Condos & Townhomes

Condos & Townhomes in Silicon Valley

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 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 2.455 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 1.2 to 3.6! But minuscule inventory makes big data swings like this commonplace, and not as accurate.

 

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How is the Campbell real estate market?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 have dropped to 26 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:

What about the Campbell CA condo market?

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June 20 2014 San Jose Condo Inventory

June 20 2014 San Jose Condo Inventory

Home prices, like anything else which is bought and sold, are subject to the pressures of supply and demand.   In recent weeks, we have seen an increase in the number of condominiums and townhomes for sale in San Jose, but a slight lessening in buyer interest.  More supply with less demand equals lower prices.  This will be a bit of a shock to most home sellers, who’d read about the madness of the market in February, March and April.  But spring is nearly always stronger than summer – and we are seeing a fairly typical calming down in the Silicon Valley real estate market as we move into that milder summer market.

Since I mostly sell in the “west valley” areas of the Santa Clara Valley, I had a look at a few of them just to see what the trends look like. In this chart, please see the inventory of condominiums and townhomes for sale in 95120 (Almaden Valley), 95123 (Blossom Valley), 95124 (Cambrian) and 95125 (Willow Glen). Almaden seldom has many listings of townhouses or condos at all – over the last year, it looks as though it’s usually close to 5 at any given time. A slight uptick means 6 are available. The trend is much more dramatic in other parts of San Jose.

Home sellers: where the inventory rise is the steepest, you will probably see the most impact on the odds of selling and the price for which you can sell your home.   Home buyers:  if you see that inventory is largely unchanging, as it is in the tony Almaden Valley, the odds are good that it’s still pretty competitive for home buying and you will likely need to bring your best game forward to secure your future home.

Interested in other areas?  I work all of Santa Clara County and would be happy to help you buy or sell your condo, townhouse or single family home here.

June 20 2014 condo inventory 95120 95123 95124 95125

June 20 2014 condo inventory 95120 95123 95124 95125

  1. 2 beds, 1 full bath
    Home size: 886 sq ft
    Lot size: 1,132 sqft
  2. 2 beds, 2 full baths
    Home size: 1,275 sq ft
  3. 2 beds, 2 full baths
    Home size: 960 sq ft
    Lot size: 827 sqft
  4. 2 beds, 2 full baths
    Home size: 950 sq ft
    Lot size: 1,176 sqft
  5. 1 bed, 1 full bath
    Home size: 719 sq ft
    Lot size: 1,742 sqft
  6. 1 bed, 1 full bath
    Home size: 674 sq ft
  7. 3 beds, 3 full, 1 half baths
    Home size: 1,531 sq ft
  8. 1 bed, 1 full, 1 half baths
    Home size: 1,250 sq ft
    Lot size: 1,524 sqft
  9. 3 beds, 2 full, 2 half baths
    Home size: 2,112 sq ft
  10. 3 beds, 3 full, 1 half baths
    Home size: 1,953 sq ft

See all Real estate in the city of San Jose.
(all data current as of 2/24/2017)

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

Saratoga and Los Gatos are neighbors, but their real estate markets are not the same! Today we’ll consider the condo and townhouse market in these two upscale Silicon Valley areas and view some elements “side by side”. See what you think!

First, let’s have a peek at how fast things are selling. Saratoga & Los Gatos both are at under 3 week for the “days to sell over time”.  Saratoga tends to sell a little better than Los Gatos for condominiums and townhomes, and that’s the case now as well – at least months months, and recently. (Reasons, not sure – perhaps because the location is a little closer to Cupertino and Sunnyvale and the many high tech jobs there.  Or it could be related to the school scores or any number of factors.)

