Cambrian Park (SJ)
A plat map comes with your preliminary title report (provided by your title company with maps from the Santa Clara County tax assessor’s office when you purchase or sell a home in California), tucked away at the back and somewhat mysterious with lots of numbers in small print. It holds quite a bit of helpful information if you know what it is you’re seeing. Today we’ll view a sample of one of these – breaking down the plat map shown as a small thumbnail image on the right to more readable parts so that you can learn how to “read” or understand a plat map.
Quick overview of what’s on a plat map
There’s a wealth of information on the plat map. Take a look and see what you can pick out on your own first.
One 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 quickly, with multiple offers, and overbids right now. But not all. So let’s separate them out by time and see how it looks.
Fast sales are stronger sales: under 14 days is best for Cambrian Park realty sales
Just now (as of Jan 7th) I pulled the single family home sales for Cambrian (mls area 14) for the last 30 days (mostly Dec but some Jan) 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 41 properties sold in the last 30 days, 24 sold in 14 days or less, and only one in that group sold below list with 4 selling at list price and most selling over asking. Of the 17 remaining, which sold between 17 and 134 days, only 3 sold above list price, none at list price, and 14 sold below asking.
Of the 41 houses sold in these 30 days, 24 of them or about 59% sold in 14 days or less, with the average days on market (DOM) a lighting speed 7 days. For these fast selling homes the average list price $1,248,282 and average sale price $1,296,840 (averaging an overbid of $48,557 or approximately 103.9% of list price). Within the time frame of 14 days or less, only one of the 24 listings sold below asking price.
The San Jose real estate market is a strong seller’s market, though pricing is close to flat for November sales (contracts ratified in October) as compared to the prior month and year. However, in November we saw a big uptick in buyer interest. We see this in the San Jose housing market data, below, but I’m also seeing it in my real estate practice.
First please find the Altos Research Charts, a live feed of data on the housing markets in San Jose. You will then also find the RE Report, charts with statistics comparing sales in the last month and comparing them month-over-month and year-over-year. These are both the usual tools I use to gauge a market. Directly below are links to the market analysis of specific neighborhoods in San Jose. Some of these, where I work the most, are updated monthly, and others are updated every few months.
Altos Charts for the San Jose real estate market as a Whole – automatically updated each week – single family homes
First, the market profile and then the basic charts for single family homes or houses in San Jose. FYI, Altos uses LIST prices. The RE Report further down uses SOLD prices (which is part of the reason why I utilize both).
This reak time market San Jose housing market profile (last updated 12/24/2019 as of this writing) shows on the graph a steady decline of the list prices, declining inventory, rising days on market, and declining rent rates. That being said, the Market Action Index still shows a Strong Seller’s Market that’s going nowhere fast. The Median List Price (for condos and houses combined) is approximately $1,100,00.
The Almaden Winery neighborhood, just off Blossom Hill Road in San Jose, has a rich and interesting past, dating back to the mid 1850s when the site was first planted with grape vines. It was the first winery in Almaden Valley and one of the oldest in the state of California. (It survived the prohibition period by getting licensed to make sacramental wine and by bottling grape juice.)
In this post I’ll share some photos of the neighborhood with you, explain about the three different builders/developers and show you where to find each one.
Cambrian Park, or more broadly, Cambrian, is a west San Jose neighborhood or district and is one of the more affordable, high-value areas in Silicon Valley. The schools are good, the crime is low, and the commute is not too bad. For people relocating to Santa Clara County, this is a place to know about since quality education and affordability are often high priorities! Most Silicon Valley home buyers would say that Cambrian Park real estate offers a very good value.
What’s the compromise for the more reasonable prices of homes for sale? Well, Cambrian doesn’t have an interesting, upscale downtown area like Campbell, Los Gatos, Saratoga, or Willow Glen.
But it does have tons of shopping & restaurants and even a Farmer’s Market. It also enjoys a top notch hospital (Good Samaritan) and plenty of parks as well as a fantastic rec center with a large park adjacent to it, the Camden Community Center, which has tons of programs (including an after school program for youth), classes, and a fabulous pool. (My family and I lived in Cambrian in the “Cambrian Gardens” neighborhood for 10 years and loved it – our kids made great use of the community center too.)
