Types of Homes in Silicon Valley
How’s the Saratoga California real estate market?
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 MLSListings.com, 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.
And for comparison, here’s the chart from last month:
This month shows steady, low inventory with increasing sales, creating a higher MOI. Despite winter cooling, the market just won’t let up, and an overall 2.375 MOI is still a sellers market. By comparing across school districts you can see how different each area’s individual market can be. The overall MOI for different schools this month ranges from 1.8 to 2.778. Small levels of inventory can create big data swings like, and can make for not the most accurate charts. Nonetheless, we can still spot market trends if we know where to look.
How is the Campbell real estate market? Here are the numbers, but what do those numbers mean? The sales vs list price remains over 100% and the average days on market are low at 29 days. Campbell is still in a seller’s market, despite a general cooling.
Further down in this article, we’ll utilize the graphs from Altos Research, which uses list prices, and check out the trends in pricing by quartile in this zip code (meaning 4 groups based on the pricing tier from least to most expensive). Campbell condominiums and townhomes will be considered as well. And finally, a list of homes for sale in Campbell will be found at the bottom of the post.
First, here are some quick stats, care of my RE Report for Campbell:
|Trends at a Glance||FEB 2017||PREVIOUS MONTH||YEAR-OVER YEAR|
|Median Home Price||+3.6%||$1,237,500||$1,194,440||-3.7%||$1,285,000|
|Average Sales Price||+3.9%||$1,368,210||$1,316,890||+8.0%||$1,267,390|
|No. of Homes Sold||+40.0%||14||10||+7.7%||13|
|Short Sales Sold||N/A||0||0||N/A||0|
|Active Short Sales||N/A||0||0||N/A||0|
|Sales Price vs. List Price||+6.3%||106.3%||100.0%||+0.3%||106.0%|
|Average Days on Market||+10.7%||29||26||+153.0%||11|
And last month’s chart for comparison:
|Trends at a Glance||JAN 2017||PREVIOUS MONTH||YEAR-OVER YEAR|
|Median Home Price||+5.0%||$1,194,440||$1,137,500||+17.1%||$1,020,000|
|Average Sales Price||+9.3%||$1,316,890||$1,204,660||+18.4%||$1,112,670|
|No. of Homes Sold||-54.5%||10||22||-33.3%||15|
|Short Sales Sold||N/A||0||0||N/A||0|
|Active Short Sales||N/A||0||0||N/A||0|
|Sales Price vs. List Price||-1.3%||100.0%||101.4%||-2.4%||102.5%|
|Average Days on Market||-25.5%||26||35||-16.6%||31|
What about the Campbell CA condo market?
Almaden Valley in San Jose is comprised of many neighborhoods and subdivisions. One of them, close to the border with Los Gatos and Cambrian Park, is particularly popular: the Oak Canyon neighborhood.
There are many reasons for its draw among Silicon Valley home buyers: the houses were well built by Shea Homes in about 1980, so they are relatively newer by Silicon Valley standards. They’re larger homes on comfortable lots, often 8000 sf or so but some as small as 6500 sf and others larger than a quarter acre in the Oak Canyon corner of Almaden.
Most of the homes boast a 3 car garage, which is a big help with storage of stuff, if not storage of cars. The roads gently turn, which makes a more pleasing look. It’s a very “conforming” neighborhood where everyone keeps up the homes and yards. Much of Almaden is viewed by consumers as somewhat remote, but this section, near the mouth of Almaden, is not too deep into the valley and is a better commute location for most. One of the largest pulls for the area, though, is the nearby elementary school, Guadalupe School, which has API scores in the 900s.
Where is the Oak Canyon neighborhood in Almaden Valley, San Jose?
Oak Canyon is found near the intersection of Camden Avenue and Coleman Road in San Jose but is bordered by Coleman on one side and the Guadalue Creek on the other sides. (The far side of the Guadalupe Creek at this point is Cambrian Park.)
And to provide some bearings, here’s a map of the Almaden Valley district of San Jose generally:
Each autumn, the St. Martin of Tours School puts on a fabulous tour of lovely homes in San Jose’s Rose Garden neighborhood. While anyone driving through this central San Jose area can appreciate the diverse and beautiful architecture, often the best features of these homes are found inside.
