My 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. Those charts are below.
First, though, I want to share some info that I pulled from the MLS last night. It does appear that Cambrian home prices have come down quite a bit since the peak of pricing in March. For home sellers wondering why their properties aren’t selling as quickly, this may be helpful. Also it’s good info for those thinking of selling their houses or condos in this second half of 2018.
The very best way to know what the market is doing is to track the same house as it sells and re-sells. However, most home owners don’t move often, so that is not helpful to us. The next best method is to find very similar properties and track them. That would be such as all condos in a large development with approximately the same floor plan / size.
Cambrian often mimics the valley as a whole pretty well, so I thought I would pull up a representative sample from a hot segment of the market to get my own sense of how things are going. I pulled starter homes with Campbell Union High School District, zip code 95124, with 1000 – 1500 SF, 3-4 bedrooms and 2+ baths.
Here are the averages from March to today (updated Sept 7, 2018):
March 2018 (10 sales) average price per SF $1,100.53 average sale price $1,429,612
April 2018 (15 sales) average price per SF $1,138.75 average sale price $1,417,000
May 2018 (14 sales) average price per SF $1,076.54 average sale price $1,375,643
June 2018 (10 sales) average price per SF $980.64 average sale price $1,258,550 (steepest drop from the month before)
July 2018 (12 sales) average price per SF $974.35 average sale price $1,232,958
August 2018 (9 sales) average price per SF $899.29 average sale price $1,176,522
That is a drop in the average sale price of $253,090 over 5 months for this group, or about $50,618 per month on average (though some months it is more or less). The data here uses a fairly small pool, so it may not be accurate for all parts of Cambrian, but it is an indicator of what the market is doing overall since this is a very in-demand segment of Cambrian.
If we input this into excel and ask it to generate a forecast through December (which assumes the same rate of change, which may NOT be true), it looks like this – sellers please note, THIS IS WHAT BUYERS ARE THINKING AS THEY WAIT TO BID:
When I plunked the data into excel, it gave a range of possible values…and of course the actual range is myriad! Where do YOU think these values will be with December’s closings (revealed in January)? As low as $871k? As high as $1 million?
Now I need to remind everyone that the market is often not a straight line. Let’s stop and take a look at the county’s sales (average and median prices) to get a sense of that. Although the general trend for the last few years has been upward, please see that there are MANY drops, particularly in the second half of each year.
As is evident, seasonally, the market does often flatten or decline somewhat in the second half of each year. The peak is most often in spring sometime. Very often, the peak is in March (again, that means sales the month before, which is February, and that means getting your house all ready in January). So let’s say that the market does drop at the current rate, in January 2019, this hypothetical Cambrian home would be selling at about $886,000, prior to the possible spring surge in pricing. To get the lowest price means buying in December, not buying in January, most likely. But – December also typically has the lowest inventory, so not much selection. For that reason, if you like a home now, I would suggest buying that home now. Buying a home for yourself and your family is not like buying a stock. You are going to live in it, so you will want to like it. I have seen many buyers try to time the market and end up going through December since they hated what was available, and then they got caught buying in the spring madness, and they paid more.
But who knows if prices will rebound in early 2019 or not. Who knows if prices will continue dropping this year. Some years, we have seen drops followed by rapid appreciation. Last year, prices rose through December, confusing everyone. This could be the beginning of a correction, or it could be a seasonal cool down – a gift for wearing Cambrian home buyers.
If it’s the beginning of a correction, buying now does not make sense unless you plan to be in your home for 10 years or so. If it is a seasonal experience, or a blip, then buying this fall is a good idea, since the new year is very likely to see prices move back up.
Which is it? I do not know for sure. The CEO of my company thinks that prices will trail off for the rest of this year, and then return to their upward march in the spring of 2019 (think Feb – April). When I see the hiring, the Google expansion, I know that people have to live somewhere. It may be a standoff between sellers and buyers on price. My usual advice is simple: if you are ready to get on with your life, and you’re going to stay there 5 or 10 years, buying now most likely makes sense.
