Real Estate

Real Estate

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Get weekly market reports by zip code

One of the tools I use in my Silicon Valley real estate practice is Altos Research. My subscription, which generates reports on mls data of homes for sale weekly, covers all the zip codes of Santa Clara County. The market reports by zip code can be a real wealth of information for home buyers trying to figure out how much home they can get for their money as the report breaks down each zip code area listings by price quartiles and provides the average home and lot size, among other items, in each bracket.

Here’s one part of this week’s report for single family homes in 95032

Profile of homes for sale by price quartile inLos Gatos CA 95032

Profile of homes for sale by price quartile in 95032 (Los Gatos CA)

This is a really helpful way to grasp qucikly how much it will likely cost to get you into a certain sized home.  It also provides a sense whether your particular price point is near the bottom or top of the market – or if it’s possible at all.  Want to buy a home here but the budget is $1 million or less? The data above reveals that this is unlikely in a house.  But perhaps a condo or townhouse might work.

Next, please notice the days on market by pricing tier.  It’s a lot hotter of a market in the lowest priced houses than it is in the highest.

It also helps home sellers to understand what part of their local market is hot or cold (if any).

There are many other elements included in the report.  The main summary of “how’s the market?” is found in the upper right corner.  Below is the example from the same Los Gatos 95032 report cited above:

 

Altos Research Report for Los Gatos 95032

Altos Research Report for Los Gatos 95032

The Altos data is strictly by town or zip code, so school districts won’t be covered – and here they are a major driver on home values. Even so, this is a great starting point and a way to get the big picture painlessly.

Please sign up and get the monthly newsletter, too!

The report is free to you – please sign up below to get the market reports by zip code emailed to you automatically each week.  I’ll also add you (unless you request not to be added) to my monthly newsletter, which is based primarily on the RE Report and sold data as opposed to listing data.  You can check out a sample here: Mary Pope-Handy’s monthly RE Report Newsletter  As always, please feel free to email me to set up a time to chat about the market and your buying or selling here.  I’d love to hear from you.

 

What does it cost to buy a 4 bedroom, 2 bath home in the West Valley areas of Silicon Valley?

It can be really challenging for people moving to Silicon Valley to get a sense of pricing for home buying. So to compare “apples to apples,” let’s take a hypothetical case of a 4 bedroom, 2 bath home of approximately 2,000 SF house (appx 185 square meters) and see how the cost looks in one area versus another.

Today I compared several areas and cities using the same formula: homes of 1800 – 2200 SF, 3-5 bedrooms, 2-3 bathrooms, on lot sizes of 6000 SF to 10,000 SF that have sold within the last 90 days (120 days when there’s less inventory, 60 when there’s more). Here’s how it shakes out in the “west valley areas” along the Highway 85 corridor. What areas are most affordable? One way of analyzing this is the “price per square foot” figure. How competitive is it? Have a look at the DOM or “Days on Market” figure.  All of these days on market are short, but they range from low to heart-skipping fast. Please also note that while most of these numbers are working on a handful of sales, Mountain View and Saratoga had only two each over the last 3 months that fit the criteria, so the data may not be as accurate in that row as others, like Cambrian in San Jose which had 23 sales in the same time. Now let’s have a look.

2b - What does it cost to buy a 4 bedroom, 2 bath home in the West Valley areas of Silicon Valley?

How much have prices changed? I’m trying a different approach this time to arrange the chart, showing areas that have moved up on the chart in white and those which have moved down in the darker rows. While that shows how prices have changed in relation to other areas, and for the most part the rankings don’t change very much. Compare each individual market to where it was last July and you’ll see that prices everywhere are up from summer 2017.

This chart was from last July.

2 - What does it cost to buy a 4 bedroom, 2 bath home in the West Valley areas of Silicon Valley?

Below is another flashback to March 2017.  Do you notice the difference in ordering? A couple of markets have switched places, Sunnyvale and Saratoga, but there’s not too much different. For the most part, rankings have changed very little.

This next chart was from last March.

2a - What does it cost to buy a 4 bedroom, 2 bath home in the West Valley areas of Silicon Valley?

