Almaden Valley (SJ)
The Almaden Valley market is still a strong seller’s market, but a little less deep than it was earlier in the year, during the peak of the frenzy. Buyers should view this as an opportunity to get in with significantly less competition. We don’t see prices declining so much as flattening – so it’s still a fine time to sell.
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 Real Estate Statistics At A Glance
|Trends At a Glance||May 2018||Previous Month||Year-over-Year|
|Median Price||$1,706,000 (+1.1%)||$1,687,500||$1,396,650 (+22.1%)|
|Average Price||$1,730,910 (-1.6%)||$1,759,870||$1,440,010 (+20.2%)|
|No. of Sales||44 (+22.2%)||36||38 (+15.8%)|
|Pending||36 (+9.1%)||33||43 (-16.3%)|
|Active||24 (-31.4%)||35||21 (+14.3%)|
|Sale vs. List Price||107.1% (-0.1%)||107.3%||104.7% (+2.4%)|
|Days on Market||12 (+15.4%)||10||12 (-3.0%)|
|Days of Inventory||16 (-42.0%)||28||17 (-1.3%)|
And from last month:
|Trends At a Glance||Apr 2018||Previous Month||Year-over-Year|
|Median Price||$1,687,500 (-2.2%)||$1,725,000||$1,432,000 (+17.8%)|
|Average Price||$1,759,870 (+0.1%)||$1,757,310||$1,449,670 (+21.4%)|
|No. of Sales||36 (+56.5%)||23||33 (+9.1%)|
|Pending||33 (-13.2%)||38||31 (+6.5%)|
|Active||35 (+75.0%)||20||31 (+12.9%)|
|Sale vs. List Price||107.3% (-1.2%)||108.5%||104.2% (+3.0%)|
|Days on Market||10 (+48.7%)||7||10 (-0.7%)|
|Days of Inventory||28 (+8.1%)||26||27 (+3.5%)|
The data shows a strong sellers market remaining fairly consistent despite lower inventory over the winter. The best homes will see multiple offers, a response to low inventory and high demand.
Altos Research charts for houses in Almaden (San Jose 95120)
Please note that Altos Research uses list prices of Almaden Valley homes for sale, not sold prices.
|90-day stats for Single Family properties in|
SAN JOSE, CA 95120 as of June 15, 2018
|Median List Price:||$1,773,328||Average List Price:||$2,061,126|
|Total Inventory:||28||Price per Square Foot:||$681|
|Average Home Size:||2,650||Median Lot Size:||9,826|
|Average # Beds:||4.25||Average # Baths:||3.55|
|Homes Absorbed:||10||Newly Listed:||10|
|Days on Market:||23||Average Age:||36|
How are the key housing indicators in the Almaden Valley area of San Jose? At the moment it’s said to be a hot “seller’s market” overall. But look closer and you can see that in the Almaden Valley housing market there are clear market micro-climates. Prices are better for sellers, while buyers struggle with higher prices and less homes to choose from. Recently we have seen a slight cooling, too – very welcome for Almaden home buyers.
Almaden Valley Housing Market: Inventory of Houses for Sale
Right now I have a few Almaden Valley home buyers and they have all been disappointed at the lack of inventory. What’s happening?
First, let’s see what “usually” happens in the 95120 zip code in terms of the number of houses for sale. Here’s a look at the last 10 years (all available history), care of Altos Research – you can see that it’s been rising since January 1st, but it’s a proverbial drop in the bucket:
Here you can see that inventory has regular peaks and dips. Inventory tends to rise early each year and peak in mid to late summer. After the peak is a decline through autumn and winter with the lowest point in the coldest part of the year before turning around again before spring.
Now let’s look up close at just the last 3 years. Again, inventory IS rising, so it’s betting a little easier for buyers, but still difficult compared to the last 3 years.
