Mountain View CA real estate market trends and statistics

Mountain View real estate market trends - by Mary Pope-Handy and Clair Handy - blue house with wordsThe Mountain View CA real estate market was a strong market and continued heating up, even breaking some recent records!

Quick summary on the realty market in Mountain View, CA

  • The average sale price for houses rose annually but down 1/10 of a percent monthly (to me, “flat” pricing)
  • The median sale price is also up annually and flat month over month
  • Days on market rose a tad from 11 in April to 16 in May
  • The sales to list price ratio cooled from 113.6% in April to 108.3% – not a lot of relief for home buyers
  • The condo market is appreciating even more steeply (see data closer to the bottom of this page)

Mountain View CA real estate market trends at a glance

First let’s have a look at the Real Estate Report for residential sales data. Happily, inventory rose and so did the number of sales (pending sales were flat).

Trends At a GlanceMay 2024Previous MonthYear-over-Year
Median Price$2,750,000 (0.0%)$2,750,000$2,500,000 (+10.0%)
Average Price$2,834,310 (-0.1%)$2,838,300$2,717,800 (+4.3%)
No. of Sales34 (+25.9%)2725 (+36.0%)
Pending21 (-22.2%)2723 (-8.7%)
Active14 (-44.0%)2514 (0.0%)
Sale vs. List Price108.3% (-4.7%)113.6%107.7% (+0.5%)
Days on Market16 (+52.7%)1111 (+46.5%)
Days of Inventory12 (-54.0%)2717 (-26.5%)

 

Throughout much of the valley, we are finding that some homes sell very quickly and with strong overbids, and others languish on the market (most often that happens if they are overpriced, but it could be other issues, too).

Mountain View CA real estate market trends and data by neighborhood or district

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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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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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Comparing cost of housing in West Valley communities from Palo Alto to Los Gatos to Blossom Valley: what will a 4 bedroom home cost?

Sketch of houseIt can be really challenging for people moving to Silicon Valley to get a sense of real estate prices, and perhaps more, comparing cost of from one town or district to another.

One question I get a lot is this: what does it cost to buy a 4 bedroom, 2 bath house of about 2000 square feet?

So to answer this question, let’s see what houses like this are selling for (4 bed, 2 bath, appx 2000 SF or 185 square meters) and see how the cost looks in one Santa Clara County / Silicon Valley area versus another.

Comparing Costs

Today I compared several areas and cities using this criteria: single family homes of 1800 – 2200 SF, 3-5 bedrooms, 2-3 bathrooms, on lot sizes of 6000 SF to 10,000 SF. Normally I would chart this over the last 2 months, or 60 days, but because of the low inventory causing the sellers market I have expanded the search to the last 3 months, or 90 days, for a better range. Because some areas have had a scarcity of inventory, I’ve added an addition to the chart titled NoS for Number of Sales within the given range.

Here’s how it shakes out in the “west valley areas” along the Highway 85 corridor, most of which are known to have good to great public schools. What areas are most affordable? One way of analyzing this is the “price per square foot” figure. Whenever I update the chart, I re-arrange the order of the cities from high to low based on the price per square foot, although there’s usually minimal movement.

 

Feb 2020 Sales Comparisons

 

Within this range, Campbell only had one sale over the last 90 days, so data for that segment may or may not be a good average. Both Los Altos and Saratoga had no sales within the last 90 days within these criteria, so their searches have been expanded to 0-180 days (or 6 months / half a year) and 0-120 days (or 4 months / a quarter year) respectively to provide data for comparison for this chart. Now that we have the data, let’s analyze it!

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Sellers: should you have an “offer deadline”?

Offer DeadlinesIt’s a seller’s market in Silicon Valley right now.  Many sellers are getting multiple offers and overbids, especially in Cupertino, Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Palo Alto and Menlo Park.  For home owners trying to maximize their sales price, does it make sense to have an “offer deadline”?

Maybe.

If you are pretty confident that you can get multiple offers, the deadline helps in a few ways.

