real estate market
How’s the Cupertino real estate market?
The real estate market in Silicon Valley can sometimes be a little quirky, so I like to approach this question from a few angles. In this article I’ll make use of my charts from Altos Research, which uses listing data (not solds) and is automatically updated every week and also monthly reports from my RE Report subscription, which uses sold data as well as active listings data. Also I’ll periodically update it with info from the MLS that I have crunched myself or anecdotal stories from those of us “in the trenches.” The article is a bit long but I think much more comprehensive giving the multiple methods of answering the question of how the Cupertino real estate market is faring.
Cupertino median list price of houses by price quartile
Often the real estate market in any given city is very different between the most expensive homes and the most affordable ones. While many Cupertino home buyers are looking for a short commute, great public schools or strong resale value, some seek a luxury property with a view in the Cupertino hills (either off of Montevina Road by Ridge Vineyards or in other lower foothills). The more moderate pricing tiers are faring better in Cupertino and in most of the valley than those in that luxury tier (think over $3 or $4 million for luxury tier in this city).
The last few months have had some ups and downs in pricing, but most segments of the Cupertino real estate market have seen an overall uptick since last year, even after a bit of recent price cooling. The luxury market in Cupertino had a steep rise at the start of the year, but it appears to have peaked. What if we look back more than a year? Combining the quartiles, it seems that there’s been more up than down, though buyers will be happy to see the current trend is pointing down.
Like most of Santa Clara County, the wild appreciation of the last 5 to 6 years in Blossom Valley seems to now be slowing, and maybe flattening. It is possible that we have hit the “peak of the market”, but it’s also possible that this is simply a seasonal pattern. Often in late spring to early summer, we see inventory levels rise while buyers pull back. This can cause home sale prices to quite appreciating, and in some years, prices decline just a little bit. In 2017, it seemed that the normal patterns simply broke, as late in the year – November and December – buying was at a feverish pitch normally reserved for March.
About Blossom Valley
The Blossom Valley area of San Jose is on the south end of the city and covers the 95123 and 95136 zip codes. For our MLS, it’s “area 12.” A more affordable section of Silicon Valley, Blossom Valley has much to offer in addition to more reasonable housing prices. Many areas enjoy views of the Santa Teresa Foothills or the Communications Hill knolls or even the coastal foothills in the distance, as with the photo below. One corner of it sits alongside beautiful Almaden Lake, too. One corner is located at the crossroads of Highways 85 and 87, making it an easy commute destination for those working in downtown San Jose. And there’s an abundance of shopping opportunities.
Much more could be written, but let’s now instead turn to the real estate market there.
First, “live,” automatically updating Altos Charts for San Jose 95123 and 95136 and single family homes (houses and duet homes). These use list prices, not sales prices.
The median list price of both 95123 and 95136, all prices, single family homes (houses and duet homes, if there are any).
Next, the median list price for just the San Jose 95123 area of Blossom Valley, and separated by price quartile:
And next, the median list price of just San Jose 95136 by price quartile:
The Santa Clara County real estate statistics for Single Family Homes
Read the full report for houses and duet homes in Santa Clara County here (You can also access the stats for San Mateo and Santa Cruz Counties from here!)
Prices are up year-over-year due to a prolonged, unrelenting sellers market. Available inventory is less than half of what it was a year ago, while sales remain consistent. This is bad news for buyers – the market conditions can’t balance out without inventory to meet the demand!
