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 slipped a hair with just 16 active listings at the end of June, only 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 dropped to 108.2% of asking – that’s still red hot, and up +1.5% from this time last year.
  • Average and median sales prices rose +12.7% and +4.5% from last year respectively, and dropped -0.7% and -4.5% from the month before.
  • Average time on market slowed to just 14 days while market absorption held steady at 19 days.
  • Closed sales dropped below last month, but were up by over 50% from 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:


Gilroy, the Garlic Capital of the World

Gilroy Garlic Festival

Garlic Festival – much missed!

Gilroy is a scenic area well known for wineries, farmland and fruit stands.  More than anything,  it’s most iconic produce is garlic, which used to be celebrated late each July with the annual Garlic Festival, which, sadly, has been discontinued.

In summer days, the scent of garlic fills the early morning air and blows north along the coastal foothills so that those of us in Silicon Valley get a healthy nose full when grabbing our morning paper off the driveway. This has been my experience since I was a small child and I’m happy that all the progress of the last 40 or 50 years hasn’t changed the smell of garlic heralding mid-summer.

If you’re exploring this city, be sure to also check out Morgan Hill and San Martin, the other South County communities, too!

Gilroy: shopping, dining, wine tasting, parks, golf, and more

A nice easy, and fairly fast trip by car will bring you to South County and to this city nestled at the base of the coastal range.  It’s a wonderful day trip to explore the backyard of Silicon Valley, or better, take a whole weekend to get to know the area.  There’s a nice downtown area where you can do some shopping and dining.  Go out a bit and there are a number of fabulous wineries to check out.  And lest we forget, Gilroy is a local epicenter of bargain shopping.

At the intersection of highways 101 and 152, the Gilroy Premium Outlet Mall is found.  Go with the intention of spending money, because resistance is futile once you park your car.  We have shopped there many times and often found some especially good pricing on clothes.

Many will attest that cars are found for a better price there, too.

This area is also home to a charming family amusement park (aimed at younger kids), Gilroy Gardens.  Adults and children alike will appreciate the astounding topiary and twisted special trees which are unlike those you’d find anywhere else.  Even if you don’t have small kids, it’s worthwhile to visit this park just to see the amazing trees at least once.

Gilroy, Morgan Hill, Coyote Valley and nearby areas make up the “south county,” which has a little slower pace of living and quite a bit more affordability in housing. The commute is long.  The summers are hotter. So there are some trade-offs.

Love golf? There are several courses here: Eagle Ridge, Gilroy Golf Course, and Gavilan Golf Course are all in town.

Eagle Ridge Golf Course and neighborhood, Gilroy


Gilroy neighborhoods


Is the San Jose, CA, residential real estate market cooling?

Yesterday on my way home from a final walk through on a property in Blossom Valley, I stopped by some open houses – following signs, just like a lot of consumers do.  At one of the homes I spoke with a Realtor who’s starting to see a slowing in the real estate market.  That hasn’t been my own experience, so I asked him about his take on things and he mentioned the rising inventory in areas where he’s active in Silicon Valley.

There are many ways to get a pulse on the market, but perhaps one of the easiest ways to check it is to see the sale price to list price ratio and the days on market.  MLSListings, my local multiple listing service (of which I am a member), does some wonderful things with interactive graphs and charts, so I made use of that tool to see how San Jose is faring as a whole and also in some of the zip codes where I sometimes sell homes.  The charts below are for single family homes (not condos, townhomes, duplexes, etc.) and are by zip code for all price ranges.  Remember, stats are easily skewed one way or the other, and we might have seen different results if we teased it out by home size, lot size, school district, price point, presence of an in-ground pool, or any other factors.  This is the “big picture”.  First, then, San Jose as a whole.


San Jose AV DOM and SP to LP ratio all prices


What we see here is that homes are selling faster (shorter and shorter DOM or Days on Market) and a rising sales price to list price ratio.  Both of these indicate a strong seller’s market for the city of San Jose as a whole. Next, we’ll list a sampling of zip codes in San Jose, primarily along the west side (where I tend to be more active in my sales) but not exclusively so.  I’m putting these in numerical order.


Real estate market trends in San Jose 95112 - Downtown San Jose


In San Jose’s 95112 zip code, which is Downtown San Jose, it’s a mixed bag.  The sale price to list price ratio is rising (seller’s market) but the days on market are also rising (softening market).  This area would require more information – it could be that a few homes have been on the market for a very long time and skewing the stats, or homes in certain price points are just not selling.  From this vantage, though, it looks like 95112 is mixed.

Next: 95117, 95118, 95120, 95123, 95125, 95126, 15129, 95136, 95148


Thinking of selling your San Jose home? So is every other home owner!

When the housing inventory drops, prices tend to rise, and of course the opposite is usually true also.  If we look at the real estate inventory of homes for sale in San Jose over the last decade, it looks like this:


Altos San Jose inventory history


We can see that the inventory now is the lowest it’s been in a decade.  And for those who remember what the market was like in 2005, the conditions are pretty similar: a frenzied seller’s market with price increases that felt unsustainable.

