Los Gatos Real Estate
There are many factors impacting the Los Gatos real estate market, including the price point and the elementary or high school district. This post is updated every month or two. Today we’ll look at the Los Gatos realty market by pricing tiers and high school district using the months of inventory as a data point. The months of inventory, or MOI, is the currently active (for sale, no contract or pending sale) homes for sale divided by the number of homes using the same criteria which have closed escrow in the last 30 days.
These numbers were run today using MLSListings.com and it’s possible that a few more homes will be recorded as closed sales or new homes added to the market after I ran these numbers. One other disclaimer: sometimes the number of closed sales is very low or is at 0. This can be for many reasons. In some cases, there are a few which are sale pending and simply haven’t closed recently. In other cases, the market might actually be empty in those tiers, indicating a possible lack of demand or inventory. That being said, what do the numbers say?
Los Gatos real estate months of inventory in 95030 and 95032 combined
The overall MOI for the town as a whole with 95030 and 95032 zip codes shows a slightly weakening market, likely in what is a typical seasonal pattern. It is a bit of a mixed market when looking at the town as a whole, but less so when viewed by high school district or price point. February is often a time when markets heat up considerably. We’ll see when the month is over, but already in many parts of Santa Clara County, the real estate market is returning to seasonal patterns with some very hot pockets.
Same info for last November – the overall absorption rate isn’t much different now, but there are a lot few sales happening.
From mid-late June:
And from April, when the market was red hot:
The real estate market for homes with the Los Gatos – Saratoga Joint Union High School District only
Now let’s view just the homes which are in the Los Gatos – Saratoga Joint Union High School District (or homes “in the schools” as locals say).Houses for sale with Los Gatos schools tend to be more pricey than those in neighboring school districts. This isn’t just the schools, but is also a function of being closer to downtown Los Gatos. The lowest priced homes in this area are seldom listed for less than $1 million.
From last November, again, not a ton different between then and now:
The Los Gatos real estate market for single family homes is balanced as a whole, but any particular home does not generally line up with what’s average. A particular home’s market will be impacted by things such as the pricing tier (the luxury market is a colder market, while homes under $2 million are generally a hot commodity), the school district, condition of the property, etc.
First, here’s a glance at the Altos Research profiles by the Los Gatos zip codes: 95030 and 95032 are “in town” and 95033 is in the Los Gatos Mountains. The last profile refers to the averages of all 3 zip codes. These are updated automatically every week – so check back often, it will always be current!
Close to downtown – 95030:
Primarily East, West, and North Los Gatos:
The Los Gatos Mountains / Santa Cruz Mountains – 95033:
All 3 Zip Codes combined
Los Gatos real estate statistics and trends from the RE Report
The real estate numbers below reflect realty data gathered the first week of the month for the past month in Los Gatos 95030 & 95032, or MLS “area 16”. See the full REReport here.
Los Gatos Trends at a Glance for 95030 & 95032
Prices continued sliding month over month, but remain up substantially year over year. Even so, the days of inventory is quite high by local standards, with only 9 closed sales as opposed to 44 houses available.
|Trends At a Glance||Jan 2019||Previous Month||Year-over-Year|
|Median Price||$2,480,000 (-0.8%)||$2,500,000||$1,930,000 (+28.5%)|
|Average Price||$2,810,060 (-0.3%)||$2,818,350||$2,335,350 (+20.3%)|
|No. of Sales||9 (-47.1%)||17||11 (-18.2%)|
|Pending||23 (+4.5%)||22||28 (-17.9%)|
|Active||44 (+33.3%)||33||33 (+33.3%)|
|Sale vs. List Price||98.3% (-2.1%)||100.5%||105.4% (-6.7%)|
|Days on Market||39 (-11.8%)||44||47 (-18.1%)|
|Days of Inventory||147 (+151.9%)||58||90 (+63.0%)|
And the month before:
|Trends At a Glance||Dec 2018||Previous Month||Year-over-Year|
|Median Price||$2,500,000 (+8.1%)||$2,312,500||$2,392,500 (+4.5%)|
|Average Price||$2,818,350 (-4.5%)||$2,949,780||$2,543,170 (+10.8%)|
|No. of Sales||17 (-39.3%)||28||24 (-29.2%)|
|Pending||22 (-29.0%)||31||14 (+57.1%)|
|Active||33 (-31.3%)||48||22 (+50.0%)|
|Sale vs. List Price||100.5% (+2.1%)||98.4%||99.9% (+0.5%)|
|Days on Market||44 (-13.6%)||51||30 (+49.0%)|
|Days of Inventory||58 (+17.1%)||50||28 (+111.8%)|
The RE Report does not cover the mountain areas at the moment, but you can see a current Altos Research Report with tons of great info on 95033 here: altos.re/r/95d9db3?fbrefresh=true
The condominium and townhouse realty market stats in Los Gatos 95030 & 95032
What do we expect for the 2019 real estate market?
