The amount of homes available for sale have increased but at a grudgingly rate. Still well under the average for this time of year. The August Silicon Valley real estate trends continue as before — a seller’s market. Median prices of single family residences in August stood at $800,000 for Santa Clara County and $1,002,000 for San Mateo County. Down slightly from the past couple of months which normally occurs during the summer but up strongly from the same time a year ago. Both counties saw median prices increase at above 20% from the year ago levels. We’ve noticed that increases in real estate prices are not even but lumpy or what I call — stepped. As I mentioned last time these rates are no sustainable over a long period and we’ve seen some evidence of cooling in the market from the fever-pitched market condition of earlier in the year. Earlier in the year there were more offers per listing and that has subsided somewhat.
The percentage of homes that sell above list price has fallen in the last two months from 73% in Santa Clara County and 72% in San Mateo County to 64% in each county during August. This level is still high as compared to other areas and is what helps support the higher prices of Silicon Valley real estate. In addition, the number of sales (offers accepted) was close to the lowest level when comparing those over the past 13 years!
Median days on the market or how long it takes for one-half of the listings to sell stood at just 12 days in Santa Clara County and 13 days for San Mateo County. The hottest market area in Santa Clara County is the Los Altos and Palo Alto area (median price of $2,128,000) and the Cupertino and Sunnyvale area with 10 (median price of $1,190,000). The coolest market area was Los Gatos and Saratoga with 16 days and a median of $1,701,000. Still the difference between the hottest and coolest was relatively small.
Clearly, those that are able to purchase a home in this environment and do so are fortunate. The trick, if you will, is to buy without overpaying. My latest scorecard reveals that six out of the past eight buyers I represented were successful. All were in multiple offers situations and some of them with another round of bidding called multiple counter-offers. None had any appraisal issues. You’d be hard-pressed to find a buyer’s agent with this kind of track record.
As the diversions of summer reduce the number of buyers attending open houses, submitting offers, with vacations, graduations, weddings and so on, statistics over a long period show activity increases after Labor Day. So, if you may be thinking of selling in the relatively near future, it would be best now until early November when the holiday planning starts to kick in and reduce activity once again. With the sharp increase in the level of mortgage rates, of late, this could further impact the buyer activity over the short run at least or can spur buyers to get off the fence if they feel rates will go even higher. Bottom line — the Silicon Valley real estate market is hot but not quite as hot as before — if you tell someone elsewhere in the country that half of the homes sell in 12 days and complain that they market has cooled, they’ll think your crazy!
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