Neighborhoods

Areas & Neighborhoods

Like many Cambrian neighborhoods, the Westchester Manor subdivision in the Alta Vista area includes well kept homes and yards, tree lined streets, and wonderful public schools. This neighborhood, though, is unique in that residents can amble to the elementary or middle school without crossing major streets. And the same can be said of getting to the local grocery store, Safeway, coffee shop, and more. For home buyers seeking walkability or easy access, this is a place to check out! But it’s not just walkable. From here it’s an easy jump to both Highway 85 off Union Avenue or a run to Vasona Lake County Park and downtown Los Gatos via Blossom Hill Road. Add to that the close proximity of the hills and you get the feeling that you’re not quite in the middle of a city at all.

 

Where is Westchester Manor?

Westchester Manor map - Alta Vista area of Cambrian in San Jose CA

Pins indicate homes within the Westchester Manor subdivision beside Union Middle School near Alta Vista Elementary School. The yellow line follows the power line.

Westchester Manor is within the Alta Vista neighborhood.

The Alta Vista neighborhood is part San Jose’s Cambrian district, and part Los Gatos (see a map of the neighborhood and municipal boundaries in the blog post linked). It’s bordered by Los Gatos-Almaden Road to the north, Union to the east, and Blossom Hill to the south. The Westchester Manor subdivision is entirely within San Jose on the northeast end of the neighborhood, next to Union Middle School.

This neighborhood has a very high owner occupancy rate – 87% from the numbers I pulled from Realist (a report available to members of the MLS) today. It’s a low-turnover, stable neighborhood. People move in, and they stay!

What are the homes like in Westchester Manor?

This is a predominantly “ranch style” neighborhood with mostly single story houses, but still quite a few two story ones, in an area with sidewalks, curbs, and gutters. Most houses have 3-4 bedrooms and 2-3 full bathrooms.

There are 3 tracts named within this subdivision. They don’t have exciting labels but instead are called tracts 1481, 1903, and 1997. There are 30-35 lots in each one and 106 in all.

There’s variation in age, but not much. Of the 106 homes which are part of Westchester Manor (there are smaller subdivisions on Coronet that aren’t) approximately 80% were built between 1957 and 1959 although some in tract 1997 (including and near Grey Court) were built as late as 1965 (I found one house built in 1956 also). Most of them have been at least somewhat updated and a handful were rebuilt with new construction in 1980 and 1990.

Home sizes range with the smallest homes at 1,283 SqFt, 1,293 SqFt, 1,308 SqFt, and 1,319 SqFt. The biggest houses are 3,656 SqFt, 3,607 SqFt, 3,171 SqFt, and 3,072 SqFt. The median home size is 1,738 SqFt.

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Looking for a convenient residential location in an area with gorgeous tree lined streets? Check out the Cory neighborhood in west San Jose along the Santa Clara border.

One of the first things you’ll notice when arriving to the interior of this established area is that most streets have older, attractive, and large trees along the sidewalk strip. It’s an enormous canopy which creates a very inviting feel. In some sections, trees are younger.  The majority of homes provide a front porch. You may also note that nearly every property features a single story ranch style house.

 

Cory neighborhood street view

 

What are homes like in the Cory neighborhood?

Typical telephone niche found in older homesThere are 1065 houses (by my research on Realist) in the Cory community, plus about a dozen duplexes. Along the outside edge of the neighborhood there are other types of buildings, including religious, restaurant, educational, and business.

The houses were built primarily between 1948 and 1950, although about 200 of the thousand were built after 1950 (and 31 of those after 1991). The majority of the houses were part of the expansive Bascom Gardens tract (579 by my count), but 211 of the approximately 1000 houses were part of the Kaiser Community Homes (also known simply as “The Kaiser Tract”). Others are designated by tract number but not subdivision name. It looks like they all started as a single level ranch style house, but today 65 of them are two stories (that’s about 5%).

Many of these house were constructed with wall furnaces in a central location (often in a living room on one side and in the hallway on the other), a fireplace, hardwood floors, a formal dining room, an attached 2 car garage, a raised foundation (access often found outside, in the backyard, but sometimes indoors via a closet floor). Laundry would be in the garage and a drying yard just outside of the garage, often in a side yard (and near the kitchen). Charming touches can be found in things like the telephone niche in the hall. Some feature a breezeway between the house and garage – a great place to store bikes, or an easy place to add on later.