It’s all about supply and demand. Right now, demand is decent and supply is low. Here’s a look at the inventory of single family homes for sale in recent years by month, first in town and then for the county.
Inventory of single family homes for sale in Los Gatos 95030 & 95032 from Jan 2012 – Jan 2019:
In town (not including the Los Gatos mountains area), Los Gatos has extremely low inventory. I ran the numbers and this is lower than any other January since 2002, the longest back that the MLS will let me go. Locally, that bodes well for those looking to sell in Los Gatos. (Currently there are NO homes for sale in the Belwood, Belgatos, Surmont, or nearby areas of LG.)
What about the broader area? Most of the county has looser inventory than we do in LG. Have a look:
Inventory of single family homes for sale in Santa Clara County Jan 2012 – Jan 2019:
I think it is really important to view this month’s inventory for the county not just in relation to January 2018 (“inventory is up 8% from last year, oh no!”) but in the context of all the recent years since we’ve been in recovery from the Great Recession. Yes, inventory IS up from last year for Santa Clara County, when the first 6 months of 2018 saw prices shooting up like a geyser due to highly restricted inventory and ongoing demand. Most of 2017 and early 2018 were off-the-charts into overdrive. From early 2012 through 2016, we had a market that was appreciating at a good pace – too fast for some buyers, who opted to become permanent renters rather than to participate. Current inventory levels are very low relative to 2012 and later.
A return of some of the normal patterns?
Inventory Los Gatos 95030 & 95032 2016-2019
Inventory tends to rise throughout the first half of the year, so I am expecting that to happen again in 2019. To the left, see a chart displaying the inventory of homes for sale in Los Gatos 95030 & 95032 from Jan 2016 to today. This is a pattern we usually see – though of course, it’s not a rule, and it can change.
Prices also tend to rise in the early part of the new year as inventory does not keep pace with demand, and I see no reason why that would not happen again.
Equally important is to understand that in the 2nd half of any given year, prices often soften. Home sellers sometimes believe that “summer is the right time to sell”, so get their homes on the market then. But activity from buyers slackens after the spring buying season, so in many years, inventory is higher than demand – so prices level off or even decline.
In 2018, prices in LG and the county did decline dramatically from the spring peaks, perhaps in the 12-15% range, generally.
Economists tell us that they expect the first half of 2019 to be decent to good, but not as wild a ride as early 2018. (Milder appreciation, 3-5%?) Some believe that the second half of 2019 will be much softer. A real estate correction is expected sometime between now and 2-3 years from now. We do believe that locally, in Silicon Valley, we are at or near the top of this real estate cycle. For those wishing to sell and move out of the area, 2019 could be a good year in which to do that. It’s impossible to pinpoint the exact top or bottom of the market, though. That is something we only know when it’s passed, just like with the stock market.
Altos Research has come out with a new format for its weekly market reports.
This week’s reports can be seen here:
- Los Gatos 95030 https://altos.re/r/be6f880
- Los Gatos 95032 https://altos.re/r/4ecf6c4
- Los Gatos 95033 (mountains) https://altos.re/r/95d9db3
- Monte Sereno – whole city (mostly 95030) https://altos.re/r/2a2a7ee
You can use the “search bar” on any of these reports to find the market update on any zip code in Santa Clara County, too. Like what you see? Sign up to get it each week in your inbox by clicking the “subscribe” button and providing your info. If you subscribe, I’ll probably jot you a note to thank you and see if you want any other info. This is not a robo service, it’s me writing you personally. If you don’t hear from me but want to, please send me an email and I’ll respond asap.
