The Holiday Season in Los Gatos: So Much To Do!

Christmas tree and packages with a greeting of Happy Holidays on a bannerDecember is almost upon us, and with it comes all kinds of holiday events and activities in beautiful Los Gatos.

Keeping up is half the battle with so much happening this December! To make your season a little less stressful and a little more jolly, I have organized a list of holiday events and activities going on in Los Gatos. Below you will find two lists – one with unique events you might only have a day or two to enjoy, and a separate list of ongoing events you can join in all December long. These lists do not include religious services, so please check your preferred place of prayer for those schedules.

So get ready for carriage rides, the Fantasy of Lights, the tree lighting ceremony, the Los Gatos holiday parade, crafting, caroling, cookies and more!

Read moreThe Holiday Season in Los Gatos: So Much To Do!

Blossom Hill Manor Real Estate Market

Map of the Blossom Hill Manor neighborhood of Los Gatos (east Los Gatos)

The Blossom Hill Manor (aka “the Manor” or “Blossom Manor”) is a highly sought after neighborhood with its close proximity to the well regarded Los Gatos schools, parks, shops, grocery stores and major transit routes.  Homes there are nicely maintained, many streets are tree-lined and there’s a good amount of community spirit and involvement in this close-in, walkable area. Explore the area more using my Google Map of Blossom Manor, or take a video drive-through of the neighborhood at my other post, The Blossom Manor neighborhood of Los Gatos.

In this posting, we’ll discuss the Blossom Manor real estate market. The real estate market in Los Gatos has been on fire like the rest of the Bay Area over the last few years, but there’s a great deal of variation from one area, price point, school district, age and condition of home to the next.  As you can imagine, the “fixer” market is very different from the luxury market.

So far in 2019, there have been 15 closed sales in The Manor. A few quick stats on those sales:

  • Average list price $2,150,343
  • Average sale price $2,207,518 (103% of list price)
  • Median sale price $2,060,000
  • Least expensive list price $1,589,000
  • Lease expensive sale price $1,775,000
  • Most expensive list price $2,749,000
  • Most expensive sale price $2,790,000
  • Average price per SF $1,114.61
  • Average days on market 16
  • Average living space 2046 SF
  • Average lot size 9,431 SF
  • Average age of the home 61 years

Of these 15 sales, 9 were over list price, 1 was exactly at list price (an off market sale – the only one not exposed publicly before selling), and the rest sold under list price. 

Read moreBlossom Hill Manor Real Estate Market

Thanksgiving Interfaith Service in Los Gatos

Cornucopia - Thanksgiving Interfaith ServiceThe annual Thanksgiving Interfaith Service in Los Gatos is this Tuesday, November 26th, from 7:00 to 8:00pm. All are welcome!  Each year, the ecumenical service is held at a different house of worship. The organization under which this happens is the Los Gatos Interfaith Clergy Association.

This year it is held at Congregation Shir Hadash, located at 20 Cherry Blossom Lane Los Gatos, CA 95032.  A big highlight of the event, which often draws about 350 attendees, is the joint choir.  A reception is held afterwards.

Those attending the Thanksgiving Interfaith Service are encouraged to bring canned food to donate to West Valley Community Services and St. Luke’s Lunch Program.

Thanksgiving Interfaith Service sponsors include:

Congregation Shir Hadash
Faith Lutheran Church (ELCA)
Los Gatos United Methodist Church
St. Luke’s Episcopal Church
St. Mary’s Catholic Church
The Baha’i Faith of Los Gatos
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Los Gatos Ward
The Presbytarian Church of Los Gatos
The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Los Gatos
In the past, this also included chaplains from Good Samaritan Hospital, the Terraces and Stanford Health Care and cash donations were accepted for oother good causes.

https://www.shirhadash.org/event/interfaith-thanksgiving-service3.html

I wish each and every one of you a very Happy Thanksgiving!

 

Vasona Park’s Fantasy of Lights (Light Festival)

21st Annual Fantasy of Lights logo, from the SCCP event page.

The 21st annual Fantasy of Lights show at Vasona Lake County Park begins soon!  Occasionally people call me to ask about it – please note that I do not run the event – I am only posting information about it. Full info can be found on the county’s park website – see link below.

When: The Fantasy of Lights runs from Tuesday December 10th to December 30th, 2019 from 6 – 10pm. Prior to that, Saturday December 7th and Sunday December 8th ONLY it is the Fantasy of Lights Walk-Thru event which runs 4pm to 9pm. The Fantasy of Lights is closed on Christmas Day.

Where: Vasona Lake County Park, 333 Blossom Hill Road (near University Avenue) Los Gatos, CA

How much: The cost varies. Tickets must be purchased in advance.