Cambrian single family homes trends at a glance – numbers from the RE Report
Sales and turnover are fast and steady, and the sales to list price has remained high, over 110% for many months now. Prices have been slipping fairly steadily since March / April. Usually I only show this month and the one before, but I’ll display 3 months’ of data this time so it’s more clear. Interesting, though, that the sale price to list price ratio is still so high. These numbers reflect all of MLS “area 14”, which includes virtually all of 95124 (some of that is Willow Glen) and 95118 (some of that is Blossom Valley) and a sliver of 95008.
Most of Cambrian did not get the same appreciation as our hottest segment, above, so the general area stats will be a bit different.
Trends at a Glance
|Trends At a Glance||Aug 2018||Previous Month||Year-over-Year|
|Median Price||$1,297,500 (+3.0%)||$1,260,000||$1,152,000 (+12.6%)|
|Average Price||$1,315,560 (+0.3%)||$1,311,880||$1,182,770 (+11.2%)|
|No. of Sales||52 (-8.8%)||57||75 (-30.7%)|
|Pending||50 (-3.8%)||52||47 (+6.4%)|
|Active||75 (+7.1%)||70||25 (+200.0%)|
|Sale vs. List Price||103.4% (-1.6%)||105.1%||108.2% (-4.5%)|
|Days on Market||26 (+52.7%)||17||12 (+117.1%)|
|Days of Inventory||43 (+17.4%)||37||10 (+332.7%)|
And the month before:
|Trends At a Glance||Jul 2018||Previous Month||Year-over-Year|
|Median Price||$1,260,000 (-4.0%)||$1,312,500||$1,140,000 (+10.5%)|
|Average Price||$1,311,880 (-5.3%)||$1,385,810||$1,178,450 (+11.3%)|
|No. of Sales||57 (-1.7%)||58||77 (-26.0%)|
|Pending||52 (0.0%)||52||61 (-14.8%)|
|Active||70 (+42.9%)||49||22 (+218.2%)|
|Sale vs. List Price||105.1% (-5.5%)||111.2%||107.9% (-2.6%)|
|Days on Market||17 (+39.4%)||12||19 (-11.0%)|
|Days of Inventory||37 (+50.4%)||25||9 (+329.8%)|
When it’s a hot seller’s market, like it is right now in Silicon Valley, it is challenging to be a home buyer. That means it’s also hard to be a buyer’s agent, since it may require writing many, many offers (and a lot of time and energy) before the clients get into contract. Since Realtors are usually only paid when a property closes, that means it’s not too hard to go broke if a real estate professional focuses a lot of time with buyers. In other words, in a market like this, most agents would prefer to work with sellers rather than buyers, because it’s more likely that they’ll make a living.
What can you do to increase the odds of finding a great Realtor who will take you seriously, work with you and for you, and give it a good effort even if it’s an uphill battle? First, let’s understand what a real estate licensee is looking for a client – at least in most cases. Usually, the savvy agent doesn’t want to waste time with people who are not serious, not ready, or who will not be loyal. The smart Realtor knows that without these three things, it’s unlikely that they will be able to sell that person a home, or at least not in a reasonable period of time.
Serious home buyers:
Only about half of all home buyers will likely buy in the year they think they might, so it’s important for real estate professionals to try to make sure that they don’t spend months on someone only to have him or her remain permanent renters. The agent must qualify the client to make sure it’s worth the risk of spending time with him or her.
Clues that the buyer isn’t serious include these:
(1) Comments like “I may have to look at homes for a year or two” or “I may need to write a hundred offers to get the right deal” or “I’m in no rush” indicate that this isn’t a big priority for the buyer (so maybe it shouldn’t be for the agent, either). This buyer is able, ready and probably also loyal – but not serious. Some, though, will clarify with a time frame and this is a game changer. “My lease is up in July, so ideally, I’d like to get into contract in March, close in April and move in May. But if I find the right house sooner, I’ll buy sooner.” That works!
(2) If there are two decision makers, having only one do most of the house hunting and the other showing up at distant intervals often indicates that it’s a priority for one but not both. Sometimes that’s not the case, but it is a red flag. Both need to be serious. Continue reading
You may have heard that the Silicon Valley real estate market is slightly softer now than it was a a few months ago. That’s true – at least for most of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties and nearby. In many cases there are now half as many offers as there were in February, March, or April. But it’s still a hot seller’s market, and that means that often there are multiple offers, overbids, and sales with no contingencies.
