The Monte Sereno real estate market

Elm Park in Monte Sereno, sold by Mary Pope-Handy
Ranch style home on Elm Park in Monte Sereno, sold by Mary Pope-Handy

The City of Monte Sereno is quite small, with just about 4,000 residents, so the number of houses sold in any given month will always be extremely small.

For that reason, the data may appear to jump around wildly compared to Los Gatos or Saratoga, which each have about 30,000 people living there. Please take all the stats with a tablespoon of salt, and be sure to view the Los Gatos housing market data to get a more accurate picture of what’s happening with Monte Sereno homes (just add a little to the price tag as homes there tend to sell for a bit more than LG properties).

Also, there are only single family, detached houses in Monte Sereno: no apartments, multi unit housing (2 – 4 plex), no duet homes (attached single family homes). That will be changing soon, however, as the old La Hacienda property (formerly an estate, then a hotel and restaurant) at Hwy 9 and Austin Way will become incorporated into Monte Sereno and condos or townhomes built there.

First up for the market analysis is the Altos Research weekly profile for Monte Sereno (uses list prices, not sales):

 

 

This chart shows a slight seller’s advantage in the market, which is consistent with the rest of the area.

Below is the Monte Sereno Real Estate Report (click to view the complete Real Estate Report).

Read moreThe Monte Sereno real estate market

Light Up The Night

Light up the night in Los GatosThe Los Gatos Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring a fun evening on December 12, 2019, “Light Up The Night”. The Chamber’s website states:

 

Join us for a night of shopping, sipping and fun!   The stores will stay open until 8:30pm for an evening of shopping.  A few stops along the way will have champagne or wine for you to enjoy.  Surprises abound throughout the evening!  After shopping, the fun continues with a party at The Palms.

 

Get pricing and details the link below.

Light Up The Night – December 12, 2019 – details and tickets

Los Gatos real estate statistics and market trends

Los Gatos real estate market graphic with home near downtownThe Los Gatos real estate market had been cooling down, but suddenly the activity level is up noticeably, and when we get the statistics for December’s closed sales, I believe we will see a rise in pricing, too. At office meetings and with friends in the industry I am hearing many stories of multiple offers and overbids. In one case, a property I was watching (near but not in LG) sold for 16% over list price. Many are surprised by the surge in buyer interest, which appears to be strongest in the lowest priced homes which are in good locations and in excellent condition (meaning recently and thoroughly remodeled).

Market uptick in November: pending sales increase

Throughout Santa Clara County and San Mateo County, pending sales increased dramatically in November, and the ratio between active listings and pending sales narrowed (chart below). When this happens, meaning that the absorption rate increases, prices normally rise. The reason is simple: supply and demand. Typically, supply shrinks in fall, but demand does not always shrink as much as supply. Hence, selling in autumn can be good in that the odds of selling increase. That’s good for sellers. For buyers, it may be tougher to buy due to limited choices, but prices often are a little softer in the late months of the year than they are in spring. Bottom line: if you need to buy or sell, it can happen in the last quarter of the year. Buyers cannot be too picky, though, as selection is limited. (See similar data for the Santa Clara County real estate market on the Valley of Heart’s Delight blog.)

Active and pending listings in Los Gatos 95030 and 95032

Below please find a chart of 2019 active listings of single family homes in Los Gatos (MLS area 16, zip codes 95030 and 95032)  in relation to the pending sales the same month. When active listings far outnumber the pending or contingent sales, it’s harder to sell and easier to buy. Conversely, when the two are closer together, a larger percentage of properties are going under contract.  Notice how close they are in November of this year.

 

Graph representing Los Gatos active and pending listings of single family homes in 95030 and 95032 in 2019 year to date

 

Read moreLos Gatos real estate statistics and market trends

Old Adobe Road neighborhood

Map of the Old Adobe Road area in west Los Gatos - also indicating proximity of the Oakwood and English Oaks subdivisions, plus the cities of Saratoga and Monte Sereno are shown on the map
Old Adobe Road area in west Los Gatos, just off Quito Road

At the northwest corner of Los Gatos you’ll find a really beautiful neighborhood that consists of Old Adobe Road and nearby streets. It’s just off of Quito Road on the border with Saratoga one one side and Monte Sereno on another.

