Select Page

The San Jose Real Estate Market Analysis

San Jose Real Estate MarketThe San Jose real estate market remains in transition. While it is still a clear seller’s market, things are much cooler than what they were. Demand may have shrunk, but so has inventory, so we’re seeing steady, fluctuating cooling rather than the dramatic plunge from earlier this year.

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 December 2022 sale price to list price ratio for San Jose single family homes slipped slightly to 98.8% of asking (-0.1% from last month per RE Report). For the stats we pulled today, it was at 98.5%, down from 99.1%. Both indicate lower offer prices coming in as compared to list prices. 
  • Home prices are down approximately 3.5-5% from last month and last year
  • The days on market rose from an average of 25 in November to 27 in December (RE Report). When I pulled them directly, it was  28 in November and 26 in December – not shown. Either way, it’s under 1 month, which makes it a hot market.

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

Prices are coming down, and realistic sellers are positioning their homes accordingly.  There are loads of micro markets that influence how well a home does on the market, too. Lower priced homes, those under $2 million, are selling on average in 25 days, while those at $2 mil and more are taking 32 days to sell.

 

 

Inventory - San Jose CA listings of houses / Single Family Homes for sale

 

The inventory isn’t terrible for December – in fact, it seems almost typical if we consider the last few years. But 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 Dec 2022 Previous Month Year-over-Year
Median Price $1,330,000 (-5.0%) $1,400,000 $1,480,000 (-10.1%)
Average Price $1,449,620 (-3.5%) $1,501,600 $1,622,930 (-10.7%)
No. of Sales 223 (-11.2%) 251 345 (-35.4%)
Pending 409 (-15.5%) 484 431 (-5.1%)
Active 232 (-33.1%) 347 88 (+163.6%)
Sale vs. List Price 98.8% (0.0%) 98.9% 112.3% (-12.0%)
Days on Market 27 (+4.7%) 25 14 (+95.8%)
Days of Inventory 31 (-22.2%) 40 (+307.9%)

 

Please keep reading below for more data and market analysis.

(more…)

The Cambrian Park Real Estate Market Update

Cambrian Park Real Estate Market graphicThe Cambrian Park real estate market saw slightly rising average sale prices in December compared to November and shorter days on market month over month. The median sale price dropped 1% month over month, however, so not every statistic pointed to a strengthening seller’s market – but most do.

For those new to the area, Cambrian is most of the 95124 zip code (south of Foxworthy) and most of 95118 (west of Almaden Expressway). It borders Los Gatos, Campbell, Willow Glen, and Blossom Valley.

The Cambrian Park Real Estate Market

Here is a good summary on the Cambrian real estate market. The RE Report is having some issues with reporting from the MLS, so this data may not be exact but we can still understand the current trends with this chart.

The RE Report slows homes selling at just over list price on average, but when I pulled the date directly from the MLS it was 99.8% rather than 100.3%. Either way, it’s hovering around 100%.

Trends at a Glance

Trends At a Glance Dec 2022 Previous Month Year-over-Year
Median Price $1,485,000 (-1.0%) $1,500,000 $1,586,000 (-6.4%)
Average Price $1,555,580 (+0.8%) $1,543,620 $1,616,560 (-3.8%)
No. of Sales 29 (-12.1%) 33 43 (-32.6%)
Pending 49 (-16.9%) 59 47 (+4.3%)
Active 22 (-37.1%) 35 (+633.3%)
Sale vs. List Price 100.3% (0.0%) 100.2% 115.1% (-12.9%)
Days on Market 14 (-19.3%) 17 12 (+12.3%)
Days of Inventory 23 (-26.0%) 31 (+987.4%)

Multi year average sale prices of Cambrian houses sold each month

What are home values doing in Cambrian? Priced dipped further in November.  When will housing prices drop? They already have. The better question is when will they stop dropping? Unfortunately, no one knows, and every time the Fed raises the interest rates, a nearly corresponding drop in home prices is happening. We know that much of the staggeringly high appreciation since 2020 is a direct result of the pandemic. If we compare prices now to the 2017-2019 prices, that’s a lot of appreciation. There may be more price drops to come.

