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
How far will your home buying dollar stretch if your goal is to buy Los Gatos real estate or Monte Sereno real estate? Housing prices in these areas are steep, but it’s interesting how different the market is from one price point, zip code, and school district to the next.
Today I spent some time doing the very mundane task of pulling and crunching the data from MLSListings.com to give my readers and clients a sense of the housing market in Los Gatos and Monte Sereno. I teased it out by zip code and high school district (476 is Los Gatos-Saratoga Joint Union High School District and 473 is Campell Union High School District). The 95032 zip code stretches to the far east and far west corners of this area and if there were more sales I’d want to pull out the west vs east parts of the zip code – but with scant inventory and sales, that just wouldn’t work well right now.
The following statistics reflect Los Gatos and Monte Sereno single family home sales in the last 90 days in the 95030 zip code:
There are very very few homes in 95030 with the Campbell Union HSD, but there are a few and in the last 90 days there were two such sales / closings. Obviously I cannot break 2 sales into 4 pricing quartiles too well, so left them lumped together – but you can see from the price per square foot that this area is selling incredibly well!
For those who insist on 95030 “in the schools”, the good news is that the real estate market is much softer here than in much of the valley – homes are generally selling at or under list price, rather than over, and they are not selling, on average, with just 10 days on the market or less. Some do, of course – but most do not. That makes it a great buying opportunity!
Los Gatos and Monte Sereno single family home sales in the last 90 days in the 95032 zip code:
Next let’s look at Los Gatos and Monte Sereno 95032. MOST of Monte Sereno is in the 95030 zip code, but a portion is not and has 95032 and/or Campbell Union HSD.
For the part of 95032 with CUHSD, the market is actually quite hot with most sales at 105-106% of list price. Please note that in this grouping, there’s a very big jump in what you get for your money between the under $1 million quartile and the next quartile up – the house size about doubles, actually, but the price does not likewise double. The next tier up has a far smaller jump, but when I was exporting the date from the MLS I saw that there was a very large clustering of homes sold between about 1.3 and 1.9 million and almost just combined them since an awful lot were sitting right around 1.5 – 1.7 million. In any event, if you want to live in Los Gatos with about 2500 Square Feet with Leigh or Westmont High, the homes are running about $1.5 to $2 million. Often they are a little higher on the west side of town as opposed to the east – my best guess is that it’s because that end is closer to pricy Saratoga and is a closer commute to many of the high teck work places.
The 95032 area “in the schools” is popular – you get a more affordable zip code with the famed Los Gatos schools. Interesting that again, this area is not as hot a market as the part of LG and MS with the Campbell Union HSD. Perhaps that is because the elementary and middle schools are now very comparable, and only the high schools have a gap? Many buyers are not willing to pay a giant premium for Los Gatos High – though some, of course, are. (And they will also be happy to be in a location closer to downtown.)
So where are the opportunities in this market?
Buyers: If you want to buy in Los Gatos and get a home with Los Gatos Schoools, the market is not as competitive as the areas further from downtown with Union or Campbell schools. It is not cheaper, but it’s not quite so competitive, and you may not need to give away all your rights just to buy a home. Also, many Silicon Valley home buyers will push themselves to get into a home or school or zip code. If you are able to get out of the bottom tier and into the 2nd from the bottom tier of pricing, you will find less competition and a whole lot more house for the money in most cases (just check the price per SF).
Sellers: Ovviously it’s a great time to sell a home in Los Gatos and Monte Sereno, and some segments are a whole lot hotter than others. With the right pricing, staging, pre-sale prep and marketing, a solid home in this area can sell in under a month and often in under 2 weeks. Home buyers are clamoring to live in Los Gatos and are often frightened by biting off more than they can chew, especially after the last mega recession, so having a good plan to ease buyers’ fears is truly imperative for selling fast and at top dollar (those two usually go together).
Interested in buying or selling a house in Los Gatos or Monte Sereno? Please give me a call or shoot me an email and we can set up a time to talk and see if we might work well together. I’m a Los Gatos resident and a Los Gatos Realtor, a valley native and I appreciate the nuances of our area and market.
September 24, 2013
What does it cost to buy a home in Los Gatos “with the schools” (as opposed to the Union School District or the Campbell School District areas)? In the last 90 days, 68 houses have sold in Los Gatos within the Los Gatos Union School District. The averages will give you some idea of pricing, but remember that the range is very broad because Los Gatos includes quite a few luxury or estate properties! Those disclaimers aside…
Houses sold in the last 90 days in the Los Gatos Union School District
- Average home size appx 2700 SF
- Average lot size a little over an acre, about 1.1 acre
- Average sales price appx $1,850,000
That’s not to say that you cannot purchase a house in town for quite a bit less! The least expensive home was an 1150 SF house on Las Astas Drive that sold for $882,000. There were three in the $900s. And four between 1 and $1.1 million. In all, there were 16 homes that sold for no more than $1,250,000.
Of these more affordable properties, the averages are:
- Average home size appx 1500 SF
- Average lot size appx 7500
- Average sales price appx $1,092,000
Condominium and townhouse sales
Condos and townhouses are more affordable still. There were 17 of them which closed escrow in the last 90 days. Averages here:
- Average home size appx 1350 SF
- Average HOA fee (monthly) $445
- Average sales price $640,000
The most affordable condo sold in the last 3 months was a small one bedroom unit for $300,000 with about 750 square feet of living space.
There’s quite a big range of home prices in Los Gatos. If you’re interested in buying residential real estate in Los Gatos (any school district) or nearby, please give me a call or write me an email and we can discuss finding the best home that works for you and your budget.
February 04, 2011
Ever wonder how home prices or values in Los Gatos stack up to our neighbors in Almaden, Saratoga, Cupertino, Los Altos and nearby areas?
Yesterday I did a quick study of 4 bed, 2 bath houses with approximately 2,000 square feet on lot sizes ranging from 6000SF to 10,000 SF (to compare “apples to apples”) and posted it on my Valley of Hearts Delight blog. The list breaks has a view with school districts in mind since that’s a major driver of values.
To see the lineup from Palo Alto to Almaden Valley, visit my post: