We know that Silicon Valley real estate prices are sky high and housing affordability is pretty awful.  How does it look county by county in California?

CAR 2015 Economic Forecast Housing Affordability by CA County


It’s not shocking that San Francisco (city and county are same area), San Mateo County and Santa Barbara are all pricier than Santa Clara County.  But why are Contra Costa and Alameda Counties worse than Santa Clara County?

The reason is that this chart factors in the incomes in those areas with the cost of residential real estate.    Houses may sell for more in Santa Clara County than they do in Alameda County, but people make more money here, too – so that is a compensating factor.

Often people work in the more expensive areas: The City, The Peninsula, or Silicon Valley – and commute from more affordable suburbs in less expensive counties.

As long as gas remains cheap, this will be a strong preference for many (even more so if the Google, Apple, and other similar busses serve the remote outposts).  When gas gets pricey again, as eventually it must, those regions will become far less attractive.  When that happens, it will be felt in real estate pricing as a slide is likely to happen.

The old adage remains true that the three most important things in real estate sales are location, location, and location.


(The chart above is from the California Association of Realtors.)

  1. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,759 sq ft
    Lot size: 14,601 sqft
  2. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,341 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,033 sqft
  3. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 1,681 sq ft
    Lot size: 4,395 sqft
  4. 5 beds, 6 baths
    Home size: 5,105 sq ft
    Lot size: 10,829 sqft
  5. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,216 sq ft
    Lot size: 4,151 sqft
  6. 3 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 1,746 sq ft
    Lot size: 3,876 sqft
  7. 4 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,610 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,429 sqft
  8. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,039 sq ft
    Lot size: 7,758 sqft
  9. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,557 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,860 sqft
  10. 3 beds, 1 bath
    Home size: 1,155 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,137 sqft

See all Real estate matching your search.
(all data current as of 7/20/2018)

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


by Transposh - translation plugin for wordpress
Mary Pope-Handy
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.
Special focus on:
San Jose, Los Gatos,
Saratoga, Campbell,
Almaden Valley,
Cambrian Park.
Let’s Connect
Find Mary on FacebookFollow Mary on Twitter
RSS FeedFollow Mary on YouTube

Please see more icons
at the bottom of the page.

The real estate search
Use the widget below to browse properties which are for sale, under contract (pending) or sold. Want to view only homes which are available now? Use the "find a home" link on the menu above (next to the "home" button).
Mary’s other sites & blogs
Valley Of Hearts Delight
Santa Clara County Real Estate,
with an interest in history

Silicon Valley relocation info

Silicon Valley real estate,
focus on home selling

Silicon Valley Real Estate Report
Silicon Valley real estate
market trends & statistics
Mary’s Blog Awards
Top 25 real estate blogs of 2018 by RentPrep2018 RentPrep.com's list of top 25 real estate blogs to follow

Top 25 real estate blogs 2016
2016: Personal Income's list of top 25 real estate blogs.

Best Realtor blog award
2016: Coastal Group OC's list of best Realtor blogs

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.

Non blog award

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