The San Jose Real Estate Market Analysis

San Jose Real Estate MarketThe San Jose real estate market remains in a hot seller’s market, keeping active into winter with slight seasonal cooling. Demand may have shrunk between rising rates and inflation, but inventory remains historically low so it’s still far from balanced!

First, some quick data from my RE Report and hand-pulled from the MLS today. There appears to be a small amount of under- or over-counting between the RE Report and MLS Listings, so numbers vary slightly between the two, but the data is still useful for trend tracking.

  • The January 2024 sale price to list price ratio for San Jose single family homes rose to 104.7% of asking, that’s +1.6% from last month per the RE Report and +6.1% from this time 2023, following the bottom of the market’s decline. For the MLS stats we pulled today, however, it shows 104.4% average, up from 102.8% (+1.6%) the month prior. Either way, the average home is selling consistently over list price in San Jose, and warming up into the new year.
  • Home values for single family properties are up from this time last year by approximately 8% – 19%, and month-over-month closed sales prices rose around 1% – 5%.
  • The time on market slowed slightly month-over-month to a 22 day average (RE Report). That’s still quick turnover averaging well below a month, indicating a clear seller’s market.

Market Data: What Numbers Make a Difference

While prices and overbids have fallen since the peak, in some ways 2023 was even more challenging for buyers. For most buyers, their ability to purchase has been severely impacted by higher rates on home loans and the changing insurance market. But the biggest hurdle for most buyers is the extreme and persistent lack of available homes!

Since March 2023 San Jose has frequently had record breaking low inventory, often marking new lows with the fewest available listings by month in over a decade. And it doesn’t look like inventory will really pick up any time soon, either.

Why such low inventory?

While in a more typical market we might have a number of sellers looking to “move up” or downsize, most homeowners today couldn’t afford to move or don’t want to take on a higher-rate mortgage. Now it seems like a higher percentage of the listings we are seeing comes from investors, people leaving the area, and sales by family after a death – cases where there is no pressure to repurchase or where selling is the only option. One exception we’re starting to see is homeowners with adjustable rate mortgages who don’t have the same low rate to hold on to at their current home. Still, that limits significantly what is available to buyers!

Although inventory remains at record-breaking lows with higher demand than availability, sale prices and overbids are not breaking records like last year’s spring peak. Many buyers are experiencing significantly more pressure from higher interest rates, fluctuating stocks, looming layoffs, and other factors limiting purchase power and lowering confidence. That said, not every home will face the same challenges – there are loads of micro markets that influence how well any given home does, and decent homes that are marketed appropriately still regularly become bidding wars for driven buyers. All said, take this city-wide data with a grain of salt.

 

Inventory - San Jose CA listings of houses / Single Family Homes for sale

 

Inventory remains severely low – currently showing the second lowest January inventory over more than a decade (only January 2022 was lower)! If you’re an active home buyer, it is slim pickings!

The data below in the “trends” chart is from our Real Estate Report for the City of San Jose.

San Jose Real Estate Market Trends at a Glance (RE Report)

 

Trends At a GlanceJan 2024Previous MonthYear-over-Year
Median Price$1,600,000 (+4.9%)$1,525,000$1,347,500 (+18.7%)
Average Price$1,693,940 (+1.0%)$1,677,520$1,563,350 (+8.4%)
No. of Sales157 (-25.2%)210128 (+22.7%)
Pending197 (+20.1%)164152 (+29.6%)
Active120 (+25.0%)96250 (-52.0%)
Sale vs. List Price104.7% (+1.6%)103.1%98.7% (+6.1%)
Days on Market22 (+14.1%)1931 (-28.7%)
Days of Inventory23 (+67.2%)1459 (-60.9%)

 

Available inventory is less than half of was at this time last year, while pending and closed sales have risen above 2023 numbers. Demand is extremely high! The chart clearly shows a strong seller’s market launching out of a slightly cooler December and into the new year. Winter tends to be the best time for buyers to snag a “deal”, however we’re beginning to leave the winter trends behind and spring is fast approaching! Keep reading below for more data and market analysis.

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Finding scenic places in which to live in Silicon Valley

View from Montevina Road in Los Gatos, Scenic Silicon ValleyIf you arrived into Silicon Valley via Highway 101, driving south from San Francisco, you might believe that the Santa Clara Valley, the San Jose area and Silicon Valley as a whole has got to seem to be the ugliest place on earth. Although heavily traveled, that is not the “scenic route”.

So, too, if you are looking for a place to live and are groping to find a place that is reasonably priced, fairly safe and not a terrible commute distance. You might not even have “is nice looking” on your wish list. You might not think it’s possible if all you ever see are the ugly concrete tilt-up buildings in north San Jose, Santa Clara, Alviso, or anywhere along the 237 corridor.  That area is an architectural wasteland.

Let me assure you: there are a lot of beautiful places in Silicon Valley where you can rent or buy a home. But how do you find them? It helps a lot to have a local give you a few pointers.  I’ll give you some tips today on finding a scenic place to live.

Hills – An easy way to find a scenic location to make your home is to settle near the hills, especially those in the west valley (the Santa Cruz Mountains or the Coastal Range) as they are green year-round. Communities at the base of the west valley foothills include, in Santa Clara County, Palo Alto, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Cupertino, Saratoga, Monte Sereno, Los Gatos, and the Almaden Valley area of San Jose. All of these areas are adjacent to the hills or mountains and offer far better than average schools (many of them qualify as great – compare costs between these areas). (more…)

Alviso Marina: San Jose’s Bayfront

Alviso enjoyed an important position in local Silicon Valley history.  It was once a bustling port from which important products were shipped – things like mercury (quicksilver) from New Almaden, tallow, hides and grain. It was incorporated in 1852 but in 1968 became a part of San Jose.  As a bayfront community, Alviso’s residents have suffered some severe flooding in the past.  Today, though, the water front and marina are a shadow of their former selves, due to the fact that the slough is no longer dredged and vegetation has overtaken much of the marina.  Today I’ll share some photos of the Alviso Marina area which I took a few months back and hope it will encourage this site’s readers to make a trip out there and enjoy the local sites in person.

 

Alviso Marina - where San Jose meets the San Francisco Bay

 

In the photo above, you can see that boats are now surrounded by rushes and reeds rather than open water.  The next one, below, provides a view of the San Francisco Bay in the distance.

 

Alviso Marina and San Francisco Bay

 

The public shore sign seemed out of place today.

 

Alviso's Public Shore sign - but no visible shore today

 

Closer to the slough, a clear channel does remain but it’s not very deep. (more…)