|Trends At a Glance||Jan 2018||Previous Month||Year-over-Year|
|Median Price||$1,163,000 (-10.1%)||$1,293,690||$929,000 (+25.2%)|
|Average Price||$1,439,310 (-7.5%)||$1,556,330||$1,259,470 (+14.3%)|
|No. of Sales||450 (-36.1%)||704||488 (-7.8%)|
|Pending||581 (+12.8%)||515||533 (+9.0%)|
|Active||376 (+38.7%)||271||762 (-50.7%)|
|Sale vs. List Price||108.9% (-0.4%)||109.3%||101.2% (+7.6%)|
|Days on Market||21 (+2.0%)||21||37 (-43.0%)|
|Days of Inventory||25 (+117.1%)||12||47 (-46.5%)|
And the numbers from last month for comparison:
|Trends At a Glance||Dec 2017||Previous Month||Year-over-Year|
|Median Price||$1,293,690 (+0.4%)||$1,288,500||$960,000 (+34.8%)|
|Average Price||$1,556,330 (-3.9%)||$1,619,100||$1,186,120 (+31.2%)|
|No. of Sales||704 (-11.1%)||792||746 (-5.6%)|
|Pending||515 (-32.1%)||758||544 (-5.3%)|
|Active||271 (-41.2%)||461||694 (-61.0%)|
|Sale vs. List Price||109.3% (+0.8%)||108.5%||101.2% (+8.0%)|
|Days on Market||21 (-3.5%)||22||34 (-39.3%)|
|Days of Inventory||12 (-31.6%)||17||28 (-58.6%)|
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:
$1,499,000 : 14630 Wyrick AVE, SAN JOSE3 beds, 2 baths
$1,089,000 : 4106 Malvini DR, SAN JOSE3 beds, 2 baths
$1,250,000 : 378 Curtner AVE, CAMPBELL3 beds, 3 baths
$1,499,950 : 1482 Luning DR, SAN JOSE5 beds, 4 baths
$1,195,000 : 1699 Clovis AVE, SAN JOSE4 beds, 2 baths
$1,175,000 : 1392 Searcy DR, SAN JOSE3 beds, 2 baths
$1,398,000 : 14899 Payton AVE, SAN JOSE4 beds, 2 baths
$1,250,000 : 4143 Malvini DR, SAN JOSE4 beds, 3 baths
$1,299,000 : 1439 Merrywood DR, SAN JOSE4 beds, 3 baths
$1,499,000 : 1568 Ilikai AVE, SAN JOSE4 beds, 2 baths
$1,099,950 : 5003 Joseph LN, SAN JOSE3 beds, 2 baths
$1,438,000 : 4770 Clydelle AVE, SAN JOSE3 beds, 3 baths
$1,249,950 : 4085 Ross Park DR, SAN JOSE3 beds, 2 baths
$1,188,000 : 1782 Albert AVE, SAN JOSE3 beds, 2 baths
$1,330,000 : 3332 Kathleen ST, SAN JOSE3 beds, 2 baths
$1,488,800 : 4593 Fallstone CT, SAN JOSE4 beds, 3 baths
$1,199,999 : 1653 Hillsdale AVE 5, SAN JOSE4 beds, 4 baths
$1,088,000 : 2168 Mendocino LN, SAN JOSE3 beds, 3 baths
$1,280,000 : 3456 Todd WAY, SAN JOSE3 beds, 2 baths
$1,099,900 : 1623 Babero AVE, SAN JOSE4 beds, 1 bath
See all Real estate in the Cambrian community.
(all data current as of 6/23/2018)
Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.
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
Why is it so hard to buy a home in Silicon Valley? Most of it has to do with our ongoing and severe inventory shortage.
I initially wrote the article below on Feb 9, 2012. I thought it was bad then – and I suppose that relatively speaking, it was. But it’s much worse now!
Today is May 1, 2017, and I ran the numbers of available single family homes in Santa Clara County in a chart comparing since January of 2012. Have a look, and please note the year over year numbers:
The situation has only intensified since I first wrote this article in early 2012. There are many reasons for the problem: older people won’t sell for tax reasons (mostly capital gains). move up buyers who elect to stay and add on rather than deal with hugely increased property taxes. In general, home owners are opting to “buy and hold”.
Is it hard to buy a house in the San Jose area? You bet. And unfortunately, I don’t see an end in sight anytime soon.
Original article: Feb 9, 2012
Right now I’m working with a number of very frustrated home buyers. Silicon Valley real estate inventory is painfully low, and in the lower price ranges especially, that means multiple offers are fairly common. FHA home buyers, in particular, are getting out bid and out negotiated by all cash buyers, many of whom are investors.
How low is the inventory? Let’s have a look at January’s inventory for houses & duet homes (“class 1” or single family homes) over the last ten years in Santa Clara County (San Jose, Los Gatos, Campbell, etc.):
The average January inventory of available houses over the last 10 years is 2,636. At 1,382, January 2012’s available inventory of houses for sale in the San Jose area was just 52% of normal. Continue reading
The cooling Silicon Valley real estate market is less of a question and more of an acknowledged fact (we wondered about it in June, we are sure now). If so, how can you tell? We need to begin by talking about “the market”.
