Will people pay more for Santa Clara County homes served by great schools?


dataHomes in six Santa Clara Country elementary school districts in the second quarter of 2014 sold for more than 10% above their listing price.  Students in all six of those districts turned in API scores that averaged above 830, according to the most recent state performance results.  In three of the districts, student API scores averaged above 931. Is there a correlation between how much people are willing to pay for a home and the performance of the school(s) that serve students in those homes?  Probably not an overwhelming one, but it’s a topic that deserves a little analysis.

Premium price for homes in some Silicon Valley school districts

Here are the six school districts we’re looking at (out of 22 in Santa Clara County) along with elementary school students’ average API scores followed by percentage above listing prices that homes in those districts sold for in April-June 2014.

  • Cupertino Union: 962/+12.3%
  • Los Altos: 961/+11.3%
  • Palo Alto Unified: 932/+14.5%
  • Moreland: 879/+10.3%
  • Mountain View-Whitman: 863/+13.5%
  • Sunnyvale: 831/+13.8%

For families preparing a move, the quality of schools in the new neighborhood is often high on the list of criteria from which a choice will be made.  For some families, it’s at the very top of that criteria list, because education is a predominant value.

School rankings

In addition to API test scores, other rankings and recognitions help to determine which schools generally provide the best educational opportunities.

For example, Cupertino Union School District had six elementary schools named as 2014 California Distinguished Schools, which is one of the more weighty rankings.  Covington Elementary School in Los Altos was also named a Distinguished School in 2014, as was Cherry Chase Elementary in Sunnyvale.

SchoolDigger’s 2013 rankings of California’s top elementary schools placed William Faria Elementary in Cupertino second, with a STAR combined score of 966.8.  Two other Cupertino Elementary Schools placed in the top 10 as did Herbert Hoover Elementary in Palo Alto.

It’s not uncommon these days to see buyers throughout Silicon Valley paying more for homes than the sellers’ original listing price, and we’re not implying school districts with homes selling for significantly more than the listing price are the only districts with great schools.  But we know that API scores and high placement on a variety of ranking systems for California schools means a lot to homeowners with children.

Homes selling fast in these 6 Silicon Valley school district areas

Whether buyers of homes in these six school districts are buying because of the quality of schools or for other reasons, they’re buying fast.  Here are the average days on the market for April-June 2014:

  • Cupertino Union 12
  • Mountain View-Whitman 13
  • Palo Alto Unified 14
  • Moreland 16
  • Sunnyvale 16
  • Los Altos 19

If you’re struggling to find the right home, or if you want to know more about school districts in Santa Clara County or San Mateo County, call me at (650) 947-2942.  I’m happy to help your next real estate transaction be a rewarding one.

Interested in buying or selling real estate in Silicon Valley?  Explore the possibilities.