Saratoga California home prices by high school district: what should a home buyer expect to pay?

Saratoga, California is well loved due to its scenic setting, nestled into the base of the Santa Cruz Mountains, as well as for great schools, shops, dining and overall fabulous quality of life. This little city on Silicon Valley’s west side has attracted some of the best and brightest folks drawn to our high tech area.  Because of the high desirability of Saratoga homes and neighborhoods, Saratoga CA real estate prices are sky high – even by local standards.

How bad is it?

Home pricing depends on all kinds of factors, such as proximity to Saratoga Village, whether or not the home is in walking distance to schools, views, lot size, home size, newness of construction and remodeling and many other elements, perhaps strongest of which is the schools.

For home buyers searching by zip code or city name, it’s very easy to get confused, especially if you’re coming from out of the area and do not realize that one city can utilize several different school districts!   Saratoga is served by three different high school districts and four elementary school districts: Los Gatos Saratoga Joint Union High School District or LGSUHSD (with Saratoga elementary and middle schools), Fremont Union High School District or FUHSD (with Cupertino elementary & middle schools), Campbell Union High School District or CUHSD (with Campbell & Moreland elementary and middle school districts).  Today we’ll view affordability by high school district.  As a fairly recent sampling, we will consider houses sold in Saratoga, California 95070 over the last 150 days, or appx 5 months.

How many houses have sold in each district over the last 5 months?  Have a look.

 

Saratoga CA Home Sales by High School District (Single Family Homes in last 150 days)

 

About 60% of the sold houses enjoy “Saratoga Schools”, meaning Saratoga High School, Redwood Middle School and any of the elementary schools part of this district.  Approximately 31% have Campbell or Moreland Schools, with either Westmont or Prospect High School.  A very tiny sliver, about 9%, is within the Cupertino Schools area (Lynbrook High School).

Comparing Saratoga CA residential real estate on a price per square foot basis

Often consumers want to compare based heavily on a price per square footage basis – something which I have cautioned against many times because it is seldom as accurate or helpful as one might think.  But because of the demand for this info, let’s have a look.

 

Saratoga California Average Price Per SF 11-23-2013 By HSD

 

If you are familiar with Saratoga, California, you will find the above graph puzzling if viewed by itself.  Saratoga High (933) and Lynbrook High (946) are exceptionally high scoring schools on the Academic Performance Index or API.  This is not so true with Westmont (795) or Prospect (775).  How, then, can they be priced so similarly on a per square footage basis? (more…)

Average sales price of houses in Santa Clara County over one million dollars: what does that buy you?

1 million dollarsThe average sales price of houses sold in Santa Clara County has been sitting at just over one million dollars for the last four months.  This isn’t shocking to Realtors active in the San Jose area, as we’ve seen appreciation going through the roof over the last 18 months or so.  In many areas, home values are up about 20% over a year ago.  But this fact did make front page news in today’s San Jose Mercury: Average Silicon Valley home tops $1 million.

What sort of home is that million dollar place in Silicon Valley?  To provide a quick snapshot, I ran the closed sales of single family homes (mostly houses but also some duet homes) for the last week in this county.  This is all of the county, both more and less expensive areas, with better and worse school districts, from Palo Alto to Gilroy.  On average, these properties were 43 years old with  living areas of approximately 2000 square feet on lots of about 11,000 SF and had been on the market for 22 days.  The average list price  was $1,055,765  and average sales price $1,089,940.

These numbers are horrifying for people considering our market from out of the area. But here – it’s just how it is.

Cambrian Park Real Estate: Bottomed Out Already

If you are a first time homebuyer looking to purchase a house in the Cambrian Park area of San Jose, I encourage you to consider moving on this plan sooner rather than laterHome prices have stopped sinking and appear to be moving within a range of about 10%, which can easily be attributed to precise location, condition, or situation of the home sale. Meanwhile, interest rates are inching up, making homes less affordable than they were a few weeks ago.

Some of the bank owned homes in this part of San Jose are priced at fire sale prices.  Because of the affordability, they are getting a lot of attention from buyers, and I’m hearing more stories of multiple offers with the prices getting bid up from the list price.  This is not just happening in Cambrian, but all over San Jose where the prices are amazingly affordable for first-time homebuyers.  The availability of FHA backed financing and the $8,000 tax credit are incentivizing people to buy San Jose real estate priced at under $729,000. Investors are also getting in on the cleanup of low-priced homes and “all cash offers” are not unheard of.

Here are the basic real estate sales statistics (and trends) in Cambrian Park:

 

Trends At a GlanceMay-09Apr-09Mar-09Feb-09
Median Price$548,750$520,000 (+5.5%)$550,000 (-5.5%)$515,000 (+6.8%)
Average Price$576,935$532,280 (+8.4%)$543,358 (-2.0%)$567,983 (-4.3%)
No. of Sales5441 (+31.7%)33 (+24.2%)30 (+10.0%)
Pending Properties8567 (+26.9%)69 (-2.9%)52 (+32.7%)
Active98125 (-21.6%)141 (-11.3%)168 (-16.1%)
Sale vs. List Price98.40%95.9% (+2.6%)97.8% (-2.0%)98.2% (-0.4%)
Days on Market4274 (-42.8%)50 (+49.3%)77 (-35.3%)

 

The lowest median price in recent months was in February, which of course reflects sales that happened in January.  This may well be a “seasonal fluctuation”. Homes are often cheapest in the dead of winter, and interest rates are often lowest then too, but selection is extremely limited.

For more information on Cambrian Park real estate sales and market trends, please see my online Real Estate Report for Cambrian.  You may view the last five years’ worth of closed data, or see it quarterly or annually. Or plug in your own address or that of a home that interests you in the “property analysis” tab and check out the recent listings, current homes for sale, pendings and solds in the immediate area.