The latest national news headlines say that the median selling price of homes dropped in January 2012. Look at the chart below with median prices for the past several months. When you look at the trend for the country, there are several months where the data doesn't change at all! The trend, overall, is very flat. Quite honestly, it's all a little suspect to see such small variations across an entire nation. When I look at how the local macro-market has done - Santa Clara County specifically - and how my local micro-market has done - Los Altos specifically - there's no comparison.
Does the national trend, which is generally flat, really reflect anything happening in my market? There are markets in my area that are flat, but they seem to be the exception, not the rule. Most of the markets in Silicon Valley, especially the nicer areas with good schools, have been trending up for the past 2 years. For them, 2011 was a great year. The trends get more varied as I look at specific neighborhoods and price ranges. If that's the case, why would a local buyer care what happens to the price of real estate in Texas, New York, or South Dakota?
My advice for buyers and sellers is the same; focus on what is going on ONLY IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD. Put it this way, if you're in Delaware and reading this my advice to you is the same as anyone, anywhere - Real estate is local. National trends don't reflect what's happening in local markets. That said, national trends SHOULDN'T impact the decisions made by local buyers and sellers. If you're making a decision about buying or selling, focus on the local trends and make your decision accordingly.
My advice to sellers in Silicon Valley is to move ahead with plans to sell. The trends are very positive and prices have been moving up progressively in many neighborhoods and towns. My advice for buyers is to buy now but strive to get the best value you can. With unemployment down, interest rates low (and likely to stay that way), and more buyers coming into the market, your best bet is to watch the local market carefully and time your purchase to your best advantage.
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Bryan Robertson, CEO | T: 650.799.9951 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Website: http://www.BryanRobertsonHomes.com |CA BRE# 01191946 | Catarra Real Estate, Inc | 171 Main St #220 | Los Altos, CA 94022