My Cambrian area of San Jose Real Estate Report was recently published with the updated numbers from the closed sales last month for this part of San Jose (95124 and 95118 with a little of 95008 too). Please click on the link above to see much more information there. Those charts are below.
First, though, I want to share some info that I pulled from the MLS last night. It does appear that Cambrian home prices have come down quite a bit since the peak of pricing in March. For home sellers wondering why their properties aren’t selling as quickly, this may be helpful. Also it’s good info for those thinking of selling their houses or condos in this second half of 2018.
The very best way to know what the market is doing is to track the same house as it sells and re-sells. However, most home owners don’t move often, so that is not helpful to us. The next best method is to find very similar properties and track them. That would be such as all condos in a large development with approximately the same floor plan / size.
Cambrian often mimics the valley as a whole pretty well, so I thought I would pull up a representative sample from a hot segment of the market to get my own sense of how things are going. I pulled starter homes with Campbell Union High School District, zip code 95124, with 1000 – 1500 SF, 3-4 bedrooms and 2+ baths.
Here are the averages from March to today:
March 2018 (10 sales) average price per SF $1,100.53 average sale price $1,429,612
April 2018 (15 sales) average price per SF $1,138.75 average sale price $1,417,000
May 2018 (14 sales) average price per SF $1,076.54 average sale price $1,375,643
June 2018 (10 sales) average price per SF $980.64 average sale price $1,258,550 (steepest drop from the month before)
July 2018 (12 sales) average price per SF $974.35 average sale price $1,232,958
August 2018 – only 2 closed sales so far, too little data to be helpful
That is a drop in the average sale price of $196,654 over 4 months for this group, or about $49,163.50 per month on average (though some months it is more or less). The data here uses a fairly small pool, so it may not be accurate for all parts of Cambrian, but it is an indicator of what the market is doing overall since this is a very in-demand segment of Cambrian.
If we input this into excel and ask it to generate a forecast through January (which assumes the same rate of change, which may NOT be true), it looks like this – sellers please note, THIS IS WHAT BUYERS ARE THINKING AS THE WAIT TO BID:
Now I need to remind everyone that the market is often not a straight line. Let’s stop and take a look at the county’s sales (average and median prices) to get a sense of that. Although the general trend for the last few years has been upward, please see that there are MANY drops, particularly in the second half of each year.
As is evident, seasonally, the market does often flatten or decline somewhat in the second half of each year. The peak is most often in spring sometime. Very often, the peak is in March (again, that means sales the month before, which is February, and that means getting your house all ready in January). So let’s say that the market does drop at the current rate, in January 2019, this hypothetical Cambrian home would be selling at about $886,000, prior to the possible spring surge in pricing. To get the lowest price means buying in December, not buying in January, most likely. But – December also typically has the lowest inventory, so not much selection. For that reason, if you like a home now, I would suggest buying that home now. Buying a home for yourself and your family is not like buying a stock. You are going to live in it, so you will want to like it. I have seen many buyers try to time the market and end up going through December since they hated what was available, and then they got caught buying in the spring madness, and they paid more.
But who knows if prices will rebound in early 2019 or not. Who knows if prices will continue dropping this year. Some years, we have seen drops followed by rapid appreciation. Last year, prices rose through December, confusing everyone. This could be the beginning of a correction, or it could be a seasonal cool down – a gift for wearing Cambrian home buyers.
If it’s the beginning of a correction, buying now does not make sense unless you plan to be in your home for 10 years or so. If it is a seasonal experience, or a blip, then buying this fall is a good idea, since the new year is very likely to see prices move back up.
Which is it? I do not know for sure. The CEO of my company thinks that prices will trail off for the rest of this year, and then return to their upward march in the spring of 2019 (think Feb – April). When I see the hiring, the Google expansion, I know that people have to live somewhere. It may be a standoff between sellers and buyers on price. My usual advice is simple: if you are ready to get on with your life, and you’re going to stay there 5 or 10 years, buying now most likely makes sense.
Cambrian single family homes trends at a glance – numbers from the RE Report
Sales and turnover are fast and steady, and the sales to list price has remained high, over 110% for many months now. Prices have been slipping fairly steadily since March / April. Usually I only show this month and the one before, but I’ll display 3 months’ of data this time so it’s more clear. Interesting, though, that the sale price to list price ratio is still so high. These numbers reflect all of MLS “area 14”, which includes virtually all of 95124 (some of that is Willow Glen) and 95118 (some of that is Blossom Valley) and a sliver of 95008.
Most of Cambrian did not get the same appreciation as our hottest segment, above, so the general area stats will be a bit different.
Trends at a Glance
|Trends At a Glance||Jul 2018||Previous Month||Year-over-Year|
|Median Price||$1,260,000 (-4.0%)||$1,312,500||$1,140,000 (+10.5%)|
|Average Price||$1,311,880 (-5.3%)||$1,385,810||$1,178,450 (+11.3%)|
|No. of Sales||57 (-1.7%)||58||77 (-26.0%)|
|Pending||52 (0.0%)||52||61 (-14.8%)|
|Active||70 (+42.9%)||49||22 (+218.2%)|
|Sale vs. List Price||105.1% (-5.5%)||111.2%||107.9% (-2.6%)|
|Days on Market||17 (+39.4%)||12||19 (-11.0%)|
|Days of Inventory||37 (+50.4%)||25||9 (+329.8%)|
And from the month before: Continue reading
The Santa Clara County real estate market is cooling off, which is very often the case in summers here. It varies from place to place within the region, and one pricing tier to the next, but I am definitely seeing and hearing about fewer offers, more lowball offers, contingencies creeping back into sales, etc. In red hot properties with great schools, you might get a half dozen offers…and three of them may be “bad” offers from home buyers who are pessimistic on the market. They do not get the sale, of course, but it is interesting to hear about an increase in those kinds of bids.
My RE REport just came out, and here are some images and data from that for Santa Clara County. First, the market barometer. Here, you can see that sellers had stronger power in March than they do now – by quite a lot! (Click on the image to go to the report and see a clearer version of it.)
Next, the average and median sale prices and the number of units (again, click on the image to go to the report). This graphic does not look as bad or as much of a change as the one before, though you can see that since May prices have gone down a little, and sales are now tipping downward and are fewer than sales for this time last year.
Next, the sale price to list price ratio is a bit more startling. Sales are still averaging about 1-05% of list price – so that is hard for sellers to complain about – however, it is unmistakable that the climate for home selling in Silicon Valley is undergoing a change and this is literally past its peak. Buyers and sellers alike need to wonder whether it will calm down or continue at the current rate of decline. Is it a buying opportunity, or the beginning of a correction?
The numbers themselves point to a turnaround in the market. I’ll jot the median sale price for the county here – it’s a large enough pool of sales to be pretty reliable as a gauge of the real estate market in the San Jose area:
July 2018 $1,350,000
June 2018 $1,402,000
May 2018 $1,416,000
April 2018 $1,420,000
March 2018 $1,450,000 – PEAK
February 2018 $1,380,000
January 2018 $1,163,000
Between March and July, the median sale price dropped $100,000, or 6.89%. As you can see, it had also jumped considerably between January and March, and even at today’s lower median sales price, it’s still higher than January. It will be interesting to see where it ends up in January of 2019.
A quick look at the numbers for this month’s Santa Clara County RE Report:
Trends at a Glance
|Trends At a Glance||Jul 2018||Previous Month||Year-over-Year|
|Median Price||$1,350,000 (-3.7%)||$1,402,000||$1,175,000 (+14.9%)|
|Average Price||$1,624,690 (-5.1%)||$1,712,500||$1,409,380 (+15.3%)|
|No. of Sales||847 (-13.3%)||977||1,015 (-16.6%)|
|Pending||924 (-0.6%)||930||931 (-0.8%)|
|Active||1,151 (+8.0%)||1,066||816 (+41.1%)|
|Sale vs. List Price||105.6% (-2.0%)||107.8%||105.5% (+0.1%)|
|Days on Market||19 (+13.7%)||17||20 (-6.7%)|
|Days of Inventory||41 (+28.8%)||32||24 (+69.0%)|
It’s now August 10th and it’s too early to know for sure what the August numbers are doing, but normally August is a quiet month with sale prices a little off. So we’ll see. Continue reading
The months of inventory for any part of the real estate market can vary, depending on many factors, including age of home, house size, lot size, and school district, whether or not there’s a pool, and many other things. It can be very useful to understand this metric when selling a Silicon Valley home. I’ve done market numbers crunching tied to the specific characteristics of a property (say, small yard with pool or big yard with no pool) to find the impact of those characteristics on the probability that a home will sell – or how fast.
The Cambrian area of San Jose is a very “hot market” overall, but it can be confusing to know how hot it really is, just like the rest of Santa Clara County, because there are multiple school districts – and schools are probably the number one driver of home values in this highly educated valley.
