san jose

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.

Oster Elemenary in Cambrian attendance map

The Oster neighborhood is a nicely maintained pocket within Silicon Valley’s “west valley” (which follows Highway 85).

Oster Elementary School area street

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.

Oster Area Ranch Style Home

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.

Oster neighborhood house

How is the Oster part of Cambrian?

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Cambrian Park Plaza SignThe 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, 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 not significant (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 School District in both charts. Aside from Campbell, which has numbers too small to register a MOI, these are the hottest tickets in the district.

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 Cambrian, you might see 0.85 months of inventory. That’s a lightning fast seller’s market. But it’s not nearly as good if you’re selling in the area with Cambrian Elementary Schools in the entry-level market. There, you’re looking at closer to 0.83 months of inventory for homes around $1 million, while the same price point with Union Schools is over 1 month.

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.

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.

Blossom Valley from the Church on the Hill

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).

Real Estate Market Chart by Altos Research www.altosresearch.com

Next, the median list price for just the San Jose 95123 area of Blossom Valley, and separated by price quartile:

Real Estate Market Chart by Altos Research www.altosresearch.com

And next, the median list price of just San Jose 95136 by price quartile:

Continue reading

Willow Glen in San JoseWillow Glen is perhaps the most charming residential area of the city of San Jose with its old style architecture, tree lined streets and quaint downtown area on Lincoln Avenue and nearby. For folks working in downtown San Jose, the Willow Glen area (roughly the same as 95125 zip code, though a bit of 95124 is included also) is extremely convenient. Inventory hasn’t improved much since last year, and homes continually sell over list price quickly, in under a month. Willow Glen remains in a sellers market.

Click for the complete Willow Glen real estate report with all of the numbers, stats and trends from the closed sales of houses for last month. Further down in this article you’ll find the Altos Research charts as well.

Willow Glen Stats At A Glance

Year-Over-Year

  • Median home prices increased by 14.1% year-over-year to $1,312,500 from $1,150,000.
  • The average home sales price rose by 12.0% year-over-year to $1,413,880 from $1,262,390.
  • Home sales rose by 27.9% year-over-year to 78 from 61.
  • Active listings fell 4.5% year-over-year to 127 from 133.
  • Sales price vs. list price ratio rose by 0.8% year-over-year to 104.0% from 103.2%.
  • The average days on market rose by 12.0% year-over-year to 17 from 15.

Compared To Last Month

  • Median home prices improved by 2.1% to $1,312,500 from $1,285,000.
  • The average home sales price fell by 0.3% to $1,413,880 from $1,417,810.
  • Home sales up by 47.2% to 78 from 53.
  • Active listings dropped 3.1% to 127 from 131.
  • Sales price vs. list price ratio dropped by 0.2% to 104.0% from 104.1%.
  • The average days on market dropped by 5.1% to 17 from 18.

A little cooling won’t take us out of a deep sellers market, but it should ease conditions slightly for long-term buyers.

And next, of Willow Glen condos:

Continue reading

Almaden Valley homes for sale and real estate market conditionsThe Almaden Valley real estate market is still in a stable sellers market. Winter brought about a steep drop in inventory. There must be either a lot more inventory, or significantly less demand, before we see anything close to a balanced market. The Almaden Valley market is noticing minor softening, with homes selling, on average, a over list price at 104.8%. That being said, turnover has sped up to an average of 12 days on market (or DOM). This tells us there’s a slight heating trend in the current market. Almaden Valley is in a sustained, hot sellers market.

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

Year-Over-Year

  • Median home prices increased by 13.6% year-over-year to $1,426,250 from $1,255,000.
  • The average home sales price rose by 10.1% year-over-year to $1,456,860 from $1,323,760.
  • Home sales rose by 44.0% year-over-year to 36 from 25.
  • Active listings fell 26% year-over-year to 71 from 96.
  • Sales price vs. list price ratio rose by 1.3% year-over-year to 104.8% from 103.4%.
  • The average days on market fell by 57.8% year-over-year to 12 from 29.

Compared To Last Month

  • Median home prices slipped by 0.7% to $1,426,250 from $1,436,000.
  • The average home sales price fell by 2.1% to $1,456,860 from $1,487,530.
  • Home sales down by 0.0% to 36 from 36.
  • Active listings increased 6.0% to 71 from 67.
  • Sales price vs. list price ratio increased by 0.9% to 104.8% from 103.9%.
  • The average days on market dropped by 13.9% to 12 from 14.

The data shows a strong sellers market remaining fairly consistent despite increasing inventory. The best homes will still 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.

An overview:

90-day stats for Single Family properties in
SAN JOSE, CA 95120 as of June 16, 2017
Median List Price:$1,546,652Average List Price:$1,941,405
Total Inventory:27Price per Square Foot:$601
Average Home Size:2,659Median Lot Size:8,969
Average # Beds:4.41Average # Baths:3.31
Homes Absorbed:9Newly Listed:9
Days on Market:37Average Age:37

Real Estate Market Chart by Altos Research www.altosresearch.com

Continue reading

Bel Estos Drive near Carlton and Rosswood in San Jose's Cambrian areaMy 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.

In this district of San Jose, we have been experiencing dreadfully low inventory of homes for sale, and buyers aren’t backing off as much as usual for this time of year – I believe because there is just a whole lot of pent up demand from nearly two years of a deep seller’s market. What does that mean? Sellers, if you have a problem home, or one not updated or well maintained, this is the time to sell it – buyers have little to choose from so are purchasing properties that need more work than they would bother with in a more balanced market.

