May 06, 2010
My Santa Clara County Real Estate Report is now updated for the April 2010 sales.
Countywide, there are now more pending homes than available homes for sale here in Silicon Valley! But how about in Los Gatos? The ratio is about half as many pendings to availables here, both for houses and for condominiums or townhomes. (The list price to sales price ratio is also lower here – countywide it’s at about 100% but here, as you can see below, it’s around 96%.)
Here’s the summary for Los Gatos houses & duet homes:
|Trends At a Glance||Apr 2010||Previous Month||Year-over Year|
|Median Price||$1,275,000||$942,500 (+35.3%)||$955,000 (+33.5%)|
|Average Price||$1,333,370||$1,235,480 (+7.9%)||$1,035,330 (+28.8%)|
|No. of Sales||29||22 (+31.8%)||25 (+16.0%)|
|Pending Properties||60||45 (+33.3%)||26 (+130.8%)|
|Active||130||121 (+7.4%)||170 (-23.5%)|
|Sale vs. List Price||96.6%||97.4% (-0.8%)||95.0% (+1.7%)|
|Days on Market||70||89 (-20.6%)||54 (+29.1%)|
And for condos and townhouses in Los Gatos (see the full report online):
|Trends At a Glance||Apr 2010||Previous Month||Year-over Year|
|Median Price||$692,500||$543,000 (+27.5%)||$710,000 (-2.5%)|
|Average Price||$683,625||$572,833 (+19.3%)||$700,222 (-2.4%)|
|No. of Sales||8||6 (+33.3%)||9 (-11.1%)|
|Pending Properties||19||19 (0.0%)||8 (+137.5%)|
|Active||40||52 (-23.1%)||51 (-21.6%)|
|Sale vs. List Price||95.9%||101.5% (-5.6%)||94.5% (+1.5%)|
|Days on Market||56||29 (+96.1%)||74 (-24.0%)|
To see the data, charts & graphs for listings and sales in Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, Saratoga, Cambrian Park, Almaden, Campbell, Willow Glen or anywhere in Santa Clara County, please visit my RE Report online now!
May 04, 2010
The spring home buying season (or spring home selling season) is usually pretty good in Los Gatos, with April being one of the best months. How was this year? And how was it in relation to recent years in the 95030 and 95032 zip codes of Los Gatos?
I ran the numbers myself – so every effort was made for accuracy but it’s not guaranteed – and also ran them in recent years dating back to 1998. Additionally I provided the “average” so see how this year actually compares.
For April 2010, there were a total of 40 houses, duet homes, condominiums and townhouses which closed escrow between April 1 and April 30, about 7% off the 13 year average of 43. The breakdown was 31 houses or duet homes (close to average) and 9 condos or townhomes (30% fewer than average). So this view shows that it’s a mixed real estate market with trend improving for houses for sale more than condominiums.
A look at last year shows a lot of improvement for houses sold. And a look at the year before that, 2008, also shows marked improvement for houses on the market in Los Gatos. Not so true for the condominium and townhouse sales, though. Those sales continue to lag. The condo market has been hurting throughout Silicon Valley because home buyers can now afford to buy a house and that’s their preference, most of the time.
To see how Santa Clara County did as a whole, please visit my Valley of Hearts Delight blog.
For help in buying or selling your Los Gatos home, please contact me today:
Mary Pope-Handy 408 204-7673 or mary (at) popehandy.com
April 28, 2010
For about two years, I’ve been periodically providing the readers of this blog information on distressed properties, mostly short sales but also bank owned homes (REOs) in and near Los Gatos. Today’s San Jose Mercury News has an article on the cover by Sue McAllister regarding the increasing number of short sales in Silicon Valley. Across Santa Clara County, short sales account for about one-third of the inventory. (Another “rough number”: countywide, our prices are down about 1/3 from the peak.)
What about Los Gatos? Is the trend here also for rising numbers of short sale homes on the market? Bargain hunting home buyers will correctly tell you that there just aren’t many Los Gatos homes for sale which are short sales. Some sellers will tell you that the short sales are hurting their home’s market value. Both are true.