An explanation of “months of inventory”
What does “months of inventory” mean? This figure references how long it would take to sell a property if homes continued to sell and close at the current pace with no new inventory coming on the market. A good analogy is to consider a bathtub which drains. If you add no new water to the tub, how long will it take to empty out?
The months of inventory is sometimes called the absorption rate. The question is simple: how long will it take for the current inventory of homes for sale to get absorbed by the home buyers purchasing them? It doesn’t have to be calculated by months. It could be in days, weeks, or years. But months is probably most common.
The Cambrian area of San Jose’s months of inventory as a whole, and in one price point
Cambrian was once an enormous zone of the Santa Clara Valley. Today we mostly think of it as within San Jose in the 95124 and 95118 zip codes. Some of it it adjacent to Campbell – a very tiny sliver is IN Campbell (we’re only dealing with the San Jose portion in our charts), and a tinier still area is in San Jose and is under the Campbell School Union District. Most of this area is in one of three elementary school districts: Cambrian, Union, or San Jose Unified.
Here’s the breakdown – first, for ALL of Cambrian (MLS area 14 for my Realtor readers) that’s within the City of San Jose and second, by elementary school district. The area for Campbell Elementary is so small that the numbers are usually not of use (no offense to the Campbell school residents). It can just jump around too much to be helpful and often gives us no usable data. Please have a look:
I highlighted the San Jose Unified Elementary School District in both charts as the current lowest MOI. You’ll see that past charts show that the fastest market shifts around. Aside from Campbell, which has numbers too small to register a MOI, these are the hottest tickets in the district.
Below are some past charts for comparison. This one is recent, from early January 2018.
In this chart, it’s the Union Elementary School District in both charts with the lowest MOI.
Here are the numbers from September 2017 for comparison:
The message I’d like to convey is this: you can read about information for your part of Silicon Valley, or your city or zip code, but it’s not until you drill things down to an area that closely matches your own home will you have a better sense of your own home’s “real estate marker.” It’s never “how is the market?” so much as “how’s the market for YOUR home – or the one you want to buy?”
If you were only tracking the whole of Cambrian, you might see .643 months of inventory. That’s a lightning fast seller’s market. But it’s not quite so fast if you’re selling a Cambrian home in the Union Elementary Schools area of the entry-level market. There, you’re seeing 3 whole months of inventory for homes around $1 million, while the same price point with San Jose Union Schools is almost one tenth of that, a low 0.375.
Years ago, I had a Willow Glen listing where the whole back yard was the pool. I did a study on the months of inventory and learned that pools in properties with that lot size took substantially more time to be absorbed. Likewise, I had a Los Gatos estate property on an acre of land, and the reverse was also true: the months of inventory showed that large lots on $2 million and up homes for sale did not sell nearly as well without a pool.
The math is simple: using the same criteria, divide the number of active listings by those of homes sold in the last 30 days. The criteria can be anything you like – a property’s size, location, number of bathrooms, price, age, etc. Often I include approximately the same home and lot size together with the school district. That usually provides much more accurate info on “how’s the market” as compared to just getting it by zip code alone.
If you are looking to buy or sell a home in Cambrian, or anywhere in San Jose or Santa Clara County, this kind of information is really important. It is not hard to do, but very few real estate agents will provide this information before you list or before you make the final determination on the list price of your home.
Looking for a good Silicon Valley Realtor who will get you that extra data? Please call or email me. I would love to chat to see about possibly working together.
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 3 months, or 90 days, for a better range. As of this writing, Saratoga only had one sale over the last 90 days, so data for that segment may or may not be a good average.
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 analyzing this is the “price per square foot” figure. Whenever I update the chart, I re-arrange the order of the cities from high to low based on the price per square foot, although there’s usually minimal movement.
To compare, here are the numbers from the this past January 26, 2017. There were fewer sales, so the search range was bumped up to 120 days instead of 90 days (and Los Altos was so low, it was individually searched at 180 days). You might notice price per square foot appears lower across the board in January compared to July. This is most likely because the market has heated up over spring and summer, which you can also see in the DOM.
Below are my results from the same search back in September 18, 2015. By comparison, you can tell that Santa Clara’s average Price has increased, pushing it above Almaden and Campbell.
