Once full or orchards and farms, the Berryessa area of San Jose today is largely developed, but a few pockets of trees and agriculture do remain. Most of this district is housing, but there are also a good number of businesses. (The photo below is from a property I sold in this part of North San Jose in 2021.)
Berryessa boasts very strong commute access, including both light rail and BART as well as major auto routes. Highway 680 runs through it, and 101 and 880 are nearby. Additionally, the major airport for Silicon Valley is in close proximity, too, the Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport. For the South Bay, this is one of the most accessible areas. This and the quality of many of the schools are perhaps the area’s biggest claim to fame.
Where is Berryessa?
Berryessa is in the northern part of San Jose, set between the city of Milpitas to the north and the Alum Rock District to the south. The boundary on the east side is the East Foothills. The boundary on the west is Coyote Creek, approximately. Some resources may put it closer to Highway 101. (If you check 5 different sites, you may get 5 different answers for the boundaries on the west and south side of this district!)
Zip codes are 95131, 95132, 95133. (The MLS also includes a little of 95127, which is often thought of as Alum Rock Park.)
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!
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.
The Pepper Lane townhomes in Berryessa are young, stylish, and highly sought after. If you aren’t familiar with this community in San Jose, it’s worth knowing about!
Why the Pepper Lane townhomes?
Several things make the Pepper Lane townhouses popular:
they enjoy highly regarded public schools, including Vinci Park Elementary School
they were built by Pulte Homes, a well respected builder
they are young – constructed between 2011 and 2015
they are located close to major commute routes, such as Highway 680
homes feature open layouts, spacious kitchens, high ceilings, attached garages, and some sort of outside space
the community provides a playground, a dog park, greenbelt areas, and a community center
the monthly HOA dues are low
While this neighborhood is close to a major freeway, the homes are surprisingly quiet inside. We found this to be true at another Pulte development in a similarly noisy area, too, at the Altura neighborhood, previously reviewed by us on this website. The double pane windows make an enormous difference.
Earthquake faults and flood plains are of interest to home buyers throughout the Golden State and to their lenders, too. Part of the home sale and home buying process is to provide information on these risk factors so that consumers (and their lenders) can make an informed decision.
Natural Hazard Reports are included in the disclosures when homes are bought and sold here in Silicon Valley. Those reports will indicate whether or not the property is located in areas with known natural hazards, including
Flood Plains (100 and 500 year floods from heavy rainfall)
It’s possible to live in Silicon Valley and have no idea that there are still some original adobe houses to be found right here in the San Jose area. Today, though, I hope to help some of our residents discover the past which is lurking right in front of us!
The historic Adobe Woman’s Club is just a block or two off the campus of Santa Clara University, tucked away on a side street now that The Alameda is re-routed as The El Camino. Address: 3260 The Alameda, Santa Clara. According to the state’s historical preservation site, this state landmark # 249 is one of the oldest in the Santa Clara Valley, was built between 1792 and 1800 and was one of many row houses built for the native Americans who worked at Mission Santa Clara. Please note that this is private property and you may not enter without permission, but the adobe abode is very visible from the sidewalk.
Today the beautifully preserved adobe house functions as a nonprofit group with these objectives: “to promote educational, moral, social welfare, cultural, civic and community service. Anyone who supports these objectives is welcome.” This scenic place can also be rented out for private events. The garden is quite lovely and the interior appears to be very modern. You can see photos of the inside of the house at the club’s website: The Santa Clara Woman’s Club.
If you arrived into Silicon Valley via Highway 101, driving south from San Francisco, you might believe that the Santa Clara Valley, the San Jose area and Silicon Valley as a whole has got to seem to be the ugliest place on earth. Although heavily traveled, that is not the “scenic route”.
So, too, if you are looking for a place to live and are groping to find a place that is reasonably priced, fairly safe and not a terrible commute distance. You might not even have “is nice looking” on your wish list. You might not think it’s possible if all you ever see are the ugly concrete tilt-up buildings in north San Jose, Santa Clara, Alviso, or anywhere along the 237 corridor. That area is an architectural wasteland.
Let me assure you: there are a lot of beautiful places in Silicon Valley where you can rent or buy a home. But how do you find them? It helps a lot to have a local give you a few pointers. I’ll give you some tips today on finding a scenic place to live.
Hills – An easy way to find a scenic location to make your home is to settle near the hills, especially those in the west valley (the Santa Cruz Mountains or the Coastal Range) as they are green year-round. Communities at the base of the west valley foothills include, in Santa Clara County, Palo Alto, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Cupertino, Saratoga, Monte Sereno, Los Gatos, and the Almaden Valley area of San Jose. All of these areas are adjacent to the hills or mountains and offer far better than average schools (many of them qualify as great – compare costs between these areas). (more…)
Santa Clara County Parks – Silicon Valley Area Parks
Here, please find links and a little info on the wonderful county parks in and near Silicon Valley.
