Mary Pope-Handy

Silicon Valley Realtor, selling homes in Los Gatos, Saratoga, San Jose, and nearby since 1993. Prolific blogger with a network of site.

Buying a home in Silicon Valley is seldom easy, but right now, it’s nearly impossible with Santa Clara County’s critically low housing inventory.  With slightly rising interest rates getting folks off the fence and strong job growth in the San Jose area – especially since Google announced its expansion in downtown, there are many more home buyers than home sellers.   While this isn’t unusual, the severity of the problem certainly is extreme.    How bad is it?  Here’s a visual cue dating from January 2001 to March 2018 which indicates that this month’s inventory of single family homes for sale in Santa Clara County is the lowest we’ve had for March since 2001 (that’s as far back as I can get the data from MLS Listings). I’ve been selling homes for 25 years and have never seen it so dire.

2018-03-23 Inventory of Single Family Homes for Sale in Santa Clara County (status 1 only)

This is sort of like “inventory limbo” – how low can you go? To me, this is uncharted territory for our region.

I am really wondering if other cities around the world have had this kind of inventory crisis in the past, and if so, what happened to pull them out of it. Obviously, we need more inventory, and that will mean either more new construction, incentives for current owners to sell, an easier way for people to commute long distances to work, or some combination of the three.

How does this impact you?

Many long time residents may recall that we have had a shortage for a few years here.  In January 2012, I wrote about it here: Why is it so hard to buy Silicon Valley real estate right now?  Compared to the recession that had just ended, inventory was low – I can look back now and think “wow, we had no right to complain!  We had a lot more inventory then as we do now!”  What also happened is that with the restricted inventory, home prices rose.  A lot.

If you are a renter and want to be a home buyer, you  now have two things going against you: rising interest rates and rising home prices (due to strong demand and critically low supply of homes to buy).  If you wait a year, there’s a good chance that you will lose quite a lot of buying power as interest rates continue to go up and home prices do, too.   Please check out my article on rates: How will rising interest rates impact your home buying power?  Super low inventories tend to cause rapid price appreciation, and if you aren’t careful you could be priced out of the market (either because of home prices or because of those rising interest rates).

Normally, I’d be saying “take heart, buyers, inventory usually starts to rise after the SuperBowl” or “inventory rises after Valentine’s Day” or “we’ll see more homes coming on the market in March”. Well, it just hasn’t happened to any kind of significant degree.

If you are a seller, this is great news for you as it’s very likely that your equity will be increasing with the tight inventory.  Buyer demand is good and interest rates are still very tolerable.  It is hard if you want to sell and buy something else, but if you are down-sizing, you may be able to capitalize by purchasing all cash.

If you are a buyer, it’s important to realize that these days, most homes are selling with no contingencies of any kind (loan, appraisal, inspection). Purchasing a condo, townhome, or house is not for the faint of heart! Being not just pre-approved, but having an underwriter’s approval subject only to the ratified contract, a preliminary title report, and a satisfactory appraisal will put you into a better position. Cash is king, of course, so being able to absorb any appraisal shortfall is crucial. However, don’t let the all cash buyers scare you as some of them over estimate the value of cash. Most sellers will wait a few extra days if it means making more money on the sale.

Living room - view from the front door. Beautiful engineered hardwood floos, new baseboard, and fresh paint! - Fabulous condo for sale with Cupertino schools!

Living room – view from the front door. Beautiful engineered hardwood floos, new baseboard, and fresh paint!

Just listed! 6922 Chantel Court in the west San Jose community of Saratoga Place is now available and open house events are scheduled for the coming days. It’s very nicely updated and move-in ready. Wonderful chance to see and buy a condo for sale with Cupertino schools!

6922 Chantel Court, San Jose CA 95129

1 bed, 1 bath, 582 SF condo – Cupertino Schools! Quiet location in middle of the community!

Offered at $589,950

HOA Dues $317 (covers basic cable, water, and garbage)

Beautifully updated Saratoga Place condo! Move-in ready with fresh paint, new baseboard, new flooring, and new slab granite! Open floor plan. 6922 Chantel Court enjoys fantastic west San Jose location, border of Saratoga and Cupertino, with Cupertino schools.

Stunning, new engineered hardwood flooring in the living room, dining area, kitchen, hallway, and bedroom.

The kitchen provides new slab granite counters, freestanding oven / range with solid surface cook top, microwave, dishwasher, and fridge.

Spacious bathroom features a sink with new slab granite counter, shower over a large soaking tub, and toilet.

