How’s the Mountain View real estate market? This is one of the very hottest areas within Silicon Valley and is home to a myriad of high tech companies and in a stone’s throw of others. With a charming and walkable downtown, easy access to CalTrain and a vibrant atmosphere conducive to both work and play, it is no wonder that people relocating to the San Francisco Bay Area or Silicon Valley place Mountain View squarely in their target.
All that popularity comes at a cost, though. Prices have been sky high here for years, both for rentals and for home purchasing. The good news, though, for those with property or those who take the plunge and buy: it doesn’t look like Mountain View is going to lose its appeal anytime soon.
In this article, which is updated periodically, we will include live Altos Charts which automatically update weekly (so bookmark this page!) as well as monthly insights from the Real Estate Report for Mountain View. And time to time it will be enhanced with “in the trenches” commentary, too.
Overview of the city of Mountain View’s residential real estate market for houses:
Here are the statistics for sales in the last few months. You can see that the average days on market have risen to 28 days and inventory is down slightly. Prices are up month-over-month with homes on average selling over list price at a whooping 110.5%. Overall, there’s been some warming in the Mountain View housing market, but this is still a steady seller’s market. See the whole Mountain View Real Estate Report online here.
|Trends At a Glance||Aug 2017||Previous Month||Year-over-Year|
|Median Price||$2,275,000 (+9.9%)||$2,070,000||$1,663,000 (+36.8%)|
|Average Price||$2,164,830 (+3.0%)||$2,101,490||$1,711,450 (+26.5%)|
|No. of Sales||27 (+28.6%)||21||22 (+22.7%)|
|Pending||18 (-21.7%)||23||17 (+5.9%)|
|Active||8 (+14.3%)||7||21 (-61.9%)|
|Sale vs. List Price||110.5% (-2.5%)||113.4%||104.2% (+6.1%)|
|Days on Market||28 (+175.0%)||10||22 (+28.1%)|
|Days of Inventory||9 (-11.1%)||10||29 (-69.0%)|
And the chart from last month for comparison:
|Trends At a Glance||Jul 2017||Previous Month||Year-over-Year|
|Median Price||$2,070,000 (+0.9%)||$2,052,500||$1,690,000 (+22.5%)|
|Average Price||$2,101,490 (-6.4%)||$2,245,840||$1,814,480 (+15.8%)|
|No. of Sales||21 (-12.5%)||24||17 (+23.5%)|
|Pending||23 (+21.1%)||19||20 (+15.0%)|
|Active||7 (-30.0%)||10||28 (-75.0%)|
|Sale vs. List Price||113.4% (+1.0%)||112.3%||105.0% (+7.9%)|
|Days on Market||10 (-7.8%)||11||16 (-35.7%)|
|Days of Inventory||10 (-17.2%)||12||49 (-79.8%)|
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. Though close to the same number of homes are selling, active listings are close to 25% what they were a year ago. Properties 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.
|Trends At a Glance||Aug 2017||Previous Month||Year-over-Year|
|Median Price||$1,391,000 (+6.2%)||$1,309,380||$1,210,000 (+15.0%)|
|Average Price||$1,486,540 (+6.8%)||$1,391,670||$1,247,840 (+19.1%)|
|No. of Sales||55 (+10.0%)||50||59 (-6.8%)|
|Pending||54 (+17.4%)||46||45 (+20.0%)|
|Active||27 (-30.8%)||39||99 (-72.7%)|
|Sale vs. List Price||104.1% (+1.3%)||102.8%||100.5% (+3.5%)|
|Days on Market||22 (+13.0%)||20||24 (-8.6%)|
|Days of Inventory||15 (-37.1%)||23||50 (-70.7%)|
And the chart from last month for comparison:
|Trends At a Glance||Jul 2017||Previous Month||Year-over-Year|
|Median Price||$1,309,380 (+0.7%)||$1,300,000||$1,200,000 (+9.1%)|
|Average Price||$1,391,670 (+2.4%)||$1,359,430||$1,285,800 (+8.2%)|
|No. of Sales||50 (-41.2%)||85||51 (-2.0%)|
|Pending||46 (-8.0%)||50||52 (-11.5%)|
|Active||39 (+5.4%)||37||102 (-61.8%)|
|Sale vs. List Price||102.8% (-2.2%)||105.1%||100.2% (+2.6%)|
|Days on Market||20 (+26.6%)||16||24 (-17.1%)|
|Days of Inventory||23 (+85.4%)||13||60 (-61.0%)|
Things are slightly hotter since last month. Even then, a little cooling won’t take us out of a deep sellers market, but it would ease conditions slightly for long-term buyers.
And next, of Willow Glen condos:
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.
One of the prettiest townhome communities in Santa Clara County is Vizcaya, which features a Mediterranean style of architecture in a community that is extremely tidy and well maintained. Driving in, it feels like you’ve just arrived at a resort.
Where is Vizcaya?
The Vizacaya neighborhood is in San Jose just off S Bascom and Curtner Avenues, but is close to the Campbell border and confusingly, has a Campbell mailing address. The community’s streets are Vizcaya Circle, Vizcays Way, and Pescara Court. The location is very convenient, with easy access to shopping, bus lines, and major traffic routes.
What are the homes like at Vizcaya?
Built between 1990 and 1996, these 92 townhomes are younger feeling and tend to have fairly open floor plans and plenty of large windows. The home sizes range between 2396 SF and 2656 SF, but many are so nicely designed that they tend to feel like single family homes. Lot sizes average around 4,100 SF (pretty big for a townhouse). The parcels range in size from 2480 SF to over 10,000 SF but most are 3000 – 5000 SF.
The homes in the Vizcaya community are condominiums with a townhouse architectural style. (Some townhouses are held in PUD ownership. In some locations, such as Almaden and Los Gatos, there are houses which are condos – or held in condo ownership.) There’s a small pool and spa at the center of the complex for residents to enjoy. The day I took the photos shown in the slideshow, below, painting was ongoing next to the pool, so it isn’t shown.
What does it cost to buy a townhome in Vizcaya?
These upscale properties don’t come on the market too often, but if you are lucky enough to find one available to buy, chances are that it will cost a million dollars or a more (as of this writing in October 2016).
Arroyo Rinconada is a charming, smaller townhome community plus one historic house in west Los Gatos along the Saratoga and Campbell border. It is located at the corner of Quito Road and Pollard Road, and adjacent to the much larger Rinconada Hills development. With Spanish style architecture, tiled roofs, curving streets and gentle slopes, and set with a backdrop of trees along the creek, it is very scenic.
There are just 3 streets in this complex: Casa Grande (Big House), Rio Vista (River View), and Sierra Linda (Pretty Mountain or Scenic Hill).
The townhomes were all built in 1984. They are good sized, with 3 bedrooms, 2-3 baths, between 2150 square feet and 2350 SF, attached 2 car garages, all built in 1984. Today, they are likely to sell in the range of $1 – $1.15 million.
The approximately 2600 square foot Spanish style house was built in 1935 and sits atop a knoll on a 55,000 square foot lot. The little road ringing the lot is Casa Grande – appropriately named!
Are there any special facilities?
Arroyo Rinconada has a gate at its opening but does not appear to be in use at this time. The community enjoys the use of a private pool, spa, clubhouse and tennis courts. As of this writing, the monthly home owner dues are a little over $500.
The home owners association has a website which includes a slideshow of the homes and grounds: http://arroyorinconada.org
$885,000 : 17970 Helen WAY, LOS GATOS2 beds, 2 baths
$8,695,000 : 233 Forrester RD, LOS GATOS5 beds, 7 baths
$16,988,999 : 16450 Aztec Ridge DR, LOS GATOS8 beds, 10 baths
$2,999,000 : 159 Teresita WAY, LOS GATOS4 beds, 4 baths
$2,088,000 : 50 Clifton AVE, LOS GATOS3 beds, 2 baths
$7,299,000 : 15815 GLEN UNA DR, LOS GATOS5 beds, 6 baths
$1,395,000 : 124 YOSEMITE WAY, LOS GATOS3 beds, 2 baths
$1,549,000 : 16759 Frank AVE, LOS GATOS3 beds, 2 baths
$1,400,000 : 158 Lester LN, LOS GATOS4 beds, 3 baths
$3,695,000 : 221 Highland TER, LOS GATOS3 beds, 3 baths
See all Real estate in the city of Los Gatos.
(all data current as of 9/20/2017)
Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.
Saratoga and Los Gatos are neighbors, but their real estate markets are not the same! Today we’ll consider the condo and townhouse market in these two upscale Silicon Valley areas and view some elements “side by side”. See what you think!
First, let’s have a peek at how fast things are selling. Saratoga & Los Gatos both are at under 3 week for the “days to sell over time”. Saratoga tends to sell a little better than Los Gatos for condominiums and townhomes, and that’s the case now as well – at least months months, and recently. (Reasons, not sure – perhaps because the location is a little closer to Cupertino and Sunnyvale and the many high tech jobs there. Or it could be related to the school scores or any number of factors.)
Let’s check some other criteria and see how they stack up there. Let’s look at the new listings as opposed to the solds. How far apart are they? (The closer they are, the “hotter” the market. If the solds are going faster than the new listings are coming on, it’s a red hot seller’s market.) For most of the last year, Saratoga condominiums have been selling and closing faster than new ones have entered the market, or have tied it, except for March and April. In Los Gatos, same pattern recently of new listings outpacing sales, and in January the closed sales outpaced new inventory. But overall, it’s close to a tie or there’s a slight leaning toward new listings rather than sales unless you look back to last fall. So a little bit cooler of a market in Los Gatos by this standard.
Condominiums and townhouses in Santa Clara County have enjoyed rapid appreciation and almost perfectly steady improvement in the market in the last 18 months or so. Today we’ll take a snapshot view of it with a few graphs. First, let’s consider the average Days on Market (DOM) and the sale price to list price ratio for condos and townhouses in Santa Clara County.
The chart above shows some calming down in the Santa Clara County condo market. First, it appears that the sale price to list price ratio stopped its wild ascent and has reversed itself some in June 2013. But also, it seems that the days to sell leveled out (and stopped its decline). Just to check on the apparent trend, I went to MLSListings and ran the numbers for the closed sales just yesterday and today (July closings). The average sale price to list price was 106%, a tad lower than what we saw in June.
What about new inventory vs sold homes? In the chart below, we see that the gap between them widened in June: more inventory, fewer sales (of course the June sales were contracts ratified in May, in most cases). This also suggests a loosening in the condo market here. It’s not suddenly a buyer’s market, but perhaps we are seeing the beginning of a trend reversal? Have a look at the chart: Continue reading
Should you market your home for sale through the holidays? It’s now early November, and if your property has been listed for sale but not gotten an acceptable purchase offer, you may be thinking of taking your house or condo off the market until sometime in the new year. Or you may be ready to sell but thinking that holding out until the new year will benefit you more. Is that a good idea? Below, please find some considerations for you as you decide what to do.
Pricing: will the home sell for more now, or in the new year or spring?
No one can tell you whether prices will be better or worse in the first quarter of 2013 than they are now. Prices are rising overall right now, in most areas of Santa Clara County. But we do not know what will happen with the “fiscal cliff”. We don’t know if the wonderful gains that 2012 brought will roll back in 2013 – we don’t expect them to, the economists believe that prices will continue going up, but no one can guarantee anything. The market is never 100% uniform; even if the San Jose area as a whole appreciates or depreciates, it could be different from one price point to the next or one area to the next, with different markets in Almaden, Cambrian, or Los Gatos, or in your subdivision or school area. But bottom line: we really don’t know what pricing will do, we only know the probable buyer’s value – a range of likely sales prices – right now. Inventory is critically low, so there’s a far better chance of problem homes selling right now than when there’s a lot of competition. Even homes with no issues will find that less competition is a big boon for selling.
Being disturbed during the holidays
Many home owners really don’t want a lot of traffic coming through the home from Thanksgiving through the New Year due to visiting relatives, events planned such as parties at the home, the presence of gifts and concerns over theft, etc. They may also be worried about rainy weather and carpets getting soiled.
At the same time, though, during the holidays many of us make our homes warm, bright and inviting, particularly if we decorate for Christmas, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, etc. Even the smells can do wonders: gingerbread cookies, Christmas trees, hot mulled wine…. With family and friends coming to visit, we tend to “deck the halls” and make our houses really feel like homes. For many condos, townhouses and houses, during the holidays these homes really show at their best. Continue reading
When real estate sales people represent buyers and sellers on residential real estate transactions in California, they must do a visual inspection of the property. In other words, they are supposed to look carefully at what they sell and advise the parties to the contract of any red flags noticed.
Sometimes the real estate licensees will simply make a few comments on page 3 of the Transfer Disclosure Statement. More and more, though, they are completing the AVID (Agent Visual Inspection Disclosure) instead. It is larger and allows for more thorough list of items noted.
Why do we do this? As with much of our standard of practice, this has its roots in a lawsuit, the watershed case of Easton vs Strassburger (1984). The California Department of Real Estate put out information on this case which clarifies an agent or broker’s disclosure obligation (click on the link above to read about the case):
The Easton case stands for the proposition that a real estate broker acting as an agent in the sale of a residential real property has a duty to the prospective buyer, not only to disclose facts about the property known to the broker that may materially affect the value or desirability of the property to the buyer, but also a “duty to conduct a reasonably competent and diligent inspection of property . . . in order to discover defects … ” to be disclosed to the buyer.
What’s the difference between a home inspection by an inspector and a visual inspection by a Realtor or licensee?
Real estate agents are looking for a broad range of red flags, or anything that might impact value & desirability, which is discernible from a simple walk through of the property (inside and out). Inspectors are checking to see if the systems of the house are working as intended, or if there are problems structurally, and of course they do more than just walk through the townhouse, condo or house. (Please note: home inspectors have a scope of knowledge about these systems which far exceed an agent’s, so buyers and sellers should not rely on their agents as a substitution for any professional inspection.) Agents consider a wider range of issues, though. There will be some overlap, certainly, but they are not identical. The home buyer will benefit from the input from both.
Here are some items that a buyer’s agent or seller’s agent might note which would not be discussed in a home inspection: Continue reading
In many communities such as Saratoga, Los Gatos, Los Altos, Willow Glen, Campbell and Palo Alto, there is a high premium placed on homes which are close to the downtown area. Many real estate agents advertise these as “walk to town” but the idea is simple: it’s nearby, you can stroll, skate, ride or bike, wheel yourself and forget the car.
Downtown Saratoga, also called Saratoga Village, welcomes residents and visitors to a charming, scenic area with fabulous shops, spas, wine tasting venues, restaurants and more. This part of the city boasts top scoring schools as well as lovely older and historic buildings and a gorgeous park alongside Saratoga Creek. Whether you spend an afternoon or a lifetime in Saratoga, this part of town will call you back again and again!
What do you need to know about buying a house, townhouse or condo in downtown Saratoga?
There are a few points which you are well served to know when purchasing residential real estate in this upscale community. We’ll touch on a few of them here: historic homes, traffic & noise, natural hazards, parking, and special issues with condos, townhouses and PUDs (planned unit developments).
First, this downtown Saratoga Village zone is historic; while not every property is deemed historic, many are and that means that there will be restrictions on remodeling and expansion of single family homes or houses. For instance, original glass in windows may need to remain if you’ve got a Victorian house dating from the 1890s, and expansions may need to be off the back of the home so that the facade keeps its initial look and feel (just examples). This can be frustrating if you buy a luxury home that “needs work” and you are surprised later. If the house was built before 1950 or so, double check the rules! Continue reading