We are not suggesting to our buyers that they wait for bigger price drops, since they will likely come in tandem with interest rate hikes, and right now most of our buyers are buying with lender financing. What about sellers? Selling sooner rather than later may be wise. What we don’t know is whether we will see the typically normal price gains in early 2023.

Real estate news articles foresee the US housing market experience price drops of 10-20% from peak to trough. In Silicon Valley, we are already there in many areas. Price rollbacks go to approximately early 2021, which is also where these same real estate prognosticators believe that prices were reach. We may be at the low point now.

 

Cambrian average sale prices of SFH

 

(more…)

Online home valuation programs and why they are usually inaccurate

The online home valuation websites are in high demand for spot checking a price. They are fast, easy, and free. 
Online home valuation graphic: same House Different ValuationsEveryone wants an easy answer, but often the easy answers aren’t all that accurate.

Online home valuation confusion

Sometimes our clients present us with “THE VALUE” of property per one of these free online home valuation websites sites and in some cases, they challenge us to disprove it (Zillow says it, or some other site, so it must be right, goes the thinking).  If they want to buy a house which is listed for more than the auto-comped value, it may cause some emotional anguish.  And if they want to buy one which is listed for less, they may feel a little giddy – unless multiple offers are looming.

The same is true with home sellers.  They agonize when Zillow, Trulia or some other big name site places a worth on their property which is less than what they feel it should be.

Often the best way to respond is to show many of the online valuations and not just the one the client is focused on (often that’s either Zillow or Redfin, but some are attached so some other site’s numbers.

What might surprise a lot of people is the huge discrepancy in values given.

Sample auto comp values online

A good exercise is picking a home that you know fairly well and then seeing what the online home valuation tools say for each one. I picked a home that I know and ran the address through several websites that provide automatic pricing info. Here are the results, from low to high:

Not included in online home valuation study:
Eppraisal $2,072,000 (too high)

Included in the online home valuation study:
Chase $1,721,800
Collateral Analytics (via Realtor.com)  $1,671,000
Redfin $1,644,906
CoreLogic (via Realtor.com) $1,631,300
NAR RPR $1,617,440 (subscription only for Realtors)
Zillow $1,580,300
Quantarium (via Realtor.com) $1,566,759
Bank of America $1,504,391

(Please note: the Trulia home value estimator is the same as Zillow’s Zestimate because Zillow owns Trulia.)

From top to bottom, the amount varies by $217,409! That’s a 14% gap between top and bottom. Had we included Eppraisal, it would have been even crazier.

How can the online home valuations disagree so much?

(more…)

Cambrian Park Condo & Townhouse Real Estate Market Update

Cambrian Park Real Estate Market graphicHow’s Cambrian Park condo & townhouse market? Normally we answer this question in brief with regular monthly updates over on the Cambrian Park Real Estate Market Update. Here we will provide some more depth  with condominium and townhome data.

Before we dive in the the statistics for sold properties last month, let’s see what’s selling now in the Cambrian Park condo & townhouse  segment of the market.

Cambrian Park Condo & Townhouse market

Just now (as of November 14, 2022), I looked into the MLS to see the condo and townhome sales in Cambrian over the last month. Inventory is painfully low, and therefore, so are the sales.

  • There are 8 units listed for sale as “active” (not pending or under contract)
    • 6 are listed as condos (1 is “agent only” status, do not show)
    •  2 are listed as townhouses (both are “agent only” status)
  • 0 homes are under contract with one or more contingencies
  • 0 homes are pending with no contingencies
  • 7 condos / townhomes have sold and closed escrow in the last 30 days (4 condos, 3 townhomes)
    • They sold with an average of 14 days on market (condos 17 days, townhomes 9)
    • Average sale price to list price ratio was 101% (range 97% – 112%, condominiums averaged 99%, townhouses 104%)

Home prices appear to be down about 10% from the peak generally. It could be more or less in any given micro market.

