South SF Bay Area hand wringing in the New Year over low inventories, as prices boom


The median home sale price continues to grow by double-digits in the South San Francisco Bay Area, but with such a shortage of inventory and fewer new listings, there soon may be nothing left to buy, according to MLSListings, Inc.

MLSListings tracks the five-county, South San Francisco Bay Area-to-Monterey, CA (SSFBAM) region, which includes San Mateo, Santa Clara, San Benito, Santa Cruz and Monterey counties.

Year-over-year, the single-family inventory continued to drop from January 2012 levels. Inventories in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties were down more than 50 percent compared to the same month last year, for the second month in a row.

Other counties’ inventory shrinkage, year-over-year, was only slightly less as new listings fell sharply across the board, ranging a 15 percent drop in Monterey County to a 34 percent decline in Santa Cruz County – an all time high for Santa Cruz.

However, new listings appeared to be filling the gap as new listings for single-family homes, from December 2012 to January 2013, rose in all counties, ranging from 55 percent in Santa Cruz County to a high of 76 percent in Santa Clara County.

New condo listings in San Mateo and Santa Clara County counties rose, month-to-month, 113 percent and 104 percent respectively.

Month over month

From December 2012 to January 2013, inventories appeared to stabilize somewhat for single-family homes in Monterey and Santa Clara counties and for condos in San Mateo county.

However, month-over-month comparisons revealed drops in prices in every category and in every county, except Santa Clara County where condo prices rose 8 percent.

Year over year

Meanwhile, year-over-year sales were mostly down or flat with San Mateo County’s single-family home sales rising 5 percent and Santa Clara County’s condo sales rising 1 percent.

Year-over-year median prices were up in every county and in every category except condo prices in San Benito County, where the median condo price fell 21 percent. Condo inventories were down 67 percent in San Benito County.

Prices rose most in Santa Clara County’s condo market where they were up 56 percent over the year. The largest year-over-yer rise in single-family home prices, 35 percent, was also in Santa Clara County.

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