For my last few listings – which have been in San Jose, Saratoga, Los Gatos, the Cambrian area of San Jose and the Campbell area of San Jose – there’s been a consistent “spread” of offers. If there were 6 offers, it might look like this:
- Best offer frequently the highest price and best terms. It is 10-20% over list price, 25-30% down at least, and has no contingencies for inspection, loan, and most of all, appraisal (the percentage over has to do with whether the home was priced spot on the value or strategically under). These offers come with all disclosures signed, and the buyer’s agent has even done her or his Agent Visual Inspection Disclosure. They include the proof of funds and usually also write a nice letter to the sellers about why they want to purchase that home.
- The best offer is also someone who’s been SURE that he or she or they wanted the home from the very beginning and looks ROCK SOLID. NO WAVERING, not a “last minute” offer. Any hesitation on your side will cause the seller to not feel good about your odds of closing the sale. Be consistently interested if you want the sale. A shaky looking buyer may not include their proof of funds. Perhaps they would not sign the disclosures yet or otherwise submit an incomplete package. They don’t come across as certain about buying this property and need a few days to see the property again, or show it to their parents, or otherwise confirm the decision to buy. Their agent is not so thorough. If the TDS is not fully signed off, is the buyers’ agent trying to sneak a 3 day right of cancellation into the contract? The best buyer’s offer doesn’t look shaky – it looks dead set on buying the home and has done everything possible to convince the seller of their conviction.
- The second best or next runner up is usually strong on terms (at least 25% down, few or no contingencies) but perhaps made an offer price a little under the top value. Sometimes the next runner up has a good price and mostly good terms, but something is not quite as solid. If the offers are tied but one buyer has no contingencies and the other has any, that will be the tie-breaker.
- Middle of the pack is usually a combination of a price where the home should appraise, a solid down payment, and few or no contingencies. It may be a price that seems “reasonable”. Buyers may feel that it is “a fair offer” or a win-win. Often the fair offers aren’t good enough to take the prize in multiple offers. If you can project what most buyers think a home will be worth, maybe you might want to consider getting ahead of that pack and seeing where the pricing trajectory will take you.
- Bottom offers are under, at, or barely over list price, and include an appraisal contingency as well as others (one for loan or one for property condition). If there’s a rent back, they want their PITI covered.
If you’ve been writing offers and not succeeding, try to see your own pattern in this spread. Is there one thing, or perhaps are there two or more things, you’re just not ready to do?
Why it is so hard
An appraisal is an opinion of real estate value by a licensed appraiser, employed when a house or condo is under contract or sale pending with a mortgage, so that the lender does not over-invest. In other words, when an appraisal is used in escrow, it is to protect the bank which is lending money on the property. Appraisals may be used at other times, too.
Market value is what home buyers and sellers will agree on as the sale price of a property. When Realtors work up a comparative market analysis or competitive market analysis, they try to figure out where the home will sell in the future, or what the market value will be. They will also strive to bring that sale price to the top of the possible range of likely values – or go beyond it.
Put another way, appraisals attempt to determine the most precise value for what a home should be worth. Home buyers may or may not agree with an appraisal’s results, though. The appraisal value does not equal market value. The market may find the property to be worth more or less than what an official appraisal states as the worth of the real estate.
With an appraisal, there is a subjective element to the opinion of value. For instance, if a brand new kitchen sink is tangerine in color but in great condition, will the appraiser ding it for being unpopular, or value it higher for being new? I can tell you that most Realtors would take off projected value for that poor color choice – but I doubt that an appraiser would. How about a flag lot? Is that worth more or less than a standard lot on the street? Most buyers would prefer a home on the street, and that may impact the sale price, but will an appraiser devalue a flag lot? Maybe.
Or with a view, how much is it worth? Recently I sold a Saratoga home with a fantastic, once in a lifetime view. The appraiser who came out for the bank downplayed the view as not having much value at all. The home buyers who bid on the property, though, thought it was all about the view.
