Almaden Valley (SJ)
Almaden Valley San Jose
If you are thinking of buying a home in Silicon Valley, there are things you want to know upfront so that you make an informed decision. Because the most important factor is “location, location, location”, and because once you buy a home you can’t change it, you’ll need to know some location-specific things, including:
- where are the earthquake fault lines?
- where are the geologic hazard zones, such as liquifaction 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
- high voltage power lines
- 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 to locate the natural hazard areas. Google maps can help uncover some other areas, but sometimes it raises more questions than it answers. (Last year a Realtor who doesn’t know the Belwood of Los Gatos area too well phoned me to ask what the object showing up in the hills of Belgatos Park was – it is just a covered resevoir, but it was not identified on the map and concerned some buyers. Local knowledge is still very helpful.)
Tonight I spent some time zooming in on Google Maps, using the satellite view, and idenified many of the paths of the high voltage power lines running through Los Gatos and nearby areas, such as Saratoga, Cupertino, Almaden Valley, Santa Teresa, and South San Jose.
Below, please find the fruit of that labor. I do not claim to have tracked all of the high voltage power lines in the west valley area of Santa Clara County, but I think I got many – maybe even most – of them. I hope you find the information helpful!
The Almaden Valley real estate market is complex – “how it is” very much depends on the price point, school district (there are several in Almaden) and neighborhood. The broad overview and the micro-view of this San Jose area are both helpful to buyers and sellers. Today we’ll do a little of each. (Graphs courtesy of two subscriptions I have: one is the REReport and the other is Altos Research. Both used by permission.)
First let’s see how Almaden Valley homes for sale fared in recent months, in 2008 and in recent years. Then we’ll have a look at the current situation. Here are a couple of graphs that make clear the condo market in this part of Silicon Valley:
Inventory has been rising in recent months, and sales have been declining fairly steadily in recent years. If you have friends who sell homes or home loans and work the Almaden or Silicon Valley market, you already know that things have been worsening for quite awhile.
Now let’s look at the single family home market; first is the the days of inventory over the last 18 months or so and then the number of sales in Almaden over the last few years.
The patterns among single family homes in Almaden are even more clear in terms of the numbers of sales: it’s a straight decline. Time on the market has fluctuated a little but the overall movement has been for longer time to sell a home.
How is the real estate market doing in the Almaden Valley area of San Jose? We can look at a few key indicators (median list price, average days on market, and inventory levels) to get a pulse on the current market in the San Jose, 95120, area. Graphs below are from Altos Research; I am a subscriber so may present these to you here. Data used is list pricing. (To see the most recent reports using closed Almaden sales numbers from November, please view my Almaden Valley Real Estate Report, which is from another provider and is another of my subscriptions to get the best data possible for my clients and readers.)
From the solds last month and in prior months, we know that overall, the Almaden real estate market has been deepening in the buyer’s favor. Prices have been slipping, days on the market are lengthening, and list price to sale price ratios have wavered a bit.
Median List Price for Almaden Valley Homes
The graph above reflects the list prices of real estate in Almaden Valley, which is an upscale district on the southestern side of the city of San Jose. Interestingly, while the list prices of single family homes is declining, the list prices of condos and townhomes has performed almost the opposite in the last twelve months and now appears to be level.
Among houses, is it any different from one price point to another?
How is the Almaden Valley Real Estate Market doing?
It’s the end of September now, and normally we see a little rally in the market after Labor Day. Let’s see how this September is stacking up in Almaden Valley. Below, please find charts using current list prices courtesy of Altos Research (to which I subscribe).
The Median List price for the Almaden Valley district of San Jose (zip code 95120) has been declining overall. Does this mean that homes are declining in value? Or does it mean that less expensive homes are being offered for sale? Information from sold data indicates that by and large, homes are holding their value in Almaden right now. The declines in asking prices may indicate that sellers simply want prices to be rising more than they actually are, rather than the idea that values are falling.
This first chart indicates how both homes and condominiums or townhouses are faring in terms of median list prices in Almaden. Interestingly, the condo market had a steeply rising list price this last spring, while the single family home market did a milder version of the same a couple of months later. What sellers want for their homes is not matching up to what they are getting.
Next, let’s have a look at the percent of homes that have had price reductions in this part of San Jose. A steep increase in the number of condos needing reductions in price are seen in the timeframe following that rise noted above. This would seem to indicate that condo sellers were more optimistic when putting their homes on the market, but found out over the next couple of months that these asking prices were not realistic. The number of properties getting price decreases among single family homes were a bit later, just like the rising list prices were later, in Almaden. Right now, though, the percentage of sellers decreasing their list prices are about the same for both types of housing – appx 52%. So approximately half the homes currently on the market in Almaden have had at least one price reduction.
Earlier today I updated my series on Silicon Valley short sales at my Live in Los Gatos blog, where I’ve been tracking the number of active listings in select parts of Santa Clara County which are offered for sale as short sales. Below please find the areas and dates I’ve charted:
|Los Gatos Mtns||3||2||3||0|
|San Jose (all)||1534||1777||1708||1578|
To read the entire post, please continue on to Silicon Valley Short Sale Snapshot.
Do you want or need to sell your Silicon Valley home this year? If so, you ought to take the staging of your home very seriously. Often homeowners hire a Realtor (or other real estate licensee), ask for their advice on preparing the house and yard for sale, and then proceed to disregard all or most of the guidance given.
Why do would sellers hire an agent and then not take the professional advice offered? Especially in THIS market? The result is frustrating for both the homeowner (who will not realize the best possible price) and for the agent (who cannot control the condition, but who is hampered in selling the home because of it).
To be candid, the odds are that you will not be able to sell your home in San Jose, Los Gatos, or Saratoga this year. Countywide, most homes are NOT selling. Actually, let’s look at the numbers for just a moment – you will see that it’s fairly sobering.
In the Cambrian Park area of San Jose (zip codes 95124, 95118 and a little of 95008), there are 241 single family homes and condos or townhomes for sale (the “active listings”). In that same district, just 109 are pending sales. This refects about a 45% chance of selling.
In Almaden Valley, an upscale collection of neighborhoods comprising the 95120 zip code area of San Jose, it’s much worse. There are 121 houses and townhouses or condominiums for sale, and a mere 34 which are under contract to sell. The odds here are 28% that you’ll sell.
For Los Gatos (95032 and 95030), it’s 203 available vs 50 pending. Down to 24% opportunity to sell.
Saratoga (95070) has 152 active listings and just 33 pendings, or a 21.7% sales success.
San Jose’s upscale suburb, Almaden Valley, features gorgeous hillside views, great schools, low crime, and consistently nice neighborhoods. Home prices range from a little higher than average to very expensive. How is the real estate market faring in posh Almaden Valley?
Here’s a snapshot view of list prices over the last year in Almaden of both single family houses and condos or town
It is curious to note that condo prices seemed to have an uptick while single family homes had a downtick around March first of this year. Condo and townhouse prices in Almaden appear to be slipping overall since then, while home prices have risen generally, though slipped again a little since July 1st.
Next let’s have a look at asking prices for single family homes, or houses (as opposed to condominiums or townhomes). Below, find the data broken down by quartiles.