As usual, our inventory bottoms out in winter and then rises beginning sometime after the Super Bowl or perhaps a little later. Right now we are still in “rising inventory” mode in Almaden, so the market should be softening a little. Also, we are hearing of “buyer fatigue”, so in many cases there may be fewer offers than earlier in the spring. Continue reading
California Ridge sits in the southern park of Almaden Valley within the city of San Jose CA 95120. This townome community is nestled into the foothills, within the highly prized Williams Elementary School area of attendance as well as the Bret Harte Middle, and Leland High attendance areas. Aside from nearby construction or home improvement projects, this is a quiet area of Silicon Valley, close to the scenic and enormous Almaden Quicksilver Park.
Many of these townhouse properties enjoy lovely views of Almaden Valley or open space. The streets are gently rolling and the homes younger and pleasant looking. Nearby San Jose neighborhoods are Almaden Springs and Country View Estates.
Although sometimes mischaracterized as a condominium or condo complex on the MLS (likely because that is how CoreLogic has dubbed it), California Ridge is a Planned Development, not a condo. Owners own the lot and the home in which they live. That is not the case with condos.
The community actually consists of two distinct neighborhoods. One is on or adjacent to Copper Peak (tract #7829), which is the street where these photos were taken. It’s got enough elevation to afford lovely valley views. The other area is on and adjacent to Shelby Creek (tract #7828), which has a pleasant setting also, but without the same valley views as it’s lower. This photo is from the Realist Report, which shows each property in a track with the red “tag”. While I don’t love the way it looks, it provides a good sense of where these 2 neighborhoods are in relationship to one another.
What is interesting is that between these two California Ridge neighborhoods, there are a couple of streets with single family homes on large lots (tract #7986). This is unusual.
What are the townhomes at California Ridge like?
These townhomes can feel refreshingly “young” compared to many other homes in Silicon Valley, most of which were constructed decades earlier.
Built in 1987 and with wood siding, decks, and loads of windows, the homes are a great visual match for the setting and seem poised to take the most of the terrain. The interiors are a little more open than older homes, so that is an appealing element to many home buyers, also. Each townhouse includes a 2 car garage. Continue reading
Luxury home sales are going like crazy in the west valley areas of Santa Clara County. Right now in Almaden Valley, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno and Saratoga, there are 115 houses for sale listed at or more than two million dollars (just checked MLSListings.com), and in the last 30 days 52 have sold and closed escrow in those same areas and price ranges. For the Almaden – Saratoga region generally, then, there are 2.212 months of inventory in the over two million dollar price range (115/52). That makes it a strong seller’s market. Things have certainly stayed lively since last year. (In the same region, there are 39 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 12 houses for sale which are listed at or over $2,000,000. In the last 30 days, 3 sold in that price range (with 2 sales pending). That makes for 4 “months of inventory,” which can be considered a balanced market in many areas though is leaning towards being a seller’s market. That would mean this luxury market has good turnover but is not as strong a market as elsewhere. It’s a close to balanced 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
What makes Almaden so highly desireable a place in which to live? Real estate prices are among the highest in San Jose (and Silicon Valley). For much of Santa Clara County, its a little remote; the commute might be a little too far for some, or so its thought. But that may be a misconception.
Where is Almaden Valley?
Almaden sits nestled between the Santa Teresa foothills and the Santa Cruz Mountains in a southwest corner of Santa Clara County. It touches the Los Gatos and Cambrian Park borders on one side, Blossom Valley on another and stretches toward Morgan Hill at the base of the valley. The major roads winding through Almaden are Camden Avenue, Almaden Expressway, and Coleman Avenue. The local landmark, viewable from much of Almaden Valley, is the famous Mount Umunhum, perched at a high point of the coastal foothills and recently opened to the public as park land.
Why Choose Almaden Valley?
Great living: Almaden boasts low crime, great schools, and strong community involvement. With nice public facilities such as a rec center and library, and some neighborhood communities with cabanas and busy swim teams, its family oriented and kid friendly.
Located close to the Guadalupe Creek and the foothills of the coastal mountain range, the Montevideo neighborhood enjoys tree lined streets and scenic green views of the hills. Houses and yards are nicely kept. It is fairly convenient for commuting as it’s not too deeply into the San Jose area of Almaden Valley. About 500 residents call this beautiful neighborhood home.