How competitive is the market? 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 most 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, Los Altos only had four homes sold, the second lowest, matching this criteria within the 90 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 38 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. This chart is really just a snapshot to give a general sense of the relative affordability of these markets to one another. Continue reading
Tastefully updated & remodeled throughout! 1512 Santa Monica Ave boasts hardwood and tile floors only! This beautiful and sunny Cambrian home sits along the Willow Glen Border and enjoys an open floor plan, ideal for entertaining! And it is move-in ready!
1512 Santa Monica Avenue, in the Cambrian area of San Jose: Offered at $850,000
MLS # ML81670041
- 3 bedrooms
- 2 updated bathrooms
- 1144 SF of living space (per county records)
- 5882 SF lot (per county records)
- Central air conditioning
- Many dual pane windows
- Hardwood & tile floors throughout
- Raised panel interior doors
- Attached 2 car garage with extra wide driveway
- Washer, dryer, and refrigerator all stay
- Built 1954
1512 Santa Monica Ave – Virtual Tour Link: http://www.tourfactory.com/1642868
OPEN LIVING, ABUNDANT NATURAL LIGHTING!
The living room offers a wood burning fireplace, built in bookshelves, hardwood flooring, recessed lights, and access to the front porch – a welcoming, comfy place to relax in a friendly neighborhood.
The kitchen overlooks the back yard and features younger cabinets, stainless steel appliances, slab granite countertops, a sun tunnel, tile floor, and a door to the garage.
The spacious dining area is open to both the kitchen and living room, and it also provides a tile floor & view of the inviting back yard.
Outside there’s plenty of room for everything with both a spacious deck – like an outside “family room” – and a flagstone patio with an exquisite pergola, which makes for a fabulous outside dining area. A lawn, fruit trees, and planting area complete this space. (Fruit trees include apple, peach, and orange.)
BEDROOMS & BATHROOMS
The bedroom wing enjoys hardwood floors, fan lights in each bedroom, and cedar floors in the closets with custom “Elfa” organizers and shelving.
The large master suite includes 2 closets, hardwood floors, and a fan light. Located at the rear of the home, it enjoys a wide view of the beautiful back yard.
The updated master bathroom provides a stall shower along with a toilet and vanity. The hall bath is also nicely updated with a pedestal sink, toilet, and shower over tub.
SCHOOLS for 1512 Santa Monica Avenue
Willow Glen Middle
Willow Glen High
Close to the Los Gatos border sits one of the more affordable Cambrian neighborhoods in San Jose and the west valley generally. It enjoys lovely views of the hills, great public schools with high API scores, a neighborhood private school to boot, and convenient access to freeways and stores. There’s no sign, marker or gateway to the area, so many of its residents are probably unaware that the official name to it is Cambrian Gardens.
This neighborhood provides an incredible “bang for the buck” for home buyers wanting excellent schools and not wanting to pay luxury home pricing. In many ways, it’s a “sleeper” – meaning that many people don’t know it’s there, but it’s a good deal!
The Oster neighborhood, centered around Oster Elementary School in San Jose’s Cambrian district, is situated on the north side of highway 85 and just west of Camden Avenue, part of the 95124 zip code. It’s one of the more affordable areas within the highly regarded Union School District, which is not to say that real estate prices are inexpensive there! They are just slightly softer than those around Carlton, Alta Vista, and Guadalupe, generally.
The Oster neighborhood is a nicely maintained pocket within Silicon Valley’s “west valley” (which follows Highway 85).
Most streets, and most properties, are well maintained in the Oster neighborhood. Some of this area used to be unincorporated (and you can tell that by the lack of sidewalks and curbs, and sometimes also gutters). Where houses have 4 digits (say 4921 xyz street), it’s usually incorporated into the City of San Jose. And where the street address has 5 numbers, such as 14534, it is or was originally unincorporated. The unincorporated area usually have larger lots, and some of them were originally on septic and may still have a septic tank buried in the back yard, even if now they are hooked up to the public sewer.
What are homes like in the Oster neighborhood?
Houses are, of course, many decades old. Some, in the older original Cambrian Park area on the west side of the school’s attendance area, may have been built as early as the 1940s, but most of the area was constructed in the 1950s and 1960s. Overall, the best land in Santa Clara County was built out years ago. It is therefore often true that the best land or location will come with an older structure.
Most houses are 1 or 2 stories, no basements, with attached 2 car garages. Most houses are the typical 3 – 4 bedroom, 2 – 3 bath ranch style tract home that is seen throughout most of Silicon Valley. Home size ordinarily runs between 1,000 SF and 2,000 SF, though they range from about 850 SF to well over 3,000 SF. Lot sizes are frequently between 6,000 SF and 8,000 SF, but the older section of Cambrian Park may boast 10,000 SF lots or greater.
