The Almaden Valley real estate market is experiencing some up and down, but remains clearly in a seller’s market. Inventory remains perpetually low, so the best homes in great locations are selling like hotcakes while buyers are passing over others that may need more work.
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 still offers useful market analysis.
Prices are sometimes ticking up or down slightly, but overall, homes are increasing in price over time, selling fast, and well over list price. It’s a good seller’s market.
|Trends At a Glance
|No. of Sales
|Sale vs. List Price
|Days on Market
|Days of Inventory
And the month before:
|Trends At a Glance
|No. of Sales
|Sale vs. List Price
|Days on Market
|Days of Inventory
Altos Research charts for Almaden Valley real estate market, single family homes segment (more…)
The San Jose real estate market remains red hot. While it is a clear seller’s market, remaining active into late summer, it’s a very different market compared to last year’s spring peak. Demand may have shrunk, but inventory has plunged to extreme lows so it’s still far from balanced!
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 August 2023 sale price to list price ratio for San Jose single family homes slipped to 105.8% of asking, that’s -1.3% from last month per the RE Report and +5.9% from this time last year when the market was falling. For the MLS stats we pulled today, however, it shows 105.2% average in August, down from 106.9% (-1.7%) in July. Either way, the average home is selling consistently over list price in San Jose with consistent overbidding through summer.
- Home prices are up from last year by approximately 12%-15% after being behind for much of this year (RE Report), and month-over-month closed sales values remained mostly stable.
- The time on market sped up a hair month-over-month to a 15 day average (RE Report). When I pulled them directly, it was 17 in August and 16 in July (not shown below). Either way, it’s quick turnover averaging well below a month, making it a clear seller’s market.
Market Data: What Numbers Make a Difference
While prices and overbids have fallen significantly since last year, in some ways this year has been even more challenging for buyers. For most buyers, their ability to purchase has been severely impacted by higher rates on home loans. But the biggest hurdle for many buyers is the extreme lack of available homes.
Since March 2023 San Jose has had record breaking low inventory, continually breaking records as the lowest available listings by month in over a decade, according to the MLS data pulled today in the chart below. And it doesn’t look like inventory will be picking 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. 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 peak. Many buyers are experiencing significantly more pressure from higher interest rates, fluctuating stocks, 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, so take this city-wide data with a grain of salt.
Inventory remains severely low – 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 Glance
|No. of Sales
|Sale vs. List Price
|Days on Market
|Days of Inventory
Available inventory is about a third of what it was this time last year, while pending sales are not quite down by half, and closed sales have barely budged by comparison. Please keep reading below for more data and market analysis.
Located close to the Guadalupe Creek and the foothills of the coastal mountain range, the Montevideo neighborhood enjoys tree lined streets and scenic green views of the hills. Houses and yards are nicely kept. It is fairly convenient for commuting as it’s not too deeply into the San Jose area of Almaden Valley. About 500 residents call this beautiful neighborhood home.
In addition to the pleasant vistas, the Montevideo home owners and residents enjoy the cabaña, which includes a community pool, clubhouse, recreation grounds (shuffleboard, volleyball court and more), a fun swim team for kids. There are very few cabañas in the west valley, so this is a big draw.
Adjacent to it is the very highly regarded Guadalupe Elementary School.
Where is the Montevideo neighborhood located?
The Montevideo neighborhood is situated close to the intersection of Camden Avenue and Coleman Road (not quite to Redmond Avenue) in southwest San Jose (Almaden area, zip code 95120). The development was built in two phases – the map below shows in a darker green the “Montevideo 2” area. The lighter area was the original Montevideo tract.
Map of the Montevideo neighborhood in San Jose’s Almaden Valley – click on the image to go to the live map on Google
Is it a good time to sell a home in Silicon Valley? One of the best ways to get a pulse on the real estate market with an eye to selling or buying is with the months of inventory (MOI), also known as the absorption rate. This is the months of supply of housing for sale.
The months of inventory tells us how fast the current inventory of properties will be sold off if sales were to continue at the same rate with no new inventory were to come on the market.
The easiest analogy is with a bathtub full of water. If we added no more water to the tub, and the drain were opened, how much time would it take for the water to be depleted if it continued to empty at the same rate? That’s the question being answered with the absorption rate of inventory.
Or, simpler still, if you have an hourglass that you turn over, how long does it take for the sand to empty from the top (since you cannot add more sand to that end)?
How to calculate the months of inventory or MOI
The way to calculate the months of inventory is simple: find the current available inventory of homes for sale (not under contract or sale pending), then find the number of homes with that exact criteria which have closed escrow in the last 30 days. Divide the first by the second and you get the months of inventory. Or, I can just use the stats program on the MLS to generate that number, as I did today.