In addition to the pleasant vistas, the Montevideo home owners and residents enjoy the cabaña, which includes a community pool, clubhouse, recreation grounds (shuffleboard, volleyball court and more), a fun swim team for kids. There are very few cabañas in the west valley, so this is a big draw.
Adjacent is the very highly regarded Guadalupe Elementary School, which can boast API scores in the 900s (it was 941 in the 2013 study). Continue reading
The Oaktree Park neighborhood in San Jose is a scenic residential community with wide appeal to home buyers due to good Almaden schools, close proximity to large parks and is one of only a few areas in Almaden Valley which includes a cabaña and swim team. Additionally, this area is very convenient as it’s close to schools, shops and commute routes to downtown San Jose and much of Silicon Valley. It is a fairly intimate neighborhood with 156 homes.
Where is the Oaktree Park neighborhood?
The Oaktree Park subdivision is within the boundaries of Meridian Avenue, Redmond Avenue and Mcabbe Road on three sides and the Jeffrey Fontana Park on the north side.
The census bureau (and perhaps also the city of San Jose) has attributed names to some parts of Almaden and this neighborhood falls into the Crossgates section. I do not believe that most residents refer to this area that way, though. Perhaps more likely they’d call it part of the greater Fontana Park neighborhood. Just the other side of Meridian is the vastly larger Almaden Meadows neighborhood.
What schools serve the Oaktree Park neighborhood in San Jose?
The public schools for Oaktree Park are within the San Jose Unified School District:
Los Alamitos Elementary School (API 935 in 2013)
Castillero Middle School (API 846 in 2013)
Pioneer High School (API 822 in 2013)
Los Alamitos Elementary and Holy Spirit Elementary (Catholic) are both just a couple of blocks from Oaktree Park. Additonally there are 2 preschools really close too: Precious Preschool and Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Preschool.
For more information and links for schools, school districts, API scores and maps of boundaries lines for schools in the Almaden area of San Jose, please also read:
What are homes like in Oaktree Park?
Homes in Oaktree Park are single family dwellings – all detached houses (no townhouses or condominiums). These are primarily ranch style or two story ranch style houses, built in the early 1970s on lots of about 8000 to 9000 square feet, though a few are more than that. Interior size runs between about 1600 square feet to about 3000 square feet (if added on). Prices may be in the mid 600s for a smaller home, needing work and a less desirable location (such as on a busy road or immediately adjacent to the high voltage power lines that run through the park) to perhaps a little over a million dollars for a beautifully updated or rebuilt larger home in an ideal location within the neighborhood. In the current market (June 2017), smaller homes are going between the mid $900s to the mid $1.1 million mark and larger homes are selling between $1.2-$1.3 million.
More information on the Oaktree Park neighborhood below!
Often I have clients who are interested in purchasing a 4 bedroom, 2 bath home in a good school district in Silicon Valley, particularly in the South Bay and West Valley areas. Tonight I did a study on the MLS of homes that have sold and closed escrow in the last 4 months with these characteristics:
- single family home (house)
- 4 bedrooms
- 2 bathrooms
- 1800 to 2200 square feet of living space
- 6000 to 10,000 sf lot
Disclaimers aside, here are the numbers for select West Valley Communities in the West/South Bay area with good schools. The first number is the average sales price per square foot, the second number is the average sales price:
And a look at the chart from all back in 2015…
And all the way back in 2011. What’s changed? A lot! The order has shifted some, showing where demand has increased or decreased. Most noticeably, the prices are significantly lower in 2011 than they are now. The 2015 chart shows prices somewhere in-between the 2011 and 2017 levels. Palo Alto and Los Altos remain consistently in the top two positions.
The home prices tend to run with the school district API scores. You can check the 2013, three year average, API scores in Santa Clara County for both the districts and the individual schools online here. Continue reading
If a strong public high school is at the top of your priority list, you may find yourself looking at Los Gatos, Cambrian (area of San Jose), and Almaden (also in San Jose) – scenic areas along the southwest side of Silicon Valley, all of them featuring good to excellent high schools. I would caution against only judging an area, or a school, by its scores, though – often the culture at the campus, the offerings, and many other things can vary from one school to the next. Nothing beats visiting in person and talking with students, parents, faculty and staff.
