The real estate market of Willow Glen in San Jose just keeps heating up, with significantly more activity overall than a year ago. It’s a raging hot seller’s market for these homes! This article will provide data and analysis for the residential markets in this area, updated monthly. Here are a few points from the single family housing market update:
- Continually low active inventory shows that listings can’t keep up with this hyperactive market!
- Closed sales have nearly doubled from the month before and have more than tripled April 2020 sales!
- Most homes sell in two weeks and at an average of 108.5% of list price!
The Willow Glen Real Estate Market
Willow Glen is perhaps the most charming residential area of the city of San Jose with its old style architecture, tree lined streets and quaint downtown area on Lincoln Avenue and nearby. For folks working in downtown San Jose, the Willow Glen area (roughly the same as 95125 zip code, though a bit of 95124 is included also) is extremely convenient.
The Willow Glen real estate market for single family homes remains in a long-term seller’s market despite recent cooling.
But things have certainly changed since March of 2020. We have a partial view of the affect those changes are having on this area’s real estate market with this month’s update, though not the complete picture. For an understanding of how Covid-19 is affecting the local real estate market, please check my post titled Coronavirus Impact on Real Estate Sales.
At the start of the shutdown, 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, 2020. 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 previous months, though current numbers are accurate.
1. Willow Glen Market Trends: Single Family Homes
April’s market saw some ups and downs, but generally it remained a hot seller’s market. Sales almost doubled while pending sales took a dip from the month before, both skyrocketing above last year’s sales and pendings. Active inventory rose a little month-over-month and is still less than half of what it was in 2020. Far more homes are selling than are currently available creating a blazing seller’s market and putting pressure on buyers. The sales to list price ratio slipped from last month, but remains high above last year at a fiery 108.5%. Overall the market is experiencing extremely active spring trends and Willow Glen homes continue to be in a raging hot seller’s market!
Here are the most recent housing sales statistics from the RE Report.
Click for the complete Willow Glen real estate report:
|Trends At a Glance
|No. of Sales
|Sale vs. List Price
|Days on Market
|Days of Inventory
And last month:
The San Jose real estate market is a strong seller’s market, and it has been for months. Available inventory remains low and can’t keep up with the high demand. This article is updated monthly with the latest market data. Here’s a sample of the latest for San Jose’s single family housing market:
- There was a distinctly hotter seller’s market in March 2021 compared to the year before.
- San Jose homes took an average of only 13 days to sell.
- The average sale to list price ratio was a red hot 110.6%, up 2.7% from last month and 4.6% higher than the year before.
Last spring the market experienced mild unseasonable cooling, but from the summer of 2020 on it’s been heating up in San Jose. Early winter saw a hint of seasonal cooling, but by mid-winter it was heating right back up again! This is shown in the San Jose housing market data below, and I’ve also experienced it in my own 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 now that we have a good spread of data to look back on, 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.
Early on in the shutdown, 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 of 2020. In the data below, this will affect any numbers related to the days on market, the absorption rate, and the days of inventory. Current numbers are accurate, but disregard this data for those 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 April 6th) shows on the graph a growing inventory, extremely small and shrinking days on market, and a rising market action. San Jose is in an extremely strong seller’s market and still heating up according to Altos! The Median List Price (for condos and houses combined) is usually stable around $1,250,000, though it has been getting nearer and nearer to $1.3 mil since last year.
When locals think of Willow Glen, most will picture the charming historic homes and bustling downtown strip, but this attractive community extends beyond the historic blocks. The Willow Glen Neighborhood Association defines the Central and Historic Willow Glen area apart from the Greater Willow Glen Neighborhood and Planning Area, roughly 10.4 square miles with approximately 82,000 residents. One of the scenic communities of the greater Willow Glen area is Doerr Park.
Doerr Park, sometimes called Doerr-Steindorf or simply Doerr, is within the 95124 zip code of San Jose, not far from the Cambrian border. The boundaries of this community are Curtner Ave, Meridian Ave, Foxworthy Ave, and Leigh Ave (See it on this Google Map). It is marked by tidy homes and yards with neat green lawns and airy street trees. Towards the center of this highly walkable neighborhood sits a nearly 12 acre city park. Doerr Park is a sunny community park with expansive lawns, open tree groves, picnic benches with barbeque stations, two magnificent playgrounds for different age groups (one of them has 3-tiered climbing towers and long slides for the older children!), a basketball court, softball field, four tennis courts, and restrooms. The park is very popular!
