How’s the inventory?  This is key to both home buyers and sellers in Santa Clara County. Too little inventory of homes for sale pushes prices up, too much housing inventory pushes them down.  Today we’ll have a look at the county level for the general Silicon Valley trends.  Please understand that smaller areas (zip codes or even subdivisions) can be vastly different from the larger trends.

Our MLS no longer provides much historical data – it only goes back a couple or three years.  My I have a subscription to the Real Estate Report, which stretches back a decade.  The most current report covers January 2011 (February’s numbers will be there by the 10th of March) so I pulled these numbers plus those of the same month for prior years.



So what is really a “normal” level of inventory for Santa Clara County houses & duet homes on the market?  I would say that anything in the 2000 to 3000 range is fairly normal.  More than that is overheated, less than that is constricted.  (In the early 90s it was many thousands of homes – if I recall correctly, it was over 8,000.)

Right now is not an extreme market in terms of the availability of homes to purchase in the South Bay.  It feels tough because lending standards are stricter, as are appraisals, and because we are all jittery from the market crash and touch-and-go recovery. Sellers feel beat up over pricing and the new “requirement” that homes need to be about perfect to sell (or have the price slashed to an extreme, as they see it).

But the numbers are really not so bad, when you view them statistically.  The inventory is a little low, but still within fairly normal ranges, historically.





  • Mary Pope-Handy

    Silicon Valley Realtor, selling homes in Los Gatos, Saratoga, San Jose, Silicon Valley, and nearby since 1993. Prolific blogger with a network of sites.

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