Santa Teresa (SJ)
The tide is turning for Silicon Valley real estate: fewer listings are coming onto the market and more homes are being purchased by homebuyers anxious to get into a house before interest rates rise and the $8000 first time homebuyer’s credit expires.
The shift is most visible in areas with the most affordability, but even is more upscale, higher priced areas, it’s still a noticeable change.
Today I’ll share with you a series of graphs, by area, of single family homes in terms of new listings, current inventory, and pending sales (sales under contract). These were created using our mls system (information deemed reliable but not guaranteed).
Here’s the “key” (since if I put it alongside each image it would not fit without making all of it unreadable):
Description of each graph is ABOVE the image.
Almaden Valley (95120 area of San Jose) – this is a more expensive part of Santa Clara County, but the market improvement is very clear. Cool market.
Blossom Valley (95123 and 95136 zip codes, an area of San Jose) – this is a very affordable part of Silicon Valley and has taken a huge hit on the “price rollback”. But it’s getting better now – note the rise in sales, low number of new homes coming on the market and overall lessening of inventory. Number of pendings is almost the same as the total inventory. Hot market.
Cambrian Park (95124 & 95118 area of San Jose) – trends among listings, inventory, and sales for single family homes. The trend of less inventory and more sales is quite evident. Warm market overall – very hot under $500,000, cool in higher price ranges. (But hot only if prices are deeply reduced.)
We may be in a recession with 11% local unemployment, but affordable homes are getting scooped up with multiple offers and in many areas, inventory is shrinking.
Today we’ll look at five areas of San Jose which offer at least some, if not mostly, entry level housing: Blossom Valley, Cambrian Park, Evergreen, Santa Teresa and South San Jose.
Evergreen does have some high-end housing in Silver Creek and elsewhere, but it also provides some very affordable homes for first time home buyers. Cambrian Park is mostly middle class but it, too, has some McMansions (original Cambrian Park tract with large lots and very old homes that are not infrequently bulldozed) and some homes with views (Vista Loop area, bordering Los Gatos and Almaden Valley). Blossom Valley has some beautiful properties and many close to thecenics Santa Teresa Foothills. Overall, though, these homes represent affordable or mid-range houses for sale in Silicon Valley. When we look at them as a group, it gives a strong sense of what the market is doing generally.
The months of inventory reflect how long it would take the current inventory to be absorbed (or sold off) if no new inventory came on the market and sales continued at the current pace. Six months is a balanced market. Fewer represents a seller’s market and more reflects a buyer’s market. As you can see, April shows a push in all five districts of San Jose into seller’s territory:
If you are thinking of buying a home in Silicon Valley, there are things you want to know upfront so that you make an informed decision. Because the most important factor is “location, location, location”, and because once you buy a home you can’t change it, you’ll need to know some location-specific things, including:
- where are the earthquake fault lines?
- where are the geologic hazard zones, such as liquifaction areas?
- where are the flood plains?
- where are man-made things that will negatively or positively impact a home’s value? Things such as
- train lines
- high voltage power lines
- school district boundaries
- zip code boundaries
- proximity to entertainment venues
When looking at maps, sometimes these items show up and sometimes they don’t. Realtors and other real estate professionals in the San Jose area often use a Barclay’s Locaide to locate the natural hazard areas. Google maps can help uncover some other areas, but sometimes it raises more questions than it answers. (Last year a Realtor who doesn’t know the Belwood of Los Gatos area too well phoned me to ask what the object showing up in the hills of Belgatos Park was – it is just a covered resevoir, but it was not identified on the map and concerned some buyers. Local knowledge is still very helpful.)
Tonight I spent some time zooming in on Google Maps, using the satellite view, and idenified many of the paths of the high voltage power lines running through Los Gatos and nearby areas, such as Saratoga, Cupertino, Almaden Valley, Santa Teresa, and South San Jose.
Below, please find the fruit of that labor. I do not claim to have tracked all of the high voltage power lines in the west valley area of Santa Clara County, but I think I got many – maybe even most – of them. I hope you find the information helpful!