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The San Jose Real Estate Market Analysis

San Jose Real Estate MarketThe San Jose real estate market continues to be a deepening seller’s market with no signs of letting up.

First, some quick data from my RE Report via the bullets and chart below. There appears to be a small amount of undercounting or overcounting between the RE Report and MLS Listings, but the information is still good for tracking trends.

  • The April 2022 sale price to list price ratio for San Jose single family homes shrunk slightly to 116.6% (-1.8% from last month), but a year ago it was 111.2% (+4.9% from then)
  • Home prices are up roughly 24% – 25% from a year ago (more than the typical 20% down payment!)
    • The median sale price is $1,750,000 (unchanged from March, but way up from a year ago, when it was $1,415,000 (+23.7%)
    • The average sale price was $1,926,180 (+4.0% from last month, and +25.2% from April 2021)
  • The days on market slowed a hair swung back to 9 from 10 (it was 12 in April 2021).

War, inflation, stock market, recession concerns – and real estate

Many of our home buyers are financially powered by tech stocks, stock options, and RSUs. When the stock market tanks, some buyers will rush to put their cash into real estate (the quip we often hear is that “real estate does not go to zero” and “at least you can live in it”.  At the same time, if the most amply capable buyers don’t want to sell their holdings at a 10% or more discount, that will impact how much they are willing to pay.

For some, the rising interest rates combined with the lower stock values have been a double whammy on affordability.

We are seeing some slight signs of cooling in the market with fewer offers and some data points just a  hint calmer than a month ago. Prices continue to rise, though, and so do interest rates. Nationwide, inventory is rising pretty noticeably. If that happens here, prices should level out or drop. But will they do it on par with interest rates rising? No one knows.

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 GlanceApr 2022Previous MonthYear-over-Year
Median Price$1,750,000 (0.0%)$1,750,000$1,415,000 (+23.7%)
Average Price$1,926,180 (+4.0%)$1,852,840$1,538,330 (+25.2%)
No. of Sales499 (+22.3%)408636 (-21.5%)
Pending672 (-1.2%)680589 (+14.1%)
Active369 (+33.7%)276314 (+17.5%)
Sale vs. List Price116.6% (-1.8%)118.7%111.2% (+4.9%)
Days on Market(-4.1%)1012 (-24.6%)
Days of Inventory21 (+5.7%)2014 (+49.8%)

Year over year and related charts from MLS Listings

I pulled these directly from the MLS myself today.

The San Jose Real estate market’s sale price to list price ratio – notice the huge jump from last year, and then notice the ongoing streak of record breaking highs!

San Jose sale price to list price ratio - click to view larger

Notice that MOST YEARS, but not always, the sale price to list price ratio rises between March and April. It fell a little in 2020, but that did not turn into the correction we all anticipated with the start of COVID. Look into late 2020 and you’ll see that all we were actually experiencing was a slight breather – very slight.

Please keep reading below.

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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 remained hot in April, though a little less hot than it was in March.

Here are a few data points from the latest update, which you will find in more detail below:

  • The April market remained hot in Almaden, although a little less so than in March
  • The sales to list price ratio averaged approximately 115.8%, the same as last year (-1.4% from March, which was 117.4%) of asking.
  • Homes sold quickly in under a month averaging about 8 days on market, just one more than the month before (it was 10 a year before).
  • Inventory jumped to 31, up from 17 in March and 18 in April 2021.

 

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 uses closed / sold data). They’re having a bit of a technical issue with their data collection, so not every number is exactly correct, however it is still a useful tool for market analysis.