One of the more confusing areas in Los Gatos may the Alberto Way. Most of the condominiums along that street in Los Gatos are part of The Los Gatos Commons, a senior complex that’s fairly large. (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 2018, you may be able to purchase a tiny 1 bedroom in the Commons for under $700,000.
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.
Additionally, there is a small townhouse complex on the same side of the street as the Los Gatos Commons. These are also not senior communities.
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. If there’s no letter, as in #7, it’s part of the Pueblo de Los Gatos. Of course, there are other townhomes in the immediate area, too – but these are the largest communities.
Both 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.
Los Gatos Commons homes for sale (55+)
Condos in the Los Gatos Commons (a senior community) which are for sale or pending sale right now. (If nothing shows, then nothing is on the market there at the moment.)
All Alberto Way area homes for sale
This includes properties on Alberto Way as well as Maggi Court
What do you need to know before buying a house in Los Gatos? Particularly for people relocating to Los Gatos (or generally to Silicon Valley) from other areas, or from parts of Santa Clara County not close to the hills, there are a few home buying tips you’ll want to know before purchasing a home in our fair town. (For locals, these may seem obvious!)
1. Los Gatos & Schools
Whether you have school aged kids or not, you’ll want to know that there are several school districts covering the Los Gatos area. School district lines do not follow the town’s boundaries. (Not too long ago I met someone with a home to sell in the Belgatos area and he had no idea that his home did not belong to the Los Gatos Union School District. This caused him to misunderstand the likely market value of his property.)
Santa Clara County Office of Education School District Boundary Map – Sadly the map no longer exists
Town of Los Gatos: List of Schools Serving Los Gatos Students
2. Historic downtown Los Gatos areas
Areas closest to “downtown Los Gatos,” especially the historic neighborhoods (including Almond Grove, Edelen, Broadway, Fairview Plaza) tend to be much more expensive than those further out. The “walk to town” or “close to town” proximity makes them highly desireable, but also these regions of town are very scenic and have some fabulous Victorian and other beautiful architectural styles. Many are tree-lined, too.
Related to both #1 and #2, the public schools are not all that close to downtown Los Gatos. (St. Mary’s Catholic Elementary School is in the downtown area, as is the adjacent Los Gatos Parent Nursery School.)
3. Hillside locales
If you buy a house close to a hill, among some hills or on a hill, you will need to pay close attention to issues which are less common in flatter areas further from slopes. Among them are foundation, water and drainage concerns. Some flat areas near the hills may have a high water table, may springs that come seasonally or in very wet years as well as runoff problems.
Water is often far more damaging than termites but it is not really uncommon to find water in a crawl space during the rainy season. Learn about it and pay heed to property inspectors’ suggestions regarding remediation if it’s a condition in a house you want to purchase.
I wrote about this on my Valley of Hearts Delight blog (covering all of Santa Clara County, but mostly the west valley) and suggest these two articles:
4. Los Gatos address
Some homes with a “Los Gatos address” may not actually be in the town of Los Gatos. Many are in a county pocket or area (and may not have all the services of the town). A very few are actually part of either Campbell or San Jose but were assigned the Los Gatos mailing address for ease of the US Post Office.
How can you tell if a residence is part of the town of Los Gatos, is unincorporated or part of another city? The website for the county of Santa Clara has a lookup service. First you must accept the terms of service (see link above), then you will be allowed to input an address. If you type in a location’s address and it says “not found”, either you’ve got a typo in the building number or a mistake in the actual city, so perhaps it’s unincorporated or belonging to another adjacent municipality.
What difference does it make? The actual address (not mailing address) will impact a variety of things such as services (sherriff vs Los Gatos Monte Sereno police, free access to Oak Meadow Park), planning (any additions, remodels etc. will need to be approved by your actual city), voting in Los Gatos elections, etc.