In most cases, the most expensive and desirable places have either the best schools or shortest commute location. Had I ranked these for school scores, you’d find that Cambrian is fairly high up and a good “bang for the buck” location – though not a super short commute for folks who work in Mountain View (though not so bad for people working in Cupertino). None of these is especially close to North San Jose (Cisco).

What about a little longer term? What did this look like in 2013? Click through to see. Continue reading

More affordable homes to buy or rent in Silicon Valley with better schools

Edit: I originally wrote this post on August 12, 2013, but it is still accurate today, January 25, 2018, and probably will be for years to come. 

This morning I received an email from folks wanting to find a good area in which to move where they’ll have good schools but not pay the kind of prices they see in Palo Alto.  Below is my response to them.  I focus on Santa Clara County, and in particular the west valley areas from Los Altos to Almaden Valley or Blossom Valley areas of Willow Glen to Downtown San Jose, Santa Clara, Campbell, and back toward Los Gatos and its nearest parts.  Below is my response – hope it is helpful to many of my readers!   (The list is not exhaustive.)

 

The easiest way to check school scores is to use the site www.SchoolAndHousing.com.  It’s good for showing what house has which schools.  The home search feature is not very good, though, so don’t use that.  Best for home searching is www.MLSListings.com, as it is the public branch of our agent MLS and it is updated continuously.   Something to consider, though, is that the school scores do not tell the entire story.  There are many factors to include in your evaluation of a school, such as the variety of coursework offered (some schools may not have art or music, for instance), the availability of sports (for a balanced upbringing) and the overall feeling of a school (are the kids happy or are they overly pressured into excellence at a very young age?).  For many of these things, the best approach is to visit the schools personally and request a tour.  See if you can chat with the parents who are waiting to pick their kids up after school to hear about their experiences.  And of course read reviews online.

 

In terms of general areas to consider for schools near Mountain View, Palo Alto or Sunnyvale, in general, the better the schools, the more expensive the housing (whether to buy or to rent).  Hence Palo Alto is extremely pricey because the schools are absolutely top. Here are some communities that have great schools or good to very good schools:
  1. Palo Alto (very costly)
  2. Cupertino (less expensive for the school scores compared to other areas up to #5 on this list)
  3. Saratoga (very expensive)
  4. Los Altos & Los Altos Hills
  5. Los Gatos & Monte Sereno (95030 & 95032)
  6. Parts of San Jose in Cambrian 95124 and Almaden 95120 (very good value)
  7. The Los Gatos Mountains (zip code 95033)
  8. Parts of Fremont (Mission San Jose area)
Also it should be noted that in many cases, it makes more economic sense to utilize private schools and to live in an area which is a little less costly, such as Santa Clara (part of SC has Cupertino schools, so that will be expensive) or parts of San Jose (part of west San Jose 95129 has Cupertino schools, and part does not).  Many of my global clients initially do not see private schools as an option, for fear that all the kids in them will be from wealthy families and spoiled.  But often that is not the case at all – the kids are from families who like the curriculum, the teachers, the overall approach of the school and literally make sacrifices to send their kids there.  So I would advise that you at least have a look at that option since homes in the areas with the very best schools can be extremely costly.

San Jose Mercury News Headlines April 15 – 16 2014: home prices to buy or rent are rising steeply

Flashback Friday!

As I was going through old blog posts, I found this brief installment from April 17th, 2014. Often I write that the current hot sellers market in the Bay is “prolonged,” “steady,” or “persistent,” but seeing these two headlines from over 3 years ago really shows just how unyielding it has been. It is highly unusual to be in such a strong, drawn-out market, but there’s no clear indicator that things will change anytime soon, either. Buyers and renters might find some relief now that autumn is here in hopes that it brings the usual seasonal cooling.

Find the original post immediately below. – Update October 22nd, 2017

 

Here are the headlines from the San Jose Mercury News in mid April 2014:

Home Prices to buy or rent going up April 15-16 2014

Rental article: Bay Area apartment rents set record 4/16/14

Excerpt:  Bay Area apartment rents are rising at nearly double-digit annual rates and have reached record levels, according to a report released Tuesday, prompting some analysts to warn that the region’s economic boom could be choked off by the relentless rise…..  Among the Bay Area’s three largest cities, San Jose had an average asking rent of $2,066 during this year’s January-March quarter, up 10.3 percent from the same period last year, RealFacts reported. Oakland had an average rental rate of $2,187, up 12.3 percent, while San Francisco posted an average of $3,057, up 9.5 percent.

Home buying article:   Bay Area home prices jump year over year

Excerpt:  March marked more than 20 consecutive months of year-over-year price gains for single-family homes in the East Bay, South Bay and Peninsula, according to real estate information service DataQuick, which released a report on March sales Wednesday…. The San Diego-based company said that prices were up 29.2 percent from the previous March in Alameda County to $575,000. In Contra Costa County, prices rose 22.8 percent to $425,000. Santa Clara County gained 20.3 percent to $800,000, and San Mateo County was up 13.2 percent to $860,000.

Whether you buy or rent, prices have been rising dramatically.  When factoring in what housing will cost, include the trajectory of appreciation per month.

Silicon Valley’s Apartment Rental Market

keyWhether you’re a long-term renter, temporary renter looking for a furnished rental, or a landlord, you’re probably wondering how the Silicon Valley’s apartment rental market is today and where it’s heading. Most real estate agents in this area do not deal with rentals, so rental housing is not typically something we track super closely. That being said, the same things that affect the residential resale market frequently effect the apartment rental market as well. So, without the help from my usual sources, such as the MLS (Multiple Listing Services), let’s look at what people are saying about the current trends.

Silicon Valley’s apartment rental market in the news

This February, bizjournals.com published three helpful articles, all written by Janice Bitters on the Silicon Valley’s apartment rental market. In these, she provides insight to investors with predictions for the market with some reflection on current and past trends. What to these articles express? That there has been high demand and rising rents for years, similar to the housing market. What she gleans from industry trends is that builders and landlords have been working very hard to fulfill the demand for luxury apartments, and that new developments in the high-end sector have begun to meet demand. With demand in the higher price point diminishing, she says, builders and landlords no longer have the same incentive to create rentals in this sector, and investors do not want to pursue the mid- to low-end rental market. Despite there still being a clear demand in lower-cost apartments, developers are unlikely to pursue that sector right now due to the high cost of land and construction.

To attract renters to the luxury units, landlords are offering concessions such as free month to rent. This suggests that, in the higher price point of the rental market, it’s cooled down and has swung towards the favor of renters after being hot for a long time. In housing terms, we would call this a shift from a seller’s market (the market is in the seller’s favor) to a buyer’s market (the market is in the buyer’s favor).  It’s true that with residential home sales, it’s also cooler in the luxury tier (over $3 million) than more moderately priced homes for sale.  Here are the articles where you can learn much more about the rental market:

https://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/news/2017/02/06/reports-show-rental-cooloff-for-silicon-valley.html

https://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/news/2017/02/09/pierce-apartments-san-jose-silicon-valley-market.html

https://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/news/2017/02/17/with-bay-area-apartment-rents-headed-for-steep.html

(Check out the graph in this last article!)

Unfortunately, after a cool and wet winter market, rent growth rates exceeded last year this summer, making it a continued, hot market for landlords. According to Apartment List (an excellent resource for tracking the rental market by city), San Jose rent is up 2% from last year and up 0.5% from last month, with the median rent for a one bedroom at $2,060, and at $2,580 for a two bed unit. Comparatively, Apartment List states that San Francisco is the highest cost California city for rentals with the median price for a two bedroom at $3,060, which has remained stable since last year. They also compare the median two bed rental across other major cities in the lower 48 states, which show that San Jose in both growth and median price is higher than New York city. Needless to say, on their Renter Confidence Survey, San Jose rated F for Affordability (meanwhile garnering and A and an A- in jobs and weather respectively).

