When the economy took a dive, less popular homes seemed to suffer the most. When/if building new homes and competition gets strong these homes stand a good chance of appreciating more than the average Palo Alto home.
Many years back crossing from the north side of Oregon to the south side showed a noticeable drop in home prices. With the many new homes and other changes to Palo Alto, that is no longer true.
Eventually the tract homes will be remodeled or replaced changing the feel of the neighborhood. Prior to the problems with the economy this looked like it would be happening fairly soon. It's harder to say now.
Much of what drives home prices is schools. The ventura neighborhood does have good schools.
Ventura is a good area to consider because prices are lower, and schools are very good. I have a client who bought a house in Ventura a year ago, and the price has gone up by over 15% already. Their son got into the elementary school of their choice. It is convenient to commute routes. I'd be glad to arrange for you to talk to my client to get their feedback if you want.