Almaden Valley (SJ)

Almaden Valley San Jose

Pricing in the San Jose Real Estate Markets of Almaden Valley, Cambrian Park and Willow Glen

San Jose is the largest city in Santa Clara County (or Silicon Valley) with about one million residents.  The districts or areas within San Jose vary tremendously in many ways, including their respective real estate markets.

Today we’ll have a comparative look at the median list prices in the housing market in three areas & zip codes of San Jose: Almaden Valley (95120), Cambrian Park (95124) and Willow Glen (95125).  First, how these three areas line up against each other and against San Jose as a whole in terms of the median list prices of homes for sale in the last year.

Please note: the charts below are “live” html and the commentary is appropriate as of today, Nov. 23, 2015  The charts will continue to change and be updated,though, so it’s possible that a year from now the commentary may seem disjointed.  Now you’ll know why!

First, a glance at Almaden, Willow Glen, Cambrian and San Jose genererally.

Real Estate Market Chart by Altos Research

Almaden prces took a little dip in mid to late summer, and so did Willow Glen 95125.  Cambrian 95124, though, has been very strong (as I can attest from working with buyers and sellers there recently). San Jose as a whole is close to flat.


San Jose as a whole, by price quartile is next. It is pretty level generally at this time.

Real Estate Market Chart by Altos Research


Next, let’s focus on the Almaden Valley area of town by price quartile also:

Real Estate Market Chart by Altos Research

As we might expect, the least volatile pricing is in the most affordable homes.

Next, Cambrian Park…
Continue reading

Almaden area of San Jose, zip 95120, real estate market data updated weekly

Recently I’ve expanded my subscription to Altos Research – now you can sign up for my Altos newsletter and get information on any zip code in Santa Clara County (the San Jose area) sent to you each week. Altos uses list prices.

For sold info, please see my Silicon Valley Real Estate Report, which covers the cities and towns in Santa Clara County, San Mateo County, and Santa Cruz County (and is updated once a month) at The RE Report also has market data for areas within some cities such as San Jose (covering Almaden, Cambrian, Evergreen, Willow Glen, etc.), Mountain View, and Palo Alto. To view the RE Report for Almaden, please click here.

Below please find the Altos Research charts for the Almaden area of San Jose, which is zip code 95120. These charts will be automatically updated weekly. If you’d like to get this and more info by email each week, please sign up for the newsletter at the bottom.

Learn more about Almaden Valley here.

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SAN JOSE Real Estate Market (95120)

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What are the average Days on Market for real estate listings in San Jose?

First: Days on Market vs Days to Sell:    We should start by clarifying that the average “days on market” includes the properties which do go pending and sell (many of them quickly) as well as those which linger on the market a long time and eventually become cancelled, expired or withdrawn listings.  The average days on market is usually significantly shorter than the average days to sell for that reason.

San Jose Houses – Days to Sell from MLS Listings

Just now, I pulled the statistics from MLSListings for all of the city of San Jose (all price points, school districts etc.) for single family homes (mostly houses, a few duet homes). This is the Days to Sell info, which specifically views the days on market of homes that DID sell as opposed to all homes on the market. Here’s how the numbers shake out:

San Jose Days to sale & SP-LP ratio

As you can see, it’s a strong seller’s market in San Jose, with residential real estate selling above list price (though not nearly as much above as last April!) and homes that go pending doing so at an average of 24 days.  Please note that this data represents the properties that DO sell.  In every market, there are homes which do not sell.  (Usually they are overpriced, but other troubles can be the root of the market rejection.)

Some parts of San Jose are “hotter” than others.  Let’s have a look at the Cambrian area, where I tend to be especially active.

Cambrian days to sell and SP to LP ratio

If we were to look only at Cambrian houses listed under $1 million, we’d find that the market is hotter still:

Cambrian LP under 1 mil

San Jose has an average days to sell of 24.  In the Cambrian district of SJ, it’s a mere 16 but for homes under $1 million, it’s a rapid, ultra red hot 13!!

