The Santa Clara County real estate market is a strengthening sellers market due to fairly decent demand and exceedingly constricted supply. Prices are up month over month and year over year. Inventory and sales are down. The days of inventory are shrinking and the sale to list price ratio remains at over 105%.
What is striking and unusual is that both real estate prices and interest rates are up. Affordability is sinking, but demand is high and prices are inching higher and higher.
Here’s the RE Report summary table. It’s an excellent summary of our Silicon Valley housing market.
Multi year real estate data charts for Santa Clara County real estate market (single family homes)
First, the months of inventory. At 1.2 months of inventory it’s a pretty hot seller’s market.
Next, inventory – how much is there for buyers to choose from? Not much, but inching up by just the tiniest amount.
Houge Park is a fantasticly appointed, well maintained twelve and a half acre park in the Cambrian area of San Jose (at Twilight Drive & White Oaks Avenue, SJ 95124). There’s something for everyone, whether it’s benches to sit and enjoy the area, tables for playing chess and checkers, or opportunities to play tennis or chess. With a large, grassy spaces and a walking & jogging trail, folks who want to just get out and walk will have plenty of room for that.
When my (now grown) kids were small, my husband would sometimes take them there to meet up with a local astronomy club to view the stars. I’d take them to the playground to let off steam during the day. It was really helpful that there is so much space – and restrooms!
Features of Houge Park
Some of the most appreciated aspects of Houge Park are these:
3 Playground areas in all, including one for ages 2-5 & another ages 5-12
Picnic sites (no reservation)
½ basketball court
Two tennis courts (unlighted)
Parking lot & plenty of street parking
If you’ve never been to Houge Park, it’s a worthwhile destination and a pleasant surprise in the midst of a residential neighborhood. Cambrian is a popular area in which to live, and even nicer if you’re in close proximity to a beautiful park such as this one.
With the Houge Park sign, shown above, you can see that there are play structures in the distance – with lots of lawn in between.
Is it a good time to sell a home in Silicon Valley? One of the best ways to get a pulse on the real estate market with an eye to selling or buying is with the months of inventory (MOI), also known as the absorption rate. This is the months of supply of housing for sale.
The months of inventory tells us how fast the current inventory of properties will be sold off if sales were to continue at the same rate with no new inventory were to come on the market.
The easiest analogy is with a bathtub full of water. If we added no more water to the tub, and the drain were opened, how much time would it take for the water to be depleted if it continued to empty at the same rate? That’s the question being answered with the absorption rate of inventory.
Or, simpler still, if you have an hourglass that you turn over, how long does it take for the sand to empty from the top (since you cannot add more sand to that end)?
How to calculate the months of inventory or MOI
The way to calculate the months of inventory is simple: find the current available inventory of homes for sale (not under contract or sale pending), then find the number of homes with that exact criteria which have closed escrow in the last 30 days. Divide the first by the second and you get the months of inventory. Or, I can just use the stats program on the MLS to generate that number, as I did today.
Earlier I pulled this data from MLSListings.com, our local MLS association (of which I am a member) and I ran the numbers for single family homes (houses and duet homes) in Cupertino, Los Altos, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, Mountain View, Palo Alto, San Jose (all areas combined), Santa Clara, Saratoga, Sunnyvale. Separately, I also ran this same query for the City of San Jose by district.
The months of inventory by city or town in Santa Clara County
A balanced market for our area is 2-3 months of inventory (for most of the US it’s 4-6 months). Two months or less is a seller’s market, and one month or less is a very hot seller’s market.
Here’s a look at the months of inventory by city or town in SCC in April 2023 for single family homes. As you can see, the vast majority of the county is a strong seller’s market, with the only exception being Los Altos Hills.
Which are the hottest markets? They’re the ones with the smallest months of inventory -Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, Cupertino, Milpitas and many more are well under the 2 month market. A few are a tad higher and in the “balanced market” area, and only one is in a deep buyer’s market.
The months of inventory by area within the City of San Jose
Sometimes our clients present us with “THE VALUE” of property per one of these free online home valuation websites sites and in some cases, they challenge us to disprove it (Zillow says it, or some other site, so it must be right, goes the thinking). If they want to buy a house which is listed for more than the auto-comped value, it may cause some emotional anguish. And if they want to buy one which is listed for less, they may feel a little giddy – unless multiple offers are looming.
The same is true with home sellers. They agonize when Zillow, Trulia or some other big name site places a worth on their property which is less than what they feel it should be.
Often the best way to respond is to show many of the online valuations and not just the one the client is focused on (often that’s either Zillow or Redfin, but some are attached so some other site’s numbers.
What might surprise a lot of people is the huge discrepancy in values given.
