If you are new to Silicon Valley, you may be wondering “where is Los Gatos California?” I’ll give you a quick answer and some visual cues via a map on the town’s location:
In the 9 county San Francisco Bay Area, Los Gatos is located within Santa Clara County, which is considered the “South Bay” region
Santa Clara County’s largest city is San Jose (a city of about 1 million people, in the county of about 1.9 million residents), which Los Gatos borders on the southwest side (San Jose touches the bay at Alviso). Los Gatos is small by comparison, with about 30,000 inhabitants.
Los Gatos is nestled into the base of the coastal foothills, also known as the Santa Cruz Mountains. With the backdrop of the hills, it’s quite scenic.
In town, the zip codes are 95030 and 95032, both of which are shared with the city of Monte Sereno. The Los Gatos Mountains area is unincorporated and is the 95033 zip code (not shown on the map below).
Los Gatos California includes about 10 square miles for the incorporated area (and many, many more if you are talking about the mountains and zip code 95033). Where is Los Gatos California? Really depends on what you mean, in town, or in the mountains!
Downtown Los Gatos is about 30 minutes from the beach at Santa Cruz, depending on traffic.
The Civic Center for the town of Los Gatos is marked in the map below with the white star in the red circle:
Obviously, the town encompasses far more than the Civic Center location! Here’s a map of Los Gatos by region – sweeping generalizations intended only to provide an overall sense of where to find what.
Downtown Los Gatos runs primarily along Main Street, N Santa Cruz Avenue, and University Avenue, but also part of Los Gatos-Saratoga Road (Highway 9).
Within the town, there are a number of districts and neighborhoods, many of which also have businesses, though they are largely residential.
East Los Gatos & West Los Gatos: East Los Gatos is generally considered the area east of Los Gatos Boulevard, though some people attest that anything east of Highway 17 would be the east end of town. There are many popular neighborhoods within that area, including Blossom Manor, Vista Del Monte, the Alta Vista Area, Strathmore, and Belwood – Belgatos – Surmont, among others. Please navigate through the menu under “neighborhoods” to explore these and many other areas.
West Los Gatos is generally closer to the Campbell and Saratoga borders and includes Rinconada Hills, the Old Adobe Road area, Los Gatos Woods (townhouse community near Pollard Road) and many others.
North Los Gatos is not as well defined as other area, but generally is close to Lark Avenue.
The Los Gatos Mountains are an unincorporated place in Santa Clara County with a Los Gatos mailing address. This can be a bit confusing, especially since some of this region is over Saratoga or on the far side of the summit and in Santa Cruz County.
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?
Have you ever tried to figure out the Los Gatos zip codes? The only easy one is 95031, and that refers to PO boxes only! To the left, please see a map of the Los Gatos zip codes*: 95030, 95032 and 95033. The large area is the 95033 or “Los Gatos Mountains” area. Just above it is 95030 and above that is 95032.
Los Gatos Zip Code commentary: A few years back, the post office reorganized the way that 95030 and 95032 split up most of the 9 or 10 square miles which comprise the “town of Los Gatos”. It used to be an east-west divide, and now it’s closer to a north and south split, but not exactly that either.
I love this map because it looks as odd as the new distribution feels! The 95033 zip code is unincorporated, mostly in Santa Clara County, but as you can see, much of it falls west of highway 35 (Skyline Blvd) and is in Santa Cruz County. When a home has the 95033 zip code, it is analogous to the property being “in the mountains”.
Zip codes and schools:
Neither the town’s boundaries nor the zip code boundaries line up with the school district boundaries. There are homes in both 95032 and 95030 which are in the Los Gatos School District, for instance – though nearly all of 95030 is “in the schools”. (And just as confusing – a few homes in San Jose’s Almaden Valley with a 95120 zip code are in the Los Gatos School District too.)
*A couple more notes:
(1) Monte Sereno shares the 95030 zip code with Los Gatos
(2) There are some funky pockets near the town’s borders where the homes may actually belong to Los Gatos but have a zip code of the neighboring community or vice versa – this is rare, but it happens. A patch of Campbell near Pollard and Quito has a Los Gatos 95032 mailing address, but it’s actually Campbell. Another pocket of Los Gatos near National and Carlton has a mailing address of San Jose 95124, but it’s actually part of the town of Los Gatos. Weird, but true.