Trends at a Glance

Trends At a GlanceApr 2022Previous MonthYear-over-Year
Median Price$2,465,000 (+0.7%)$2,447,500$2,060,000 (+19.7%)
Average Price$2,595,200 (+3.6%)$2,505,320$2,013,610 (+28.9%)
No. of Sales34 (+21.4%)2844 (-22.7%)
Pending47 (+4.4%)4552 (-9.6%)
Active31 (+82.4%)1718 (+72.2%)
Sale vs. List Price115.8% (-1.4%)117.4%115.8% (0.0%)
Days on Market(+21.5%)710 (-24.2%)
Days of Inventory26 (+45.2%)1812 (+122.9%)

 

Altos Research charts for Almaden Valley real estate market, single family homes segment (more…)

Glencrest Patio Homes in the Williams area of Almaden Valley

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

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 Elementary, Bret Harte Middle, and Leland High School
  • Shapell 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

Glencrest Patio Homes

 

2022-03 Glencrest Patio Homes entrance

 

As you enter the interior part of the neighborhood, a small sign has some important information for anyone in a vehicle:

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Campagna at Almaden

Campagna at Almaden is a younger community, built in 1997 and 1998, by New Cities. Nestled into the coastal foothills along the border of Los Gatos with San Jose’s Almaden and Cambrian areas, it’s both scenic and convenient.

Campagna at Almaden sign and fountain on Hicks Road at Via Campagna

The main entrance to Campagna at Almaden features a pretty greenbelt area, fountain, and sign.

What are homes like at Campagna at Almaden?

 

Homes in Campagna at Almaden

 

For San Jose and Silicon Valley generally, these 188 two story houses are relatively young! Most of the homes were built in 1997, but 21 houses were completed in 1998.  They have loads of windows, high ceilings, open floor plans, and attached garages. With the younger age also come larger bathrooms, bigger closets, and better sized kitchens than most of the older homes we typically find. They are built on slab foundations.

The houses range from 1820 – 3360 square feet, and the average home size is comfortable 2370 SF. Most homes have 2 car garages, but there are a few homes with 3 car garages. (more…)

Creekside Almaden

Creekside Almaden is one of the most affordable neighborhoods of single family homes offering the very most sought after Almaden Schools. For those wanting to purchase a home in a scenic area of San Jose 95120, have a decent sized back patio or yard, but not wanting to buy a condo or townhome, this pocket offers great options!

 

Creekside Almaden neighborhood - Big Sur Drive at Martwood, looking toward the coastal range

What are the homes like in Creekside Almaden?

There are 75 single family homes, built in 1985 by KB Homes (Kaufman and Broad). Many of them are detached houses on zero lot lines (also known as “patio homes”). The rest are duet homes, or single family attached, so one adjoined neighbor. (Duet homes are not the same thing as duplexes. You can read about the difference between duet and duplex homes here.)

The zero lot line homes have one wall with no windows (since the house is directly on the property line). Depending on the orientation of the structure, it may feel darker inside than usual. Similarly, since the attached homes have one wall in common, they may also be a little dark feeling, depending on which side faces south or west. If the wall with no windows is north facing, you may  not feel this way at all.

The Creekside Almaden neighborhood properties all have 2 full bathrooms, some also enjoy a half bathroom, and either 2 or 3 bedrooms. Home sizes range from 956 SF to 1538 SF (the U.S. government refers to houses up to 1500 SF as “starter homes”). Some have lofts, many or most enjoy vaulted ceilings and fireplaces. Closets are a decent size due to the relatively younger age of the homes.

 

Almaden Creekside homes

 

Most lots are between 3000 and 4000 SF, with the smallest lot being 2881 and the largest being 4980. The average lot size is 3571. With small lots, there are small frontages, so not a lot of room in front of any given house for cars. Some of the areas feel a little congested with automobile parking for that reason.

A big plus is that all of these houses have 2 car garages and full sized driveways. All are on public streets, with sidewalks, so there’s no HOA and no HOA dues. For many, those are HUGE plusses.

The Creekside Almaden neighborhood area is scenic, with hills visible east and west.

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Where are the high voltage power lines in Cupertino, Saratoga, Los Gatos, and Almaden Valley?

High Voltage Power Lines Collage

High Voltage Power Lines from around the West Valley.

“Location, Location, Location!” The most important element when buying or selling a home is the one thing you can’t change – it’s location. Because of that, you’ll need to know some location-specific things, naturally occurring and man-made. Like high voltage power lines.

