Select Page

Santa Clara County Real Estate Market

The Santa Clara County real estate market is continuing in the trajectory we’ve seen for the last few months: prices are rising and market conditions are increasingly heating up month over month. The gap between last year’s prices and this year’s prices is shrinking. If this continues, it won’t take long until we are ahead (for the same month, but not as compared to the peak). Those focusing only on last year’ higher prices are missing the main point – the bottom is behind us!

    • The May average  single family home prices are up compared to April, but down compared to the same time in 2022 (last month it was 8.9%, but in May it was at 7.6%).
    • The sale price to list price ratio strengthened further to 105.4% in May from 104.8 in April and 102.7% in March.
    • Listings are up, but sales are up more. It’s a hot market in most segments of the valley.

Here’s a quick summary of the Santa Clara County real estate market from our RE Report


Santa Clara County trends at a glance for houses, condos and townhomes - real estate statistics


The real estate market in San Jose’s Blossom Valley area

Pan of Santa Teresa and Blossom Valley

Pan of Santa Teresa and Blossom Valley

The Blossom Valley housing market remained hot through May, although it’s nowhere near as hot as it was a year ago. Homes in good shape which are priced appropriately continue to sell at or above list price, but overbids have significantly decreased in quantity and value as the market has cooled. While trends can vary based on price point, schools, zip codes, etc., the entire area is still in high demand.

This article contains the latest monthly updates for the residential real estate market in San Jose’s Blossom Valley area. A few points from the single family housing market this month include:

  •  May’s average price dipped -3.3% and median closed sales price fell -9.3% from last month, but fell -15.6% and -14.0% respectively from last year.
  • The average listing took just 10 days to sell. Anything under a month is considered a strong average, so this is lighting fast and has been stable at this pace for 2 months.
  • The sales to list price ratio dipped to 105.4%.
  • Inventory shrank while pending and closed sales grew month-over-month, with significantly less inventory and sales compared to last year.

Compared to this time last year, the Blossom Valley market has softer prices and overbids, but buyers continue to compete against severely low inventory. It’s still a great market for sellers and tough on buyers.

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, it 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 above. One corner of it sits alongside beautiful Almaden Lake, too. Another 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 and dining opportunities.

Now for some market data.

Live Altos Reports

We’ll start with the Altos Reports, which gague the market based on active listings, not sales, and is updated about once per week.

95123 real estate market trends, automatically updated weekly:

Blossom Valley Real-Time Market Profile by Altos Research


Is your property tax assessment too high?

In the 4th quarter of 2022, Santa Clara County home prices bottomed out after 6 months of interest rate hikes and sliding home values. The property tax assessment for many home owners on January 1st from the county tax assessor’s office may have been higher than market value for that day, depending on which comparable sales or comps that office used.

If your property tax assessment for this year came in a little higher than market value, you may be able to appeal that assessment.


Property tax assessment bill - the annual county tax assessor's office will issue the valuation to home owners on this card each September or October


Appealing the property tax assessment


The county tax assessor’s office uses comparable sold properties, or comps, just like you or I would do, to try to determine the current market value of your home.  The comps used may or may not be the best or most realistic – they could be too dissimilar in size, location, or amenities, for instance.

If they aren’t good, you may be able to get your home’s assessed value, and hence the bill, reconsidered if you present better data and explain why your data is more accurate.

No one wants to see their property values depressed, but if it does happen, there may be a small silver lining: getting slightly lower property taxes, at least for a while.


How to appeal your property tax assessment

START HERE TO APPLY – you will find the prerequisites, the instructions, and the login to begin. (Have your comps ready!)

Information on appealing can be found on the county tax assessor’s office website.  This page has links and information on the process and procedures of appealing the valuation.

The appeal application form can be found here:  Assessment Appeal Application form

The folks in charge of the property tax assessment and appeal process, the review, and the hearing are:

Assessment Appeals Division
70 West Hedding Street
East Wing, 10th Floor
San Jose, CA 95110
Phone: (408) 299-5088
Fax: (408) 298-8460

It’s actually very straightforward to appeal your property tax assessment: you simply complete the form and submit it online together with PDFs of your comparable sales to provide support for the lower valuation. The application form states at the end: “The request must contain the basis of your opinion of value. Please include comparable sales, cost, and income data where appropriate to support the value.”

The Bellgrove neighborhood in Saratoga

The Bellgrove neighborhood in Saratoga, California, is an attractive, newer subdivision in a convenient location with Saratoga schools. It is highly sought after for all of those reasons.


 Bellgrove neighborhood view - tree lined street with sidewalks.


Bellgrove neighborhood houses

Most homes and yards are very well tended, even pristine. Only a couple looked like they could use a little paint or get their front yards tidied up a little. This community is really quite beautiful.  Often when communities look this good it’s because of the HOA’s enforcement and the HOA dues. There’s no Homeowner’s Association (HOA) enforcing aesthetics, it’s just the pride of ownership at work.

What will you find at Bellgrove? Here are some key features in this luxury neighborhood.

Quick facts:

  • There are 94 homes in this subdivision
  • The homes were build by Greenbrier in 1996 (date per county records)
  • All of the houses provide 5 bedrooms
  • All of them have 3 full bathrooms
  • All enjoy 3 car garages
  • All are 2 stories – no single story homes available
  • There are 3 floorplans, with the smallest offering 2900 SF and the largest 3139 SF
  • Lots run from 5803 SF to 11,154 SF (the older house, not part of the tract, has just over 18,000 SF)
  • The neighborhood includes a large greenbelt area, a playground, and a par course up against the freeway
  • The Bellgrove neighborhood is within the boundaries of highly desired school districts: the Saratoga Union School District (K-8) and the Los Gatos Saratoga Union High School District

Most homes do not have pools – just 11 of the 94 do.

