Single Family Homes

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Bad news for Bay Area homebuyers. Good news for sellers?

New listings for single-family homes in Santa Clara County dropped 15 percent to 1,360 in March 2012 compared to March 2011, according to MLS Listings’s new market indicators report. Inventory was also down — plunging 29 percent to 2,783 compared to March 2011.

Things don’t look much better in San Mateo County. There, new listings for single-family homes slid 15 percent to 588 in March 2012 compared to the year prior. Inventory also declined by 29 percent, to 1,166 homes.

For both counties, inventory has dropped every month since June 2011.

Prospects for potential townhouse/condo buyers look even more grim.

New listings for condos/townhouses in Santa Clara County dipped 25 percent to 469 in March 2012 compared to March 2011 while inventory sank by 41 percent to 1,038.

Meanwhile, in San Mateo County, new listings for condos/townhouses was down 8 percent to 157 while inventory too declined by 41 percent to 355.

Robert J. Bailey, chairman of MLSListings, said there are several factors to consider when looking at the market data.

“We are seeing a significant uptick in market activity meaning that the average marketing time for properties coming on the market is coming down. Properties are selling quicker and this might have an impact on the numbers,” he said. “We also are seeing a slower rate of foreclosures coming to market.”

Overall, he thinks the recent statistics are a positive sign that the market is stabilizing and that “we have moved past the bottom.”

“At the same time the inventory is going down, the number of pending and closed transactions has gone up,” Bailey said. “All of this points toward a stabilization in the housing market for buyers and sellers.”

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