February 2013 Housing Update: Low Inventory Stifles Home Sales, Fuels Prices
Inventory has dropped each month from the prior year for 24 consecutive months in Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties, 21 months in Santa Clara County, and 20 months in both San Mateo and San Benito Counties. With the busiest selling season just around the corner, there is no indication that this trend will reverse in the near future. Booming demand for homes and lack of inventory negatively affected potential sales in four of the five Home Counties in February.
Sales in both Santa Clara and San Benito Counties were down 16% from the same month last year; Monterey County sales were down 8%, and San Mateo sales dropped 5%. Santa Cruz County sales were up just 2%. Median home sale prices continued to grow in all Home Counties except in Santa Cruz where it dropped 10%.
Month-over-month comparisons show better inventory gains in most of the Home Counties, as well as a solid increase in closed sales in most counties. However, historically January tends to be the slowest month for activity. The next few months of data will provide a better indication of market trends. Data for month-over-month comparisons can be found on www.mlslistings.com
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