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 month over month as well as annually
  • The median sale price is also up monthly and annually
  • Days on market rose a tad from 9 in March to 11 in April.
  • The sales to list price ratio rose even further to 113.6%,  indicating how hard buyers are fighting for the best homes.
  • The condo market is also fairly strong (see more near the bottom of this post)

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 GlanceApr 2024Previous MonthYear-over-Year
Median Price$2,750,000 (+9.1%)$2,521,000$2,708,000 (+1.6%)
Average Price$2,838,300 (+5.5%)$2,691,250$2,661,440 (+6.6%)
No. of Sales27 (+125.0%)12(+200.0%)
Pending27 (0.0%)2719 (+42.1%)
Active25 (+25.0%)2016 (+56.3%)
Sale vs. List Price113.6% (+2.0%)111.3%103.9% (+9.3%)
Days on Market11 (+21.1%)9(+14.9%)
Days of Inventory27 (-46.3%)5052 (-47.9%)

 

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

(more…)

The real estate market in San Jose’s Blossom Valley area

Pan of Santa Teresa and Blossom Valley

Pan of Santa Teresa and Blossom Valley

The Blossom Valley real estate market heated up through the first quarter of 2024 and are even hotter in spring. It continues to be a strong seller’s market! Homes in good shape which are priced appropriately regularly sell quickly and well above list price, despite new hurdles for buyers to overcome over the last two years. While trends can vary based on price point, schools, zip codes, etc., the entire area is still in high demand.

Here are some bullet points from the latest statistics:

  • Closed sales are well above this time last year, as is pending, while active inventory is just a hair more
  • The average sale to list price ratio also grew month-over-mont and soared above last year!
  • Days on market sped to a red hot turnover with an 8 day average with a slightly slower market absorption (days of inventory) at just 13 days

Often we see month-over-month softening into the end of the year with lower inventory and demand over the busy holiday season, followed by an increase in activity (and rising prices) as the market moves towards spring. That said, the market remained strong through winter and began experiencing rapidly increasing activity earlier than usual. March and April are often the peak months for pricing, and it’s definitely a hot market in Blossom Valley!

About Blossom Valley

The Blossom Valley area of San Jose is on the south end of the city and covers the 95123 and 95136 zip codes. For our MLS, it’s “area 12.” A more affordable section of Silicon Valley, it has much to offer in addition to more reasonable housing prices. Many areas enjoy views of the Santa Teresa Foothills or the Communications Hill knolls or even the coastal foothills in the distance and Mt Umunhum. One corner of it sits alongside beautiful Almaden Lake, too. Another corner is located at the crossroads of Highways 85 and 87, making it an easy commute destination for those working in downtown San Jose. And there’s an abundance of shopping and dining opportunities.

Now for some market data.

Live Altos Reports

We’ll start with the Altos Reports, which gague the market based on active listings, not sales, and is updated about once per week.

95123 real estate market trends, automatically updated weekly:

Blossom Valley Real-Time Market Profile by Altos Research

(more…)

Santa Clara County Real Estate Market

The Santa Clara County real estate market was red hot in April!

  • Home prices hit a new high in April 2024 for Santa Clara County.
  • The average price per SF also hit an all time high in April 2024.
  • Inventory is rising.
  • Days on market are down monthly and annually, but the absorption rate (days/weeks/months of inventory) is up due to the significant rise in inventory.
  • The sale to list price ratio is up again.
  • We are hearing of some market slowing now, in May, but it’s not uniform – some areas are still super hot.

April 2024 Santa Clara County real estate market sales stats

 

Here’s the RE Report summary table. It’s an excellent summary of our Silicon Valley housing market. The Santa Clara County real estate market is red hot!

 

Santa Clara County real estate market trends at a glance

Santa Clara County real estate market statistics

 

Multi year real estate data charts for Santa Clara County real estate market (single family homes)

PLEASE NOTE: to view any of the data tables / images below in a larger version, just click on them and you will be taken to our blog post, where the images are larger (except for the first one). Still too small? Click on them in the article and a larger still version will pop up. 

Months of Inventory

First, the months of inventory, which points to a slight cooling in the market.

 

Santa Clara County Months of Inventory for SFH

(more…)

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:

(more…)

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…)

Transitional Market

Some segments of the Silicon Valley real estate market seem to have entered a transitional market phase. We’ll go over what that means and what is expected below.

What is a transitional market?

A transitional real estate market is underway when shifts happen in the buyer – seller dynamic. It may not be a full change or reversal from seller’s market to buyer’s market, or vice versa, but the trajectory changes and expectations change, too.

 

Transitional market graphic with sea and rock landscape, beach stones balancing (700 × 350 px)

 

For the last 2+ years, the home sellers have had nearly all of the power. Homes have been selling fast, with many buyers bidding on available properties, with no contingencies, quick escrows, free rent backs, you name it. That’s been the case all over the country, but perhaps to a more extreme level here.