Earlier I pulled this data from MLSListings.com, our local MLS association (of which I am a member) and I ran the numbers for single family homes (houses and duet homes) in Cupertino, Los Altos, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, Mountain View, Palo Alto, San Jose (all areas combined), Santa Clara, Saratoga, Sunnyvale. Separately, I also ran this same query for the City of San Jose by district.
The months of inventory by city or town in Santa Clara County
A balanced market for our area is 2-3 months of inventory (for most of the US it’s 4-6 months). Two months or less is a seller’s market, and one month or less is a very hot seller’s market.
Here’s a look at the months of inventory by city or town in SCC in April 2023 for single family homes. As you can see, the vast majority of the county is a strong seller’s market, with the only exception being Los Altos Hills.
Which are the hottest markets? They’re the ones with the smallest months of inventory -Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, Cupertino, Milpitas and many more are well under the 2 month market. A few are a tad higher and in the “balanced market” area, and only one is in a deep buyer’s market.
The months of inventory by area within the City of San Jose
The Almaden Hills Estates neighborhood in San Jose is tucked away by itself, nestled into the northern tip of the Santa Teresa foothills. If it weren’t for the sign at the intersection of Almaden Expressway and Winfield Boulevard, most of us might not know that this beautiful community existed at all.
A bit about the homes and area
There are 144 single family homes, detached, beyond this welcoming sign, primarily in 2 tracts (see map below), but 8 houses are found in the smallest and newest one along Rocco Court.
As with most of the Almaden Valley, this area is well maintained by the homeowners and the setting is picturesque due to the close proximity of the hills. The oldest house in the neighborhood was built in 1979 and the youngest in 2018.
In the older sections, a typical home would provide 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, and about 2950 SF on a 9,700 SF lot and include a 3 car garage. In the newer section, the homes are closer to 2300 SF and the lots average around 3500 SF. More details will be included further down in this article.
Something especially nice is that there’s direct access to the Los Alamitos Creek Trail in the neighborhood.
Jeffrey Fontana Park is an Almaden gem, set into a residential area but also adjacent to loads of other parkland. In the not too far distance is a view of the coastal hills with Mount Umunhum on top. Jim, Clair, and I spent some time there last weekend and I thought some of our readers may enjoy seeing some photos and learning about this park (and perhaps be inspired to visit it, too).
Where is Jeffrey Fontana Park?
The 10 acre park begins at Meridian Avenue in San Jose at Oakglen Way. The other side of Meridian is TJ Martin Park. and just north of it is the humongous Guadalupe Oak Grove Park (previously shared about this park). In the map below, this is the park with the green park icon in the middle. You could spend many hours checking out these three connected parks !
What does it cost to buy a home with really good schools in Silicon Valley? Los Gatos, Saratoga, Cupertino and Palo Alto are all areas with highly regarding public schools and high home prices. These aren’t the only areas with good schools but they are popular “west valley” areas that people may consider if working for Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook or any number of high tech employers.
Los Gatos and Saratoga both have multiple school districts, running from good to very good or excellent. The cost of housing tends to follow the popularity of the district, so for those areas I’m showing the breakdown not just for the whole town of Los Gatos but also by the high school district (Los Gatos-Saratoga or Campbell Union High School District). Same with Saratoga. (The Monte Sereno real estate market is very similar to Los Gatos, but slightly more expensive. Most of Monte Sereno has Los Gatos schools, but a small number of homes are in the Campbell area.)
Cost Comparison: 4 West Valley Communities with Good Schools
Here are the average numbers for single family homes sold in the last 60 days ranging from 1,500 – 2,500 square feet, on a lot between 5,000 and 10,000 SF, with 3-5 bedrooms and 2-3 bathrooms to give a sense of what it would cost to purchase a typical house in these areas. Please note that right now it’s a strong seller’s market, so many (if not most or all) homes are selling for more than the list price. DOM stands for days on the market.
If you are new to Santa Clara County, you may be wondering if this is correct. The cost to buy a home in these areas is what?
- Los Gatos: approximately $2,000,000 to $2,600,000 depending on the school district and size of the home and condition (more on that below)
- Saratoga: more on this below, but approximately $2,800,000 to about $3,500,000 depending on the schools, condition, etc.
- Cupertino: approx $2,600,000 – $3,200,000 (some areas will bring in higher prices and others lower)
- Palo Alto: approx $2,700,000 – $3,900,000 and any home over 2,000 SqFt (except for one fixer) sold at or over $3.7M
Remember, these prices do not mean that the houses being sold are perfect. Because it is a strong seller’s market, many properties are being sold which need new roofing, extensive pest work, remodeling, perhaps updating of electrical or plumbing systems or more. Many home buyers will need to spend 1-2% on things like termite fumigation, dry rot or roof repairs, carpets, paint, windows and more, and usually this will be done before they move in. So whatever the budget is, buffer it a little bit for both money and time to make it turnkey.
