Saratoga CA Real Estate Market Update

Orchard and Hills in Saratoga, California - photo for article on the Saratoga CA real estate market

Orchard and Hills in Saratoga, California

The Saratoga CA real estate market is a strengthening sellers’ market for single family homes :

  • the average sale price rose annually by a hair, and was down month over month
  • inventory in May of Saratoga houses for sale is up compared to the year before, but the same as in April 2024
  • the sale to list price ratio rose to 109.1% in May from 106.8% in April (and 101.2% in May 2023) – a strong seller’s market

How’s the Saratoga CA real estate market?

Saratoga has a diverse real estate market due to a wide range of home prices, square footage, lot sizes, school districts, and more. The luxury tier, generally $4 million and up (but in Saratoga, that’s really still just a house in an expensive part of town) normally moves slower than other price points. Saratoga’s entry level housing is usually the strongest. If the numbers swing wildly at any given month, it could be that more or fewer homes in a particular school district and pricing tier.

To really understand the Saratoga CA real estate market, you’ll need to get hyper local data for that home’s pricing tier, school district, and any other impactful data points.

 

Trends at a Glance for the Saratoga CA Real Estate Market

Here’s a quick overview from the RE Report details below or please view the full data here.

Trends At a GlanceMay 2024Previous MonthYear-over-Year
Median Price$4,037,500 (-4.2%)$4,215,000$3,790,000 (+6.5%)
Average Price$4,235,720 (-6.6%)$4,533,660$4,227,960 (+0.2%)
No. of Sales32 (+77.8%)1828 (+14.3%)
Pending22 (0.0%)2213 (+69.2%)
Active35 (0.0%)3520 (+75.0%)
Sale vs. List Price109.1% (+2.7%)106.3%101.2% (+7.8%)
Days on Market11 (-62.9%)2917 (-35.7%)
Days of Inventory33 (-41.8%)5621 (+53.1%)

Altos Research real estate market data for Saratoga, CA single family homes

Next, a quick glance at the Altos Research market profile for a quick summary of the Saratoga CA real estate market conditions. Altos uses LIST prices, not sold prices, for this chart and the others, below.

Market profile for Saratoga CA 95070

 

Real-Time Market Profile Saratoga, CA 95070

 

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Morgan Hill real estate market

Morgan Hill land along the Uvas RiverHow is the Morgan Hill real estate market? Signals indicate it is an active seller’s market, though it remains milder than other parts of the county. Overall we’re past the most extreme peaks and dips, but a backlog of demand and low inventory continues to put pressure on the whole market. Below are some quick points from our RE Report (link below).

  • The average sale price for houses in May was $1,625,780 (+2.5% from the month before and +13.7% from a year ago)
  • The median sale price for single family homes was $1,520,500 (+2.7% from the month prior and +6.0% from this time last year)
  • The sales to list price ratio for homes dipped to 102.4% (-1.7% from the month before and +2.6% from last year). 
  • Days on market slowed significantly month-over-month, averaging just 26 days, while market absorption slowed to a 46 day average.

It’s still a seller’s market with plenty of competition for the best homes.

See the Santa Clara County real estate market report (for comparison) here.

The Morgan Hill Real Estate Market

The cities of Morgan Hill and Gilroy usually experience a lower demand than other parts of Santa Clara County which are either tech magnets, closer to big businesses, or a quicker commute around the Bay Area. So if most of the Silicon Valley has a sale price to list price ratio of anywhere from 105% to 110%, you might see closer to 97% to 103% here. Not exact numbers, just to say it’s generally lower here making the home buying conditions calmer for weary buyers, though still a sellers market.

Now let’s get into the data.

First up, the market profile from Altos Research – this is updated weekly, so check back often! You can also view the weekly newsletter through the link below, where you can also subscribe to receive this update every week in your inbox. Prefer a particular zip code instead? You can type in your desired zip in the “Search Anywhere” line and then request that particular weekly update by email.

Altos Research weekly report for all of Morgan Hill

Altos weekly report for 95037 only

Altos weekly report for 95038 only

Please note that Altos uses information on actively listed homes for sale, not closed sale data. If you compare the days on market of the active listings with the days on market of the sold properties, they will be different.