5. Los Gatos is a town, not a city
Los Gatos is a town. (Monte Sereno, with whom we share some services, is much smaller but is a city, not a town.) This means our government is run a little differently. For instance, we don’t vote for mayor. Instead, we vote for town council members. They, in turn, vote for mayor. (Usually it’s a rotation.)
According to Wikipedia: “There are 481 incorporated municipalities in California, of which 459 are called cities and 22 are called towns.” [Edit: this quote was accurate as of Feb 28, 2011, but has been edited since. On Oct 24, 2017, the page lists 482 municipalities, 22 of which call themselves Towns.] I was surprised that there are so many towns – had thought it was only a handful!
Los Gatos is an interesting, fun, welcoming town. If you’re moving to the area, it’s a vibrant place you should check out. Please call or email me if you’d like more assistance.
SALE PENDING – 12 DAYS ON THE MARKET!
East Los Gatos view home for sale! Rare opportunity to purchase a beautifully updated and remodeled home with enticing valley views in a close in location adjacent to Belgatos Park! 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and offered at $2,288,000. Stunning vistas, stunning home – check out a few details here, then head to the virtual tour to get the whole story.
This stunning single story house features valley views from all of the main rooms: living room, dining room, kitchen, and family room. Additionally, there’s a large and comfortable deck leading to the front door from which the views can be enjoyed as well.
Brazilian cherry hardwood runs throughout the house, part of the extensive updating and remodeling done by the sellers in recent years. The kitchen and all 3 baths have been remodeled as well. The remodeled kitchen offers stainless, granite, vaulted ceilings, recessed lights, a pantry, nook, and views to both the valley and the back yard. It’s also open to the kitchen. The dining room and living room are both just off the entry, and makes for a nice “open floor plan” feeling.
The house features 2856 SF of living space plus a home office with approximately 256 SF just off the 2 car garage, for a total of 3112 square feet. Both the office and garage have been improved with drywall, heating, and air conditioning. The garage is currently being used as a gym, but it has a beautiful 2 car carriage style garage door, electronic door opener, and regular slab floor under the gym mats – so can use used as a garage within minutes.
The lot is 13, 939 SF and provides a lovely flat area in the back yard for entertaining. A large pool and spa make a fantastic centerpiece with a backdrop of nature. Along the side yard there’s more space with another patio area and planting beds.
So many extras – plantation shutters, dual pane windows, air conditioning, fan lights, superior access to the back yard to name just a few.
With 4 bedrooms and 3 full baths, this lovely East Los Gatos view home will steal your heart. Please check out the virtual tour of 211 Westhill Drive, Los Gatos to see all of the details and photos, or enjoy a sample from the slider, below, of this striking east Los Gatos view home!
SLIDESHOW OF 211 WESTHILL DRIVE, LOS GATOS :
Please also see info on this lovely East Los Gatos view home at 211 Westhill Dr., Los Gatos, at the Valley of Heart’s Delight blog.
If you’ve been house hunting for a turnkey property with highly regarded Los Gatos schools, you’ll be happy to hear about my newest listing at 126 Charter Oaks Circle.
This is a sunny, updated & remodeled 3 bed, 2.5 bath townhouse with approximately 1574 SF in the beautiful Charter Oaks townhome community! It is offered at $1,125,000. A turnkey property, 126 Charter Oaks Circle includes many amenities:
- dual pane windows
- engineered hardwood floors (less than 2 years old)
- newly remodeled hall bath (in 2017)
- newly remodeled master bath (in 2017)
- vaulted ceilings
- air conditioning
- recessed lights
- ceiling fans in bedrooms
- kitchen updated in late 2016 with quartz counters, tile back splash, and stainless appliances and sink.
- open concept floor plan
- private front courtyard with slate patio and double door entry
- master suite includes a deck with greenbelt view
- large powder room also accommodates laundry
- washer, dryer and fridge all stay
- 2 car garage
Easy commute location with quick access to both Highway 85 and Highway 17. Enjoy the Los Gatos Creek Trail, which is steps away, or relax at the Charter Oaks community pool.
Fantastic, highly rated Los Gatos Schools: Blossom Hill Elementary, Fisher Middle, Los Gatos High.
