How are the key housing indicators in the Almaden Valley area of San Jose? At the moment it’s said to be a hot “seller’s market” overall. But look closer and you can see that in the Almaden Valley housing market there are clear market micro-climates. Prices are better for sellers, while buyers struggle with higher prices and less homes to choose from. Recently we have seen a slight cooling, too – very welcome for Almaden home buyers.
Almaden Valley Housing Market: Inventory of Houses for Sale
Right now I have a few Almaden Valley home buyers and they have all been disappointed at the lack of inventory. What’s happening?
First, let’s see what “usually” happens in the 95120 zip code in terms of the number of houses for sale. Here’s a look at the last 10 years (all available history), care of Altos Research – you can see that it’s been rising since January 1st, but it’s a proverbial drop in the bucket:
Here you can see that inventory has regular peaks and dips. Inventory tends to rise early each year and peak in mid to late summer. After the peak is a decline through autumn and winter with the lowest point in the coldest part of the year before turning around again before spring.
Now let’s look up close at just the last 3 years. Again, inventory IS rising, so it’s betting a little easier for buyers, but still difficult compared to the last 3 years.
As usual, our inventory bottoms out in winter and then rises beginning sometime after the Super Bowl or perhaps a little later. Right now we are still in “rising inventory” mode in Almaden, so the market should be softening a little. Also, we are hearing of “buyer fatigue”, so in many cases there may be fewer offers than earlier in the spring. Continue reading
Willow 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 has fallen slightly since last year, but sales are remaining consistent. Properties continually sell regularly over list price quickly, in under a month. The Willow Glen real estate market remains very much 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.
|Trends At a Glance||Apr 2018||Previous Month||Year-over-Year|
|Median Price||$1,650,000 (+4.9%)||$1,572,500||$1,285,000 (+28.4%)|
|Average Price||$1,765,470 (+10.9%)||$1,591,240||$1,417,810 (+24.5%)|
|No. of Sales||63 (-7.4%)||68||53 (+18.9%)|
|Pending||56 (-8.2%)||61||75 (-25.3%)|
|Active||36 (+44.0%)||25||53 (-32.1%)|
|Sale vs. List Price||109.4% (-0.2%)||109.7%||104.1% (+5.1%)|
|Days on Market||15 (-28.3%)||21||18 (-15.5%)|
|Days of Inventory||17 (+50.2%)||11||29 (-42.9%)|
And the Willow Glen real estate market chart from last month for comparison:
|Trends At a Glance||Mar 2018||Previous Month||Year-over-Year|
|Median Price||$1,572,500 (-0.3%)||$1,578,000||$1,250,000 (+25.8%)|
|Average Price||$1,591,240 (-4.7%)||$1,670,170||$1,268,680 (+25.4%)|
|No. of Sales||68 (+134.5%)||29||49 (+38.8%)|
|Pending||61 (+10.9%)||55||55 (+10.9%)|
|Active||25 (-30.6%)||36||46 (-45.7%)|
|Sale vs. List Price||109.7% (-1.9%)||111.8%||102.9% (+6.7%)|
|Days on Market||21 (-5.4%)||22||22 (-3.6%)|
|Days of Inventory||11 (-67.1%)||34||28 (-60.8%)|
Things are similar to last month. Willow Glen is still a hot, persistent sellers market that’s slightly more competitive than a year ago.
And next, of Willow Glen condos:
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. 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 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.
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.
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 upwards of two years in 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. Cambrian neighborhoods can be located at the menu bar: Neighborhoods –> San Jose (all areas) –> Cambrian Park (SJ).
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 single family homes trends at a glance
Sales and turnover are fast and steady, and the sales to list price has remained high, over 110% for six months now. It is a strong sellers market. The most amazing statistic, though, is the year over year median and average price change: 34.5% for the average price and 3 9.2% for the median price. That translates to about $300,000 – which is most likely 100% of a home buyer’s down payment.