Morgan Hill Real-Time Market Profile

 

Trends at a Glance for Single Family Homes in Morgan Hill

Below is a chart with basic info, to see more click on this link to see the Real Estate Report for Morgan Hill.

Month-over-month May had more activity, showing in a growth of active inventory as well as closed and pending sales. Homes sold above asking price on average, and while homes took longer to sell month-over-month they’re about even with this time last year. The market is red hot and distinctly hotter than this time last year.

No doubt it’s a clear seller’s market, but compared to other parts of the county it’s noticeably easier for buyers to get their foot in the door here in south county.

 

Trends At a GlanceMay 2024Previous MonthYear-over-Year
Median Price$1,520,500 (+2.7%)$1,480,000$1,433,940 (+6.0%)
Average Price$1,625,780 (+2.5%)$1,586,580$1,429,400 (+13.7%)
No. of Sales32 (+3.2%)3138 (-15.8%)
Pending40 (+17.6%)3433 (+21.2%)
Active49 (+58.1%)3141 (+19.5%)
Sale vs. List Price102.4% (-1.7%)104.1%99.9% (+2.6%)
Days on Market26 (+193.1%)927 (-3.9%)
Days of Inventory46 (+58.4%)2932 (+41.9%)

 

Single Family Home Live charts from Altos Research (more…)

Updating the Campbell Real Estate Market

Tudor style house on graphic that says - How's the Campbell real estate market?How is the Campbell real estate market? Campbell is in a strong seller’s market that continues to outstrip this time last year. This article, updated monthly, offers data and analysis on the residential real estate market within this popular Silicon Valley community. Here are a few details from the latest update on Campbell’s single family housing market:

  • Inventory is growing inch by inch with 18 active listings at the end of May, still just a drop in the bucket! Smaller pools of data can cause more dramatic swings in these statistics, so take these numbers with a grain of salt.
  • The average sales to list price ratio for homes sold last month grew to 111.0% of asking – that’s red hot, and up +4.0% from this time last year.
  • Average and median sales prices are up +9.3% and +9.1% from last year respectively, and dropped -6.9% and -12.8% from the month before.
  • Average time on market sped to just 10 days while market absorption sped to 19 days.
  • Closed sales continued to rise above last month and last year despite lower available inventory year-over-year.

The market in this popular west valley city is red hot overall!

The Campbell, CA Real Estate Market

It’s hard to predict what’s coming next, especially since Silicon Valley real estate is connected to the global economy and many buyers rely on stocks and mortgage loans to finance their purchase. On top of that, we’re emerging from an already wild few years!

If you’re selling a well prepared, beautifully staged, and aggressively priced house, you’ll likely see multiple offers on your home for sale. We’ve been seeing more bidding wars, but not with overbids quite as high as last spring. Competition for homes has undoubtebly waned from it’s peak as buyers financial power shrank with rising interest rates. That said, with even fewer homes being listed this year there’s still far more demand than there is inventory, especially for a move-in ready home!

Desperate and worn out buyers want to get their foot in the door before they are priced out of the market altogether by either climbing interest rates or rising home prices.

Don’t expect a balanced market any time soon – the Bay Area still has a severe housing shortage and buyers are clamoring to get property!

Here’s a quick view of the Campbell real estate market stats from Altos Research, using list prices (not sales price) which updates automatically about once per week:

 

Campbell Altos Real-Time Market Profile

The Altos chart is showing Campbell, CA single family homes in a strong seller’s market with stable, elevated market action paired with perpetually low inventory. Available listings remain well below typical, and these few homes continue to sell quickly.

And now –  here are some quick stats, pulled from the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) through the RE Report:

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How Long Does It Take to Sell a Home in Today’s Market?

House with words - How long does it take to sell a home in Silicon Valley today?How long does it take to sell a home in Silicon Valley right now? It depends on what segment of the real estate market the property is in, and what type it is. Most homes are selling in 3-4 weeks.

How long does it take to sell a home in Santa Clara County?

