A published report says that the Bay Area housing market is beginning to recover, specifically mentioning a 5% increase in the median single-family home price since last year. This matches what I’ve been reading and hearing from realtors in the area, all of whom seem to be complaining that there isn’t enough inventory on the market. Sunnyvale homes are once again closing at amounts significantly above the original asking price. Particularly in the past three months, I’ve heard realtors complain that the number of available houses on the market is very low.
There are many reasons why we’re seeing this. Construction has only picked up in the last two or three quarters, and the focus has been on building office space, not housing. So there hasn’t been new inventory added to the market for some time. The economic recovery is moving forward, and people are starting to come out of “hunker down” mode and take more fiscal chances. The Facebook IPO had significant impact on the high-end housing market in the area. But we’ve also simply been filling up all of our vacant office space. In the past year, the office vacancy rate has dropped in Sunnyvale from almost 30% to somewhere around 10-12% currently, with more construction happening and more jobs moving into the area. That puts a lot of pressure on the local housing market, and we’re seeing it reflected in closing prices and available foreclosures now.