|Trends At a Glance||Apr 2018||Previous Month||Year-over-Year|
|Median Price||$1,430,000 (+3.6%)||$1,380,000||$1,027,440 (+39.2%)|
|Average Price||$1,456,070 (+5.2%)||$1,384,410||$1,082,250 (+34.5%)|
|No. of Sales||65 (+18.2%)||55||72 (-9.7%)|
|Pending||56 (0.0%)||56||45 (+24.4%)|
|Active||34 (+126.7%)||15||34 (0.0%)|
|Sale vs. List Price||115.9% (-0.7%)||116.7%||106.5% (+8.8%)|
|Days on Market||9 (+10.8%)||8||9 (+3.6%)|
|Days of Inventory||15 (+85.4%)||8||14 (+10.8%)|
And the chart from last month:
|Trends At a Glance||Mar 2018||Previous Month||Year-over-Year|
|Median Price||$1,380,000 (+2.2%)||$1,350,000||$1,150,000 (+20.0%)|
|Average Price||$1,384,410 (+3.2%)||$1,341,280||$1,213,120 (+14.1%)|
|No. of Sales||55 (+52.8%)||36||58 (-5.2%)|
|Pending||56 (+33.3%)||42||60 (-6.7%)|
|Active||15 (-25.0%)||20||31 (-51.6%)|
|Sale vs. List Price||116.7% (-1.9%)||118.9%||106.0% (+10.1%)|
|Days on Market||8 (-24.0%)||11||12 (-33.0%)|
|Days of Inventory||8 (-45.5%)||15||16 (-49.0%)|
Generally speaking it is still a hot seller’s market and great time to sell a Cambrian home.
The condo and townhouse real estate market for San Jose 95124 & 95118
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:
Buying a home in Silicon Valley is seldom easy, but right now, it’s nearly impossible with Santa Clara County’s critically low housing inventory. With slightly rising interest rates getting folks off the fence and strong job growth in the San Jose area – especially since Google announced its expansion in downtown, there are many more home buyers than home sellers. While this isn’t unusual, the severity of the problem certainly is extreme. How bad is it? Here’s a visual cue dating from January 2001 to March 2018 which indicates that this month’s inventory of single family homes for sale in Santa Clara County is the lowest we’ve had for March since 2001 (that’s as far back as I can get the data from MLS Listings). I’ve been selling homes for 25 years and have never seen it so dire.
This is sort of like “inventory limbo” – how low can you go? To me, this is uncharted territory for our region.
I am really wondering if other cities around the world have had this kind of inventory crisis in the past, and if so, what happened to pull them out of it. Obviously, we need more inventory, and that will mean either more new construction, incentives for current owners to sell, an easier way for people to commute long distances to work, or some combination of the three.
How does this impact you?
Many long time residents may recall that we have had a shortage for a few years here. In January 2012, I wrote about it here: Why is it so hard to buy Silicon Valley real estate right now? Compared to the recession that had just ended, inventory was low – I can look back now and think “wow, we had no right to complain! We had a lot more inventory then as we do now!” What also happened is that with the restricted inventory, home prices rose. A lot.
If you are a renter and want to be a home buyer, you now have two things going against you: rising interest rates and rising home prices (due to strong demand and critically low supply of homes to buy). If you wait a year, there’s a good chance that you will lose quite a lot of buying power as interest rates continue to go up and home prices do, too. Please check out my article on rates: How will rising interest rates impact your home buying power? Super low inventories tend to cause rapid price appreciation, and if you aren’t careful you could be priced out of the market (either because of home prices or because of those rising interest rates).
Normally, I’d be saying “take heart, buyers, inventory usually starts to rise after the SuperBowl” or “inventory rises after Valentine’s Day” or “we’ll see more homes coming on the market in March”. Well, it just hasn’t happened to any kind of significant degree.
If you are a seller, this is great news for you as it’s very likely that your equity will be increasing with the tight inventory. Buyer demand is good and interest rates are still very tolerable. It is hard if you want to sell and buy something else, but if you are down-sizing, you may be able to capitalize by purchasing all cash.
If you are a buyer, it’s important to realize that these days, most homes are selling with no contingencies of any kind (loan, appraisal, inspection). Purchasing a condo, townhome, or house is not for the faint of heart! Being not just pre-approved, but having an underwriter’s approval subject only to the ratified contract, a preliminary title report, and a satisfactory appraisal will put you into a better position. Cash is king, of course, so being able to absorb any appraisal shortfall is crucial. However, don’t let the all cash buyers scare you as some of them over estimate the value of cash. Most sellers will wait a few extra days if it means making more money on the sale.
The historic Naglee Park Home Tour in San Jose will take place on Saturday April 21, 2018 from 10am to 4pm. Sponsored by the San Jose Woman’s Club, this is the seventh year of the annual tour. This year, proceeds go towards the renovation of the Women’s Club 1929 Spanish Revival Clubhouse.