Most homes are owner occupied – only 7 are rented out.


House on Bellgrove Circle in the Bellgrove neighborhood of Saratoga, CA, 95070.


Lighten up your dark home and sell for more!

Hand holding lightbulb against pink and blue sky with the words Homebuyers love light - help for home sellers with a dark homeDark homes, or those which feel dark to potential homebuyers, are much more difficult to sell, and virtually always sell for less money than those which are perceived as “light, bright and airy”.

While a property’s owner might love the cozy feeling of dark paneling, deep overhangs and low lighting, it’s not what most buyers want today.  To maximize the amount a house, condo or townhouse in Silicon Valley will sell for, it’s imperative to make it as attractive to the widest audience of buyers as possible.

In many cases, that means the dark home needs to be transformed into a light one.

How to make a dark home a little more light: start with the windows

How can a home owner make a house or home be – or seem – more bright?  One of the biggest “offenders” in this area involves windows! Here are a few window-related problems that can make a home feel significantly darker than necessary, together with some potential solutions:

  • Tinted windows, such as yellow or other colored glass at the front door or entry way:  replace with clear or translucent, colorless glass. If there’s a darkening film (for instance, for privacy), remove it and replace with a clear or translucent but uncolored film instead.
  • Curtains/blinds which obstruct part of the window: get tie backs to pull them further back and let more light in (goal is to not obscure windows at all). Easiest of all are those which use magnetic clasps and do not require any hardware be attached to the wall.
  • Furniture blocking windows should be moved or swapped out for lower items that do not cover up any of the windows. I see tall headboards often situated right in front of the glass panes – they are counter productive. Perhaps remove the headboard, or place the bed in another location?
  • Shrubs and trees covering some of the window: trim back so the window’s glass panes are 100% visible, if at all possible, to let maximum light in.
  • And of course, do make sure your windows and tracks are sparkling clean!


The Heritage Grove Neighborhood in Los Gatos and the Heintz Open Space Preserve

Heintz farmhouseThe Heritage Grove neighborhood in Los Gatos had an interesting beginning. An old apricot orchard used to line Blossom Hill Road between Union and Leigh Avenues until the 1990s. The former owners, Ralph and Sophie Heintz, lived there in their farmhouse until their deaths, at which time the property was willed to the University of California at Berkeley for eye research.

Sophie and Ralph were interesting people. He ran a small train on their property and was an inventor. She was a ham radio operator.

In 1998, the Heintz land (and house etc.) was sold to Summerhill Homes and a portion developed as housing by Summerhill. A few of the homes higher up in the neighborhood were built by different builders.  That Los Gatos neighborhood is now called the  Heritage Grove neighborhood.

A strip of trees was planted along Blossom Hill Road, reminiscent of the history of the area.  A wonderfully large section of land was made a permanent open space, now known as the Heintz Open Space Preserve.  This open space connects directly with Belgatos Park, which also connects with the Santa Rosa Open Space Preserve. So the network of trails is quite extensive. (Link to Town of Los Gatos page with pdf files of these three trail maps. Link to Google Maps map of Blossom Hill Trails, drawn by Jim Handy.)

In 2015, we did a video drive through of the Heritage Grove neighborhood. Please take a look:





Shasta Hanchett Park neighborhood

The Shasta Hanchett Park neighborhood in central San Jose is much beloved for its architectural charm and close-in location. There’s a wide variety of architectural styles to be found there – and not many ranch style houses. A large percentage of the houses have front porches, some with deep overhangs. Together with tree lined streets and sidewalks, it’s a welcoming feeling community and a scenic one.


Sierra Avenue in the Shasta Hanchett Park neighborhood, San Jose CA 95126


What are the homes like in the Shasta Hanchett Park neighborhood?

Home styles include Craftsman of various kinds (Bungalow, Prairie), Victorian, Spanish Eclectic, Mission Revival, Cottage, Tudor, Art Deco, Colonial, and some that look almost like ranch but defy a neat category. Some areas will feature several of the same style homes in a row. Part of Shasta Avenue, for example, has a group of Victorian homes. Many homes look much the same as originally intended from the front but have been extensively remodeled inside, and the county may show the construction date as  2002 or something  similar.

Some of the homes have basements. Many have detached garages. In some cases, the power lines are in front by the sidewalk, but most of the time they are along the back fences.

Most of these Shasta Hanchett neighborhood houses were designed as middle class homes. The houses and lots are not as large as some of the homes found along University Avenue in the Rose Garden.

The Shasta Hanchett Park neighborhood (and the Hester area) includes about 1165 single family homes, 128 condominiums or townhomes, and 78 other residential buildings, including small apartment buildings, duplexes – fourplexes, etc.  I pulled this data from the county records and it is approximate.

Seventy percent of the houses in this part of the city were built in the very late 1800s through the 1940s per my study of the county records. One is said to have been built in 1890 and 38 were said to be built in 1900. By the way, often when the county records say 1900 it’s code for “1900 or older, we don’t really know”.

Development continued through the forties, fifties, and so on. While there’s a mix of ages, it’s a large contingent of historic homes. Most are in beautiful condition and impeccably well tended.


Homes along Sierra Avenue, San Jose 95126, which were built in 1916 (left) and 1915 (right)


Some of the streets are narrow, and parking on both sides is disallowed for that reason. Martin Avenue enjoys a long stretch where it’s both extremely wide and also is lined with tall palm trees. Other streets offer a variety of trees and some feature a deep canopy of sycamore trees.