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 not all 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 – so the median sale price here is much higher than the median sale price on the solds):
This chart shows a strong seller’s market with declining market action. Prices have been holding relatively steady, inventory is extremely low and falling, and days on market are continuing to rise.
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 February can vary, but not by a large margin and usually sits somewhere between the mid 40s to low 50s. This February fell well below that range with only 38 active listings.
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 3% over list price in February. Those listed around $2.5 millions and upward are regularly selling under asking with an average of roughly 3% below list price in February. Even so, there are exceptions in both groups. Certain things can skew the data. For instance, a home in Los Gatos listed under $2.3 million took over 4 months to sell and sold around 4% below asking, while another listed around $1.9 million sold over 25% above asking in just 6 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 26 single family home sales in Los Gatos (not including the mountain market) in February on the MLS, none sold under $1 million, 5 closed under $2 million (none went below $1.5 million), 10 sold between $2 and $3 million, 7 from $3 million to $4 million, and 4 sold above $4 million with 2 in the $4 – $5 million range, 1 in the $6 – $7 million range, and 1 over $12 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 soared from last month and last year. The number of sales and sales pending are also well above last month and last year. Active listings continue to fall short of last year, but grew month-over-month. The sales vs list price ratio cooled to 101.2%, falling short of last month and last year, although that’s likely being pulled down by the multiple luxury market sales that happened in February. Overall it’s a stable seller’s market in Los Gatos with some seasonal cooling, possibly impacted by delayed activity from earlier this year.
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.
The Twin Creeks neighborhood in Monte Sereno (and a small number in Saratoga) enjoys an ideal setting away from busy commercial roads, with gently curving streets graced by creeks, an abundance of trees, and the coastal foothills as its backdrop. It’s a more rural community in that you won’t find sidewalks, curbs, gutters, or many street lamps – if any. Property in this area is impeccably presented, with nicely maintained or updated homes and often gorgeous landscaping. Both homes and land tend to be large, though not in every case.
The neighborhood does not come across as pretentious at all, although of course it is a very costly place in which to buy a home. I think it comes across as more low key because the homes seem proportionate to the land, and many are ranch style rather than something trendy. These lovely houses are in sync with the space around them, so you don’t end up with the McMansion effect. The houses are nice but do not crowd the land.
As with most of Monte Sereno, this charming neighborhood is served by the Los Gatos Union School District (or the Saratoga Union School District for the handful in Saratoga) and the Los Gatos-Saratoga Joint Union High School District.
Heritage Grove is a younger east Los Gatos neighborhood which was developed by Summerhill Homes, a very highly regarded builder in Silicon Valley, in about the year 2000. It sits between the beautiful Heintz Open Space Preserve (with trails to nearby Belgatos Park and other open space) and a mini orchard along Blossom Hill Road between Union and Leigh Avenues. Recently I videotaped the community and think it’s a pretty good introduction to the neighborhood.
A few years back, I wrote about this area extensively, and included a map and slideshow, on another of my blogs (SanJoseRealEstateLosGatosHomes.com). If you’d like more real estate information on the homes there, or the open space trails, please continue to learn more here:
The Town of Los Gatos is about 11 square miles and is comprised of dozens of neighborhoods in various parts of town, with different schools, zip codes, price points, plusses and minuses. Here on the Live in Los Gatos blog there have been many, many real estate articles devoted Los Gatos neighborhoods. Below please find links to neighborhood posts with descriptions and photos, primarily on “Live in Los Gatos” but in some cases on one of my other sites.
(More neighborhoods to come as time permits – I have about 25 on my list. Want your subdivision included? Please email me and I will put it on the To Do list!)
The annual CrabFest is postponed until next year, but the Rotary Club of Los Gatos has some new plans for 2021. Save the date for Saturday, January 30th at 5pm!
“Don’t be crabby come ‘wine’ with us.”
That’s the slogan for this year’s fundraiser, also called the Virtual Crab WineFest & Auction! This year’s main event centers around a local wine tasting guided via Zoom by professional winemaker and Los Gatan, Left Bend Wine‘s Gary Robinson. A Wine Tasting Kit for two is provided via curbside pickup 1-2 days prior to the event, which will contain 5 tastings, 1 full size bottle, and gourmet snacks. Live streamed entertainment, including a performance by the San Jose Youth Symphony, 2 door prizes, and a silent auction are served beside this deluxe wine tasting experience. And as always, proceeds benefit the Rotary Charities foundations.
Virtual WineFest & Auction
Registration is now open through the Los Gatos Rotary website. Check the Virtual WineFest & Auction event page for ticket sales, event details and updates, to view the silent auction catalogue, contact the event team, or donate directly to the fundraiser. Each ticket is for a two-person tasting experience at a cost of $150.