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September 08, 2007

Los Gatos CA Homes: Inventory vs Sales August 2007In contrast to much of Silicon Valley, the Los Gatos market is continuing to experience appreciation and is a fairly “balanced” market overall.

I. Single Family Homes

Compared to last year, August’s closed sales of single family homes were smaller in number (off 6.5%) but up in price (median up 35.9%, average up 23.7%). Inventory is far lower than last year too – listings were down 26.4% from last year. The lower inventory is helping to keep this market balanced, as opposed to the buyers’ market it is elsewhere.

Los Gatos Homes: Prices vs Sales August 2007Compared to last month, August’s closed sales of houses in Los Gatos were down 6.5%, listings were up 6.2%, and prices were up noticeably (4.8% for the median and 7.2% for the average).

II. Condos and Townhomes

The condo market is somewhat similar in The Cats, with the numbers of listings and sales falling, inventory shrinking, and prices rising.

Compared to last year, the closed sales were down by a whopping 66.7%, listings were down by 23.5%, and prices were up strongly (28.2% median, 15% average). Normally, sales do fall off in August, so we expect to see a month to-month drop, but to see a drop from one August to the next is very noteworthy.

Los Gatos Condos: Inventory vs Sales August 2007Compared to last month, sales of townhomes and condominiums were down 69.2% and listings were up 18.2%. Prices skyrocked though, up 45.7% for the median and 30.1% for the average.

III. Give me the Cliff Notes Version

For both single family homes, townhouses and condos, this summer has been a whole lot better a time in which to sell than the year before. Inventory is down, prices are up. Sales are down tremendously, but fewer homeowners are trying to sell now than a year ago. If you could not sell your home last year, try again – things are much improved! Just make sure your price is realistic and the condition is top-notch.

Los Gatos Condos: prices vs sales Aug 2007Often the Los Gatos market follows a fairly predictable pattern for inventory, sales and appreciation: in January there are more buyers than sellers, and prices get pushed up. This inequality of supply and demand tends to remain (most years) through late spring or into summer as inventory rises.

Some years the balancing point is in May, others in July – it varies. By summer, though, usually there are more listings than buyers and prices quit rising. In the second half of the year, prices may be stable, they may drop slightly, or they may do some dropping in August and rising again between Labor Day and Halloween, when we get a second burst of folks who want to get in before the year ends. Often inventory shrinks in winter and again in late summer. In the first graph above, you can see that pattern roughly played out.

Where are we now? It is early September and if the market follows what is typical (which is what we are seeing now), we will have a very healthy market this month and next. For buyers, there’s usually more selection as houses come on the market. For sellers, there’s a renewed interest among buyers and well-priced, well-staged, and well-marketed real estate sells well. Now is a good time to both sell and to buy in Los Gatos.

If you would like more information on the market (both condos and single family homes in Los Gatos, Saratoga, San Jose and around Silicon Valley), please see my online Silicon Valley real estate market report. Or call me at 408 204-7673 for a private and confidential consultation.