Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A few "fast facts" - on local real estate

The inventory of available homes in the area is a sure sign of where prices are going.  Lack of inventory = trends up in prices for the most part.
For the County of Santa Clara, available homes and condominiums combined are as follows, as of March 21, 2011:
2008 = 6899 homes. 2009 = 5979.   2010 = 3467.   2011= 3501.
For the area comprised of Menlo Park, Palo Alto, Mountain View, Los Altos and Los Altos Hills, the figures are as follow:
2008 = 392 homes.  2009 = 685.  2010 = 483.  2011 = 369
This latter figure explains why, currently, about half of the homes offered in Palo Alto receive multiple offers and prices are going up as a consequence.  What I experience is that the best products for sale right now are very much in demand, and based on the number of offers on some of these properties for sale, there are a lot of people in a position to buy "right now".  On the other hand, those properties that are not particularly attractive for some reason or another can linger a long time on the market. Now more than ever quality & desirability rule.

On an other front, according to C.A.R.’s February sales and price report, the median price of an existing single family residence declined about 2.5 percent year over year (California Association of Realtors).  Go figure...
Calif. median home price:
Calif. median home price: February 2011: $271,320 (Source: C.A.R.)
Calif. highest median home price by region/county February 2011: Marin $632,580 (Source: C.A.R.)
Calif. lowest median home price by region/county February 2011: Merced $117,270 (Source: C.A.R.)
- Mortgage rates:   Week ending 3/10/2011 30-yr. fixed: 4.88 Fees/points: 0.7% 15-yr. fixed: 4.15% Fees/points: 0.7% 1-yr. adjustable: 3.21% Fees/points: 0.5% (Source: Freddie Mac)

Thank you for reading.  Let me know if you need specific statistics on your neighborhood.
Francis Rolland
Dir: 650-947-2259
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Friday, March 18, 2011

Short sales in California: fewer than 3/5 close ...

I find it difficult to explain to potential buyers the difficulties that short sale situations pose.  A lot of the time, I give a copy of an article or two describing the problems involved.  - and there are many, many different types of problems.

The California Association of Realtors (C.A.R.) released the results of a statewide survey on short sales and the challenges we as REALTORS® face in working with lenders and servicers.

The most vexing problem is the unresponsiveness of the parties involved in the banks, and the length of time it takes to get anything done.  But let's not put all the blame in one place: it is true that the sheer quantity of files that one given person in a bank has to deal with is a challenge, whoever is there to do the work.  But the differences between banks, departments, locations, makes it really difficult to have a standard approach.  When a second or 3rd loan is involved, which is very often the case, then all bets are off...
“The lack of standardization, long approval process, and lack of lender approvals are hampering what should be a 45-day short sale process,” said C.A.R. President Beth L. Peerce. “Instead we’re hearing the typical response time for lenders is at least 60 days, and in many instances, their response time exceeds 6 months.”

Bottom line, these transactions are not for everyone.  You have to be very patient and go with the flow. You cannot put your heart in the property you want to buy.  You should not expect the succession of events to be logical, nor to make sense necessarily.  And you have to know that it may not go through, even if you, on your end, have done all you could and should do:  fewer than 3 in 5...
Silicon Valley Realtor, - since 1985.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

All cash buyers... a follow up...

To piggy back on my previous post, the number of homes purchased with cash in California jumped to a record 30.9% in January, per DataQuick.  According to the same source, 52% of the homes purchased with cash in Jaunary were being foreclosed on in the prior 18 months - which points to buyers-investors in large part.
Silicon Valley real estate.
Silicon Valley stats

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Silicon Valley: all cash buyers.

Confirming what the studies were showing at the end of 2010, figures came out (DataQuick information services) showing that 26.3% of homes were purchased with cash in Jan. 2011 in the County of Santa Clara, compared with 12.6% in Jan. of 2007.
In the County of San Mateo, it is roughly the same, at 25.4%
Prices adjusted so much that a lot of investors put their (cash) money where they believe the market will do well in the future.
In February 2011, the median house price is $530,000 in the County of Santa Clara, and higher in the County of San Mateo: $634,000. - there are as many houses that sold over this number as under.


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