Inventory is key to this equation. Look at the situation the way it was last year, and what it is today, in the cities around Palo Alto and Los Altos:
Inventory for all houses, condominiums & townhouses, a year ago,
------------- on March 31, 2015 ----- Inventory today - April 6 2016:
Los Altos:...............27 - - - - - - - - - - 29
Palo Alto: ...............45 - - - - - - - - - - 51
Mountain View:......26 - - - - - - - - - - - 43
Sunnyvale:..............46 - - - - - - - - - - - 82
Menlo Park: ...........21 - - - - - - - - - - - - 30
Cupertino: ..............31 - - - - - - - - - - - - 67
For Mountain View, Sunnyvale and Cupertino, this is almost twice as many homes for sale now than last year. This could mean some relief for homebuyers.
From the trenches, dealing with the market on a daily basis, I think many agents would agree that the activity shows signs of leveling a bit - but we have to characterize this with a few caveats: buyers still need to be completely pre-approved, and very motivated. It's just that where we could expect 10 offers, it seems that we are seeing, say, half that amount lately. Several factors are in play here, influencing activity:
- overpriced listings will stay on the market for a while, (& there are a few more lately),
- the increase in price is not as high as it has been until now,
- the best properties (most desirable) will always be the ones with the most activity,
- more homes are coming now on the market, and this is normal for the time of the year,
- inventory is -still- not a lot higher in PA, Los Altos and Menlo Park,
- and finally, some buyers have been priced out of the market (hence, a bit less competition).
Whether you are a buyer or a seller, I think a real estate professional has never been so important in helping you see more clearly, and separate the hype from the facts.
Stay tuned! as things change pretty fast here in the Silicon Valley!
Thanks for reading,
Silicon Valley real estate specialist
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A worthy local non-profit to remember: Community Services Agency in Mountain View - our last event there.