Average Days on Market and Sale Price to List Price Ratio in Santa Clara County Communities

Today let’s look at the Santa Clara County real estate market, the days on market (DOM) and the sale price to list price ratio for houses and duet homes (single family homes). This will primarily be graphs that I created using MLSListings.com (our local MLS, to which I am a paying member).  We’ll consider the county as a whole and various cities or towns within it, plus areas of San Jose, as it has about a million residents.

First: Santa Clara County homes over the last year.  Please note the decreasing days on market, the increasing sale price to list price ratio in recent months.  This is exactly what an appreciating market looks like!

 

Santa Clara County average days on market and sale price to list price ratio

Santa Clara County average days on market and sale price to list price ratio

 

Next, let’s have a peek at how some of the hottest markets in Silicon Valley look, starting with Sunnyvale. It is odd to see any kind of a blip on the sale price to list price ratio.  Are buyers giving some push-back?  We keep hearing stories of homes selling 30% or more over list price with gobs of offers.  So the SP – LP ratio change is a surprise.

 

Sunnyvale average days on market and sale price to list price ratio Sunnyvale

Sunnyvale average days on market and sale price to list price ratio Sunnyvale

 

Palo Alto is always the hottest ticket in town. (more…)

Is Silicon Valley real estate overheating?

A common buyer question right now is whether or not the real estate market in Silicon Valley is overheated, if we are experiencing “another bubble”.  If you visit open houses in places like Sunnyvale, Cupertino, and in many parts of the Peninsula, you may see droves of buyers and be convinced that the market is, in fact, overheated.

Silicon Valley encompasses a large area, primarily Santa Clara County and some of San Mateo County, but a few sections of neighboring counties as well. Generalizing about huge regions is tricky.  Overall, though, it is a deep seller’s market throughout Silicon Valley.  But there is a great deal of variation from one city or town to the next, as well as between ages of homes, quality of schools and neighborhoods, and price point.   Today we will focus primarily on a couple of statistics: the ratio of sales price to list price for houses in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties, and ratio of new listings to sold and closed ones of houses in these counties.

First, though, a look at the two counties combined to show the broadest common real estate trends for Silicon Valley in relation to the sales price to list price ratio and “days to sell”.

 

Santa Clara County and San Mateo County sale price to list price ratio and average days to sell

Santa Clara County and San Mateo County sale price to list price ratio and average days to sell

 

The chart above gives a snapshot of the Silicon Valley market, which appears to have had a peak in about October – November 2012. likely reflecting sales 45-60 days earlier, when the days to sell hit a yearlong low.  Since that time, though, things appear to have calmed down.

New listings of houses for sale versus sold homes in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties

A few days ago, before getting the stats for closed sales in January 2013, I wrote about the trends for new listings of houses in relation to the closed sales in Santa Clara County in late fall 2012.  What we were seeing was that homes in escrow were closing or finalizing the sales faster than new inventory was coming on the market.  The closings in January, though,reflecting sales which began in December, a trend reversal, back to a more normal ratio, in both Santa Clara County and San Mateo County.  December is often the softest month of the year, with few listings relative to the rest of the year and sales at lower price points.  Looks like this December followed that pattern to a point.  Have a look at the charts for both counties and notice the trend reversal, below.

 

New Listings vs Sold SCC Feb 2013 (Small)

Santa Clara County New Listings vs Sold Houses last 12 months

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Kids in Silicon Valley: Fun Places to Go!

Fun Places for Kids In and Near San Jose - Winchester Mystery HouseWhat’s Are The Fun Places for Kids In and Near San Jose?

There are oodles of fun things for kids and the young-at-heart to do in San Jose and the greater Silicon Valley area. Here are a few of the more dramatic highlights!

