Is the Financial Crisis on Wall Street Causing Fewer Home Sales in Los Gatos?

October 12, 2008

I have never followed the stock market so much as I have in the last two weeks. [My primary concern is my kids’ 529 college savings plan, where the money is all in an index fund (that’s how CA has it set up).]And I wondered if Los Gatos home buyers have their downpayments in stocks and may also be holding back, so I took a look at very recent sales data to see if there are any new trends.

From my initial study of the pending sales in Los Gatos and Monte Sereno in the 95030 and 95032 zip codes, it does not appear that a slowdown in buying is happening over & above what we were already experiencing prior to the roller coaster ride on Wall Street.

sales initiated Houses Condos
10/1/2008 – 10/11/2008 7 3
10/1/2007 – 10/11/2007 7 3
09/20/2008 – 09/30/2008 4 5
09/20/2007 – 09/30/2007 4 4

It may be that we will see a change in the Los Gatos real estate market that later we’ll attribute to the financial catastrophe that is going on, but right now, I’m not seeing it. Perhaps the Los Gatos and Monte Sereno home buyers have their downpayment readily accessible in cash. (That is the case with my buyers.)

Condos and Townhomes in Los Gatos: Market Update

October 08, 2008

The condo market in Los Gatos is improving after a few rough months. It remains a buyer’s market, but not so deep a one as we saw in late spring and over the summer.

Although days on the market for Los Gatos condos and townhomes are considerably longer than they were a month or a year ago (78 days in Sept vs 32 in Aug and 33 a year ago), and the list price to sales price ratio is slipping (96.4% in Sept vs 98.7% in Aug and 99.2% in Sept 2007), there are some signs of improvement. The number of homes on the market is the same, 44, as last month, but the number of closed sales has risen from 6 in August to 8 in September.

Surprisingly, the sales prices are up too (both average and median), both for month over month and year over year. Here are those numbers (care of The Real Estate Report, a subscription I have):

Trends At a Glance Sep 2008 Previous Month Year-over Year
Median Price $850,000 $700,000 (+21.4%) $800,000 (+6.3%)
Average Price $768,021 $619,167 (+24.0%) $741,417 (+3.6%)

And finally, one of the most helpful ways of understanding the market is the absorption rate, which may be calculated as days, weeks, or months of inventory. It’s a reflection of how long it would take to sell off the current inventory if no new homes came on the market and homes continued to sell at the present rate. Below, please find the months of inventory for condos and townhomes in Los Gatos. N that there is recent improvement in the numbers:

Absorption rate for condos and townhomes in Los Gatos, CA (Silicon Valley real estate)

Next, here’s a view of the condo and single family home market of Los Gatos side-by-side:

Los Gatos real estate - absorption rates for single family homes and condos / townhomes.


If you’d like more information on how the Los Gatos townhome and Los Gatos condo market are faring, please visit my Real Estate Report for an interactive online report for all of the Silicon Valley real estate market.
Please call me if you’d like a private consultation about your real estate questions, plans, and hopes.

Request an online home valuation from Mary Pope-Handy



Los Gatos Single Family Home Absorption Rates and Market Conditions

October 07, 2008

The Los Gatos real estate market for single family homes is a bit of a mixed bag, with some indicators more positive than others, but on the whole, it’s a deepening buyers market.

Below, please see the basic sales data on the closed single family homes in Los Gatos for September 2008. Note that saes are up, but days on market are longer, prices are mostly down (except the year over year average sp), and the list price to sales price ratio is dropping.

Trends At a Glance Sep 2008 Previous Month Year-over Year
Median Price $1,205,000 $1,389,980 (-13.3%) $1,280,000 (-5.9%)
Average Price $1,609,960 $1,669,850 (-3.6%) $1,346,230 (+19.6%)
No. of Sales 27 22 (+22.7%) 17 (+58.8%)
Active 170 138 (+23.2%) 106 (+60.4%)
Sale vs. List Price 94.9% 96.5% (-1.7%) 97.6% (-2.8%)
Days on Market 71 51 (+39.0%) 44 (+61.3%)

A good way to judge the market overall is by crunching the numbers to get the months of inventory (or days, or weeks of inventory), also known as the absorption rate. Next, please view the Los Gatos area (including Monte Sereno and some parts of Cambrian Park and possibly Campbell) known as “area 16” in our MLS.  This lines up almost exactly with Los Gatos and the zip codes 95032 and 95030:

Los Gatos single family homes absorption rates January to Sept 2008 (Silicon Valley real estate)

As you can well see, it is going to take more and more time to sell off the current inventory of single family homes in the Los Gatos area. In fact, it is a strong trend that the buyers market has been deepening. The National Association of Realtors says that 6 months or less is a sellers market, but more than 6 months is a buyers market. We had a little dip in May through July where the sellers were under that threshold, but for the most part, it has not been much of a year for sellers in Los Gatos.