Adjacent to the bathroom is the laundry closet with a stacked washer dryer set, also included.

The good-sized bedroom offers 2 closets, one with mirrored doors. Access to the back patio and exterior storage closet.

Assigned carport.

Radiant heat in the ceiling.

Beautiful community pool and spa. Plenty of patio space for relaxing!

Quiet interior location in the complex. Ground floor unit.

Highly prized Cupertino schools: Blue Hill Elementary, Miller Middle, and Lynbrook High.


Please stop by our open house events at 6922 Chantel Court, San Jose, CA 95129 – come see a beautiful Saratoga Place condo for sale with Cupertino schools. The unit is in quiet location. Fantastic opportunity to get into highly prized schools at an amazing price!

Open House Schedule – please stop by!

Thursday, March 22, 2018: 9:30am to 12 noon
Saturday, March, 24 2 – 4pm
Sunday, March 25, 2 – 4pm

Full disclosure package for 6922 Chantel Court will be available by Friday, March 23rd.

Virtual tour:


Willow Glen real estate market is a strong seller's market. This Willow Glen sign is from the downtown business district.Willow Glen is perhaps the most charming residential area of the city of San Jose with its old style architecture, tree lined streets and quaint downtown area on Lincoln Avenue and nearby. For folks working in downtown San Jose, the Willow Glen area (roughly the same as 95125 zip code, though a bit of 95124 is included also) is extremely convenient. Inventory has fallen slightly since last year, but sales are remaining consistent. Properties continually sell regularly over list price quickly, in under a month. The Willow Glen real estate market remains very much a sellers market.

Click for the complete Willow Glen real estate report with all of the numbers, stats and trends from the closed sales of houses for last month. Further down in this article you’ll find the Altos Research charts as well.

Things are similar to last month. Willow Glen is still a hot, persistent sellers market that’s noticeably more competitive than a year ago.

And next, of Willow Glen condos:

Continue reading

Morgan Hill land along the Uvas RiverHow’s the real estate market in Morgan Hill? This article will include data, trends and statistics for both houses and condominiums/townhouses.

For the single family home segment in this “south county” town, prices are mostly consistent year over year and month over month. The sale price to list price ratio has been hovering mostly between 98% and 100% throughout 2017. Since December, this number has been creeping up above 100%. The cities of Morgan Hill and Gilroy are usually a bit less in demand than parts of Santa Clara County which are either tech magnets or closer to these big businesses. So while most of the Silicon Valley has a sale price to list price ratio of anywhere from 100% to 110%, it’s generally lower here, making the home buying conditions calmer for weary buyers, though still a sellers market. Below is a chart with basic info, but to see more information, you may click on this link to see the Real Estate Report for Morgan Hill.

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Bel Estos Drive near Carlton and Rosswood in San Jose's Cambrian areaMy Cambrian area of San Jose Real Estate Report was recently published with the updated numbers from the closed sales last month for this part of San Jose (95124 and 95118 with a little of 95008 too). Please click on the link above to see much more information there.

In this district of San Jose, we have been experiencing dreadfully low inventory of homes for sale, and buyers aren’t backing off as much as usual for this time of year – I believe because there is just a whole lot of pent up demand from upwards of two years in a deep seller’s market. What does that mean? Sellers, if you have a problem home, or one not updated or well maintained, this is the time to sell it – buyers have little to choose from so are purchasing properties that need more work than they would bother with in a more balanced market.

Want to learn more about Cambrian Park real estate, the Cambrian district, Cambrian neighborhoods, school districts and zip codes? Please also see this article: Cambrian Park: Good Schools, Low Crime, Close to Los Gatos and Campbell. Cambrian neighborhoods can be located at the menu bar: Neighborhoods –> San Jose (all areas) –> Cambrian Park (SJ).

Be sure to read to the end to see the live Altos charts too – they are near the end of the article so please keep reading into the next page!

Generally speaking it is still a hot seller’s market and great time to sell a Cambrian home.

 Please see the whole Cambrian Real Estate Report for charts, stats and more.
Other related Cambrian district resources:
Learn about the Cambrian months of inventory, or absorption rate, by elementary school district.

The condo and townhouse real estate market for San Jose 95124 & 95118

The Monte Sereno real estate market is similar to Los Gatos, but distinct - Monte Sereno shares many features with Los Gatos but is a distinct cityHow is the Monte Sereno real estate market? Because the city is small, with just about 4000 residents, there usually are few homes listed for sale or selling, and with small numbers we can get seeming volatility. Last January, for instance, there was only one home listed and none sold!

