3rd Quarter Northern California Housing Market Update

As a Realtor® having access to the most current data helps me provide accurate insight towards the Northern California real estate market, which you can then use to help determine when it’s the best time to sell or buy a home. In reviewing the latest data, I am confident in saying that while there has been a plateau of pricing and sales, we’re still in a prime position for both home buyers and sellers to gain from real estate transactions.

In reviewing the latest market data provided by the California Association of Realtors® (CAR) there’s been a market shift where home sale prices have seen a drop as actual sales have slowed down. This isn’t cause for stress or major concern however. We are still in a strong overall economic position while no longer dealing with the excess of high-risk financing which added significantly to the housing crash of 2008/2009. We are nowhere near those levels and they aren’t expected to return.

Instead, buyers are opting for good down payments along with fixed-rate mortgages to ensure they get funding they can afford with ease when it comes to purchasing. Sellers are also being frugal about home equity re-financing resulting in fewer sellers going to market under distressed situations. In looking at this big picture in the real estate market, those who are listing are in a good position to do so and those who are buying are truly ready to purchase.

So, let’s take a snapshot view of how the Northern California market is faring as of the 3rd quarter of 2018:

Median Days on the Market is just 23 days for the region. While this is an increase compared to previous quarters, homes are still selling quickly.

Median sale-to-list price is coming in at 98.5%. While this shows that sellers aren’t always getting the list price they originally seek, they are selling at viable prices, which are up by 4.2%.  This means sellers can still come out in the positive, provided there’s a flexible approach to list pricing.

As of September, there was a 20% increase in inventory, sellers are listing now providing buyers with more options to choose from.

Another way to look at the market is to review the current Market Action Index (MAI) which measures the rate of home sales compared to the available inventory. This is a key figure to determine the overall state of a market as determined by Altos Research which provides up-to-date, real-time market data for specific markets such as San Jose.

Looking at the San Jose real estate market, the current MAI reveals a strong seller market, coming in at 53 on the MAI scale. This number comes from key data results such average days on the market which for San Jose specifically is at 39 days. While the average time has increased over the 3rd quarter of 2018, it’s still significantly less than the first quarter of 2017, when the average days on the market hovered around 125 days in the San Jose market.

Here is a quick look at other data which contributes to the current MAI rating of 53:

As of the start of November, median list pricing for San Jose is at $1,139,888, and $667 per square foot. Both of these figures are only slightly different from what was reported in the 3rd quarter; in brief, prices have currently plateaued or remained the same.


38% of homes on the market in San Jose have been discounted from their original list price. This could be due to a slight slow-down in the time that homes have been on the market, which has shifted from 39 days in August to 46 days in Novembe

Inventory has increased from around 400 listings in the 3rd quarter to almost 700 listings currently for single-family homes. As with the Northern California region as a whole, home buyers in San Jose have more options to choose from currently.

Considering both the CAR snapshot and MAI rating, our region is still a great market for real estate. If you’re a home buyer, purchasing now will help you get a lower interest rate before they climb again as is expected in 2019. If you’re selling your home, you’re in a good position to get a solid price from a buyer as properties here are still in great demand.

Take the next step towards investing in a home and call me, Thuy Tran, at 408.459.8881, and let’s get the conversation started. Find more information including featured listings at my website, www.LiveLoveSouthBay.com, and contact me today.

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