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The San Jose Real Estate Market Analysis

San Jose Real Estate MarketThe San Jose real estate market is now clearly in transition. While it remains a strong seller’s market, things are beginning to cool off from where they were 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 August 2022 sale price to list price ratio for San Jose single family homes slipped again to 100.0% of asking (-1% from last month compared to -5% drop in July), and remains below last year for the third month in a row.
  • Average monthly home prices are down from a year ago for the first time since 2019
    • The median sale price is $1,400,000 (-5.4% from the month before, and -2.4% from a year ago)
    • The average sale price was $1,525,840 (-5.0% from the month before, and -2.0% from last year)
  • The days on market slowed again to an average of 3.5 weeks at 24 days, twice as long as last year

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

Many of our home buyers are financially powered by tech stocks, stock options, and RSUs. When the stock market tanks, some buyers will rush to put their cash into real estate (the quip we often hear is that “real estate does not go to zero” and “at least you can live in it”.

For some, the rising interest rates combined with the lower stock values have been a double whammy on affordability in a market still seeing sky high prices. If the most amply capable buyers don’t want to sell their holdings at a 10% or more discount from what they were, that will impact how much they are willing to pay.

We are finally seeing signs of cooling in the market with homes recieving fewer offers than they may have at the peak of the market, and prices are coming down. That said, much of the entry-level market is still raging hot. The best homes, when appropriately priced and marketed, are still recieving multiple offers and selling well above asking.

However one thing is keeping the market hot: limited inventory. Nationwide, inventory has begun to drop again and overall we remain in a housing supply shortage (each market will vary, of course). So how far off are we from “normal” inventory levels? Let’s have a look at historic active listings in San Jose. (If the chart is too small, click to see in full size.)

San Jose Historic Active Inventory 2022-09-14

At the start of the chart, 2010, the market was still reeling from the 2008 recession, but by 2017 we were seeing a strong sellers market with record low inventory. While listings are certainly up from 2021’s rock-bottom lows, it’s still limited and well below that of more balanced market years like 2013 and 2014.

Will the shortage of homes lead to wild market action like earlier this year? Unlikely. With everything else that’s changed such as the interest rates rising. But will it continue to cool or will it heat up again in autumn? We’ll have to wait and see.

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 Aug 2022 Previous Month Year-over-Year
Median Price $1,400,000 (-5.4%) $1,480,000 $1,435,000 (-2.4%)
Average Price $1,525,840 (-5.0%) $1,605,590 $1,557,630 (-2.0%)
No. of Sales 359 (+29.1%) 278 495 (-27.5%)
Pending 642 (+7.5%) 597 627 (+2.4%)
Active 469 (-21.0%) 594 357 (+31.4%)
Sale vs. List Price 100.0% (-1.0%) 101.0% 108.8% (-8.1%)
Days on Market 24 (+12.3%) 21 12 (+94.4%)
Days of Inventory 39 (-38.9%) 64 22 (+81.1%)

 

Please keep reading below for more data and market analysis.

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The Cambrian Park Real Estate Market Update

Cambrian Park Real Estate Market graphicThe Cambrian Park real estate market is flattening, and for this part of San Jose generally,

  • Single family home prices are a little under what they were a year ago.
  • Houses are selling in about 3 weeks and over list price.
  • This climate makes it a good time to sell, but it’s also a much better time to buy than we’ve seen in years.
  • The condo market has softened month over month, but is much stronger than it was a year ago.

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.

 

Trends At a Glance Aug 2022 Previous Month Year-over-Year
Median Price $1,552,500 (+0.9%) $1,539,000 $1,626,000 (-4.5%)
Average Price $1,614,090 (-2.7%) $1,658,990 $1,658,120 (-2.7%)
No. of Sales 44 (-2.2%) 45 61 (-27.9%)
Pending 84 (+20.0%) 70 89 (-5.6%)
Active 39 (-35.0%) 60 37 (+5.4%)
Sale vs. List Price 100.2% (-1.6%) 101.8% 110.2% (-9.1%)
Days on Market 22 (-0.6%) 22 11 (+96.0%)
Days of Inventory 27 (-33.5%) 40 18 (+46.1%)

If you’ve been wondering when will housing prices drop, the answer is now. It’s a wonderful time to buy as prices are down significantly from the peak a few months ago.

