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Business & Real Estate

Santa Clara County home sales rose in February

Home sales edged upward in Silicon Valley in February, even as the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported that pending home sales declined in January from a strong upturn in December due to unusual weather patterns.

According to REInfoLink, the Multiple Listing Service for Santa Clara County, figures show the regional housing market picking up. There were a total of 661 sales of single-family homes in Santa Clara in February, up from 611 in January 2007. The median home price continued its upward trend, from $740,000 in January to $790,000 in February.

Home sales increased in nearly every community in Santa Clara County and more than doubled their January figure in Los Altos Hills, Mountain View and Cupertino.

"Santa Clara County continues to buck the trend in home sales," said Silicon Valley Association of Realtors President Mark Burns. "Silicon Valley's strengths lie in its competitiveness and diverse mix in technology, innovation and life science industries. It's not surprising that people want to live in the Valley."

Burns said Silicon Valley's housing market has always led the state due to the area's unique qualities.

NAR reported that the Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI), a leading indicator for the housing sector based on contracts signed in January, fell 4.1 percent to an index of 108.7 from an upwardly revised reading of 113.3 in December, and is 8.9 percent lower than January 2006.

David Lereah, NAR's chief economist, said the index has recovered from a low in October.

"We are seeing temporary near-term weather disruptions in much of the country, but there is an underlying pattern of stabilization in the housing market," Lereah said. "As a result of these weather disruptions, it may take a couple of months for the picture to fully clarify, but a modest recovery is likely. Housing remains a great long-term investment."

The index is derived from pending sales of existing homes. A sale is listed as pending when the contract has been signed and the transaction has not closed.

The Silicon Valley Association of Realtors provided information for this article. Send questions to Rose Meily at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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