What about this location?

If you own or are thinking of buying a home in Silicon Valley, here are a few location-specific things you want to know upfront so that you can make informed decisions:

  • where are the earthquake fault lines?
  • where are the geologic hazard zones, such as liquefaction areas?
  • where are the flood plains?
  • where are man-made things that will negatively or positively impact a home’s value? Things such as
    • train lines
    • freeways
    • electrical transmission
    • school district boundaries
    • zip code boundaries
    • proximity to entertainment venues

When looking at maps, sometimes these items show up and sometimes they don’t. Realtors and other real estate professionals in the San Jose area often use a Barclay’s Locaide and various online resources to locate the natural hazard areas. There are other tools to help locate school districts and zoning restrictions.

Google maps can help uncover some other areas, like distance to shops and freeways, but sometimes it raises more questions than it answers. For instance, a years ago a Realtor who didn’t know the Belwood of Los Gatos area too well phoned me to ask what a large object showing up on satellite view in the hills of Belgatos Park was. It is just a covered reservoir, but since it was not identified on the map it concerned some buyers. Local knowledge is still extremely helpful.

Mapping the Grid: High Voltage Power Lines

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California Ridge townhouses in Almaden

California Ridge sits in the southern park of Almaden Valley within the city of San Jose CA 95120. This townome community is nestled into the foothills, within the highly prized Williams Elementary School area of attendance as well as the Bret Harte Middle, and Leland High attendance areas. Aside from nearby construction or home improvement projects, this is a quiet area of Silicon Valley, close to the scenic and enormous Almaden Quicksilver Park.

Many of these townhouse properties enjoy lovely views of Almaden Valley or open space. The streets are gently rolling and the homes younger and pleasant looking.  Nearby San Jose neighborhoods are Almaden Springs and Country View Estates.

 

California Ridge neighborhood view

 

Although sometimes mischaracterized as a condominium or condo complex on the MLS (likely because that is how CoreLogic has dubbed it), California Ridge is a Planned Development, not a condo. Owners own the lot and the home in which they live. That is not the case with condos.

The community actually consists of two distinct neighborhoods.  One is on or adjacent to Copper Peak (tract #7829), which is the street where these photos were taken. It’s got enough elevation to afford lovely valley views. The other area is on and adjacent to Shelby Creek (tract #7828), which has a pleasant setting also, but without the same valley views as it’s lower. This photo is from the Realist Report, which shows each property in a track with the red “tag”. While I don’t love the way it looks, it provides a good sense of where these 2 neighborhoods are in relationship to one another.

 

Map of the two California Ridge neighborhoods

 

What is interesting is that between these two California Ridge neighborhoods, there are a couple of streets with single family homes on large lots (tract #7986). This is unusual.

What are the townhomes at California Ridge like?

These townhomes can feel refreshingly “young” compared to many other homes in Silicon Valley, most of which were constructed decades earlier.

 

Built in 1987 and with wood siding, decks, and loads of windows, the homes are a great visual match for the setting and seem poised to take the most of the terrain. The interiors are a little more open than older homes, so that is an appealing element to many home buyers, also. Each townhouse includes a 2 car garage.  (more…)

Meet the Oak Canyon Neighborhood of Almaden Valley in San Jose

Almaden Valley in San Jose is comprised of many neighborhoods and subdivisions. One of them, close to the border with Los Gatos and Cambrian Park, is particularly popular: the Oak Canyon neighborhood.

There are many reasons for its draw among Silicon Valley home buyers: the houses were well built by Shea Homes in about 1980, so they are relatively newer by Silicon Valley standards. They’re larger homes on comfortable lots, often 8000 sf or so but some as small as 6500 sf and others larger than a quarter acre in the Oak Canyon corner of Almaden.

