Employment

San Francisco and Silicon Valley unemployment rates

The San Francisco and Silicon Valley unemployment rates are a huge driver of the SF Bay Area’s housing market. Today I saw real estate market info from the California Association of Realtor’s chief economist, Leslie Appleton-Young. One of her slides makes plain why the Silicon Valley real estate market is so crazy: our unemployment rate is extremely low, behind only San Francisco (where trying to buy a home is even worse than on the Peninsula or South Bay). Have a look at the data by California metro area:

San Francisco and Silicon Valley unemployment rates

San Francisco & Silicon Valley unemployment rates plus all of California

San Francisco and Silicon Valley unemployment rates plus all of California by metro area

As you can see, San Francisco has a screaming hot jobs market with only 3.4% unemployment. The San Jose metro area is only slightly cooler at 4.1%. (Unfortunately there are no “Cliff Notes” to tell where the San Francisco Metro Area ends and where the San Jose Metro Area begins – so I cannot tell if San Mateo County is lumped in with Santa Clara County to the south or San Francisco County and City to the north.)

With all this hiring going on, it’s no wonder that a frequent topic of conversation is Silicon Valley traffic patterns and congestion.  A few years ago, the rush hour traffic in the morning went from about 6:30 or 7am to 9am, and the evening commute times were about 4 to 7pm.  Today both are extended.  I find that Highway 85 in the “west valley” areas along Los Gatos, Saratoga, and Cupertino tends to still be pretty thick with cars even at 10am.  The return trip from Palo Alto (where I have some doctors at Stanford Hospital) can be sluggish as early as 3pm.

Worsening traffic from low Silicon Valley unemployment rates means that Silicon Valley real estate is even more expensive than usual for close-in locations.   Many San Jose area commuters spend an hour driving into work in the morning and 75 or 90 minutes driving home in the evening (for reasons I don’t understand, the evening commute is quite a bit worse than the morning one).   That translates to home prices being much, much more expensive than you’d expect in places like Mountain View, Sunnyvale and Santa Clara.   For a better quality of life, Silicon Valley employees will often pay dearly to get that shorter commute. If they can get the smaller commute and great public schools, the communities are the most expensive places to live, as is the case in Palo Alto, Los Altos and Los Altos Hills in particular.

Find Silicon Valley real estate and homes for sale in “close in” locations below

A sampling of the newest properties on the market – all price ranges – in the following areas:

Los Altos homes for sale

  1. 6 beds, 7 baths
    Home size: 6,096 sq ft
    Lot size: 22,002 sqft
    Year built: 2017
  2. 5 beds, 5 baths
    Home size: 5,089 sq ft
    Lot size: 35,209 sqft
    Year built: 2011
  3. 4 beds, 5 baths
    Home size: 3,580 sq ft
    Lot size: 12,501 sqft
    Year built: 2017
  4. 7 beds, 6 baths
    Home size: 5,152 sq ft
    Lot size: 10,206 sqft
    Year built: 2008
  5. 3 beds, 4 baths
    Home size: 3,418 sq ft
    Lot size: 8,350 sqft
    Year built: 2003

See all Los Altos, California Real Estate.
(all data current as of 11/18/2017)

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

Palo Alto homes for sale

  1. 5 beds, 7 baths
    Home size: 7,145 sq ft
    Lot size: 23,522 sqft
    Year built: 1927
  2. 5 beds, 10 baths
    Home size: 9,750 sq ft
    Lot size: 43,512 sqft
    Year built: 2017
  3. 5 beds, 7 baths
    Home size: 7,326 sq ft
    Lot size: 26,697 sqft
    Year built: 1927
  4. 4 beds, 5 baths
    Home size: 5,675 sq ft
    Lot size: 21,954 sqft
    Year built: 1968
  5. 6 beds, 6 baths
    Home size: 6,495 sq ft
    Lot size: 15,407 sqft
    Year built: 1946

See all Palo Alto, California Real Estate.
(all data current as of 11/18/2017)

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

Sunnyvale homes for sale

  1. 0 beds, 0 bath
    Home size: 2,866 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,821 sqft
    Year built: 1979
  2. 5 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,300 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,497 sqft
    Year built: 2017
  3. 5 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,300 sq ft
    Lot size: 10,349 sqft
    Year built: 1956
  4. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,178 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,976 sqft
    Year built: 1966
  5. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,776 sq ft
    Lot size: 7,980 sqft
    Year built: 1976

See all Sunnyvale, California Real Estate.
(all data current as of 11/18/2017)

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

Cupertino homes for sale

  1. 6 beds, 5 baths
    Home size: 3,377 sq ft
    Lot size: 17,654 sqft
    Year built: 1970
  2. 5 beds, 4 baths
    Home size: 4,531 sq ft
    Lot size: 9,374 sqft
    Year built: 2002
  3. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,815 sq ft
    Lot size: 10,349 sqft
    Year built: 2001
  4. 0 beds, 0 bath
    Home size: 3,280 sq ft
    Lot size: 9,330 sqft
    Year built: 1968
  5. 3 beds, 4 baths
    Home size: 2,647 sq ft
    Lot size: 3,175 sqft
    Year built: 2017

See all Cupertino, California Real Estate.
(all data current as of 11/18/2017)

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

 

Learn about some of the local Silicon Valley real estate markets:

Cupertino real estate market trends and statistics

Los Gatos real estate market trends by price point and high school district

 

Silicon Valley desirability for tech workers may hinge on age

Just read an interesting article on how important tech workers feel it is to live in Silicon Valley:  Is Silicon Valley Still the Top Tech Hub?  This piece reports on a survey done by Indeed Prime which found that many high tech workers do not believe that living in Silicon Valley is all that important for their careers.  For all those polled, 68.3% said that living here is either “not that important” or “not at all important.”

I can almost hear local old timers saying “great, maybe we’ll get our calm environment back if they all go to Seattle, New York, or Austin!”

So what is happening?  High housing costs do scare people off of living in the San Francisco Bay Area, and San Jose and nearby specifically.  Recently, my 26 year old son (in high tech also – he’s a video game designer currently getting a master’s in that field) informed me that many of his old high school friends don’t feel like they’ll ever be able to afford to live here.  And they are all well employed. I can see that, and it’s terribly sad.

But I don’t think you can blame the lack of attachment by tech workers generally to Silicon Valley real estate prices, because the attachment to living in the Santa Clara Valley is not uniform across all types of tech workers.

Further into this article, there’s a breakdown by age – and here it gets interesting.  Many younger high tech folks find value in being here, but the interest wanes as the workers age (that could be due to housing and the availability of other alternative locations for work).

For those thinking that having a job in Silicon Valley is important or very important, the generational breakdown is as follows:

Millennials  45.5%

Gen X   32.5%

Baby Boomers  10.2%

Will we see a trend toward a younger, more transient population here?  Time will tell. But the other places luring Silicon Valley talent share some of our same challenges.  Alternative locations for high tech careers include New York (not known for being inexpensive) and Boston (also fairly pricey) as well as more affordable locations such as Austin (where prices have been going through the roof), Seattle (also seeing extremely steep appreciation in real estate costs), Washington DC, Atlanta, and Demver.

It is a very interesting bit of research and I encourage my readers to check it out.

Is Silicon Valley Still the Top Tech Hub?

 

Mary Pope-Handy
Realtor,
CIPS, CRS, ABR, SRES
Sereno Group
214 Los Gatos-Saratoga Rd.
Los Gatos CA 95030
[Silicon Valley, California, USA]
1-408-204-7673
mary (at) popehandy.com
CA BRE # 01153805

CIPS - Certified International Property Specialist
CRS - Certified Residential Specialist
ABR - Accredited Buyer Representative
SRES - Seniors Real Estate Specialist

Helping nice folks to buy and sell homes in Silicon Valley since 1993. Mary Pope-Handy, Realtor, Silicon Valley
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Listings by Price Range
Below please find a list of SOME of the popular Silicon Valley areas with listings offered by price range. This is not a complete list! Please use the "search" app to find ALL properties on the MLS.
Trends & Statistics

Click the link below to get real estate data for Santa Clara County, San Mateo County, and Santa Cruz County (together making up about 98% of "Silicon Valley").

Real Estate Market Statistics and Trends for Santa Clara County


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