This neighborhood is accessible, too! There’s shopping and an office complex at the corner of Foxworthy Ave and Meridian, with a Grocery Outlet, gas station, and bank. It’s very close to more shopping including restaurants, Target, Home Depot, and more. For commuters, it’s only a 6 minute drive to 85, 17, and Almaden Expy, and there are bus lines which run along Curtner and Leigh.
There are a few possible negatives to consider, however. Some areas are beside easements for high voltage power lines, though a large portion of the easement connecting to the park has recently been transformed into a community trail. Not all phone lines are under ground, which might be considered an eyesore by some.
Willow Glen is a very charming, older part of San Jose that seems to beckon to a more gracious time. It is perhaps best known for its historic homes and quaint streets, but it is also highly regarded as a tight knit community with its own, vibrant downtown.
Where is Willow Glen?
Willow Glen is close to downtown San Jose, bordered by Highway 87 to the east, Highway 280 to the north, Southwest Expy, Leigh Avenue, and Bascom Avenue to the west, and Foxworthy Avenue to the south. To the west is Campbell and to the south is Cambrian.
This area is mostly the 95125 zip code, but includes a little of 95124 on the south end.
The public schools are mostly within the San Jose Unified School District, but on the south west side, I believe all within 95124, some are in the Cambrian School District.
The district’s centerpiece is Lincoln Avenue, a street bustling with cars and pedestrians alike. It’s filled to the brim with restaurants and shops and seems to attract a never-ending strea of visitors, especially in summer and during the holidays. Additionally, there are a number of businesses and shops along Meridian Avenue.
The boundaries are not always agreed upon. Google Maps shows a much broader area, extending west all the way to Highway 17 and all the way south to Hillsdale, including parts of Campbell and Cambrian. The Wikipedia page on WG only includes the 95125 zip code.
A little Willow Glen history
Willow Glen began as an unincorporated community at about the time of the Gold Rush, at about the same time as when San Jose was the capitol of California. In 1863 the first school was built to meet the needs of the children there. It became incorporated in 1927 to fend off being annexed into the larger City of San Jose, but had a change of heart and voted to be annexed in 1936 so that the area could be on the city’s sewer system rather than to continue with septic tanks and cesspools.
Willow Glen architecture
Much of Willow Glen was built early in the 1900s and so the homes in the “downtown” area are older and feature classical styles of housing on tree lined streets – Spanish, Craftsman, and some even more venerable and Victorian. That is surely a large part of its charm. On the edges of Willow Glen, the homes are newer and tract. One area, known as Palm Haven, has a myriad of palm trees (both Royal Palm and Fan Palm) and older, diverse architecture surrounding a community park. The original access to Palm Haven from Bird Avenue and the rest of Willow Glen has been blocked off, but the grand old road can still be found easily enough via Clintonia off Riverside. (more…)
“Red flags” are clues that something is wrong or potentially wrong. They’re the hints that we need to investigate something further, the sign that we should be on alert.
Some parts of San Jose, and Silicon Valley generally, enjoy beautiful older homes with classic styling and beautiful finishing work. These properties and neighborhoods are prized because they are not cookie cutter, not ranch, not too new. They may be Victorian, Craftsman, Spanish, or any number of other interesting architectural styles.
One area of Santa Clara County that is well known for both charming historic homes and unfortunately also some structural issues among those older houses is the Willow Glen district of San Jose.
Back in 2015 I showed some clients about a half dozen homes, all in Willow Glen, and we saw a lot of “red flags” which hinted of foundation problems, among others. I thought I’d share a few pics I snapped at one of them with my old treo camera here. All of these were taken on the front porch of this house – all visible structural “red flags” before we ever set foot into the house.
It can be really challenging for people moving to Silicon Valley to get a sense of real estate prices, and perhaps more, comparing cost of 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 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!
Willow Glen is one of the most charming areas of San Jose, consisting of many older homes which feature lovely, classic architecture. Most Silicon Valley home buyers treasure the Willow Glen charm and ambiance, but many are seeking newer homes. A fabulous option is “The Willows“.
KB Homes built “The Willows” in 1999 to 2000. It is tucked away at the southernmost tip of Willow Glen, off of Foxworthy Avenue & close to Almaden Expressway, but only about 2.5 to 3 miles from all the action on Lincoln Avenue.
The tree-lined streets are built in something of a loop shape with Rubino Circle being the main access or loop road. Situated on the inner part of the loop are homes with smaller lots that are a little more affordable. The outer part of the circle is built with slightly larger homes on larger lots (but none of the lots are “big”). Sidewalks with soft curbs at the corners accompany the streets and make for a pedestrian-friendly, bike, wheelchair or stroller friendly area. Visit in the early evenings and you will see children and adults walking, strolling, taking dogs for a walk etc. – always a good sign! Because the neighborhood is a bit like an oversized cul-de-sac (no through traffic), it is very quiet in terms of traffic. The area has large street lights, too, making for a safe feeling community.