First, Silicon Valley doesn’t have ONE market. The real estate market in Palo Alto or Cupertino is going to be very different from the realty market in Los Gatos, or the various parts of San Jose, such as Almaden, Willow Glen, Cambrian, or Blossom Valley. Ditto that with price points. It’s a very different “market” for entry level houses than for luxury homes.
But if we’re going to speak in broad, sweeping terms about cooling trends, what do we SEE? What do we HEAR? What’s happening with offers and open houses? These are the ways we measure the real estate climate. Often we in the industry hear the anecdotal evidence long before it’s reported in the paper. If we hear one Realtor friend after the next report quiet open houses, or few or no offers, we know there’s a climate change afoot.
I will tell you that I am hearing these things, which hint to a softer market for home buyers:
- Houses taking longer to sell in much of Silicon Valley / Santa Clara County
- Homes selling with fewer offers than 6 or 12 months ago
- Contingencies for loan, appraisal and inspection becoming more common
- More price reductions being necessary for than a few months ago
- Fewer ALL CASH offers
- Sale price to list price coming down a little
All of these suggest a mellowing of the housing market. Do the numbers line up?
The cooling Silicon Valley real estate market: seasonal fluctuations…
Historically, we do know that the busiest time for home sales is usually February – April. Some years it’s shorter or longer. (One particularly bad year, we had exactly 3 good weeks for selling in March and nothing more.) But what do the numbers tell us?
If we view the sale price to list price ratio, we expect there to be “seasonal fluctuations”. We don’t expect a hot seller’s market in December. Therefore, what’s often most helpful is comparing the same statistics year over year. Let’s do that. The image below provides the sale price to list price ratio for houses sold in Santa Clara County from Jan 1 2012 through Aug 24, 2016 (the day I grabbed this data). This was taken from the MLSListings.com site for agents (the private MLS).
I love this kind of presentation because it’s so easy to see both month over month and year over year statistics. Take a look at August (so far) for this year compared to the prior months in 2016. At 101.5% that seems like a fantastic ratio (they would go nuts for this in most of the U.S.). Now compare it to the prior months this year and you can see it’s been coming down since March. OK, now consider prior years…it’s mostly a very similar pattern. That tells us that “spring is hotter”. We already knew that, but seeing it for most of the last few years pretty much drives the point home.
But let’s compare August 2016 to August 2012- Aug 2015. That’s a better “apples to apples” comparison. And here it’s very clear that the real estate market in Silicon Valley really IS COOLER than it was in prior years for the same month. Any doubts? Check the same info for July – yes, all hotter until you get to July 2012. Now June – same as for July. May? Yes, again, hotter for that month in 2013, 2014, and 2015 but not 2012. In retrospect, we now know that 2012 was the year the market ratcheted up for a big, long run.
Before anyone begins screaming that the sky is falling, let me stop and remind you that we are talking about a sale price to list price ratio for the entire county that is at more than 101%. This is not a buyer’s market – at least not as a county. There are hotter and cooler pockets, yes, for sure.
What we are experiencing is a return to normalcy, a flattening out, less appreciation. We are not seeing price drops at this time.
And you know what? We’ve been expecting it.
You cannot sustain double digit appreciation forever.
The reality of the cooling Silicon Valley real estate market has implications for home buyers and home sellers:
Buyers, GET OFF THE FENCE. Interest rates are good. Buying conditions are reasonable again. Yes, inventory is low, but if you know what you want, you should be able to find it in 2-3 months tops. If you can’t, then you are not being realistic with what you think you can buy for your budget.
Sellers, it’s time to be more aggressive on pricing and adjust your expectations. Yes, your neighbor got 15 offers in February, but it’s not February any more. If you get 1-3 offers, that means you did a great job of staging, pricing, and getting your home marketed. Position your home to sell, and then get it done.
Where will we be in 6 or 9 months? I don’t know. It could be better or worse after the election. My advise is to get on with your life and not try to time it too carefully, because things can happen which none of us could anticipate. If you want or need to buy or sell, make it happen.There will always be political things going on, world events taking place. There is never a perfect time to buy or sell – but there is the time you want to do it. Go ahead.
And please let me know how I can help.
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
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 popehandy.rereport.com 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.
Real Estate Market Reports Real Estate Market Research
|Mary Pope-Handy’s Real-time Real Estate Market Profile|
How’s the Real Estate Market in YOUR area?
All the market trend charts on this page are ‘live’. Bookmark this page to watch the market change each week. Want more details? Subscribe to my Real-Time Market Report. It’s all about what’s going on right now and it’s free!
