The smallest cluster of homes along Alberto Way is Las Casitas, a pretty townhome community with 18 units and abundant open space near downtown Los Gatos. Here are some quick facts about this attractive community:
The legal name of the complex is “Las Casitas IV of Los Gatos”.
Built in 1979.
This is a condo complex. Units are shaped like 2 story townhouses, but the ownership type is condominium. (Some townhomes are PUDs, Planned Unit Developments.)
The 18 units all appear to have the same floor plan: 3 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, 1448 SF, laundry closet in kitchen, patio & storage closet off of living room, multiple skylights, some vaulted ceilings on the 2nd floor.
There is a little variation in the lot sizes, but only by the tiniest of fractions. All units overlook the greenbelt from the back.
Each unit is assigned a carport and storage closet at the rear of the property (near the freeway)
Las Casitas is within the Los Gatos Union School District – a big draw for home buyers. The schools appear to be Van Meter Elementary, Fisher Middle, and Los Gatos High. All are within 1 mile as the bird flies.
As of April 2021, the monthly dues are $560
The units are slightly staggered, which makes for a pleasant look, but also more privacy on the back patio.
Normally in April and May I’m collecting all the information on the summer musical events in Los Gatos. This year, however, we remain in the midst of a Stay Home order due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Despite ongoing risks, the warm weather and growing vaccination rollout has us hopeful as more things are beginning to open at the state and county levels. On April 2nd newly released guidance for live outdoor entertainment! Sadly, our local summer concerts are booked and planned in early winter, so this update won’t affect most of the usual lineup. Things might look a little different, but you won’t have to wait until 2022 for a good show!
2021 Updates: Free Summer Concert Series Los Gatos
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 these statistics 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 likely become incorporated into Monte Sereno and condos or townhomes built there.
Also, this month’s data will show some of the effects of the pandemic on the real estate market, but the whole of it and plenty has changed since March 2020! To learn more about how Covid-19 is affecting the local real estate market, please check Coronavirus Impact on Real Estate Sales on my other blog.
During the shutdown so far, the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) stopped the timer on all Days on Market (DOM) for a time. Therefore these numbers will be off beginning from March 17th through around May 17th, 2020. In the data below, this will affect any numbers related to the days on market, the absorption rate, and the days of inventory from those months, but current numbers should be accurate.
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 market, falling from a strong market last month with declining market action. List prices have been holding relatively steady, although the price per square foot is dropping, inventory is extremely low and stable, and days on market are leveling out.
Low inventory has been the headline story in the Los Gatos real estate market for the last year. Here’s a multiple year view of single family homes for sale in Los Gatos 95030 and 95032 since January 2015 – I find this to be enlightening since any one year can be an anomaly. The chart below shows us that the average inventory for Los Gatos in March can vary, but not by a large margin and usually sits somewhere between the mid 50s to 60s. This March fell well below that range with only 43 active listings, the lowest across all visible years.
Seasonal trends for 2020 were thrown completely off after the lockdown order with inventory has been unusually consistent since March with little fluctuation, the result of which was a higher than average inventory in December and lower averages throughout the rest of the year.
The ultra low number of listings is due to many factors, one of them being the current coronavirus pandemic and health and safety concerns. For a look at how Covid-19 is affecting the local real estate market today, please check Coronavirus Impact on Real Estate Sales on my other blog.
Some homeowners may be waiting until the restrictions are lifted to list their home, but seller’s willing to jump through a few hoops are benefitting from a very hot seller’s market with limited inventory. If you’re interested in selling your home this year, check out my article on how to Sell Your Home in 2021. When you’re ready to talk to an agent I would love to hear from you!
What is selling best in LG right now?
In general, single family homes listed at or under roughly $2.5 million are selling well, averaging around 6.3% over list price in March. Those listed around $2.5 millions and upward are also frequently selling above asking with an average of roughly 3.9% above list price in March. Even so, there are exceptions in both groups. Certain things can skew the data. For instance, a home in Los Gatos listed under $2 million took over 8 months to sell and sold $1 over asking, while another listed around $3.7 million sold over 28% above asking in just 7 days. When planning to buy or sell, it’s best to look at the data within a mile of your home (or the one you want to buy), and across similar properties, excluding the odd sales which aren’t comparable.