Walk-Through Tickets: (Dec 7 & 8 Only)

$10 – Adult (13 & up)
$5 – Child (ages 4 – 12)
FREE – 3 years or less

Drive-Through Tickets:

$20 – per Vehicle (up to 12 riders)
$50 – per Oversize Vehicle (capacity 13+)

More details:

Please visit the Santa Clara County Parks page for the Fantasy of Lights to get more information on bus rides, special events and more! And why not ride the Billy Jones train to see the lights (you’ll get many but not all of the lights) Departing from it’s station in Oak Meadow Park Thursday through Sunday nights in December.

(More questions? PLEASE do NOT call me about this event – I’m a Realtor in Los Gatos, I’m not in charge of this venue! Please contact the SCC Parks Dept and check out their website for the Fantasy of Lights! The Vasona phone number is (408) 355-2201.)

Please visit Live in Los Gatos for year round events, neighborhood information, photos around the town, interesting real estate market data, haunted places and even some historical tidbits.

 

Los Gatos is a wonderful place to visit during the holidays, but it’s also a great place to live year round! If you are interested in buying a home in Los Gatos (or selling one), please contact me, Mary Pope-Handy. I’m both a Realtor in town and a resident myself, working full time in helping nice folks to buy & sell homes here and throughout the west valley.

If you aren’t familiar with the area, here are a few things to know!
Buy a home in Los Gatos (info on neighborhoods, school districts, homes for sale to browse online, links to important local sites & info)
Relocating and buying a house in Los Gatos
Los Gatos real estate on Facebook
Los Gatos real estate market statistics & trends for houses
Los Gatos realty trends and stats for condos & townhouses

 

 

Los Gatos real estate statistics and market trends

Los Gatos real estate market graphic with home near downtownThe Los Gatos real estate market for single family homes has been slowly cooling down a little – as a whole. Part of it is the luxury tier, which moves slower than entry or mid level priced properties. When the luxury price strata swells, it can skew the numbers to look like everything is cooling down, when that may not be the case.

Months of inventory in Los Gatos: a quick look

Just now I went to the MLS and pulled the number of active single family homes in Los Gatos 95030 and 95032 (59) and the number of sold and closed in the last 30 days (22) to check on the overall absorption rate or months of inventory. If we divide the active listings by the closed listings in the last 30 days, we get the months of inventory – so 59 / 22 = 2.68 months of inventory for the whole of MLS area 16 in Los Gatos. For our area, a balanced market is about 4 months of inventory, so this number shows the market is slightly in the seller’s favor. In other parts of the US, balance is at around 6 months.

If we shift to viewing just houses and duet homes offered up to $2 million, it’s a very different view of the market. In this case, there are 19 active listings and 5 sold in the last 30 days, so 3.8 months of inventory, very close to balanced but slightly in the seller’s favor. This is the entry level price point for Los Gatos 95030 and 95032. It’s a little lower for the Los Gatos Mountains.

(I have a separate post on the Los Gatos months of inventory that I’ll update soon, breaking it down by price point and high school district to better pinpoint the individual markets within LG.)

 

What is selling best in LG right now?

Of the 22 closed sales in the last 30 days, 4 were under $2 million (about 23%), 10 were between $2 and $3 million, 5 between $3 and $4 mil, 2 between $4 and $5mil, and 1 at over $5 mil.  The high end price point tends to be at around $3,000,000 and up for this part of Santa Clara County.

For the houses under $3 mil, the average days on market was 42, the average list price was $2,337,242 and the average sale price just a little less at $2,266,036. For those transactions, the average living space square footage was 2,697 SF and average lot size 16,980 SF.

 

Los Gatos Trends at a Glance for 95030 & 95032

Next, data from the RE Report for Los Gatos (“in town”), in the Los Gatos Mountains, and for Los Gatos condos (only in town, none in the mountain communities). Below that will be live Altos Research charts, updated automatically each week. Altos uses list prices, not sold prices, fyi.

The real estate numbers below reflect realty data gathered the first week of the month for the past month in Los Gatos 95030 & 95032 (all areas / school districts), or MLS “area 16”. See the full REReport here.  Prices are up both year over year and month over month, although the sale to list price ratio has dropped. Meanwhile days on market have dropped, and active listings are down with sales going up. Turnaround is quick and it’s an active market, but it’s still only a mild seller’s market.

Trends at a Glance

 

Trends At a Glance Oct 2019 Previous Month Year-over-Year
Median Price $2,590,000 (+12.1%) $2,310,000 $2,450,000 (+5.7%)
Average Price $2,718,330 (+3.1%) $2,636,620 $2,747,570 (-1.1%)
No. of Sales 28 (+12.0%) 25 25 (+12.0%)
Pending 35 (-2.8%) 36 37 (-5.4%)
Active 66 (-5.7%) 70 71 (-7.0%)
Sale vs. List Price 97.5% (-2.5%) 100.0% 99.0% (-1.5%)
Days on Market 36 (-26.4%) 48 44 (-19.2%)
Days of Inventory 71 (-12.9%) 81 85 (-17.0%)

 

And the month before:

 