Cambrian Park Altos Research Charts

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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:
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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…)

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. However with fantastic neighborhoods like Montanas de Los Gatos, Cambrian condos are not to be missed! So today we’ll take a closer look at the condominium and townhome market in this popular San Jose district!

Before we dive in, let’s see what’s selling now in the Cambrian Park condo & townhouse  segment of the market.

Just now (as of May 12, 2022), I looked into the MLS to see the condo and townhome sales in Cambrian over the last month.

  • there are 13 units listed for sale as “active” (not pending or under contract)
    • 8 are listed as condos (3 are “agent only” status) – average size is 894 SF and average list price is $673,111 4
    • 5 are listed as townhouses (2 are “agent only” status) – average size is 1574 SF and average list price is $1,168,800
  • 1 home is under contract with one or more contingencies
  • 13 homes are pending with no contingencies (average of 9 days on market, 4 condos, 9 townhomes)
  • 13 condos / townhomes have sold and closed escrow in the last 30 days (9 condos, 4 townhomes)
    • They sold with an average of 6 days on market (condos 5 days, townhomes 8)
    • average sale price to list price ratio was 116% (range 98% – 129%, condominiums averaged 113%, townhouses 122%)

 

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

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

It’s a hot spring market for the Cambrian condo market with prices up double digits over a year ago. This chart represents all of MLS Area 14, which is primarily 95124, a good deal of 95118, and a tiny sliver of Campbell 95008.

Trends At a Glance Apr 2022 Previous Month Year-over-Year
Median Price $730,000 (-2.7%) $750,000 $622,000 (+17.4%)
Average Price $883,084 (+2.3%) $863,467 $691,900 (+27.6%)
No. of Sales 13 (-13.3%) 15 14 (-7.1%)
Pending 13 (+18.2%) 11 15 (-13.3%)
Active (+75.0%) 4 14 (-50.0%)
Sale vs. List Price 112.9% (+1.9%) 110.8% 102.7% (+10.0%)
Days on Market (+6.5%) 6 12 (-43.8%)
Days of Inventory 16 (+95.2%) 8 29 (-46.2%)

 

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:

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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:

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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!

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Vizcaya neighborhood

VizcayaOne of the prettiest townhome communities in Santa Clara County is Vizcaya, which features a Mediterranean style of architecture in a community that is extremely tidy and well maintained. Driving in, it feels like you’ve just arrived at a resort.

Where is Vizcaya?

The Vizacaya neighborhood is in San Jose just off S Bascom and Curtner Avenues, but is close to the Campbell border and confusingly, has a Campbell mailing address. The community’s streets are Vizcaya Circle, Vizcays Way, and Pescara Court. The location is very convenient, with easy access to shopping, bus lines, and major traffic routes.

What are the homes like at Vizcaya?

Built between 1990 and 1996, these 92 townhomes are younger feeling and tend to have fairly open floor plans and plenty of large windows. The home sizes range between 2396 SF and 2656 SF, but many are so nicely designed that they tend to feel like single family homes.  Lot sizes average around 4,100 SF (pretty big for a townhouse). The parcels range in size from  2480 SF to over 10,000 SF but most are 3000 – 5000 SF.

The homes in the Vizcaya community are condominiums with a townhouse architectural style. (Some townhouses are held in PUD ownership. In some locations, such as Almaden and Los Gatos, there are houses which are condos – or held in condo ownership.) There’s a small pool and spa at the center of the complex for residents to enjoy. The day I took the photos shown in the gallery, below, painting was ongoing next to the pool, so it isn’t shown.

 

 

What does it cost to buy a townhome in Vizcaya?

These upscale properties don’t come on the market too often, but if you are lucky enough to find one available to buy, chances are that it will cost over 1.6 million or a more (as of this writing in 2022).

Vizcaya homes for sale, pending, or sold in the last 12 months:

  • List View
  • Map View
  • Grid View

See all Vizcaya townhome community, California Real Estate.
(all data current as of 9/26/2022)

Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.

 
 

 

 

 

Cambrian months of inventory

Cambrian Park Plaza SignThe Cambrian area of San Jose, like much of Santa Clara County, is a very “hot market” overall, but it can be confusing to know how hot it really is because there are multiple school districts – and schools are probably the number one driver of home values in this highly educated valley. On top of that, the market was hot before the pandemic began in the spring of 2020 and has become even more fierce since then with heightened demand and almost no inventory. The best homes across all of Cambrian are selling quickly and with multiple-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. Part of it is adjacent to Campbell – a very tiny sliver is IN Campbell, and a tinier still area is in San Jose and within the Campbell School Union District! However most of this area is in one of three elementary school districts: Cambrian, Union, or San Jose Unified.