Now let’s have a look at some of the numbers from our Real Estate Report:

Real Estate Report: Cambrian Park Condo & Townhouse Market – San Jose

Home prices are down from the peak here as they are throughout the valley. Please take the month over month and year over year sale price numbers with a big grain of salt. With so few transactions happening, there’s not enough data to be really accurate. What’s better is finding what else has sold for your home (or the one you’re interested in) recently. It should be within a mile, have the same school district, zip code, and similar location overall, and it should be within 10% of the home size of the comparable, or “comp”.

What we do know is that the days of inventory and the days on market are both longer than they were.  The market is jiggling up and down a little each month, and the general trend may be that we’ve hit the bottom of pricing for now.

 

Trends At a Glance Oct 2022 Previous Month Year-over-Year
Median Price $680,000 (-24.9%) $905,000 $901,250 (-24.5%)
Average Price $814,271 (-9.9%) $903,625 $945,883 (-13.9%)
No. of Sales (-12.5%) 8 18 (-61.1%)
Pending (+60.0%) 5 14 (-42.9%)
Active (+25.0%) 4 (-44.4%)
Sale vs. List Price 101.1% (+2.6%) 98.5% 102.1% (-1.0%)
Days on Market 17 (+30.6%) 13 16 (+8.3%)
Days of Inventory 21 (+47.8%) 15 15 (+42.9%)

Altos Research Live Charts

The market profiles are live, updating automatically once every week, with active inventory from MLS listings.

Most of Cambrian Park falls under the 95124 zip code.  Here’s a quick look at the main real estate market data points for Cambrian 95124 this week:

 

What’s making it strong when prices have fallen? Mostly it’s a lack of inventory couples with a healthy buyer demand.

(more…)

What Does It Cost to Buy a 4 Bedroom, 2 Bath Home in Silicon Valley with Good Schools?

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:

2022-11-3 Average Cost to Buy West Valley Homes 120D 4b-2b West Valley

 

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…)

California lifestyle home for sale

Epitome of a California lifestyle home - 5068 Tifton Way, San Jose CA 95118If the California lifestyle home of living outdoors as well as indoors appeals to you, this Cambrian house and yard should not be missed! Clair and I just put a uniquely stunning Cambrian house on the market this evening and we’d like all of our readers to know about it before it’s gone!

  • Want to see all of the photos quickly? Check out the virtual tour at 5068TiftonWay.com!
  • Listed for sale at $1,450,000
  • MLS # ML81909106
  • San Jose Unified schools
  • The listing agents are Mary Pope-Handy #01153805 and Clair Handy #02153633 with Christie’s International Real Estate Sereno
  • The open houses will be Oct 1 & Oct 2, 2022, from 2 pm – 4 pm.

Work from home or entertain in style on a huge covered patio: California lifestyle at its best!

Beautiful pavers cover the patio and walkways in this lovely home, as well as the front porch area. So many choices for enjoying the outdoors!

The covered patio boasts nearly 700 square foot of additional outdoor living space. For most homes, that would be the size of two or more family rooms!

This amazing California lifestyle entertainment area features a high, open beam vaulted ceiling with 4 skylights and area lights, plus a fan light, making it useable at all hours and in just about every weather condition. Curtains on one side can provide extra privacy or weather protection if needed.

Summer kitchen - California lifestyle home in the Cambrian area of San Jose

The summer kitchen  provides granite counters and a wrap around breakfast bar that can seat 11! Additionally, there’s a gas barbecue (plumbed with a gas line, not a tank), an icemaker, and a Kegerator! There’s loads of counter space for meal prep or serving – room for everything!

(more…)

The Alta Vista Neighborhood in Los Gatos and Cambrian Park

Alta Vista School Sign 1

Alta Vista Elementary School 200 Blossom Valley Dr, Los Gatos, CA 95032

The Alta Vista neighborhood, which sits along the border of Los Gatos and the Cambrian Park district of San Jose, is very highly sought after and valued for many reasons. Real estate prices vary depending upon the precise location within the neighborhood as well as the size and condition of the home.

Major draws include these:

  • good schools that are in the immediate neighborhood
  • shopping nearby
  • scenic area with many tree lined streets and close proximity of the hills
  • excellent commute access (Highway 85, Blossom Hill Road)
  • quick trip to downtown Los Gatos

Scenic, convenient Alta Vista neighborhood

Prior to being developed for housing, this spot at the base of Blossom Hill was once blanketed in orchards and was scenic enough that it was part of the “blossom tours” that used to take place at the height of the flowering.  Hence, one large section of this neighborhood has street names that begin with “blossom”.

