Types of Homes in Silicon Valley
How is the Campbell real estate market? Campbell is still in a strong seller’s market, but like the rest of the county, has been in a period of cooling these past few months.
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 previous months, though June 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:
As of July 7th this chart showing Campbell, CA is in a strong seller’s market with a recent turnaround after a decline.
And now – here are some quick stats, care of my RE Report for Campbell:
How’s the Saratoga California real estate market?
This spring has been unlike any other, yet 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 prior months while June numbers should be accurate.
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.
In the latest update, July 6th, Altos shows a slight seller’s advantage in the market with rising market action and declining days on market.
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 and $3 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 remained fairly stable through June. Prices had some ups and downs and remain below 2019 sales. Sales and pending sales rose, active inventory was stable, though far below 2019 active listings. The sales to list price ratio rose a hair to 100.7%, which is a hair below a year ago. This isn’t too far from the usual market at this time of year. It’s a stable seller’s market.
|Trends At a Glance||Jun 2020||Previous Month||Year-over-Year|
|Median Price||$2,872,500 (+9.5%)||$2,622,500||$2,880,000 (-0.3%)|
|Average Price||$2,952,790 (-1.9%)||$3,010,400||$3,257,300 (-9.3%)|
|No. of Sales||22 (+83.3%)||12||27 (-18.5%)|
|Pending||38 (+46.2%)||26||29 (+31.0%)|
|Active||39 (0.0%)||39||69 (-43.5%)|
|Sale vs. List Price||100.7% (+0.2%)||100.6%||101.3% (-0.5%)|
|Days on Market||33 (+11.4%)||29||35 (-5.3%)|
|Days of Inventory||51 (-47.3%)||98||74 (-30.6%)|
And the month before:
Where can you find gated communities in San Jose or Silicon Valley? There aren’t many of them! (It is a myth, however, that the Silver Creek Valley Country Club is the only one in Silicon Valley. That’s just not true.) There are fewer than a dozen, though, and in this post I’ll provide some basic info on each and links to the home owner association for each so you can learn more if you so desire.
Most of these enclaves include neighborhood pools. Some also boast golf courses, spas and restaurants. One even has riding stables!
Evergreen gated communities
In the Evergreen area of San Jose (the east foothills), there are very two very large gated residential neighborhoods: The Villages, which is a retirement community for seniors (and has age restrictions, one resident must be 55+) with many luxury amenities (pools, tennis courts, horseback riding stables, bocce ball, and more).
Silver Creek Valley Country Club, which is the largest and best known gated community in Santa Clara County, is also found in the east foothills in the Evergreen area. A big complex and elegantly appointed, the Silver Creek Valley Country Club is also the most expensive of the gated communities. Silver Creek centers around a well known, beautiful golf course, and features a wonderful clubhouse as well as multiple pools. Some communities within Silver Creek have their own HOA, so it is possible to end up paying HOA dues to both Silver Creek and also a neighborhood HOA to boot.
Today we’re looking at the real estate market for houses in some of the “west valley” communities along the base of the Santa Cruz Mountains – areas where schools are good, crime is low, residents enjoy scenic views of the hills (or of the valley from the hills, depending on the location) and overall, a highly educated population not too far from Highway 85. This will be a real estate market comparison for Los Gatos, Saratoga, Cupertino, and Los Altos.
Of the four municipalities, three are really very similar to each other in several regards. Cupertino has the largest population – about 61,000 people – but Los Altos, Los Gatos and Saratoga are all similarly sized, somewhere between 31,000 residents. The latter three also enjoy a traditional “downtown” area which is popular with pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists alike. (Monte Sereno has under 4,000 residents, which is so small that the statistics are very easily thrown from month to month, so it is omitted in this quick study.) Of the four, Cupertino, then, is the least similar due to size and lack of a central downtown area for now. This may feel different once the Vallco Mall is redeveloped.
We’ll take a quick look at these areas now in terms of the real estate market trends and statistics for each area, considering just “class 1” (houses and duet homes). The charts used below are from Altos Research, to which I have a subscription, and they will be automatically updated each week.
