Quick Market Summary: With the median price up 25.5% in the last year in Santa Clara County, we’re still in a continued hot streak. Amazing, yes, but that doesn’t mean every single home went up that much. Median price is the middle transaction of those that closed escrow during the month. It’s more accurate to use median prices as an indicator of the overall trend. Supply and demand — low inventory or supply coupled with high demand means higher prices. Basic economic theory. When record low inventory is mixed with a goodly amount of buyer demand, you get higher prices. Median prices continue to set records — in Santa Clara County it was $1,155,000 and $1,550,000 in San Mateo County in January. The Santa Clara County median price for condos/townhouses is $750,000. Demand continues to outstrip supply in Santa Clara County as 73.0% of homes that closed escrow sold for more than list price inferring multiple offers and a record for this time of year. It was 66% in San Mateo County. Will demand increase as we get into early spring — we’ll see but this is what occurs each year almost without fail.
Nuts and Bolts: Inventory or the amount of homes available for purchase in Santa Clara County was 452 down 27% from last year at this time. Sales (accepted offers) were 675 down from 689 or 2.0% from the same month last year. You’d think that sales would be down as much as inventory if you believe that some agents say that sales are limited by inventory. They forget that there is another variable to consider — turnover. A faster market or one with a shorter number of days on market easily cancels or mitigates a lower level of inventory. Think the turnover in the fruit and vegetable portion of the market versus the turnover for packaged goods. Average days on market has dropped to just 17 — lowest ever!
For San Mateo County, inventory of single family residences stood at 197 in January. Sales (accepted offers) were 252. Each of these much lower. For both counties, the inventory continues to lag far below the historical average for this time of the year placing pressure on buyers as evidenced in the predominance of multiple offer situations and heated competition between buyers trying to enter the market.
Sale price to list price ratio, an important key market condition indicator, shows that for Santa Clara County transactions completed during January this ratio stood at 108.5% and the highest ever for this time of year. The all time high of 110.0% was reached in the heady days of the “Dot-com” period in 2000. Last year at this time it stood at 101.4%.
Take a look at the chart below from MLSListings.com which shows the Santa Clara County sales price to list price ratio trend since 2001. Any value above 100% is an average that is above list price and infers multiple offers.
The hottest market in Santa Clara County belongs to the Cupertino/Sunnyvale market area (median price of about $2.28 million) at 116.6% which means that the average closed sale has a sale price 16.6% higher than the list price! It also registered a low median days on market at just 9 which means half the inventory sells in just nine days! The coolest is the South County (Morgan Hill and Gilroy) market area (median price of about $0.85 million) with 100.3% and 30 days of unsold inventory.
Days of unsold inventory are at a record low of just 23 for Santa Clara County and 27 for San Mateo County. This means that for Santa Clara County that the entire inventory, if held static, would sell out in less than 23 days!
Even with the backdrop of the hot market we’re still seeing a cooling off of the high end of the price ranges in the Los Altos/Palo Alto and Los Gatos/Saratoga market areas. These high-priced homes are staying on the market longer than those more closely aligned with the median priced homes in those same areas. Sellers need to be more aggressive with listing a home that has an expected sales price substantially higher than the median in the immediate area.
Take a look at the chart below from MLSListings.com which shows the San Mateo County sales price to list price ratio trend since 2001.
As always, market dynamics change and the supply and demand relationships can vary by area. If you would like specific market condition information for your area or neighborhood or a current home valuation, please feel free to call me, your Remax Agent! You are welcome to leave your comments or questions or contact me directly at my website. Check out and “like” my Facebook Business Page (have over 750 likes – help me to reach 1,000!) or follow me on my Twitter Page.Thank you.