Wildlife caution – A word to the wise: in the grassy, hilly areas especially, please hike or jog with friends and pay attention as you walk or run the trails. Rattlesnakes tend to sun themselves in the clearings – which means on the path! Mountain lions, also known as pumas, are not commonly seen but they are indigenous to the area, as are ferrel pigs, bobcats and coyotes. Any of these could ruin your day with a wrong encounter, so please go in groups and pay attention to your surroundings!
Almaden Quicksilverthis was once the largest mercury mine in the world, named after a similar mine in Spain. The mine shafts extended all the way into what is now Los Gatos (off Hicks Road) This is a great spot for field trips. While in that area, don’t miss the split graveyard on Bertram Road- and look the grave for just Bert’s arm (nope, I’m not kidding).
Alviso Marinathey stopped dredging this years ago but it is now a park. Eventually there will be a trail ringing the bay. Awesome place to bird watch and take photos.
Anderson Lakewaterskiing destination in the east foothills over Morgan Hill
Chitactac Adams Heritage County Parknow this is cool – it’s a 4 acre site just outside Gilroy and Morgan Hill which is all about the Ohlones who used to inhabit this beautiful valley of ours. Free park. Open from 8am til sunset. Self-guided tours available. (more…)
Today we’ll look at the ratio & relationship between real estate listings and sales of houses and duet homes in Silicon Valley over the last eighteen months. The goal is to get a sense of the market trends in terms of the overall absorption of homes for sale. (We’ll give a glance at condo and townhome sales but the focus is on single family homes.) How hard is it to sell a home? The answer has to do with supply and demand – the number of listings and the number of sales.
In the graphs below, the reddish brown line represents the number of pending sales. The blue line indicates the number of listings or homes for sale. Put simply, the closer these two lines are together, the hotter the market – that is, the more of a seller’s market it is. When they are far apart, it’s more cold, more of a buyer’s market. If the lines cross, it is a wild frenzy (that does happen in one case, as you will see). Below please find the graph for the homes in Santa Clara Countyoverall (all areas).
Santa Clara County listings to sales Jan 2009 to June 2010
You can see that these two lines pinch together in about December 2009 to January 2010. Prices had dropped and investors were swooping in! The market has cooled since then.
Santa Clara County condo & townhome listings to pending sales Jan 2009 to June 2010
For condos and townhouses, all of Santa Clara County:Here the two lines – or the market – were close together for about 3-4 months. Buyers understood that condominiums in Silicon Valley were bargain priced, and they responded by buying.Now let’s look at various areas around the county. We’ll take these in Alphabetical order, beginning with Almaden Valley.
Almaden Valley listings to pending sales Jan 2009 to June 2010
As you can see, the market improved but never got as “hot” as in the county generally. This is because it’s a more expensive area, and most of what was selling in winter consisted of entry level housing.
A year ago October, I attended the National Association of Realtors convention in San Francisco and met a highly successful, very experienced and decorated (awards, designations) agent from the east coast. When I asked her which part she was from and worked in, she rattled off about 4 large counties. (I’m familiar with the area, so wondered where she was within it.) She did not want to tell me where her office was because she sold in all four or so large areas. She had what I considered to be a huge turf! Her idea of “local” was over 50 miles in diameter – maybe 70 miles or more!
Some agents claim huge territories where they work!
And then a month or so ago, my husband, Jim Handy, and I attended a party at a lovely home in Santana Row and one of the guests asked me where I worked. I told her that I sell all over Silicon Valley, mostly in the “west valley communities” of Los Gatos, Saratoga, Campbell, Almaden Valley and Cambrian Park, but I have listed and sold all over. This gal wanted me to tell her that I worked only in Los Gatos, or only in Cambrian Park or Almaden Valley etc. and it was hard for her to imagine I would really work all of the San Jose area. Just last week I got a similar question from someone who lives and works in Los Gatos – she seemed to think that agents who work in one town only work in that town.
Some home owners have the same mis-perception that agents only work a very tiny region, such as just Los Gatos or just Saratoga. (more…)
Mary Pope-Handy, Realtor ABR, CIPS, CRS, SRES
Christie's International Real Estate Sereno, Los Gatos, CA 95030 408 204-7673 Mary@PopeHandy.com License# 01153805
Clair Handy, Realtor
Christie's International Real Estate Sereno 214 Los Gatos-Saratoga Rd Los Gatos, CA 95030 ClairHandy@sereno.com License# 02153633
Mary & Clair sell homes throughout Silicon Valley: Santa Clara County, San Mateo County, and Santa Cruz County. with a special focus on: San Jose, Los Gatos, Saratoga, Campbell, Almaden Valley, Cambrian Park.
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