I have a PDF I'd be willing to email if you are interested in the sales trend for the last two years in Palo Alto.
There was a foreclosure moratorium put in place to slow down the market. That was to end recently.
As for a wave of foreclosures I have access to data showing notices of default and pre-foreclosure status, so if I chose to compile data from that, I could. But that doesn't mean that the homeowner will get to the point of short selling or going to foreclosure. They may be working on loan modifications or it may be a temporary situation. The reality is we are still seeing more homes in distressed. If Banks were to release all these foreclosures in a wave it would be like shooting themselves in the foot, competing with lower priced homes. It makes better sense for the banks to try to work with the borrower, and if need be, release the homes slowly into the market. But then again, banks don't have a history of doing "what is smart".
To respond to multiple offers, it is the auction mentality...buyers bid on low priced homes and then they compete, after being beat out of offers they become competitive, not only financially, but emotionally. This drives the price up, and that is what determines market value. What a buyer is willing to pay and what it closes at. When talking about statistics one must understand the bench mark and what the statistics are. For example, prices are up? Ok, from yesterday, 2 months, 2 years? Neighborhood and area should not be "lumped" into one comment that is the all knowing Oz answer.
It is always good advice to consider the source of the information and their motivation for providing that information. Newspapers sell on hype, Realtors and agents depend on a healthy market, as do lenders. But just because they may have a monetary interest doesn't mean that the information is incorrect.