SummerHill Homes and PulteGroup

Like Stanford University, which owns $19.7 billion in property in Santa Clara County and has caused a stir in recent years by buying up dozens of single-family homes in one Palo Alto neighborhood, Santa Clara University likewise has an outsized impact on its community — only on a smaller scale.

Santa Clara real estate agent Myron Von Raesfeld has sold more than a dozen homes to the university since 1999. Every one was an all-cash deal, and SCU was never outbid, he said.

Von Raesfeld expects that over the next several decades, Santa Clara University will scoop up more and more properties around campus.

“If it’s something they really want,” he said, “they’ll eventually get it.”

The university has amassed a portfolio that lands it among Santa Clara County’s top-10 owners of single-family homes — a distinction it shares with Stanford University, SummerHill Homes and PulteGroup.

SCU owned $1.51 billion in taxable property as of the 2018 fiscal year, including nearly $30 million in single-family homes — or 44 homes, according to an analysis by a collaboration of local and national media, including this news organization, of half a million property records from the Santa Clara County Assessor’s Office.

“It’s been expanding every year,” said Santa Clara real estate agent Vinicius Brasil. “It just seems like it just gets larger and larger.”

SCU ranks as the 10th-largest owner of single-family homes in the county. The university’s landholdings also include $36 million in multi-family dwellings, $1.08 billion in academic, commercial and other non-residential real estate, and $371 million in equipment, machinery and other taxable property.

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