Cupertino Real Estate Market Trends and Statistics

Cupertino real estate market will be more expensive for view homes in nearly all cases -image taken from Ridge VineyardsHow’s the Cupertino real estate market? The Spring market is underway and the market is hot. The best homes are getting multiple offers and high overbids. Prices are up both monthly and yearly.

Our inventory has been extremely constricted, so it looks like these market conditions will persist for the near future, at the very least.

Cupertino Real Estate market – Closed Sales and Trends at a Glance

Here are the most recent real estate statistics, via our Cupertino Real Estate Report. The market is HOT!

(If you’re viewing the chart below on a mobile device, please swipe horizontally to see all columns.)

 

Trends At a GlanceMar 2024Previous MonthYear-over-Year
Median Price$3,588,000 (+8.1%)$3,320,000$2,850,000 (+25.9%)
Average Price$3,553,500 (+11.3%)$3,194,000$2,932,250 (+21.2%)
No. of Sales21 (+61.5%)1320 (+5.0%)
Pending29 (+52.6%)1912 (+141.7%)
Active(-50.0%)1613 (-38.5%)
Sale vs. List Price109.4% (-3.0%)112.8%106.2% (+3.0%)
Days on Market(-17.6%)10(-10.8%)
Days of Inventory11 (-66.8%)3420 (-41.4%)

 

Cupertino real estate market via the Altos Research weekly charts (they use LIST prices, not sale prices):

 

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Cupertino: Highly Regarded for High Tech, High Public School Scores

Cupertino - view from Ridge Vineyards

A view from Ridge Vineyards along Montebello Road

The City of Cupertino, often considered the heart of Silicon Valley, offers shorter commutes, strong public schools, abundant parks and open space, an active community center, and more. This city is home to both small and large tech companies, both startups and Apple Inc. It attracts professionals and entrepreneurs from around the world. All of this, in turn, creates a competitive real estate landscape.

This city is vibrant and offers fabulous restaurants and shops. These are sometimes not mentioned as they are overshadowed by the fame of the schools and the job centers, but are noteworthy as they contribute to a high quality of life for everyone there.

Cupertino schools

The public schools in Cupertino are outstanding, often at the top of the list in state rankings for test scores, 4 year college admissions, and notable academic awards earned by students here. Off campus, there are private schools that teach other languages, dance, art, religion, and culture on off hours or weekends.

Within the districts, some schools are more sought after than others. Monta Vista High and Lynbrook High are often the most desired by home buyers. But not all. Some parents prefer good schools that are not as competitive as these two may be. Each family should research the offerings and see what is the best fit for them and their needs.

Students are served by these districts:

Cupertino Union School District (K – 8)

Fremont Union High School District (9 – 12)

De Anza Community College

A tiny sliver of northeastern Cupertino is served by the Santa Clara Unified School District.
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San Jose CA 95129 Real Estate Market

The San Jose CA 95129 real estate market area, which is sometimes referred to as the “Cupertino Border” area and is generally part of West San  Jose, is highly desirable for many reasons, including a short commute to tech employers such as Apple. Below we’ll review home values by school districts, both for starter homes and for homes with more than 1500 square feet.

If you love West San Jose, please also check out our post on the nearby Happy Valley neighborhood.

The 95129 zip code and school districts

The school district situation is a little confusing in San Jose CA 95129, but as schools are a major driver of real estate values, it’s imperative to consider their impact on housing prices.

  • About 60% of this zip code is in the Fremont Union High School District (Lynbrook High) and in the Cupertino Union School District (several different schools)
  • The rest is in the Campbell Union High School District (Prospect High), with most of that area in the Moreland School District, but a little bit in the Campbell Union School District (several schools)
  • On Great Schools, the scores for these schools range from 4 or 5 on the low end to 10 on the high side.

Here’s a map that I’ve marked up. The initial map came from the MLS, which shows the approximate zip code boundaries (bright blue) and the high school district boundary (purple or berry colored). These are never 100% precise, always check with the school district to be sure about the assigned school or district.

 

San Jose CA 95129 with school districts - real estate info for West San Jose

 

In the upper right corner you can see a tiny little polygon, almost a square, for the part of 95129 with Campbell Union School District. Moreland schools are mainly on the southeast side of the zip code. Cupertino schools are on the far west and northern section, except for that postage stamp area with Campbell schools.

The homes with Moreland and Campbell schools sell at lower prices than those with Cupertino schools, making them more affordable and also very desirable as a close in commute location.

The homes in San Jose with Cupertino schools sell for less than those houses in the City of Cupertino with the exact same schools, making this pocket a relative bargain, too.

No matter which district  you’re considering, most of this area is a good ‘bang for the buck’ part of the valley.