These tract houses were built modestly and affordably in the post WWII era. Some houses are as small as 806 SF with 2 bedrooms and 1 bath, though most were and still are 3 bedroom homes with 2 baths. More than half are 1300 SF or less. Ninety percent of these properties are under 2000 SF, but over the years with expansion and rebuilding, some are quite big, and one property is a bit over 3000 SF.

Today, many of these properties have been upgraded and enjoy newer wiring, plumbing, heating, and cooling, in addition to dual pane windows and other improvements over the years. Buyers continue to value the hardwood floors, the large picture windows, and practical layouts that these homes provide.

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Glencrest Patio Homes in AlmadenThe popular Glencrest neighborhood in Almaden includes both the Glencrest patio homes as well as larger houses on regular lots.

This corner of Almaden is located at the end of Serenity Way near Glenview Park and Cathedral Park in the Williams area. The Glencrest patio homes area is shaped like a pentagram (a five sided object) so is easy to spot on the map.

The community enjoys a shared pool. The outside ring of homes are single family houses on large, normal lots of about 10,000 to 13,000 square feet (on Valley Quail Circle, Hollow Lake).

The more modest patio or zero lot line properties are found on the inside streets and have about 6,000 SF lots – the streets are Quail Creek Circle, Mountain Quail Circle, and Quail Cove Way.

The Glencrest homes were built by Shapell, a company which is known for a very high quality. Most were built in 1987 or 1988.

The big draws for these homes are as follows:

  • Top Almaden schools are close by: Williams, Bret Harte and Leland
  • Shappell is a highly regarded builder, perhaps the most valued in Santa Clara County
  • The Glencrest area homes, whether on normal lots or zero lot line / patio homes, are fairly young by local standards

Because the Glencrest patio homes are smaller, they are more affordable. Many people consider them entry level houses for Williams Elementary School. For this reason, real estate sales in the Glencrest area often command surprisingly high prices given that structures are built on one of the property lines and that there are no windows on that side of the home.

There are some negatives to any area. Here, the interior streets are narrow, and of course a zero lot line is not ideal. Water and hillside locations don’t help homes, so it’s important to manage drainage effectively.

Real estate listings and homes for sale in and near the Glencrest neighborhood of San Jose’s Almaden Valley: please view using the following link

Glencrest Patio Homes for Sale

 

 

 

 

 

The Monte Sereno real estate market is similar to Los Gatos, but distinct - Monte Sereno shares many features with Los Gatos but is a distinct cityHow is the Monte Sereno real estate market? Because the city is small, with just about 4,000 residents, there usually are few homes listed for sale or selling, and with small numbers we can get seeming volatility.

That combined with all that’s happened this March, the data from the last month might not be as good a predictor for the market as it normally would be. Though we’ve begun to see changes to the market over the last few months, we won’t know the full impact for a while. For now you can read more about the Coronavirus impact on real estate sales in my 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. So while current data is accurate, please disregard any DOM data for the months mentioned above.

There are no condominiums or townhomes in Monte Sereno at present (we are watching closely the proposed development at La Rinconada, which is unincorporated as of this writing). One of the major challenges for this city is to ensure that at least some housing units are deemed “affordable.” You can find the city’s housing plan here (a pdf online):  http://www.montesereno.org/DocumentCenter/Home/View/674

Below is a quick market profile for Monte Sereno. This is updated automatically weekly, so please check back often.

Monte Sereno Altos Real-Time Market Profile

As of the latest update, October 13th, Monte Sereno is in a strong seller’s market with steady activity. Unlike other areas, this market doesn’t seem to have faced the same spring cooling as the rest of the valley and it had been heating up for a long while now, though it appears it’s starting to level off. Still, Monte Sereno has very few active listings, so the data for this chart can have large swings in data due to one or two outstanding properties.

Altos Research does weekly reports, to which I subscribe. You can see the full weekly report for Monte Sereno HERE and you can click the subscribe button there if you’d like to get it weekly (or navigate to another zip code or city and subscribe to that). Here’s the data on home descriptions per price quartile in the report, updated automatically throughout the month:

Median List Price for Monte Sereno By Altos

It looks like prices have experienced some noticeable increases in all but the lowest price tier this year. The top tier peaked earlier this year well above where it last peaked around late 2017 and early 2018. In the middle, the upper and lower price tiers also rose close to, if not a little above the 2017-2018 peak. Even the bottom tier is reaching prices it hasn’t seen since 2018, though not at it’s peak. Remember, low inventory and fewer sales mean greater swings in data.

Stats for recently closed home sales in Monte Sereno

Here are the quick statistics for the closed sales in the last complete month to give a sense of how things are going with the Monte Sereno real estate market. Sales data comes from my Monte Sereno Real Estate Report. Given that the supply of homes to study is tiny, what can we tell from this data?