Right now in Los Gatos (area “16”, zips 95032 and 95030), there are 181 houses, condos, duet homes and townhouses for sale. Of those, 7 are short sales and 2 are bank owned properties. (Six of the seven are priced at under $1,000,000, so the most affordable part of the market is being hit hardest by short sales. One of the listed homes is over $2,000,000. Four are in 95030, three in 95032. Three are houses, four are condos/townhomes.)
Let’s look only at the number of short sales in town over the last couple of years (not in relation to the total inventory, but as a stand-alone number). Here’s what I have for dates and short sales:
Inventory is lower than it was a couple of years ago, so it could be argued that the percentage of available homes which are short sales here is greater than it was. Also it could be argued that many more short sales are to come due to adjustable rate mortgages which are poised to reset. That may be true. A quick survey of the numbers, though, does not bear out the idea that short sales are rising in the town of Los Gatos – at least not right now. Perhaps that is because when they do come on the market, they are aggressively priced and go under contract fairly quickly. (Unfortunately they stay as pending sales a great long time, so their impact is significant on pricing.)
Interested in more areas? This morning I also posted an article on my Valley of Hearts Delight blog on this same topic (without the history) covering much of the West Valley: Monte Sereno, Saratoga, Almaden Valley, Cambrian Park, Campbell, Willow Glen, Santa Clara, Cupertino, the LG Mountains, Blossom Valley and all of San Jose. Please visit my Valley of Hearts Delight blog to read about them.
Below, find list prices in Monte Sereno over the last year, by price quartile. Interestingly, the 1st and 3rd quartile appears to have been changing downward the most while the highest priced homes seem to be faring the best (remember, though, these are list prices not sold prices).
Now Los Gatos, 95030, where again the highest median list price seems to be holding better than other price points:
And finally Los Gatos, 95032:
In this last group, it looks more clear that the higher the price point, the less the list price appears to be experiencing downward pressure.
Finally, Days on Market in these three areas by quartile.
Monte Sereno, 95030, is mixed.
Los Gatos, 95030 – where it’s really not getting easier to sell a home, overall:
Los Gatos, 95032, things are not so dire as elsewhere – perhaps because prices are lower here than in the other two areas. This seems to be born out by the fact that the highest priced homes are experiencing the longest DOM.
What about the role of school districts in all of this?
Much of 95032 is in the Campbell Union High School District. So I did a little more crunching on my own, looking at school district rather than zip code.
For active listings right now in “area 16” again, here’s what I found for DOM (days on market)
(1) All of “area 16” with Los Gatos Saratoga High Schol District – DOM = 185
Same but a maximum list price of $1.5 million – DOM = 133
(2) All of “area 16” with Campbell Union High School District – DOM = 71
Same but a max list price of $1.5 million – DOM = 66
(3) For all of “area 16” without regard to school district, the DOM = 152
Same but with max list price of $1.5 million – DOM = 106
(Monte Sereno is 99.5% Los Gatos Schools with only the tiniest sliver falling into Campbell Schools.)
So this is a little surprising – we tend to believe that homes with Los Gatos Schools always sell better than those with Union or Moreland. But is that the case?
Let’s drill it down once more to a more specific price range and see, among the active listings, what’s happening.
Price range: $1,000,000 to $1,400,000. I added the average square footage of the home since the results surprised me and I thought this might be an important factor.
(1) LGSHSD – DOM = 100 (av SF = 1904)
(2) CUHSD – DOM = 42 (av SF 2826)
(3) All schools – DOM = 82 (av SF = 2185)
Within this band of pricing, it appears that the homes may be moving faster in the less expensive part of Los Gatos. Why is this? Perhaps because it’s taken a bigger correction and is now viewed favorably. There could be lots of factors. We could continue breaking it down by neighborhood, by age of construction, and many other factors, including whether or not something was a short sale or bank owned property (which is a separate topic). It might also look different if we picked apart the pendings or solds this way, so this is not comprehensive, but is a general indicator that homes not in the most expensive part of town are selling easlier than those “closer in”.
