First a quick note before we dive into the Sunnyvale real estate market trends and statistics. A lot has changed since the start of March and it will likely be a while before we see can see the full impact of coronavirus on the data in these charts. To read more about how the pandemic is affecting the real estate market, please read my post: 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 those past months, but not current data.
Just now I pulled the August sales of single family homes for the Sunnyvale real estate market trends & statistics. In that time there were 56 single family homes (mostly houses, but possibly duet homes) that closed escrow. The range in sale price was from $1,150,000 to $2,750,000 (19 sold at $2 mil or higher). For this Sunnyvale group:
- the average list price came in at $1,852,924
- average sale price was $1,917,971 – over $65K more
- average age 55 years
- average square footage 1,720 SF
- average lot size 6,897 SF
- average days on market 15
- average price per SF for all 61 houses: $1,155.63 (down from $1,193.66 the month before)
Not all homes sold $65K over list price, however. Here’s a bit more data on that part of the Sunnyvale housing market.
There were 36 homes (out of 56, or roughly 64%) which sold in 14 days or less. Of those hot listings, the average list price was $1,879,000 and average sale price $1,994,375, that’s over $115K more! Home size average 1,718 SF and lot size average 6,845 SF, so not much different from the whole batch. It seems that if the home sells quickly, in two weeks or less, the odds are better for a higher sale. Price per SF for the fast sales group: $1,196.24, or $40.61/SqFt over the total market average.
If we focus on just the slower 15 days or more to sell homes, the numbers are all bleaker for sellers and better for buyers. Among those 20 sales, only 4 sold above list price, 2 sold at list price, and 14 sold under asking. Their average list price (may include price reductions) was $1,805,986, and average sale price was $1,780,445 or over $25.5K below list price. Average price per SF $1,082.55, or a whopping $73.08/SqFt less than the total market average!
This kind of result is why Realtors so often try to get the home sold fast. We can look for similarities between the slower selling homes compared to the faster ones, and sometimes pinpoint what market is selling best, perhaps by price or age of house. Maybe they are a little more remodeled or in a slightly better area? It would be a longer study to pick that apart, but it is worth noting the correlation between the speed of the sale and the list to sale price difference.
The sale price to list price ratio is all over the board when houses are viewed individually as opposed to by how fast they sell alone.
The Sunnyvale real estate market also varies by location (east of El Camino is generally not as desirable as west of it), school district (the portion with Cupertino schools is likely the strongest part of the market), and as mentioned above, price point. Being too close to train tracks, being in a flood plain, or other location issues will make it more challenging to sell.
Do you find this kind of info useful? If so, I’d love to hear from you – my email address is email@example.com. Please tell your friends, especially if they are interested in buying or selling residential property here!
The Real Estate Report numbers for Sunnyvale (entire city), single family homes
Feel free to visit the same statistics, trends, and more at my ReReport page.
(If you’re viewing this on a mobile phone, swipe horizontally to see the full chart if it goes off the screen.)
Sunnyvale realty market statistics
|Trends At a Glance||Aug 2020||Previous Month||Year-over-Year|
|Median Price||$1,850,000 (-3.2%)||$1,911,000||$1,800,000 (+2.8%)|
|Average Price||$1,908,000 (-0.7%)||$1,921,190||$1,756,360 (+8.6%)|
|No. of Sales||43 (-25.9%)||58||43 (0.0%)|
|Pending||46 (-9.8%)||51||30 (+53.3%)|
|Active||42 (+31.3%)||32||51 (-17.6%)|
|Sale vs. List Price||102.9% (-0.3%)||103.2%||101.7% (+1.1%)|
|Days on Market||19 (+17.0%)||16||28 (-34.4%)|
|Days of Inventory||29 (+77.0%)||17||36 (-17.6%)|
How can you tell if it’s really a buyer’s market or seller’s market? One important data point is the months or inventory, also known as the absorption rate.
The months of inventory (MOI) tells us how long it would take for the current inventory to be absorbed if sales continue at the same rate and no new inventory were to be added.
What is the months of inventory?
The best explanation given to me for the absorption rate uses the analogy of a bathtub draining. If the tub has water in it, and no new water is added, and the drain is opened (and drains at a constant rate), how long will it take for the water to all be eliminated?
So too with Silicon Valley homes for sale. How long would it take for the current supply to be bought up if no new listings came on the market? That’s the question. It can be days of inventory, weeks of inventory, or months of inventory – or any other chunk of time you want to use. My monthly Silicon Valley RE Report uses days of inventory, referenced via DOI in the chart below, where you can see that the average days of inventory for the county is 61, or about 2 months. A quick scan down that column will provide a sense of the market for each city and town.
The faster the absorption rate, the easier it is for sellers to sell and the harder it is for buyers to buy. In the U.S., about 5- 6 months of inventory is a balanced market. Here in Silicon Valley, balanced is probably closer to 4 months of inventory.
Readers of this blog know that I really like the multi year view of data, and I think with the months of inventory that’s also really helpful. Here’s the rate for Santa Clara County, single family homes, from January 2014 to May 2020 (needs a full month to be accurate).
For the month of may, the months of inventory was 2.2, which is significantly more than most of the last six years, and double the height of the market in 2017 and 2018. Translation: buyers, this is the best it’s been for you to buy in years. Yes there may be multiple offers – but if so, it is very likely to be much calmer than this time last year or at any other time for this same season in years.
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!
It’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”?
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.
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.
Mid-century modern homes, including those designed by Joseph Eichler, dot the Silicon Valley & South Bay Area real estate landscape. There are probably more than 5,000 Eichlers in Santa Clara County altogether, plus all the other homes of that genre with the similar modern style, which was influenced by the ranch and prarie styles as well as the dramatic work by Frank Lloyd Wright (open beam ceilings, nearly flat roofs, lots of exposed wood & glass windows stretching from the floor to the ceiling). Eichlers, especially, put a premium on privacy from the street but open to the outdoors otherwise.
Not every community in Santa Clara County has Eichler homes, but most have the mid-century modern style homes & neighborhoods. These homes vary from tiny, modest cottages of 1100 square feet to large & elegant houses of nearly 3,000 square feet, featuring big, central atriums or courtyards. (There are also some co-ops in the valley too.) The quality varies, as the homes were constructed by several different builders with different home buying budgets in mind. Real estate prices range from “entry level” to very expensive, depending on the location (city and schools), size of the home & lot, and condition of the property. Most of them are now about 50 years old, though some are a little younger.
Some of the West Side Silicon Valley Communities which feature Eichler and Mid Century Modern Homes
In Los Gatos there are no Eichlers but there are a small handful of single family homes which are mid-century modern on Eastridge Drive (just off Blossom Hill Road and Hillbrook). There are a couple more at the end of Magnuson Terrace (off Magnuson Loop and Los Gatos Blvd). Additionally, there are some smaller mid-50s homes on El Gato (and adjacent portions of Escobar) off of Los Gatos-Almaden Road. Unfortunately, not all of these homes are “well kept”, though many are.
Monte Sereno is home to 16 Eichler designed houses on Via Sereno beginning at the intersection of Winchester Blvd with Via Sereno. These houses were built in the late 60s to early 70s.
Today I spent a little time gathering the month over month and year over year median sales price changes in Sunnyvale from my Santa Clara County ReReport (you can do it too, it just takes time). Sunnyvale has felt like a bubble in that the appreciation has been too steep, too long for it to be sustainable.
Is it a bubble? The market is calming down or leveling out a bit in many places – but how about Sunnyvale?. Jobs are strong. Many firms are hiring. There remains a housing shortage. But the rate of appreciation has been crazy high. Rather than speculate about how good (sellers) or bad (buyers) it is, let’s see how strong the change has been.
The image below shows the increase or decrease of the median sales price for single family homes in Sunnyvale, first month over month, and then year over year from May 2011 to May 2013. The the last 12 months, the year over year average change to the median sales price has been a whopping 22%. One month it was 60%! (It was when that was happening that I screamed “bubble” on this blog.) Continue reading