Most of the streets close to Alta Vista School are beautifully tree-lined, and from virtually everywhere in the neighborhood, you are close to Blossom Hill (that’s the name of the hill, not just the name of the road!). Homes are well kept, streets are wide enough, and except when there’s a school function, there really aren’t too many cars on the street. It is very scenic, pleasant and uncrowded feeling. Although you’re in the city or town, you feel close to the country there.

There are a few homes along Nimrick or Blossom Hill on large parcels, many of which enjoy beautiful valley views.

Additionally, many homebuyers select this area because the school scores are high and because it’s easy to get to the elementary and middle schools without crossing any major streets: that is a big plus! It is also a quick drive to highway 85, just a couple of miles to the Los Gatos shopping areas (at Los Gatos Blvd and Blossom Hill Road) or to Vasona Lake County Park. For many, it’s a way to be close to downtown Los Gatos.

Where is this neighborhood? What are the landmarks?

The neighborhood considered to be “Alta Vista” has three strong borders and one vague one. The three well defined edges are Blossom Hill Road, Union Avenue, and Los Gatos Almaden Road. The fourth boundary is approximately the edge of Ross Creek, which runs behind Westchester Drive, but perhaps some would argue that it goes a little further. The Westchester Manor area is highlighted on this website if you’d like to check it out.

Alta Vista neighborhood map - Click to see it on Google My Maps (created by Mary Pope-Handy)

Alta Vista neighborhood map

There are several landmarks in the neighborhood:
(more…)

Noddin neighborhood in Cambrian

The Noddin neighborhood in Cambrian is on the edge of Los Gatos and Almaden along Blossom Hill Road and Camden Avenues. The Santa Cruz Mountains are visible from many parts of this community if you are facing south and most of the streets are tree-lined, while homes are generally tidy. It’s attractive generally, and a few homes are up on a bit of a knoll and enjoy valley views, too.  The local schools are all highly regarded, the commute access to major freeways is convenient – but not too close. For all of these reasons, this corner of San Jose is highly regarded.

Ranch style house in the Noddin area near the base of the foothills

 

Where is the Noddin neighborhood?

This part of Cambrian wraps around Los Gatos on two sides (Surmont, Belgatos, and Belwood of Los Gatos subdivisions) and faces the Oak Canyon neighborhood across Camden on the other. The northern boundary line follows the high voltage power line easement.

What’s a little bit funny is that this part of Cambrian in San Jose is referred to as Noddin, the local elementary school on Harwood Road, but some of the area is within the attendance zone for Alta Vista, some for Noddin, and some for Guadalupe Elementary.

The boundaries for this pocket of San Jose vary a little, but for the purposes of this article, I’m using the approximate area used by Nextdoor.

In the Noddin neighborhood map below, the green line is the boundary between Los Gatos and San Jose (Cambrian). The dark red line is the school attendance area per the MLS map (it is a little bit off).

 

Map of the Noddin area in Cambrian (San Jose) 95124

What are homes like in the Noddin neighborhood?

Within this almost “L” shaped area there are

  1. approximately 93 condominiums (mostly at the Montañas de Los Gatos, which have townhouse style homes held in condo ownership)
  2. 48 duplexes (so 96 units)
  3. 12 multi family units (as in apartments, or possibly triplex and fourplex properties)
  4. and approximately 960 single family homes (or houses – the exact number varies if you count a tiny handful of houses along Hicks Road that are in Los Gatos or not).
  5. There were also 5 vacant lots that appear to be zoned residential, or which had houses that have been razed – not much if your goal is to build new!

There’s a little variety, but the area is overwhelmingly houses. (more…)

Oster Neighborhood in Cambrian

The Oster neighborhood, anchored around Oster Elementary School in San Jose’s Cambrian district, is situated on the north side of highway 85 and just west of Camden Avenue, part of the 95124 zip code. It’s one of the more affordable areas within the highly regarded Union School District, which is not to say that real estate prices are inexpensive there! They are just slightly softer than those around Carlton, Alta Vista, and Guadalupe, generally. The Oster area has a subdivision directly adjacent to the school, Cambrian Acres, but the neighborhood is much larger than just that one subdivision.

