This March, travel back in time to the early- to mid-20th century and celebrate Santa Clara Valley’s heritage with the Saratoga Historical Foundation and the City of Saratoga’s Blossom Festival.
When the hills of Los Gatos, Saratoga, and the surrounding regions were covered with fruit blossoms every year, a Blossom Festival was held with parades, food, games, and theatrical performances. These massive celebrations saw visitors come from miles around to enjoy the beauty of the valley and the festivities.
On March 24th from 10am-4pm, the Saratoga Heritage Orchard and Civic Center area will be host to a new Blossom Festival. The event is free and family friendly. Children may enjoy kids craft and activity tables and a petting zoo. History buffs can rub elbows with costumed characters from Saratoga’s by-gone-days, see vintage vehicles, motors, and tractors, and swing to a live band playing tunes from the 1930s-40s. Foodies might enjoy gourmet food trucks, prune and apricot tasting (the prize crops of the Valley of Heart’s Delight), and docent-led orchard tours. There will also be artists, craftspeople, entertainment, and more!
Join us in the orchard under a snowfall of pink and white flower petals and celebrate the beauty of the changing season at the Saratoga Blossom Festival!
Saratoga Heritage Orchard and Civic Center area
13777 Fruitvale Avenue in Saratoga, CA
March 24th from 10am-4pm, free to all!
How’s the Saratoga California real estate market?
This is a fairly comprehensive article on the Saratoga real estate market that will include the live statistics from Altos Research for listed properties (not closed) in Saratoga CA 95070, the closed sale data from the RE Report for last month in Saratoga 95070, and the numbers I crunched for Saratoga – overall and by price point and high school district, since Saratoga has 3 different high school districts, each with an impact on home values.
First, let’s consider the months of inventory by price point and high school district that I crunched using MLSListings.com, our local multiple listing service provider.
The months of inventory is a reference to how fast homes would be absorbed into the market if sales continued at the same pace and no new inventory came onto the market. It’s often referred to as “the absorption rate” – and that can be months of inventory, weeks of inventory, or days of inventory. A “balanced” market is somewhere around 4-5 months for us, though the National Association of Realtors says that 6 months is balanced nationwide. Anything under 3 is a good seller’s market, and under 1 is like saying that homes are “flying off the market.”
(For comparison, please also see a similar article on the Live in Los Gatos blog for the town of Los Gatos – real estate market by price point and high school district.)
Here’s the chart for Saratoga – all price points, all school districts.
And for comparison, here’s the chart from last month:
This month the data is back to what’s been the norm as of late – a strong seller’s market with fairly low inventory. Just over 2 MOI looks very hot, but if you look at where the listings are and compare it to the sales you are able to see there is at least one big exception. We can tell that the highest price point, $5+ million, is a much slower buyer’s market, which is common, and the other price points are frequently even lower than the average. Because the inventory is so small, the data can be easily distorted, so it is helpful to look a little farther back for general trends and pricing. As always, each property is unique, so this chart is just a guide and finding the right price to list or offer requires closer inspection and is best done with the help of a qualified agent.
By comparing across school districts you can also see how different each area’s individual market can be. The overall MOI for different school districts this month ranges from 3.333 to 0.4. Small levels of inventory can create big data swings and make for less accurate charts, nevertheless, we can still spot trends if we know where to look.
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%)|
Only a few have announced dates yet, so this post may be updated when I am alerted to more.
On Thursday, November 23, after starting the turkey and before the guests arrive, head over to the Saratoga Federated Church at 20390 Park Pl for the 52nd Annual Interfaith Thanksgiving Service from 10am-noon. This celebration is hosted by a different religious community each year in the Los Gatos, Saratoga, Monte Sereno area and is the perfect chance to share community time and spread thanksgiving with your neighbors. Congregation Beth David is the only website with information on this event at the present (please use the link to learn more).
Wishing everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving! Hope to see you at one of these events!
$899,000 : 20780 4th ST 1, SARATOGA2 beds, 2 baths
$3,888,500 : 20385 Saratoga Los Gatos RD, SARATOGA4 beds, 3 baths
$3,195,000 : 14133 Sobey RD, SARATOGA4 beds, 3 baths
$1,490,000 : 18621 Bucknall RD, SARATOGA3 beds, 2 baths
$3,999,000 : 19295 Citrus LN, SARATOGA5 beds, 3 baths
See all Real estate in the city of Saratoga.