There are no condominiums or townhomes in Monte Sereno at present. One of the major challenges for this city is to ensure that at least some housing units are deemed “affordable.” You can find the city’s housing plan here (a pdf online):

Recently closed home sales in Monte Sereno

Here are the quick statistics for the closed sales in the last complete month to give a sense of how things are going with the Monte Sereno real estate market. Sales data comes from my Monte Sereno Real Estate Report. Given that the supply of homes to study is tiny, what can we tell from this data?

It’s true that an average Monte Sereno house is about $2.5-3 million, and often higher in the current market – a little steep for most folks! With only 5 active, no pending, and 4 sales this past month, it’s hard to get the most accurate market information. During times like this, it’s more important to look at the trends over multiple months than to base your understanding of the market off a single month, and to compare with similar, nearby markets like Los Gatos.

Below are the charts from the last two months.

And a look at the data from the previous month for the Monte Sereno real estate market:

Continue reading to view live Altos Research charts for the real estate market in Monte Sereno, including by pricing quartile. Continue reading

Blossom Festival - celebrating Saratoga's orchard historyThis March, travel back in time to the early- to mid-20th century and celebrate Santa Clara Valley’s heritage with the Saratoga Historical Foundation and the City of Saratoga’s Blossom Festival.

When the hills of Los Gatos, Saratoga, and the surrounding regions were covered with fruit blossoms every year, a Blossom Festival was held with parades, food, games, and theatrical performances. These massive celebrations saw visitors come from miles around to enjoy the beauty of the valley and the festivities.

On March 24th from 10am-4pm, the Saratoga Heritage Orchard and Civic Center area will be host to a new Blossom Festival. The event is free and family friendly. Children may enjoy kids craft and activity tables and a petting zoo. History buffs can rub elbows with costumed characters from Saratoga’s by-gone-days, see vintage vehicles, motors, and tractors, and swing to a live band playing tunes from the 1930s-40s. Foodies might enjoy gourmet food trucks, prune and apricot tasting (the prize crops of the Valley of Heart’s Delight), and docent-led orchard tours. There will also be artists, craftspeople, entertainment, and more!

Join us in the orchard under a snowfall of pink and white flower petals and celebrate the beauty of the changing season at the Saratoga Blossom Festival!


Saratoga Heritage Orchard and Civic Center area

13777 Fruitvale Avenue in Saratoga, CA

March 24th from 10am-4pm, free to all!

Silver Leaf Park in the Santa Teresa area of San Jose - the proximity of parks will impact the Santa Teresa real estate market for that neighborhood

Silver Leaf Park in the Santa Teresa area of San Jose

How’s the market in the scenic Santa Teresa area of San Jose? The part of Silicon Valley is usually a bit “softer” as it’s farther from most work places and the school scores are generally not super strong, either. That being said, the Santa Teresa real estate market, like most of Santa Clara County, has been hot since before 2017. The average Days on Market are low at 21 days. The sales to list price ratio remains well over list price at 110.0%. This shows that this seller’s market has only heated up since last month. Santa Teresa is in a stable, hot seller’s market.

Here’s quick view of the real estate statistic and trends for just the Santa Teresa area’s single family homes (houses / duet homes):

Santa Teresa real estate market stats & trends

Trends At a Glance Feb 2018 Previous Month Year-over-Year
Median Price $1,040,000 (+7.8%) $965,000 $851,000 (+22.2%)
Average Price $1,056,070 (+7.6%) $981,036 $872,268 (+21.1%)
No. of Sales 14 (0.0%) 14 11 (+27.3%)
Pending 18 (+28.6%) 14 13 (+38.5%)
Active 11 (+57.1%) 7 10 (+10.0%)
Sale vs. List Price 110.0% (+2.7%) 107.1% 103.8% (+6.0%)
Days on Market 11 (-60.2%) 27 34 (-67.6%)
Days of Inventory 21 (+41.4%) 15 25 (-13.6%)

And from last month, for comparison, the Santa Teresa real estate market:

Trends At a Glance Jan 2018 Previous Month Year-over-Year
Median Price $965,000 (-4.0%) $1,005,000 $850,000 (+13.5%)
Average Price $981,036 (+0.2%) $978,761 $832,273 (+17.9%)
No. of Sales 14 (+7.7%) 13 11 (+27.3%)
Pending 14 (+16.7%) 12 (+55.6%)
Active (+40.0%) 5 10 (-30.0%)
Sale vs. List Price 107.1% (-1.5%) 108.7% 101.3% (+5.7%)
Days on Market 27 (+151.1%) 11 30 (-9.9%)
Days of Inventory 15 (+30.0%) 12 27 (-45.0%)

You can read the Santa Teresa area real estate market report at this link if you’d like more details and statistical analysis. This particular page goes to the report for houses, but you can navigate home type to see condos/townhomes or any other area in San Jose, Santa Clara County, San Mateo County, or Santa Cruz County.