Saratoga days to sell over time 2014 - condos

Saratoga days to sell over time 2014 – condos

Los Gatos days to sell over time 2014 - condos

Los Gatos days to sell over time 2014 – condos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s check some other criteria and see how they stack up there. Let’s look at the new listings as opposed to the solds.  How far apart are they? (The closer they are, the “hotter” the market. If the solds are going faster than the new listings are coming on, it’s a red hot seller’s market.)   For most of the last year, Saratoga condominiums have been selling and closing faster than new ones have entered the market, or have tied it, except for March and April.  In Los Gatos, same pattern recently of new listings outpacing sales, and in January the closed sales outpaced new inventory.  But overall, it’s close to a tie or there’s a slight leaning toward new listings rather than sales unless you look back to last fall.  So a little bit cooler of a market in Los Gatos by this standard.

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A newer “mixed use” neighborhood in San Jose, Santana Row is popular with people of all ages and interests. It is not just a “shopping center”, but is really a community, one which offers a wide variety of dining, shopping and entertainment, suitable for all kinds of budgets too. Best of all, it’s right in the heart of Silicon Valley.

Dining at Santana Row varies from very formal and expensive to casual and snack-like, and the type of food available ranges widely too. A fairly new addition is Pinkberry, which seems to be growing quickly in popularity. There are about thirty cafes, bistros and restaurants and to date I’ve probably visited about one-third of them – all experiences positive.

Entertainment at SR goes beyond window shopping and includes live music and, of course, films at the movie theater. Many chose to simply peoplewatch, take in a good book or catch a game of chess with a friend while enjoying a beverage. A Farmer’s Market features produce, flowers and other goods each week (and there’s a Safeway just a block or two away also) and is a good excuse to browse the offerings. Or maybe splurge a little and enjoy some pampering at a spa or salon: Santana Row’s got that, too.

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Condominiums and townhouses in Santa Clara County have enjoyed rapid appreciation and almost perfectly steady improvement in the market in the last 18 months or so.  Today we’ll take a snapshot view of it with a few graphs.  First, let’s consider the average Days on Market (DOM) and the sale price to list price ratio for condos and townhouses in Santa Clara County.

Santa Clara County Condos and Townhomes Average DOM & Sale to List Price Ratio July 2 2013

Santa Clara County Condos and Townhomes Average DOM & Sale to List Price Ratio July 2 2013

 The chart above shows some calming down in the Santa Clara County condo market.  First, it appears that the sale price to list price ratio stopped its wild ascent and has reversed itself some in June 2013.  But also, it seems that the days to sell leveled out (and stopped its decline).  Just to check on the apparent trend, I went to MLSListings and ran the numbers for the closed sales just yesterday and today (July closings).  The average sale price to list price was 106%, a tad lower than what we saw in June.

What about new inventory vs sold homes?  In the chart below, we see that the gap between them widened in June: more inventory, fewer sales (of course the June sales were contracts ratified in May, in most cases).  This also suggests a loosening in the condo market here. It’s not suddenly a buyer’s market, but perhaps we are seeing the beginning of a trend reversal?  Have a look at the chart:   Continue reading

fha-home-buyer-woes2Being an FHA home buyer in Silicon Valley is a challenge right now, especially if you want what everyone else wants: a nicely updated and remodeled home in a good area with no “issues”.  (Issues meaning things like high voltage lines, busy roads, flood plains, or being too close to stores or spots not everyone wants to be near.)

How many FHA buyers are successful in purchasing a house right now?  The percentages are very small.  Just now I ran the MLS for sales of single family homes (houses and duet homes) in San Jose over the last 30 days.  Here are the figures:

All closed sales = 368

What kind of financing was used for these 386 closed sales?

Conventional financing = 268
All cash purchases = 77
FHA purchases = 10
Conventional 1st & 2nd loans = 6
VA Loan = 1
Owner financing = 0

The odds of success for FHA buyers is less than 3%.  Why is it so tough?  Condos are even more challenging than houses, so let’s look at those issues first.
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Yesterday I put a wonderful Cupertino condo on the market.  My seller has worked hard so that the buyers won’t have to!  The kitchen is newly remodeled and is just about one month old.  The home boasts new carpet and wood laminate floors, new blinds, new light fixtures and on and on.  Best of all, it enjoys an oversized patio which must be seen to be fully appreciated!  Located in the best area of the complex with easy access on foot to a myriad of shops, restaurants and two coffee houses at Foothill Center.  Check out all the details and photos below!