This year is the tour’s 21st Anniversary! The homes tour is a large scale fundraising effort for the school. Tours are self-guided with hosts in each home ready to answer questions and share interesting historical facts and stories about the homes. On display will also be floral designs, artwork, and perhaps some treasures. The garden segment of the tour includes the Tea Garden, a spot to sit and enjoy complementary refreshments or a gourmet lunchbox (available to preorder until October 9th with your tickets). The tour also features a boutique, where 100% of the proceeds will benefit St Martin of Tours School (credit cards accepted!) and a donation drawing.
Tour dates are Saturday, October 15th and Sunday, October 16th from 10am-4pm both days. No children under 12 are allowed on the tour. Come any time within the tour hours to begin, but note that it is recommended that visitors allot about 2 hours to view every home and the tour ends promptly at 4pm.
Tickets are available at the door, online, or through families in the school.
To read about the homes from last year’s tour, and to learn more about this year’s tour, and to purchase tickets visit the official Rose Garden Homes Tour website.
$700,000 : 814 Chagall RD, SAN JOSE3 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths
$1,150,000 : 1890 Fumia PL, SAN JOSE6 beds, 3 full baths
$649,000 : 422 Jerome ST, SAN JOSE2 beds, 1 full bath
$698,000 : 143 Race ST, SAN JOSE2 beds, 2 full baths
$499,900 : 187 Washington ST, SAN JOSE2 beds, 1 full, 1 half baths
$520,000 : 88 E San Fernando ST 906, SAN JOSE0 beds, 1 full bath
$985,000 : 1760 Albert AVE, SAN JOSE4 beds, 2 full baths
$1,199,000 : 2478 Gunar DR, SAN JOSE4 beds, 2 full baths
$1,150,000 : 974 Pinewood DR, SAN JOSE3 beds, 2 full baths
$475,000 : 3184 Heather Ridge DR, SAN JOSE1 bed, 1 full bath
See all Real estate in the city of San Jose.
(all data current as of 3/24/2017)
Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.
Luxury home sales are a little sluggish in the west valley areas of Santa Clara County. Right now in Almaden Valley, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno and Saratoga, there are 97 houses for sale listed at or more than two million dollars (just checked MLSListings.com), but in the last 30 days only 27 have sold and closed escrow in those same areas and price ranges. For the Almaden – Saratoga region generally, then, there are 3.6 months of inventory in the over two million dollar price range (97 / 27). That makes it barely a seller’s market, though things have livened up since June. (In the same region, there are 25 pending sales.)
Next we’ll look at these four Silicon Valley communities separately to see how the luxury market in each one is faring overall.
Almaden Valley (San Jose, 95120)
Currently in Almaden there are 8 houses for sale which are listed at or over $2,000,000. In the last 30 days, just 1 sold (with 1 property pending sale). That makes for a whooping eight “months of inventory.” That would mean this luxury market is not in a seller’s market. It’s a deep buyer’s market in Almaden Valley among the most expensive real estate offerings for sale. Five to six months is balanced and over six is a buyer’s market. Continue reading
The Almaden Winery neighborhood, just off Blossom Hill Road in San Jose, has a rich and interesting past, dating back to the mid 1850s when the site was first planted with grape vines. It was the first winery in Almaden Valley and one of the oldest in the state of California. (It survived the prohibition period by getting licensed to make sacramental wine and by bottling grape juice.)
In this post I’ll share some photos of the neighborhood with you, explain about the three different builders/developers and show you where to find each one.
With a bit more than 300 houses, the Almaden Winery area is quite popular, with its homes selling quickly. The community centers around a lovely park, and additionally there’s a newer library adjacent to it – the Vineland Branch of the San Jose public library system.
The University Square neighborhood in Santa Clara is walking distance to Santa Clara University. I grew up there, riding my bike in the forbidden college walkways, and recall my Realtor mother referring to the area as “Little Professorville.” That was a reference to a lovely Palo Alto neighborhood in the shadow of Stanford University. She wasn’t wrong – we knew some professors who walked to SCU each day from that neighborhood, including my grandfather.
Where is the University Square neighborhood?
The neighborhood may not have exact boundaries, but appears to be bordered by Park Avenue on the east, Washington Street on the west, the University to the north, and Newhall Avenue to the south.
The area closest to the campus is fairly congested, both with density of housing and the amount of cars parked everywhere. This is where you’ll see the reminder that it’s a quiet, residential zone.
Get past Poplar, though, and suddenly it’s a completely different feel, with almost no cars on the street and homes being spread further apart.