Sunnyvale rentals, like the purchase market, is higher than San Jose by a few hundred dollars (Apartment List states the medians as $2,230 for 1 bed and $2,800 for a two bed unit), and are up 3.1% since last year. A Santa Clara apartment will cost you more than San Jose (the whole city, there are higher and lower rent areas), but less than Sunnyvale. Campbell may be your best bet for a reasonable rent, decreasing 1.3% since last year, and the only one with a median rent under $2,000. Mountain View has seen huge yearly rent growth at a current 4.9%. Compare that to the national average of 2.9% and the California average of 4.2%. Despite the yearly growth, rentals are slightly more affordable here than in Santa Clara (the median is only about $30 less).

Apartment List does not analyze every city and town, nor do they study the difference between neighborhoods, such as comparing South San Jose with Willow Glen, but where they do give insight helps to show the major trends happening around the bay area. Check out Apartment List for more detailed analysis, and the most up-to-date information on the market. Also check out their Rentonomics page with more articles on renting.

https://www.apartmentlist.com/ca/san-jose#guide

https://www.apartmentlist.com/ca/sunnyvale#guide

https://www.apartmentlist.com/ca/santa-clara#guide

https://www.apartmentlist.com/ca/campbell#guide

https://www.apartmentlist.com/ca/mountain-view#guide

https://www.apartmentlist.com/rentonomics/national-rent-data

https://www.apartmentlist.com/rentonomics/

Is there a solution to the lack of low-cost apartment rentals?

Analysts all believe there will be some market turnaround in the not too far future, but there are a few answers to where it may come from. CNBC published an article on the housing shortage dealing with high tech companies. Large industry leaders such as Google, Facebook, and Twitter continue to hire, bringing people into the area more quickly than developers are building, and forcing up the prices in both housing and rental markets. Employees have asked these companies to help, and some are responding. Google and Facebook have both come up with plans to construct affordable housing.

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/06/14/google-spending-30-million-on-housing-for-silicon-valley-employees.html

For years, California law has stated that a certain amount of affordable housing must be available in each community. Unfortunately, many communities are ignoring both the law and the need for such developments. If every community were to develop what the law required, the market would be much more balanced. Yet again, it’s the investors that are controlling the development, and it will not likely happen soon.

 

Shared housing

Looking for shared housing in urban areaShared housing is a way that many Silicon Valley employees work around the high cost of renting a home here.  A bonus is that if you’re relocating to the San Jose – Cupertino – Palo Alto area or nearby, it’s that much easier to meet people in a communal living situation.  For many, that means renting a house with a number of other people.  In some cases, it translates renting a bedroom in a house where the only other residents are members of the same family. Either way, it helps to beat the high real estate costs, and may enable those who choose to live in a group setting to save faster to buy their own home.

To many, shared housing seems like a new concept, but I remember doing it when I was just out of college and teaching in the Los Angeles area, where rents seemed sky high to me at the time.  When I returned to grad school, I did it again.  Both experiences, though, convinced me that a longer commute and living along OR a shorter commute and living in a smaller space (a studio apartment) was a good trade off.  Of course, this was in the 1980s, and we did not have web tools to help us to screen and find like minded roommates or house mates. I suspect it’s a lot better now.

Not having used any of these shared housing services, I cannot endorse any, but there are a number of sites to find house mates or communal living, and there are some companies which specialize in matching people to openings. If any of my readers can endorse a company or site, please let me know by email and I’ll update this article with that information.  My word of caution, though: never send money by wire to someone you don’t know for an apartment or home  you have  not seen. There is a very serious problem with wire fraud, and you do not want to put your hard earned money at risk. Be safe out there!

Read more on the Silicon Valley real estate market:

Read about the various real estate markets by area within Silicon Valley: http://sanjoserealestatelosgatoshomes.com/

Get market stats for San Mateo County, Santa Clara County, and Santa Cruz County: http://popehandy.rereport.com

 

Silicon Valley real estate market

How is the Silicon Valley real estate market?  It’s more of the same this month, with worsening, too-low levels of available inventory of homes for sale in Silicon Valley.  At this point, the low inventory is a problem for everyone.  Home buyers in the county or on the Peninsula have little or nothing to purchase, and sellers feel trapped – they cannot sell their current home as there are bad odds that they would be able to purchase something else if they did sell. Unless they expect to leave the metro area, they are going to hold on tight in most cases.