Open house schedule for 126 Charter Oaks Circle:
From Lark Avenue, turn north onto Charter Oaks Drive, then left onto Charter Oaks Circle. You will see the Sereno Group “for sale” sign near the garage. Please use the guest parking spaces and do not block any driveways when viewing the home.
The Los Gatos real estate market is really a collection of smaller markets rather than one market that behaves uniformly across home sizes, zip code, price point, school district, proximity to downtown, walk-ability, and much more. An entry level condo will be a different “market” than a $5 million estate. But so do will a perfectly preserved Victorian in one of the historic districts be a different “market” than a ranch style tract home in a tract neighborhood. Today we’ll discuss the major drivers of value and pricing in the Los Gatos real estate market – or markets. (To learn how the market is doing, please use the links at the bottom of this article.)
Why Los Gatos zip codes really aren’t ideal for understanding the local market
Many of the large, national websites use zip codes as a way of keeping a pulse on the housing market. Zip codes in our fair town are kind of wonky, though, and often not the best way to track changes in inventory, absorption, sales price to list price, or other data points.
- 95030 is mostly Los Gatos and Los Gatos schools, but part has Campbell schools.
- 95030 is also the main zip code for Monte Sereno, and most of that has Los Gatos schools, but not all! Some are in the area served by Campbell schools.
- 95032 is mostly Los Gatos with either Campbell Elementary (west side of town) or Union Elementary (east side of LG), but some is in the Los Gatos Union School District
- 95032 has a sliver of Monte Sereno and 100% of it (maybe 150 homes) is within the Campbell Elementary area.
If you are using something like Altos Research, though, just remember that only most of 95030 is “in the schools” and most of 95032 isn’t. If your house is in 95032 but has Los Gatos Union School District, pay better attention to the 95030 info.
Want more info on the LG zips? See https://liveinlosgatosblog.com/los-gatos-zip-code-maps/
Major housing price drivers are the schools and proximity to downtown Los Gatos
Folks living in any of the downtown Los Gatos areas, or close in Monte Sereno neighborhoods, enjoy a double bonus of both the highly prized Los Gatos Union School District and also being close to downtown, often with very charming historic districts as part of the package. These areas are often the most expensive, if comparing homes of similar size, age, lot size, remodeling, etc., as compared to properties further north or even more, at the far eastern or western ends of town.
Measuring Los Gatos home prices by school district
I ran the numbers for the school district, using a hypothetical 1750 SF – 2250 SF house on a lot of 7000-9000 square feet in Los Gatos 95030 and 95032. So think of it as a 2000 SF home on an 8000 SF lot.
In the last 120 days (as of July 27 2016), 11 such houses have sold throughout these 2 zip codes in Los Gatos and the average price per square foot was $802. (The number would likely be higher in Monte Sereno.)
Of the 11, five have been in the area served by the Los Gatos Union School District, and the average price per SF in that area was substantially more at $933 per SF.
The remaining 6 are in the areas of the far west or far east of town, within the areas for Campbell Elementary or Union School District. Average price per SF for this area is $752. (All but one are in the Leigh area, so cannot break it down further.)
Measuring Los Gatos real estate costs by proximity to downtown
Harder is defining “close to town”, but again we’ll try, using similar criteria as much as possible Continue reading
Earlier this week, the Los Gatos Town Planning Commission recommended that the proposed Grosvenor development in the “North 40” be denied by the Los Gatos Town Council. Reasons cited are that it does not appear to be in conformity with the town’s plan for that large parcel.
The Mercury News reports that:
In advising against approval, the commission’s majority found that the project — being led by Grosvenor in partnership with SummerHilland Eden Housing — was “not consistent” with the town’s land-use guidelines in four ways: It doesn’t address unmet housing needs in the town for seniors; it doesn’t adequately incorporate hillside views in the layout in conformance with town open-space guidelines; it relied on a flawed economic study of its impact on downtown Los Gatos; and its density is too high on a portion of the site.
The first phase of the project would include 320 housing units (including 50 affordable units for seniors) and 66,000 square feet of retail.
Read the whole article here: