Real Estate Market
Each month, we update the Los Gatos real estate statistics and market trends with the latest information on closed sales for the prior month. We’ll review the Los Gatos inventory of homes for sale, the number of homes sold and under contract, and of course the median sale price and average sale price of sold properties. There’s one report for single family homes, meaning houses and duet homes (duet meaning attached single family), and another for condominiums and townhomes. This article covers the 95030 and 95032 areas of town, but not the Los Gatos Mountains, which is zip code 95033 and consists of unincorporated areas in Santa Clara County and also Santa Cruz County. To make this comprehensive, I have two subscriptions that are utilized here: REReport and Altos Research. The first one uses sold / closed figures, and the latter one uses current listings (and is updated automatically each week).
Los Gatos real estate statistics and trends from the RE Report
How’s the Los Gatos market? Real estate inventory and sales often slip during the second half of the year. We saw some of that throughout Silicon Valley, including in the town of Los Gatos.
A quick update on the LG single family home real estate market is below. In a nutshell, it’s softening overall, but remains a seller’s market in most segments. If we were to look at the higher end properties over $3 million, that would be between balanced and a buyer’s market. (It’s a great time to be a luxury home buyer.)
- inventory is up both month over month and year over year
- number of sales is down (from last month and also last year)
- the median sale prices are slipping a little (month over month AND year over year)
- the average sale prices are down from last month from a year ago
- while still a seller’s market, the trend is clear – it is weakening – if it continues, we will be in a buyer’s market in a few months
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
|Trends At a Glance||Sep 2018||Previous Month||Year-over-Year|
|Median Price||$2,000,000 (-10.3%)||$2,230,000||$2,384,000 (-16.1%)|
|Average Price||$2,417,500 (-10.4%)||$2,699,150||$2,567,270 (-5.8%)|
|No. of Sales||25 (-7.4%)||27||44 (-43.2%)|
|Pending||42 (+10.5%)||38||39 (+7.7%)|
|Active||62 (+1.6%)||61||47 (+31.9%)|
|Sale vs. List Price||101.0% (-0.1%)||101.1%||101.1% (-0.1%)|
|Days on Market||25 (-29.9%)||35||42 (-41.3%)|
|Days of Inventory||72 (+6.1%)||68||31 (+132.2%)|
And the month prior:
|Trends At a Glance||Aug 2018||Previous Month||Year-over-Year|
|Median Price||$2,230,000 (-7.5%)||$2,410,000||$2,297,500 (-2.9%)|
|Average Price||$2,699,150 (+11.3%)||$2,424,220||$2,742,170 (-1.6%)|
|No. of Sales||27 (-12.9%)||31||32 (-15.6%)|
|Pending||38 (+11.8%)||34||47 (-19.1%)|
|Active||61 (-18.7%)||75||52 (+17.3%)|
|Sale vs. List Price||101.1% (-0.8%)||101.9%||101.1% (0.0%)|
|Days on Market||35 (+38.0%)||25||43 (-18.4%)|
|Days of Inventory||68 (-6.6%)||73||49 (+39.0%)|
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. This last month only had a handful of listings and pending sales, and the month before only had one listing and no sales. 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).
Something else to be aware of is that most houses are in the Los Gatos Union School District, but a small pocket of properties lies within the Campbell School District. Those with Campbell schools usually sell for a little less. Additionally, most of this city is within the 95030 zip code, but again, there’s a small pocket which is in the 95032 area.
Finally, there are only houses in this cities – condos, townhomes, or any other type of housing – and there are no businesses, either. Being 100% residential and single family homes most likely has a large impact on the home values here, though in many areas of Silicon Valley, being in “walking distance” to a coffee shop or grocery store can be a huge plus.
