Silicon Valley Pricing Snapshot

Today we’ll provide a few quick graphics to give you a Silicon Valley pricing snapshot on the 4 counties where we sell homes. These will be ranked by order of housing cost, from highest to lowest. 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.

San Mateo County real estate market stats at a glance - Silicon Valley pricing snapshot

 

Santa Clara County

Santa Clara County, our home base, is the second priciest area in this region and is the heart of Silicon Valley:

 

Santa Clara County real estate market trends at a glance - Silicon Valley pricing snapshot

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.

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Market Reports for Three Silicon Valley Counties

If you’re just moving into the area you may be wondering about the different housing markets for the greater Silicon Valley area. The counties are a perfect place to start!

Here are the real estate market reports for three major Silicon Valley counties (and where I’m most active in my work): Santa Clara County, San Mateo County, and Santa Cruz County. Generally, “Silicon Valley” is 95% within Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties, plus a little of Santa Cruz County and a small part of Alameda County. Alameda County uses a different MLS system, and I don’t usually sell there, so am not covering it in my reports.

Each section below includes first the data for single family homes and then condos and townhomes for each region.

If you’re ready to dive a little deeper, I also provide regular monthly market updates on some of the popular communities within Santa Clara County over at my Valley of Heart’s Delight blog. Scroll the most recent ones here.

Summer 2022: Three Silicon Valley Counties

Santa Clara County Real Estate Market Report for July 2022

First, Santa Clara County – home to San Jose, Cupertino, Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Los Altos, Santa Clara, Campbell, Los Gatos, Saratoga, Monte Sereno, Milpitas, Morgan Hill, and a number of other cities and towns.

If you’re having trouble reading any of the charts on this page, click to open the full size image.

Santa Clara County single family home housing stats for July 2022

The market is clearly cooling with longer days on market, fewer sales, and a falling median sales price.

Here’s a look at the AVERAGE sale price for houses (single family homes) since 2016. Imagine that the “average” home has gained almost $1 million in value in just 6 years!

Santa Clara County SFH average sale price in July 2022

Spring of 2020 experienced a massive slowdown in market activity at the start of the pandemic, but it didn’t last long. Stifled spring activity put added pressure on the market when it opened again, and while fewer sellers chose to list there homes for sale demand shot up! Over the next two years, this buildup of demand with severely low available inventory drove prices sky high as we watched bidding wars and overbids snowballs out of control!

Inflation is finally being checked and we’re seeing that number come down a hair. Despite improving conditions, Santa Clara County remains in a seller’s market.

And the condominium and townhouse report for Santa Clara County

While it had only half the sales of the single family home market, the condo and townhouse market is also experiencing similar trends.

Santa Clara County townhome and condo market for July 2022

Keep reading for updates on the San Mateo and Santa Cruz county markets.

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Silicon Valley homes for sale

Graphic image of a magnifierIf you are searching for Silicon Valley real estate, or Silicon Valley homes for sale, you may discover that you get overwhelmed with choices and housing results.

The biggest problem is that the area is simply enormous.  Most agree that Silicon Valley is an area covering Santa Clara County, San Mateo County, part of Santa Cruz County (Scotts Valley) and part of Alameda County (Fremont – and some also add Union City and Newark). It’s a lot of territory – 1,854 square miles.  As of last year, this much territory was home to between just over 3 million people.

So if you are in house hunting mode, the very first thing you need to do is to understand your anchor point. The anchor point is the thing which you want to be near. For most people, that’s a work location (and in many cases, it may be 2 work locations). Sometimes it’s proximity to family members, a place of worship, a particular school or any number of things.  Most of the time, the main anchor point is the place of employment and desired commute time, tempered by things like good schools, shopping, parks, things to do, and quality of life.

Narrowing the home search geographically

Moving here to work in Scotts Valley?  Much of Santa Cruz County may work – but so could living in Los Gatos, Campbell or nearby, where you’d have a reverse commute.

Relocating for a job in Mountain View?  Most likely, you’ll eliminate Santa Cruz County due to distance and commute challenges with Highway 17 going over the Santa Cruz Mountains.

If good public schools matter, that will help to refine your search, as not all parts of the southern San Francisco Bay Area have equally good education.

Below I’ll post sample listings from communities noted for better public schools in Santa Clara County up to 1.2 million, which seems to be a very hot price point that many relocating home buyers can afford. I do also serve San Mateo and Santa Cruz Counties, but most of my clients are looking at Santa Clara Co., so limiting this search here.  Unfortunately, Alameda County (Fremont, Union City, and Newark are there) has a totally different MLS so usually I don’t work there – but am happy to introduce you to a great Realtor who does (please just email me and I will connect  you).

Current Santa Clara County homes for sale in areas with good schools

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Median apartment rental price by county (in & near Silicon Valley)

$2500 money blockThis week, the San Jose Mercury News ran an article with a starling statistic: the median list price of 2 bedroom apartments in and near Silicon Valley.  Here’s a look at the numbers:

  • San Mateo County $2884
  • Santa Clara County $2552
  • The San Francisco Bay Area as a whole (all 9 counties) $2451
  • Alameda County $2172
  • Contra Costa County $1825

These numbers are the median for the whole county in question – so in Santa Clara County, it will be a lot more if you are in Cupertino or Palo Alto or Los Gatos as opposed to the Alum Rock area of San Jose or Morgan Hill or Gilroy.

Houses are worse still.  Small homes may be found for $2500 to $3000 in many areas.  Places with better schools may run $4000 to $6000 per month for a home with better schools.  Want the best? It’s likely to be $7000 – $8000 for a good sized, comfortable (do not read “elegant”) house with better schools – or more.

Update on August 25: I’m hearing that 1 bedroom apartments in Cupertino are running at around $2300 per month and a 2 bedroom at around $3000 per month.

 

Read the article in the Merc:
Bay Area rental crisis squeezing out middle class

What does it cost to buy a house in Santa Clara County? And San Mateo County? Both are home to “Silicon Valley”!

Silicon Valley is a large area, with much of it in Santa Clara County (where San Jose is the largest city with almost one million residents) and most of the rest is in San Mateo County along the San Francisco Peninsula.   So what does it cost to buy a house in these areas? Today I spent some time on MLSListings.com, our local multiple listing service, and pulled the data, which I hope that newcomers will find very helpful.

Below is a chart of single family homes purchased between October 1 2013 and the end of January 2014 by price point.

Santa Clara County sales of single family homes:

Santa Clara County home prices Jan 2014

As you can see, only a tiny fraction of homes sell for less than $400,000.  Most people pay between quite a lot more, with many sales happening in the $600,000 to $1,000,000 range (and it’s more in the areas with best schools and short commutes, generally, so many are much higher, too).  The average Santa Clara County home sales price was $1,002,119 and the average price per square foot was $526.

How about San Mateo County prices?  As you may know, The Peninsula is pricier than it’s warmer neighbor to the south. But how much more will it cost you?

Santa Clara County sales of single family homes:

San Mateo County home prices Jan 2014

The average sales price was in San Mateo County for the last three months was $1,254,114 and average price per square foot was $625 (all sizes of houses and lots throughout SMC).  This is about 20% than Santa Clara County.