Have a look at the inventory of houses on the market from 2003 (the earliest year I can pull from the MLS) to today in Santa Clara County – August is in bold to make it easy to find

The Silicon Valley real estate market – a look at inventory of available homes for sale:

Inventory of single family homes for sale in Santa Clara County (which is a huge part of the Silicon Valley region)

The numbers really say it all. Even if you are new to the San Francisco Bay Area, you cannot help but notice the relative scarcity of homes for sale this month as opposed to last month or any other dating back to 2003. Therefore, it’s no surprise that solid homes here that are not in the luxury tier for their area (and are aggressively priced, beautifully staged, professionally photographed, and easy to view) are getting loads of multiple offers, high overbids, and selling with no contingencies for inspection, loan, or appraisal. It’s nearly impossible for anyone trying to purchase with less than 20% down in multiple offer situations. My advice for them is to try to target properties that have been on the market for awhile, as often the only thing “wrong” with them is a too-high price.

A couple of weeks ago, I had a sale in the Cambrian district of San Jose with San Jose Unified schools. That property received 12 offers, 8 of them with no contingencies of any kind, and more than half with more than 20% down (highest two were at 50% and 55% down). Sobering, isn’t it?  Great if you are a seller, impossible feeling if you are a buyer.

How about the various parts of the county? The Silicon Valley real estate market varies from one area, price point, and school district to the next.  The hottest of the hot markets are in the heart of the tech centers in prices under $2 million.

Mountain View continues to have the highest sale price to list price average, with a staggering 113%, and Sunnyvale is just behind at 111%. Only Los Altos Hills is coming in at under 100% for the sale price to list price ratio (it is a very high end community with 1 acre minimum parcels and often featuring extremely large houses). Saratoga and Los Gatos, also pricier, are on the softer end of the spectrum at less than 103%.  That said, homes in the lowest price points in all those areas are still a hot item!  Here’s a look at a glance at the Silicon Valley real estate market by area – more details are on the printable PDF newsletter:

Snapshot view of the Silicon Valley real estate market - cities and towns in Santa Clara County

Home buyers looking to purchase over $3 million (at least in most areas) will find it a good market for them to purchase. Selling under $2 million – again, in most areas – is fantastic for most properties. Who’s got it made?  The move up luxury home buyer!

To get more details on the real estate market in Santa Clara County , San Mateo County, or Santa Cruz County, please visit http://popehandy.rereport.com/. To see your area, click on the word CHANGE at the top for more options.   Or check the market posts on my main blog, http://SanJoseRealEstateLosGatosHomes.com. Prefer a printable PDF? Here are links for the 3 counties I cover:

Monthly Santa Clara County Newsletter

Monthly San Mateo County Newsletter

Monthly Santa Cruz County Newsletter

 

What does it cost to buy a 3-5 bedroom house in an area with good schools in Silicon Valley?

School District MapIt’s a hot seller’s market in Silicon Valley, but it’s also a time of great job growth here! Each week I get calls or emails from people considering job offers in Cupertino, Palo Alto, Mountain View, Sunnyvale, Menlo Park, San Jose and nearby. Many of these recruits are interested in areas with superior public schools.

What’s the cost of buying a house of about 2,000 square feet with 3-5 bedrooms and great schools?  A few communities with better education are these: Los Gatos, Saratoga, Cupertino, Palo Alto. We’ll consider these to provide a sense of prices in similar areas.

Here’s a quick look at what single family homes have been selling for over the last three months:

  • Los Gatos: mostly $1,200,000 to $2,200,000 depending on the school district, averaging about $1,700,000
  • Saratoga: mostly $1,400,000 to $2,300,000 depending on the school district, averaging about $1,900,000
  • Cupertino: mostly $1,700,000 to $2,100,000 depending on the school district, averaging about $1,950,000
  • Palo Alto: mostly $2,000,000 to $3,300,000 depending on the school district, averaging about $2,650,000

If you are new to Santa Clara County, you may be wondering if this is correct. It is…

Please continue reading here:
How do prices compare between Los Gatos, Saratoga, Cupertino and Palo Alto?

