South SF Bay Area market remains short on supply; sales mixed, prices rising


“For sellers, stick with the comparables and don”t be overzealous in pricing your property. For buyers, get yourself pre-approved for a mortgage before you start looking and be persistent.”

MLSLISTINGS | SCCAOR – The South San Francisco Bay Area Market’s (SSFBAM) wild real estate ride continued in March with numbers far from historic norms.

Real estate experts have suggested that the real picture is becoming more defined as a result of the market churning through the so-called “shadow inventory.”

This month’s numbers reveal how and where these shadow transactions could be making a real impact on the market, according to MLSListings the multiple listing service and industry statistic tracker for the five-county South San Francisco Bay Area-to-Monterey, CA (SSFBAM) region that includes San Mateo, Santa Clara (Silicon Valley), San Benito, Santa Cruz and Monterey counties.

Year-over year inventory is still on the decline this month in SSFBAM – ranging from 36 percent to 50 percent below last year’s numbers.

Sales had been fairly steady, month to month, but began to decline during the second quarter, which could suggest that the market has exhausted any “shadow supply” – possibly REO and short sale properties.

Sales were down by double-digits year over year in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties, with Santa Cruz and Monterey following suit at a more modest 5 percent and 2 percent. Sales in San Benito County rose slightly from March a year ago.

Average days on market (DOM) in areas with the lion’s share of the area’s real estate transactions – Santa Clara and San Mateo counties – fell to an average of 31 and 33 days, respectively. As a result of the short DOM, more and more properties never made it onto the monthly inventory counts.

Compared to last year, median prices were up substantially – 15 to 49 percent – in all five counties. As we near the optimal selling season, we normally would expect more homeowners to list properties for sale.

So far, that’s not happening. The few months will provide a better picture.

Silicon Valley sales brisk, prices up, sellers get more than asking

The Santa Clara County housing market, in March, revealed all the signs that come with a heated market – sales were brisk, prices were rising fast, and sellers were selling homes for more than their asking price, according to the Santa Clara County Association of Realtors (SCCAOR).

The average sale price for single family homes last month was $950,057, 19.86 percent higher than the $792,643 of March 2012, according to MLSListings. The average sale price for condos was $503,863, 29.05 percent higher than the $390,453 of March 2012.

Compared with the same month last year, homes stayed on the market for a much shorter period of time before they were sold. The average DOM shrank to 31 from 68 for single-family homes, a 54.41 percent decrease, and to 23 from 78 for condos, a 70.51 percent decrease.

On the average, the seller of a single family home received 104.43 percent of the asking price while the seller of a condo received 106.3 percent.

Meanwhile the number of homes coming to market remained at historic lows – 1,192 single family homes and 443 condos went on the market in March, slightly lower than the numbers of March 2012.

Overall, the supply was dramatically lower than March 2012 because of heightened buyer demand.

The number of single family homes available for sale decreased by 50.77 percent, from 2,803 to 1,380, while the number of condos on the market decreased by 60.60 percent, from 1,038 to 409.

Carl San Miguel, president of the Santa Clara County Association of Realtors urged buyers and sellers to tread the market carefully.

“For sellers, stick with the comparables and don”t be overzealous in pricing your property,” said San Miguel.

“For buyers, get yourself pre-approved for a mortgage before you start looking and be persistent,” he added.

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