2013 Growth API Scores
Disclaimers aside, scores do matter as an important part of the overall package. How do the high schools in these areas stack up? API scores are no longer used, so the numbers below are from the 2013 Growth API scores, the most current year available.
Ranked in order of API score:
Leland High – 889 (Almaden, southern area)
Los Gatos High – 883 (Los Gatos, central + small area in Almaden)
Leigh High – 833 (Los Gatos, east & Cambrian plus little of Almaden)
Pioneer High – 822 (Almaden, northern area & Cambrian)
Branham High – 810 (Cambrian & Blossom Valley)
Westmont High – 796 (Los Gatos, western area plus parts of Campbell and Saratoga)
What is the cost of homes in these areas?
To narrow it, let’s consider the same set of criteria: houses sold in the last 180 days within 1 mile of each high school named, with 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and 1500 – 2000 SF. (I’m leaving lot sizes out because it’s already a very small pool of homes.) To make it super simple, I’ll just include the price per SF and the average sale price of these houses.
Ranked in order of affordability – average sale price:
Pioneer High – 822 API – average price per sf $549.17 average sale price $919,057 (9 houses)
Branham High – 810 API – average price per sf $588.92 average sale price $969,295 (17 houses)
Leland High – 889 API – average price per sf $616.04 average sale price $1,071,250 (4 houses)
Leigh High – 833 API – average price per sf $686.00 average sale price $1,144,100 (20 houses)
Westmont High – 796 API – average price per sf $844.00 average sale price $1,329,500 (8 houses)
Los Gatos High – 883 API – average price per sf $917.95 average sale price $1,593,556 (9 houses)
Clearly, the market dictates that there are more than high school scores impacting home values (but you already knew that!).
Homes in the Leland High School area are a very good value, if you can find one (there were only 4, so too easy to have an impossibly small pool of choices).
Market drivers – beyond school scores
Downtown Los Gatos is charming and historic (with loads of beautiful older homes and buildings), it enjoys a vibrant night life and restaurant scene. It’s interesting! It’s “walkable”! People want to live in a part of Silicon Valley that isn’t just suburban sprawl – hence downtown LG has the biggest draw of all these areas. It’s not too far from Highway 85 (think Apple) but it’s not boring, like most of San Jose can be. Many are willing to pay much more to be part of Los Gatos and Los Gatos High School. A nice townhouse in LG, or a house in Cambrian? That may be the choice.
Commute times to places like Apple matter a lot, so homes on the west end of Los Gatos, in Campbell and parts of Saratoga in the Westmont HS area see a very high average sale price, even though the API score was less than 800. Schools matter but they aren’t the only thing that matter. Many home owners believe that the most important part of the education is the parents’ involvement (at home and at school). Many also have their kids at a private high school. Continue reading
Home seller temptation # 1: overconfidence on the market
Because folks read about the dozens of offers on some homes, by extension, it’s easy to believe that every home sells, for top dollar, with no effort or planning on the part of the seller. This is a huge mistake. Perhaps we should even call it a myth since it may be commonly believed.
What, in today’s market, not every home is selling?
That’s right. In the last 30 days, there have been 40 house listings on our MLS in Santa Clara County that expired (that is, the listing contract period ended with the house not selling). Granted, about half of them (21 to be exact) were short sales. Additionally, though, there were other listings which were cancelled and more still which were withdrawn from the market. These were all over San Jose and nearby cities and towns, including Los Gatos.
But wait, there’s more! As of this moment – I’m logged onto MLSListings as I write this – there are 764 single family homes for sale which are not sale pending or under contract (again in SCC). The best homes, those which are well priced and marketed, I’m sure you know, sell within 2-3 weeks. Of the 764 houses and duet homes, 698 are “regular sales”. Of these non-distressed properties, how many do you think have been on the market for over 30 days? Incredibly, 252 of them were listed on or before January 23, a month ago today. That’s 36% of available inventory which has been on the market for a month or more, a huge percentage given the real estate market conditions we’re seeing today. Again, these are all over the county and in all price ranges.
This first temptation is the greatest one, and it often leads to mistakes in areas #2 and #3, listed below. Continue reading