Sample auto comp values online
A good exercise is picking a home that you know fairly well and then seeing what the online home valuation tools say for each one. I picked a home that I know and ran the address through several websites that provide automatic pricing info. Here are the results, from low to high:
Not included in online home valuation study:
Eppraisal $2,072,000 (too high)
Included in the online home valuation study:
Collateral Analytics (via Realtor.com) $1,671,000
CoreLogic (via Realtor.com) $1,631,300
NAR RPR $1,617,440 (subscription only for Realtors)
Quantarium (via Realtor.com) $1,566,759
Bank of America $1,504,391
(Please note: the Trulia home value estimator is the same as Zillow’s Zestimate because Zillow owns Trulia.)
From top to bottom, the amount varies by $217,409! That’s a 14% gap between top and bottom. Had we included Eppraisal, it would have been even crazier.
How can the online home valuations disagree so much?
How’s Cambrian Park condo & townhouse market? Normally we answer this question in brief with regular monthly updates over on the Cambrian Park Real Estate Market Update. Here we will provide some more depth with condominium and townhome data.
Before we dive in the the statistics for sold properties last month, let’s see what’s selling now in the Cambrian Park condo & townhouse segment of the market.
Cambrian Park Condo & Townhouse market
Just now (as of November 14, 2022), I looked into the MLS to see the condo and townhome sales in Cambrian over the last month. Inventory is painfully low, and therefore, so are the sales.
There are 8 units listed for sale as “active” (not pending or under contract)
6 are listed as condos (1 is “agent only” status, do not show)
2 are listed as townhouses (both are “agent only” status)
0 homes are under contract with one or more contingencies
0 homes are pending with no contingencies
7 condos / townhomes have sold and closed escrow in the last 30 days (4 condos, 3 townhomes)
They sold with an average of 14 days on market (condos 17 days, townhomes 9)
Average sale price to list price ratio was 101% (range 97% – 112%, condominiums averaged 99%, townhouses 104%)
Home prices appear to be down about 10% from the peak generally. It could be more or less in any given micro market.
Real Estate Report: Cambrian Park Condo & Townhouse Market – San Jose
Home prices are down from the peak here as they are throughout the valley. Please take the month over month and year over year sale price numbers with a big grain of salt. With so few transactions happening, there’s not enough data to be really accurate. What’s better is finding what else has sold for your home (or the one you’re interested in) recently. It should be within a mile, have the same school district, zip code, and similar location overall, and it should be within 10% of the home size of the comparable, or “comp”.
What we do know is that the days of inventory and the days on market are both longer than they were. The market is jiggling up and down a little each month, and the general trend may be that we’ve hit the bottom of pricing for now.
Trends At a Glance
No. of Sales
Sale vs. List Price
Days on Market
Days of Inventory
Altos Research Live Charts
The market profiles are live, updating automatically once every week, with active inventory from MLS listings.
Most of Cambrian Park falls under the 95124 zip code. Here’s a quick look at the main real estate market data points for Cambrian 95124 this week:
What’s making it strong when prices have fallen? Mostly it’s a lack of inventory couples with a healthy buyer demand.
Often I have clients who are interested in purchasing a 4 bedroom, 2 bath home in a good school district in Silicon Valley, particularly in the South Bay and West Valley areas. But what does it cost to buy that “average home”? Tonight I did a study on the MLS of homes that have sold and closed escrow in the last 4 months with these characteristics:
single family home (house)
2 full bathrooms
1800 to 2200 square feet of living space
6000 to 10,000 sf lot
Disclaimers aside, here are the numbers for select West Valley Communities in the West/South Bay area with good schools.
Cost to Buy 4 Bed 2 Bath Home in Popular Silicon Valley Communities
The first number is the number of sales during that time (more sales = more reliable averages). This one is not in the older charts, but with inventory as low as it has been lately this makes a huge difference. The second number is the average sales price per square foot, the third number is the average sales price, and the last number is the average days on market:
And now a look back to late winter, early spring of 2017…
What’s changed? A lot! The order has shifted some, showing where demand has increased or decreased. Most noticeably, the prices are mostly up significantly, which is most noticeable in the price per square foot. Cambrian has traveled a good deal up the ladder. Palo Alto and Los Altos were displaced by the sole Saratoga sale, and Blossom Valley of San Jose remains in it’s regular position at the bottom.
The home prices tend to run with school rankings. Previously this was by district API scores. You cancheck the 2013, three year average, API scores in Santa Clara County for both the districts and the individual schools online here, however that system is no longer used. So how to people judge? Most buyers use sites like GreatSchools.org when looking for a home with good schools which ranks schools on a scale of 1-10 in a few categories. (more…)
If the California lifestyle home of living outdoors as well as indoors appeals to you, this Cambrian house and yard should not be missed! Clair and I just put a uniquely stunning Cambrian house on the market this evening and we’d like all of our readers to know about it before it’s gone!
