Santa Clara County Real Estate August 2019 Report

Home Sales & Values by City and Price Segment, Market Seasonality, Luxury Home Sales, Market Dynamics by City, Foreign Homebuyers.

Needless to say, there are many factors behind home sales and values in different communities. Home size is one of them, and median sales prices are not apples to apples comparisons: For example, in Los Altos Hills, the median home size is about 4000 square feet, while in South San Jose, it is approximately 1400.

Note that it is not unusual for median sales prices to peak for the year in Q2.

Home Sales by Price Range

Average Dollar per Square Foot Values

Market Seasonality

After spring, activity usually slows down through the end of summer. Autumn is a relatively short selling season running from Labor Day through early-mid November. Activity then plunges for the winter holidays and doesn’t wake up until late January or February. Of course, homes still sell in every season.

This next chart illustrates how abnormally low inventory was during the feverishly overheated market in 2017 through spring 2018, and the increase that began in the second half of 2018. Though inventory this past spring was higher than in spring of recent years, the level was not crazy high historically speaking.

Luxury Home Sales by City

There are 2 big clusters of luxury home sales in Santa Clara County: The first and largest is the Palo Alto – Los Altos – Los Altos Hills area, and the second is the Saratoga – Los Gatos/Monte Sereno area.

The luxury home market is even more affected by seasonality than the general market. September often sees a large spike in new listings coming on market.

Market Indicators by City

Two things should be kept in mind regarding the next 3 charts: 1) Q2 is often the highest demand market of the year, which will be reflected in the statistics illustrated, and 2) It is not unusual for higher price markets to have softer demand dynamics than more affordable areas, though that is not always the case.

Foreign National Home Buying Tumbles

According to a new report by the National Association of Realtors – based on a survey of its member agents – the purchase of U.S. homes by foreign nationals plunged in the 12 months through March 2019. The drop was particularly steep for Chinese nationals, for whom California has been the top destination.

Stock Market Hits New High

The last 12 months have been an extremely dramatic time for financial markets as illustrated below. The alternating confidence and fear generated by its swings have been considerable factors in real estate markets. A parallel dynamic has occurred with the swings in interest rates.