By the numbers: Of the 46 single family home sales in Los Gatos (not including the mountain market) in March on the MLS, none sold under $1 million, 13 closed at or below $2 million (3 went below $1.5 million), 19 sold above $2 and below $3 million, 11 above $3 and below $4 million, and 3 sold ranging from $4 million to $4.6 million. The high end price point tends to be around $3,000,000 and up for this part of Santa Clara County. The vast majority of what sold would not be considered luxury properties, even though in most areas of the U.S. these would be luxury price tags.
Los Gatos real estate statistics at a glance for 95030 & 95032
Next, data from the RE Report for Los Gatos (“in town”), in the Los Gatos Mountains, and for Los Gatos condos (only in town, none in the mountain communities). Below that are the live Altos Research charts, updated automatically each week. Altos uses list prices, not sold prices.
The numbers below analyze data gathered during the first week of each month and cover real estate statistics from the month prior in Los Gatos 95030 & 95032 (all areas / school districts), or MLS “area 16”. See the full RE Report here.
Trends At a Glance
No. of Sales
Sale vs. List Price
Days on Market
Days of Inventory
Prices fell from last month and aren’t far from last year. However, last month had a rare +$10 million sale, so take last month’s average price with a grain of salt. The number of sales and sales pending are well above last month and last year showing heightened activity. Available inventory, on the other hand, continues to fall short of last year, but grew a little month-over-month. The sales vs list price ratio jumped to a hot 105.1%, rising well above last month and last year. Overall it’s an increasingly busy seller’s market in Los Gatos, possibly impacted by delayed activity from earlier this year.
A spacious 4 bed 3 bath open floorplan home on a deep lot
in a beautiful, convenient East Los Gatos cul de sac!
Spacious home featuring hardwood floors throughout. Large kitchen with abundant counter space and breakfast bar. Open living space overlooks the back yard. Four bedrooms, two with en suite baths. Deep back yard provided newer, heated lap pool with safety cover, large deck, and storage shed.
Highly regarded schools: Alta Vista Elementary (convenient access via pedestrian bridge), Union Middle, and Leigh High.
One of the more confusing areas in Los Gatos may the Alberto Way. There are a number of HOA communities and for those new to the area, they may all blur together.
Los Gatos Commons
The largest complex along Alberto Way in Los Gatos is the The Los Gatos Commons, a senior community with 110 units. (To read more about senior housing in the area, please see my post on it here.)
As with most senior housing, the units at The Commons are more affordable than the majority of Los Gatos condos. The Commons was built in 1978 and requires that at least one resident be 55 years of age or more. As of 2020, you may be able to purchase a a unit there between $500,000 and $700,000.
Pueblo de Los Gatos
A smaller condo community just a little closer to Los Gatos-Saratoga Road, and on the opposite side of Alberto Way, is Pueblo de Los Gatos. These homes are a little further away from Highway 17, are a little quieter, and are not senior housing. They tend to sell for a little more than the homes across the way. There seems to be about a 5% to 10% difference in price, most of which may be attributable to freeway noise, but part of it to the “senior community” status. This property was developed in 1970, so is actually a little older than the Commons.
Pueblo de Los Gatos consists of 53 units. Of these 53 condo units, 1 of them is a 3 bedroom (unit # 1, which also has a large 2 car garage), 44 are 2 bedroom units, and 8 are 1 bedroom units. Except for unit # 1, the rest of the homes in this community have carports. For many home buyers, these properties offer a more affordable way to get into the Los Gatos Union School District than might otherwise be possible.
Bella Vista Village
Next to and behind Pueblo de Los Gatos is the much newer and more expensive Bella Vista Village, which was built in 1997 and 1998 and includes 47 townhomes. Click on the link to see some photos and learn about it!