22330 Homestead Road, # 121: 2 bed, 2 bath, 1249 SF, offered at $598,000

SOLD!!!!!  But to see details on this lovely home, please visit:

http://www.popehandy.com/listings/listing_home.cfm?property_ID=8430906

  1. 1 bed, 1 full bath
    Home size: 743 sq ft
    Lot size: 435 sqft

See all Real estate in the city of Cupertino.
(all data current as of 2/24/2017)

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


Homeowner Associations (HOAs) are created to oversee condominium complexes, townhome communities and planned unit developments on behalf of their members. These are non-profit organizations whose purpose is to manage common areas, enforce neighborhood rules and standards, and often, unofficially, to foster community unity too. In most cases, they collect fees from members and have local authority. In other words, if you do not pay your homeowner association dues, or abide by one of its rules*, the HOA can and usually will fine you or even foreclose on you!

There are loads of HOAs in Silicon Valley. As with all organizations, some are better run than others. Its a little different than owning real estate outside of a homeowners association.

What are the pros and cons?

At their best, Silicon Valley HOAs keep the communities they manage beautifully landscaped and maintained, they hire good providers for needed improvements, and minimize risk to all the members. By having reasonable rules and community buy-in, the neighborhood can look inviting and property values can be better maintained.

At their worst, HOAs can be unresponsive to members needs, erratic, arbitrary and irresponsible. They may, by poor planning, cause huge assessments to be necessary or raise HOA dues so that they are very high – to the point where they make homes hard to sell. Not only are those an unhappy occasion, they can also make it hard to sell a home with a special assessment looming. Fortunately, this is seldom the case in most areas – but if the HOA has a high number of defaults due to owner bankruptcy or inability to keep up with mortgage, property insurance etc. it can cost all of the members eventually.

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Living Room & Balcony at 966 Kiely Blvd, # D

Living Room & Balcony at 966 Kiely Blvd, # D

******** SOLD with 20 offers after 6 days on the market******

So cute, updated, staged – a turnkey Santa Clara condo in a great location near Central Park!

966 Kiely Blvd, # D (cross street Kaiser Drive), Santa Clara

Fabulous kitchen with dishwasher,  new refrigerator, new oven!

One bed, one bath, 670 square feet of easy living in an upstairs unit.

Great closet space – big walk in closet in master, hall closet for guests, oversized storage – linen closet PLUS another storage area in the carport.

Living room with wet bar and private balcony – wonderful for relaxing.

Seller has worked hard to make this home absolutely ready.  There are even a home & pest inspection. Regular sale too. Hurry, it’s ready to sell!

The Santa Clara Condo Market is red hot – but very few properties are similar to this in being updated, a regular sale (not a short sale, not a bank owned property) and ready to go with inspections & disclosures online. (Click the link to read up on the real estate market for condominiums and townhomes in Santa Clara. Real estate agents can get the link for the disclosures on the MLS.)

Offered at $158,888

HOA dues $340 per month

Woodborough community with pool, spa, playground & more  (see photos and all details below)
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Translation

by Transposh - translation plugin for wordpress
Mary Pope-Handy
Realtor
ABR, CIPS, CRS, SRES
Sereno Group Real Estate
214 Los Gatos-Saratoga Rd
Los Gatos, CA 95030
408 204-7673
Mary (at) PopeHandy.com
License# 01153805


Selling homes in
Silicon Valley:
Santa Clara County,
San Mateo County, and
Santa Cruz County.
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Special focus on:
San Jose, Los Gatos,
Saratoga, Campbell,
Almaden Valley,
Cambrian Park.
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2016: Personal Income's list of top 25 real estate blogs.


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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.


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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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