After reviewing the data from home sales and inventory from the first quarter of 2017, we are pleased to report that the market remains SUPER HOT! Here’s what contributes to that assessment:
- The NASDAQ, Dow and S&P are at or near record highs, meaning the overall consumer confidence is high
- The Silicon Valley job market remains extremely strong, contributing to local consumer confidence
- If you review every March for the last 14 years, you’ll see that this March held the lowest inventory of all 14 years. Houses are in demand, with many buyers bidding on the same home.
- As is normal, the market for entry level price ranges in the whole area is better than the luxury home market
In conclusion, because the market is so incredibly hot, you need experienced Realtors to make sure you get the best guidance for your real estate transaction. Call Steve at 408-391-4465 or Christine at 408-858-5587 for a consultation regarding your individual needs.
All our best,
Steve & Christine
Happy January! The sparkle and pop of a new year’s celebration may have passed…but recent real estate news is anything but bland and boring.
With the just-announced reduction in FHA’s mortgage insurance premium, plus last week’s rate dip and the Bay Area location making the year’s hottest neighborhoods of the country, 2017 is turning out to be fast-paced and full of opportunity. In addition, the data we are about to drop will demonstrate the theme that is currently dominating the market – inventory, inventory, inventory – or lack thereof! Think the old game ‘limbo” and “how low can you go” when it comes to counting what’s on the market today.
The tables below might look like a lot of numbers – and they are! These figures represent home inventory levels from 2003-2017 – first summarized in Santa Clara County as a whole and then by area (Saratoga, Los Gatos, Almaden & Willow Glen). You’ll see the data distributed in two forms – active single-family units and months of inventory.
‘Active single-family units’ refers to the actual number of residential single family homes on the MLS at the year & month indicated. You’ll see a dramatic drop over time from thousands of units available county-wide over the years…to just hundreds in the most recent months. Individual area stats are just as telling; for example Saratoga had nearly 200 listings per month in some periods, whereas the current level sits at merely 26 homes for sale!
‘Months of inventory’ figures represent how long it would take to sell all current listings at the current sales pace if no new listings became available. In a balanced market, standard months of inventory is 3-4. You’ll see how that number reached 12.3 at the height of the Great Recession in Santa Clara County, to just 0.7 in Willow Glen today.
It’s clear that local inventory has reached 12-year lows…but what may not be clear is what it means to you. That’s where we come in! With a firm grasp of the current market pulse and career-success rooted in strategic timing, we can help you weigh the where, how & when of your next move. Whether you are thinking of buying, selling, investing or just want to talk ‘shop’ – let us know! We’d love to hear your thoughts on the industry news so far, as well as assess what it means for you, your family and your own goals for 2017.
All our best,
Steve & Christine
Active Single-Family Units
Months of Inventory
It’s the most festive time of year, so doesn’t it make sense to put the most festive of libations front and center at our Holiday parties?
No longer just the shaken not stirred, sophisticated cocktail of choice for James Bond, the martini is now the ultimate cocktail for any convivial occasion.
Whatever your mood, there is a martini to match it!
Craving Something Sweet & Festive?
The Gingerbread Martini
A decadent variation inspired by the merriest time of year!
Recipe Courtesy of Trisha Yearwood
Photo courtesy of Food Network
4 ounces Irish cream liqueur, such as Baileys
4 ounces vodka, such as Kettle One
2 ounces coffee liqueur, such as Kahlua
2 ounces Gingerbread Syrup, recipe follows
2 scoops vanilla ice cream, softened
Whipped cream, for topping
Small handful gingerbread cookies, crushed
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
2 cinnamon sticks
One 2-inch piece fresh ginger, cut into rounds
Combine the Irish cream liqueur, vodka, coffee liqueur, Gingerbread Syrup and ice cream in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake well. Pour into four chilled martini glasses. Top each with a generous dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkling of gingerbread cookie crumbs.
Add the sugar, water, cloves, cinnamon and ginger to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature before using, about 20 minutes. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
Cinnamon Apple Cider Martini
Simplicity at it’s seasonal best!