For help with understanding the home you want to buy or sell, please contact me!
February 05, 2010
What’s the market doing? As always, it depends on which part of the market. For an overview of the Los Gatos Real Estate Market, my Silicon Valley Real Estate Report will update you by home type (house or condo/townhouse). In January, how things seemed depended a lot on what you were comparing it to. Clearly it’s a lot better than a year ago – but we have far to go.Single family homes (houses and duet homes) in Los Gatos – prices are slipping (thought this isn’t the case in all parts of the Los Gatos real estate market), sales were up as compared to a year ago, inventory is still low, DOM is shrinking and the list price to sales price ratio is rising slowly. So another month of mixed signals but clearly some “green shoots” of hope.
|Trends At a Glance||Jan 2010||Previous Month||Year-over Year|
|Median Price||$985,000||$1,200,000 (-17.9%)||$1,672,500 (-41.1%)|
|Average Price||$1,227,090||$1,382,760 (-11.3%)||$1,557,390 (-21.2%)|
|No. of Sales||12||25 (-52.0%)||9 (+33.3%)|
|Pending Properties||25||30 (-16.7%)||23 (+8.7%)|
|Active||93||87 (+6.9%)||163 (-42.9%)|
|Sale vs. List Price||97.4%||96.8% (+0.7%)||94.2% (+3.4%)|
|Days on Market||43||59 (-27.0%)||60 (-29.0%)|
Condominiums and townhouses in Los Gatos – prices are rising (condos had taken the biggest hit during the corrections earlier, so this is overdue), days on market are still terribly long and everthing else is close to status quo.
|Trends At a Glance||Jan 2010||Previous Month||Year-over Year|
|Median Price||$675,000||$561,500 (+20.2%)||$370,500 (+82.2%)|
|Average Price||$679,251||$590,738 (+15.0%)||$412,833 (+64.5%)|
|No. of Sales||5||8 (-37.5%)||3 (+66.7%)|
|Pending Properties||10||12 (-16.7%)||5 (+100.0%)|
|Active||48||36 (+33.3%)||55 (-12.7%)|
|Sale vs. List Price||96.9%||97.2% (-0.3%)||104.7% (-7.5%)|
|Days on Market||140||103 (+35.2%)||146 (-4.0%)|
To get the whole scoop on the market for Los Gatos (or Monte Sereno, Saratoga, Cambrian Park, Almaden Valley) or anywhere in San Jose or Santa Clara County, please click on the links above!
January 26, 2010
I just updated my Belwood of Los Gatos website with what has closed in the last three years in that part of town (including the Surmont and Belgatos areas). At the top of the page is a live mls-searching map which shows what’s available in that area. Right now there’s just a duplex for sale there, no houses whatsoever! Scroll down to see first sales in 2009, then 2008, and finally 2007.
Some of the numbers are disturbingly low (disturbing if you are a homeowner). Some of the lowest prices have been homes which were distressed sales (short sale or foreclosure) or which were not well staged and easily accessible. Hard to see, cluttered, unstaged homes simply sell for a lot less than homes which are well presented and easily viewed. In 2009 we saw a rise in foreclosure activity in and near Belwood. This may keep up for a couple more years until the current mortgage crisis is cleaned out.
October 22, 2009
The post below was written in Oct 2009. For a more current article and market update, please see:Absorption Rates for Los Gatos & Monte Sereno Real Estate Market in May 2010
If you are thinking of buying or selling a Los Gatos condo or townhouse, it’s helpful to know what the market’s doing – that is, what are the Los Gatos real estate trends and statistics for the condo market.
Today we’ll have a look at the Los Gatos condo market in terms of pricing, inventory, and days on market. We will study Los Gatos as a whole and broken out by zip code, and also by price quartile too. The data below is via Altos Research, to which I am a subscriber & so I have the right to use the charts & graphs here. (Note: Altos Research uses list prices, not sold prices.) The charts I’m uploading will automatically update, so if you pull up this post long after it’s been written, the charts will still be “live” and should be accurate.