If we focus more closely on just the last year, here’s the view and a memory jog, for those who were paying attention to the real estate market here:


Altos SJ inventory last 12 months


Here we are again, just like 2005.  We know that real estate is cyclical.  Where are we today? (more…)

Job growth is fueling the Silicon Valley housing market – so who’s hiring?

Who is hiring?The Silicon Valley real estate market is not just a hot seller’s market – it is a raging, out of control real estate market, especially in the areas closest to the high tech magnets.  My husband, Jim Handy, pointed out to me today Forbes has an articles which lists the top 25 tech firms ranked by the number of job openings they have posted. Of the 25 companies named, half of them enjoy a very significant San Francisco Bay Area presence. These are the 12 local ones from the list of 25:
  • Oracle
  • Google
  • Apple
  • Microsoft
  • HP
  • Lockheed Martin
  • Intel
  • Cisco
  • Yahoo
  • nVidia
  • SalesForce.com
  • Symantec
Jim is a semiconductor industry analyst who actually understands what all of these powerhouses do.  He told me “Interestingly, of these 12 only Intel & nVidia are semiconductor companies!!!  So much for the ‘silicon’ in SIlicon Valley!!!”

Ratio of closed sales versus new listings in Santa Clara County underlines the inventory crisis

Many of the statistics quoted by news agencies and real estate information analysts refer to the “active” inventory as not just the homes which are truly available, but also those which are sale pending but with contingencies still in place (whether huge contingencies, such as bank approval on a short sale or the normal ones, such as property inspection and loan approval).  This often results in a more bloated look at what’s available than what is really the case, and it gives buyers the sense that it’s easier to purchase than it truly is. Let’s look at some statistics to see what’s happening over the last year, when it shifted from being a buyer’s market to a severe seller’s market for houses in Santa Clara County.

Normally there are more homes available (for sale, without a “sale pending” status attached) than there are closed sales each month.  But right now, the available properties are being gobbled up much faster than new ones are getting put onto the multiple listing.  Let’s view the graph to see the relationship between these two figures for houses listed and sold in Santa Clara County in 2012.


New listings vs sold throughout 2012 in Santa Clara County CA


At the beginning of 2012, please note that the new listings (the red line) outpaced the sold and closed properties (green line).   The delta between them shrinks over the course of the year, until in the fall they are nearly equal until closed sales far outstrip new listings.   That is a complete flip in the market, and it represents a shift in power from the buyer to the seller, too.  For those who prefer just the numbers, here they are: (more…)

The Saratoga, CA, Real Estate Market Is Shifting

Homes in Saratoga, especially in the Saratoga or Cupertino schools areas and in the lowest price ranges, are selling at an improved clip from a year ago.

Below please find charts indicating the overall residential real estate trends for houses on the market and sold over the last year in Saratoga, California.   Of course the “market heat” will vary from home to home and area to area due to neighborhood quality, price point, newness of construction and condition of home, school district (especially), and acreage, among other things.  So these general comments may not apply to your unique house, but will be a good indicator of the housing market in Saratoga generally.

First, supply and demand in Saratoga over the last year.  The number of Saratoga homes on the market is up 31% year over year and the number of sold properties is up 72%.  The trend line indicates a rise in both homes on the market and those sold.  June’s inventory was a bit smaller than May’s. Will inventory continue to contract? If so, it will put pressure on home buyers because prices may begin to rise as the inventory gets better absorbed.

Please note that while the market is improving very noticeably, there are still far more homes on the market than are actually selling. Sellers, take heart that it’s improving but do not believe that the selling conditions are so changed that your home doesn’t need to be priced aggressively and staged nicely to get sold. (Even in a hot sellers market, some homes never do sell because of price and condition, primarily.)




Months Supply of Inventory (absorption rate) in Saratoga for single family homes (houses) has been declining and is down 26.2% from a year ago at this same time.




Finally, a look  at homes between one and two million dollars in Saratoga (for sale, pending and sold).  I wanted an overview of what the market is like in this fairly hot segment of the market.

This chart is helpful as it indicates price reductions and “days on market” as well as the current or sold prices. The clusters reveal that most homes that sell are selling pretty fast.  Very few homes languish on the market more than 6 months before they are sold, removed from the market, or repriced dramatically enough to get a new MLS number and position in the market.




Homeowners: it is a better time to sell now than it’s been in recent history, and the market is moving into your favor (esp in the lowest price ranges). To maximize your home’s value when selling, it needs to be positioned to sell fast while buyers have the most interest in it.   Buyers, the “shiny pennies” are being bought fairly quickly so if you see a good home in a good area with a good price, don’t wait too long to act.  If you can buy a solid home with “good bones” that needs a little work, you’ll have far less competition then if you buy the turnkey home that everyone wants.

If you are interested in selling or buying a home in Saratoga, or anywhere in the west valley communities of Silicon Valley, please contact me for more market information that is relevant to your homebuying or home-selling needs. I would be happy to meet with you personally and discuss your needs and the current climate for buying and selling.