Here’s the breakdown of the charts below – first, sales and active listings for single family homes in ALL of Cambrian (MLS area 14 for my Realtor readers) and then by elementary school district. Below that, we will narrow this down to active and sold listings only in a price range of $900K – $1.2M, the entry-level price point for single family homes in this market. The part of this area within Campbell Elementary is so small that the numbers are usually not statistically useful (no offense to the Campbell school residents), and frequently there is no usable data for it anyways.

The Latest Update: February 25, 2022

Please have a look at the latest chart. While Cambrian Elementary has the fastest MOI, the majority of sales and listings are happening in the highly sought after Union school district! Once again San Jose Unified holds the majority of the lower-price market, practically monopolizing it on our chart. That said, there’s almost nothing selling in that price bracket any more, and all 4 sales in the last 60 days went over $1M. All areas are showing extremely fast turnover with market absorption remaining below 1 month across the board.

Cambrian MOI by school district 0-60day 02-25-2022

 

Homes are flying off the market this winter. A majority of sales and active inventory are coming from the Union Elementary School District, followed by San Jose Unified with roughly half the sales and inventory. On the other hand, the Cambrian Elementary District has fewer sales and active inventory, but is a very active market (currently the second fastest MOI overall) and is significantly hotter than it has been in the past few years. Inventory remains low and struggles to keep up with the high levels of demand fueling a hot seller’s market in San Jose’s Cambrian district.

 

Below we have past charts for comparison. I usually do this analysis a few times a year, and it is good to see the long view.

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Westchester Manor, a part of the Alta Vista neighborhood

Like many Cambrian neighborhoods, the Westchester Manor subdivision in the Alta Vista area includes well kept homes and yards, tree lined streets, and wonderful public schools. This neighborhood, though, is unique in that residents can amble to the elementary or middle school without crossing major streets. And the same can be said of getting to the local grocery store, Safeway, Starbucks, and more.

For home buyers seeking walkability or easy access, this is a place to check out! But it’s not just walkable. From here it’s an easy jump to both Highway 85 off Union Avenue or a run to Vasona Lake County Park and downtown Los Gatos via Blossom Hill Road. Add to that the close proximity of the hills and you get the feeling that you’re not quite in the middle of a city at all.

Where is Westchester Manor?

Westchester Manor map - Alta Vista area of Cambrian in San Jose CA

Pins indicate homes within the Westchester Manor subdivision beside Union Middle School near Alta Vista Elementary School. The yellow line follows the power line.

Westchester Manor is within the Alta Vista neighborhood.

The Alta Vista neighborhood is part San Jose’s Cambrian district, and also part Los Gatos (see a map of the neighborhood and municipal boundaries in the blog post linked). It’s bordered by Los Gatos-Almaden Road to the north, Union to the east, and Blossom Hill to the south.

The Westchester Manor subdivision is entirely within San Jose on the northeast end of the neighborhood, next to Union Middle School.

This neighborhood has a very high owner occupancy rate – 87% from the numbers I pulled from Realist (a report available to members of the MLS) recently. It’s a low-turnover, stable neighborhood. People move in, and they stay!

What are the homes like in Westchester Manor?

This is a predominantly “ranch style” neighborhood with mostly single story houses, but still quite a few two story ones, in an area with sidewalks, curbs, and gutters. Most houses have 3-4 bedrooms and 2-3 full bathrooms.

There are 3 tracts named within this subdivision. They don’t have exciting labels but instead are called tracts 1481, 1903, and 1997. There are 30-35 lots in each one and 106 in all.

There’s variation in age, but not much. Of the 106 homes which are part of Westchester Manor (there are smaller subdivisions on Coronet that aren’t) approximately 80% were built between 1957 and 1959 although some in tract 1997 (including and near Grey Court) were built as late as 1965 (I found one house built in 1956 also). Most of them have been at least somewhat updated and a handful were rebuilt with new construction in 1980 and 1990.

Home sizes range with the smallest homes at 1,283 SqFt, 1,293 SqFt, 1,308 SqFt, and 1,319 SqFt. The biggest houses are 3,656 SqFt, 3,607 SqFt, 3,171 SqFt, and 3,072 SqFt. The median home size is 1,738 SqFt.

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