Top Downtown Housing Deals in San Jose

The downtown area of San Jose is unknown to many. If you are not a student of San Jose State University, you may not even know there is a downtown San Jose. But for some of us, it is just the right size of downtown. For the most part, you can find parking fairly easily without spending a week’s paycheck. You can play Monopoly in the park, visit The Tech, or the Discovery Museum, see a ballet, or find a bite to eat in one of the 166-or-so restaurants. There are some great neighborhoods in downtown San Jose, including Naglee Park, Roosevelt Gardens, Hyde Park, Japan Town,and Hensley.

As like many neighborhoods in San Jose, downtown is seeing its share of foreclosures.  Any time a neighborhood has too many homes listed for sale by banks, the prices in that neighborhood suffer.  Selling foreclosed (REOs, bank-owned, corporate owned) homes is a way to stabilize housing prices and move the neighborhood forward.

First a look at the overall trends for the downtown San Jose housing market.  The amount of homes for sale is trending down. Overall, it is still a “buyer’s market” but take a look at the next chart regarding recent sales.

San Jose Downtown Housing Trends

San Jose Homes Sold Downtown

Here you can see the sales have increased in the first part of 2009.  There have been some deals. First time buyers and investors alike have helped to move these homes off the market.  A very good sign overall.  Currently, of all active single family detached homes listed in San Jose downtown, 33% are short sales and 15% are bank owned.  Overall, that places 40% of the downtown area in some state of distress. You can see why we need to make sure everyone is aware of the deals  and move this neighborhood toward stability.

Granted, like any selection of foreclosed listings there are always some major fixer-uppers.  The home at 338 E. Julian (below) has seen better days.  In 2005, this home (built in 1908) with 2 bedrooms and 1 bath, sold for $450,000.  At that time it was labeled as a “fixer-upper”.  Before that it sold in 1998 for $164,950.  It is currently an active listing, as a “fixer-upper” for $168,773.  Wow. What an example of the change in market.

338 E. Julian2005j338 E. Julian

This home is currently listed by Equity Capital.  It has been on the market for 342 days.

Here is a list of all 18 foreclosed detached homes in the 95112 zip code:

REO listings in downtown San Jose

Here is the list of condominiums or town homes that are currently bank-owned in downtown San Jose:


It is time to take back these neighborhoods.  It is time to bring back affordability and reasonable value to the oldest and coolest neighborhoods in downtown San Jose.  Consider these homes as your next home or as your next investment.  Reap the incredible benefits of a buyer’s market and the benefit of being a positive force in a community.  If you would like to see any of these homes, contact me.

4 Replies

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  1. Great post, CJ. What have you seen in terms of trends on the months of inventory on market in San Jose? I always like that as an indicator of how much supply is out there and where that’s trending. – Jeremy

  2. CJ Brasiel says:

    Jeremy – thanks for the comment! Months of inventory is interesting. For all of San Jose, months of inventory only calculated on ACTIVE/SOLD would come out to about 21 months. If you throw in the ACTIVE/Pending Firm/Sold, you get about 8 months of inventory. Assuming about 30% of pending sales are not going to close, that would put the months of inventory at 10 months. I think you have to look at pending sales these days. These numbers are for February. Either way, lots of deals to be made before we are out of the woods.

  3. CJ: What you didn’t mention is the proximity of some of these properties to some of the signature single-family neighborhoods in or near Downtown San Jose, such as Naglee Park, where many of the homes are still listing at over twice and some three times the average values above. This makes for great appreciation potential when we start back up the hill. Do you know how the new high-rise condos are doing? – Jeffrey Hare

  4. CJ Brasiel says:

    Good point Jeffrey. Naglee Park has not seen the hit in price as much as the “East” side of downtown. The new developments are struggling. They don’t hand out their numbers easily but I heard from a colleague who bought several condos with investors (yet to be completed) that the units may end up being apartments. I believe we all had high hopes that these new “high rise” units would bring more life into downtown. Thanks for the comment.