For example:

  • homes that sold with 21 offers a few months ago might sell with 3 – 5 offers (or perhaps just 1)
  • if properties were pending in 7 days on an “offer due date” last season, it may go to 10 days without a deadline
  • if sales were largely without contingencies, we may see them start to reappear
  • in extreme change from today, sellers may again pay for Section 1 termite work and repairs or even help with buyer loan costs by paying points

Price strategy change, too:

Right now, most homes are offered for sale at prices that those sellers may be unwilling to take. (My advice too my clients is to not list it lower than you’d actually take it if it takes a few weeks to sell and you get just one offer.) Listing agents know that if it’s priced attractively, it will get more offers and probably push the eventual price higher than what might be anticipated if the home were put on the market closer to the expected value.

In transitional markets, that gap between the list price and the sale price shrinks – we stop seeing mirage pricing that confuses many buyers. Listing agents may begin to advise sellers to list with “transparent pricing”, or what the sellers expect or want. Sellers may pay for rent backs – if they can still get them.

Conditions leading up to today

It is well known that our Bay Area housing market has been overheated to an extreme ever since Covid showed up. Prices accelerated at the fastest pace that most of us who’ve been selling homes for a long time had ever seen. Prices have roughly doubled since about 2015 or 2016. I’ve seen some neighborhoods where home prices rose 30% in less than 6 months.

Here’s a quick view of the median sale price of single family homes or houses since 2005.

San Jose Median Sale Price of Houses

 

 

Late 2017 seemed to just keep rising into 2018 without the seasonal break we often see in the second half of the year. Late 2018 and 2019 were cooler.  (In October 2018 I wrote about the cooling market.) We also had some cool-down blips in the second half of 2016 and the second half of 2014. The market heats up and it cools down.  But by how much is the question.

With interest rates rising, the stock market plummeting, inflation raging, and war in Europe, it’s no wonder if the market transitions. Most of us would say it’s overdue.

What is changing right now?

(more…)

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…)

San Jose sale price to list price ratio – seasonal patterns

How is the San Jose sale price to list price ratio now? Is the Silicon Valley real estate market falling into seasonal patterns which may be somewhat predictable? When is it usually the best time to sell or buy in San Jose, Santa Clara County, or Silicon Valley?

Silicon Valley  home buyers and sellers all want to know what is the best timing for maximizing the profit when selling or when maximizing how much home you can get when buying. The sale price to list price ratio is an important data point as it indicates market heat generally. Most years, a hot market means overbids (but not always, I’ve seen years when multiple offers came in below the offer price – but that is rare). San Jose makes up about half of Santa Clara County, and that makes it a good place to get a pulse on this seasonal trends.

San Jose sale price to list price ratio graph by month, 2014 – present

Here’s an image of the sale price to list price ratio in San Jose from January 2014 to present. (Adding more years makes it difficult to see where the dips and rises are in the seasons.)

 

San Jose sale price to list price ratio for single family homes 2014 to present

 

In the above image, the vertical lines represent January 1st of each year (half of the years had markers indicating where that was, and on the other half I made my best attempt at identifying it).  It’s pretty clear that in many of those years, the low point is at the end of a calendar year – somewhere around November or December. But not always. It’s also pretty obvious that the peak is not terribly long after the new year in most cases: spring.

San Jose sale price to list price ratio: table from January 2010 to May 2021

I created a table for the San Jose sale price to list price ratio and was able to take it back to 2010 (best seen on a tablet, laptop, or desktop, not a cell phone) and pulled the patterns out by the high and low months for the sale price to list price ratio.

(more…)

Did you take take care of needed repairs when you bought you home?

Photo of drywood termite pellets - Home in need of termite repairsDid you do the repairs outlined when you bought your home?

Recently I showed a home where the owners had been there 7 or 8 years but never did any of the suggested repairs from their pre-sale inspections when they purchased the home “As Is“. The As Is part means that no repairs were provided by the sellers, with the idea that buyers would do whatever was needed later.  Desperate to get in when prices were appreciating fast, it seemed that most home buyers said “we’ll take care of it after we own it“.

But many of them forgot.

Today, with the whitest hot market I’ve ever seen in my career, most sellers fix the major items because they understand that it will net them a higher sale price. They fix the foundation, electrical, plumbing, waste lines, roof leaks, pest items, safety issues, and do whatever other repairs would make a buyer pause.

Some, though, don’t do any repairs at all – none! Often they are the same sellers who won’t stage their homes, or for whom scheduling a showing is a big effort, and maybe the disclosures aren’t so thoughtfully done. (In recent weeks I saw a disclosure package in which the sellers wrote on every page, “AS IS SALE” and refused to answer each question.) It’s a giant red flag that these may be difficult sellers.

If you want to maximize your profits, don’t let that seller be you. As Is certainly is the norm, but it’s As Disclosed. Wouldn’t buyers pay more if they weren’t worried about needing to do a lot of expensive and time consuming repairs? You bet. Confident buyers pay more. Let that be your mantra, home sellers.

Pull out your old file, find your inspection reports and review them, especially if you are preparing to sell your home

(more…)

“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…)