Santa Clara reflects national housing trends

Real estate in Santa Clara offers many opportunities for potential homebuyers. The California metro's housing market features many of the positive characteristics that are impacting the nation's entire housing industry.

New residential sales improve
Single-family residences sold at an increased rate in November 2012. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the sale of new single-family homes ended the month at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 377,000 - 4.4 percent above the October 2012 rate of 361,000. The month-to-month increase was a positive surprise for real estate experts because it is atypical of the traditional arc of the market, which usually shows housing declines during the fourth quarter.

The source claims that the median sales price for new properties sold in November 2012 was $246,200. In metros like Santa Clara, the median price of a property is usually much higher than the national median. According to ALTOS Research, the median price of a single-family home was $643,215 in Santa Clara as of December 21, 2012. This figure is down from the $647,000 recorded on November 1, 2012. Despite the slight decrease in real estate price, homes are still worth substantially more in Santa Clara compared to the national average.

Feds helped boost real estate recovery
After years of falling home values, the real estate market in the U.S. posted gains in 2012. Home prices have slowly, steadily been on the rise since the first quarter of 2012, and indicators are showing that the improvements will continue well into 2013.

Time Magazine reports that measurable industry attributes like housing starts, new home sales and foreclosure statistics are all showing a healing housing market. Rising home values are allowing lenders to offer more financing options to potential homebuyers, which is giving people greater access to diverse homes and communities and creating competition amongst buyers.

The transforming real estate market is being accredited to the Federal Reserve, according to some housing experts. Time Magazine reports that record low mortgage rates, which were primarily caused by the decision to buy mortgage-backed securities, have increased housing prices and allowed interest rates to decline.
Mortgage rates finish off the year at historic lows
According to Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey, the average fixed mortgage rate finished the year near record lows, which helped keep housing affordability high for many Americans.

The average 30-year-fixed mortgage rate was 3.35 percent for the week ending December 27, 2012. This loan period is typically popular with homebuyers who wish to have more time to pay off their mortgage payments. The 15-year fixed mortgage rate ending that same was 2.65 percent.

Residential financing options were plentiful and affordable for many potential homebuyers because rates remained so low throughout the entire year.

"Mortgage rates ended this year near record lows. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.66 percent for 2012, the lowest annual average in at least 65 years. Rates on 30-year fixed mortgages were nearly 0.6 percentage points below that of the beginning of the year, which translates into an interest payment savings of nearly $98,600 over the life of a $200,000 loan. Moreover, opting for a 15-year fixed mortgage at today's rates, a homeowner could save an additional $138,400 in interest payments," said Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist at Freddie Mac.

Potential homebuyers looking to purchase one of the homes for sale in Santa Clara may want to consider checking out the local MLS listings.