Select Page

No more love letters

Love Letters and Implicit Bias word balloonFor years, Realtors have encouraged their home buyers to write “love letters” to go with their purchase offer on the home the buyers were trying to buy. The idea was to be more likeable so that the sellers would want to sell to them, as opposed to any competing home buyers. But as of now, the guidance is different: no more love letters.

What is wrong with buyer love letters?

The U.S. Fair Housing Act protects home buyers and renters from discrimination or bias under protected categories of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, and disability. (In California, there are even more protected areas.) Put another way, when a home seller looks at a buyer package, the decision should be based on the offer price and terms, not on who the buyers are.

The concern with love letters is the risk of implicit bias: that the sellers would like or dislike buyers, even unconsciously, because of non-contractual facets that are protected.  While it’s not illegal for a doctor to want to sell to another doctor, it is illegal for one member of a religious group to give preferential treatment to another member of the same religious group. It’s also illegal to give preferential treatment to buyers who have children versus those who do not.

Last October the National Association of Realtors published an article for its members in Realtor Magazine on this topic, Why a Buyer Love Letter Could Turn Into a Poison Pen. This short piece admonishes that even innocuous sounding statements are problematic:

Even a mention within a letter of envisioning “children running down the stairs on Christmas morning” could stir up trouble. After all, such a statement reveals the buyer’s familial status and religion, which are both protected under fair housing laws.

(more…)

The Evergreen area of San Jose

Evergreen area of San Jose (Silicon Valley)

San Jose’s Evergreen district is in a strong seller’s market with extremely low inventory. This article will examine the data from sales and active listings in this residential real estate market with live and monthly updates. Here are a few points from the latest Evergreen single family housing market update, provided in more detail below:

  • December sales moved quickly with an average of two weeks to sell.
  • The sales to list price ratio was 104% with properties regularly selling above asking.
  • Current average and median sale price are lower month over month and year over year.

The Evergreen area of San Jose  includes many newer homes and communities. It is a desirable Silicon Valley community as Evergreen is scenic and most of the district enjoys highly regarded schools, particularly at the elementary and middle school levels. In this article I’ll provide some information on this section of the valley as well as statistics and analysis on the current real estate market trends, which will be updated periodically. Just want the Evergreen real estate market update? Please scroll down!

Evergreen Real Estate Market Report: Single Family Homes

Before we begin, if you’re looking to learn more about coronavirus’ impact on real estate sales please follow the link to my post on that subject. The changes effected to combat the spread of Covid-19 began mid-March, and while the data in the months since will reflect these changes this is just the tip of the iceberg and we will not understand the full effect this has on the market until it is in the rear view.

During the shutdown so far, the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) stopped the timer on all Days on Market (DOM). Therefore these numbers will be off beginning from March 17th through around May 17th. In the data below, this will affect any numbers related to the days on market, the absorption rate, and the days of inventory. Data for the current months are now accurate, however those previous months mentioned earlier will be affected by this pause.

The Re Report considers all of the Evergreen district together. Please find the full report on my Real Estate Report for the Evergreen area of San Jose. Further down, you’ll see live charts with more zip code specific details.

After some cooling the month before, the Evergreen area showed signs of slight warming this December. Sales were consistent with the month before and pending sales rose a hair with both up year over year. Active inventory, on the other hand, was cut by half month over month and less than a third of last year! The sales vs list price ratio rose to 104%, extremely hot and well above last year. Evergreen homes are in a clear seller’s market!