First, the pricing trends for condos and townhomes in 95030 and 95032 combined (so all of Los Gatos together) over the last year, and separated by quartile:
Generally, it’s been a year of some increases but overall decreases in list prices year over year (as of late October 2009).
Following, the two zip codes separated, but the quartiles combined:
Interestingly, the 95030 part of Los Gatos was dropping this time last year (10-2008) while the 95032 market was mostly improving. I suspect that this is due to the cost of living: 95032 is simply less expensive.
Getting more specific: now see Los Gatos 95030 condos and townhomes, broken out by price quartile:
Fascinating to see what happened with the group that had been the second quartile and ended up at the bottom! The deepest decines in value (or pricing) have come in the highest price ranges. This is true in Saratoga and other high-end markets around Silicon Valley and in parts of San Jose (such as Almaden Valley) too.
Same pricing info but for Los Gatos 95032:
The 95032 patterns seemed to follow a more understandable path than 95030.
Next, inventory – the available townhouses and condominiums to buy in Los Gatos (both zips combined)over the last 12 months:
Inventory for 95030:
And inventory for 95032:
Now, we’ll look at the average Days on Market. Things are really interesting here as we view all of Los Gatos by quartile.:
And again, we’ll drill down to the zip code & quartile view of the Los Gatos condo and townhome market as we consider the average days on market:
In the 95030 part of Los Gatos, interestingly, the least expensive condos are taking the longest to sell. Why might that be the case? Here’s my hunch: most of this zip code is “in the schools” (enjoying Blossom Hill Elementary, Van Meter Elementry, or Daves Avenue School as well as Fisher Middle School and Los Gatos High). The least expensive homes often fall into one of two categories: seniors housing (Alberto Way, the Los Gatos Commons) or small, entry level condos with only one bedroom. Neither of these would require the highly regarded Los Gatos Schools.
Conversely, in the 95032 part of town, it’s the most expensive townhomes and condos that are taking the longest to sell. A possible reason is that people who can afford a high end condo can also afford a single family home – and right now, the houses have come down so much in price that they are not as out of reach as they were in the past. Most likely, homebuyers are preferring to buy a house (perhaps in Cambrian Park or Willow Glen) rather than a costly condo.
Even more data:
I just ran a little more info off of MLSListings.com, our MLS provider here in the San Jose area, and see that in Los Gatos (both zip codes) 26 condos and townhomes sold & closed in the last month, and there are 132 available today. That means there are 5 months of inventory, which is just a little into the seller’s market territory.
95030 – 51 available, 6 sold in last month = 8.5 months of inventory – av sales price = $1,301,667
95032 – 81 available, 20 sold in last month = 4.05 months of inventory – av sales pr = $1,068,360
Very very interesting that it’s approximately twice as easy to sell a condo in 95032 than in 95030. In most of Santa Clara County, the most affordable homes are the ones selling the best. That general trend appears to be in full swing here in Los Gatos among the townhouse and condo market too.
If you’d like to sell or buy a Los Gatos condo or townhouse, please contact me. I’d be happy to have a confidential, no obligation conversation with you about your wants, needs and plans.
Although it can be a bit of a challenge to sell a condominium or townhome in Los Gatos, it’s not impossible if the pricing, staging, and marketing are all correct.
October 05, 2009
It’s early October – many years, we experience an influx of inventory in Los Gatos homes for sale at about this time (between Labor Day and Halloween). Not this year, though. It seems that the uptick in available homes for sale mostly happens in years where it’s a seller’s market. The Los Gatos & Monte Sereno real estate market, especially in the 95030 zip code, where prices continue to fall, has not been a seller’s market in most price ranges recently. It appears that many homeowners are holding onto their homes for now – probably until the market recovers. My buyers are noticing the lack of inventory too.
(On a side note: I do have buyers looking for a turnkey Los Gatos home with 4 bedrooms, 2 baths and a less than 10,000 sf lot for up to 1.5 million. Nothing currently on the market is a fit for them – if you have a home that might work, or know of one not currently on the market, please let me know. Either zip code or school area is OK.)
