Mini update for Santa Clara County as a whole as of September 17, 2012 for houses in SCC:

Actives = 1295

Regular sales for sale = 1157 (89%

Short sales for sale = 95 (7%)

Bank owned houses for sale = 43 (3%)

Sold in the last 30 days = 859

Regular sales closed in last 30 days = 675 (79%)

Short sales closed in last 30 days = 151 (18%)

Bank owned houses sold in last 30 days = 33 (4%)

It seems that although short sales are in increasingly smaller part of the inventory of available homes, they are highly desirable and are showing up in the solds at twice their ratio of actives. Put another way, the absorption rate looks to be higher.  Let’s check the math on the moths of inventory:

All houses in SCC:  1295/859 = 1.51 months of inventory

Regular sales in the county: 1157/675 = 1.71

Short sales in SCC: 95/151 = .63 moi (63% of one month!)

Bank owned homes: 43/33 = 1.3

All of these numbers are low, low, low – but the short sales are the lowest of all!



Yesterday we looked at the types of home sales around Silicon Valley by price point.  Not terribly surprising, most of the short sales and bank owned homes were in the lowest price ranges.  Today we’ll look at this type of information not by pricing tier but instead by geography – in other words, by either town, city or district of San Jose (area).  This post will not cover every area but will be a sampling a few communities, mostly on the west side of the valley (since that’s primarily where I work). Santa Clara County, houses for sale categorized by sale type (regular, short sale, REO)

By way of reminder, the small image to the left reflects Santa Clara County’s houses for sale as a whole – all areas and all price points. (You can see the full sized image by clicking on it.) The green area represents “regular home sales” and the brick red and light orange signify distressed  properties listed on the MLS for sale (red is short sales and orange is bank owned or REOs). Next let’s see a few regions within the county to see how things are faring geographically.

1. Almaden Valley area of San Jose – homes listed for sale by type – very few distressed properties on the market!

Almaden Valley houses for sale - shown by "sale type" (distressed or regular sales)Almaden is a lovely southwest San Jose suburban community (zip code 95120) that grew up initially with the cinnabar or mercury mining activity.  Today it’s an upscale area of more expensive homes than most of the county, it enjoys really good schools and scenic views of the coastal range as well as the Santa Teresa Foothills.  Housing here is costly but residents love the quality of life. Since the cost of homes for sale here is high, it’s not super surprising, after seeing yesterday’s post, that there are very few distressed homes on the market here. Next we’ll check the other extreme….

2. Alum Rock area of San Jose – this is a less wealthy part of Santa Clara County and generally has been harder hit by the mortgage and housing crisis.

Alum Rock area of San Jose - about half the homes are distressed, half normal sales In this east San Jose neighborhood of Alum Rock (near beautiful Alum Rock Park), almost half the homes listed for sale are either short sales or bank owned properties.  That said, Alum Rock has some areas which are much more upscale (and elevated), some with many many acres of land and those pricier properties are not quite so badly hit with the distressed property deluge.



3. Cambrian area of San Jose – a west valley community that often closely reflects Santa Clara County as a whole

Cambrian area of San Jose - closer to the county as a wholeThe Cambrian or Cambrian Park district of San Jose often has prices, days on market and other trends which are very similar to Santa Clara County so it’s often a good “gauge” of how the area is doing generally.  If you compare this graph to the one at the top of this post, you’ll find them very similar – about 2/3 of listed houses and duet homes for sale are “regular” or non-distressed sales.



5.  Campbell -a little more expensive, great downtown, popular area

Campbell - a little more upscale than most of the countyCampbell is exceedingly popular as it’s got a charming downtown, enjoys light rail access and is part of the Los Gatos Creek Trail. It’s close to Los Gatos, but more affordable. Here about 70% of the homes listed for sale on our multiple listing service or MLS are regular sales, so a little healthier than most of Silicon Valley.




6. Los Gatos – a more expensive community, fewer distressed houses for sale

Los Gatos - a high end community with very few short sales or bank owned homes for saleIn Los Gatos, there are right now just 3 short sales on the market (for houses and duet homes) and NO bank owned homes. As you can see, it’s overwhelmingly “normal sales” and this helps a lot with home values.

A year or so ago, we had a cluster of short sales in one particular east Los Gatos neighborhood and it was really damaging the property values of the “regular sellers'” homes. It’s encouraging to see this correct a bit.


7. Monte Sereno – more expensive still – no distressed houses for sale right now!

Monte Sereno - no short sales, no bank owned homes!Monte Sereno is a tiny city with 4,000 residents. It’s more expensive then neighboring Los Gatos, with whom it shares police, schools, library and more.

With no businesses or commercial buildings, Monte Sereno enjoys a quieter lifestyle.  Most of the activity is either around Daves Avenue School, the post office/city building or the horse trails!



8. Palo Alto -home to Stanford and classy luxury homes

Palo Alto houses & duet homes for sale - almost all "regular sales"Stately and vibrant Palo Alto is home to Stanford University (and the Lucille Packard Hospital, which is a world class facility).  Schools in this city are top-rated in Silicon Valley.  The city is beautiful and there’s lots to do.  For many reasons, then, Palo Alto is probably the most sought after address in the region, and home prices reflect its desireability. Not surprisingly, then, it’s not likely that home buyers will find many low-cost distressed properties on the market.  When they do appear, they tend to go fast.  As of this writing, there’s just one short sale and no bank owned homes available there.


9. Saratoga – great schools, scenic vista, highly regarded Silicon Valley community

Saratoga - just a few short sales and bank owned houses for saleSaratoga is not as costly as Palo Alto, but within Santa Clara County it’s right up there near the top for least affordable.

What I find most interesting here is not the small number of distressed properties on the MLS in Saratoga, but rather that there’s an equal number of short sales as there are REOs (bank owned).  Usually the ratio is more 2 – to – 1.  Maybe it’s a fluke? We’ll have to check and see down the road!


What we see when looking at Silicon Valley houses listed for sale by sale type is that the geographical differences largely mimic the pricing tiers.  The more expensive the area – or the home within it – the less likely you are to find that bargain priced property.

For more info on Silicon Valley Communities, please also see my website’s community information page.