This lovely area doesn’t have tightly defined boundaries (at least not as far as I know), but runs roughly between Old Adobe and Quito at the north end to Bicknell at the south and fanning out to beyond Montclair to about More Avenue. It clings to Rinconada Hills along one stretch, too.

What are homes like in the Old Adobe area?

Today I mapped out the approximate neighborhood using the county records and it appears to have about 250 houses or so. Nearly all were built in the 1960s and 1970s, but 10% of the neighborhood spans a century from 1920 to 2018. Most of the homes are between about 2,000 and 3,000 square feet, but about 1/6 of them are larger, a dozen reach 4,000 SF and up, but that is not typical. Most lots are around a quarter to a half acre, but some are bigger and some smaller. So they are comfortable houses on uncrowded lots in a mature neighborhood.

There are some areas within this part of west Los Gatos with no subdivision name, but others are within identifiable subdivisions: Adobe Manor, Verona Manor, Montclair Oaks, Rinconada Acres, Rinconada Terrace, Rinconada Oaks. (A nearby neighborhood is English Oaks, and next to that is Oakwood. Yes, there are  plenty of oaks in the region!)

 

Read moreOld Adobe Road neighborhood

The Holiday Season in Los Gatos: So Much To Do!

Christmas tree and packages with a greeting of Happy Holidays on a bannerDecember is almost upon us, and with it comes all kinds of holiday events and activities in beautiful Los Gatos.

Keeping up is half the battle with so much happening this December! To make your season a little less stressful and a little more jolly, I have organized a list of holiday events and activities going on in Los Gatos. Below you will find two lists – one with unique events you might only have a day or two to enjoy, and a separate list of ongoing events you can join in all December long. These lists do not include religious services, so please check your preferred place of prayer for those schedules.

So get ready for carriage rides, the Fantasy of Lights, the tree lighting ceremony, the Los Gatos holiday parade, crafting, caroling, cookies and more!

Read moreThe Holiday Season in Los Gatos: So Much To Do!

Strathmore neighborhood of Los Gatos

Take in a view of the hills from the Strathmore neighborhood of Los Gatos. Beside Blossom Hill with the coastal range rising behind it, homes here enjoy a beautiful backdrop and nature close by with plenty of access to parks and trails. But the beauty and nature is only one part of the wonderful neighborhood.

 

Strathmore neighborhood of Los Gatos sign at entrance to subdivision

 

Despite its quiet charm, this neighborhood is anything but rural. Easy access and practicality are another major draw. Both the freeway and plenty of shopping are within a mile, and shopping on The Boulevard (Los Gatos Boulevard) is only a little farther (about 2 miles by car). A pedestrian friendly area with sidewalks and tree lined streets, Strathmore is a popular spot for locals to stroll, walk dogs, jog, bike or otherwise enjoy a little of California’s pleasant climate.

 

Strathmore neighborhood 2 story house

 

Read moreStrathmore neighborhood of Los Gatos

Restaurant Asa in Los Gatos

Last week a friend and I met to enjoy lunch at Restaurant Asa, which opened a few months ago. It was the first time there for both of us and we were anxious to give it a try since we’d only heard good things about it. The eatery’s location is super convenient and is a big plus: Asa sits just across from the Los Gatos Lodge, adjacent to the Best Western Inn of Los Gatos – at the corner of Alberto Way and Los Gatos-Saratoga Road. This is the same location where Grill 57 was until this summer. There’s no shortage of nearby parking, which cannot always be said of restaurants in town.

 

Restaurant Asa Los Gatos exterior

 

An attractive, inviting patio dining area sits behind the planters in the photo above.

Inside, a waiting area features two comfy couches. A well appointed wine case is to the right and a full bar to the left.  The room is open, clean, quiet (while fairly full), and offers pleasant decor.

 

Restaurant Asa waiting area couches and wine collection

 

Read moreRestaurant Asa in Los Gatos