Today we’ll have a look at the list prices and inventory for two zip codes, which combined generally make up the area included in the Town of Los Gatos and also the City of Monte Sereno: 95030 and 95032. 95030 is Los Gatos and also Monte Sereno. (There are some funky exceptions: one area with the 95032 zip code out by Pollard and Quito actually belongs to Campbell but has a Los Gatos address for postal reasons. Another area near National and Carlton along the Cambrian border has a San Jose, 95124 mailing address but is actually Los Gatos – same thing, for postal reasons the mailing address is off.)
Another caveat – and a big one – is that today’s study does not include a breakdown by school district. This can be a leading indicator of how your particular neighborhood might be faring. Altos does not use this criteria so I can’t factor it in with this study. On August 24th, I did a post on my Valley of Hearts Delight blog on the Los Gatos Real Estate Market that did include the school district information. This is great data but takes many hours to assemble, so it’s not something I can provide often. But have a look there too – many of the trends are unchanged, even if the exact numbers are different:
The charts below were created by me with Altos Research, to which I have a subscription and the right to publish the charts. Altos uses LIST PRICES in its data fyi.
List prices with both zip codes combined, market separated out by quartile over the last 6 months:
Just 95030 – closer to downtown, usually, than most of 95032, and almost 100% “in the schools”, this is a more expensive place to live than 95032:
Now just 95032:
Now inventory – the upper cluster of quartiles is 95032, the lower one is 95030:
Combining quartiles is a little easier (a quartile is 25% of the market so of course the four tiers will always be about the name in number as each other).
What’s interesting is that although the 95030 zip code is usually more in demand (due to downtown Los Gatos proximity and the famed schools), those more expensive homes have not been getting scooped up by the market quite as fast as the homes in 95032. The latter are more affordable – and affordability is key in most price points. The days on market for Los Gatos homes for sale by zip code and quartile:
Altos provides a “median market action index” (greater than 30 is a sellers market) that is quite interesting – note the huge difference:
Next, by zip code and price quartile. 95030 is “all over the board, with some parts trending downward and others moving upward…
Now for Los Gatos 95032, which seems to be behaving more as a unified group than 95030:
In most of the 95032 price points, the market’s been improving. It’s still a buyer’s market, but until August or September, it was improving steadily.
How’s the market? Really needs to be, “how’s your specific market?” The lowest price points in 95030 are selling well – which has been the case for months. The most expensive homes in 95030 are lagging the most – which has also been the trend. The less expensive homes in 95032 are faring better overall. If we were to break 95032 down by school district (as I did in the post referenced above), we’d find that the homes selling the best are the ones with Los Gatos Schools (not Moreland or Union).
For information on your particular corner of the Los Gatos real estate market or the Monte Sereno real estate market, please contact me. I’d be happy to chat with you – no obligation.
June 26, 2009
The real estate market in the high-end communities of Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, and Saratoga has not been as hard-hit on pricing as in the entry level and more affordable areas like Blossom Valley and Cambrian Park, but not nearly as many homes are selling in these areas for that reason. Areas with huge (30-40%) price drops are seeing first time home buyers and investors swoop down, some paying “all cash” to get in on the fire sale pricing. That is just not happening in the tonier neighborhoods of Silicon Valley.
The west valley foothill communities aren’t at these kinds of price drops, but if you’re a home seller, you certainly aren’t feeling like the real estate market is doing you any favors. Prices are down in varying degrees, but overall it is a “rollback” in sales prices of several years and the discount is perhaps 20-30% from the peak for most homes (worse for the luxury home market).
The charts below are from Altos Research (with whom I have a subscription) and prices are LIST prices, not sales prices. The black line represents Los Gatos, green is Saratoga, and orange Monte Sereno, and the timeframe for all charts below is the last 12 months. Properties are single family homes only (houses, not condos or townhomes).
Monte Sereno tends to have the most expensive homes generally of the three communities, and this small city has been hit the worst with price drops because higher priced homes generally have had the biggest damage done to pricing, and more affordable homes have been less hurt by the price cuts.