Additionally, there is a small townhouse complex built in 1979 with 18 units on the same side of the street as the Los Gatos Commons, Las Casitas, located at 435 Alberto Way. Something unusual is that all of them appear to have the same floor plan – all have 1448 square feet. It is a tidy complex built around a central grassy courtyard area. Each home has a small back patio & storage closet outside, a laundry closet in the kitchen, 3 skylights for the 2nd floor, good sized bedrooms and baths, and pleasant grounds. There are carports and uncovered parking at the back of the property, up against the freeway. Click on the link above to see a half dozen photos of this attractive complex and learn more about it.
What is the fastest way to tell them apart? The easiest way, without even clicking on a link, is to spot the address. If there’s a letter as part of the unit number (as in A100 or B202), it’s part of The Commons. Also, if the price looks low for the area – it’s probably the Commons. If there’s no letter, as in #7, it’s part of one of the other communities. Or just check the map – The Commons is tucked back at the far left side of the cul de sac (beyond it are office buildings with a private driveway).
All of these are in close-to-downtown Los Gatos locations. If you’re in the market for Los Gatos real estate and would like to live close in, this is a great street to check out.
All Alberto Way area homes for sale, pending, or sold over the last year – including The Commons
This includes properties on Alberto Way as well as Maggi Court and the other Bella Vista Village homes.
Until a few months ago, the Los Gatos crime map in use was provided by CrimeReports.com. That site morphed into CityProtect.com, which covers most of Santa Clara County, but not the town of Los Gatos or city of Monte Sereno. What was nice about City Protect is that it included all of San Jose, Campbell, and Saratoga – among other places. So the activity that I wanted to track did not start nor stop at the city limits. Nor do break ins.
New Los Gatos crime map
This morning I phoned the Los Gatos-Monte Sereno Police Department (non emergency line) to ask what site we are now using since the Los Gatos and Monte Sereno burglaries, assaults, etc. are no longer showing up on CityProtect. I was told that we are now utilizing a new site, LGPD.CrimeGraphics.com.
At the risk of sounding ungrateful for this tech tool, I will state that it’s not a very good or useful site for most consumers. The major issue is that it will only suggest that the viewer to see 7 days at a time. Want to view 12 weeks of info? You may have to try the search 12 times, 7 days each. With CityProtect, the website’s visitor can see a crime map going back months in one glance by adjusting the filters.
To me, that is a lot more helpful. It’s not that the site won’t permit longer searches, but it seems to get hung up unless what is being sought is only one of the several options.
Missing data in the new Los Gatos crime map
Another issue is that the info is incomplete. I am aware of some incidents within a block of me that do not show up on this new site.
If you’re local, you may be aware that Los Gatos and Cambrian (as well as other locations) have been plagued recently with a gang of 4 burglars who’ve been breaking into homes when the residents are gone, and that they are quick and seem to be after cash and jewelry. It made the news (t.v. station linked above) but has been all over NextDoor and also the RingDoorbell forum. These guys appeared in several backyards but were unsuccessful at getting in, mostly because some of the homes were not as unoccupied as they might have seemed from the street. A few weeks ago we had a small swarm of police cars on my street for an event like that in which they got into 2 backyards but didn’t make it into the house. Those are not on the new Los Gatos crime map website.
Another house within a block of mine was broken into a couple of years ago: the power was cut first and the alarm didn’t go off. That one is not on this site either.
Los Gatos residents who are around the corner from a site where police cars have converged and not on social media sites may be oblivious to the uptick in crime across Los Gatos. It’s imperative that we have reliable and thorough information. I’d like to see it include attempted break ins as well.
It would also be useful to have the data be as interconnected as our communities. But with the current setup, if you want to see what is happening along the border with Saratoga, Campbell, or San Jose, you’ll have to check two sites. Wouldn’t it be better to have all of that info at a glance? It’s not on the ballot, but if it were, I’d cast my vote for getting Los Gatos back onto CityProtect.
Since right now the info is segmented, I would suggest that if you aren’t following the issue of the break ins by that gang of four, you get onto your local NextDoor group so you are informed.