Please note: the Los Gatos data is probably a little artificially low as it will include all 3 zip codes, meaning also the Los Gatos Mountains, which are quite a bit more affordable than the areas “in town”.
In addition, as of this writing we are in the shelter-in-place phase 1 of the pandemic. This post is updated approximately every quarter or half-year, so we’re just starting to see the results of these changes to the market, but it will take a while to see the full picture. For now you can read more about the Coronavirus impact on real estate sales in my post on the topic.
Also, 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.
Now on with the analysis!
(1) Median List Price (per Altos Research):
Willow Glen is a very charming, older part of San Jose that seems to beckon to a more gracious time. It is perhaps best known for its historic homes and quaint streets, but it is also highly regarded as a tight knit community with its own, vibrant downtown.
Where is Willow Glen?
Willow Glen is close to downtown San Jose, bordered by Highway 87 to the east, Highway 280 to the north, Southwest Expy, Leigh Avenue, and Bascom Avenue to the west, and Foxworthy Avenue to the south. To the west is Campbell and to the south is Cambrian.
This area is mostly the 95125 zip code, but includes a little of 95124 on the south end.
The public schools are mostly within the San Jose Unified School District, but on the south west side, I believe all within 95124, some are in the Cambrian School District.
The district’s centerpiece is Lincoln Avenue, a street bustling with cars and pedestrians alike. It’s filled to the brim with restaurants and shops and seems to attract a never-ending strea of visitors, especially in summer and during the holidays. Additionally, there are a number of businesses and shops along Meridian Avenue.
The boundaries are not always agreed upon. Google Maps shows a much broader area, extending west all the way to Highway 17 and all the way south to Hillsdale, including parts of Campbell and Cambrian. The Wikipedia page on WG only includes the 95125 zip code.
A little Willow Glen history
Willow Glen began as an unincorporated community at about the time of the Gold Rush, at about the same time as when San Jose was the capitol of California. In 1863 the first school was built to meet the needs of the children there. It became incorporated in 1927 to fend off being annexed into the larger City of San Jose, but had a change of heart and voted to be annexed in 1936 so that the area could be on the city’s sewer system rather than to continue with septic tanks and cesspools.
Willow Glen architecture
Much of Willow Glen was built early in the 1900s and so the homes in the “downtown” area are older and feature classical styles of housing on tree lined streets – Spanish, Craftsman, and some even more venerable and Victorian. That is surely a large part of its charm. On the edges of Willow Glen, the homes are newer and tract. One area, known as Palm Haven, has a myriad of palm trees (both Royal Palm and Fan Palm) and older, diverse architecture surrounding a community park. The original access to Palm Haven from Bird Avenue and the rest of Willow Glen has been blocked off, but the grand old road can still be found easily enough via Clintonia off Riverside. Continue reading
If you love older residential areas with classic architecture and a canopy of street trees, you’ll want to know about the Buena Vista neighborhood in San Jose.
Situated between downtown San Jose and the Valley Fair & Santana Row areas, there’s a lot going on that’s not far away.
Buena Vista neighborhood location
Where is the Buena Vista neighborhood? Roughly, it includes areas north of Hwy 280, south of San Carlos, east of Leigh and west of Meridian. It is considered part of Central San Jose by the local MLS.
The eastern half of the area is in the 95126 zip code, and the western section is in the 95128 zip code.
What are homes like in the Buena Vista neighborhood?
“Red flags” are clues that something is wrong or potentially wrong. They’re the hints that we need to investigate something further, the sign that we should be on alert.
Some parts of San Jose, and Silicon Valley generally, enjoy beautiful older homes with classic styling and beautiful finishing work. These properties and neighborhoods are prized because they are not cookie cutter, not ranch, not too new. They may be Victorian, Craftsman, Spanish, or any number of other interesting architectural styles.
One area of Santa Clara County that is well known for both charming historic homes and unfortunately also some structural issues among those older houses is the Willow Glen district of San Jose.
Back in 2015 I showed some clients about a half dozen homes, all in Willow Glen, and we saw a lot of “red flags” which hinted of foundation problems, among others. I thought I’d share a few pics I snapped at one of them with my old treo camera here. All of these were taken on the front porch of this house – all visible structural “red flags” before we ever set foot into the house.