In San Jose, Santa Clara and nearby

 

Happy Hollow Zoo and Park This is a great place for younger kids. It features a petting zoo, non-scary rides, and places to run off steam. Happy Hollow is undergoing a giant renovation and will be closed for part or all of the summer of 2008. Please double check the website or phone the park prior to visiting to make sure it’s open! Tel 408 277-3000.In Los Gatos: Oak Meadow Park (12 acres) and Vasona Lake County Park (150 acres – these are adjacent, interconnected parks).  Oak Meadow is a town of Los Gatos park, Vasona is a county park, but they are connected!  Of special note at Oak Meadow are the real Air Force jet that kids can climb on (local kids often refer to it as “the airplane park”), the hand painted carousel and Billy Jones Wildcat Railroad train which begins in Oak Meadow but mostly rides through Vasona, and the paddle boats on Vasona Lake. (Post on Live In Los Gatos about these 2 parks.)  There is a fee to park at Vasona.  Los Gatos town residents can park for free at Oak Meadow – but places fill up fast!

The Children’s Discovery Museum in downtown San Jose can’t be beat, especially on a too warm, too cold, or too rainy day! It is a hands on, fun place for kids. One of the most popular items is a stagecoach which kids can climb into. Warning to parents: the acoustics could be better and sometimes it’s overly loud in there.

The Tech Museum of Innovation Recommended for kids ages 7 and up, but especially for kids 10 and up. There’s an IMAX theater as well – fantastic shows! Great downtown San Jose location.

California’s Great America in Santa Clara. Suitable for all ages but teens will like this best! This park does offer some water play areas and some little kid areas (but it’s expensive for that). Shows in air conditioned theaters will be welcome on warm days. Check out the Wow Card (or VIP Pass if you want to park close) if you’ll be back again in the same season.

The Winchester Mystery House:  This is a beyond-unique 160+ year old Victorian Mansion build by Sara Winchester with the thought that if she never stopped building, she would never die. Interesting but odd architectural accents throughtout the home!This historic landmark sits near the lovely Santana Row shopping center, just off 280 and near Stevens Creek Blvd. (It is a “half exit” from 280 – you can exit 280 southbound to get to Winchester and you can enter 280 northbound from Winchester, but not vice versa.)

List of Attractions Throughout Santa Clara County and Beyond
Gilroy (south of San Jose)
Gilroy Gardens (formerly Bonfante Gardens)Want to make a bigger trip of it to The Garlic Capital of the World? Gilroy offers great shopping to dress up those kids (or yourself)! . And maybe when that’s all done, do some wine tasting. If you can take a tour, the kids may not even get bored. List of wineries (and breweries) in and near Gilroy. And lastly, don’t forget the Garlic Festival! It happens in late July every year. Yes, it’s hot. Yes, they do really serve Garlic Ice Cream. You need to try it at least once! The Gilroy Garlic Festival – information, recipes, calendar, fun stuff for kids.

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Beautifully Updated Santa Clara Condo Near Central Park

Living Room & Balcony at 966 Kiely Blvd, # D

Living Room & Balcony at 966 Kiely Blvd, # D

******** SOLD with 20 offers after 6 days on the market******

So cute, updated, staged – a turnkey Santa Clara condo in a great location near Central Park!

966 Kiely Blvd, # D (cross street Kaiser Drive), Santa Clara

Fabulous kitchen with dishwasher,  new refrigerator, new oven!

One bed, one bath, 670 square feet of easy living in an upstairs unit.

Great closet space – big walk in closet in master, hall closet for guests, oversized storage – linen closet PLUS another storage area in the carport.

Living room with wet bar and private balcony – wonderful for relaxing.

Seller has worked hard to make this home absolutely ready.  There are even a home & pest inspection. Regular sale too. Hurry, it’s ready to sell!

The Santa Clara Condo Market is red hot – but very few properties are similar to this in being updated, a regular sale (not a short sale, not a bank owned property) and ready to go with inspections & disclosures online. (Click the link to read up on the real estate market for condominiums and townhomes in Santa Clara. Real estate agents can get the link for the disclosures on the MLS.)

Offered at $158,888

HOA dues $340 per month

Woodborough community with pool, spa, playground & more  (see photos and all details below)
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Silicon Valley Short Sales vs Regular Sales Months of Inventory

People often ask me, “how’s the market?”  The answer is, it depends.  It depends on whether it’s a short sale, REO or regular sale, the schools, view, condition, etc. The Silicon Valley real estate market really isn’t “one market“. It’s a bunch of smaller markets woven together. So the answer depends on what you’re looking at.

