Mountain View

Mountain View CA real estate market trends and statistics on Mary Pope-Handy's Valley of Heart's Delight blogHow’s the Mountain View CA real estate market? This is one of the very hottest areas within Silicon Valley and is home to a myriad of high tech companies and is a stone’s throw from others. With a charming and walk-able downtown, easy access to CalTrain, and a vibrant atmosphere conducive to both work and play, it is no wonder that people relocating to the San Francisco Bay Area or Silicon Valley place Mountain View squarely in their target. (Also popular are adjacent municipalities: Sunnyvale, Cupertino, Los Altos, and Palo Alto.)

All that popularity comes at a cost, though. Prices have been sky high in Mountain View for years, both for rentals and for home buying. The good news, though, for those with property or those who take the plunge and purchase: it doesn’t look like Mountain View is going to lose its appeal anytime soon.

In this article, which is updated monthly, we will include live Altos Charts which automatically update weekly (so bookmark this page!) as well as monthly insights from the Real Estate Report for Mountain View. From time to time I will be adding “in the trenches” commentary to bolster this information.

 

Overview of the city of Mountain View’s residential real estate market for houses:

See the whole Mountain View Real Estate Report online here.

Single family homes (mostly houses, but some duet homes) are regularly selling for more than list price and in under a month. There are more homes Sold or Pending than there are Active listings, so inventory is moving swiftly! These are strong sales numbers for early winter, which usually sees significant seasonal cooling. While there has been some of that, it’s been very mild and Mountain View is still in an active seller’s market.

 

Trends At a Glance Dec 2019 Previous Month Year-over-Year
Median Price $1,900,000 (-13.6%) $2,200,000 $2,070,000 (-8.2%)
Average Price $1,828,320 (-19.2%) $2,262,260 $2,435,880 (-24.9%)
No. of Sales 11 (-35.3%) 17 10 (+10.0%)
Pending 12 (-29.4%) 17 (+140.0%)
Active (-50.0%) 12 15 (-60.0%)
Sale vs. List Price 104.7% (+5.1%) 99.6% 102.7% (+1.9%)
Days on Market 21 (-22.7%) 28 25 (-14.6%)
Days of Inventory 16 (-20.1%) 20 45 (-63.6%)

 

Continue reading

Offer DeadlinesIt’s a seller’s market in Silicon Valley right now.  Many sellers are getting multiple offers and overbids, especially in Cupertino, Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Palo Alto and Menlo Park.  For home owners trying to maximize their sales price, does it make sense to have an “offer deadline”?

Maybe.

If you are pretty confident that you can get multiple offers, the deadline helps in a few ways.

  • it prevents the offer situation from being a mere “foot race” (fastest one wins, rather than highest offer and best terms)
  • it allows everyone enough time to see the house, read the inspections, disclosures etc.
  • it provides enough time for the sellers and agents to plan

As with all strategic plans, this one can backfire too.  If you or your agent publishes an offer deadline and then no bids are forthcoming, it’s more than just a let down.  It’s a market signal that this home is overvalued by its owner and agent.  Then, suddenly, it can appear to be an old or stale listing, even if it’s just been on the market 7 to 10 days.

Many real estate agents take a middle path, saying nothing about offers until agents ask. If they are asked, they will give a date in the future – usually a couple of days after the open house.  But the MLS won’t say it for these agents unless they hear many buyers’ agents asking about offer presentation.  They don’t want to look bad, they don’t want your house to look bad.

We never know until a property goes on the market how it will fare.  It is wise to be cautious about advertising an offer date unless you are very certain that you will be seeing multiples! The market right now is a little funny. Homes priced aggressively are getting multiple offers. Homes priced AT value are not moving quite so fast. And homes price for values in spring of 2018 are not selling well at all.

 

 

 

 

Sketch of houseIt can be really challenging for people moving to Silicon Valley to get a sense of real estate prices, and perhaps more, to compare housing costs from one town or district to another.

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 Count y / 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. As of this writing, Saratoga only had one sale over the last 90 days, so data for that segment may or may not be a good average.

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.

 

 

To compare, here are the numbers from the this past January 26, 2017. There were fewer sales, so the search range was bumped up to 120 days instead of 90 days (and Los Altos was so low, it was individually searched at 180 days). You might notice price per square foot appears lower across the board in January compared to July. This is most likely because the market has heated up over spring and summer, which you can also see in the DOM.

 

 

Below are my results from the same search back in September 18, 2015. By comparison, you can tell that Santa Clara’s average Price has increased, pushing it above Almaden and Campbell.

How competitive is the market? Have a look at the DOM or “Days on Market” figure. All of these days on market are short, but they range from low to heart-skippingly fast.

 

 

In most cases, the priciest and most desirable places have either the best schools or shortest commute location or both (Palo Alto and Cupertino have both). Had I ranked these for school scores, you’d find that Cambrian is fairly high up and a good “bang for the buck” location – though not a super short commute for folks who work in Mountain View (though not so bad for people working in Cupertino).  Almaden, too, offers a good value for the quality of the schools, homes, and neighborhoods, though the commute is longer. None of these is especially close to North San Jose (where a major employer is Cisco).

It should also be noted that in some of the smaller communities with less on the market these numbers may not be as stable as others with more data – for instance, Los Altos only had four homes sold, the second lowest, matching this criteria within the 90 days of collected data, and therefore may not be as accurate as others, such as the Blossom Valley area of San Jose with the most data at 38 homes sold. For these smaller communities with less data, it is beneficial to look at them more closely – Saratoga, for instance, has 3 different high school districts which have an impact the real estate prices. This chart is really just a snapshot to give a general sense of the relative affordability of these markets to one another. Continue reading

La Petit Bistro Crepe DessertDelicious French food and great service are the order of the day at Le Petit Bistro in Mountain View.  Recently, my extended family and I celebrated a milestone birthday there for one of the relatives.  Apparently this is not uncommon, as we heard two other tables sing Happy Birthday to You during our time there, also.