It’s true that an average Monte Sereno house is about $2.5-3.5 million, and often higher in the current market – closer to $4 million – a little steep for most folks!

Monte Sereno Real Estate Market Trends at a Glance:

There have been some big swings in the data this September compared to the month before. Small pools of data can shift drastically very quickly, so it’s important to take this data with a grain of salt. Prices fell, the sale vs list price ratio skyrocketted, and days on market were going twice as fast as last month! Sales fell while pending sales grew and active listings held stable. Looking back further, sales and pendings are well above 2019, while active inventory continues to fall short. The market remains hot and it’s an active seller’s market.

Trends At a Glance Sep 2020 Previous Month Year-over-Year
Median Price $3,000,000 (-29.3%) $4,245,000 $4,143,750 (-27.6%)
Average Price $3,171,800 (-25.2%) $4,242,500 $3,684,580 (-13.9%)
No. of Sales (-37.5%) 8 (+66.7%)
Pending (+80.0%) 5 (+50.0%)
Active (0.0%) 8 13 (-38.5%)
Sale vs. List Price 105.2% (+7.9%) 97.6% 97.9% (+7.5%)
Days on Market 17 (-52.6%) 35 52 (-68.1%)
Days of Inventory 46 (+54.7%) 30 126 (-63.1%)

And the month before:

Trends At a Glance Aug 2020 Previous Month Year-over-Year
Median Price $4,245,000 (+10.3%) $3,850,000 $3,000,000 (+41.5%)
Average Price $4,242,500 (+6.1%) $3,997,140 $2,673,000 (+58.7%)
No. of Sales (+14.3%) 7 (+60.0%)
Pending (-37.5%) 8 (0.0%)
Active (-11.1%) 9 12 (-33.3%)
Sale vs. List Price 97.6% (+1.6%) 96.1% 98.6% (-1.0%)
Days on Market 35 (+99.2%) 18 48 (-27.7%)
Days of Inventory 30 (-22.2%) 39 72 (-58.3%)

Because so few  houses sell per month, pricing appears to jump around when that’s not actually the case. The Monte Sereno home prices tend to be a little higher but generally follow the Los Gatos trends, so it’s worth while to view this info also to get a more balanced sense of how things are for real estate in Monte Sereno. Also, for those considering buying or selling, it’s important to look at the actual listings for each and every sale with similar features, size, amenities to get a sense of your home’s particular subset of the market.

Next, let’s look at the live charts from Altos to see how active listings reflect the market as seen from viewing sold listings.

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Silver Leaf Park in the Santa Teresa area of San Jose - the proximity of parks will impact the Santa Teresa real estate market for that neighborhood

Silver Leaf Park in the Santa Teresa area of San Jose

How’s the Santa Teresa real estate market? The scenic Santa Teresa area of San Jose is popular as it’s a bit more affordable but offers lovely views of the hills and public schools that seem to be improving over time, making the area more desirable. These positives seem to be helping that area to hold its value well.

Santa Teresa (our MLS Area 2)  includes a small bit of the 95123 zip code, which is more expensive, but most of that zip is Blossom Valley, so we will omit it. The 95138 zip code is about half Santa Teresa and half Evergreen (more expensive area), so take those numbers with a big grain of salt. I find the 95119 zip code to be most helpful, but even then, the school district is divided between Oak Grove and Morgan Hill.

Since the start of March there have been many changes affecting the real estate industry. We’re starting to have a better view of the impact of the pandemic on the local real estate markets, but it will take a while to get the full picture. For now, read more about the Coronavirus impact on real estate sales in 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 for the previous months, though current data is accurate.

Weekly update from Altos Research with a “market profile” of San Jose’s Santa Teresa area, zip code 95119 for single family homes / houses:

Santa Teresa of San Jose 95119 Real-Time Market Profile

With this week’s update (October 6th) the chart continues to look fairly bare. There are still only 6 active listings, the same number as last month when I updated this page, down by 2 from the month before that. Small pools of data can make trend tracking less accurate. Nevertheless, Altos has shown a strong seller’s market in this area for a while, though it has been bouncing between strong and mild with extremely low inventory over the last year or so.

Weekly update from Altos Research with look at a glance of zip code 95138 for single family homes or houses:

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Santa Clara real estate market - The Santa Clara Women's Club http://www.santaclarawomansclub.org/

The Santa Clara Women’s Club (old adobe house)
http://www.santaclarawomansclub.org/

Update on the Santa Clara real estate market: The realty market in the city of Santa Clara, like the rest of Silicon Valley, is one in which the sellers have the upper hand, though it has seen significant softening. What is key for home sellers is to price according to today’s market.