Disclaimers aside, here’s the most recent info:
|Trends At a Glance||Mar 2018||Previous Month||Year-over-Year|
|Median Price||$5,800,000 (+79.8%)||$3,225,000||$2,415,000 (+140.2%)|
|Average Price||$5,800,000 (+57.3%)||$3,686,880||$2,491,250 (+132.8%)|
|No. of Sales||1 (-75.0%)||4||4 (-75.0%)|
|Pending||1 (N/A)||0||2 (-50.0%)|
|Active||7 (+40.0%)||5||9 (-22.2%)|
|Sale vs. List Price||96.7% (+0.3%)||96.4%||96.2% (+0.5%)|
|Days on Market||72 (+678.4%)||9||45 (+61.8%)|
|Days of Inventory||210 (+522.2%)||34||68 (+211.1%)|
And the chart from last month for comparison:
|Trends At a Glance||Feb 2018||Previous Month||Year-over-Year|
|Median Price||$3,225,000 (N/A)||$0||$2,557,500 (+26.1%)|
|Average Price||$3,686,880 (N/A)||$0||$2,557,500 (+44.2%)|
|No. of Sales||4 (N/A)||0||2 (+100.0%)|
|Pending||0 (-100.0%)||2||2 (-100.0%)|
|Active||5 (+400.0%)||1||11 (-54.5%)|
|Sale vs. List Price||96.4% (N/A)||0.0%||98.2% (-1.8%)|
|Days on Market||9 (N/A)||0||35 (-73.6%)|
|Days of Inventory||34 (N/A)||0||149 (-77.3%)|
Another great source of realty trends is Altos Research, to which I also have a subscription. Altos uses list prices, though, whereas the RE Report uses sold. What I really love about these reports, though, is that market can be viewed by price quartiles, as sometimes the luxury market in an area may be behaving very differently from the entry level market. The charts below are dynamic and will be updated weekly.
Did I mention that small data can create some really strange looking monthly shifts?
Looking for great schools, more space, and a less suburban environment? Just beyond the borders of the Town of Los Gatos lies a collection of rural communities situated in the scenic Santa Cruz Mountains, or Coastal Range and together there are known as “The Los Gatos Mountains.” This large region sits above Almaden Valley, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, Saratoga, and a bit north of there in Santa Clara County, and just over the summit and toward Scotts Valley, Soquel, and Aptos in Santa Cruz County. As the description implies, it is a sprawling area and within it there are different school districts, views, levels of sunshine, natural hazards such as earthquake faults, and amenities which can all impact housing prices and real estate market trends and the market may be very different from one segment or price point to another.
All of these areas fall under the 95033 zip code and have a Los Gatos mailing address, so they are viewed together. Don’t be confused into thinking that areas in the Los Gatos Mountains are the same as the Town of Los Gatos, though – they are quite different.
95033 Los Gatos Mountains Real Estate Market Update
Unfortunately, my usual resource, the RE Report, has no section for the Los Gatos Mountains. Instead, the analysis I have written below is based off of data collected directly from the MLS over September and to date in October.
In the month of September, 6 homes sold in the 95033 mountain area of Los Gatos. Sale price ranged from $550,000 – $1,950,000 with an average of $1,055,750. Wide ranges like this are not unusual. While lot size is usually larger than in-town properties it can also vary a great deal, as does building age and size. For instance, the highest priced home had nearly 10 times the building size of the lowest priced property. Now let’s compare this with October sales, since we are coming towards the end of the month. This time, the range of sales is between $890,000 – $1,887,500 with an average of $1,330,625. What does this show us? The range is fairly consistent. In the mountain area you can still readily find properties for under $1 million – something we are not seeing in any other Los Gatos market at the moment – but you can also find large properties with big homes selling at what would be the medium to high-end for an in-town home.
What else can we learn from the sold listings in September and October? Well, the listing price tells us a lot. In September, only one of the six homes sold for higher than list, two sold exactly at list, and three sold below list price. In October, one out of four sold above list price and the rest sold for less than listed. Inventory is taking longer to sell as well. Some homes are still selling rapidly with two selling in under a week last September, but many are taking longer; in the same month, one sold that was on market for 204 days. The average days on market for September 62 days and 45 days in October, while most of the South Bay has an average of a month or less. What does this all mean? Buyers are having an easier time in the mountain market. Listings on-market longer are receiving fewer offers, and offers under list price are more regularly being accepted. The fastest selling properties where there is greatest demand and where homes have sold over list are within a range of $1 – $1.3 million, which would be considered entry-level in the rest of town but is mid-priced here.
