Silicon Valley Real Estate Prices Drop Sharply in Q1 2019

sebfreyCommentary, Local, Silicon Valley Real Estate

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Has Silicon Valley Real Estate cratered?

A couple of days ago I attended a regional meeting of local REALTOR Association leadership. We had officers and staff from around the greater San Francisco Bay Area all gathered in a room. Folks from San Francisco, Contra Costa, Alameda, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, and Monterey counties all got together to talk about how we can better serve our customers. I sat next to a broker from Santa Clara county, and I asked her how the Santa Clara County Market is doing. “It’s bad,” she said. “Bad?” I asked. “How bad?” And she said home prices are down 10-12% versus a year ago.

That would be pretty bad – if it were true. I hear stuff like that a lot from different agents. But then when I go and dig into the stats, I usually find there’s more to the story – or a different story altogether. So imagine my surprise when I dug into the stats and found that actually, prices were down by much more than 10-12%. Houses took about twice as long to sell in Q1 2019 vs. Q1 in 2018. And the number of sales has dropped by nearly 10%, while the number of new listings is up by almost 4%.

Santa Clara County Q1 2019 Real Estate Wrap-Up Video

In case you’re not a regular consumer of my social media, you may not know that I have a “TV” show called SebFrey.TV – I made a special episode where I did a wrap-up of the Santa Clara County real estate market for the first quarter of 2019, comparing it to the year-ago period. Turns out it ran rather long but that’s me, I either have nothing to say or you can’t shut me up. I’m still trying to find the sweet spot in the middle.

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Santa Clara County Q1 Real Estate by the Numbers


Q1 Real Estate Update by Leslie Appleton-Young

Earlier in the month, I attended a Q1 California Real Estate Market Update by Leslie Appleton-Young. She is the Chief Economist for the California Association of REALTORS, and she gives some of the most detailed looks at the California real estate market that anyone ever creates. I recorded the video – the audio quality isn’t great, but if you’re interested you can see it here here:

I did get a copy of the slide deck used by Leslie, if you want a closer and clearer look at the numbers. You can download that here. A few tidbits from Leslie’s presentation are:

  • Q1 US GDP: +2.6%
  • February 2019 Core Inflation: 2.1%
  • US February 2019 Unemployment: 3.8%
  • US February 2019 Job Growth: 1.7%
  • Bay Area Unemployment Rate around 2.5%
  • Mortgage Rates @ 10-month Low
  • Bay Area Per Capita GDP = $80,000 (highest in USA)
  • 26% Employment Growth since last recession
  • Only about 1.6% of sales are “distressed”
  • Bay Area Median Price up 21.5% since Prior Peak in May 2007

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California Association of REALTORS March 2019 Market Snapshot

  • And hot off the presses, the California Association of REALTORS has come out with its March numbers and market report.
  • Existing, single-family home sales totaled 397,210 in March on a seasonally adjusted annualized rate, down 0.2 percent from February and down 6.3 percent from March 2018.
  • March’s statewide median home price was $565,880, down 5.9 percent from February and up 0.2 percent from March 2018.
  • The Unsold Inventory Index was 3.6 months in March, down from 4.6 months in February but up from 2.9 months in March 2018.
  • Year-to-date sales were down 8.2 percent in March.

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