San Jose CA 95129 real estate stats for starter homes

Today we’ll consider the real estate market activity for houses in this area today and in relation to recent history as of today, July 18, 2023, and looking at sales data for the last 60 days.

In the last 60 days, there were 29 single family homes sold in this zip code. Of them, 15 were “starter homes”, meaning that they have 1500 SF or less. Here is the data for the starter homes in all school districts of this zip code area:

  • Days on market – 13
  • Average square footage – 1392 SF
  • Average lot size – 6227 SF
  • Average list price – $2,035,056
  • Average sale price – $2,294,453
  • Average age of the home – 62 years
  • Average sale to list price ratio – 113% (range of 94% to 138%)
  • Average price per SF – $1,652.29

For the 10 homes with Fremont Union High School District:

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Monta Vista neighborhood

Monta Vista High School, Cupertino CaliforniaThe Monta Vista neighborhood in Cupertino is well known for its top rated schools, close in commute, and huge percentage of well educated, high tech residents. It boasts incredibly scenic open space, parkland, and recreation opportunities. The Monta Vista neighborhood is probably the most sought after part of the Cupertino real estate market.

Neighborhood basics

Monta Vista, said to be Portuguese for “Mountain View” (though the translation engines don’t agree), is well named as this community sits at the base of the coastal range, and those beautiful, green views are a wonderful plus to an already attractive area.

Many houses enjoy a view of the hills, some are in the low foothills, and others are situated close to or overlooking Stevens Creek and the golf courses or parkland that line it.  Generally, the Monta Vista neighborhood is the most scenic part of Cupertino.

As with much of Silicon Valley, this part of Cupertino has agricultural roots and was once part of the Valley of Heart’s Delight with expansive orchards, vineyards, and other produce.

The mild, Mediterranean climate was great for growing fruits, vegetables, and nuts, and for growing grapes and making wine. Just south of the Monta Vista area there continue to be vineyards, wine making, and wine tasting on Montebello Road.

 

What are the houses like  in the Monta Vista neighborhood?

 

Most of the Monta Vista neighborhood consists of ranch style homes in the flatlands, but there’s some variety, some Mediterranean or Spanish or contemporary homes can be found, too, particularly in the hills to the west. There is a mix of two story or split level houses to be found as well.

Looking for a view home? You will find some in the areas west of Stevens Canyon Road or Foothill Blvd (same road, different stretches of it).

A typical home in the Monta Vista neighborhood has about 1800 – 2300 square feet and sits on a lot of about 7000-9500 SF. Some single family homes are under 1000 SF and others are over 5000 SF. The typical home runs close to $3.1 million.  Very few homes sell for under $2.5 mil or over $4 million. Much of it depends on the condition or exact location, though. A home right next to the highway, or near the train track, will not sell for as much as those on a quiet street.

If you are interested in buying or selling a home in this area, please reach out! The best way to have an initial contact is through email, mary@popehandy.com.

At the bottom of this post you’ll find current listings, pending sales, and recently closed homes in this area.

 

Monta Vista neighborhood boundaries

 

Cupertino - Monta Vista neighborhoods map

 

If you do a web search for this neighborhood’s boundaries, you are likely to come up with multiple and very conflicting answers as to where the edges are.

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Check the months of inventory to see if it’s a good time to sell your home!

Months of Inventory explained with an hourglassIs 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.

 

Santa Clara County months of inventory by city in Santa Clara County - single family homes for April 2023

 

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

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Where are the high voltage power lines?

High Voltage Power Lines Collage

High Voltage Power Lines from around the West Valley.

High voltage power lines are a “location issue” that impacts real estate values, and it sometimes elicits worry regarding safety.

High voltage power lines: how far is far enough?

Something we have spoken about recently with our clients is being far enough away so that if the tower and high voltage power lines were to fall, they’d miss your home and property. In our recent series of atmospheric rivers in January 2023, in San Jose one of these large transmission towers did fall down. It’s rare, but not impossible.

I have not seen a website that can tell us how tall any given tower is, but from what I have read online, it seems that most of them are under 200 feet tall, but some could be higher than that. In most cases, that puts the lines about 4 houses away if the lots are a typical 6,000 SF lot of 60′ across the front and 100′ deep.

We cannot speak to the concerns around potential increased risk of cancer or other problems. Each consumer should research that issue on his or her own.

Where are the high voltage power lines?

High Voltage Power lines - map - CaliforniaYears ago, I painstakingly mapped out the transmission lines from what I knew on the ground and what I could tell from tracing the Google satellite view. (You can find that link near the bottom of this article.)

Today, though, there’s something better than my map available online. The California Energy Commission has a map of the transmission lines that you can view using THIS LINK. Or click on the image at the left.