Fair market value is when there is just one buyer (or couple) and one seller (or couple) and the property is purchased with no undue pressure on either side. It’s not a fire sale for the seller. The buyer isn’t competing in a crazy multiple offer situation. The appraisal will have the best odds of matching market value in this circumstance, but even then, it’s no guarantee. In the San Jose area, if there’s only one buyer for the residence and it’s a moderately priced piece of real estate, there may be something wrong that makes buyers somewhat devalue the home. (This is because we have perpetually low inventory – at least as of this writing in 2017.)
In a rapidly appreciating market, appraisal values often lag the probable buyer’s value (or market value). This is because appraisals are always backwards looking in time. They consider the closed sales. If a property closed escrow 3 months ago, that purchase price was probably agreed upon 4 months ago, since most escrows run about 30 days. With multiple offer situations, we may get 6 offers on a Silicon Valley home and four of them can be at a certain number – but the appraisal comes in lower.
Home buyers decide on their pricing based on sold homes which are similar as well as the current competition and the trajectory of the market. In spots, they say “run to where the ball is going“. If you run to where the ball is now, you will miss it. So too with an actively changing market.
Sometimes the market gets soft, either generally or in certain pockets or pricing tiers. When that happens, home sellers can find themselves frustrated if there was a recent appraisal but home buyers don’t agree with the stated value. “But the appraisal said it’s worth MORE!” Buyers don’t care about the appraisal. If the buyers who step up to the plate with an offer are the only ones bidding, there’s a good chance that the ultimate sale price negotiated will be the true market value. That does not make the appraisal wrong, it only means that either prices have gone down a bit since the appraisal or that market conditions have created a lower sale price.
In this highly competitive seller’s market, some home buyers are choosing to purchase their house, condo or townhouse non-contingent, meaning with no contingencies for inspection, loan, appraisal etc. . The “non-contingent offer” has been present in the Silicon Valley real estate scene for a few years (since 2012 or so), to the horror of those of us working in the field in 2000 and the years immediately after (it’s a very bad deja vu, given the onslaught of lawsuits that came in its wake last time). My clients sometimes make this choice, too, explaining to me that they feel it’s the only way to get the property.
With no loan contingency to protect the buyers should the loan not come through (or fail to do so in time), some consumers are electing to “double app” the loan. Translation: they pursue financing with two or more lenders simultaneously (fill out two loan applications, pay for two appraisals etc.). Lenders, naturally, don’t like this because only one of them has the possibility of closing the sale or the loan, and only the one who closes the loan will get paid. In a normal market, with normal contingencies in place, I would not recommend this approach. But if there are no contingencies to protect the buyer, a second loan may provide a safety net as it increases the odds that a loan will be funded so that the home can close escrow. Continue reading
Many Silicon Valley home sellers receive multiple offers on a set day, often 7 to 9 days after the house or condo is first on the market. What happens if they like a few offers and want to counter them? One option is to issue a Multiple Counter Offer. How does that work?
With the multiple counter offer process, the seller decides after one or more of the buyers accepts (or if they counter back and forth, or if one buyer improves his or her offer). No matter the exact path, the seller ultimately must pick one offer and sign off on it to ratify the sale. In other words, when a buyer agrees to the multiple counter offer terms, it’s not a done deal. The owner must sign again to accept and select that buyer. Only then is the contract ratified.
CAR and PRDS multiple counter offer paperwork
We have two sets of contarcts, addsenda, etc. in use in Silicon Valley – the PRDS and the CAR. The California Association of Realtors (CAR) set is used throughout the state. The PRDS is employed from about Los Gatos to somewhere south of San Francisco on the Peninsula. Many areas such as Almaden or Campbell may work with either.
The CAR forms library has a separate document for multiple counter offers. Near the bottom of the page, there’s a place for the seller to sign when selecting a buyer for the sale. Unless this is signed, the buyer doesn’t have the deal.
The Peninsula Regional Data Service (PRDS) form is not separate – it’s the same document used for just a single, binding counter offer. However, at the bottom, there’s a place to indicate if it is a multiple counter offer. Here’s how it looks:
Obviously, it is extremely important to notice whether you’re receiving a regular counter offer or a multiple counter offer. But either way, it’s clear that the seller must agree to choose one of the willing buyers. Just pay attention to the details!
Are the price and terms of multiple counter offers all the same?
When a seller responds with a multiple counter offer, the price and terms could be the same for all of the bidders. Most of the time, though, that’s not the case – the price and terms are not identical between one bidder and the next. There are many possible reasons for this.