The homes found between Washington and Park, and along Alviso Street, are mixed architecturally. Some streets, like Circle Drive and College Avenue, are primarily ranch style houses built from 1955 – 1950 (some of the county records say 1900 – that just means they lost the records and don’t know!). Some of these have been expanded tremendously. The house I grew up in as a child was 1400 square feet, but it’s been added onto a couple or more times and is now more than 3000 SF.
Hilmar Street is older, mostly built in 1940 with a mix of styles, including Cape Cod, Tudor, and Bungalow. Most of the homes have detached garages, and on the south side of one block, the garages are accessed by an alley! We do not have many areas like that in Silicon Valley, but it makes the front of the home look almost like a movie set. That street is also lined with Cherry trees which explode with blossoms each spring, making a beautiful sight. Here’s a photo I took on February 14th, 2006 of that street.
And one more view, from the same day.
The homes here are mostly on 6000 to 9000 sf lots, and range from 1400 to 2500 SF in the majority of cases. There are 2 car garages. In the older houses, the garages will be detached, but in the ranch style houses, they are attached.
There are sidewalks throughout the University Square neighborhood. Often there’s a sidewalk strip, meaning a space for trees and other landscaping between the street and the sidewalk. Other times, the sidewalk is directly adjacent to the road.
This is not a pretentious neighborhood. The homes are mostly fairly modest, middle class homes. But they are convenient for both the university and for a trip to downtown San Jose via either The Alameda or Park Avenue. There’s a lot to be said for not needing a freeway with today’s congestion! As it is scenic, well maintained, and convenient, it’s also expensive, with home prices running about 20% more than the county average for a single family house.
Here’s another lovely home on Hilmar.
Want to check out the neighborhood some more? Browse the listings of University Square Santa Clara homes for sale here:
Homes for sale or recently sold in the University Square neighborhood in Santa Clara
To see what’s for sale, pending, or recently sold in the University Square neighborhood of Santa Clara, please visit this link:
The Saratoga Foothill Club, designed by Julia Morgan, is a Silicon Valley architectural landmark. It is located in a residential neighborhood near the Big Basin Rd and Sunnyvale-Saratoga Rd intersection, a block away from the downtown area. If you’ve never been, it’s worth a trip! Go for a couple of hours and enjoy lunch in downtown Saratoga Village, too.
Saratoga Foothill Club
20399 Park Place
Saratoga CA 95070
Availability: Tuesday through Sunday, 9:30 AM – 10:00 PM (per this writing)
http://www.foothillclub.org/ (disclaimer: events listed on this page are from 2014 and earlier)
National Register of Historic Places – Registration Form
History of the Club
I’ll post a very detailed history below. Generally, though, this club was part of a trend of women getting involved in their communities to both improve the places where they lived but also to improve their influence. This took place before women were permitted to vote and can be seen as part of the broader, growing civic influence of women.
The Building and Grounds
The architect: Julia Morgan
Today what may be more compelling than the movement behind the building is perhaps the building itself. Fittingly, it was designed by the most prominent female architect in California, Julia Morgan, an graduate of the University of California (Berkeley – it was the only UC at the time) and the prestigious Ecole des Beaux Art in Paris. She was a sorority sister with Grace Fisher Richards, one of the founding members and the then-current president of the Club. She was also the first licensed female architect in the state. (She is best known for her gorgeous work at Hearst Castle.) This certainly was not lost on the women who hired her! Nor on many other clients – “Of the 480 Morgan projects listed in Boutelle’s Julia Morgaa Architect, 1995, from 1896 to 1946, more than one third were for women clients or for women’s organizations…. Even more impressive is the fact that Morgan also hired-women professionals. By 1927, six of her fourteen employees were women, a remarkable number for an established business.” (Per the register)***
The Saratoga Foothill Club was built out of redwood (outside and in, though the floors are hardwood) with a wood shake roof in the Craftsman or Arts and Crafts style in 1915. As with many of her designs, it is simple, understated, and made ample use of natural materials. Julia Morgan was inspired by the local Bay Area School of design. The bungalow feel fits in nicely with the neighborhood.
The structure itself is a one story building that’s 74′ wide across the front and 60′ deep, plus some pop-out areas around the sides. Inside there’s redwood paneling (redwood is a soft wood), hardwood floors in most of the area (carpeting in the entry). The kitchen has sheet vinyl and paster walls – more practical. In addition to the kitchen there’s a main room measuring 33’9” x 40’3 and a dining room with an open fireplace – the last two are joined by two sets of accordian doors. There’s a storage room and also a projection room. And of course there are restrooms. The building is set on a 7409 SF lot, nearly level, with a beautiful courtyard and pergola. (More info below slideshow.)
