People often ask me, “how’s the market?”  The answer is, it depends.  It depends on whether it’s a short sale, REO or regular sale, the schools, view, condition, etc. The Silicon Valley real estate market really isn’t “one market“. It’s a bunch of smaller markets woven together. So the answer depends on what you’re looking at.

Today we’ll focus on the sale type and take a broad view of regular sales vs short sales with Silicon Valley houses/duet homes and condos/townhouses.  The data comes from, our local multiple listing service, of which I am a member.  I crunched the numbers today. I have made every effort to provide accurate info, but can’t guarantee it.

To arrive at the months of inventory, I get the number of active listings (not pending, but available, or “status 1” for my local Realtor readers) and the number of closed listings for the same area/home type which have closed in the last month.  Divide the first number by the second and you get months of inventory or MOI.  Below please find the numbers for Santa Clara County as a whole, San Jose as a whole, and various cities or areas of San Jose.



The National Association of Realtors calls 6 months a balanced market. In our area, at 5 months it is really a buyers market, though. The higher the MOI, the “worse” the market is for sellers – things just aren’t selling well. Over a year and it feels impossible.

Generally speaking, it’s a sellers market for most Silicon Valley real estate – the non-distressed homes on the market are selling very decently overall (Los Gatos seems to be the exception).  Also generally speaking, it’s harder to sell a condo or townhouse than it is a single family home (house or duet home).  It’s worse still if it’s a short sale townhome or condominium.  Sunnyvale is the toughest market around for short sale townhouses or condominiums – it is at a whopping 16 months of inventory.  There are a ton of short sales and buyers are simply not buying them.

At the other end of the spectrum is Cupertino, where non distressed homes are a red hot sellers market at just about 1.5 months of inventory.

Broad generalization – Best market:  non-distressed houses.  Worst market: short sale condos & townhouses.  There are some exceptions. It’s not all that easy to sell a house in Los Gatos, and short sales in Cupertino and selling well.  So many nuances even in the broader markets.

How’s the market? It depends!  A Sunnyvale condo short sale seller is in a totally different market than the seller of a non-distressed house in Sunnyvale.  Same city, completely different market.