  • it prevents the offer situation from being a mere “foot race” (fastest one wins, rather than highest offer and best terms)
  • it allows everyone enough time to see the house, read the inspections, disclosures etc.
  • it provides enough time for the sellers and agents to plan

As with all strategic plans, this one can backfire too.  If you or your agent publishes an offer deadline and then no bids are forthcoming, it’s more than just a let down.  It’s a market signal that this home is overvalued by its owner and agent.  Then, suddenly, it can appear to be an old or stale listing, even if it’s just been on the market 7 to 10 days.

Many real estate agents take a middle path, saying nothing about offers until agents ask. If they are asked, they will give a date in the future – usually a couple of days after the open house.  But the MLS won’t say it for these agents unless they hear many buyers’ agents asking about offer presentation.  They don’t want to look bad, they don’t want your house to look bad.

We never know until a property goes on the market how it will fare.  It is wise to be cautious about advertising an offer date unless you are very certain that you will be seeing multiples! The market right now is a little funny. Homes priced aggressively are getting multiple offers. Homes priced AT value are not moving quite so fast. And homes price for values in spring of 2018 are not selling well at all.

 

 

 

 

Le Petit Bistro in Mountain View

La Petit Bistro Crepe DessertDelicious French food and great service are the order of the day at Le Petit Bistro in Mountain View.  Recently, my extended family and I celebrated a milestone birthday there for one of the relatives.  Apparently this is not uncommon, as we heard two other tables sing Happy Birthday to You during our time there, also.

The restaurant is comfortable,  on the small side and the service is personal.  We found that our needs were promptly addressed for water, more bread, ordering, or anything else that we might need, but it was done in a very friendly and unhurried manner.

A good sized selection of foods and preparation styles were offered: fish, pork, beef, lamb and vegetarian entrees were available. There was something for everyone.  Between us, we enjoyed soups, salads and mussels for the first course.  The main courses that we ordered included beautifully presented lamb chops, pepper steak, and pork medallions.  At our table, we savored a variety of desserts, too: a fruit crepe (inside had fresh fruit and whipped cream), chocoloate mousse, and apple pie.  All of it was absolutely delicious.

By all means, I would go back, and not just to celebrate a birthday.  For that reason, I’m happy to write about it here – go give it a try, if you haven’t been already!  You will not be disappointed.

Le Petite Bistro
1405 W El Camino Real, Mountain View, CA 94040
(650) 964-3321
http://www.lepetitbistro.biz/

(As always, there is no compensation for my endorsement of this or any other business which I might write about from time to time.  The folks at this eatery don’t even know that this article is being written, and of course it was my idea to write it, not theirs.)

 

 

 

 

Best public and private High Schools in the San Jose metro area

Niche Report: Best High SchoolsThe K12Niche.com website created a list of important factors in grading the success of a high school, and evaluating secondary schools in that light, ranked them from best to worst.  Elements graded for the Niche Report included academics, health & safety, surveys of parents and students on the overall experience, student culture & diversity, teachers, resources & facilities, extracurriculars & activities, and sports & fitness.  (My two cents: I think it’s wonderful that they are counting much more than test scores!)

In the San Jose Metro Area (click on link to see full list), the top ranked schools are:

  1. Saratoga High School in Saratoga  (ranked # 3 in California)
  2. Henry M. Gunn High School in Palo Alto (ranked #4 in California)
  3. Lynbrook High School in San Jose (serves parts of Saratoga and Cupertino also) (# 12 in California)
  4. Los Altos High School in Los Altos (# 19 in California)
  5. Palo Alto High School in Palo Alto (# 27 in California)
  6. Mountain View High School (serves parts of Los Altos too)
  7. Monta Vista High School in Cupertino
  8. Los Gatos High School in Los Gatos
  9. Homestead High School in Cupertino
  10. Cupertino High School in Cupertino
  11. Leland High School in San Jose (southern Almaden Valley)

Please click on the link above to see the ranking of the next 30 in the San Jose area.

The San Francisco Metro Area seems to include a huge area, some of which may more properly be said to be a part of the San Jose area, such as Fremont.   Given that some of the SF “area” covers several counties and part is really within Silicon Valley, these good schools should be mentioned also.  I’m not going to list all of them, only those close to or in Silicon Valley. Also, because a far greater area is covered, the lower rankings should be understood as within the context of a much greater pool of competition.