Trends At a Glance Dec 2020 Previous Month Year-over-Year
Median Price $1,325,500 (-2.9%) $1,365,000 $1,340,000 (-1.1%)
Average Price $1,437,910 (-2.2%) $1,469,740 $1,395,290 (+3.1%)
No. of Sales 38 (0.0%) 38 35 (+8.6%)
Pending 38 (+5.6%) 36 17 (+123.5%)
Active 10 (-52.4%) 21 35 (-71.4%)
Sale vs. List Price 104.0% (+0.9%) 103.1% 100.4% (+3.6%)
Days on Market 14 (-14.1%) 16 39 (-64.2%)
Days of Inventory (-50.7%) 16 30 (-73.7%)

Altos Research: Evergreen real estate market for single family homes or houses by zip code

95148

Evergreen of San Jose 95148 Real-Time Market Profile

(more…)

The San Jose Real Estate Market Analysis

The San Jose Real Estate Market Analysis

San Jose - Valley View 2019-1-20 - for the San Jose real estate marketThe San Jose real estate market is a strong seller’s market, and it has been for months. Available inventory continues to shrink and demand remains high. This article is updated monthly with the latest market data. Here’s a sample of the latest for San Jose’s single family housing market:

  • There was a significantly hotter seller’s market in December 2020 compared to the year before.
  • San Jose homes took an average of only 16 days to sell.
  • The average sale to list price ratio was 104.1%, a small decrease month over month and 3.5% higher than the year before.

This spring the market experienced mild unseasonable cooling, a likely result of the pandemic, though it’s been in recovery since and saw increasingly hot markets through summer and into autumn. Winter has finally begun to show some mild seasonal cooling. This is visible in the San Jose housing market data below, and I’ve also seen it in my own real estate practice.

Something to note, however, is that these charts will not reflect the full effect of the pandemic on the market. We have a better view of the impact now that we have a good spread of data to look back on, but it will take a while to see the full picture. For now, you can read about Coronavirus’ impact on real estate sales on my other post.

During the shutdown so far, the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) stopped the timer on all Days on Market (DOM). Therefore these numbers will be off beginning from March 17th through around May 17th. In the data below, this will affect any numbers related to the days on market, the absorption rate, and the days of inventory. Current numbers are accurate, but disregard this data for those previous months.

First please find the Altos Research Charts, a live feed of data on the housing markets in San Jose. You will then also find the RE Report, charts with statistics comparing sales in the last month and comparing them month-over-month and year-over-year. These are both the usual tools I use to gauge a market. Directly below are links to the market analysis of specific neighborhoods in San Jose. Some of these, where I work the most, are updated monthly, and others are updated every few months.

Altos Charts for the San Jose real estate market as a Whole – automatically updated each week – single family homes

First, the market profile and then the basic charts for single family homes or houses in San Jose. FYI, Altos uses LIST prices. The RE Report further down uses SOLD prices (which is part of the reason why I utilize both).

This real time market San Jose housing market profile (updated January 12th) shows on the graph a steadily retreating inventory, lengthening days on market, and a stable market action. San Jose is in a strong seller’s market according to Altos, and holding. The Median List Price (for condos and houses combined) is usually stable around $1,250,000, though it was nearer to $1.3 mil around late summer and early autumn.

(more…)

Morgan Hill real estate market

Morgan Hill land along the Uvas RiverHow is the Morgan Hill real estate market? This article will include data, trends and statistics for both houses/single family homes and condominiums/townhouses (in the second half of the article). Here’s a bit of what you’ll find in the latest monthly update for Morgan Hill’s single family housing market:

  • The sales to list price ratio for homes in December was 101.8%.
  • Active inventory remains low, currently below half of what it was this time last year.
  • Homes are selling quickly, averaging only two weeks on market.

The Morgan Hill Real Estate Market

If you’re looking to learn more about Coronavirus’ impact on real estate sales, please check my post on that subject. This month’s data gives us only a small window into the changes the pandemic has had on the market.

During the shutdown so far, the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) stopped the timer on all Days on Market (DOM). Therefore these numbers will be off beginning from March 17th through around May 17th. In the data below, this will affect any numbers related to the days on market, the absorption rate, and the days of inventory. This will not affect current numbers, but will affect those previous months data.

The cities of Morgan Hill and Gilroy are usually a bit less in demand than parts of Santa Clara County which are either tech magnets or closer to these big businesses. So if most of the Silicon Valley has a sale price to list price ratio of anywhere from 100% to 105%, it’s generally lower here, making the home buying conditions calmer for weary buyers, though still a sellers market. 

