By Andria Borba

SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) — People looking for a single-family home in Santa Clara County will find big backyards, but not many homes with “for sale” signs, as inventory has reached an all-time low.

“The last time I checked a few minutes ago, it was about 430,” realtor Mary Pope-Handy told KPIX 5 on Tuesday.

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According to Pope-Handy, the number of single-family homes for sale is half of what it was in November 2020.

Santa Clara County has nearly two million residents, but this reality. “There’s only 20 active listings in Los Gatos and 14 in Saratoga,” realtor Ducky Grabill told KPIX 5.

The inventory shortage began in August 2020 and isn’t expected to let up for another six to nine months. Competition for that very low inventory of homes is at an all-time high and that is driving prices up.

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“For every home that is out there, you might have six offers if you’re lucky. And you might have 36 like I had recently and you’re not so lucky and you think, ‘Why did I bother trying?'” said Pope-Handy.

Realtors say everyone is looking for extra room for a home office and backyards – always popular with kids – now has cache among adults.

“It can be hard to sell a condo that doesn’t even have a balcony,” said Pope-Handy.

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Realtors said the inventory shortage is being felt throughout the Bay Area and even into Santa Cruz County. As of Tuesday, only four single family homes were on the market in Capitola, a community of nearly 10,000 people.