Home with in-law suite

920 Hazelwood Ave Campbell guest suite or second family room

920 Hazelwood Ave Campbell – Home with in-law suite or guest quarters

Looking for a Silicon Valley home with in-law suite and a quarter acre lot? It can be challenging to find a house offering a separate wing of with guest quarters big enough for family, friends, or rental income and still have a nice sized back yard left over.  Right now you can find a fantastic place in Campbell, one of the most popular cities within the region, that’s been remodeled and expanded, featuring a spacious guest suite and a large back yard. It is sure to please!  Let me introduce you to 920 Hazelwood Avenue, Campbell, CA 95008.

From small bungalow to stunning, remodeled home with in-law suite

Originally built as a small ranch style home in 1945, the house was a modest but thoughtfully designed 3 bed, 1 bath home with a detached 1 car garage at its inception. Long before there was Silicon Valley, this was a quiet county pocket near Campbell with quarter acre lots (today it is incorporated and part of the city.) Previous home owners expanded the house, adding a family – dining area, an office, and a second bath off of the office. Hardwood floors are found throughout all of these areas except for in the bathrooms.

In around 2000 to 2001, current owners did a beautiful kitchen remodel, demolished the 1 car garage and built an over-sized 441 SF attached 2 car garage just off the kitchen, and added a 539 SF guest suite behind the garage.  Today it is a 4 bedroom, 3 bath home with 2024 square feet – and it’s move-in ready!

About the in-law or guest suite

The in-law quarters features a large living space with big wet bar, a good sized bedroom with a walk in closet, and a full, private bath.  This area includes a separate entrance, so the residents can come and go via a gate in the side yard.  It also does connect directly to the house.  The guest quarters’ living area, or a second family room, offers windows on 3 sides, with one wall featuring a large slider to the back yard (see image above).  This room provides recessed lights as well as a regular ceiling light.  It is a beautifully bright room, whether used for family or daily living. (If you don’t need a separate apartment for family or tenants, this makes a great 2nd family room.) If you want the master bedroom suite to be away from the rest of the bedrooms, this is ideal!   My clients furnished this charming suite and rented it out via Air B & B at $2,000 per month.  This can be a wonderful supplement to help cover the mortgage!

Remodeled kitchen with skylight

920 Hazelwood Av Campbell remodeled kitchen with skylight

920 Hazelwood Av Campbell remodeled kitchen with skylight

The remodeled kitchen at 920 Hazelwood Avenue offers an ideal layout, open to the family – dining room and with a view to the spacious backyard beyond it.  Impeccable maple cabinets, slab granite counters, tile back splash with glass tile accents, stainless steel appliances, pullouts, recessed lights and under the cabinet lights, a breakfast bar, and a wonderful skylight  to boot.   This kitchen – family – dining area is the heart of the home.  It is a joy to spend time here, with beauty both inside and out.

More features, and a stunning back yard

Similarly, the bathroom in the bedroom wing of the house was exquisitely remodeled with slate flooring, tile walls, and stall shower. The room was thoughtfully designed with room for a hamper. The other two baths have both been updated, too.

Many Silicon Valley home buyers want a large backyard, ideal for entertaining. Here you have it, and more!  The back yard provides a gorgeous dining & lounging area with pavers, and the walkway along both sides of the home are also done with pavers.  A large lawn area is graced by mature landscaping, including a pluot tree and an avocado tree.  A wooden play structure completes the garden in one corner.

This lovely house features dual pane windows throughout.

Campbell home for sale in-law suite big back yard

Campbell home for sale in-law suite big back yard

Room to grow: if someone wants a little more home, it’s possible to add on and still leave an enormous amount of yard.  One of the bedrooms could be expanded to create another master bedroom with private bath.  Stop by the open house and I’ll show you where that can be done.