- There may be an offer with great terms (
- all cash , no contingencies, or?) but a price that’s not quite right. That buyer may only get a counter based on price.
- Another potential buyer may have a strong price but not so hot terms (long contingencies, too many contingencies, less than ideal downpayment or financing). A good example might be a sky high price with 5% down and FHA backed financing and an appraisal contingency (but money available that the buyer just doesn’t want to put in the down payment). The seller may only counter out the appraisal contingency. Other times the offer may be great but the contingencies are just too long, so the seller asks for them to be shortened.
- Sometimes all the issues are relatively small, such as whether or not the washer, dryer and fridge stay, or how much to pay for a rent back.
- Some sellers approach multiple counter offers the way some high school seniors approach college applications and target a “safety” price, a probably attainable price, and a “reach” price – and put three different numbers out there.
- I have seen sellers who were annoyed by rude buyers (or their agents) give the unpleasant people a sky high counter. (The period before the offer deadline is the courtship, and buyers really need to be on their best behavior with both the seller and the listing agent.)
Anything else to know about multiple counter offers?
Two more things to know: first, some buyers, when given a multiple counter offer, won’t just say yes or no. Truly motivated and capable buyers sometimes instead just submit a better offer (redoing page 1 with a larger offer price, for instance). Don’t assume that you won’t get uprooted, even if the listing agent tells you something leading like “it’s looking good for you” (which shouldn’t happen but sometimes may). As long as the counter is in play, someone else can come in and get it.
And lastly, a good attitude and looking “rock solid” and sure can sometimes win the bid. Not every seller does this, but it’s not uncommon for a home owner to take the first multiple counter offer returned with an acceptance. The reason is that they want to sell to someone who is so sure that there’s no hesitation.
It remains a strong seller’s real estate market in Silicon Valley, with many properties selling with multiple offers, but there’s an undercurrent of concern that we are the near the peak of pricing. That has some buyers nervous (though most will quip that Apple and Google and others are still hiring, and the local economy is strong – so they are not too worried). For those who are a little nervous, sometimes it turns into cold feet – and it’s costing them.
What we are seeing in terms of cold feet with Silicon Valley home buying:
This undercurrent is not being widely reported but we are experiencing it in our real estate practices as a few things have been taking place.
First, a larger than usual number of transactions have been falling through. Many of these, though, are not recorded on the multiple listing service, as they take place right after an offer is accepted, so the listing agent and sellers turn to one of the other bidders and put them into contract within hours. Because they aren’t recorded, it’s impossible to track – but the stories are out there of this happening more now than a year or two ago.
In other cases, offers are written and submitted but withdrawn before they could be countered or accepted.
And in others, buyer agents say that they will be submitting an offer, but on the day of offer presentation, the home buyers back out and the offer is never submitted.
In my experience, all of these things are happening “more than normal” right now. A lot of it is not easily measurable.
Symptoms of cold feet to come
Home sellers want to feel confident when they accept a contract that it will stick, both because they don’t want the work or emotional upheaval associated with a transaction that falls through, but also because often the best price is the first price. When a home ‘resells’, most of the time it is for less than the origanlly accepted bid.
For that reason, smart listing agents are looking for the symptoms of cold feet. They’d rather not get their sellers into contract with nervous buyers who will change their mind about buying the house or condo.
Symptoms of nervousness about the property at an open house:
- Dominating the listing agent’s time with incessant and low-level questions – best to give most of your questions to your own buyer’s agent, who will help you with them. It’s good to ask about the home, the reports and so on, but you don’t want to take so much of the Realtor’s time that he or she cannot talk with others there. Think balance both in terms of the time and the nature of the questions. You want to present yourself as reasonable and easy to work with.
- We often say that the longer a buyer stays, the more likely he or she is to write an offer. This is true, up to a point. Buyers who come to an open house and stay for 2 hours, or who make 4 or 5 trips to see the house go from looking interested to appearing unsure.
Symptoms of nervousness about the property (your potentially cold feet) when your offer is submitted:
- Sending in an incomplete offer and supporting documents. If the listing agent requires proof of funds, provide it. If the disclosures are to be signed, do all of them – not just the cover sheet. Aim to be thorough, it will present you as serious. It will also show that you are not a pain to work with, that you and your Realtor can follow directions and that the listing agent won’t have to chase down the paperwork later. Go the extra mile, it helps!
- Submitting an offer package “last minute”, without the buyer’s agent giving advance notice that it’s coming. Related to this is seeing the property and reviewing everything well in advance, but only deciding a few hours before the deadline to actually write, sign, and submit the bid. The serious buyers who are rock solid are the ones who know early on that they want the property and are committed to it early on. Their buyer’s agent will let the listing agent know long before offers are due that these home buyers are going to bid on it. One agent recently told me “my buyers are madly in love with the house” many days before the offer due date. This makes a big impression on sellers and their agents.
- If the buyer’s agent needs to call every few days to see how things are looking, it usually hints that the buyers are not too sure or that they will only write an offer if there’s limited competition. The truly sure buyers plunge ahead despite competing bids or the lack of them.
Want to buy a home? Try not to come across as skiddish to the listing agent! Your cold feet may cost you the home, even if your offer’s got the highest price. Home sellers and their agents want to feel confident that you will close on the sale if your offer is accepted. Present yourself as serious, capable, reliable, and easy to work with and your odds of success will be increased. At the end of the day, it is always “price and terms”, but never underestimate the influence that your behavior and your real estate agent’s behavior play into the overall package, because shaky buyers may not close the sale, but home buyers who are rock solid and madly in love with the house will.
Lastly, in an appreciating market, as we have right now, it should be noted that often the next house or townhouse or condo will be more costly or in worse shape than the one you could not decide to get serious about. Stay nervous too long, and you could ultimately really impact how much home you can buy at all. Worse yet, take too long and you may price yourself out of the market entirely.
Often the Silicon Valley real estate market takes a bit of a nosedive in December and January, only to make a comeback after the SuperBowl. Just now I ran the stats for the city of San Jose, which is big enough, at about 1 million people, to provide a good sense of the market generally.
Below please find a simple chart reflecting houses sold with the days on market and sale price to list price ratio. You can see, clearly, that the SP to LP ratio dips noticeably in December & January, and also that the days on market rise.
Even so, how bad was it? The average DOM was 38 (break-neck speed in any other part of the country) and the average SP to LP ratio fell to “only” 102%.
That was it – that was the “break” that buyers get in winter. Things are reversing course, as often they do in February, March, and April, and multiple offers with big overbids are again the major story in San Jose and throughout the Silicon Valley region. Just this last week I heard of a home in this valley that got 45 offers.
Home buyers, want to purchase this year? Your best bet is to be financially well equiped with 25% down or more if you are buying in any of the hotter areas. This is a nearly impossible market for FHA home buyers or for those with less than 20% down.
Home owners, want to sell this year? You can maximize your return by doing smart fixes and thorough inspections to make buyers feel confident about purchasing your property. That confidence can change the game and bring 10 offers where there might have been 5, and with the larger numbers of bidders usually there come also much larger sale prices.
Call me or email me if you would like to discuss working together and getting your best deal in the current Santa Clara County realty market.
Homes for sale in San Jose
$798,000 : 1089 Waco ST, SAN JOSE2 beds, 1 bath
$449,888 : 5721 Makati CIR B, SAN JOSE1 bed, 1 bath
$1,948,000 : 2191 Hillstone DR, SAN JOSE5 beds, 3 baths
$675,000 : 1060 S 3rd ST 266, SAN JOSE2 beds, 2 baths
$449,000 : 1008 Summerplace DR, SAN JOSE1 bed, 2 baths
See all Real estate in the city of San Jose.
(all data current as of 9/25/2018)
Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.
Buyers who are getting slammed out of the Silicon Valley real estate market due to low inventory and multiple offers are extremely frustrated. In many cases, they write offer after offer, and each time not only are their bids rejected, but they never even get a counter offer.
You should not depend on getting a 2nd chance, of course. Just because you write a contract on a San Jose area home does not mean that the seller needs to give you a counter offer. Some agents and sellers don’t respond at all – not nice, but if you get dozens of offers, sometimes that does happen. Sometimes they just take the best offer and run. Othertimes they only counter the best offer and forget the rest.
The question arises all the time: why isn’t my 20% down offer just as good as the 50% down or the All Cash offer? Isn’t 20% down good enough? Or for that matter, why wouldn’t a 3.5% FHA backed loan be suitable?
Cash is better because there’s less risk
Twenty percent down is “good enough” if there are no other offers. If it’s multiple offers, though, it’s probably not sufficient for most sellers provided that the all cash offers are written with realistic pricing. Right now, 25% of all sales in Santa Clara County are all cash, and sellers would far rather deal with an offer that includes no finance or appraisal contingencies. For sellers, the fewer contingencies the better and no contingencies is ideal. Particularly now, when we are seeing a very sudden and dramatic upswing in pricing, appraisal contingencies can kill an offer’s chances of success. With all cash, there is no appraisal at all – it’s a slam dunk on that front. Continue reading
If you are house hunting in the Cambrian area of San Jose, you are probably aware that home prices and the real estate climate generally differ based on a number of things, but the most important factor of all is the schools. While it is helpful to view the Cambrian real estate market as a whole, it’s more accurate to look at a smaller segment of that realty market and study it by school district.
One data point we use to analyse the market is the absorption rate, or months of inventory. The question is this: if no new inventory came on the market, how long would it take for the current supply of houses for sale take to sell, if sales continue at the same rate? For this we look at the currently available list of homes for sale (some people including pending with contingency in place, but nearly all of these do close, so I omit them) and also those of the same criteria which have sold and closed escrow in the last 30 days. The same study could be done on a weekly basis rather than monthly, but with such small numbers of inventory, that would likely not be so reliable. I ran these numbers from MLSListings.com this morning?
Cambrian as a whole has 1.07 months of inventory – that’s pretty good if you are a seller, and a bit scary if you are a buyer. A closer look, though, and you see quite a huge difference between either the Cambrian or Union School District, which both have a very brisk .83 months of inventory, versus the homes in the San Jose Unified School District area, which are moving at 3 months of inventory – a great market for most of the U.S., but sluggish compared to the other areas.
For a home owner wanting to sell in the SJ Unfied section of Cambrian, this is critically important information to understand so that you don’t overestimate the enthusiasm for your house. It is going to be more important for you to price aggressively, stage well, market thoroughly than in the other areas, which may be more self-selling due to the very high quality of the public schools.
For a home buyer wanting to purchase in any of these areas, knowledge is power! You might be able to get away with contingencies in your offers in the San Jose Unified neighborhoods as you may be the only offer in some cases, but that may not get you into your next home in the more competitive areas where many people are just trying to get their children into excellent schools and you’ve got multiple offers and overbids in that superheated market. (We Realtors do not love seeing our buyers get into contract with few or no contingencies, by the way. We prefer where there’s a little more balance. This imbalanced situation is a classic case of supply and demand: too much demand, not much supply.)
Finally, it should be noted that schools are a major driver all of Silicon Valley. I have similar studies, using high school districts, for Saratoga (on this site) and Los Gatos (on the Live in Los Gatos blog), if you’d like to check those out also. Because those areas have a really big spread in pricing, the absorption rates have been considered by price point too.
Check out what’s happening in the Cambrian market in the map below.
$1,400,000 : 5171 Leigh AVE, SAN JOSE5 beds, 3 baths
$1,398,000 : 1268 Weathersfield, SAN JOSE3 beds, 3 baths
$980,000 : 1339 Star Bush LN, SAN JOSE3 beds, 3 baths
$749,950 : 1524 Marlene CT, SAN JOSE2 beds, 3 baths
$1,099,888 : 1592 Jacob AVE, SAN JOSE5 beds, 2 baths
$1,095,000 : 1455 Princeton DR, SAN JOSE4 beds, 2 baths
$1,499,000 : 1474 Portobelo DR, SAN JOSE4 beds, 3 baths
$1,149,000 : 5683 Tubac LN, SAN JOSE3 beds, 2 baths
$1,249,000 : 2375 Starbright DR, SAN JOSE4 beds, 2 baths
$1,399,000 : 3802 Kirk RD, SAN JOSE3 beds, 2 baths
See all Real estate in the Cambrian community.
(all data current as of 9/25/2018)
Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.