So what about active listings? There are currently 15 active properties on the market. The most recent listing has been on the market only 4 days, while the longest has been active for 238, with the average being 117 days on market. List price ranges from $550,000 – $5,800,000 with an average list price of $1,863,267. Another way to tell that this market is cooler than elsewhere in Silicon Valley is the number of active vs sold, which shows that there is a lower ratio of demand to inventory in the mountain market.
Although the market is noticeably cooler in the mountains than in town and many other areas around South Bay, the market here is still more active than it usually is. Buyers not wanting to deal with the stress of the strained seller’s market, or who are looking for lower-priced homes and don’t mind the drive and other special concerns with hillside properties will find the Los Gatos 95033 market to be a good option.
Mountain Market Trends by Quartile
Below is a chart taken from the October 2017 Altos Research market update. It divides properties into four price quartiles to show variances in market trend. Surprisingly, the last year has been looking a little backwards with prices rising in winter and falling in spring. This might have to do with the available inventory elsewhere, since we typically see more homes go on market around spring and inventory lessening in winter, giving buyers fewer options. The luxury market bounces around a lot because of the extreme variety of homes in that range.
Live Altos Charts
While I do not frequently update the Los Gatos Mountain market post (there are agents who specialize in the mountain market – I am not one of them, though I have sold a number of mountain homes) the charts below will always be up to date. These are live charts, regularly updated and constantly tracking sales and listings from the MLS.
The median list price of homes for sale in the Los Gatos Mountains 95033 – all price points combined:
The median list price of homes for sale in the Los Gatos Mountains 95033 – showing info by price quartile:
Average days on the market (number of days the home’s been listed for sale on the MLS), all price points combined:
Average days on the market for 95033 by pricing tier – it’s typically erratic as the amount of inventory tends to be small:
Subscribe now to learn dozens of LOS GATOS real estate trends and other important market measures!
How’s the Real Estate Market in the Los Gatos Mountains 95033?
$780,000 : 17945 Madrone DR, LOS GATOS2 beds, 1 bath
$4,299,000 : 15280 Blackberry Hill RD, LOS GATOS5 beds, 4 baths
$998,000 : 18086 Idalyn DR, LOS GATOS2 beds, 2 baths
$4,198,000 : 18310 Castle Hill WAY, LOS GATOS4 beds, 4 baths
$1,099,000 : 22545 Old Santa Cruz HWY, LOS GATOS4 beds, 3 baths
$3,790,000 : 19100 Skyline BLVD, LOS GATOS7 beds, 7 baths
$1,150,000 : 18216 Zella CT, LOS GATOS3 beds, 2 baths
$1,249,000 : 16099 Redwood Lodge RD, LOS GATOS3 beds, 2 baths
$2,899,000 : 24783 Loma Prieta AVE, LOS GATOS4 beds, 4 baths
$3,398,000 : 20732 Brush RD, LOS GATOS8 beds, 8 baths
See all Real estate in the Los Gatos Mountains community.
(all data current as of 10/20/2018)
Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.
How long will it take to sell your Los Gatos home? If you own a house in Los Gatos, 95030 or 95032, the answer is “it depends”. Naturally part of the formula will be the condition of the property and how aggressively it’s priced. The pace also will be a function of schools and price point. Generally speaking, the lower priced single family homes tend to sell the fastest (assuming that it’s priced and marketed well and doesn’t have any “issues”). That’s true in all neighborhoods and subdivisions. (The Los Gatos Mountains area, or 95033, is a different market.)
Today, let’s take a look at the Los Gatos real estate market for home sellers by pricing tier and high school district with a view toward the number of days on the market. (You can read about the ratio of actives to solds and the absorption rate at the article linked below under Related Reading.)
