Today we’ll provide a few quick graphics to give you a Silicon Valley pricing snapshot on the counties where we sell homes. These will be ranked by the usual order of housing cost, from highest to lowest. (Sometimes they move “out of order”.) After that, we’ll provide more resources from our other sites and blogs with a deeper dive on our main Silicon Valley real estate markets. We don’t cover all 9 of the San Francisco Bay Area counties, but here you’ll find 3 of them covered, and it’s a pretty good primer on the Bay Area housing market analysis.
Silicon Valley Pricing Snapshots
San Mateo County
San Mateo County is “The Peninsula”, the county just south of San Francisco and north of Santa Clara County and Santa Cruz County. About a quarter of Silicon Valley is in this area, generally. It’s normally more expensive than Santa Clara County, but once in awhile those two areas flip for pricing order. It’s a hot market in San Mateo County!
For three of these counties, we have a newsletter with info by city. The data from Sereno (above) is a little different from the RE Report data for the median sale price. Here’s the San Mateo County real estate newsletter in PDF format (or go to popehandy.rereport.com to see all 3).
Santa Clara County
Santa Clara County, our home base, is the second priciest area in this region and is the heart of Silicon Valley:
Read the PDF for the Santa Clara County newsletter here. And the city by city market stats (much closer aligned for this county between the two data sets):
We also do monthly market updates on communities within the Santa Clara County and more on our other blogs. Check out some of those market reports through the link.
Click to view full size.
What does it cost to buy a single family home in the city of San Jose? There are many San Jose districts and their values vary by about 2-to-1 from the highest to lowest priced areas in this large, sprawling city with about 1,000,000 residents.
In this article we’ll take a look at the main, fairly well defined districts and discuss the cost of purchasing a house in each one. After each small description, there’s a link to a post on my popehandy.com website for that area.
You can also find relevant information on my Valley of Heart’s Delight blog, SanJoseRealEstateLosGatosHomes.com – just click on the “Neighborhoods” link.
Lastly, if you’d like to see a map of where these parts of SJ are located, please click on this link to find this article with a helpful map: San Jose is big and sprawling: where are the districts?
Looking to get a sense of the rental prices in Silicon Valley? Today I’ll show you how to find the median rental price by zip code for homes in Silicon Valley by using my weekly Altos Research real estate market reports for Silicon Valley.
We will use Cupertino’s housing market as an example, because many high tech employees plan to work in that city. My Altos Research report for Cupertino. You can access it at this link Mary Pope-Handy’s Cupertino Market Report. When you click through, it will look something like this:
There are tabs for houses and condos, and you can toggle as desired. The condo rent can be found in the same area on the right (after toggling to that page).
Not really wanting to live in Cupertino? Find the “Search Anywhere” field near the top and enter a city name or a zip code and you can spot check areas of interest.
Subscribe for the weekly reports
Please click the “Subscribe” button in the upper right corner to get any of the reports emailed to you weekly.
Not a rental Realtor
NB: I do not work in the rental market as 99.99% of rental homes are “for rent by owner” and there’s not a place for a Realtor in that structure. When folks first move to Silicon Valley, though, they usually want to rent for awhile, so I will sometimes provide rental info because I know it’s needed. Interested in buying or selling? Please do reach out to me! Best to start with email so that a phone call can be scheduled: email@example.com as I get a lot of spam / robo calls. However, feel free to call first if you prefer – 408-204-7673.
Silicon Valley neighborhoods
San Jose Districts and their Values (Feb 2018)
Facts about San Jose, the Capital of Silicon Valley
What kind of cost is associated with the most affordable homes in Silicon Valley? In Santa Clara County, the median sale price of houses is about $1.7 – $1.8 million (fall 2023) and the average sale price is just about $2 million. So you know it can’t be easy – these are for the whole county, not the areas with the best commutes, best schools, most charm, etc.
- the least expensive areas are often more remote, or have less well regarded schools, or other undesirable factors (higher crime, too close to a negative location)
- the most expensive Silicon Valley areas tend to have shorter commutes, better school scores, less crime, more wealth, generally
- within Santa Clara County, lower prices are found in the city of Gilroy, in the Los Gatos Mountains (or other remote areas), and these areas of San Jose: South San Jose, Alum Rock, and Downtown or Central San Jose
- San Mateo County is generally less affordable than Santa Clara County, but there are some less costly areas, like East Palo Alto
- Santa Cruz County is often much more affordable than Santa Clara County (the commute may be a bear, though)
Santa Clara County’s most affordable homes
Here’s a view of home prices and market conditions by city. Gilroy is usually the least expensive city, as it is in this month’s data set. As a general rule, Silicon Valley’s most affordable homes are often the most remote.
San Jose makes up about half of the county in terms of population, and every few months we update a post about San Jose Districts and their Values.
Within the city of San Jose, the 3 districts with the most affordable homes are (in order with links to the RE Report for each section):
- South San Jose
- Alum Rock
The next two areas of San Jose on the “more affordable” end of the spectrum are Santa Teresa and Blossom Valley.
Also not represented in the table above are the areas within the Santa Cruz Mountains, also known as the Los Gatos Mountains. This can be among the most affordable areas (nothing is cheap!), but there are commute and other issues that come with living in the mountains. Please see this article on that topic: What about living in the Los Gatos Mountains (or Santa Cruz Mountains)?
Rural areas in the east foothills, or in more distant parts of South County will also give more home for the buck, but the tradeoffs will include much longer commutes.
More expensive: San Mateo County
And it’s worse if you go north, and into San Mateo County, where the median sale price is $1.8 – $2 million and the average sale price is $2.6 million (Please visit my RE REPORT for information on Silicon Valley real estate statistics. It is automatically updated each month.)
Frequently, people new to Silicon Valley and the San Jose area arrive expecting to find new homes like the ones they left behind. But in reality that’s just not the norm in this market!
Unless you are looking to purchase a condominium or a townhome, or are looking at areas with very long commutes, it can be challenging to find truly new homes for sale here.
Finding New Homes in Silicon Valley
For the most part, Silicon Valley had a post World War II housing boom that stretched primarily from the 50s into the 70s. By the 1980s, most open space in the Valley was gone.