Altogether, there are about 75,000 to 80,000 residents in Cambrian, spread throughout the three zip codes of 95124, 95118 and a little tiny bit of 95008.
If there is a “central Cambrian Park”, it would have to be near the original Cambrian Park Shopping Center, which was the first actual mall in San Jose! That area is sometimes known as Cambrian Village. People sometimes use the three names interchangeably: Cambrian, Cambrian Park, Cambrian Village.:
Where is Cambrian Park? Map of approximate Cambrian Boundaries:
View Cambrian Area of San Jose in a larger map
The months of inventory for any part of the real estate market can vary, depending on many factors, including age of home, house size, lot size, and school district, whether or not there’s a pool, and many other things. It can be very useful to understand this metric when selling a Silicon Valley home. I’ve done market numbers crunching tied to the specific characteristics of a property (say, small yard with pool or big yard with no pool) to find the impact of those characteristics on the probability that a home will sell – or how fast.
The Cambrian area of San Jose is a very “hot market” overall, but it can be confusing to know how hot it really is, just like the rest of Santa Clara County, because there are multiple school districts – and schools are probably the number one driver of home values in this highly educated valley. Also, we know that the market has cooled down a lot from last year, but the best homes are still selling fast, just with fewer offers.
An explanation of “months of inventory”
What does “months of inventory” mean? This figure references how long it would take to sell a property if homes continued to sell and close at the current pace with no new inventory coming on the market. A good analogy is to consider a bathtub which drains. If you add no new water to the tub, how long will it take to empty out?
The months of inventory is sometimes called the absorption rate. The question is simple: how long will it take for the current inventory of homes for sale to get absorbed by the home buyers purchasing them? It doesn’t have to be calculated by months. It could be in days, weeks, or years. But months is probably most common.
The Cambrian area of San Jose’s months of inventory as a whole, and in one price point
Cambrian was once an enormous zone of the Santa Clara Valley. Today we mostly think of it as within San Jose in the 95124 and 95118 zip codes. Some of it it adjacent to Campbell – a very tiny sliver is IN Campbell (we’re only dealing with the San Jose portion in our charts), and a tinier still area is in San Jose and is under the Campbell School Union District. Most of this area is in one of three elementary school districts: Cambrian, Union, or San Jose Unified.
Here’s the breakdown – first, for ALL of Cambrian (MLS area 14 for my Realtor readers) that’s within the City of San Jose and second, by elementary school district. The area for Campbell Elementary is so small that the numbers are usually not of use (no offense to the Campbell school residents). It can just jump around too much to be helpful and often gives us no usable data. In this most recent batch, there were no homes involved at all.
Also, the price band is for list prices on both the actives and the solds fyi.
Please have a look – once again, the homes in the Union School District are “red hot”, especially those in the lower price points:
Looking for a younger Cambrian home with not too much yard work to do? The Soterion neighborhood may be just the ticket! This is one of my favorite little pockets in San Jose, 95124. The homes are light and bright inside, it’s close to shopping, commute routes, and great schools, and since the parcels are on the smaller side, many consider them lower in maintenance.
Where is Soterion located?
The Soterion community sits close to the intersection of Camden Avenue and Highway 85, with a Park and Ride just around the corner, making this an easy commute location for many. The streets are Soterion Drive, Agape Court, Chara Court, and Phileo Court. (They are all private roads.) There is a large Safeway as well as some restaurants and other shops about a half mile away or so at Branham and Ross. If you take a tech bus to work, the nearby Park & Ride may be super convenient for you.
What are the homes like in Soterion?
These 20 houses were built in 1996 and feature a nicely open living space downstairs and good sized bedrooms upstairs. Because they are on the young side, these houses were designed with a lot of windows and upstairs there are vaulted ceilings (and they are also after the cutoff of 1978 for lead based paint and asbestos). There’s no front yard to speak of, but the back is larger than you’d find in most townhouses, but smaller than on a more standard San Jose 6,000 SF lot. Continue reading