(all data current as of 3/19/2018)
Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.
What makes an expensive house in the San Jose area more than just a pricey bit of real estate, but instead a Silicon Valley luxury home? How is high end real estate different from the rest of the market? When is a property not just a home with land, but an estate?
In other parts of the U.S., spending $1,200,000 may fetch a 4000 square foot home, new construction, in an upscale gated community with country club amenities such as a golf course, tennis courts, and more. Here, that same $1,200,000 will procure an entry to mid-level single family home in many parts of Santa Clara County. It won’t necessarily be a Silicon Valley luxury home.
Luxury connotes a combination of qualities, features, and amenities. And it includes pricing (relative to the nearby market), condition, land, design.
Pricing Luxury Homes in Silicon Valley: What Do They Cost?
Expensive Silicon Valley homes are not necessarily luxury homes. Depending on the city or town, the price tag could be higher or lower. For instance, a fabulous house on a large lot in Gilroy’s Eagle Ridge might sell for 1/3 as much as the identical type of home, land and neighborhood found in Saratoga, Monte Sereno, or Los Gatos, or Los Altos, if a similar home happened to be available. Generally, though, luxury homes could cost as little as $1,000,000 or so in some parts of Silicon Valley or in neighboring counties, but in most parts of Silicon Valley, a true estate type property will be valued at $2,000,000 or $3,000,000 or more. In some areas, such as Palo Alto, that $2 million doesn’t go too far and the home you can purchase at that price tag may need major updating – or it could be “land value”. For our purposes today, we’ll use $2 million as the bottom number for estate properties, but it may or may not be the case in some areas.
What does it cost to buy a home with really good schools in Silicon Valley? Los Gatos, Saratoga, Cupertino and Palo Alto are all areas with highly regarding public schools. These aren’t the only areas with good schools but they are popular “west valley” areas that people may consider if working for Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook or any number of high tech employers.
Los Gatos and Saratoga both have multiple school districts, running from good to very good or excellent. The cost of housing tends to follow the popularity of the district, so for those areas I’m showing the breakdown not just for the whole town of Los Gatos but also by the high school district (Los Gatos-Saratoga or Campbell Union High School District). Same with Saratoga. (The Monte Sereno real estate market is very similar to Los Gatos, but slightly more expensive. Most of Monte Sereno has Los Gatos schools, but a small number of homes are in the Campbell area.)
Here are the average numbers for single family homes sold in the last 60 days ranging from 1500 – 2500 square feet, on a lot between 5000 and 10,000 SF, with 3-5 bedrooms and 2-3 bathrooms to give a sense of what it would cost to purchase a typical house in these areas. Please note that right now it’s a strong seller’s market, so many (if not most or all) homes are selling for more than the list price. DOM stands for days on the market.
If you are new to Santa Clara County, you may be wondering if this is correct. The cost to buy a home in these areas is what?
- Los Gatos: approximately $1,500,000 to $2,150,000 depending on the school district
- Saratoga: approximately $1,700,000 to about $2,500,000 depending on the schools
- Cupertino: approx $2,000,000 (some high schools will bring in higher prices and others lower)
- Palo Alto: approx $2,700,000 – $3,000,000
Remember, these prices do not mean that the houses being sold are perfect. Because it is a strong seller’s market, many properties are being sold which need new roofing, extensive pest work, remodeling, perhaps updating of electrical or plumbing systems or more. Many home buyers will need to spend 1-2% on things like termite fumigation, dry rot or roof repairs, carpets, paint, windows and more, and usually this will be done before they move in. So whatever the budget is, buffer it a little bit for both money and time to make it turnkey.
To compare, here’s the same chart, following the same criteria, taken in April 2014. See what’s changed:
For people relocating to Silicon Valley from out of the San Jose or Peninsula area, this real estate market can be daunting. There are other areas with good schools which are a bit further from most employment areas which can be an alternative, too. They include the Cambrian 95124 and Almaden 95120 (especially the southern area with Bret Harte Middle School and Leland High School) areas within San Jose.