First, for the success stories, the properties that do sell, what’s the timeframe?

  • Houses which have closed escrow averaged 27 days in September 2022 so far
  • Also in September, the median days on market is 17 days
  • For condos and townhouses, the average days on market so far this month is 38
  • The median days on market for condominiums and townhomes is 27

Pending sales – how long were they on the market?

  • Pending houses right now average 33 days on market
  • Pending condominiums and townhomes average 28 days on the market

It’s interesting to see that the more recent sales were slower for the houses but faster for condos and townhomes as compared to the closed sales.

Active listings and length of time on the market

  • Houses for sale in Santa Clara County that are not under contract (and not listed as “Agent Only”) average 52 days on market
  • For townhomes and condos, it’s an average of 44 days on market

So it seems that for the homes which DO sell (and not all homes which are listed become sale pending), the average is in the 3-4 week range.  What that says, pretty clearly too, is that if your listing is well marketed but doesn’t sell in three to four weeks, you’ve got a problem.

Some types of properties will always take longer (think Santa Cruz Mountains, ultra luxury homes and others), but overall, your home should be seeing 3-5 showings per week and get at least one offer for approximately every 10 showings, which should happen within 3-4 weeks.

What if your home has been on the market for a month with no offers, or only low offers?

If your house or condo has been actively listed and marketed for more than 4 weeks and isn’t selling, it’s time to have a conversation with your agent. Every situation is different and I cannot advise anyone but my own clients about what needs to happen in your case.

I can tell you that if your home does not get an acceptable offer in 3-4 weeks, there’s a good chance that the number one obstacle is a price that’s too high for the current market. If that is the case, it’s time to make a serious change in the price – think hedge clipper, not nail clipper. Otherwise, if home values are dropping and your price does not get ahead of it, you will be chasing the market down. It is very expensive when that happens.

Beyond price and just getting or not getting offers, you will want to understand:

  • how many showings are there each week?
  • what is the feedback from the buyer’s agents? (what are the buyers saying?)
  • what homes ARE selling?
  • how long does it take to sell if it’s underpriced? (that’s a common strategy today)

Some flaws are fixable and some are not fixable. You cannot do anything about a less desirable location or a neighbor with too many vehicles or an eyesore of a front yard. But you do control the price.

Some real estate gurus like to say “there’s no problem that the right price can’t fix”. That’s true, but sometimes there are cheaper ways to solve whatever the problem is.

In some cases, home sellers are offering to pay points on the buyer’s loan to offset the rising interest rates. Frequently it’s a lot cheaper for the seller to buy down the loan rate than to take a price reduction of 3-5%.

Related reading to how long does it take to sell:

Why didn’t my San Jose home sell? (on this site)

Beware over improving your property when preparing to sell (on this site)

Selling your home in Silicon Valley – 9 FAQs (on popehandy.com)

 

“Make offer subject to inspection” – what is that about?

Make offer subject to inspection - Sherlock Holmes, a house, and a contractOnce in awhile, properties listed for sale on the MLS instruct real estate professionals that the home cannot be seen until and unless there’s an accepted purchase offer on it.  The way it reads in the multiple listing is this: “make offer subject to inspection“.

What does “make offer subject to inspection” mean?

This clause means that first a buyer must write an offer and get it accepted by the seller, and then – and only then – can the buyer check out the property in person. The “subject to” part means that the buyer will have a contingency for approving the home’s condition. If it is terrible or unacceptable inside, the buyer will have the right to back out. (Those terms, such as the number of days for inspection and investigation, will be spelled out in the contract.)

The idea that an contract would be written without seeing the house, townhouse, condo, duplex etc. or that someone should plunk down hundreds of thousands of dollars on a home “sight unseen” is absolutely shocking to most Silicon Valley home buyers. But “make offer subject to inspection” is the way that apartment buildings and many investment properties (duplexes, triplexes and fourplexes) are sold.