See the whole SF area by clicking on the link.

  • Ranking 5th in the SF list is Amador High School in Pleasanton
  • Ranking 6th in the SF list is Burlingame High School in Burlingame
  • Ranking 10th in the SF list is Mission San Jose High School in Fremont
  • Ranking 11th in the SF list is San Mateo High in San Mateo
  • Ranking 12th is Foothill High in Pleasanton
  • Ranking 15th is Hillside High in San Mateo
  • Ranking 17th is Aragon High in San Mateo
  • and many more: Carlmont, Menlo-Atherton, Mills, Irvington, Sequoia all are in the top 25%

What about private high schools?

Yes, there’s a Niche ranking for private high schools too. However, a closer look at the details and it’s apparent that far fewer criteria were used with these grades.  Not sure why there’s less that went into the private school rankings.   There are 15 private high schools in the San Jose Metro Area, and the top five are Harker (San Jose), Oakwood Country School (Morgan Hill), Bellarmine College Prep (San Jose), Notre Dame High (San Jose) and St. Francis High (Mountain View).   To see the broader SF area, click on this link, which appears to cover San Mateo, San Francisco, Alameda, Contra Costa, and Marin Counties.

 

 

 

Santa Clara County Market Update By School District Q1 2014

Today I’m sharing with you Silicon Valley real estate statistics which were presented to me by my company, Sereno Group. These are “by school district” and I think you will find them immensely insightful! First, though, a brief commentary on the overall findings, then statistics for single family homes (mostly houses but a few “duet homes”) in Santa Clara County, and lastly, the same info but for condominiums and townhouses.

 

Sereno Market Report Intro May 10 2014

 

Please find the real estate market statistics by school district in the Santa Clara County area next.  Please note that the San Jose Unified School District is extremely large and varied, and the numbers would be very different if you were narrowing it to Almaden Valley with Leland High School as opposed to some areas which are not performing nearly as well.

 

Market Report By School District Quarter 1 2004 Single Family Homes

 

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Guadalupe Landfill in San Jose’s Almaden Valley – Gas Recovery Facility Relocation Project

Got Gas?A meeting will take place  on Saturday, May 10th, 2014 at 10 a.m. at the Almaden Community Library ( 6445 Camden Ave, San Jose) to discuss the Guadalupe Landfilll’s “Gas Recovery Facility Relocation Project”.  Currently there is in place such a system to recover the gas which is naturally emitted as the items in the landfill decompose.  (Long timers in the area may recall problems at Shoreline in Mountain View when there were surprise combustion fires from the same sort of activity when the gas wasn’t being handled well.)  This gas must be captured and dealt with one way or the other.  But for various reasons, the powers that be at the landfill would like to shut down the current one and put a new one up in a different location, still at the landfill of course.  Some locals are concerned about a variety of problems that may arise with this change.     This landfill or dump is also known as the Guadalupe Recycling and Disposal Facility

For more info, please see the city’s website:  http://www.sanjoseca.gov/index.aspx?NID=2434

Mountain View – lovely hillside vistas and much more!

The other day I had a medical appointment in Mountain View near El Camino Hospital, and at the time I wasn’t initially so happy that the parking garage was filled up on the lower levels.  To my surprise and delight, though, from the top of the structure was a lovely view of the coastal mountains with St. Francis High School in the foreground.

 

Mountain View, California (St. Francis High School)

Mountain View, California (St. Francis High School)

 

When I think of the City of Mountain View, what comes to mind is often not mountains at all, but Moffett Field, Castro Street with its incredibly diverse restaurants and shops, lovely (and pricey) homes and of course some of the high tech giants that Silicon Valley is known for, such as Microsoft. Too often, though, I don’t really appreciate the proximity of the beautiful hills.  On that day, though, they were unmistakably visible and beautiful.

We have monthly updates on the Mountain View real estate market and invite you to check it out here:
Mountain View CA market trends & statistics