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November 03, 2008

How is the Los Gatos real estate market doing?

For many homesellers in Los Gatos (and Silicon Valley generally), and for their Realtors, the real estate market is extremely challenging right now. Buyers have been wary for many months already, but now they’re concerned about a recession and job losses, not just the possibility of a real estate sales price that won’t hold its value later. It is a deepening buyers market overall, but especially within the market for single family homes.

So what is happening with Los Gatos home sales?

Inventory is rising among single family homes and condos and townhomes. Right now there are 197 single family homes for sale (it was over 200 last week) and 44 condominiums or townhomes. A year ago, it was 113 houses and 23 condos. A month ago it was 184 SFH and 45 condos, and a year ago October it was 104 SFH and 22 condos.

Sales were down in October. We had a surge of sales in September, but then the meltdown on Wall Street happened and buyers put on the brakes. In Oct 2007 there were 12 condos closed, but in Oct 2008 just 9 (and with far more inventory).  In Oct 2007 there were 17 houses closed, but in Oct 2008 just 13 (and again, more inventory).

Buy a home in Los GatosThe real estate market in Los Gatos is mixed, depending on the type of housing (house, townhouse, mulit family dwelling, mobile home or other), the price point (entry level vs luxury), zip code, school district, and more. Of the 13 homes that closed last month, 3 were over $3 million. Surprisingly, 5 were under $1 million. Most often, the vast majority of sales is between $1 million and $2 mil or $2,5 mil, but the middle seems to be shrinking now. It’s a strange phenomena! Low priced homes are being bought because, I believe, buyers can “get into Los Gatos” at great prices. The luxury home market is often independent of financing, so those homes are still selling fairly well (despite the loss of stock value in Google and Apple) for now. The middle price range, which often represents move-up buyers who do need at least some financing, appears to be the most impacted market right now.


Condos vs Houses: Which Are Selling Better in Los Gatos?

The Los Gatos condo market, which was really struggling earlier this year, has been improving since May. The Los Gatos single family home market, though, is the opposite: it has been worsening steadily since May. The condo market is very small compared to the single family home market, though, so the overall picture is a deepening of the buyers market in Los Gatos.

Below, please find a bar graph that makes these trends clear:  

Absorption rate among condos and single family homes in Los Gatos, CA (Silicon Valley real estate)

The Los Gatos real estate market is made up of many micromarkets. For information on your particular home buying or home selling needs in Los Gatos, please contact me today.