Today we’ll focus on the sale type and take a broad view of regular sales vs short sales with Silicon Valley houses/duet homes and condos/townhouses.  The data comes from MLSListings.com, our local multiple listing service, of which I am a member.  I crunched the numbers today. I have made every effort to provide accurate info, but can’t guarantee it.

To arrive at the months of inventory, I get the number of active listings (not pending, but available, or “status 1” for my local Realtor readers) and the number of closed listings for the same area/home type which have closed in the last month.  Divide the first number by the second and you get months of inventory or MOI.  Below please find the numbers for Santa Clara County as a whole, San Jose as a whole, and various cities or areas of San Jose.

 

 

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The Condo and Townhouse Market Update in the West Valley for June 2010

The condominium & townhouse market is improving dramatically now.  It is evident both in looking at the stats countywide and in my recent experiences holding open my townhouse listings in Saratoga and Sunnyvale as well as recently participating in the sale of a townhome in Almaden Valley (representing a buyer) – all different areas and price points but all very active.

Here are the numbers for May sales of condos and townhomes for all of Santa Clara  County:

 

Trends At a GlanceMay 2010Previous MonthYear-over Year
Median Price$383,500$345,000 (+11.2%)$310,000 (+23.7%)
Average Price$402,766$378,978 (+6.3%)$355,881 (+13.2%)
No. of Sales434297 (+46.1%)314 (+38.2%)
Pending Properties1,0091,154 (-12.6%)526 (+91.8%)
Active927873 (+6.2%)1,037 (-10.6%)
Sale vs. List Price99.9%100.6% (-0.7%)97.6% (+2.4%)
Days on Market4759 (-20.1%)75 (-37.2%)

 

As you can see, the days on market are shrinking and prices (both median and average) are rising.  A few numbers cut back slightly in May: the sale to list price ratio retreated a little to 99.9% and the pending properties went down a little too.  But the number of sales were up.

The “months of inventory” or absorption rate is a great way to know how much of a buyer’s or seller’s market it is in any given place. Six months is considered balanced, less is a seller’s market and more is a buyer’s market.  Here are the months of inventory for selected communities in the “west valley” area of Silicon Valley – they are all “seller’s markets”, but some are strong and some are approaching balanced:

 

Campbell1.69
Cupertino1.86
Cambrian (SJ)1.86
San Jose1.93
Sunnyvale2.05
Santa Clara2.08
SC County (all)2.14
Almaden (SJ)3.00
Palo Alto3.67
Los Altos4.00
Los Gatos5.13
Saratoga5.25
Willow Glen (SJ)5.71

 

Of course, this is still painting with a broad brush.  The absorption rate for any of these areas may not be accurate for the various price points or school districts that might be found there.  For instance, a large luxury townhouse in Los Gatos which is downtown might be a really different type of market than a small, entry level one bordering Campbell or Cambrian Park.

What everyone’s wondering is if this seller’s market for condominiums and townhouses will continue despite the end of the federal home buyer credit.  To utilize that credit, homes had to be in contract by April 30th.  Most of those should be closed now, or nearing that date at best.  So we’ll really know more as we move into summer. My sense, though, is that what’s driving this market is much more the affordable prices of homes and of loans. The credits are a bonus, but many in Silicon Valley make too much money to be able to use them.

For information on your particular part of the Silicon Valley condo or townhome market, please give me a call or email me!

 

 

 

The Silicon Valley Real Estate Market is in Recovery, But Not Every Area Is! A Study of Sunnyvale, Santa Clara and Saratoga Median List Prices

The real estate news is so mixed it’s mind boggling, whether it’s a national perspective, one specific to California, the San Francisco Bay Area, the “south Bay”, Silicon Valley or even San Jose in particular.  It is anything but a uniform, monolithic market. Even so, it’s good to look at the big picture along side the hyper local level, and that’s what we’ll do today.

Today’s San Jose Mercury News featured a front page article by Sue McAllister (an excellent reporter) on Santa Clara County housing values.  She shares that Zillow says that we’ve hit bottom here in Santa Clara County.  That is certainly good news to home owners accross Silicon Valley!  And I don’t disagree that countywide, we’re definitely looking up right now.  No guarantees for the future, but Zillow says that the threat of a second or double dip no longer seems likely. Whew!