 Also, please note that zip codes don’t always relate to the districts. Zip code 95138 is a great example of that as part of it is in Santa Teresa and part in Evergreen (pricey and upscale Silver Creek). Pull up the averages for 95138 and you might think all the homes are selling for around $1.4 million. But if you look in the charming but more affordable Silver Leaf area of the same zip code, you’ll find the cost half as much – or less! So too with 95123 (though less dramatic) as about half of that is in Blossom Valley and part in Santa Teresa.
It’s good to do a lot of research, but beware the “easy answers” of price per square foot or average sales price per zip code. Often your best help will come from a highly experienced real estate professional who’s willing to help you to crunch the numbers for the Santa Teresa real estate market (boring grunt work but not actually difficult).
And don’t forget the condo market! This can be even more difficult to pin down because of the small amount of data and the wide variety of values. Here’s a quick look at the current Santa Teresa condo market from the RE Report data:
Trends At a Glance Feb 2018 Previous Month Year-over-Year
Median Price $785,000 (+8.3%) $725,000 $618,000 (+27.0%)
Average Price $809,417 (+11.7%) $724,400 $664,625 (+21.8%)
No. of Sales 12 (+140.0%) 5 (+50.0%)
Pending (-33.3%) 12 16 (-50.0%)
Active (0.0%) 2 14 (-85.7%)
Sale vs. List Price 110.8% (-1.0%) 111.9% 102.7% (+7.8%)
Days on Market (-7.8%) 9 58 (-85.0%)
Days of Inventory (-62.5%) 12 47 (-90.5%)
Disclaimers made, here are some Altos Research numbers for the four Santa Teresa zip codes:

Real Estate Market Chart by Altos Research

You’ll note that one of the four zips is super high – this is 95138, which has a number of homes in The Ranch, a subdivision in Evergreen near Silver Creek. The part of 95138 which is in Santa Teresa is considerably more affordable, well under $1 million in the vast majority of cases. So let’s take that one out so we can get a better feel for the true pricing of Santa Teresa homes.

Real Estate Market Chart by Altos Research

Here two of the zip codes seem to be on track with each other, but 95123 is going at a different pace. Half of that area is Blossom Valley, which tends to be a stronger market. Regardless, it would seem that overall, the median list price of homes for sale in Santa Teresa has gone from the mid 700 thousands to the mid 800 thousands over the last year, now hanging out close to the 900 mark. And that’s about what I have seen, anecdotally, too.

Santa Teresa homes for sale

Interested in buying a house, townhouse or condominium in the Santa Teresa area? Below, please check out a list of available properties, listed in order of most recently added to the MLS first. Or better yet, call or email me to discuss working together!


  1. 2 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 850 sq ft
    Lot size: 1,062 sqft
  2. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,383 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,185 sqft
  3. 4 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 2,010 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,998 sqft
  4. 1 bed, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,019 sq ft
    Lot size: 723 sqft
  5. 6 beds, 5 baths
    Home size: 2,633 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,998 sqft

See all Real estate in the Santa Teresa community.
(all data current as of 3/24/2018)

Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.

Evergreen area of San Jose (Silicon Valley)The Evergreen area is in the southeast foothills of San Jose and extends north toward Eastridge Mall. It includes a few zip codes – 95148, 95121, 95135, and a portion of 95138 (part is also “Santa Teresa” or “South San Jose”). There’s a lot of diversity in this region – the areas in the flatlands near the Mall, Reid-Hillview Airport, and waterpark are more modest and affordable as compared to the areas further south where you’re more likely to see luxury properties (Hillstone, Bel-Aire Estates, The Meadowlands, The Ranch on Silver Creek, Silver Creek Valley Country Club and nearby). Pricier areas feature larger lots and houses and valley or hillside views set near the golf courses (Silver Creek Valley Country Club, The Ranch Golf Club, and the Villages Golf & Country Club).