Most of the homes boast a 3 car garage, which is a big help with storage of stuff, if not storage of cars. The roads gently turn, which makes a more pleasing look. It’s a very “conforming” neighborhood where everyone keeps up the homes and yards. Much of Almaden is viewed by consumers as somewhat remote, but this section, near the mouth of Almaden, is not too deep into the valley and is a better commute location for most. One of the largest pulls for the area, though, is the nearby elementary school, Guadalupe School, which has an excellent reputation for quality education and ranks exceedingly well on testing.

 

Where is the Oak Canyon neighborhood in Almaden Valley, San Jose?

Oak Canyon is found near the intersection of Camden Avenue and Coleman Road in San Jose but is bordered by Coleman on one side and the Guadalue Creek on the other sides. (The far side of the Guadalupe Creek at this point is Cambrian Park.)  Just the other side of Coleman Road is the Montevideo neighborhood, and next to that is the Almaden Meadows neighborhood.

 

Oak Canyon Neighborhood Map

 

And to provide some bearings, here’s a map of the Almaden Valley district of San Jose generally:

 

Almaden Valley Map

 

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The months of inventory indicate how tough or easy it is to buy a Silicon Valley house

How can you tell if it’s really a buyer’s market or seller’s market? One important data point is the months or inventory, also known as the absorption rate.

The months of inventory (MOI) tells us how long it would take for the current inventory to be absorbed if sales continue at the same rate and no new inventory were to be added.

What is the months of inventory?

The best explanation given to me for the absorption rate uses the analogy of a bathtub draining. If the tub has water in it, and no new water is added, and the drain is opened (and drains at a constant rate), how long will it take for the water to all be eliminated?

So too with Silicon Valley homes for sale. How long would it take for the current supply to be bought up if no new listings came on the market? That’s the question. It can be days of inventory, weeks of inventory, or months of inventory – or any other chunk of time you want to use.  My monthly Silicon Valley RE Report uses days of inventory, referenced via DOI in the chart below, where you can see that the average days of inventory for the county is 61, or about 2 months. A quick scan down that column will provide a sense of the market for each city and town.

Santa Clara County SFH Market - May 2020

 

The faster the absorption rate, the easier it is for sellers to sell and the harder it is for buyers to buy. In the U.S., about 5- 6 months of inventory is a balanced market. Here in Silicon Valley, balanced is probably closer to 4 months of inventory.

Readers of this blog know that I really like the multi year view of data, and I think with the months of inventory that’s also really helpful. Here’s the rate for Santa Clara County, single family homes, from January 2014 to May 2020 (needs a full month to be accurate).

 

Santa Clara County months of inventory - multi year view - click on image to enlarge

 

For the month of may, the months of inventory was 2.2, which is significantly more than most of the last six years, and double the height of the market in 2017 and 2018. Translation: buyers, this is the best it’s been for you to buy in years. Yes there may be multiple offers – but if so, it is very likely to be much calmer than this time last year or at any other time for this same season in years.

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Silicon Valley Homes for Sale Near Golf Courses in the Foothill Areas

With our 300 sunny days per year in Silicon Valley (at least most years!), golf is a sport enjoyed year round here in the San Jose area.  Living near a golf course, or having a golf course view, is highly desirable as it provides scenic open space as well as convenience for avid golfers.

Silicon Valley Golf Homes, Silicon Valley Golf Properties

There are beautiful courses throughout the South Bay Area and it’s possible to find small condos with views of them at fairly affordable prices (Sunnyvale’s Sunken Gardens area is one of them).  Today, though, I want to provide a list of homes for sale near golf courses in the foothill areas of Silicon Valley.  Many of these will also be luxury homes. So the MLS list of these houses on the market which you can browse includes these areas:

San Jose areas including Evergreen & Silver Creek, Santa Teresa, Blossom Valley and Almaden; Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, Saratoga, Cupertino, and Los Altos.

There are golf courses to be found in other parts of Santa Clara County too (Mountain View, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara and more) – let me know if you are interested in these parts and I can send you a link for searching them for similar residential real estate.

Here are a available or recently sold homes near to golf clubs: