NorCal median home price rises


Ricky Alexander is a first time homebuyer who is interested in a one bedroom condo in San Jose. It is listed at $250,000 and there are 10 other bidders.

"It's time for me to take that first step and buy something for the first time," Alexander said.

Karl Lee, with the Santa Clara County Association of Realtors, says it is a sign of the times.

"There's a large appetite for buyers since pretty much October," he said.

MDA DataQuick, which follows the housing industry, says home sales in Santa Clara County jumped 9.6 percent from a year ago. The median price of homes also went up 12.5 percent from February 2009.

Realtors say more expensive homes are also starting to sell again in Santa Clara County.

"One of those homes in particular had three offers on it and one of those offers was cash and this house was actually over $1 million," Stephanie Olsen of Keller Williams Realty said

Lee says the financing is improving for buyers who do not have cash.

"It's difficult to get 100 percent financing, but if you're looking at 80/20 loan, something more traditional historically, that is working," he said.

Alexander's big incentives to buy soon are the federal tax credits he will get as a first time buyer; but the credits expire at the end of April.

"For first time buyers, it's upwards of $8,000, depending on their personal situation," Lee said.

"I might want to wait a little bit, but I think with this incentive, it's definitely a reason for me to get one as soon as possible," Alexander said.

Realtor Bart Marchioni believes the market in the South Bay is settling down for a while.

"We're seeing a lot of foreclosures and we're seeing a lot of short sales out there," he said. "Until that phenomenon changes, I don't see the market go up a substantial amount."

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