Recipe & photo courtesy of www.soivebeenthinking.com
- 4 oz vodka
- 1 oz cinnamon apple cider simple syrup
- lemon (optional)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup apple cider
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
For the rim of your glass, if you’d like to make the drink more festive
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
- lemon zest (optional)
- pinch cayenne (optional)
- pinch salt (optional)
To make simple syrup
- Put sugar, cinnamon and apple cider in a sauce pot
- Bring to a boil
- Reduce heat and let simmer for 5 minutes
- Remove from heat and set aside to cool
To create drink
- Once your syrup has cooled (it can be used in the cocktail while warm-ish but not hot):
- Chill your martini glass, fill with ice and water and let sit while you mix the martini
- In a shaker filled with ice, add vodka and syrup
- Shake well
- When you think you are done shaking, shake for another 30 seconds
- You want this drink cold and with little ice chips if you can get them
- Pour into your empty, chilled martini glass and serve with a wedge of lemon
- Garnish ideas: lemon wedge, lemon peel, curly apple peel
For the rim of your glass
- Mix the above ingredients and pour onto a plate so there is a thin layer of the sugar mixture covering the plate (not a mound)
- Wipe the rim of your glass with a lemon wedge (be messy so more of the sugar mixture will stick to it) and place the glass into the sugar mixture to coat the rim
- **If you are going rim the martini glass with the sugar mixture, do not chill the glass first, the water from the glass will ruin it.
Note: * the ratio for simple syrup is 1 to 1 sugar to water, so you can make a smaller batch if you want, leftover syrup can be stored in the fridge for 2 weeks
Candy Cane Cocktail
Irreverent and sure to put you in the Holiday spirit!
Recipe courtesy of Sandra Lee
Photo courtesy of Food Network
1 shot vanilla rum
1 shot white chocolate liqueur (recommended: Godiva)
1 shot peppermint schnapps
Candy cane, garnish
Add all liquid ingredients to cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well and strain into martini glass. Garnish with candy cane.
Classic Dry Martini
Conjuring visions of crisp tuxedos, slinky dresses, and glamor, this your go-to choice for a sophisticated evening.
Recipe & photo courtesy of Epicurious.com
2 1/2 ounces London dry gin, such as Beefeater
1/2 ounce dry vermouth, preferably Noilly Prat
Green olive for garnish
- In mixing glass or cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine gin and vermouth. Stir well, about 20 seconds, then strain into martini glass. Garnish with olive and serve.
This adaptation of Oprah’s Pomegranate Martini has a hint of rosemary and real pomegranate seeds for an added dose of festive flavor.
Recipe & photo courtesy of FoodieCrush.com
Adapted from Oprah Magazine
- 2 cups (16 ounces) vodka
- 1 cup (8 ounces) orange liqueur such as Cointreau
- 1 cup (8 ounces) pomegranate juice
- ⅓ cup pomegranate seeds
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Lemon twists from lemon peel
- Rosemary sprigs
Combine the vodka, orange liqueur, pomegranate juice, and lemon juice in a pitcher and refrigerate until ready to use. Dip rims of the martini glasses in a shallow bowl with ¼ inch of water then roll rims in gold sugar. Fill martini glasses with pomegranate mixture, a tablespoon of pomegranate seeds, lemon twists and garnish with rosemary sprigs. Serve over ice if desired.
Cachaça—a spicy, sweet, and fruity clear liquor distilled from fermented sugarcane juice, gives this libation an alluring taste that makes a cocktail feel like an adventure!
Recipe courtesy of Guy Fieri
Photo courtesy of Food Network
1 lime, sliced
2 ounces Cachaca (recommended: Leblon)
1 1/2 ounces pomegranate juice
2 teaspoons sugar
Chilled martini glass
Muddle a few slices of lime and place in a cocktail shaker. Add rum, pomegranate juice, sugar, and ice, and shake about 10 times. Pour into a chilled martini glass and garnish with lime slice.
We are so fortunate to be living in the beautiful town of Los Gatos, CA. Our downtown offers such a variety of local shops, restaurants, furniture stores, and clothing boutiques! I recently discovered a few new places that I think are noteworthy and worth sharing with you.
WATCH FOR NEW CUISINE IN OLD TOWN
If you’ve been watching with baited breath to see what will replace the recently closed California Café – you don’t have much longer to wait! Presidio Social Club Owner Ray Tang is currently having the space renovated and designed by San Francisco architecture firm Tecta Associates. With seating for 230 guests, plus a large outdoor patio, you can look forward to California/ American comfort food. Think house-made pastas, bar bites and a “California Chop” category to the menu, which will feature regionally-sourced meats (plus a famous burger!). The yet-to-be named venue is expected to open February 2017.
Learn more at: http://insidescoopsf.sfgate.com/blog/2016/09/13/presidio-social-club-owner-breaks-ground-on-new-south-bay-project/
SPIN YOUR HEART OUT AT CYCLEBAR
This boutique premium indoor cycling studio opened late summer…and is a perfect way to pre-burn all those holiday calories we are about to consume! The pay-per-class model offers high-energy, group cycle workouts that feel more like you are at a concert than a traditional gym. The ‘CycleTheater’ features 48 bikes plus LED lighting, wide-screen graphics and state-of-the-art audio with a DJ booth. Amenities include free towels, lockers, and shoes.
