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On September 13, 2019

Santa Clara County Real Estate September 2019 Report

After the heat of the spring market, activity typically slows down markedly in July and August. In September, listings start pouring on the market again to fuel the relatively short autumn selling season. What occurs in the next 2+ months, before the mid-winter holiday doldrums begin, will be the next major indicator of market conditions and direction.

City Home Prices & Appreciation Trends

In the tables and charts following, the city of San Jose is considered separately since some of its neighborhood markets are larger than most of the other county city markets.

Comparing 2019 YTD to 2018, all but one of the markets charted below saw some decline in median home sales prices, which parallels the situation for the county as a whole. Note that these declines typically followed very large price jumps 2017 to 2018.

San Jose Neighborhood Prices
& Appreciation Trends

Migration: People Moving In & Out
of Santa Clara County

Using new U.S. Census estimates released 8/29/19, this chart attempts to identify U.S. counties, states and international regions with the highest number of residents migrating to and from our county. In the Bay Area, there is a general trend outward from more expensive to more affordable places, while in-bound migration is deeply affected not only by exchanges between Bay Area counties, but people arriving from other parts of the state, country and world. Areas often have large two-way exchanges of residents, such as between Santa Clara and Alameda & San Mateo Counties.

Foreign in-migration is a huge issue in the county and Bay Area, but it will be another year before any impact of new U.S. immigration policy on foreign in-migration in 2018 shows up in census numbers.The census estimates foreign in-migration in this analysis, but not foreign out-migration.

Short-Term & Long-Term Trends
in Median Home Values

Selected Market Indicators

The chart below compares supply, the number of active listings on the market, with demand, as measured by the number of sales. This is a seasonally adjusted graph that smooths out normal monthly fluctuations to provide clearer historical trend lines. As context, the data below begins in 2013, after the market recovery was already well underway. If the data went back to the 2009 – 2011 period, during the post-crash market recession, the divergence between the two lines would be much, much greater than at any time illustrated here.

It would be hard to come up with a more dramatic illustration for what occurred in the Santa Clara County market in the second half of 2017 through the first half of 2018.

County Trends in Price Reductions

The percentage of active listings undergoing price reductions spiked in mid-2018 and has remained elevated since then. The big factor behind the spike was that the late 2017/ spring 2018 market was extremely hot, with year-over-year appreciation rates and home prices jumping. When the market began to cool off, sellers and listing agents – relying upon recent sales data to set new listing prices – were wrong-footed by the significant softening in supply and demand dynamics. Sometimes, it takes a while to adjust pricing to changing market realities.

The next chart measuring unsold inventory helps give greater context to market conditions and changes. The ups and downs since 2012 are relatively minor compared to the situation that prevailed during the 2008-2011 market recession, when monthly unsold inventory figures were highly elevated.

Bay Area Luxury Home Sales

Santa Clara remains by far the largest market for luxury home sales in the Bay Area, though San Mateo leads in the market for homes selling for $5 million and above.

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