Great, quiet location close to downtown Campbell

In so much of Silicon Valley, it can be hard to get away from freeway and road noise.  The house at 920 Hazelwood Avenue enjoys the enviable bonus of being close to major commute routes (San Tomas Expressway, Highway 17 /880, Highway 85) but being far enough away that the backyard truly is a quiet oasis.  You cannot read about this – must experience in person!

The location is also close enough to downtown Campbell to make it a quick jaunt or bike ride for the farmers market, dining or shopping.

Lest we forget the schools:

Public schools are Capri Elementary, Rolling Hills Middle, Westmont High.  Canyon Heights (a private, Catholic school) is very nearby.

Inspections have been done and the home is ready to be sold today!  Please call or email to learn more – or stop by our open house this weekend, August 13-14, 2016 between 1 and 4 both days.

Please view the virtual tour!
Virtual Tour!    920 Hazelwood Av Campbell CA 95008 virtual tour: Home with in-law suite



Video walk through of this lovely home



View the multiple listing service information below
920 Hazelwood Avenue, Campbell – home with in-law suite!

We're sorry, but we couldn't find MLS # 81594323 in our database. This property may be a new listing or possibly taken off the market. Please check back again.

 

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. 5 beds, 6 baths
    Home size: 5,655 sq ft
    Lot size: 20,468 sqft
    Year built: 2011
  2. 6 beds, 7 baths
    Home size: 8,409 sq ft
    Lot size: 22,341 sqft
    Year built: 2007
  3. 6 beds, 8 baths
    Home size: 5,150 sq ft
    Lot size: 14,440 sqft
    Year built: 2018
  4. 5 beds, 4 baths
    Home size: 3,985 sq ft
    Lot size: 17,589 sqft
    Year built: 2018
  5. 5 beds, 6 baths
    Home size: 5,100 sq ft
    Lot size: 24,323 sqft
    Year built: 2018

See all Los Altos, California Real Estate.
(all data current as of 4/24/2018)

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

Palo Alto homes for sale

  1. 5 beds, 6 baths
    Home size: 7,413 sq ft
    Lot size: 1.03 ac
    Year built: 2015
  2. 5 beds, 6 baths
    Home size: 7,743 sq ft
    Lot size: 19,593 sqft
    Year built: 2001
  3. 4 beds, 5 baths
    Home size: 5,675 sq ft
    Lot size: 21,954 sqft
    Year built: 1968
  4. 5 beds, 4 baths
    Home size: 4,448 sq ft
    Lot size: 8,598 sqft
    Year built: 2006
  5. 6 beds, 4 baths
    Home size: 4,430 sq ft
    Lot size: 8,394 sqft
    Year built: 1997

See all Palo Alto, California Real Estate.
(all data current as of 4/24/2018)

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

Sunnyvale homes for sale

  1. 0 beds, 0 bath
    Home size: 4,612 sq ft
    Lot size: 15,250 sqft
    Year built: 1968
  2. 5 beds, 5 baths
    Home size: 2,943 sq ft
    Lot size: 10,402 sqft
    Year built: 2018
  3. 0 beds, 0 bath
    Home size: 3,827 sq ft
    Lot size: 7,888 sqft
    Year built: 1964
  4. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 3,092 sq ft
    Lot size: 8,864 sqft
    Year built: 1949
  5. 5 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,314 sq ft
    Lot size: 9,809 sqft
    Year built: 1955

See all Sunnyvale, California Real Estate.
(all data current as of 4/24/2018)

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

Cupertino homes for sale

  1. 4 beds, 4 baths
    Home size: 5,674 sq ft
    Lot size: 3.10 ac
    Year built: 1981
  2. 4 beds, 4 baths
    Home size: 4,940 sq ft
    Lot size: 26,885 sqft
    Year built: 1977
  3. 4 beds, 4 baths
    Home size: 3,834 sq ft
    Lot size: 2.81 ac
    Year built: 1985
  4. 0 beds, 0 bath
    Home size: 3,983 sq ft
    Lot size: 8,999 sqft
    Year built: 1968
  5. 5 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 3,465 sq ft
    Lot size: 10,018 sqft
    Year built: 1958

See all Cupertino, California Real Estate.
(all data current as of 4/24/2018)

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

 

1 2 3 5
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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