A Closer Look: Los Gatos and Saratoga
High Voltage Power Lines from around the West Valley.
High voltage power lines are a “location issue” that impacts real estate values, and it sometimes elicits worry regarding safety.
High voltage power lines: how far is far enough?
Something we have spoken about recently with our clients is being far enough away so that if the tower and high voltage power lines were to fall, they’d miss your home and property. In our recent series of atmospheric rivers in January 2023, in San Jose one of these large transmission towers did fall down. It’s rare, but not impossible.
I have not seen a website that can tell us how tall any given tower is, but from what I have read online, it seems that most of them are under 200 feet tall, but some could be higher than that. In most cases, that puts the lines about 4 houses away if the lots are a typical 6,000 SF lot of 60′ across the front and 100′ deep.
We cannot speak to the concerns around potential increased risk of cancer or other problems. Each consumer should research that issue on his or her own.
Where are the high voltage power lines?
Years ago, I painstakingly mapped out the transmission lines from what I knew on the ground and what I could tell from tracing the Google satellite view. (You can find that link near the bottom of this article.)
Today, though, there’s something better than my map available online. The California Energy Commission has a map of the transmission lines that you can view using THIS LINK. Or click on the image at the left.
From the landing page you can zoom in or out. It covers the entire state of California – you might find it interesting to navigate around a little.
Also, a few years ago, PG&E published an interactive map where you can view the location of electric lines (I’ve filtered the imbedded map below to show Electric Transmission Lines in the South Bay), and another map of natural gas pipelines, searchable by address. This doesn’t cover the entire state, but it does cover all of the Bay Area / Silicon Valley.
The PG&E map:
On the map I hand-drew at the bottom of this article I did also include the location of schools. Quite a lot of schools do have transmission lines present.
What other location issues are there to factor in?
The scenic Woodside of Almaden neighborhood in San Jose offers tree-lined streets with sidewalks, proximity to the Los Alamitos Creek Trail, views of the Santa Teresa Foothills and the coastal range, and top notch public schools to boot. Many Silicon Valley home buyers appreciate the quiet, the community involvement, and activities that take place in this area of Almaden, and choose to make it home.
With Google expanding into central San Jose in the upcoming years, it is sure to make this area even more desirable as Almaden Expressway is a very direct route to central and downtown San Jose.
Woodside of Almaden at Sunset
Woodside of Almaden neighborhood description
There are 386 single family homes in the Woodside of Almaden neighborhood. They were built beginning in 1977, but some as late as 2016 (likely rebuilds) and the average age of construction is 1980.
Most houses are around 2,000 to 2,500 square feet, with the average being 2252 SF, but the range is expansive, from 1649 to 4066 SF. Many of these houses feature good sized formal entryways, vaulted ceilings in the living room, and comfortable layouts with well sized rooms. As a rule, houses in this community do not feel cramped – they were well designed.
Lot sizes span 7,680 to 15,705 SF with an average lot size being a generous 8942 square feet.
Homes are built forward enough on the lot that most back yards are a good size. (more…)
Often I have clients who are interested in purchasing a 4 bedroom, 2 bath home in a good school district in Silicon Valley, particularly in the South Bay and West Valley areas. But what does it cost to buy that “average home”? Tonight I did a study on the MLS of homes that have sold and closed escrow in the last 4 months with these characteristics:
- single family home (house)
- 4 bedrooms
- 2 full bathrooms
- 1800 to 2200 square feet of living space
- 6000 to 10,000 sf lot
Disclaimers aside, here are the numbers for select West Valley Communities in the West/South Bay area with good schools.
Cost to Buy 4 Bed 2 Bath Home in Popular Silicon Valley Communities
The first number is the number of sales during that time (more sales = more reliable averages). This one is not in the older charts, but with inventory as low as it has been lately this makes a huge difference. The second number is the average sales price per square foot, the third number is the average sales price, and the last number is the average days on market:
And now a look back to late winter, early spring of 2017…
What’s changed? A lot! The order has shifted some, showing where demand has increased or decreased. Most noticeably, the prices are mostly up significantly, which is most noticeable in the price per square foot. Cambrian has traveled a good deal up the ladder. Palo Alto and Los Altos were displaced by the sole Saratoga sale, and Blossom Valley of San Jose remains in it’s regular position at the bottom.
The home prices tend to run with school rankings. Previously this was by district API scores. You can check the 2013, three year average, API scores in Santa Clara County for both the districts and the individual schools online here, however that system is no longer used. So how to people judge? Most buyers use sites like GreatSchools.org when looking for a home with good schools which ranks schools on a scale of 1-10 in a few categories. (more…)