First up, the market profile from Altos Research – this is updated weekly, so check back often! You can also view the weekly newsletter through the link below, where you can also subscribe to receive this update every week in your inbox. Prefer a particular zip code instead? You can type in your desired zip in the “Search Anywhere” line and then request that particular weekly update by email.

Altos Research weekly report for all of Morgan Hill

Altos weekly report for 95037 only

Altos weekly report for 95038 only

Morgan Hill Real-Time Market Profile

The latest Altos update (January 12th) shows steadily decreasing inventory, growing days on market, and falling market action. The current market remains in a strong seller’s market.

Trends at a Glance for Single Family Homes in Morgan Hill

Below is a chart with basic info, but to see more information, you may click on this link to see the Real Estate Report for Morgan Hill. This December saw some mild cooling in regards to the number of sales and active inventory. Still, sales were well above this time last year, and inventory remains under half of what it was in 2019. But December also had a higher sale to list price ratio (both month over month and year over year), and properties took less time to sell, averaging a speedy 15 days on market. It’s still a active seller’s market with high demand competing for a small pool of available homes.

Trends At a Glance Dec 2020 Previous Month Year-over-Year
Median Price $1,097,500 (-0.2%) $1,100,000 $948,800 (+15.7%)
Average Price $1,201,370 (+4.5%) $1,150,110 $1,053,610 (+14.0%)
No. of Sales 50 (-13.8%) 58 37 (+35.1%)
Pending 36 (-42.9%) 63 22 (+63.6%)
Active 29 (-21.6%) 37 59 (-50.8%)
Sale vs. List Price 101.8% (0.0%) 101.7% 98.4% (+3.5%)
Days on Market 15 (-10.7%) 17 42 (-63.0%)
Days of Inventory 17 (-5.9%) 19 48 (-63.6%)

And the month before:

(more…)

Updating the Campbell Real Estate Market

Tudor style house on graphic that says - How's the Campbell real estate market?How is the Campbell real estate market? Campbell is still in a strong seller’s market and remaining hot despite some seasonal cooling this winter. This article, updated monthly, offers data and analysis on the residential real estate market in this popular Silicon Valley community. Here’s a few points from the latest update on Campbell’s single family housing market:

  • The sales to list price ratio for home sales last month was 102.9%.
  • These sales had a quick turnover with an average of 2 weeks on the market.
  • Active inventory dropped sharply in December while sales grew.

The Campbell, CA Real Estate Market

It’s hard to predict what’s coming up next with all that’s happened since March. The charts are beginning to show the impact of the pandemic on the market, but it will take a while to see the full picture. To read more about the Coronavirus impact on real estate sales, check my blog post on the topic.

During the shutdown so far, the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) stopped the timer on all Days on Market (DOM). Therefore these numbers will be off beginning from March 17th through around May 17th. In the data below, this will affect any numbers related to the days on market, the absorption rate, and the days of inventory in those months, though current numbers are now accurate.

If you’re selling, perhaps last summer you’d have gotten 4 – 6 offers on your well prepared, beautifully staged, and aggressively priced home for sale. Recently, we’ve started to see those numbers again as restrictions on the market ease. However, we are still seeing buyers bring in offers with normal contingencies, particularly if there are not any competing bids. With the restrictions on showings and real estate in general, these numbers may still be low, especially if there is delayed market activity from spring.

Here’s a quick view of the Campbell real estate market stats from Altos Research, using LIST prices:

Campbell Altos Real-Time Market Profile

As of January 12th the Altos chart showing Campbell, CA single family homes is in a strong seller’s market with declining market action, shrinking inventory, and lengthening days on market in line with seasonal winter cooling.

