How are housing inventory levels in Santa Clara County?

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.




Campbell Real Estate Market Update, Nov 2009

The Campbell real estate market appears to be “past the bottom”, as is the case with much of the Silicon Valley housing market. In some parts of San Jose, “the bottom” was in February or March of this year.  Campbell may have hit that point sooner – but in any event it is now heading back toward a balanced market (30 is the balance point for this formula). (Images and charts from Altos Research, to which I have a subscription and permission to use these, as well as the RE Report, another subscription service of mine. Altos uses list prices, the RE Report uses sold data as well as list prices.)




Let’s look at the data for October in Campbell – actives, pendings, and closeds (care of the RE Report).


Trends At a GlanceOct 2009Previous MonthYear-over Year
Median Price$671,500$697,500 (-3.7%)$730,000 (-8.0%)
Average Price$717,461$760,850 (-5.7%)$783,941 (-8.5%)
No. of Sales2820 (+40.0%)17 (+64.7%)
Pending Properties4239 (+7.7%)18 (+133.3%)
Active5568 (-19.1%)105 (-47.6%)
Sale vs. List Price96.1%98.6% (-2.5%)96.1% (0.0%)
Days on Market3642 (-14.0%)77 (-53.5%)


While in many parts of the greater San Jose area the Days on Market (DOM) are lengthening, they are shortening in Campbell! Sales are up, but prices are still declining a bit (in several areas of Santa Clara County, prices are again inching up – this tends to happen in less expensive areas).  Pending sales are up and inventory is down.  So there are some mixed indicators but Campbell appears to be at or near “the bottom”.