The Hacienda Gardens subdivision in San Jose straddles the Willow Glen and Cambrian districts, and it enjoys the highly regarded Cambrian schools. Homes and lots tend to be a little on the small side, so prices are relatively affordable as Willow Glen or Cambrian neighborhoods go, especially for such a strong school district. As San Jose real estate goes, this is a good value area due to great schools, more modest prices and lots of great amenities in the immediate area.
What are homes like in the Hacienda Gardens neighborhood?
There are around 550 houses in this San Jose subdivision. They were built originally in 1953 and 1954, though some may be newer or rebuilt since then. Ranch style homes, they were constructed with 3-4 bedrooms and 1 or 2 bathrooms and came with an attached one or two car garage. The builder used slab foundations and wall heaters, but many home owners have since added forced air heat (and central air conditioning).
Square footage of these houses runs from 1060 SF to 1400 SF in 82% of the homes (I crunched the numbers using county real estate records via the Realist Report), but 78 are larger than this (18%) and one is a hair over 3,000 SF.
Most of the neighborhood has parcels of around 5500 square feet, as a ballpark. I ran the data on this too and found 486 of the 550 or so homes had lot sizes of 6000 SF or less (88% of the homes). But just like with the house sizes, there are a few that are bigger – 64 or 12% are larger than this, and the largest parcels are 1/4 acre or more.
There’s some new construction close to the shopping center too – it was built in very recent years. When I get more info on those homes, I will update this article.
Where is the Hacienda Gardens area?
This corner of San Jose is entirely in the 95124 zip code, but about one third is north of Foxworthy (and just south of beautiful Doerr Park), which our MLS refers to as the Willow Glen area, and the other two thirds is between Foxworthy and Hillsdale, just west of Meridian Avenue, in the Cambrian area.
Adjacent to this neighborhood is the Hacienda Gardens Shopping Center, which runs between Hillsdale, Meridian, and Foxworthy Avenues. In recent years that shopping center changed hands and has been given a gorgeous facelift, making it a place neighbors will appreciate having in close proximity. It is home to a good-sized Rite Aid store, the long-term tenant Hometown Buffett, and a number of other restaurants offering pizza, Chinese food, and BBQ as well as other shops, institutions, and stores, such as Wells Fargo. (more…)
How does an afternoon of fine wines, springtime sunshine, and a stroll through a charming old downtown sound? Good? Well then, you might be interested in visiting Downtown Willow Glen during this year’s Spring Wine Walk!
Willow Glen invites you to “Sip and Stroll the Avenue” on Saturday, April 12th from 2pm to 5pm. Attendees will receive a wristband, wine glass, and a map to guide you around the day’s tasting locations.
Tickets are currently available online through Eventbrite for $30 per person and, if available, tickets will be sold on the day of for a bit more ($45/ person). Grab your friends and go for the group price ($30 in advance per person for a group of 10+).
Be sure to read through the links below for check-in information, parking instructions, and more.
Information and Ticket Purchasing: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/willow-glen-2018-spring-wine-walk-tickets-41436677217
Downtown Willow Glen event page: http://www.willowglen.org/Wine-Walks
San Jose is the largest city in Santa Clara County (or Silicon Valley) with about one million residents. The districts or areas within San Jose vary tremendously in many ways, including their respective real estate markets.
Today we’ll have a comparative look at the median list prices in the housing market in three areas & zip codes of San Jose: Almaden Valley (95120), Cambrian Park (95124) and Willow Glen (95125). First, how these three areas line up against each other and against San Jose as a whole in terms of the median list prices of homes for sale in the last year.
Please note: the charts below are “live” html and the commentary is appropriate as of today, Nov. 23, 2015 The charts will continue to change and be updated,though, so it’s possible that a year from now the commentary may seem disjointed. Now you’ll know why!
First, a glance at Almaden, Willow Glen, Cambrian and San Jose generally.
Almaden prces took a little dip in mid to late summer, and so did Willow Glen 95125. Cambrian 95124, though, has been very strong (as I can attest from working with buyers and sellers there recently). San Jose as a whole is close to flat.
San Jose as a whole, by price quartile is next. It is pretty level generally at this time.
Next, let’s focus on the Almaden Valley area of town by price quartile also:
As we might expect, the least volatile pricing is in the most affordable homes.
Next, Cambrian Park…