The local multiple listing service reports there has been a significant increase in the sales of single-family homes priced at more than $1.5 million in Silicon Valley. The rise in sales of million-dollar homes in the region is largely due to influential buyers and growth and success of companies based in the region, according to the MLS.

MLSListings Inc. reports a 26 percent increase in the number of closed sales of homes that sold for more than $1.5 million from Jan. 1 through Sept. 30, from the same period last year. MLSListings is the multiple listing service of the Silicon Valley Association of Realtors and serves the five Bay Area counties of San Mateo, Santa Clara, Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Benito.

This Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2012, photo, shows an exterior view of a home sold in Palo Alto, Calif.
This Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2012, photo, shows an exterior view of a home sold in Palo Alto, Calif. (Paul Sakuma/AP Photo)

The rise in sales of homes sold for more than $1.5 million is largely attributed to influential buyers, including foreign buyers, attracted to property in Silicon Valley.

"We have a burgeoning economy in Silicon Valley and are seeing much growth and expansion of companies before our very eyes," said Carolyn Miller, president of the Silicon Valley Association of Realtors. Miller, with RE/Max Real Estate Services, has sold real estate in the valley for the past 32 years.

Miller noted that Facebook in Menlo Park, Google and Linked-In in Mountain View, Apple in Cupertino and Yahoo in Sunnyvale are just a few of many companies that are growing, raising the value of real estate in the region. MLSListings adds that these companies bringing in talent will raise not only property values but bring market sustainability to the region as well.


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Shortage of supply has created more market competition. At the California Association of Realtors Expo held in Long Beach last week, vice president and chief economist Leslie Appleton-Young said the share of home sales with multiple offers in 2013 is the highest in at least the last 15 years.

Findings from the 2013 Housing Market Survey show 70 percent of properties sold this year had multiple offers, compared with 50 percent in June of 2005. Appleton-Young noted the increase in international buyers in the Bay Area and Los Angeles.

Meanwhile, September's housing market showed signs of seasonal slowing. Sales of single-family homes in Santa Clara County rose just 2 percent from last year, and were down 9 percent from the prior month.

The September Santa Clara County median home price of $779,950 was down 4 percent from the August median of $815,000, but 19 percent higher than the September 2012 median of $655,000.

Information in this column is presented by the Silicon Valley Association of Realtors at silvar.org. Send questions to rmeily@silvar.org.