of inventory – a red hot seller’s market.  In San Mateo County it’s just slightly cooler with 426 for sale and 238 sold in the last 30 days, resulting in 1.8 months of inventory.

It is even worse in the lower price points.  For houses/duets listed at $600,000 or less, in SCC the months of inventory is .64 or about 2 1/2 weeks (149 listed, 232 sold/closed in last 30 days).  For SMC, it’s about the same, .69 of one month (67 listed now, 97 sold/closed in last 30 days). Less than a month of inventory – a balanced market is 5 or 6 months!  Homes are selling faster than new ones are coming onto the market!

It’s one thing to say that one city, town, or school district has a very low months of inventory (or high absorption rate).  It is another altogether to say an entire county is that low.  This is a major trend, not a tiny blip in the statistics.

How soon we forget that after the outrageously deep seller’s market in 2000, we had a steep drop in 2001.  Or that all the crazy buying in the San Jose area (and other places) in 2005-06 lead to the crash of 2007-2009. (more…)

Blossom Manor neighborhood of Los Gatos – real estate market trends and statistics

Saturday, February 16th, 2013

An extremely popular and consistently desired Los Gatos neighborhood is Blossom Manor, sometimes called The Manor or even Blossom Hill Manor, which is highly regarded for pleasant, curving streets, close proximity to shops and stores, and the prized Los Gatos Schools.  Today I spent quite a bit of time on my multiple listing service website, MLSListings.com, to pull the numbers on this lovely area and see what the trends and appreciation look like.  I was wondering how the numbers looked at the peak and the trough of the price rollback, whether or not the area has recovered or is close to peak pricing.  For the most part, I looked at all of the houses included in the map area, but also took a secondary study of homes just between 2000 and 3000 sf, since some home buyers seek larger square footage.

Please click on the chart below for the historical statistics, by year, for the Blossom Manor neighborhood – it will open into a new window and become a little more than 50% larger.   It reflects all homes sold, by year, in the Manor from 1998-2012 (averages, medians, as well as some minimum and maximum price info for each year combined).  For this area, the peak of the market, meaning highest sales prices, was in 2007 but both 2006 and 2008 were very close generally, so it was a fairly broad peak.  However, the same is not true for the bottom of the market for this same group.  Instead, there was one very clear low year – 2009.  After that, we see a recovery underway.

All Blossom Manor Los Gatos Homes 1998 - 2012

All Blossom Manor Homes sold by year from 1998 – 2012 (please click to enlarge)

Something interesting to note is the increasing size of the houses. The first four years (1998-2001), the average square footage of homes sold was 1778.  The most recent 4 years, it’s 2105, a 327 square foot difference, or 18% more than about 11-15 years ago.  We see a lot of remodeling and additions, so this is in keeping with what locals would expect – and it’s a trend that is likely to continue.  Why does this matter? Upside potential for expansion.

What about homes that are already larger, only those between 2000 and 3000 SF?  (There are only a few bigger than 3000 SF in this neighborhood.) (more…)

Is Silicon Valley real estate overheating?

Saturday, February 9th, 2013

A common buyer question right now is whether or not the real estate market in Silicon Valley is overheated, if we are experiencing “another bubble”.  If you visit open houses in places like Sunnyvale, Cupertino, and in many parts of the Peninsula, you may see droves of buyers and be convinced that the market is, in fact, overheated.

Silicon Valley encompasses a large area, primarily Santa Clara County and some of San Mateo County, but a few sections of neighboring counties as well. Generalizing about huge regions is tricky.  Overall, though, it is a deep seller’s market throughout Silicon Valley.  But there is a great deal of variation from one city or town to the next, as well as between ages of homes, quality of schools and neighborhoods, and price point.   Today we will focus primarily on a couple of statistics: the ratio of sales price to list price for houses in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties, and ratio of new listings to sold and closed ones of houses in these counties.

First, though, a look at the two counties combined to show the broadest common real estate trends for Silicon Valley in relation to the sales price to list price ratio and “days to sell”.

Santa Clara County and San Mateo County sale price to list price ratio and average days to sell

Santa Clara County and San Mateo County sale price to list price ratio and average days to sell

The chart above gives a snapshot of the Silicon Valley market, which appears to have had a peak in about October – November 2012. likely reflecting sales 45-60 days earlier, when the days to sell hit a yearlong low.  Since that time, though, things appear to have calmed down.