The restaurant is comfortable,  on the small side and the service is personal.  We found that our needs were promptly addressed for water, more bread, ordering, or anything else that we might need, but it was done in a very friendly and unhurried manner.

A good sized selection of foods and preparation styles were offered: fish, pork, beef, lamb and vegetarian entrees were available. There was something for everyone.  Between us, we enjoyed soups, salads and mussels for the first course.  The main courses that we ordered included beautifully presented lamb chops, pepper steak, and pork medallions.  At our table, we savored a variety of desserts, too: a fruit crepe (inside had fresh fruit and whipped cream), chocoloate mousse, and apple pie.  All of it was absolutely delicious.

By all means, I would go back, and not just to celebrate a birthday.  For that reason, I’m happy to write about it here – go give it a try, if you haven’t been already!  You will not be disappointed.

Le Petite Bistro
1405 W El Camino Real, Mountain View, CA 94040
(650) 964-3321
http://www.lepetitbistro.biz/

(As always, there is no compensation for my endorsement of this or any other business which I might write about from time to time.  The folks at this eatery don’t even know that this article is being written, and of course it was my idea to write it, not theirs.)

 

 

 

 

Got Gas?A meeting will take place  on Saturday, May 10th, 2014 at 10 a.m. at the Almaden Community Library ( 6445 Camden Ave, San Jose) to discuss the Guadalupe Landfilll’s “Gas Recovery Facility Relocation Project”.  Currently there is in place such a system to recover the gas which is naturally emitted as the items in the landfill decompose.  (Long timers in the area may recall problems at Shoreline in Mountain View when there were surprise combustion fires from the same sort of activity when the gas wasn’t being handled well.)  This gas must be captured and dealt with one way or the other.  But for various reasons, the powers that be at the landfill would like to shut down the current one and put a new one up in a different location, still at the landfill of course.  Some locals are concerned about a variety of problems that may arise with this change.     This landfill or dump is also known as the Guadalupe Recycling and Disposal Facility

For more info, please see the city’s website:  http://www.sanjoseca.gov/index.aspx?NID=2434

 

 

 

Beckwith Building in downtown Los Gatos, California

The beautiful Beckwith Building in downtown Los Gatos, California

I have been fortunate to have made 5 trips to Europe, one of them lasting 9 months, and will be returning again before the end of 2013 (this time to Belgium).  It is so diverse, beautiful and compelling! Having experienced a little culture shock myself (when living in Florence, Italy, for one year of university), I’m very sympathetic about how hard an international move can be, and I understand that for Europeans moving to Silicon Valley, there can be an acute culture shock, particularly for those coming from more rural areas.

The bulk of Silicon Valley is located in Santa Clara County, which is at the southern end of the San Francisco Bay.  In this county, there are approximately 1.8 million people, almost a million of them in the city of San Jose.  Some areas, or districts, of San Jose have a distinctive character and are almost like towns or small cities themselves.  So in this article I’ll mention both cities and towns, but also areas or districts of San Jose, which might appeal to our European transplants.   Most of my comments will reference Santa Clara County or “south bay” locations, but I will also mention others on the San Francisco Peninsula and SF Bay Area too.

Architecture, Urban Centers and Charm

It is an unfortunate negative in Silicon Valley that much of our housing consists of ranch style tract homes, and truthfully, they are not exactly a work of art.  New or newer homes tend to be on very tiny parcels of land (or “lots”) and for many people may simply feel too congested or crowded. But there are beautiful residential neighborhoods – you just need to know where to look!  In many ways, the areas with higher charm can make our global home buyers feel more comfortable than if they were faced with only track, ranch neighborhoods.

Do you value unique, older architecture with Victorian, Craftsman, Tudor or other home styles? Then check out these areas:

  • Within San Jose: the Japantown, Vendome, and Naglee Park areas of downtown San Jose. Also in central San Jose are the Rosegarden, Shasta Hanchett and Burbank neighborhoods which all boast some lovely older homes.  Or, if you love classic Spanish Revival style homes with views, consider the old Alum Rock area of San Jose near the country club (golf course).  The Willow Glen area of SJ (zip code 95120) is full of lovely old established neighborhoods with historic homes and tree lined streets.  If your job takes you to downtown San Jose, all of these areas will be fairly close.

Please read the rest of this article on the Move2SiliconValley.com website:

http://www.move2siliconvalley.com/which-silicon-valley-areas-are-the-most-european-feeling/

 

 

 

The other day I had a medical appointment in Mountain View near El Camino Hospital, and at the time I wasn’t initially so happy that the parking garage was filled up on the lower levels.  To my surprise and delight, though, from the top of the structure was a lovely view of the coastal mountains with St. Francis High School in the foreground.

 

Mountain View, California (St. Francis High School)

Mountain View, California (St. Francis High School)

 

When I think of the City of Mountain View, what comes to mind is often not mountains at all, but Moffett Field, Castro Street with its incredibly diverse restaurants and shops, lovely (and pricey) homes and of course some of the high tech giants that Silicon Valley is known for, such as Microsoft. Too often, though, I don’t really appreciate the proximity of the beautiful hills.  On that day, though, they were unmistakably visible and beautiful.

More info:

City of Mountain View

 

 

 

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Mary Pope-Handy
Realtor
ABR, CIPS, CRS, SRES
Sereno Group Real Estate
214 Los Gatos-Saratoga Rd
Los Gatos, CA 95030
408 204-7673
Mary (at) PopeHandy.com
License# 01153805


Selling homes in
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