Finally, in some cases, it may be more affordable to make use of private schools, which are plentiful in the San Francisco Bay area. In some situations it can be financially more affordable to buy outside of the highly competitive areas with the best schools and utilize the private school system. Some of the private schools are religious, some secular, and some with a language focus (bilingual in French, German, Chinese, etc.).
Interested in purchasing a home in one of these fantastic communities? Please call or email me! 408 204-7673 or mary (at) popehandy.com
$1,188,000 : 20488 Stevens Creek BLVD 2309, CUPERTINO2 beds, 2 baths
$1,250,000 : 20223 Northcove SQ, CUPERTINO2 beds, 2 baths
$1,725,000 : 10109 Ridgeway DR, CUPERTINO4 beds, 3 baths
$1,198,000 : 22330 Homestead RD 213, CUPERTINO2 beds, 2 baths
$1,195,000 : 10910 Lucky Oak ST, CUPERTINO3 beds, 4 baths
$2,298,888 : 10340 Las Ondas WAY, CUPERTINO4 beds, 3 baths
$1,500,000 : 22650 Silver Oak LN, CUPERTINO2 beds, 2 baths
$1,699,950 : 10840 Minette DR, CUPERTINO3 beds, 1 bath
$2,499,888 : 10932 N Leavesley PL, CUPERTINO4 beds, 3 baths
$2,998,000 : 10465 Madrone CT, CUPERTINO5 beds, 4 baths
See all Real estate in the city of Cupertino.
(all data current as of 3/19/2018)
Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.
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 105 houses for sale listed at or more than two million dollars (just checked MLSListings.com), and in the last 30 days 56 have sold and closed escrow in those same areas and price ranges. For the Almaden – Saratoga region generally, then, there are 1.88 months of inventory in the over two million dollar price range (105/56). That makes it a strong seller’s market. Things have certainly livened up a lot since October. (In the same region, there are 25 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 9 houses for sale which are listed at or over $2,000,000. In the last 30 days, 8 sold in that price range (with two sales pending). That makes for just over 1.13 “months of inventory.” That would mean this luxury market has rapid turnover and is in a strong seller’s market. It’s a deep seller’s 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
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
Who was Painless Parker, and why was he so well known in Saratoga, San Francisco, and beyond?
Edgar Randolph Parker, born Friday, Mar. 22, 1872 in Newfounland, Canada, would eventually come to be known as Painless Parker..
In 1890, at age eighteen he set off for the Philadelphia Dental College (and apparently also studied in NY) and his career as a dentist began..
He was a renegade dentist in the early 1900s with his flamboyant self-promotion, traveling from town to town with his dentistry show, proclaiming “painless” dentistry and hiring bands to play as he pulled teeth. In one day he pulled 357 teeth!
Dentists weren’t supposed to advertise, and California charged Dr. Parker with violating trade rules by practicing under the false name of Painless Parker instead of using his actual name. In response, in 1915 Dr. Parker promptly legally changed his first name from Edgar to Painless.
He opened 30 dental clinics in the 1920s — which he called “Painless Parker’s Dental Parlors” — up and down the west coast, at one time employing 240 workers including 79 dentists in 8 states, and it grossed $3 million per year.
It was during this heyday of his that he bought 218 rolling acres off Prospect Road, close to the Saratoga Country Club (as the bird flies).You would know it today as Parker Ranch or the Parker Ranch neighborhood.
Parker died in 1952 at age 80 in San Francisco. He was buried here as Edgar Randolph Parker in the family plot at Madronia Cemetery in Saratoga, the implication being that, while death may have come as a release, it couldn’t be called Painless.
Parker’s son, Ned, followed his father into the profession and practiced dentistry in Oregon. The Los Gatos Weekly-Times ( April 3, 1996) stated of Ned “It seems he could never pass the examination in California.”
If you find yourself in Philadelphia, you might visit the Philadelphia Dental College, Parker’s Alma Mater, which later was renamed the Temple’s School of Dentistry. The museum is at the dental school, N Broad Street and W Allegheny Avenue. And there you can view the “Painless Parker’s” Bucket of Teeth!
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