Want to learn more about Cambrian Park real estate, the Cambrian district, Cambrian neighborhoods, school districts and zip codes? Please also see this article: Cambrian Park: Good Schools, Low Crime, Close to Los Gatos and Campbell

Be sure to read to the end to see the live Altos charts too – they are near the end of the article so please keep reading into the next page!

Cambrian area sales at a glance:

Year-Over-Year

  • Median home prices increased by 6.3% year-over-year to $1,100,000 from $1,035,000.
  • The average home sales price rose by 5.4% year-over-year to $1,108,780 from $1,052,440.
  • Home sales fell by 11.9% year-over-year to 52 from 59.
  • Active listings fell 33.6% year-over-year to 81 from 122.
  • Sales price vs. list price ratio fell by 0.6% year-over-year to 105.8% from 106.4%.
  • The average days on market rose by 19.6% year-over-year to 13 from 11.

Compared To Last Month

  • Median home prices improved by 8.4% to $1,100,000 from $1,015,000.
  • The average home sales price rose by 2.4% to $1,108,780 from $1,083,150.
  • Home sales down by 24.6% to 52 from 69.
  • Active listings increased 12.5% to 81 from 72.
  • Sales price vs. list price ratio dropped by 0.5% to 105.8% from 106.3%.
  • The average days on market increased by 47.8% to 13 from 9.

Generally speaking it is still a hot seller’s market and great time to sell a Cambrian home.

 Please see the whole Cambrian Real Estate Report for charts, stats and more.

The condo and townhouse real estate market for San Jose 95124 & 95118

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 

(NEW! You can also access the stats for San Mateo and Santa Cruz Counties from here!)

Prices are up month over month and year over year after some slight cooling earlier this month. Inventory is up from a year ago but not enough to catch up with the deficit.

 

Santa Clara County Stats At A Glance for sales closed in April 2017

Year-Over-Year

  • Median home prices increased by 7.4% year-over-year to $1,160,000 from $1,080,000.
  • The average home sales price rose by 6.4% year-over-year to $1,429,430 from $1,342,830.
  • Home sales fell by 11% year-over-year to 833 from 936.
  • Active listings fell 4% year-over-year to 2,077 from 2,163.
  • Sales price vs. list price ratio rose by 1.2% year-over-year to 106.1% from 104.8%.
  • The average days on market fell by 14.8% year-over-year to 17 from 20.

Compared To Last Month

  • Median home prices improved by 2.7% to $1,160,000 from $1,130,000.
  • The average home sales price rose by 1.9% to $1,429,430 from $1,403,090.
  • Home sales up by 6.4% to 833 from 783.
  • Active listings increased 11.8% to 2,077 from 1,857.
  • Sales price vs. list price ratio increased by 1.3% to 106.1% from 104.7%.
  • The average days on market dropped by 22.6% to 17 from 22.

 

Continue reading

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

Severe inventory shortage

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:

2017-05-01 Santa Clara County Inventory of Single Family Homes

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.):

2012  1,382
2011  2,007
2010  2,426
2009  4,759
2008  4,872
2007  2,698
2006  2,202
2005  1,285
2004  1,612
2003  3,119

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 normalContinue reading

Almaden Valley in San Jose is comprised of many neighborhoods and subdivisions. One of them, close to the border with Los Gatos and Cambrian Park, is particularly popular: the Oak Canyon neighborhood.

There are many reasons for its draw among Silicon Valley home buyers: the houses were well built by Shea Homes in about 1980, so they are relatively newer by Silicon Valley standards. They’re larger homes on comfortable lots, often 8000 sf or so but some as small as 6500 sf and others larger than a quarter acre in the Oak Canyon corner of Almaden.

Most of the homes boast a 3 car garage, which is a big help with storage of stuff, if not storage of cars. The roads gently turn, which makes a more pleasing look. It’s a very “conforming” neighborhood where everyone keeps up the homes and yards. Much of Almaden is viewed by consumers as somewhat remote, but this section, near the mouth of Almaden, is not too deep into the valley and is a better commute location for most. One of the largest pulls for the area, though, is the nearby elementary school, Guadalupe School, which has API scores in the 900s.

Oak Canyon Drive, San Jose, CA 95120 - a neighborhood in the Almaden Valley Oak Canyon Dr in San Jose Oak Canyon neighborhood home Oak Canyon street Oak Canyon 2 story house Oak Canyon home with 3 car garage Oak Canyon street along the Guadalupe Creek This floor plan in Oak Canyon boasts a master bedroom suite with balcony.  Many of these properties face the hills. An Oak Canyon house with a welcoming front porch.

Where is the Oak Canyon neighborhood in Almaden Valley, San Jose?

Oak Canyon is found near the intersection of Camden Avenue and Coleman Road in San Jose but is bordered by Coleman on one side and the Guadalue Creek on the other sides. (The far side of the Guadalupe Creek at this point is Cambrian Park.)

oak-canyon-map

And to provide some bearings, here’s a map of the Almaden Valley district of San Jose generally:

almaden-valley-map
Continue reading

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Mary Pope-Handy
Realtor
ABR, CIPS, CRS, SRES
Sereno Group Real Estate
214 Los Gatos-Saratoga Rd
Los Gatos, CA 95030
408 204-7673
Mary (at) PopeHandy.com
License# 01153805


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