Tours include access to seven homes along two adjacent blocks in Naglee Park, and shows off both their lovely living quarters and gardens. Visitors have the option of pre-ordering a lunch box, and wine and refreshments will be available at the Refreshment Garden. The tour also features a lecture and open-air market.
For tickets and information: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sjwc-naglee-park-vintage-home-tour-tickets-42695715033
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The idea of buying a home, especially a first one, is both exhilarating and overwhelming. Where do you begin if you want to buy a home in 2018? If you want to purchase real estate in Silicon Valley in 2018, you’ll need to get a number of things in order, including hiring professionals to help you.
Purchasing Silicon Valley real estate in this multiple offer market requires strong credit, a healthy down payment, time and energy, and no small amount of courage. Looking halfheartedly means you will see properties, but not buy. After the down payment, probably the most important element you’ll need to have is commitment, and further, you’ll need a strong team of professionals to assist you. Let’s talk about a solid home buying strategy. Continue reading
Willow Glen is one of the most charming areas of San Jose, consisting of many older homes which feature lovely, classic architecture. Most Silicon Valley home buyers treasure the Willow Glen charm and ambiance, but many are seeking newer homes. A fabulous option is “The Willows“.
KB Homes built “The Willows” in 1999 to 2000. It is tucked away at the southernmost tip of Willow Glen, off of Foxworthy Avenue & close to Almaden Expressway, but only about 2.5 to 3 miles from all the action on Lincoln Avenue.
The tree-lined streets are built in something of a loop shape with Rubino Circle being the main access or loop road. Situated on the inner part of the loop are homes with smaller lots that are a little more affordable. The outer part of the circle is built with slightly larger homes on larger lots (but none of the lots are “big”). Sidewalks with soft curbs at the corners accompany the streets and make for a pedestrian-friendly, bike, wheelchair or stroller friendly area. Visit in the early evenings and you will see children and adults walking, strolling, taking dogs for a walk etc. – always a good sign! Because the neighborhood is a bit like an oversized cul-de-sac (no through traffic), it is very quiet in terms of traffic. The area has large street lights, too, making for a safe feeling community.
Hearing the real estate market “war stories” about dozens of offers on Silicon Valley properties and overbids ranging from 20 – 55% had convinced me that we were in a Silicon Valley real estate market bubble back in early 2013. At least, this is what a bubble looks like, sounds like, feels like, and acts like. At the time I thought, “how much longer could this continue?” Four years and counting – that is the answer.
I tell my family and friends that we are in “crazyland” as buyers purchase homes with no contingencies of any kind, houses sell in 10 days or less (if everything is right, which seems to be the case 75% of the time), and those same properties are selling at well over list price and with much more than 20% down.
The absorption rate, or months of inventory: it is a Silicon Valley real estate market bubble?
What do the numbers say? I just logged into MLSListings.com and see that right now, in all of Santa Clara County there are 817 single family homes (houses + duet or attached single family homes). The pending and contingent homes measure 1074, far more! That ratio alone suggests that the market is in overdrive. In the last 30 days, 950 single family homes have sold & closed escrow. So the months of inventory is 817 divided by 950 = .86 of a month of inventory, so about 3.5 weeks of inventory. (When I originally blogged about the potential bubble, it was 1.8 months of inventory.)
In other words, things are flying off the shelves. And they have been, with only a few minor blips here and there, since early 2012. Does that sound like a Silicon Valley real estate market bubble to you – a crazy strong seller’s market lasting 4.5 years? I could be wrong, but I think of bubbles as being something fairly swift, not a multi year trend.
Homes are selling faster than new ones are coming onto the market!
It’s one thing to say that one city, town, or school district has a very low months of inventory (or high absorption rate). It is another altogether to say an entire county is that low. This is a major trend, not a tiny blip in the statistics.
How soon we forget that after the outrageously deep seller’s market in 2000, we had a steep drop in 2001. Or that all the crazy buying in the San Jose area (and other places) in 2005-06, combined with bad financial regulations, lead to the crash of 2007-2009. But perhaps that enormous “correction”, in which Santa Clara County lost about 50% of its value on average, had more room to recover than we initially realized. Jobs keep flowing in, and housing starts are not keeping up. Supply and demand – the age old equation. That would seem to refute the idea that this is a Silicon Valley real estate market bubble. Perhaps low inventory and strong demand are what we should be expecting going forward. Continue reading