Other areas of San Jose are also fairly strong, but please remember that any number of variables (school district, pricing tier, exact location or condition) can make these general numbers not apply to a particular property.  Next up: let’s have a view of Evergreen, Blossom Valley, Almaden Valley, Willow Glen, and the Campbell border area of San Jose. Continue reading

Almaden Valley Real Estate Market Conditions

The Almaden Valley real estate market is up substantially both month over month and year over year. Although inventory was rising slowly, there has been a decline as we come nearer the end of summer. There must be either a lot more inventory, or significantly less demand, before we see anything close to a balanced market.

Please find the current statistics for single family homes (houses & duet homes) from my Almaden Valley real estate report (click on link for more info):

Almaden Valley San Jose 95120 Statistics At A Glance


  • Median home prices increased by 17.1% year-over-year to $1,405,000 from $1,200,000.
  • The average home sales price rose by 1.7% year-over-year to $1,369,480 from $1,346,040.
  • Home sales rose by 54.5% year-over-year to 34 from 22.
  • Active listings fell 0.0% year-over-year to 55 from 55.
  • Sales price vs. list price ratio rose by 0.9% year-over-year to 103.8% from 102.8%.
  • The average days on market fell by 20.1% year-over-year to 21 from 26.

Compared To Last Month

  • Median home prices improved by 12.4% to $1,405,000 from $1,250,000.
  • The average home sales price rose by 7.6% to $1,369,480 from $1,273,090.
  • Home sales down by 2.9% to 34 from 35.
  • Active listings dropped 15.4% to 55 from 65.
  • Sales price vs. list price ratio increased by 2.4% to 103.8% from 101.3%.
  • The average days on market dropped by 12.5% to 21 from 24.

Prices are very high for Almaden now, and the best homes are often seeing 5-10 offers, which is the cause.

Altos Research charts for houses in Almaden (San Jose 95120)

Please note that Altos Research uses list prices, not sold prices.

An overview:

90-day stats for Single Family properties in
SAN JOSE, CA 95120 as of November 27, 2015
Median List Price:$1,437,500Average List Price:$1,814,195
Total Inventory:49Price per Square Foot:$567
Average Home Size:2,548Median Lot Size:13,096
Average # Beds:4.13Average # Baths:3.20
Homes Absorbed:7Newly Listed:6
Days on Market:88Average Age:42

Real Estate Market Chart by Altos Research

Continue reading

Comparing cost of housing in West Valley communities from Palo Alto to Los Gatos to Blossom Valley: what will a 4 bedroom home cost?

Sketch of houseIt can be really challenging for people moving to Silicon Valley to get a sense of real estate prices, and perhaps more, to compare housing costs from one town or district to another.

One question I get a lot is this: what does it cost to buy a 4 bedroom, 2 bath house of about 2000 square feet?

So to answer this question, let’s see what houses like this are selling for (4 bed, 2 bath, appx 2000 SF or 185 square meters) and see how the cost looks in one Santa Clara Count y / Silicon Valley area versus another.

Today I compared several areas and cities using this criteria: single family homes of 1800 – 2200 SF, 3-5 bedrooms, 2-3 bathrooms, on lot sizes of 6000 SF to 10,000 SF. Normally I would chart this over the last 2 months, or 60 days, but because of the low inventory causing the sellers market I have expanded the search to the last 4 months, or 120 days, for a better range.  (As of this writing, inventory is lower than it was a year ago countywide by 65 units.)

Here’s how it shakes out in the “west valley areas” along the Highway 85 corridor, most of which are known to have good to great public schools. What areas are most affordable?  One way of analysing this is the “price per square foot” figure.   How competitive is it? Have a look at the DOM or “Days on Market” figure.  All of these days on market are short, but they range from low to heart-skippingly fast.

In most cases, the priciest and desirable places have either the best schools or shortest commute location or both (Palo Alto and Cupertino have both). Had I ranked these for school scores, you’d find that Cambrian is fairly high up and a good “bang for the buck” location – though not a super short commute for folks who work in Mountain View (though not so bad for people working in Cupertino).  Almaden, too, offers a good value for the quality of the schools, homes, and neighborhoods, though the commute is longer. None of these is especially close to North San Jose (where a major employer is Cisco).

It should also be noted that in some of the smaller communities with less on the market these numbers may not be as stable as others with more data – for instance, Saratoga only had five homes sold matching this criteria within the 120 days of collected data, and therefore may not be as accurate as others, such as the Blossom Valley area of San Jose with the most data at 40 homes sold. For these smaller communities with less data, it is beneficial to look at them more closely – Saratoga, for instance, has 3 different high school districts which have an impact the real estate prices. If we had looked at the Saratoga numbers for the last two months it would have appeared much lower on the scale because only one home was sold in the less desirable school district, whereas the more in-demand schools usually have homes selling around $2.2 million or more.  This chart is really just a snapshot to give a general sense of the relative affordability of these markets to one another. Continue reading

Fun Things To Do In San Jose: Almaden Valley Art & Wine Festival!

wine-pouringA San Jose tradition for decades, the Almaden Valley Art & Wine Festival is a very enjoyable non-profit fundraiser that appeals to just about everyone in Silicon Valley! This year’s event runs Sept 20, 2015 from 10am – 6pm at Almaden Lake Park (located at Almaden Expressway and Coleman Road, near the base of Almaden Valley and nearly touching the Blossom Valley area of San Jose).

To get all the details, please visit the Almaden Valley Art & Wine Festival website. I hope to see you there!

Where are the mercury mines near Los Gatos, Cambrian and Almaden?

San Jose’s New Almaden Quicksilver Mine is well known and needs no introduction.  But did you know that there are many other mercury or quicksilver mines in the area? Several are nearby, just south of the Guadalupe Creek, but others are surprisingly far flung, both in Santa Clara County and throughout California.  My home buyer clients are sometimes concerned about purchasing real estate close to a natural or environmental hazard, so a few times this issue has come up: where are the mercury mines?

Quicksilver Legend for Santa Clara CountyFirst, a disclaimer that there are oodles of unmapped mines of all kinds dotting the San Francisco Bay Area, the delta, and beyond.  Approximately 31% of all mines in California are on private land.  So it may not be possible to know where each and every mine is.  However, mercury mines were big business during the gold rush and the civil war, so they may not have been so secretly guarded as a gold mine.

Today I went hunting for information on the location of mercury mines and found an online map of Santa Clara County with incredible details on not only quicksilver, but many other fascinating things: types of rock, miderals (copper), soil types, earthquake faults and so on.  This map is not all that easy to read as it requires blowing it up to well past 100% to actually decipher the numbers and geographical markers, but for the patient, it’s a gold mine – so to speak!

To see the WHOLE MAP, please click on the following link, which is a bid pdf file:

Geologic Map of Santa Clara County, California, Showing Mines and Mineral Deposits

I blew up part of it, saved it, and annotated it with just the names of the mercury mines closest to Los Gatos and Cambrian.  This is not comprehensive, of course – but I often get the question of “how close are the mines” to either Los Gatos or Cambrian, hence this focus.

Mercury mines near Los Gatos and Cambrian

Related reading on mercury

Mercury Contamination from Historic Gold Mining in Califoria (pdf from USGS)

The Legacy of Mercury Pollution in California’s Bay Area


Related reading for real estate in Almaden, Cambrian, and Los Gatos:

Hacienda Cemetery and Memorial Park in New Almaden

Almaden Valley area of San Jose (on

What Are the Advantages of Buying a Home in Almaden Valley?

Where are the high voltage power lines in Los Gatos? (Live in Los Gatos blog)

Selling a home in one of San Jose’s Almaden Valley neighborhoods? Understand home buyer concerns in 95120

List of Los Gatos neighborhoods (Live in Los Gatos blog)

San Jose – Cambrian Park (an introduction with market stats and homes for sale also, on

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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
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