Cambrian Park (SJ)
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 well, with multiple offers, and overbids right now. But not all. So let’s separate them out by time and see how it looks.
Before we begin, it’s important to recognize how much has changed since the beginning of March, so this data is not going to be as relevant as it normally would be. This month we will have a better grasp over the pandemic’s affect on real estate, but it will take time to see the full picture. For more on the impact of the pandemic on the market, check out my post titled Coronavirus impact on real estate sales.
During the shutdown so far, the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) stopped the timer on all Days on Market (DOM). Therefore these numbers will be off beginning from March 17th through around May 17th. In the data below, this will affect any numbers related to the days on market, the absorption rate, and the days of inventory for previous months. June numbers are accurate.
Fast sales are stronger sales: under 14 days is best for Cambrian Park realty sales
Just now (as of July 10th) I pulled the single family home sales for Cambrian (mls area 14) for the last 30 days (mostly June but possibly some July) 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 76 properties sold in the last 30 days, 61 of them or about 80% sold in 14 days or less, with the average days on market (DOM) for this group a lighting speed 5.4 days! For these fast selling homes the average list price $1,242,045 and average sale price $1,269,485 (averaging an overbid of $27,440 or approximately 102.2% of list price). A larger than usual number in that group, 21 total, sold below list price and 3 sold at list price. The majority, 37 properties, sold over asking.
Of the 15 slower sales, roughly 20%, were on the market between 15 and 152 days. Only 4 sold above list price, 1 at asking, and 10 sold below.
The San Jose real estate market is a strong seller’s market, but it’s experiencing mild unseasonable cooling this spring. We see this in the San Jose housing market data, below, but I’ve also seen it in my real estate practice.
Something to note, however, is that these charts will not reflect the full effect of the pandemic on the market. We have a better view of the impact this month, but it will take a while to see the full picture. For now, you can read about Coronavirus’ impact on real estate sales on my other post.
During the shutdown so far, the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) stopped the timer on all Days on Market (DOM). Therefore these numbers will be off beginning from March 17th through around May 17th. In the data below, this will affect any numbers related to the days on market, the absorption rate, and the days of inventory. June numbers are accurate, but disregard this data for previous months.
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 real time market San Jose housing market profile (updated July 7th) shows on the graph an increase of inventory and steady decline in market action. San Jose is still in a strong seller’s market according to Altos. The Median List Price (for condos and houses combined) is approximately $1,250,000, remaining stable for three months in a row now.
Cambrian Park is a highly desirable district of San Jose. With close proximity to Los Gatos, Campbell, Willow Glen and Blossom Valley, there’s lots to do within Cambrian itself or very nearby. Cambrian also enjoys good schools, low crime, two newer libraries, two Farmer’s Markets, and a fabulous rec center, the Camden Community Center.
Where is Cambrian Park and how big is it? The 2010 census reported Cambrian Park as having less than 4,000 people. In contemporary usage, though, Cambrian consists of much more than the area known as “Cambrian Village” (which has this small population), and now includes about 75,000 residents in all. The area includes most of the 95124 zip code plus the 95118 zip code (and a little sliver of 95008). (To see a very approximate map of Cambrian Park boundaries, click on this link.) The local Realtor association had something to do with this shift in perception as it mapped out boundaries for Cambrian Park, roughly known in the industry as “area 14” that expanded the original area. Historically, though, Cambrian was really a very vast area including much of Campbell and many areas now falling under different district names. The area is alternately known as Cambrian, Cambrian Park, and Cambrian Village – the latter referring to the area near Union & Camden Avenues.
Related post on Cambrian’s history, areas and map: please also see Cambrian Park: Good Schools, Low Crime, Close to Los Gatos and Campbell
How do you decide where in Cambrian to live? Many aspects of home buying will likely come into play, from schools desired and budget available to the ambiance and practical things you desire such as RV parking, an extra large garage, family room, guest suite, commute issues (proximity to freeways), etc.
I. School Districts of Cambrian Park
Your decision might be influenced by the school district you want; Cambrian Park has three elementary school districts. All are good – Cambrian Park truly has no bad schools – but some are exceptionally high. Some districts may have more offerings for special needs kids or gifted kids – if you have children and are looking at placing them in the local public schools, do your research before you househunt!
- The north side of Cambrian Park (going into Campbell and Willow Glen) has schools belonging to the Cambrian School District (see map).
- The east side of Cambrian Park (going toward Blossom Valley) is part of the territory of the San Jose Unified School District. Schools for all of San Jose are beautifully mapped out by the district – you have to zoom in to see the boundaries around Cambrian but it includes all three local districts so is worth the extra steps!
- The southwest side of Cambrian (and east Los Gatos) is within the boundaries of the Union School District, which also has a helpful map of the borders. The map is a pdf and it is very detailed.
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 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’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. We will look at all prices for single family homes and then within a price range of $900K – $1.2M. The area for Campbell Elementary is so small that the numbers are usually not statistically useful (no offense to the Campbell school residents). It can just jump around too much to be helpful and often gives us no usable data. Often, as in this most recent batch, there are no homes available or sold from this area at all.