Again, Monte Sereno has the biggest struggle with the longest days on the market. Saratoga is experiencing a better market. This does not surprise me because I have some homebuyers for that city and we are having a hard time finding much that’s within their budget and meets their needs. In Los Gatos, where I also have buyers (different from Saratoga), we are finding a lot of homes are still priced too high for the market, so the buyers continue to wait.
The relisted homes chart is a reflection of how many sellers were unsuccessful the first time around, but the owners really do want or need to sell, so they get the house back on the market. Sometimes it’s with a new coat of paint and far better staging, sometimes a much better price, sometimes a new agent and brokerage – or maybe all three.
Inventory levels are climbing in all three of these expensive Santa Clara County areas. Buyers are having a hard time in most cases because if they’re moving up, it’s difficult to sell the home they already own due to negative equity and it’s also very difficult to get a loan for high end real estate. If sellers can offer financing, that could be very helpful to a lot of buyers (get professional assistance from your Realtor, CPA and attorney before attempting this, though).
Most often, when a home doesn’t sell, it’s the pricing that is incorrect for the market, though condition (and staging) can have a big impact too. While a few buyers may be willing to pay “top dollar” for a home in average or worse condition, the majority of home buyers will not. Pricing & condition need to be aimed at the bulk of likely purchasers of the property, not the unlikely, rare homebuyer. In this market, when most homes are not selling in Los Gatos, Monte Sereno and Saratoga, that means staging and pricing aggressively. If there’s a “better deal” than your home, that’s the one the buyer will choose. In this market, the lowest price and best condition “wins” with a sale.
There are things you can do to increase the odds your home will sell and even make your home sell for more:
- get the home cleaned, cleared of clutter, and nicely staged (get help and professional advice on this)
- make the front yard appealing with colorful annuals, nicely trimmed bushes, and a healthy green lawn – if the front yard looks bad, the buyers will not even get out of their car to see inside your home
- make the home easy to show, use a lockbox, do NOT make showings appointment only through the listing agent or yourself
- when the home is being viewed by potential buyers, do not be home – your presence will make the buyers uneasy and unable to speak frankly about the house
- price your home in the lowest 20% of available homes that are similar to yours – all the marketing in the world cannot sell an overpriced home
While the majority of homes are “sitting” and not selling, the best properties are actually selling quite fast. So if something comes on the market that interests you, don’t wait. It may not be there on the weekend for the scheduled open house!
Today’s post is general in nature for each of the towns discussed. The market will vary from one price point to the next, one school district to the next etc. Please contact me for assistance with your own particular situation.
Some homes have been on the market and sellers won’t reduce the listing price but may entertain an offer significantly lower that the list price. So have your agent inquire or just “write it up” if you like a home.
April 29, 2009
The real estate market seems to be turning, but primarily in the lower priced areas of Silicon Valley. The single family homes in the lowest price points seem to be flying off the market. In some areas, the majority of houses that fit that description are bank owned and short sale properties (such as the Alum Rock district of San Jose, where all but 5% of home sales in the first quarter were distressed property sales).
But what about Los Gatos?
At this point there are 254 homes for sale (single family homes, condos and townhomes), 56 pending sales and 29 which have closed in the last thirty days. That represents an inventory of 8.75 months (listings divided by closed sales). It’s also evident that not everything which sells actually closes since the ratio of pendings to list prices is stronger than the ratio of closeds to list prices.
The lowest priced homes in Los Gatos are faring better than more expensive homes in Los Gatos, which is also the case throughout Santa Clara County.
Here are some graphs to help Live in Los Gatos readers to see what’s happening in Los Gatos:
As you can see from the graphs, the condos (representing the lowest price points in Los Gatos) seem to be faring better than the single family homes.
Below is a chart of the list prices for single family homes in Los Gatos with 95030 and 95032 zip codes (“in the town”) as well as 95033 (county area in the mountains). In all cases, the market is more favorable in the lowest price points.