Find market activity in the Almaden area of San Jose in the map below:
$1,975,000 : 1133 Barnes LN, SAN JOSE4 beds, 3 baths
$1,548,000 : 6538 Hampton DR, SAN JOSE4 beds, 2 baths
$1,550,000 : 5832 Recife WAY, SAN JOSE4 beds, 2 baths
$999,500 : 1035 Kiser DR, SAN JOSE4 beds, 3 baths
$1,298,500 : 5828 Recife WAY, SAN JOSE3 beds, 2 baths
$1,599,999 : 5950 Porto Alegre DR, SAN JOSE5 beds, 3 baths
$1,375,000 : 6254 Firefly DR, SAN JOSE5 beds, 3 baths
$1,650,000 : 21420 Shillingsburg AVE, SAN JOSE3 beds, 3 baths
$2,250,000 : 6562 Graystone Meadow CIR, SAN JOSE5 beds, 4 baths
$1,299,000 : 1311 Lindahl CT, SAN JOSE4 beds, 2 baths
See all Real estate in the Almaden Valley community.
(all data current as of 6/23/2018)
Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.
First, it’s important to remember that we don’t have just one market in Santa Clara County, San Jose or even Los Gatos. We have a patchwork quilt of markets that are moved by price point, home condition, school districts and school scores, and many more things. An entry level house is always going to be a different market than a luxury estate – but all the shades of gray in between are equally distinct, too.
Once you can look at your particular segment of the market and identify it as such, you can then run the numbers. But beware, it’s too easy to miss a step here. If you’ve got a house worth $1.5 million in Almaden valley with Pioneer high school, please don’t compare it to a $1.5 million home in Almaden Valley with Leland High School. The price point and zip code may be the same, but after that you are in a different land. So drill down to your home (or your desired home’s market).
Next, realize that while there is a softening or cooling of the market, this isn’t a 180 reversal. Sellers, if you thought you’d get 5-8 offers, you may find that your house gets 2 or 3 or 4. That’s still good! Buyers, things are better, but don’t get too cocky – you are still unlikely to be the only bidder, so go in with your strongest package and your best foot forward. And always analyze the market before you bid. Some homes are priced unrealistically high, some unrealistically low, and some on target.
Contingent offers are back! I have done a few sales subject to the sale of another home this year. As long as the home that needs to be sold is priced well and marketed well, this can work. Sellers still want top dollar, so if that means waiting an extra 2-3 weeks for your home to sell, they’ll do it. I’ve seen contingent offers beat out regular offers because the whole package was just stronger.
Lastly, what I’m seeing is seasonally normal. This is not a market crash, only a slight softening.
Some sellers will think that they should wait until next spring to sell.
Some buyers will think that if they wait a year, prices will be far lower.
But for many, trying to “time the market” with real estate is as hard, or maybe harder, than trying to time the stock market. I tell my clients who are looking to buy to keep looking and if the right home comes along, go for it. If a seller needs or wants to sell, do it now. We don’t know when we’ll have the next earthquake, next terrorist attack, next economic crisis. None of us has a crystal ball, and we cannot ever guarantee that tomorrow will be better than today. I’ve been selling homes long enough to know better than to tell people to wait if they are ready now. There are always things out of our control, just around the corner, that we don’t know about.
Please call or email me if you’d like to chat about selling or buying a home in Santa Clara County.
$1,249,000 : 3696 Tunis AVE, SAN JOSE4 beds, 2 baths
$949,000 : 269 Bieber DR, SAN JOSE4 beds, 2 baths
$1,499,000 : 14630 Wyrick AVE, SAN JOSE3 beds, 2 baths
$2,589,000 : 14755 Fruitvale AVE, SARATOGA4 beds, 2 baths
$1,098,888 : 24 Greentree CIR, MILPITAS4 beds, 3 baths
$1,388,000 : 832 Canada DR, MILPITAS4 beds, 3 baths
$1,624,960 : 1343 University AVE, SAN JOSE3 beds, 3 baths
$2,289,888 : 571 Tioga CT, SUNNYVALE4 beds, 3 baths
$879,888 : 268 E Saint James ST, SAN JOSE3 beds, 1 bath
$3,895,000 : 1733 Dry Creek RD, SAN JOSE3 beds, 2 baths
See all Real estate matching your search.
(all data current as of 6/22/2018)
Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.