And now –  here are some quick stats, care of my RE Report for Campbell:

(more…)

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

Despite seasonal cooling, Blossom Valley’s market is heating up for single family homes. Inventory remains low and the best properties, homes in good shape which are priced aggressively, are selling quickly and often above list price in this seller’s market. It can vary based on price point, schools, zip codes, etc., but 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:

  • Sales continued to outpaced active inventory this December with more than 4x the number of closed sales to active listings.
  • The average listing took only two weeks to sell.
  • The sales to list price ratio remains extremely high at 105.4%.

That being said, a lot of changes have happened to the market since the beginning of March. Not everything will show in the charts below, so for a better understanding of how the pandemic response is affecting the market consider reading my post: Coronavirus impact on real estate sales.

During the shutdown so far, the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) stopped the timer on all Days on Market (DOM). Therefore these numbers will be off beginning from March 17th through around May 17th. In the data below, this will affect any numbers related to the days on market, the absorption rate, and the days of inventory of those previous months, but current numbers are accurate.

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, 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 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.

95123 real estate market trends, automatically updated weekly:

Blossom Valley Real-Time Market Profile by Altos Research

(more…)

Milpitas real estate market

Graphic: House and yard with words Milpitas Real Estate MarketThe Milpitas real estate market has been one of the hottest in Santa Clara County, and even now Altos Research calls it a strong seller’s market. This December, sales for single family homes were double the active inventory for that market, as were pending sales. Here are a few more points from the Milpitas single family homes market, with more data and analysis in the article below:

  • December’s market was double the speed and double the sales compared to last year.
  • Listings regularly close close to list price at an average ratio of 101%.
  • The average Milpitas home is sells around $1.1-$1.3 million.

The Milpitas Real Estate Market

Despite unusual circumstance last year, Milpitas has maintained a favorable market for the well-prepared seller, though not as hot as we might have originally anticipated before the pandemic. This is in keeping with trends we are seeing throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and Silicon Valley: well priced homes are selling close to list price, but below peak pricing from spring 2018.

A lot has changed since March. Over time we’re beginning to get a clearer view of how these changes are affecting the market, but it will be a while before we know the full impact of the pandemic on real estate sales. For now, check out my post: Coronavirus impact on real estate sales.

During the initial shutdown, the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) stopped the timer on all Days on Market (DOM). Therefore these numbers will be off beginning from March 17th through around May 17th, 2020. In the data below, this will affect any numbers related to the days on market, the absorption rate, and the days of inventory. So disregard those previous months data, but current numbers are accurate.

So let’s look at some data. First up, the Altos charts using list price and active listings. It is updated automatically on a weekly basis, so check back often:

Altos Real-Time Market Profile, Milpitas

(more…)

Almaden Valley Real Estate Market Conditions

Almaden View Real Estate Market Conditions San Jose 95120 - photo with Mt Umunhum in backgroundThe Almaden Valley real estate market conditions are favorable to sellers, although it took some hits in spring. For sellers, this is an active market. It’s showing some signs of seasonal cooling now, and it’s not fully recovered from the impacts of this spring. There’s plenty of demand, and inventory remains well below market norms. All in all, Almaden Valley remains in a continual seller’s market. Here are a few data points from the most recent update, which you will find in more detail below:

  • Extremely limited inventory shrank to a meagre 5 active listings in December.
  • The sales to list price ratio was a hot average of 104.4%.
  • Inventory can’t keep up with demand with homes selling in an average of only 8 days, and 7 days of inventory.

Before we begin, it’s important to recognize how much has changed since the beginning of March. Over time we will have a better grasp over the pandemic’s affect on the real estate market. For more on the impact of the pandemic on the market, check out my post titled Coronavirus impact on real estate sales.

During the shutdown so far, the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) stopped the timer on all Days on Market (DOM). Therefore these numbers will be off beginning from March 17th through around May 17th. In the data below, this will affect any numbers related to the days on market, the absorption rate, and the days of inventory within that time frame.

