January ’13 Numbers

Glen’s Numbers 01/2013

After 20 consecutive months of seeing a decline in inventory, January finally brought us a slight increase in the available homes for sale. Although, this is somewhat typical for January, we are hoping that this is the start of a trend into spring and summer.

Despite the positive signs of a possible return to normal levels, the effects of these lower inventory numbers will carry through for several months. With fewer homes to sell, less homes go into contract resulting in a lower number of sales. The next topic of conversation in the coming months will be “why have sales dropped?” They’ll be some who will interpret that as a weakness in the housing recovering and the overall economy in general. However, it will be more a reflection of the “supply and demand” principals and a lack of inventory.

  • Our inventory for the East Bay (the 38 cities tracked) is now at 1,258 homes actively for sale, up from December numbers by approximately 16% but in realty an increase of only 172 homes.
  • The month’s supply for the combined 38 city area is now at 18 days. Historically, a 4 to 5 months supply is considered normal for this area.
  • Our Pending/Active Ratio decreased to 3.5. This is the 11th month in a row that the ratio has been above 2, still signaling a strong seller’s market. (Keep in mind that this number is overstated due to the large number of short sales that remain in pending status for longer periods than normal).
  • Distressed properties, (REOs and Short Sales), are still a large part of our local markets but still declining. 23% of the active listings, 61% of our pending sales (primarily due to the large number of short sales – 52%), and 38% of the sales over the last 4 months have been distressed properties.


Downloadable version of Glen’s Numbers

Recent News

Look who paid cash for Bay Area homes last year

Contra Costa Times, By Pete Carey 2/7/2013

Buyers seeking “the deal of a lifetime” paid cash in record numbers for homes and condos in the Bay Area last year, according to a report released Wednesday by the real estate information company DataQuick.

There were at least twice as many cash buyers in 2012 as there are in an average year in the East Bay, Peninsula and South Bay, the company said, reflecting a sharp change from the usual mix of buyers

But in 2012, a quarter to nearly a third of all sales of existing single-family homes in the region were to cash buyers. A third to half of condos that changed hands went for cash, the company reported.

Across California, about 28 percent of cash sales last year were to buyers of two or more properties, DataQuick said, for a total of 41,450 homes.

“It’s difficult to compete with buyers who are all-cash or who make down payments that are 50 percent or more cash,” said Tony Sum, a real estate agent who specializes in Silicon Valley condos.

Cash deals are “definitely a problem” for first-time buyers, said Suzanne Yost, past president of the Silicon Valley Association of Realtors. “With all the multiple offers and cash buyers, it’s eliminating a lot of first-time buyers from the market, or making it more difficult for them,” she said.

Statewide, 45 percent of condo sales were for cash, the company said, compared with 31 percent of the sales of existing single-family homes.

Cash accounted for a record 32.4 percent of overall home sales, up from 30.4 percent in 2011 and double the average of 15.6 percent. The previous record was set in 2011


Fiserv Case-Shiller Home Price Insights: Home Prices Are Increasing; Many U.S. Markets Now on Path Toward Sustainable Recovery

November 28, 2012

  • 2012 Spring/Summer real estate market strongest since peak of housing bubble
  • Home prices nationwide projected to increase 3.3 percent annualized between Q2 2012 and Q2 2017
  • However, “fiscal cliff” poses short-term threat to growth in housing demand in early 2013

Rising sales, low supply push San Francisco housing up by 12.7% in December.

The data “show a broad-based recovery in housing activity and prices across the country,” said Michael Gapen, an economist at Barclays Capital. “We expect this housing recovery to continue in the coming years.”

Despite the increases, prices nationwide are still about 30 percent below the peak they reached at the height of the housing bubble in the summer of 2006. They are now at the same level as in the fall of 2003.

Stable job gains and record-low mortgage rates have encouraged more people to buy homes. And the limited inventory of homes for sale has made builders more confident to step up construction. The number of previously occupied homes has fallen to an 11-year low.

Millions of homeowners still owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth, making it difficult for them to sell. That’s one reason the supply of homes is so tight. But higher home values are lowering the number of those “under water” and should encourage more homeowners to put their homes on the market.

More people are also moving out on their own after living with friends and relatives in the recession. That’s driving a big gain in apartment construction and also pushing up rents. Higher rents are encouraging investors to buy homes and rent them.


Bay Area housing prices show big rise in December

By Steve Johnson; January 16, 2013

In a further sign of the housing market’s revival, the median price of existing single-family Bay Area homes in December jumped nearly 24 percent from a year ago on modestly improved sales, according to a report Wednesday.

“There is a big shift going on regionally,” said Andrew LePage of the real estate information service DataQuick, which issued the report. While sales of relatively inexpensive homes have been limited, because such houses are in short supply, “the mid-to-high end is picking up and getting back to a more normal level of activity.”

The median price paid in the nine-county Bay Area hit $470,000, up from $380,000 in December 2011. The last time it rose at a faster rate was in May 2010, when it increased nearly 29 percent, LePage said, adding that the median price in December was the highest it has been for any month since July 2008, when it was $485,000.

The median price rose about 22 percent to $650,000 in San Mateo County, 21 percent to $602,500 in Santa Clara County, 23 percent to $449,000 in Alameda County and 29 percent to $330,000 in Contra Costa County.

The most the Bay Area’s median price has ever been was in July 2007, when it hit $738,500. That was just before the housing market collapsed, plunging the price to a low of $295,000 in March 2009.


Rate of Recovery for Bay Area Real Estate Speeds Up

January 16, 2013

La Jolla, CA.–The pace at which the Bay Area housing market is making up for lost ground quickened at the end of 2012 as sales increased year-over-year for the 18th month in a row and the median price rose at its fastest rate in more than 25 years. The market remained constrained by a tight supply of homes for sale and a fussy home loan environment, a real estate information service reported.

The 32.0 percent year-over-year increase in the median is the highest in DataQuick’s statistics, which go back to 1988. At least half that increase is due to a change in market mix, with sales shifting away from low-cost distress homes toward more mid-market and move-up homes.

The median reached a high of $665,000 in June/July 2007 and then fell to a low of $290,000 in March 2009. On a year-over-year basis it dropped more than 30 percent each month from August 2008 through May 2009. At the median’s current rate of increase, sometime this spring it will have recovered about half of its loss since its summer 2007 peak.

“Prices are in the midst of bouncing off bottom right now, and nobody really knows what the trajectory of this bounce will be beyond this point. So far, supply has been a bottleneck, but as prices go up, more homes will be put up for sale,” said John Walsh, DataQuick president.

“Another bottleneck these days is that mortgage lenders are swamped. Not only by home buyers, but by homeowners who want to refinance. Rising home prices also mean higher appraisals, and tens of thousands of homeowners who couldn’t refinance half a year ago, now can,” Walsh said.

Indicators of market distress continue to decline. Foreclosure activity remains high by historical standards but well below peak levels reached three years ago. Financing with multiple mortgages is low, down payment sizes are stable, DataQuick reported.



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Source: DataQuick, www.DQNews.com



Foreclosures in dramatic January drop across Bay Area

By Pete Carey, February 12, 2013

Banks began fewer foreclosures in the Bay Area in January than any time since 2006 as they changed gears from auctioning off homes to helping borrowers keep them or sell them for less than they owe, according to a report released Monday.

Schnapp said the drop in foreclosures “is kind of a double-edged sword. The unintended consequence is that you have no inventory of homes for sale, which is acute in California.”






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