Please have a look – once again, the homes in the Union School District are “red hot”, especially those in the lower price points:
This chart shows data gathered mid-April 2020. Current inventory is very low, so take this data with a grain of salt. What we can tell is that the most sales overall are happening in the Union Elementary district, but that the most sales in the entry-level $900K – $1.2M price point are happening in the San Jose Unified elementary school district. Both of these are also where the inventory is highest (though in the entry-level price tier, inventory is equal in the San Jose Unified and Cambrian Elementary districts).
Below we have past charts for comparison. I do this analysis a few times a year, and it is good to see the long view.
With our 300 sunny days per year in Silicon Valley (at least most years!), golf is a sport enjoyed year round here in the San Jose area. Living near a golf course, or having a golf course view, is highly desirable as it provides scenic open space as well as convenience for avid golfers.
Silicon Valley Golf Homes, Silicon Valley Golf Properties
There are beautiful courses throughout the South Bay Area and it’s possible to find small condos with views of them at fairly affordable prices (Sunnyvale’s Sunken Gardens area is one of them). Today, though, I want to provide a list of homes for sale near golf courses in the foothill areas of Silicon Valley. Many of these will also be luxury homes. So the MLS list of these houses on the market which you can browse includes these areas:
San Jose areas including Evergreen & Silver Creek, Santa Teresa, Blossom Valley and Almaden; Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, Saratoga, Cupertino, and Los Altos.
There are golf courses to be found in other parts of Santa Clara County too (Mountain View, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara and more) – let me know if you are interested in these parts and I can send you a link for searching them for similar residential real estate.
Here are a available or recently sold homes near to golf clubs:
Right now we are in one of those periods of steep, rapid appreciation of real estate values in Silicon Valley. It is nearly impossible for first time home buyers to save as fast as the market is going up, so what ends up happening is that affordability falls, and home buyers are priced out of the market. I have seen this throughout my career whenever we have a steep seller’s market, multiple offers and bidding wars. In fact, Jim and I were in that same kind of market in the late 1980s when we were trying to purchase our first house.
Awhile back I heard about some nice folks who’ve been renting for more than 15 years while they saved their 20% down payment. In that length of years, home values have doubled or tripled throughout Los Gatos, San Jose, and Silicon Valley.
Although it would have been hard to buy a home here with a 5% down payment in 2000 or 2005 (it was an ultra hot market then, like today), there were periods when it would have been possible. We had a couple of corrections in the market when it shifted to a buyer’s market, and at those times, sellers were not so fussy about large downs.
You cannot save as fast as the market is going up when appreciation is this steep
For most people, saving a few thousand a month is a great goal. Unless you have stock options which will be available soon, though, most people cannot save fast enough to compensate for San Jose area home appreciation.
Today I logged on to MLS Listings and did some research. For this study, I pulled sales of single family homes in Willow Glen with 1000 – 1500 square feet on lots of 5000 – 7500 square feet, zip code 95125, San Jose Unified Schools. Here are the average sale prices, month over month, for that segment of the local Silicon Valley real estate market.
Please note in the graph below that the average sale price for February (so far – the month is not yet over) is higher than at any other point, even more than the peak of the market in Spring 2018. The graph provides a good “sense of the market” generally. It’s clear that average home prices are up more than $100,000 over the last month or two.
Many of you readers really love the data, so here are the month over month numbers, for a more precise picture of what is happening. I’ve put a red box around all of the February entries, and a blue-purple one for January and February 2020.
One question I get a lot is this: what does it cost to buy a 4 bedroom, 2 bath house of about 2000 square feet?
So to answer this question, let’s see what houses like this are selling for (4 bed, 2 bath, appx 2000 SF or 185 square meters) and see how the cost looks in one Santa Clara County / Silicon Valley area versus another.
Today I compared several areas and cities using this criteria: single family homes of 1800 – 2200 SF, 3-5 bedrooms, 2-3 bathrooms, on lot sizes of 6000 SF to 10,000 SF. Normally I would chart this over the last 2 months, or 60 days, but because of the low inventory causing the sellers market I have expanded the search to the last 3 months, or 90 days, for a better range. Because some areas have had a scarcity of inventory, I’ve added an addition to the chart titled NoS for Number of Sales within the given range.
Here’s how it shakes out in the “west valley areas” along the Highway 85 corridor, most of which are known to have good to great public schools. What areas are most affordable? One way of analyzing this is the “price per square foot” figure. Whenever I update the chart, I re-arrange the order of the cities from high to low based on the price per square foot, although there’s usually minimal movement.
Within this range, Campbell only had one sale over the last 90 days, so data for that segment may or may not be a good average. Both Los Altos and Saratoga had no sales within the last 90 days within these criteria, so their searches have been expanded to 0-180 days (or 6 months / half a year) and 0-120 days (or 4 months / a quarter year) respectively to provide data for comparison for this chart. Now that we have the data, let’s analyze it!