Think of it this way: if one is buying a tenant occupied property that is being sold as investment property, whether it’s 1 unit or 2o, the main thing is not so much how it looks physically, but how it looks on the books.  How’s the cash flow? How good is the return on investment? What is the upside potential with renovations? (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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Days on Market Deception

Foggy freeway with words "Days on Market deception"As a real estate consumer, do you pay attention to the days on market? In some cases, it can be difficult to tell how long a home has been offered for sale because there are a myriad of marketing channels now, especially online. It’s almost a twist on the old concept of shadow inventory. The days on market deception is pronounced in some cases, though happily, it seems to be far from all of them.

Why is the days on market data murky sometimes?

The MLS in our area, MLS Listings, shows both a list date (when the home was entered onto the MLS for public viewing) and a “Days On Market” (or DOM).  In the best of all possible scenarios, those line up seamlessly and reflect the total marketing period. In some MLS organizations, they also show a Continuous Days On Market or CDOM, representing the total days, including any breaks in time or switches between agents / brokers in listing the property.

Days on market deception in practice

Here’s where there can be confusion on the actual days of market exposure:

  • being listed, for up to 30 days, on the “coming soon” section of our MLS (won’t be displayed on the regular MLS for the public or real estate agents)
  • being held open for a week or two before getting exposure on the multiple listing (not tracked on the MLS)
  • other marketing offline, such as “coming soon” signs, advertisements, or mailers (not tracked by the MLS)
  • being listed in a non-mls private listings club (data not shared with the MLS)
  • getting promoted on Redfin or other sites as a coming soon – even the disclosure platform, Disclosures.io, now solicits for these pre-market listings on their site (information feed is one way: the MLS can tell Redfin about the listing, but Redfin doesn’t tell the MLS about coming soons)
  • going on and off the MLS with a 30 day break or more will halt the timer for days on market (even if the list date remains the same)
  • pocket listings or whisper listings that sell without ever going on the MLS at all (but still had a marketing period, possibly with the sale reported on the MLS for comp purposes only)
  • homes listed, then canceled, then relisted with another broker after a month off the mls will show as a “new” listing and DOM will be zero (in some places with a different MLS, the CDOM would list all of the days – better data)

All of these factors can really obscure the data and make it difficult for consumers (and sometimes buyer’s agents) to know how long a home has actually been receiving market exposure. And we don’t know the exact number of listings impacted because it’s not being tracked.

Why do the days on market matter? (more…)

Homes in San Jose are taking a little longer to sell

The market in early 2019 began heating up in a seasonally normal pattern but has now leveled off with a little up, a little down, but not too far from 20 days to sell. Prices are similarly a bit up and down but overall seeming to level out.

Today I want for us to take a quick look at the seasonal patterns for days to sell which tend to be present for houses selling in the city of San Jose over the course of a year. Please note that the pattern can be similar – but the depth or severity of the pattern can vary quite dramatically year to year, or between one location or price point and another.

I really like taking a multi-year view (which almost no one seems to do, it is nearly always only year over year) to get a broader sense of what is normal – or at least what appears to be a regular pattern.

In the graph below,  you’ll see that most years see inventory rising in January or February. We had a highly overheated pattern in all of 2017 and early 2018, and visually it’s pretty evident that they were moving to a beat of a different drummer.

 

Graph - San Jose average days to sell a single family home

Graph – San Jose average days to sell a single family home

 

Now let’s look at the actual numbers as of today, June 12, 2019.  This number may be different when June is completed, but right now we have 23 days to sell on average. That is longer than 2014-2018, but shorter than 2013 (which was a good year).

 

 

Compared to 2015 to 2018, San Jose’s current average days to sell of 23 seems quite high. Go back a little more to 2013 and 2014, though, and it’s not outrageous at all. Or Google what the “average days to sell” is like in most of the U.S. and you’ll find that this is not a high number at all.

Is it harder to sell a house in San Jose now than a year or two ago? Yes, absolutely! Is it a buyer’s market? No! It is becoming more balanced, though. I would call this a healthy market. Perhaps a normalizing market. Homes which are priced well, marketed well, easy enough to see and so on are selling in well under a month. That’s a good market. For a little perspective, check out the June numbers from 2002 through 2012 (the MLS won’t let me get stats further back that 2002).