Almaden Valley months of inventory

Just now I logged onto the MLS. As of today (January 11th), there are 10 houses or duet homes (not duplexes, but attached single family homes) for sale in San Jose, CA 95120, aka Almaden Valley. Of those, 6 (or 60%) are offered at under $2 million, which is about a third more than last month. Dividing the whole up, none are listed under $1 million, 6 are between $1-2 million, 3 were listed above $2 million and below $3 million, and 1 was offered between $3-$4 million. In the last 30 days, 18 single family homes have closed in the same area. When we divide the active listings by the closed sales over 30 days, we get the months of inventory. So for Almaden, 10 divided by 18 = 0.56 months of inventory. That’s a red hot seller’s market!

Almaden Valley Real Estate Market Conditions: Trends at a Glance

Next, a look at the residential real estate market statistics for Almaden, or San Jose 95120 from the Real Estate Report (a subscription that I have which uses closed / sold data). Sales, sales pending, and active inventory all decreased from the month before. Compared to last year, sales and pending sales are close to the same, but inventory is only a drop in the bucket. That small inventory is selling in a rapid-pace average of only 8 days on market, and at a sale to list price ratio average of 104.4%. It’s a hot seller’s 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).

Trends At a Glance Dec 2020 Previous Month Year-over-Year
Median Price $1,660,000 (-1.0%) $1,676,000 $1,451,000 (+14.4%)
Average Price $1,738,570 (-13.8%) $2,017,460 $1,408,380 (+23.4%)
No. of Sales 23 (-32.4%) 34 24 (-4.2%)
Pending 14 (-26.3%) 19 12 (+16.7%)
Active (-28.6%) 7 20 (-75.0%)
Sale vs. List Price 104.4% (+1.3%) 103.1% 96.4% (+8.3%)
Days on Market (-47.7%) 15 51 (-84.6%)
Days of Inventory (+9.2%) 6 25 (-73.9%)

(more…)

Willow Glen real estate market in San Jose

Willow Glen real estate market is a strong seller's market. This Willow Glen sign is from the downtown business district.The real estate market of Willow Glen in San Jose remains a hot seller’s market, and distinctly stronger than it was a year ago. This article will provide data and analysis for the residential markets in this area, updated monthly. Here are a few points from the single family housing market update:

  • Continually low inventory shrink to extreme lows this winter.
  • The market faces seasonal cooling, but 2020 had a hotter December than 2019.
  • Most homes continue to sell in under a month and at or over list price.

The Willow Glen Real Estate Market

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.

The Willow Glen real estate market for single family homes remains in a long-term seller’s market despite recent cooling.

But things have certainly changed since the start of March. We should have a better view of the affect those changes are having on the Willow Glen real estate market this month, though not the complete picture. For an understanding of how Covid-19 is affecting the local real estate market, please check my post titled Coronavirus Impact on Real Estate Sales.

During the shutdown so far, the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) stopped the timer on all Days on Market (DOM). Therefore these numbers will be off beginning from March 17th through around May 17th. In the data below, this will affect any numbers related to the days on market, the absorption rate, and the days of inventory for those previous months, though current numbers should be accurate.

1. Willow Glen Market Trends: Single Family Homes

There’s clear seasonal cooling in this December market. Sales, pending sales, and active listings all fell from the month before. Comparing against last December, however, the market had significantly higher sales despite smaller available inventory. The sales to list price ratio is looking similar; it is low month to month but up a good deal from 2019, currently at 102.7%. Overall the market is stable with some seasonally waning activity and Willow Glen homes continue to be in a strong seller’s market.

Here are the most recent housing sales statistics from the RE Report.

