Santa Clara County (all)
The Santa Clara County real estate market is a warm seller’s market overall, but in some pockets, price points, school districts, or commute locations, it’s red hot. And in others it is stone cold freezing. I am seeing homes getting 7 – 10 offers when they are on the bottom half of pricing for an area, are remodeled and priced a little low and in a good area (good schools, good commute, or both). I’ve seen others with location issues, layout issues, or condition issues fail to sell for a month or more.
Inventory is down, pending sales are up, the market got hotter in November
In brief for Santa Clara County, single family homes:
- The median sale price in November was flat compared to last year and up 2.2% from October
- The average sale price was down 2-3% from last month and last year
- Sales are up 1.5% from a year ago, but down appx 10% from October (seasonally normal)
- Pending sales are up 14.5% from last year (very significant) and down from October by 6.9%
- Inventory of available listings is down 31-35% year over year and month over month
- With inventory down and sales up, the market got hotter and the odds of selling a home increased
November brought a 14.5% increase in pending sales year over year in Santa Clara County for single family homes, and a 21% increase year over year for condos and townhomes. The absorption rate (days, weeks, or months of inventory) likewise tightened up as new listings did not keep pace with new sales. Month over month, they were down, and that is seasonally normal.
The months of inventory tells us how long the current supply of available homes to purchase would be on the market if no new listings came on the market and sales continued at the same pace. Four to six months is a balanced real estate market, longer is a buyer’s market, and shorter is a seller’s market. If you can only pick one realty statistic to track, this would be the one for market conditions generally.
The Santa Clara County real estate market has been in a cooling trend, but it warmed slightly in October and appears to be warming again with the January sales so far. Prices are certainly down significantly from the peak pricing a few months back, but sellers will welcome the fact that sales prices are moving upward again. If this continues, we may be revisiting the normal seasonal patterns – which many economists have predicted would be the case.
The average sale price to list price ratio is still at 100.1% for the county, but is under 100% in many areas now. (And when I pulled that from the MLS just now for the first 15 days in January, I see that it has sunk to 99.6%. Days on market, though, shrank from 35 in December to 34 so far in January, interestingly.)
Home Prices in Santa Clara County:
The numbers themselves point to a general movement of values sliding – at least until October, when it ticked up a little, and again here in the first half of January, when we also see upward pricing from sales that went under contract in December. I’ll jot the median sale price for the county here – it’s a large enough pool of sales to be pretty reliable as a gauge of the real estate market in the San Jose area. I pulled this data directly from the MLS:
January 1 – 15 2019 $1,200,000 prices up (so far) 5% from last month
December 2018 $1,145,625
November 2018 $1,250,000
October 2018 $1,290,000 prices up a hair
September 2018 $1,238,000
August 2018 $1,280,000
July 2018 $1,350,000
June 2018 $1,385,000
May 2018 $1,400,000
April 2018 $1,420,000
March 2018 $1,454,000 – PEAK
February 2018 $1,381,000
January 2018 $1,170,000
Between March and July, the median sale price dropped $100,000, or 6.89%. As you can see, it had also jumped considerably between January and March, and even at today’s lower median sales price, it’s still higher than January. It will be interesting to see where it ends up in January of 2019.
Median and Average sale prices in recent years
I think this is really interesting. Most years, both the median and average sale price are lowest in January (I have drawn in the pink or red lines at January for each year), but some years the lowest has been December for the average. This year, though, it looks like both the median and average will be lower in December 2018 than in January 2019. Have a look:
What does that mean? I’m not sure – most years both the median and average hit a low point in January. In a few years, the average hits a low in December while the median is still lower in January. Right now, it looks like both median and average will be lower in December than in January. Are we starting an early spring climb? Maybe so. We’ll have to watch and see.
A quick look at the numbers for this month’s Santa Clara County RE Report:
Trends at a Glance
|Trends At a Glance||Dec 2018||Previous Month||Year-over-Year|
|Median Price||$1,163,000 (-7.0%)||$1,250,000||$1,293,690 (-10.1%)|
|Average Price||$1,437,380 (-7.1%)||$1,547,350||$1,556,330 (-7.6%)|
|No. of Sales||548 (-23.8%)||719||704 (-22.2%)|
|Pending||528 (-26.3%)||716||515 (+2.5%)|
|Active||682 (-38.0%)||1,100||271 (+151.7%)|
|Sale vs. List Price||100.1% (-0.3%)||100.4%||109.3% (-8.4%)|
|Days on Market||34 (+13.0%)||30||21 (+62.0%)|
|Days of Inventory||37 (-15.8%)||44||12 (+223.3%)|
Please view the online, interactive RE Report here: http://popehandy.rereport.com
Or pull up the four page, printable PDF here: http://rereport.com/scc/print/Mary.PopeHandySCC.pdf
Bottom line, I still think we need to see what happens in February before we’ll know if we are returning to seasonal patterns or not. Right now, I don’t see anything that makes me think we are going into a correction right now.
The schedule for when property taxes are due in Santa Clara County is not intuitive and confuses most people, at least initially. The tax calendar is as follows:
- Beginning of fiscal year: July 1st
- First installment of taxes due covers July 1 – December 31st
- Second installment of taxes due covers Jan 1 – June 30
Although you might expect the two bills to be due & payable 6 months apart, that’s not how it works!