How is the Oster part of Cambrian?
Silicon Valley home prices are sky high. The average price of homes selling in Santa Clara County is about 1.25 million. Cambrian offers good schools, a reasonable commute to places like Apple in Cupertino, and a nice location near Los Gatos and Campbell with lower real estate prices. For that reason, it’s become a magnet for smart home buyers over the last 20 years. If you have the budget for an average Santa Clara County home, how far would it go in Cambrian? Here’s the data, pulled this week from MLSListings, to answer that question.
Homes in 95118 tend to be younger and bigger than those in 95124, but the 95124 area is generally preferred as the schools are usually better (Union or Cambrian Elementary Districts and Campbell Union High School District vs San Jose Unified schools, though some of these are quite good, too) and 95124 is closer to Campbell and Los Gatos. However, if someone is commuting to downtown San Jose, 95118 would be more convenient. The most expensive homes tend to be in 95124 with CUHSD. One caveat to this data is the quantity of results – Cambrian in the SJUSD has far fewer sales than CUHSD, and sometimes can be so low the data is unreliable. The smallest inventory for one of these categories this week was 7 in the SJUSD 95124 area.
See what’s selling in Cambrian now on the map below:
$1,400,000 : 4429 George Oaks DR, SAN JOSE4 beds, 3 baths
$1,199,000 : 5319 Estrade DR, SAN JOSE3 beds, 2 baths
$1,298,000 : 5397 Elrose AVE, SAN JOSE4 beds, 2 baths
$1,449,990 : 1479 Blossom Hill RD, SAN JOSE3 beds, 3 baths
$1,229,000 : 4902 Anna DR, SAN JOSE3 beds, 2 baths
$1,198,000 : 1640 Willowmont AVE, SAN JOSE3 beds, 2 baths
$1,295,000 : 2163 Sufonet DR, SAN JOSE3 beds, 2 baths
$1,198,000 : 1589 Willowbrook DR, SAN JOSE5 beds, 3 baths
$1,149,000 : 5302 Estrade DR, SAN JOSE3 beds, 2 baths
$1,178,000 : 5511 Yale DR, SAN JOSE3 beds, 2 baths
$1,488,888 : 1817 Gunston WAY, SAN JOSE3 beds, 2 baths
$1,488,888 : 1522 Estelle AVE, SAN JOSE5 beds, 4 baths
$1,149,000 : 1673 Milroy PL, SAN JOSE3 beds, 2 baths
$1,299,000 : 4224 Ranwick CT, SAN JOSE3 beds, 2 baths
$1,199,000 : 3498 Buckingham DR, SAN JOSE4 beds, 2 baths
$1,280,000 : 1569 Jacob AVE, SAN JOSE4 beds, 3 baths
$1,499,000 : 3622 Julio AVE, SAN JOSE3 beds, 2 baths
$1,475,000 : 2136 Vizcaya CIR, CAMPBELL3 beds, 3 baths
$1,249,000 : 4944 Tilden DR, SAN JOSE3 beds, 2 baths
$1,190,000 : 3456 Todd WAY, SAN JOSE3 beds, 2 baths
See all Real estate in the Cambrian community.
(all data current as of 8/13/2018)
Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.
Convenient to Good Samaritan Hospital, Carlton Elementary School and freeway access to highways 17 and 85, the beautiful “King Street” neighborhood in San Jose’s Cambrian Park district seems to be close to everything. But a drive through the tree-lined streets with tidy homes seems like a relaxing step into the welcoming neighborhoods of yesteryear rather than the hustle and bustle of today’s Silicon Valley.
As with the nearby Alta Vista neighborhood, homes here show a pride of ownership not found everywhere. Holidays include beautiful displays of lights that invite neighbors out to tour after dark. Many home owners wrap the trunk of the trees between the sidewalk and street with blankets of white lights, making for a stunning look down the road.
The “King Streets” enjoy an uncommon appeal that makes homes here perennially desirable to home buyers. The popularity of the area is due partly to the convenience factor (easy to get to a great elementary school with high API scores, easy to get to the freeways, Los Gatos and Good Sam) and the beauty or neighborhood charm factor. It is a winning combination for this west valley community! Many who wish to live in Los Gatos choose this part of San Jose because it’s on the border, so it is not uncommon for the King Streets to be a first home and the move up one is in Los Gatos.
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