Unfortunately, there’s another real risk to this recovery and it’s not the “shadow industry”. This time it’s homeowners walking away because they’re underwater (not because they can’t afford to stay, but because they choose not to).  Sixty Minutes did a segment on this phenomena of home owners walking away last night., which you can watch via this link.
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Short Sales in the West Valley Areas of Almaden, Los Gatos, Saratoga, Campbell, and Nearby

How many of the Silicon Valley homes for sale are listed as short sales? How many are bank owned properties? This morning I did some time pulling the numbers out for my readers so that you can see the actual real estate figures.

What’s being counted below are homes for sale, including houses, duet homes, condominiums and townhouses (or townhomes) in the various areas of Santa Clara County listed below.

 

Area, City or TownAvailableShort Sale  Bank Owned
Los Gatos18172
Monte Sereno3500
Saratoga11740
Cupertino9541
Los Gatos Mtns6846
Santa Clara1574513
Almaden Valley – SJ10341
Cambrian Park – SJ134286
Blossom Valley – SJ1988329
Willow Glen – SJ2282714
San Jose (all areas)1944574183

 

As was the case a year or two ago, most of the short sale activity is taking place in the most affordable price ranges. The higher priced areas are not immune, though – but because there are fewer distressed properties to choose from, they get purchased rather quickly, so we’d see a higher percentage of them among the pending sales rather than the available listings.

Today I did a post on this subject focusing specifically on the Los Gatos real estate market in terms of short sales today vs the last couple of years (and the question of whether or not the trend is to rising numbers of short sales available). To learn more, visit the article on my Live in Los Gatos blog.

For bargain hunting buyers of high end properties, then, it’s slim pickings!  In the entry level areas, there’s much more selection but also lots of competition.  Last week I was involved with some buyers in a bidding frenzy in a terribly underpriced Cambrian short sale: it got 43 offers!  (So please remember that the list price may be completely unrelated to the sales price.)

If you’re looking to buy or sell a home in Silicon Valley, it helps to have the assistance of a Realtor with a pulse on the market.  Please contact me for a confidential & no-obligation meeting today!

 

 

 

Water Heater Strapping for Earthquake Safety

Today I was showing homes in Santa Clara to my buyers and saw one home with very “funky” (non compliant) strapping around the hot water heater. It was weird enough that I took a photo!

 

Unusual here – and confused – is the slanted lower strap that is in the top half as well as the bottom half of the water heater and goes around the ducting. Really bizarre!

What water heater strapping DOES require is a hefty strap in the top third and another in the bottom third of the water heater. Blocking may be required too. To see all of the requirements per the State of California, see the online directions for strapping water heaters (a how-to).

Water Heater Strapping Collage

 

 

It’s Not Your Imagination: There are Fewer Homes to Choose from in Silicon Valley

The tide is turning for Silicon Valley real estate: fewer listings are coming onto the market and more homes are being purchased by homebuyers anxious to get into a house before interest rates rise and the $8000 first time homebuyer’s credit expires.

The shift is most visible in areas with the most affordability, but even is more upscale, higher priced areas, it’s still a noticeable change.

Today I’ll share with you a series of graphs, by area, of single family homes in terms of new listings, current inventory, and pending sales (sales under contract).  These were created using our mls system (information deemed reliable but not guaranteed).

Here’s the “key” (since if I put it alongside each image it would not fit without making all of it unreadable):

MLS Color Key

 

Description of each graph is ABOVE the image.

Almaden Valley (95120 area of San Jose) this is a more expensive part of Santa Clara County, but the market improvement is very clear. Cool market.


Almaden Valley San Jose pending home sales trends

 

Blossom Valley (95123 and 95136 zip codes, an area of San Jose) – this is a very affordable part of Silicon Valley and has taken a huge hit on the “price rollback”.  But it’s getting better now – note the rise in sales, low number of new homes coming on the market and overall lessening of inventory. Number of pendings is almost the same as the total inventory. Hot market.


Blossom Valley area of San Jose real estate pending trends

 

Cambrian Park (95124 & 95118 area of San Jose) – trends among listings, inventory, and sales for single family homes. The trend of less inventory and more sales is quite evident. Warm market overall – very hot under $500,000, cool in higher price ranges. (But hot only if prices are deeply reduced.)

 

Cambrian Park pending sale and inventory trends
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