Trends At a Glance Sep 2019 Previous Month Year-over-Year
Median Price $2,310,000 (+12.9%) $2,045,500 $2,000,000 (+15.5%)
Average Price $2,636,620 (+9.3%) $2,412,780 $2,417,500 (+9.1%)
No. of Sales 25 (-3.8%) 26 25 (0.0%)
Pending 36 (+12.5%) 32 42 (-14.3%)
Active 70 (-4.1%) 73 62 (+12.9%)
Sale vs. List Price 100.0% (+1.3%) 98.7% 101.0% (-1.0%)
Days on Market 48 (+39.2%) 35 25 (+96.1%)
Days of Inventory 81 (-3.6%) 84 72 (+12.9%)

Trends at a Glance for the Los Gatos Mountains

The RE Report has some info on the Los Gatos Mountains, but I do not believe it covers all of what we would have as 95033 or MLS “area 23”. You can see the mountains info market here:

Just 9 closed sales in the mountains in October, so I would not trust the general numbers that much. Better results would come from checking sales in your particular part of the mountains, such as Upper Redwood Estates, Chemeketa Park, etc., to see what the market is doing.

 

Trends At a Glance Oct 2019 Previous Month Year-over-Year
Median Price $900,000 (+9.4%) $822,500 $1,074,000 (-16.2%)
Average Price $1,108,750 (+40.9%) $787,062 $1,175,760 (-5.7%)
No. of Sales (+12.5%) 8 14 (-35.7%)
Pending 12 (0.0%) 12 20 (-40.0%)
Active 50 (+11.1%) 45 47 (+6.4%)
Sale vs. List Price 95.1% (+0.2%) 94.9% 101.9% (-6.7%)
Days on Market 36 (-45.7%) 67 48 (-24.0%)
Days of Inventory 167 (+2.2%) 163 101 (+65.5%)

 

And the month before:

 

Trends At a Glance Sep 2019 Previous Month Year-over-Year
Median Price $822,500 (-34.2%) $1,250,000 $1,075,780 (-23.5%)
Average Price $787,062 (-36.2%) $1,233,210 $1,547,820 (-49.2%)
No. of Sales (+14.3%) 7 10 (-20.0%)
Pending 12 (+9.1%) 11 20 (-40.0%)
Active 45 (+4.7%) 43 57 (-21.1%)
Sale vs. List Price 94.9% (-3.1%) 97.9% 99.2% (-4.4%)
Days on Market 67 (+66.3%) 40 44 (+52.1%)
Days of Inventory 163 (-11.5%) 184 165 (-1.3%)

Read moreLos Gatos real estate statistics and market trends

Sereno Group Annual Pumpkin Decorating Contest

Pumpkin Contest Sereno GroupIt’s time to decorate some pumpkins! Sereno Group is hosting its 11th annual pumpkin decorating contest and invites kids to transform a small pumpkin into a work of art! This is not a carving contest and there should be no punctures of any kind as these works of art will need to last, and any cuts will cause rotting.

Every child who enters will get a small gift. Voting on the best work of art will take place during office meetings for each of the four age groups, with the winner of each getting a prize.

 

The age groups for this contest are:

  • 2 to 3 years
  • 4 to 6
  • 7 to 11
  • 12 to 14

Small pumpkins are being given away at the Sereno Group office locations in Los Gatos (2 locations), Saratoga, Willow Glen, Aptos, Santa Cruz, Los Altos and Palo Alto. Optionally, entrants may bring their own small pumpkin.

The deadline is Wednesday, October 30th, 2019 (voting in the offices will be the next day). Have fun – we cannot wait to see the decorated pumpkins!

Here are the Los Gatos locations, but feel free to use the others listed on the Pumpkin decorating contest poster:

Los Gatos (open M – F, 9 – 5)
214 Los Gatos-Saratoga Road, Los Gatos

Los Gatos Northpoint (open M – F, 9 – 5)
634 N. Santa Cruz Ave, Suite 100, Los Gatos

Sereno Group pumpkin decorating contest info 2019
Please click on image to see poster in full size (link to my dropbox file)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Screen on the Green in Los Gatos

Every September, the Town of Los Gatos hosts a free movie at Oak Meadow Park in the month of September for kids and kids-at-heart. This is the annual “Screen on the Green“.

This year, the movie will be The Incredibles II, and it will be September 20th, 2019.

Fun activities for children begin at 6:00pm, with train rides, carousel rides, face painting, games and more. The film will begin at 7:30 pm and will be projected onto a 25′ inflatable screen on the meadow. A snack bar will be open from 6:30-8:30pm, so have dinner before or bring a picnic and some blankets, then come early to grab a good seat!

Attendees, it is important to bring layers and something low to sit on – blankets, cushions, or low backed lawn chairs, are alright. I always bring a flashlight for after the show. The gopher holes in the lawn are easy to find by accident with your foot.

For additional details, please see the Los Gatos town website page for Screen on the Green:

http://www.losgatosca.gov/342/Screen-on-the-Green

 

 

screen on the green 2019