Want to see all of the photos quickly? Check out the virtual tour at 5068TiftonWay.com!
Listed for sale at $1,450,000
MLS # ML81909106
San Jose Unified schools
The listing agents are Mary Pope-Handy #01153805 and Clair Handy #02153633 with Christie’s International Real Estate Sereno
The open houses will be Oct 1 & Oct 2, 2022, from 2 pm – 4 pm.
Work from home or entertain in style on a huge covered patio: California lifestyle at its best!
Beautiful pavers cover the patio and walkways in this lovely home, as well as the front porch area. So many choices for enjoying the outdoors!
The covered patio boasts nearly 700 square foot of additional outdoor living space. For most homes, that would be the size of two or more family rooms!
This amazing California lifestyle entertainment area features a high, open beam vaulted ceiling with 4 skylights and area lights, plus a fan light, making it useable at all hours and in just about every weather condition. Curtains on one side can provide extra privacy or weather protection if needed.
The summer kitchen provides granite counters and a wrap around breakfast bar that can seat 11! Additionally, there’s a gas barbecue (plumbed with a gas line, not a tank), an icemaker, and a Kegerator! There’s loads of counter space for meal prep or serving – room for everything!
The Kooser neighborhood is conveniently located, features sought after schools, and offers a good value in San Jose’s Cambrian district. Many of the street are tree lined and most homes are well kept. This part of the valley has some nice perks, such as being close to the J & P Cosentino Family Farm as well as the Princeton Plaza Mall. Freeway access is a breeze!
I’ve sold a few houses in this area and my clients have all been very happy living there.
The street pictured above is Joseph Lane. It’s one of the many roads in this part of San Jose which enjoys mature trees lining the sidewalks and streets.
Where is the Kooser neighborhood?
The Kooser neighborhood is located within the Cambrian area of San Jose, 95118.
The boundaries for the Kooser neighborhood are Camden Avenue to the west, Kooser Road to the south, Meridian Avenue to the east, and Highway 85 to the north.
From here it’s very easy to access Highway 85 via Camden Avenue (there’s a Park & Ride at that intersection, too) or to make use of Blossom Hill Road to move east-west.
There’s a weekly farmer’s market at the Princeton Plaza Mall, some great shops and places to dine, too. The new OSH, or now Outdoor Supply Hardware, is a wonderful store as well.
The Noddin neighborhood in Cambrian is on the edge of Los Gatos and Almaden along Blossom Hill Road and Camden Avenues. The Santa Cruz Mountains are visible from many parts of this community if you are facing south and most of the streets are tree-lined, while homes are generally tidy. It’s attractive generally, and a few homes are up on a bit of a knoll and enjoy valley views, too. The local schools are all highly regarded, the commute access to major freeways is convenient – but not too close. For all of these reasons, this corner of San Jose is highly regarded.
Where is the Noddin neighborhood?
This part of Cambrian wraps around Los Gatos on two sides (Surmont, Belgatos, and Belwood of Los Gatos subdivisions) and faces the Oak Canyon neighborhood across Camden on the other. The northern boundary line follows the high voltage power line easement.
What’s a little bit funny is that this part of Cambrian in San Jose is referred to as Noddin, the local elementary school on Harwood Road, but some of the area is within the attendance zone for Alta Vista, some for Noddin, and some for Guadalupe Elementary.
The boundaries for this pocket of San Jose vary a little, but for the purposes of this article, I’m using the approximate area used by Nextdoor.
In the Noddin neighborhood map below, the green line is the boundary between Los Gatos and San Jose (Cambrian). The dark red line is the school attendance area per the MLS map (it is a little bit off).
What are homes like in the Noddin neighborhood?
Within this almost “L” shaped area there are
approximately 93 condominiums (mostly at the Montañas de Los Gatos, which have townhouse style homes held in condo ownership)
48 duplexes (so 96 units)
12 multi family units (as in apartments, or possibly triplex and fourplex properties)
and approximately 960 single family homes (or houses – the exact number varies if you count a tiny handful of houses along Hicks Road that are in Los Gatos or not).
There were also 5 vacant lots that appear to be zoned residential, or which had houses that have been razed – not much if your goal is to build new!
There’s a little variety, but the area is overwhelmingly houses. (more…)
Christie's International Real Estate Sereno, Los Gatos, CA 95030 408 204-7673 Mary@PopeHandy.com License# 01153805
Clair Handy, Realtor
Christie's International Real Estate Sereno 214 Los Gatos-Saratoga Rd Los Gatos, CA 95030 ClairHandy@sereno.com License# 02153633
Mary & Clair sell homes throughout Silicon Valley: Santa Clara County, San Mateo County, and Santa Cruz County. with a special focus on: San Jose, Los Gatos, Saratoga, Campbell, Almaden Valley, Cambrian Park.
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