 

San Jose days to sell a single family home 2002-2012

San Jose days to sell a single family home 2002-2012

 

Altos charts for single family homes (houses and duet homes) in San Jose CA

Using the Altos Charts (I have a subscription), here’s a view of 4 pricing tiers within San Jose residential real estate which is for sale – not sold – right now. Days to sell charts the success stories, the ones that go under contract!  This info charts ALL LISTINGS which are active or as yet unsold.

 

Have a look:

 

 

 

A normal market is not a bad one. Buyers are less rushed, Sellers who are reasonably aggressive on price, condition, marketing, access, etc. are having success. Overpriced homes, homes with too many issues or which are too hard to see are a different story.

Interested in buying or selling a home in San Jose? Please reach out to me!

 

 

 

The market is heating up in San Jose again

Often the Silicon Valley real estate market takes a bit of a nosedive in December and January, only to make a comeback after the SuperBowl. Just now I ran the stats for the city of San Jose, which is big enough, at about 1 million people, to provide a good sense of the market generally.

Below please find a simple chart reflecting houses sold with the days on market and sale price to list price ratio.  You can see, clearly, that the SP to LP ratio dips noticeably in December & January, and also that the days on market rise.

Even so, how bad was it?  The average DOM was 38 (break-neck speed in any other part of the country) and the average SP to LP ratio fell to “only” 102%.

 

2016-3-1 San Jose Days on Market and Sale Price to List Price Ratio

 

That was it – that was the “break” that buyers get in winter.  Things are reversing course, as often they do in February, March, and April, and multiple offers with big overbids are again the major story in San Jose and throughout the Silicon Valley region. Just this last week I heard of a home in this valley that got 45 offers.

Home buyers, want to purchase this year?  Your best bet is to be financially well equiped with 25% down or more if you are buying in any of the hotter areas.  This is a nearly impossible market for FHA home buyers or for those with less than 20% down.

Home owners, want to sell this year?  You can maximize your return by doing smart fixes and thorough inspections to make buyers feel confident about purchasing your property.  That confidence can change the game and bring 10 offers where there might have been 5, and with the larger numbers of bidders usually there come also much larger sale prices.

Call me or email me if you would like to discuss working together and getting your best deal in the current Santa Clara County realty market.

Related reading:

Why do sellers care if the offer has a loan or is all cash?

Home selling? Small fixes that make a big, positive difference.

Shopping for what you can afford: how not to depress yourself while house hunting in Silicon Valley

 

Homes for sale in San Jose

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See all Real estate matching your search.
(all data current as of 6/22/2024)

Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.

 
 

 

 

 

Los Gatos and Saratoga Condominium and Townhouse Market

Saratoga and Los Gatos are neighbors, but their real estate markets are not the same! Today we’ll consider the condo and townhouse market in these two upscale Silicon Valley areas and view some elements “side by side”. See what you think!

First, let’s have a peek at how fast things are selling. Saratoga & Los Gatos both are at under 3 week for the “days to sell over time”.  Saratoga tends to sell a little better than Los Gatos for condominiums and townhomes, and that’s the case now as well – at least months months, and recently. (Reasons, not sure – perhaps because the location is a little closer to Cupertino and Sunnyvale and the many high tech jobs there.  Or it could be related to the school scores or any number of factors.)

 

Saratoga days to sell over time 2014 - condos

Saratoga days to sell over time 2014 – condos

Los Gatos days to sell over time 2014 - condos

Los Gatos days to sell over time 2014 – condos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s check some other criteria and see how they stack up there. Let’s look at the new listings as opposed to the solds.  How far apart are they? (The closer they are, the “hotter” the market. If the solds are going faster than the new listings are coming on, it’s a red hot seller’s market.)   For most of the last year, Saratoga condominiums have been selling and closing faster than new ones have entered the market, or have tied it, except for March and April.  In Los Gatos, same pattern recently of new listings outpacing sales, and in January the closed sales outpaced new inventory.  But overall, it’s close to a tie or there’s a slight leaning toward new listings rather than sales unless you look back to last fall.  So a little bit cooler of a market in Los Gatos by this standard.

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