A single-family home for sale in San Jose.
San Jose is one of the worst U.S. cities when it comes to homeowner happiness. File photo.

San Jose is one of the worst U.S. cities for someone looking for the most bang for their buck on housing.

According to a report from All Star Home, San Jose ranks second worst when it comes to homeowners’ happiness with their homes and neighborhoods, compared to the price they pay to live there. San Francisco ranked the worst and Seattle came in third out of 25 cities from the American Housing Survey. On the other end, Detroit ranked No.1 for best housing value, with Rochester, New York in second and Birmingham, Alabama in third.

US map highlighting five best value cities and five lowest value cities, including San Jose as second worst
All Star Home’s report on housing value lists the top 10 and worst 10 cities, with San Jose ranking second from the worst. Image courtesy of All Star Home.

The report used data from the survey, where residents rated their home and neighborhood, and averaged those responses to assign happiness ratings for each location. That was then divided by the region’s median home value. All Star Home also surveyed residents across the nation and found some of the top reasons for disliking a neighborhood included “weird people,” noise levels and housing density.

“Our market is not so much about the warm and fuzzy aspects of owning a home,” Brett Caviness, local realtor and former president of the Silicon Valley Association of Realtors, told San José Spotlight. “It’s about long-term investment for our buyers.”

Caviness said when he works with potential homeowners, he helps them to meet long-term financial goals, and that negotiations are less about what features future owners want and more about the investment and payback when they sell.

Santa Clara County Association of Realtors President William Chea said local demand has been increasing, but the housing stock on the market is low. The COVID-19 pandemic changed how a homeowner viewed their property, Chea added.

“It wasn’t just somewhere where you would go and sleep,” Chea told San José Spotlight. “During COVID, your house became your office, it became your children’s school, it became your gym.”

The variation in things people want from their homes adds to the multitude of reasons why people may be moving, which is why demand continues to increase, Caviness said.

A new report from Realtor.com looking at next year’s top housing markets ranks the San Jose Metropolitan Area—which includes Sunnyvale and Santa Clara—90th out of 100 cities. The report anticipates a decrease in sales for existing homes and an increase in median sale prices. According to the report, San Jose might see an 18.5% decrease in home sales in 2024 and a 3% increase in sale price, adding to the region’s affordability crisis.

Chea said interest rates between 5% to 7% are becoming the new norm—and a new barrier to homeownership.

“We can’t just think about that engineer or that well-to-do family, we’ve got to look at adding affordable housing to the mix as well for these essential workers that do the job that keeps Silicon Valley pumping,” Chea told San José Spotlight.

Contact B. Sakura Cannestra at [email protected] or @SakuCannestra on X, formerly known as Twitter.

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