We’ll begin with a look at the town as a whole. For homes actively listed and not yet sold or sale pending in town, have a look at the number of properties for sale and the days on market (“DOM”) for each price point:
The average “days on market” for all homes is 70, so you might think that this is how long it will take to get your home into contract. That’s not the case, though, as some homes never sell (even in a red hot economy like ours). Others sell really fast.
What we can see, though, is that the homes in the lowest price point haven’t been on the market long – a hint that this is the market segment that is moving.
Next, let’s have a look at the part of LG 95030 & 95032 with Los Gatos High School.
Notice that the average days on market for this group is 47, not 70. Most groups have double digit days on the market. So perhaps not flying off the market, but not bad by national standards, and certainly faster than the town as a whole. It looks like the answer to “how long will it take to sell” may be improved by being “in the schools”.
How long will it take in the areas with either Westmont High or Leigh High? Overall, a much longer “days on market” are present for the active listings with 124. But the lower prices, up to $2 million, are extremely fast with the few homes in that band only being available for about a week or less.
The actively listed properties are everything available – the good as well as the not so good. If we look at pending sales, though, we’ll get an idea on how fast buyers take the best homes out of the market. Let’s check on the homes under contract now. Continue reading
Once you have visited Los Gatos – the charming architecture, the backdrop of the hills, the vibrant downtown, the great schools, and all the trees and parks – you may want to call it home. I sure did. But the town is expensive and for some it may be out of range. What if you love Los Gatos, but it’s not affordable? There are nearby areas that may work, so I’ll mention them here. They are all discussed in depth at my Valley of Heart’s Delight blog and mentioned in my Move2SiliconValley or popehandy blogs too – the links will be to any of my own sites. For people relocating to Silicon Valley especially, where “sticker shock” is a normal part of the welcome package, these other areas which are a little less pricey might be helpful.
A little further southeast than Los Gatos, the Almaden Valley is a very scenic suburb with the Santa Cruz Mountains on one side and the Santa Teresa Foothills on the other. There’s no “downtown”, however you’ll find a large shopping center with a remodeled Safeway, banks, Starbucks, etc., along Almaden Expressway. This area features the New Almaden neighborhood, which is where the area began with mercury mining operations long ago. Almaden real estate market post
On the north and northeast side of Los Gatos sits the Cambrian area of San Jose (which has 2 zip codes, but the part adjacent to LG is 95124). The Union School District serves both part of Cambrian and part of east Los Gatos. There’s a noticeable price drop going into Cambrian, but the hills and the town of LG are still close. Very good schools and a good “bang for your buck” in terms of what you get in education for the price of the home. Cambrian real estate market statistics
Willow Glen is closer to downtown San Jose than to Los Gatos, but it has much of the charm that LG is known for, includes a lovely downtown area with its own identity, and boasts some of the most scenic streets in all of Silicon Valley. The public schools are generally not a drawing factor. Willow Glen real estate market article
Campbell is probably the most happening city in Santa Clara County right now in terms of home buyer popularity. Campbell provides a lovely downtown, light rail access to downtown San Jose and beyond, a great parks system (especially along the Los Gatos Creek Trail), unusually good shopping, and in some areas really excellent schools. This is a “closer in” location than Los Gatos or Almaden, so it’s an easier commute for that lower price, too. Campbell housing market trends and stats
The 95033 zip code covers a lot of land in Santa Clara County and Santa Cruz County too. Part of it is just beyond the Los Gatos town border, but the majority of it is quite a bit further. School scores are high, air is clean, trees are everywhere and valley views (or in the next county over, Monterey Bay views) are not uncommon. The prices are much better than in town, but the tradeoff is that you have to deal with Highway 17 every day, plus some issues that are particular to the mountains, beach traffic, etc. Please also see this article on the Los Gatos Mountains or Santa Cruz Mountains And on the market – Altos Live RE Market Charts for the LG or Santa Cruz Mountains area