From the landing page you can zoom in or out. It covers the entire state of California – you might find it interesting to navigate around a little.

Also, a few years ago, PG&E published an interactive map where you can view the location of electric lines (I’ve filtered the imbedded map below to show Electric Transmission Lines in the South Bay), and another map of natural gas pipelines, searchable by address. This doesn’t cover the entire state, but it does cover all of the Bay Area / Silicon Valley.

The PG&E map:

On the map I hand-drew at the bottom of this article I did also include the location of schools. Quite a lot of schools do have transmission lines present.

What other location issues are there to factor in?
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What Does It Cost to Buy a 4 Bedroom, 2 Bath Home in Silicon Valley with Good Schools?

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)
  • 4 bedrooms
  • 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:

2022-11-3 Average Cost to Buy West Valley Homes 120D 4b-2b West Valley

 

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 can check 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…)

Finding Mid-Century Modern and Eichler Homes in Silicon Valley’s West Side

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.

An Eichler home in Saratoga - beautiful mid-century modern houseMonte Sereno is home to 16 Eichler 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.
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A summary of tips for multiple offer situations in Silicon Valley real estate contracts

Dream homes, priced low often spur multiple offer situationsMultiple offer situations have returned to many segments of the Silicon Valley real estate market.  We are hearing about them all over due to the incredibly low inventory. (Check out the San Jose real estate market analysis for the latest, custom stats.)

What Silicon Valley home sellers need to know and do to attract multiple offer situations

If you’re a Silicon Valley home seller, what do you need to know to try to get multiple bids on your home?  What should you beware of?  In short, here’s what needs to happen if you want to attract throngs of home buyers on your home for sale:

  1. The home must be turnkey, either fully remodeled or close to it – it must look like there’s nothing or very little for a buyer to do.  In addition to being turnkey, it must be squeaky clean and well staged! It needs to be comfortable – not too hot, not too cold. You want buyers and their agent to linger longer.
  2. The price must be at or even under market value.  That is, you must be willing to price it aggressively.  Think it’s worth $1,050,000?  You might list it at $999,999 to get in under a major price threshold and to be the very best, most attractive property for the money. Yes, it might be under priced.  Over priced listings get either one offer at best or, more likely, none at all.
  3. The property must be highly accessible. If it is hard to see, you probably won’t get multiple offers (and may get none at all).  (Please see articles on accessibility and on open houses.)
  4. Finally, the property must be well marketed.  This includes a wide range of factors ranging from photographs, text, fliers, signs, and even the commission rate offered to the buyer’s side.

What Silicon Valley home buyers need to know and do to compete in multiple offer situations

If you’re a Silicon Valley home buyer, how do you win out in multiples without giving away all of your rights or overpaying for your house/home? (more…)

Market comparison: Los Gatos, Saratoga, Cupertino and Los Altos

Market comparison: Los Gatos, Saratoga, Cupertino and Los AltosToday we’re looking at the real estate market for houses in some of the “west valleycommunities along the base of the Santa Cruz Mountains – areas where schools are good, crime is low, residents enjoy scenic views of the hills (or of the valley from the hills, depending on the location) and overall, a highly educated population not too far from Highway 85. This will be a real estate market comparison for Los Gatos, Saratoga, Cupertino, and Los Altos.

Of the four municipalities, three are really very similar to each other in several regards.  Cupertino has the largest population – about 61,000 people – but Los Altos, Los Gatos and Saratoga are all similarly sized, somewhere between 31,000 residents.  The latter three also enjoy a traditional “downtown” area which is popular with pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists alike. (Monte Sereno has under 4,000 residents, which is so small that the statistics are very easily thrown from month to month, so it is omitted in this quick study.)  Of the four, Cupertino, then, is the least similar due to size and lack of a central downtown area for now. This may feel different once the Vallco Mall is redeveloped.

We’ll take a quick look at these areas now in terms of the real estate market trends and statistics for each area, considering just “class 1” (houses and duet homes).  The charts used below are from Altos Research, to which I have a subscription, and they will be automatically updated each week.

Please note:  the Los Gatos data is probably a little artificially low as it will include all 3 zip codes, meaning also the Los Gatos Mountains, which are quite a bit more affordable than the areas “in town”.

In addition, as of this writing we are in the shelter-in-place phase 1 of the pandemic. This post is updated approximately every quarter or half-year, so we’re just starting to see the results of these changes to the market,  but it will take a while to see the full picture. For now you can read more about the Coronavirus impact on real estate sales in my post on the topic.

Also, 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.

Now on with the analysis!

Market Comparisons

(1) Median List Price (per Altos Research):

 

Real Estate Market Chart by Altos Research www.altosresearch.com

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