The San Jose real estate market, found in the heart of Santa Clara County in the San Francisco Bay Area, saw slightly positive statistics and indicators in the first few months of 2011. Foreclosures and short sales, which have plagued the Bay Area for more than a year, decreased dramatically in February 2011 (the most recent month for which comprehensive figures are available), although the state as a whole continued to have extremely high levels of distressed sales. Notices of default, which start the foreclosure process, were about ten percent rarer during February 2011 compared to last month, which marked the lowest regional level in nearly a year and a half. The year over year change was even more dramatic, with default notices plummeting more than thirty one percent compared to February 2010. Although February typically does have lower rates of sales and foreclosures because of the number of days in the month, the sudden drop in distressed sales added more uncertainty to a housing market already plagued by the robo-signing scandal of last fall. The drop in foreclosures among San Jose and Santa Clara County homes for sale was mirrored by the state at large, which also saw a substantial decrease in the number of distressed sales. Overall, however, California foreclosures remained well above the national average and historical levels.
The quantity of home sales in San Jose did not move substantially in either direction during February 2011, as many residents remained reluctant to purchase a Santa Clara County property. The majority of real estate activity during the month was dominated by foreclosure activity and investors, not potential homeowners. The volume of sales was well below historical levels, as a total of 803 single family properties were purchased in February. Compared to the average February, that figure is off by approximately twenty-three percent. The average Santa Clara County home was purchased for just under $500,000 in February 2011, representing a three percent decline from the $510,500 measured in February 2010. This roughly matched the rest of the Bay Area, which remained relatively flat month over month and year over year.