New listings of houses for sale versus sold homes in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties

A few days ago, before getting the stats for closed sales in January 2013, I wrote about the trends for new listings of houses in relation to the closed sales in Santa Clara County in late fall 2012.  What we were seeing was that homes in escrow were closing or finalizing the sales faster than new inventory was coming on the market.  The closings in January, though,reflecting sales which began in December, a trend reversal, back to a more normal ratio, in both Santa Clara County and San Mateo County.  December is often the softest month of the year, with few listings relative to the rest of the year and sales at lower price points.  Looks like this December followed that pattern to a point.  Have a look at the charts for both counties and notice the trend reversal, below.

New Listings vs Sold SCC Feb 2013 (Small)

Santa Clara County New Listings vs Sold Houses last 12 months

(more…)

Ratio of closed sales versus new listings in Santa Clara County underlines the inventory crisis

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

Many of the statistics quoted by news agencies and real estate information analysts refer to the “active” inventory as not just the homes which are truly available, but also those which are sale pending but with contingencies still in place (whether huge contingencies, such as bank approval on a short sale or the normal ones, such as property inspection and loan approval).  This often results in a more bloated look at what’s available than what is really the case, and it gives buyers the sense that it’s easier to purchase than it truly is. Let’s look at some statistics to see what’s happening over the last year, when it shifted from being a buyer’s market to a severe seller’s market for houses in Santa Clara County.

Normally there are more homes available (for sale, without a “sale pending” status attached) than there are closed sales each month.  But right now, the available properties are being gobbled up much faster than new ones are getting put onto the multiple listing.  Let’s view the graph to see the relationship between these two figures for houses listed and sold in Santa Clara County in 2012.

New listings vs sold throughout 2012 in Santa Clara County CA

At the beginning of 2012, please note that the new listings (the red line) outpaced the sold and closed properties (green line).   The delta between them shrinks over the course of the year, until in the fall they are nearly equal until closed sales far outstrip new listings.   That is a complete flip in the market, and it represents a shift in power from the buyer to the seller, too.  For those who prefer just the numbers, here they are: (more…)

The Luxury Home Real Estate Market in Los Gatos & Monte Sereno

Friday, October 19th, 2012

The luxury homes market often behaves very differently than the rest of the real estate market as a whole.  If interest rates jump around, the impact is often far less since the home buyers of estate properties may not be nearly as dependent upon financing.  Many of these fine homes & estates are paid for “all cash”.  (In some cases they do this but later arrange financing, perhaps funding a “charitable remainder” trust rather than a more typical institutional loan.)

How’s the real estate market for high end homes in Los Gatos, Monte Sereno and the Los Gatos Mountain communities?  Defining “luxury homes” is a bit tricky because what constitutes luxury can vary from area to area (check out these estate homes for sale in the Buffalo NY area). For now let’s use prices of $2 million or greater as we first look at the Months of Inventory or Absorption Rate – though in fairness, the luxury price point is a little lower in the mountains.  (Six months is considered balanced by the National Association of Realtor, less is a sellers market and more is a buyers market.)

As of October 19, 2012, here are the numbers for homes over $2,000,000 in the Los Gatos area

Los Gatos, 95030 for sale (active) = 30    Sold in the last month = 1  Months of inventory = 30

Los Gatos, 95032 for sale (active) = 13    Sold in the last month = 3  Months of inventory = 4.33

LG Mtns, 95033 for sale (active) = 8    Sold in the last month =0  Months of inventory = infinite

Monte Sereno   for sale (active) = 9    Sold in the last month = 1  Months of inventory = 9

 

For some reason, right now it seems to be easier to sell a luxury property in Los Gatos 95032 than in the more downtown area of 95032.  That said, there are so few homes sold that things can fluctuate quite a bit, and also the over $2 million range is huge as some homes are offered at well past $10 million.  For the absolute best information, you’d need someone to do a customized study for just your property, the one you own or the one you’d like to own.

No matter how you look at it, overall it is a buyers market in the luxury home strata in Monte Sereno, Los Gatos and the Los Gatos Mountains. It may be closed to balanced in 95032, or possibly a seller’s market even in that area, but we’d need to tease out things like school district (most of 95032 is in Union or Campbell schools, not Los Gatos schools), exact pricing tier, views, proximity to downtown etc.  In general, though, it is a great time to purchase a high end house or estate in these areas.

Altos charts on the LG area

Next we’ll change gears and use Altos Research and quartiles to evaluate the most expensive listings.  We will look at the top quartile of list prices, the high end listings in Los Gatos (zip codes 95030 and 95032 in town), in the Los Gatos Mountains (unincorporated, 95033) and Monte Sereno (99.9% of which is in 95030 but a tiny sliver has the 95032 zip code).   The charts I’m using are live and will be continuously updated by Altos Research, to which I have a subscription.

List prices of homes for sale in the topmost price quartile in Los Gatos, Monte Sereno and the Los Gatos Mountains

Real Estate Market Chart by Altos Research www.altosresearch.com (more…)