How’s the Silicon Valley real estate market?

What’s going on with the Silicon Valley real estate market? Is it as crazy as ever with multiple offers, overbids, and few or no contingencies?

Things are much calmer now then they were earlier in 2018 or in 2017 (which was insanely “hot” all year). Many homes are still selling with multiple offers, but fewer of them. Some properties are selling with some or all contingencies.

And as before, comparing the three counties (San Mateo, Santa Clara, and Santa Cruz), San Mateo is the most expensive and overall it becomes less expensive in Santa Clara County, then less expensive still in Santa Cruz County.  Alameda County has a little of Silicon Valley, but that area is in a totally different MLS system so is not part of this analysis.

What does it cost to buy a house in Silicon Valley?

In Santa Clara County (home to Palo Alto, Cupertino, Sunnyvale, Mountain View, San Jose, and my own Los Gatos), the average sale price is about $1,510,000 and the median sale price has been bouncing around in the $1.25 to 1.4 million range for the last few months.

Santa Clara County

Please click to enlarge:

2018-9-7 Santa Clara County single family home resale statistics

For condominiums and townhouses, of course, it is a bit better.

2018-9-7 Santa Clara County Condominium and TH stats

In San Mateo County (home to Redwood Shores, Foster City, Menlo Park, San Mateo), the average sale price is about $1.815 million for houses recently sold.  The median is a little lower at $1.5 million.

San Mateo County

2018-9-7 San Mateo County Single Family Homes resale market stats

And the San Mateo County Condo / Townhouse real estate statistics:

2018-9-7 San Mateo County condo and townhouse RE market statistics


In Santa Cruz County (Santa Cruz, Scotts Valley, Aptos, Capitola, Soquel), it’s more affordable.  The average sale price of houses recently has been in the high 900s, just under $1 mil, and the median sale price has been right about $915,000.

Santa Cruz County

2018-9-7 Santa Cruz County resale SFH real estate sales stats

And for the townhome and condominium housing market in Santa Cruz County:

2018-9-7 Santa Cruz County resale SFH real estate sales stats

And the Santa Cruz County resale condominium and townhouse market:

2018-9-7 Santa Cruz County resale condo and townhouse real estate stats


How is the year over year appreciation in these different parts of Silicon Valley?

The market varies, but the easiest way to get a quick sense of the overall market appreciation is to look at the charts above, on the right side of each, and view the green vs the red segments under the median and average % change. If the market continues cooling, with higher inventory and lower numbers of sales, you’ll begin seeing more red and less green as the year over year numbers go negative.

Right now, all 3 of these counties are UP over last year generally for both single family homes and condos / townhouses. Some cities and towns (and areas within them, not displayed here) are not faring as well, however.  There are too many to list and they are easy enough to find, but they exist in all three counties.  Overall, it seems that most areas are up about 10% from this time last year.

Naturally, it’s easier to buy near Santa Cruz than in San Jose, but the demand tends to remain stronger in the areas with the jobs as opposed to the coastal communities, so appreciation is usually stronger in the areas where it’s hardest to purchase.   That seems to be true in a very similar way in San Mateo County, too – yes, it’s less costly to buy in Half Moon Bay, and in an up market it’s great, but in a down market it will not fare as well as Belmont, San Mateo etc.

Within all of these market areas, there are hotter and cooler locations, school districts, price points, etc.  Often there are work arounds to maximize the sale or purchase of a property.  For instance, some homes have a pool that eats up the whole yard.  That might make a home difficult to sell, so perhaps you can buy it without competing against so many offers – and then remove the pool later.  Often the “fixes” are not as costly as you may think.

Want to buy or sell in Silicon Valley?  Please reach out to me. I’d love to chat with you about it and see if we might work together.

Mary Pope-Handy
Sereno Group
214 Los Gatos-Saratoga Rd.
Los Gatos CA 95030
[Silicon Valley, California, USA]
mary (at)
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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