In general, Evergreen is scenic and includes many newer homes and communities. Many people enjoy the relative newness of construction and whole neighborhoods which are young, compared to the rest of Santa Clara County and Silicon Valley as a whole.

Evergreen real estate market for single family homes or houses

Please find the full report on my Real Estate Report for the Evergreen area of San Jose.

Real Estate Market Chart by Altos Research

Continue reading

How’s the Saratoga California real estate market?

Orchard and Hills in Saratoga, California

Orchard and Hills in Saratoga, California

This is a fairly comprehensive article on the Saratoga real estate market that will include the live statistics from Altos Research for listed properties (not closed) in Saratoga CA 95070, the closed sale data from the RE Report for last month in Saratoga 95070, and the numbers I crunched for Saratoga – overall and by price point and high school district, since Saratoga has 3 different high school districts, each with an impact on home values.

First, let’s consider the months of inventory by price point and high school district that I crunched using, our local multiple listing service provider.

The months of inventory is a reference to how fast homes would be absorbed into the market if sales continued at the same pace and no new inventory came onto the market. It’s often referred to as “the absorption rate” – and that can be months of inventory, weeks of inventory, or days of inventory. A “balanced” market is somewhere around 4-5 months for us, though the National Association of Realtors says that 6 months is balanced nationwide. Anything under 3 is a good seller’s market, and under 1 is like saying that homes are “flying off the market.”

(For comparison, please also see a similar article on the Live in Los Gatos blog for the town of Los Gatos – real estate market by price point and high school district.)

Here’s the chart for Saratoga – all price points, all school districts.

2A - Saratoga, CA, Real Estate Market Update

And for comparison, here’s the chart from last month:

2A - Saratoga, CA, Real Estate Market Update

This month the data is back to what’s been the norm as of late – a strong seller’s market with fairly low inventory. Just over 2 MOI looks very hot, but if you look at where the listings are and compare it to the sales you are able to see there is at least one big exception. We can tell that the highest price point, $5+ million, is a much slower buyer’s market, which is common, and the other price points are frequently even lower than the average. Because the inventory is so small, the data can be easily distorted, so it is helpful to look a little farther back for general trends and pricing. As always, each property is unique, so this chart is just a guide and finding the right price to list or offer requires closer inspection and is best done with the help of a qualified agent.

By comparing across school districts you can also see how different each area’s individual market can be. The overall MOI for different school districts this month ranges from 3.333 to 0.4. Small levels of inventory can create big data swings and make for less accurate charts, nevertheless, we can still spot trends if we know where to look.


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Mary Pope-Handy
Sereno Group Real Estate
214 Los Gatos-Saratoga Rd
Los Gatos, CA 95030
408 204-7673
Mary (at)
License# 01153805

Selling homes in
Silicon Valley:
Santa Clara County,
San Mateo County, and
Santa Cruz County.
Special focus on:
San Jose, Los Gatos,
Saratoga, Campbell,
Almaden Valley,
Cambrian Park.
Let’s Connect
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Please see more icons
at the bottom of the page.

The real estate search
Use the widget below to browse properties which are for sale, under contract (pending) or sold. Want to view only homes which are available now? Use the "find a home" link on the menu above (next to the "home" button).
Mary’s other sites & blogs
Valley Of Hearts Delight
Santa Clara County Real Estate,
with an interest in history
Silicon Valley relocation info
Silicon Valley real estate,
focus on home selling

Silicon Valley Real Estate Report
Silicon Valley real estate
market trends & statistics
Mary’s Blog Awards
Top 25 real estate blogs of 2018 by RentPrep2018's list of top 25 real estate blogs to follow

Top 25 real estate blogs 2016
2016: Personal Income's list of top 25 real estate blogs.

Best Realtor blog award
2016: Coastal Group OC's list of best Realtor blogs

The 2009 Sellsius list of top 12 women real estate bloggers
2009: Sellsius list of top
12 women real estate bloggers

Mary Pope-Handy's Live in Los Gatos blog won the 2007 Project Blogger contest, sponsored by Inman News and Active Rain

2007: Mary Pope-Handy and Frances Flynn Thorsen win the Project Blogger Contest for Mary's Live in Los Gatos blog. The contest was sponsored by
Active Rain and Inman News.

Non blog award

Best real estate agent in Silicon Valley from the San Jose Mercury News poll of readers in 2011
"Best real estate agent
in Silicon Valley"

2011 readers' poll,
San Jose Mercury News

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