Santa Clara County Housing Marketplace

昨天收到公司Broker 寄來的email, 信中轉貼了二篇四月份水星報有關灣區房地產文章的標題:

"Valley Housing Prices, Sales Dive", 4/18/08 from Mercury News

"Home prices rose about 85% from 1997 to 2006 adjusted for inflation, the biggest national housing boom in U.S. history." 4/23/08 from Mercury News

同一份報紙在同一月份前後對灣區地產看法, 報導相反的結論, 那也難怪消費者無所適從. 其實, 消費者若和不同的地產經紀討論有關灣區地產, 我相信也會有不同的看法, 就像是半杯水, 有人看只剩半杯, 有人看還有半杯, 二者都有她的論點, 差別在於前者持有悲觀看法,後者持有樂觀看法, 你說誰對誰錯呢?

我是屬於還有半杯的人, 所以我分享我的觀點, 信不信就由你了.

Broker 寄來的信中舉出許多證據, 來支持灣區地產實際上要比新聞所寫要正面, 與美國各地整體來比也強勢的多.

The DataQuick report that the 4/18 article is based on 583 closed sales in the month of March 2008.  Most of these sales originated 45-60 days BEFORE March 2008 meaning that they are reporting data on the real estate market activity in January (因為從Offer被賣方接受, 到實際上交屋, 差不多要45-60天才會被County 紀錄, 而一月份在地產業本來就是淡季, 所以交易量小是正常).

March "Pending Sales" are double what the number of pending sales were in January, so it stands to reason that the closing that will result from the March pended sales will approximate the same doubling trend. (春天到夏天是地產交易的旺季, 三月份已售出但未交屋的數字是一月份的二倍, 但是這個數字要等到四月或五月才會出現).

All areas of the county are showing improvement with respect to percentages of homes placed under contract; not just the traditional areas of the county that people aspire to live in (strong school districts, close to employment centers, etc.) Even the long-suffering high inventory areas of the county are beginning to thaw and show signs of life.  South Country (area 1), Alum Rock (area 4) and Fairgrounds/Seven Trees (area 11) are all showing dramatic growth with respect to the percentage of homes under contract.  Six months ago those areas averaged 5.6% of the inventory under contract.  They now average 14.1%! 

The number of pending sales, county wide, is currently at 1684.  We had 1463 pending sales at the same time last year (and nobody was complaning about how bad the market had become!)  As a point of reference, the highest number of pending sales we had at any given week of 2007 was 1561 on May 27th.  We have exceeded that number and are still climbing (去年同期有1463 間房子pending, 今年同期是1684間, 而且比去年pending最多的五月份的1561間還高).

The percentage of homes sold but not yet closed (pending sales) in at 19.8% for the county.  This is the highest percentage of homes sold to available inventory in 39 weeks!  It is also the 17th consecutive week that showed improvement over the previous week.

Our growth of inventory has been very controlled.  We have expanded our available inventory by 29.9% since the beginning of the year to 6976 unsold units.  At the same time, our pending sales have increased 117%.  A buyer's market place has added 1607 homes to our inventory and 908 of them have been purchased for a net growth of our available supply of 12.8% since the beginning of the year (by comparison, Phoenix has 53000 homes for sale; a five fold increase since 2005).

Since 2004 our average net growth of available inventory vs. homes purchased over the Spring has been 19%.  The 12.8% growth has been slowest pace in 5 years!  Considering that the population of Santa Clara County is estimated to be in excess of 1,808,000 (180萬) people you can see why the projected supply and demand imbalance will continue for the foreseeable future.

We now have 270 days of inventory in the county based on the pace homes are closing (down from 366 days of inventory at the beginning of the year).  We have 189 days of inventory if the current pace of sales continues.  Our average days on the market, county wide, is 55 (down from a 60 day average in January). 意指房屋庫存數在減少, 而房子售出的速度在增加, 這和我的買家們目前遇到Multiple Offers的現況相符合, 只要房屋價格與房屋的地段/屋況, 和同價格及同條件的其他房屋相比之下, 合理價格的房屋還是賣的很快.

新聞多半報導負面消息, 但是正面的也有, 不知道你有沒有看到:

"Median price of closed sales in Santa Clara County in March was $815,000, which is just 6% off the region's peak price of $870,000 1 year ago in April 2007." - Richard Calhoun

"Of all the regions, Silicon Valley had the smallest decline in home prices statewide over the past year." - California Association of Realtors

"Best Cities for Home Sellers.  In what is largely one of the least affordable markets in the country, sellers continues to see high returns from real estate as tech money and venture capital money lift the economy.  The advantage of being in one of the toughest and most expensive regulatory environment is that it's very difficult to overbuild.  New home construction dropped 63% last year, while jobs grew 1.2%.  Home vacancies, which were already low at 1.6%, fell to a national bottom at 0.8% (那也難怪房租年年漲), helping make San Jose the tightest market in the country." - 4/7/08

"The first quarter of 2008 makes the 24th consecutive quarter that rental prices have escalated nationwide."  - National Association of Realtors 4/14/08

另外 在我們和Broker閒聊之下得知, KW在Medesto的辦公司房屋交易量比我們還高, 主因是投資客現在是坐巴士到Sacromento, Medesto 這些受創很深的地區, 開始收購具有潛力的房子, 而灣區目前進場買房子的也以投資客居多, 首次購屋的買家, 應該要認真考慮進場了, 因為等你看到報紙寫灣區房屋交易有回升的情況之類的文章, 你可能已經晚了好幾個月了.