The popular Glencrest neighborhood in Almaden is located at the end of Serenity Way near Glenview Park and Cathedral Park in the Williams area, and it is shaped like a pentagram (a five sided object) so is easy to spot on the map. There is a shared pool. The outside ring of homes are single family houses on large, normal lots of about 10,000 to 13,000 square feet (on Valley Quail Circle, Hollow Lake). The more modest patio or zero lot line properties are found on the inside streets and have about 6,000 SF lots – the streets are Quail Creek Circle, Mountain Quail Circle, and Quail Cove Way. These houses were built by Shapell, a company which is known for a very high quality. Most were built in 1987 or 1988.
The big draws for these homes are as follows:
- The best Almaden schools are close by: Williams, Bret Harte and Leland
- Shappell is a highly regarded builder, perhaps the most valued in Santa Clara County
- The Glencrest area homes, whether regular houses or patio homes, are fairly young by local standards
Because the patio homes are smaller, they are more affordable. Many people consider them entry level houses for Williams Elementary School. For this reason, real estate sales in the Glencrest area often command surprisingly high prices given that structures are built on one of the property lines and that there are no windows on that side of the home.
Real estate listings and homes for sale in and near the Glencrest neighborhood of San Jose’s Almaden Valley
$2,795,000 : 1359 Rimrock DR, SAN JOSE8 beds, 7 full, 1 half baths
$1,195,000 : 5952 Via Madero DR, SAN JOSE3 beds, 2 full baths
$749,000 : 1249 Charise CT, SAN JOSE3 beds, 2 full baths
$1,324,998 : 6174 Paseo Pueblo DR, SAN JOSE4 beds, 2 full baths
$1,688,888 : 1256 Nancarrow WAY, SAN JOSE5 beds, 3 full, 1 half baths
$1,625,000 : 1098 Micro PL, SAN JOSE4 beds, 3 full baths
$1,595,000 : 22401 San Vicente AVE, SAN JOSE3 beds, 2 full baths
$1,689,000 : 1007 Mazzone DR, SAN JOSE4 beds, 3 full baths
$1,250,000 : 7143 Martwood WAY, SAN JOSE4 beds, 2 full baths
$1,495,000 : 1194 VIA MATEO, SAN JOSE4 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths
See all Real estate in the Almaden Valley community.
(all data current as of 3/24/2017)
Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.
The luxury homes market frequently behaves very differently than the rest of the real estate market as a whole. If interest rates jump around, the impact is often far less since the home buyers of estate properties may not be nearly as dependent upon financing. Many of these fine homes & estates are paid for “all cash”. (In some cases they do this but later arrange financing, perhaps funding a “charitable remainder” trust rather than a more typical institutional loan.)
How’s the real estate market for high end homes in Los Gatos, Monte Sereno and the Los Gatos Mountain communities? Defining “luxury homes” is a bit tricky because what constitutes luxury can vary from area to area (check out these estate homes for sale in the Buffalo NY area). For now let’s use prices of $2 million or greater as we first look at the Months of Inventory or Absorption Rate – though in fairness, the luxury price point is a little lower in the mountains. (Six months is considered balanced by the National Association of Realtor, less is a sellers market and more is a buyers market.) I first did this study in October of 2012 and will provide those numbers as a window back in time for comparison purposes.
Monte Sereno is having no trouble selling luxury homes compared to the rest of the Los Gatos area right now. The Los Gatos Mountains (Chemeketa Park, Redwood Estates, Aldercroft Heights and other areas) struggles with the over $2 million market.
No matter how you look at it, overall it is a seller’s market in the luxury home strata in Monte Sereno and Los Gatos – but not the Los Gatos Mountains. It is not so crazy as the entry level homes, which have a much faster absorption rate, so buyers, take heart! Three months of inventory is pretty doable and not so far from a “balanced” market here.
Altos charts on the LG area
Next we’ll change gears and use Altos Research and quartiles to evaluate the most expensive listings. We will look at the top quartile of list prices, the high end listings in Los Gatos (zip codes 95030 and 95032 in town), in the Los Gatos Mountains (unincorporated, 95033) and Monte Sereno (99.9% of which is in 95030 but a tiny sliver has the 95032 zip code). The charts I’m using are live and will be continuously updated by Altos Research, to which I have a subscription.