In most times, it’s very challenging for buyers to purchase a home in Los Gatos as there are often multiple offers and high demands from the sellers. Buyers, now is your chance to get in at a reasonable time!  Sellers, if you want to sell, make your home gorgous and price it competitively!

To learn more, please visit my Real Estate Report online, an interactive monthly report that provides information for all of Santa Clara County, including Saratoga, Monte Sereno, Campbell, Almaden Valley, Santa Clara, Cupertino, Sunnyvale, etc., and separated by single family homes and condominiums and townhomes.

Mini Market Update for Los Gatos: How Long Do Homes Stay On The Market?

September 29, 2008

The Los Gatos real estate market is soft – it remains a buyers market for most areas and price ranges. Agents and sellers will tell you that it’s harder to sell a home now.  Let’s look at the market data, though. It can be analyzed by price point, school district, zip code, square footage, or any number of factors. Today’s “mini update” will be a glance by zip code of condos and single family homes with focus on the days on market., amount of inventory and list prices of homes for sale. Data and graphs by Altos Research (to which I subscribe).

This first chart indicates the average days on market for Los Gatos in the 95030 zip code. The blank line represents the condo and townhouse listings and the orange line the single family homes. (This chart should automatically update itself thanks to a little html.) Both segments appear to be following a fairly similar trend here of lengthening days on the market after an easier spell from spring until about July. Houses here have been for sale at an average of 110 days, and townhouses and condos around 92 or so.These charts represent the overview of the Los Gatos real estate market. There can be a great deal of variation from one area or house to the next. The perfect, completely and recently remodeled house that is priced low may get a flurry of offers and sell way over list price. Most homes, though, don’t fit that description. Most of the real estate for sale has “some updating” but needs more. In certain areas, though, buyers will overlook condition if the price is good and the home seems clean and at least well maintained.

For information on what your home may be worth, or how much home you can buy, please contact me today!

Request an online home valuation from Mary Pope-Handy


Los Gatos Real Estate Market Numbers – In for July 2008

August 11, 2008

Chart of price and sales activity in Los Gatos for single family homes

The numbers are out for July’s sales activity in Los Gatos!

To the left, please see a graph for prices and sales of single family homes in the Town of Los Gatos. Note that sales prices, both median and average, are slipping, while the number of homes sold has been rising. This is welcome news for sellers.

With the Los Gatos condominium or townhouse market, things are less positive for sellers, but a great opportunity for buyers. (This is very much the situation in the Saratoga and Almaden Valley markets too – the luxury condo market is having a far harder time than the single family home market.) Prices are down and the number of homes selling is down also. Please see graph below.

Price and sales activity for condominiums and townhomes in the Town of Los Gatos, CA

Please visit my online Silicon Valley Real Estate Report to see much more data for the Town of Los Gatos or any other part of Silicon Valley’s real estate market. Visitors to the site can navigate to view statistics and graphs for condominiums and townhomes or single family homes by region.

As always, the real estate market is comprised of many “micro markets”, so please contact me for specific information on your particular home or neighborhood.

Mary Pope-Handy

Los Gatos Real Estate Market Update for August 4, 2008

August 04, 2008

What’s the housing market in Los Gatos doing in these final weeks of summer? How’s the real estate business in Los Gatos faring amid all the doom and gloom of the mortgage implosion? Are Los Gatos homes selling?

Anecdotally, I can tell you that lenders have tightened up their requirements, sales are down and buyers are pickier than ever. Buyers are waiting for prices to come down more for most homes (except the totally remodeled ones which are priced extremely competitively). Many sellers are not willing to sell in the current climate, so the local Los Gatos inventory is not terribly high. Some homes, then, are still selling with multiple offers, while others remain unsold.

Below, please see first the pricing, by quartile, of single family homes in Los Gatos. (These are list prices, not sold prices.)

The first graph reflects the 95030 zip code, which is entirely in the Los Gatos School District.

Los Gatos 95030 Single Family Homes Pricing

The following graph displays list prices of single family homes within the 95032 zip code. Much of this zip code is not in the Los Gatos School District, but some of it is.

Los Gatos 95032 Single Family Homes Pricing

Next, please see the information for pricing of condominiums and townhomes in the town of Los Gatos, again by both zip code and by quartile.

Here’s the report for townhouses and condos in Los Gatos by quartile for 95030.

Los Gatos condominiums and townhomes 95030 pricing

And here’s the same report but for the 95032 zip code:

Los Gatos Condos 95032 Pricing

Below please find reports based on listing prices by zip code and home type (single family or condo/townhome) as well as by zip code. The beginning of the reports will appear the same for both zip codes (95030 and 95032) but go deeper into the report and you will see the neighborhood stats, which are different than those of the town as a whole.

(1) Single family homes in Los Gatos 95032

Single family homes in Los Gatos 95030

(3) Condos and townhomes in Los Gatos 95032

No report for condominiums and townhouses in Los Gatos 95030 – not enough info to generate a report.

Please let me know if you’d like to discuss your particular situation with me in person, by email, or over the phone.

Best regards,

Mary Pope-Handy
Keller Williams