That being said, this March brought some major changes that are affecting the market. While we are starting to see a clearer picture of how things have changed in this month’s data it will take a while to see the end result. To read more about the Coronavirus impact on real estate sales, check my 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. That means the current data will be accurate, but disregard the data from March through May in those fields.

Below there are charts for the market activity over the last few months. Although it’s been on the rise for months, it’s finally begun to dip again. Low inventory from the past year and continuous low inventory around the rest of the Valley means there is still a greater demand to fill than properties available. Further in the article, we’ll check in on the condo market, too.

First, a market profile, automatically updated weekly, for the city of Santa Clara (these reports are available by zip code, too, and for condos/townhomes as well as single family dwellings). Check out the weekly Altos report HERE and click on subscribe to get weekly updates on all of Santa Clara or any particular zip code. (Scroll to the bottom and check out the profile of houses across 4 pricing quartiles – super interesting.)

Santa Clara Real-Time Market Profile

According to Altos, it’s a strong seller’s market right now with market action still on the rise.

Data from my RE Report:

Next, stats at a glance for the Santa Clara real estate market for single family homes. See the statistics and trends for closings and listings for last month – updated each month on about the 5th – 10th on my RE Report site for realty stats & trends in Santa Clara:

Trends at a Glance

Seasonal cooling is normal in winter, but this year we never saw a strong shift – it remained a hot market through winter getting progressively hotter towards spring. That being said, spring saw significant cooling since March with the pandemic.

In September, active inventory fell, sales grew, and pending sales rose both month over month and year over year. The sales to list price ratio reduced to a still hot 102.8%. To give that some perspective, this ratio fell from a whopping 111.9% in March to a low of 100.3% by only June! Prices fell a hair since the month before but remain high year over year. Homes are selling quickly, averaging 21 days on market. High demand with low inventory is creating a hot market in Santa Clara.

Trends At a Glance Sep 2020 Previous Month Year-over-Year
Median Price $1,405,000 (-6.2%) $1,497,500 $1,240,000 (+13.3%)
Average Price $1,461,490 (-4.6%) $1,532,350 $1,257,440 (+16.2%)
No. of Sales 57 (+5.6%) 54 47 (+21.3%)
Pending 66 (+13.8%) 58 42 (+57.1%)
Active 41 (-22.6%) 53 57 (-28.1%)
Sale vs. List Price 102.8% (-1.6%) 104.5% 99.4% (+3.4%)
Days on Market 21 (+69.7%) 13 32 (-33.9%)
Days of Inventory 21 (-29.2%) 29 35 (-40.7%)

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Cambrian Park Real Estate Market graphicOne of the best ways to get a pulse on the Cambrian Park real estate market is to see what’s selling fast. Sometimes a few low sales will make the market look more sluggish than it is. For the Cambrian housing market, though, most single family homes are selling well, with multiple offers, and overbids right now. But not all. So let’s separate them out by time and see how it looks.

Before we begin, it’s important to recognize how much has changed since the beginning of March, so this data is not going to be as relevant as it normally would be. This month we will have a better grasp over the pandemic’s affect on real estate, but it will take time to see the full picture. 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 for the months involved. Current numbers are accurate.

Fast sales are stronger sales: under 14 days is best for Cambrian Park realty sales 

Just now (as of October 12th) I pulled the single family home sales for Cambrian (mls area 14) for the last 30 days (mostly September but possibly some October) and saw a huge difference between the homes that sell fast and those that do not. The turning point seems to be 14 days on the market between overbids and underbids.

Out of 70 properties sold in the last 30 days, 47 of them or about 67% sold in 14 days or less, with the average days on market (DOM) for this group a lighting speed 6 days! For these fast selling homes the average list price $1,317,575 and average sale price $1,403,030 (averaging an overbid of $85,455 or approximately 106.5% of list price). Only 2 in that group sold below list price and 2 sold at list price. The majority, 43 properties, sold over asking.

Of the 23 slower sales, roughly 33% of all sales, were on the market between 15 and 129 days. Seven sold above list price (although 2 were at the cusp of the 14 day mark), 2 sold at asking, and the remaining 14 sold below.

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Mary Pope-Handy
Realtor
ABR, CIPS, CRS, SRES
Sereno Group Real Estate
214 Los Gatos-Saratoga Rd
Los Gatos, CA 95030
408 204-7673
Mary (at) PopeHandy.com
License# 01153805


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