Click for the complete Willow Glen real estate report:

Trends At a Glance Dec 2020 Previous Month Year-over-Year
Median Price $1,635,000 (+0.6%) $1,625,000 $1,410,000 (+16.0%)
Average Price $1,731,810 (-3.1%) $1,787,830 $1,483,190 (+16.8%)
No. of Sales 56 (-27.3%) 77 45 (+24.4%)
Pending 52 (-20.0%) 65 29 (+79.3%)
Active 25 (-57.6%) 59 31 (-19.4%)
Sale vs. List Price 102.7% (-0.9%) 103.7% 99.1% (+3.7%)
Days on Market 24 (+66.6%) 14 31 (-23.0%)
Days of Inventory 13 (-39.7%) 22 21 (-35.2%)

And last month:

(more…)

Saratoga CA Real Estate Market Update

Saratoga, CA real estate remains in a strong seller’s market with a high volume of sales fighting for a small winter inventory. Detailed data and analysis on the current market is available below and updated monthly. Here is the latest snapshot for what’s happening with single family homes in this city:

  • The sales to list price ratio rose to a white hot 108.1% of list price.
  • Inventory continues to shrink into winter, remaining well below 2019 levels.
  • Prices remain high compared to last year.

How’s the Saratoga California real estate market?

This year has been unlike any other, yet the market remains in the seller’s favor for the Saratoga, CA real estate market. Much of the market strength depends on the price point, school district, and condition – today’s buyers generally prefer recently remodeled homes. (Not long ago, I showed a home that was remodeled in 2010 and my buyers found it to be dated.) In response to this strong preference, many sellers have begun moving out and getting their homes updated prior to going on the market.

That being said, the real estate market today is not the same as it was at the start of March. We’ll see more of the results of these changes in the April market analysis than we will looking back on March. To learn more about how Covid-19 is affecting the real estate market, please check my post: Coronavirus Impact on Real Estate Sales.

During the shutdown so far, the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) stopped the timer on all Days on Market (DOM). Therefore these numbers will be off beginning from March 17th through around May 17th. In the data below, this will affect any numbers related to the days on market, the absorption rate, and the days of inventory for those months. Current numbers are accurate.

Orchard and Hills in Saratoga, California - photo for article on the Saratoga CA real estate market

Orchard and Hills in Saratoga, California

First, a quick glance at the Altos Research market profile for a quick summary of the market conditions. Altos uses LIST prices, not sold prices, for this chart and the others, below.

Real-Time Market Profile Saratoga, CA 95070

In the latest update, January 7th, Altos shows a strong seller’s market despite inventory shrinking and days on market growing.

Next, let’s turn to the closed sales from last month. This time we’re using data from a subscription service of mine to the RE Report.

Here are the real estate sales statistics for closed sales last month among houses and duet homes (if there are any) in the 95070 zip code (click on link to read the full Saratoga Real Estate Report for houses). Bottom line is that most livable homes in Saratoga will run between $2.5 and $3.5 million if they are mid sized (2000-3000 SF) and in the best schools area (Saratoga or Cupertino). Homes in the Campbell schools area, which have very strong elementary and middle schools, are very rare and generally more affordable, closer to $1.5, but depending on size, condition, and location they can be significantly higher (the ones selling in October 2019 were closer to $2.5, for instance).

Trends at a Glance for the Saratoga CA Real Estate Market

Saratoga remains fairly stable. The median prices are stable month over month and looking up year over year. Sales dipped but remain above last year’s numbers, as did pending sales. Active inventory dropped significantly again and remain well below 2019 levels. The sales to list price ratio continued to skyrocket to a white hot 108.1%! The days on market are consistent with last year, though days of inventory are significantly less. Limited supply with ample demand is creating a sustained strong seller’s market in Saratoga, CA.

Trends At a Glance Dec 2020 Previous Month Year-over-Year
Median Price $3,205,000 (+0.2%) $3,200,000 $2,672,500 (+19.9%)
Average Price $3,561,000 (+10.2%) $3,232,540 $2,923,530 (+21.8%)
No. of Sales 25 (-13.8%) 29 20 (+25.0%)
Pending 20 (-20.0%) 25 12 (+66.7%)
Active 16 (-46.7%) 30 24 (-33.3%)
Sale vs. List Price 108.1% (+2.5%) 105.4% 99.0% (+9.2%)
Days on Market 39 (+99.6%) 19 38 (+1.9%)
Days of Inventory 19 (-36.0%) 30 36 (-46.7%)

(more…)