Installment # 1 is due November 1 and is delinquent December 10th
Installment # 2 is due February 1 and is delinquent April 10th
Please note that the April deadline is very, very close to that for personal income taxes (April 15) and many homeowners accidentally send in their property taxes on the latter day. This results in a costly penalty, so don’t be confused!! (Also, do not count on mailing your payments by 11:59pm on the deadlines either – the tax assessor’s office does not work like the IRS! Payments are due by 5pm that day!) Make sure you don’t cut it too close or you’ll find yourself paying 10% plus $20 more than necessary.
It is possible to pay your bill for your property taxes online, but the cost is significantly more than a postage stamp, so I don’t recommend it unless you are out of the area and cannot make your payment the normal way. (It’s 2.5% via credit or card – minimum $2.50 convenience charge.) You can also pay by eCheck for free, so that’s another good option if you are in a hurry.
Other articles of interest:
Greet the morning with the sweet smell of fresh Garlic in the air – the Gilroy Garlic Festival is back!
If you’ve ever caught the vivid aroma of the stinking rose early in the day it’s likely a breeze coming over the southern Santa Clara County city of Gilroy, the Garlic capital of the world. Whether you love or hate the pungent allium, this herb is a favorite for many foodies in Silicon Valley and around the world.
Gilroy celebrates their favorite bulb one weekend of the year during the Gilroy Garlic Festival, the last weekend in July. This year it’s back for the 38th annual event held on July 29, 30, and 31, 2016. So what to should you expect from “summer’s ultimate food fair?” Food, food, food, fun, shopping, music, and more!
Gourmet Alley is “all about the food” – classics like garlic bread, garlic fries, calamari, scampi, and sausage are available at the booths, and at the end aisle, watch the Pyro-Chefs stoke up five foot tall blazes from their frying pans. Weird food lovers will enjoy a plenitude of flavors from other booths around the festival, including free samples of garlic ice-cream, alligator and buffalo meat, or ice cream in a half cantaloupe. There’s also the range of standard festival food stalls, beer, wine, coolers, and non-alcoholic chilled drinks.
If you are shopping to buy a home in Silicon Valley, you will be given a report, once in contract, regarding any endangered species‘ habitats on or near the property. How does this impact your use of the land, should you complete the purchase?
You might be surprised at how many at risk or endangered species there are in Silicon Valley. The Bay Checkerspot Butterfly has several areas in Santa Clara County which are impacted, including Communications Hill, areas near Coyote Valley and San Martin, the Silver Creek area of Evergreen and many other areas along the east foothills and south county. Others include: Golden Eageles, Tri-Colored Blackbirds, Western Pond Turtle, San Joaquin Kit Fox, Steelhead Trout, California Tiger Salamander, Salt Marsh Harvest Mouse, and many more animals, fish, birds and plants. A couple of days ago, I was reading that the threatened marbled murrelet, a sea bird which can roost up to 70 miles inland, is in Los Gatos (near Highway 9 and Daves, if not more places as well). They nest in old growth redwood trees – something that Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, and Saratoga have in abundance near the hills!
Suppose that the area in which you want to buy a home is within the habitat of an endangered species such as the red legged frog, the famous subject of Mark Twain’s The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County and our official state amphibian. This is information that will be listed within one or more of the property reports, so read the Natural Hazard Report, Environmental Hazard Report and Tax Report you get in escrow very carefully. Now that you know where to find this information, what does that mean? Continue reading
Today is the first of November. For many Santa Clara County home buyers and sellers, it marks the beginning of “the holiday season” and the end of the home buying & selling season. But is that always the case?
In my real estate practice (San Jose, Los Gatos and all over the county), normally I do have sales activity in November and December. Many times, clients want to be in their new home before the December holidays and the new year. Sometimes it’s for tax reasons. Other times it’s a late year relocation. Once in awhile, someone just wants Christmas, Hanukkah or some other major date in the new home.
This morning I logged onto MLS Listings to see the numbers of sales of single family homes in the month of November over the last dozen years or so to see what we could learn about November home sales in Santa Clara County. We don’t have a crystal ball for November 2014, but if annual patterns hold true again, around 800 homes are likely to sell this month. The lowest number in recent history was 510, and that was during the recession. Here, then, are the counts for houses sold in SCC in the last 17 years (as far back as I could go on the MLS):
2013 – 762
2012 – 810
2011 – 834
2009 – 853
2008 – 672
2007 – 510
2006 – 853
2005 – 992
2004 – 1146
2003 – 1136
2002 – 933
2001 – 996
2000 – 926
1999 – 1051
1998 – 1080
People still need to buy houses, for whatever reason it may be. The statistics tell us that they continue to do so here in November. If you are thinking of selling your Silicon Valley home, don’t believe that you must wait until the new year. A good, well priced, well presented, and well marketed home really can sell here at any time of year. Unlike the northeast, we do not have terrible weather that makes showings difficult or unappealing. If you’re interested in a fall or winter home sale, please call or email me. We can discuss it, your home’s pricing and everything else relevant to give you good information on which to base your decision.
Related reading: Holiday Home Selling: Good or Bad Idea?
Today I’m sharing with you Silicon Valley real estate statistics which were presented to me by my company, Sereno Group. These are “by school district” and I think you will find them immensely insightful! First, though, a brief commentary on the overall findings, then statistics for single family homes (mostly houses but a few “duet homes”) in Santa Clara County, and lastly, the same info but for condominiums and townhouses.
Please find the real estate market statistics by school district in the Santa Clara County area next. Please note that the San Jose Unified School District is extremely large and varied, and the numbers would be very different if you were narrowing it to Almaden Valley with Leland High School as opposed to some areas which are not performing nearly as well.