15525 Union Ave, Los Gatos PH: (408) 703-1439 www.losgatos.cyclebar.com
Check them out on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/CycleBarLosGatos
EXPERIENCE BLENDING, BOTTLE TASTING & BOTTLING AT LEFT BEND WINERY
Known as the ‘hands-on operation’ of the Santa Cruz mountains, Left Bend Winery proudly touts not only their steadfast involvement in every aspect of wine making, but presents a superior selection and ‘Tour of Left Bend Wine Club’. With an annual production of about 250 cases, Left Bend produces handcrafted small lots of wine that capture the mountain terrain of the many small vineyards scattered throughout the Santa Cruz Mountains.
346 N. Santa Cruz Ave, Los Gatos PH: (408) 502-9280 www.leftbend.com
Be sure to follow them on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/LeftBend/
WHAT’S NOT TO LOVE AT ‘WE OLIVE LOS GATOS’
Whether you are seeking a great gift or some exceptional additions to your daily kitchen essentials, be sure to visit We Olive Los Gatos. This local ‘olive oil experience’ features California premium artisan wines, olive oil inspired tapas, craft beer and events with artisan producers and winemakers.
Complimentary tastings of all California Extra Virgin Olive Oils, vinegars, and gourmet foods are offered every day. With seasonal menus, gift baskets and a daily Happy Hour – there is a lot to love about We Olive Los Gatos! http://weolive.com/los-gatos/
112 N. Santa Cruz Ave PH: (408)354-7474 www.weolive.com/los-gatos/
Follow them on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/weolivelosgatos
We hope you’ve discovered something new to do this fall courtesy of our New & Noteworthy In Los Gatos feature; better yet – we hope to run into you at one of these neighborhood haunts – so see you soon! (P.S. Please share with us YOUR favorite places in Los Gatos on our Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/perrysre)
SILICON VALLEY MARKET CONDITIONS
The end of summer is anything but a sign that the year is winding down; in fact, it seems to be a rush of catching-up on everything you had plan need to accomplish by 2017 and now it’s time to make it happen! With school back in session and the hottest days behind us, you may be wondering if cooler times are ahead for the real estate industry. You’ve likely followed regional and national headlines all summer about the impact of inventory, the strategies of a sellers’ market and the banter behind Brexit But in the spirit of looking forward, let’s start with exactly where we are today with the state of real estate …right where you live here in Silicon Valley!
The British are coming …or not. Starting with what was on everyone’s mind about three months ago (and hardly on anyone’s mind today!), let’s address the initial impact and weeks that followed the news of Britain’s decided and lengthy exit from the European Union. With an immediate benefit to rates, there was also a ‘watch and wait’ period as the market digested the news from June 19th to July 1Qth. However, local forces and global logic initiated a quick return to the selling season and those sales numbers that we expected in late August are simply being delivered in early September.
With levels of available homes being measured by months of inventory, Santa Clara County single family home inventory in July was 1.7 months, compared to 1.3 months the same time last year. Condos and town homes demonstrated greater gains but tighter supply, with inventory at 1.4 in July of 2016 compared to 0.8 in July 2015.
With Silicon Valley’s steady and unwavering demand persisting, home prices followed suit with a median Santa Clara County home price of $1.0SM compared to July 2015;s average of $963K. Condo and town home median prices increased marginally year-over-year in July from $635K to $640K. Here are the recent charts for Almaden, Los Gatos, Willow Glen and
DAYS ON MARKET
The speed of sales is still considerably quick, with single-family homes averaging 26 days on market and condos/town homes averaging 23. Last summer, those figures were 23 and 18 days on market for single-family homes and condos/town homes respectively.
While these recent statistics provide a helpful frame of reference, we’d like to add our inside perspective to make sure you have access to the complete state of real estate today! We were definitely feeling a ‘typical August’ by industry standards; that usual late summer slowdown that occurs as a result of school starting and people trying to re-group (we all know that feeling, right?)
Notable trends include fewer multiple offers and more selective buyers, also common for this time of year. Inventory remains historically low, though still improved compared to the last 48 months.
Additionally, the figures reported above are only as important as how they relate to your ultimate personal and financial goals for the remainder of 2016. If you have been considering listing your home, it’s not too late. End of summer sales climbing into September indicate that serious buyers are here to stay, even as the seasons change. The local job market remains strong, so I don’t see a “bubble bursting” scenario in the near future.
If the state of Silicon Valley real estate has inspired you to further assess your options, we’d be happy to help. The only thing that matters today is what you decide to do tomorrow, and you don’t have to make that determination alone.
All the best,
Steve & Christine Perry, Perry Group Real Estate