See what $2M in gets you in Santa Clara County's housing market

It is another big milestone in the Bay Area housing market: The median price of a single-family home in Santa Clara County hit $2 million for the first time. So what is driving the surge? Realtors say low inventory is the key issue.

In San Jose’s Almaden Valley, a home right at the median price with an asking price of $1,949,000, will get you 2,050 square feet, four bedrooms, and two and half baths. 

"What they liked is that it was on the market!  There is just nothing on the market right now," said Listing Agent Tony Ramirez, when asked what potential buyers liked most about the property.

This particular house has been on the market for just five days.  At the open house last weekend more than 40 groups came through to take a look.  

As of Wednesday, three serious offers were already on the table; all over the $1,949,000 million asking price.  

"We are over two-and-a-half million people in Santa Clara County and right now there are only 755 active single-family homes," Ramirez said. 

At a median price of $2 million, half the homes in the county are over that amount and half are under.   

According to the Santa Clara County Association of Realtors, in April, Los Altos Hills had the highest median price at $5,875,000.

The only cities under the median amount are San Jose at $1.765 million, Milpitas at $1.6 million, Morgan Hill at $1.5 million, and Gilroy at $1.2 million. 

Compared with other regional prices using April figures: San Mateo County checked in at $2.17 million, San Francisco at $1.7 million and $1.4 million in Alameda County.  


This is one of the least affordable places to buy a home in California

Data shows it takes more than $349,000 a year in income to buy a median-price home in this California county.

 "There is just so much competition out there; you don’t want to fall in love with anything too quickly. You just don’t know how it is going to go," said Stephanie Holman, who is in the process of purchasing a condominium.  

Condo prices in Santa Clara County have also increased with a median price of $1.08 million.

"So I wasn’t going to get scared from it but it certainly is intimidating. And the support of family and friends because you have to change your lifestyle to prepare for something like this and then the competition – it stresses you out!," Holman said. 

 "I don’t see it as a milestone. We have 60 percent of people in the Bay Area who can’t afford to purchase here," said Michelle Perry, president of the Santa Clara County Association of Realtors. 

Perry agrees that low inventory is the key driver of the higher prices.  

"For the last ten years, we have had low inventory, and it has only decreased.  That is what is driving the market. We have many people who need a place to live and there are not enough homes on the market," Perry said.  

Perry says, unfortunately, she sees no easy fixes to the inventory problem. 


You need $131K to live comfortably in this Bay Area city

The cost of living in the Bay Area continues to rise, mirroring national trends.