Last updateTue, 21 Nov 2017 4pm

Business & Real Estate

Inventory shortage hampers home sales

The lack of inventory remained the major roadblock to higher closed home sales in September, according to year-over-year data that MLSListings Inc. provided to the Silicon Valley Association of Realtors.

Inventory and new listings for single-family homes in September fell compared to the same month last year in the five-county area covered by the MLSListings data report. Santa Clara County experienced the largest drop in inventory, down 44 percent from the same time last year. San Mateo County came in second, with an inventory drop of 42 percent, followed by Monterey County, 31 percent; San Benito County, 30 percent; and Santa Cruz County, 27 percent.

New listings were also down compared to September 2011 figures, most significantly in Monterey County, where they decreased 25 percent. In Santa Clara County, new listings were down 14 percent; San Mateo County, 13 percent; San Benito County, 4 percent; and Santa Cruz County, 3 percent.

The inventory shortage drove down sales in some counties, but, compared to September 2011, September 2012 sales of single-family homes in Santa Clara County rose 5 percent.

The median price of single-family homes showed gains of 14-21 percent in all five counties compared to the previous year. Santa Clara County’s September median price of $655,000 was 15 percent higher than the September 2011 median of $570,000. San Mateo County’s September median of $783,000 proved 21 percent higher than the September 2011 median of $646,000.

Days on market decreased by 44 percent in September. In Santa Clara County, the typical home was on the market 71 days in September 2011. Days on market dropped to just 40 in September 2012. In San Mateo County, days on market declined 52 percent, from 71 days in September 2011 to 34 in September 2012.

Suzanne Yost, president of the Silicon Valley Association of Realtors, said she hoped sellers would be encouraged by the news.

“A market with low inventory and active buyers creates upward pressure on prices, particularly coupled with historically low interest rates,” she said. “This pressure is causing prices to increase, which will be good for sellers as they begin to feel more confident about putting their homes on the market.”

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

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