Beautiful Willow Glen is one of San Jose’s many districts, but it once was a separate town until less than a hundred years ago, when the need for a better sewage system nudged the townfolk to vote in favor of annexation to San Jose. It maintains a strong & independent identity.
To speak of “the Willow Glen real estate market” is to try to include divergent neighborhoods, school districts, architecture, price points and locations. Below please find a general overview of the market for Willow Glen houses & duet homes as of March 20, 2010. (Numbers from MLSListings.com, crunched by Mary Pope-Handy. Homes listed as “sold” were closed within the last 30 days – as of today.)
The months of inventory indicates that it is a seller’s market in Willow Glen (less than 6 months is the tipping point) overall. Please note that there’s some variation, though, from one school district to the next. You’ll also find variation between price points, whether or not the home is distressed, etc.
Schools: most of Willow Glen belongs to the San Jose Unified School District. A small section of Willow Glen is a part of the Campbell Union High School District. (CUHSD has pretty good schools so this area is often prized for that reason.) And a tiny little sliver actually belongs to the East Side Union High School District – very few homes fall into this section so it’s not addressed specifically.
Areas: Willow Glen has many neighborhoods within it, ranging from Palm Haven and north Willow Glen to the Birdlands and the Willows at another and many others inbetween. There are some areas more prized than others, of course. Being close to the downtown area (and away from freeways, for instance) can dramatically increase the sales price and marketability of the home. Certain neighborhoods have more charming architecture, larger trees along the street, wider roads or other plusses that drive their value up.
Price points and selling conditions: In addition to these factors, we also must consider the price point of the home as well as whether a home is being sold without undue pressure or if it is a distressed sale, that is, a bank owned or short sale. Regular sales usually sell for more (and buyers know that normally they will be given both disclosures and presale inspections prior to drafting their purchase offer).
In most of Silicon Valley, the “hottest” segment of the market is the most affordable. For a closer look at this subset of the San Jose real estate market, I have broken it down into major groups, the first one being homes priced below $729,000 (which is close to the “conforming jumbo” loan cutoff). Below, please notice that there is a significant difference between the months of inventory from one school district to the next as well as one sale type to the next. In Willow Glen right now, the sweet spot of the market are homes priced under $729,000 and located in the Campbell Union High School District (not San Jose Unified).
If we look at the next pricing tier of $729,000 to $1,200,000, we see that things cool off considerably. This is true in most of the rest of Santa Clara County, too. The lowest priced houses are tending to sell the best right now.
In this tier, the months of inventory are much longer overall and in some cases, there have been no recent sales and the prospects are fairly dismal. The odds are improved for this group if the home is a “normal sale”, at least.
And what of the highest priced homes in Willow Glen? This is the toughest market overall.
With an average months of inventory of 10.67 for all school districts or 9.33 months for San Jose Unified, it is a real challenge to get a high end home sold in Willow Glen today. The Willow Glen Luxury home market saw just 3 homes closed last month. The only way for these homes to sell is to get the price to a painful level for the sellers, unfortunately. Buyers want a bargain – and they are voting with their feet, deciding that most of what’s on the market in this price point in Willow Glen is overpriced.
It is very important for home sellers to be realistic when pricing their homes. Setting the offering price where you’d like it to be is not a smart strategy. If your segment of the market has 10 months of inventory, you have got to seriously undercut the rest of the homes to get yours sold!
Buyers, if you are hoping to scoop up a Willow Glen bargain by finding a short sale or bank owned property, you’d better be ready to act fast if one comes on the market in your price range. As you can see, there aren’t many of them – and they’re selling fast! You may be able to find a “regular sale” for a bit more – the delta between regular sales and short sales is often 10-20%, depending on a lot of variables. Even among the regular sales, in the lowest priced houses in this area, they aren’t lasting too long. The good ones go fast!
If you’d like to have a better understanding of your area within Willow Glen, please call me for a confidential appointment.
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