 

Oster Elemenary in Cambrian attendance map

 

The Oster neighborhood is a nicely maintained pocket within Silicon Valley’s “west valley” (which follows Highway 85). One of the highlights of the area is Butcher Park, which includes a dog park area.  It’s the other side of Camden from the school and is really a second anchor for the community. (Personal note: we celebrated my son’s first birthday at Butcher Park, so I am particularly fond of it.)

 

Butcher Park and dog park in Cambrian

 

There’s loads of lawn and play area:

(more…)

Lone Hill Highlands neighborhood in Cambrian Park

Close to the Los Gatos border but in San Jose with the 95124 zip code, the Lone Hill Highlands neighborhood enjoys a central neighborhood park, great access to major commute routes, the highly regarded Noddin Elementary School adjacent to one border, plus shopping and dining venues nearby.

Where is the Lone Hill Highlands neighborhood?

Map of the Lone Hill Highlands neighborhood in San Jose, CA (Cambrian Park district with zip code 95124)The Lone Hill Highlands neighborhood in Cambrian Park stretches from Blossom Hill Road to the West Valley Freeway, also known locally as Highway 85, with Camden Avenue to the east and Harwood Road to the west.

From this corner of Cambrian Park, it’s easy to access Highway 85 at Camden Avenue.  Camden becomes San Tomas Expressway at Highway 880, so many commuters may stay off of freeways entirely.  Blossom Hill Road is parallel to 85 and provides a good route to downtown Los Gatos to the west, or many shopping areas in Blossom Valley such as Oakridge Mall.

Just the other side of Harwood Road is the Glenpark subdivision and the Harwood Estates subdivision. These are still generally in the Lone Hill area, but not Lone Hill Highlands. Kitty corner across Blossom Hill and Harwood is the Walgreen’s Shopping Center with a nice new Starbucks, Los Gatos Pizza, and much more. Just behind that is the Belwood of Los Gatos neighborhood.

Public schools assigned are the very highly regarded Lone Hill Elementary, Union Middle, and Leigh High.

What are homes like in the Lone Hills area of San Jose?

Most of this Cambrian neighborhood consists of single family homes. There are 850 houses (single family homes, detached) and 108 attached single family homes in the Lone Hill Highlands HOA area (not detached houses, and actually held in condo ownership – see darker purple area in the map). Additionally, there are some multifamily homes and apartments.

Drysdale tract original criss cross windowsThe houses are mostly in either the Lone Hill Highlands subdivision (with 449 houses) or the Harwood Manor subdivision (401 houses). This area was initially all or at least primarily filled with single story, ranch style houses.

Local Realtors may think of much of this area by Camden, Blossom Hill and Harwood as the Drysdale tract with some whimsical features, such as telltale criss-cross windows, sometimes with shutters that seem to feature a telephone handset, and roofline and window frame ornamentation.  They also tend to have courtyard entries, often with half gates, making for more privacy at the front door.  Most of the houses have dual pane windows and have long since gotten rid of the criss-cross windows, but there are still a few to be found here and also in other parts of Cambrian.

The tract houses were built beginning in 1957, heavy construction in the area in the early 1960s and going to about 1973.  One older house is said to date to 1900 and a few properties were built later than 1980.  Most houses have been at least somewhat updated with newer roofs, windows, and interior remodeling. A few have been very extensively remodeled or rebuilt (and look amazing).

Lot sizes for these houses average 7200 to 7800 SF, but there’s a very wide range.  In much of San Jose, a suburban parcel might be just 6,000 SF, so this feels wonderfully uncrowded.  Some streets are tree lined, others have young trees.  A few roads have too many cars, but most do not.

Look at a sample of houses from this part of Cambrian:

 

Lone Hill Highlands neighborhood house

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The house below has newer windows, but notice the boards just below the roof and how they are scalloped. Charming!

(more…)