The annual Los Gatos Fiesta de Artes is back and has a new name: Los Gatos Art & Wine Festival. (I don’t see Fiesta de Artes anywhere on the festival’s website except in the URL) In 2020 it was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, but we are delighted that it returns this weekend!
If you’ve never been, it’s a fabulous opportunity to mill around the Civic Center lawn and enjoy art of various types. It’s free! If you’d like to partake of food and wine, the proceeds all go to a very good cause.
What happens at the Fiesta de Artes or the Los Gatos Art & Wine Festival?
Think food & drink, art & shopping, dancing & socializing! Once again, there will be more than 150 vendors with a huge variety of artists and vendors displaying and selling their artwork, plus booths with food and wine and of course loads of music throughout both days. Please check out the musical lineup and food offerings info here: Fiesta music and food
Fiesta de Artes will be at the Civic Center lawn across the street from Los Gatos High School – 110 E Main Street, Los Gatos CA 95030
Please check out all of the details at the event’s website:
Low inventory has been the headline story in the Los Gatos real estate market since last spring. Here’s a multiple year view of single family homes for sale in Los Gatos 95030 and 95032 since January 2015 – I find this to be enlightening since any one year can be an anomaly. The chart below shows us that the average inventory for Los Gatos in August can vary, but usually sits somewhere between the low to high 70s. This August fell well below that range with only 51 active listings, the lowest across all visible years!
Seasonal trends for 2020 were thrown completely off shortly after the lockdown order. Inventory never grew to the expected level last spring with available listings consistently shrinking from May through January and hardly any growth in spring 2021!
The ultra low number of listings is due to many factors, one of them being the current coronavirus pandemic and health and safety concerns. For a look at how Covid-19 affected the local real estate market today, please check Coronavirus Impact on Real Estate Sales on my other blog.
Covid restrictions have mostly been lifted, and Silicon Valley remains in a hot seller’s market with limited inventory. If you’re interested in selling your home this year, check out my article on how to Sell Your Home in 2021. When you’re ready to talk to an agent I would love to hear from you!
What is selling best in LG right now?
In general, single family homes listed at or under $2.5 million are selling well, with their sales averaging around 6.7% over list price in August. Those listed upwards of $3 millions are also frequently selling above asking with an average of roughly 4.4% above list price in August. Even so, there are exceptions in both groups.
Certain things can skew the data. For instance, a home in Los Gatos listed just under $2.2 million took 33 days to sell, but sold around 4.6% below list price, while another listed shy of $4 million sold nearly 17.5% above asking (over $700K over) in just 7 days! When planning to buy or sell, it’s best to look at the data within a mile of your home (or the one you want to buy), and across similar properties, excluding the sales which aren’t comparable.
By the numbers: Of the 46 single family home sales in Los Gatos (not including the mountain market) in August on the MLS, none sold under $1 million, 5 sold under $1.5 million, 9 sold between $1.5 and $2 million, 13 sold above $2 and below $3 million, 10 sold between $3 and $4 million, 7 sold over $4 to $5 million, and 2 sold between $6 million and $7 million!
The high end price point tends to be around $3,000,000 and up for this part of Santa Clara County, although it’s been creeping upwards with the overly hot market we’ve been experiencing. The vast majority of what sold would not be considered luxury properties, even though in most areas of the U.S. these would be luxury price tags.
Los Gatos real estate statistics 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) – the entire Los Gatos real estate market combined. Below that are the live Altos Research charts, updated automatically each week. Altos uses list prices, not sold prices.
The numbers below analyze data gathered during the first week of each month and cover real estate statistics from the month prior in Los Gatos 95030 & 95032 (all areas / school districts), or MLS “area 16”. See the full RE Report here.
Trends At a Glance
No. of Sales
Sale vs. List Price
Days on Market
Days of Inventory
Prices for Los Gatos real estate haven’t changed much month-over-month, but compared to last year they’ve risen about 10%-19%! Last year’s market had a higher number of closed sales and active listings, but fewer pending sales. Compared to last month, closed and pending sales fell short while active inventory grew. The sales vs list price ratio fell significantly month-over-month, although still well above last year at a red hot 105.4% of asking.
Overall, despite some seasonal cooling it remains a busy seller’s market in Los Gatos, likely impacted by pent up demand from last year.
Screen on the Green is back, but this year it’s double the fun with two events (and two locations).
The first event will be Friday, Sept 24, 2021 at Oak Meadow Park, which is the normal venue for Screen on the Green. The movie will be Soul. The film will start running at 7:30 p.m., but if you go early, you can enjoy the carousel, the train, and snacks starting at 6 pm.
The second movie night will be Friday, Oct 1, 2021 on the Civic Center Lawn. The showing will be of Hocus Pocus, also beginning at 7:30 p.m.
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 at Oak Meadow 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 by using the link below or clicking on the image to the right:
One of my favorite shops in downtown Los Gatos is Black Cat Hats, which features all kinds of accessories in addition to hats for men and women. The folks there are friendly and knowledgeable and take a personal interest in helping customers to find just the right item they want or need.
Over the last week, we’ve been there twice – first for a hat for me, and then a couple for my better half. Both times we got what we needed quickly.
We were impressed by the nice selection among the men’s hats. Truthfully, I hadn’t paid much attention to them previously, but there was a good variety of styles, colors, and sizes.
Normally in April and May I’m collecting all the information on the summer musical events in Los Gatos. This year, however, we remain in the midst of a Stay Home order due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Despite ongoing risks, the warm weather and growing vaccination rollout has us hopeful as more things are beginning to open at the state and county levels. On April 2nd newly released guidance for live outdoor entertainment! Sadly, our local summer concerts are booked and planned in early winter, so this update won’t affect most of the usual lineup. Things might look a little different, but you won’t have to wait until 2022 for a good show!
2021 Updates: Free Summer Concert Series Los Gatos
If you are soon relocating to Los Gatos or new to town, you may hear people drop the names of places and feel a little lost. In some cases, it may be trouble spelling an unfamiliar name, in others that the same place is known by more than one name or that one name has several potential meanings. Here are some place names and local terminology you’ll want to know:
Vasona – also Vasona Lake or Vasona Lake County Park: this one gets a lot of typos when people are trying to find it (I see them via the search terms people use to find this blog), sometimes typing in Verona or Vesona. This park is the largest in Los Gatos, consisting of over 100 acres, directly attached to Oak Meadow (which belongs to the town, while Vasona belongs to the county). The entrance to the park is on Blossom Hill Road close to University Avenue (don’t try to enter off of Lark – that’s a locked gate). More info on both parks.
The Manor – also Blossom Manor or Blossom Hill Manor: this is a residential neighborhood bordered by Blossom Hill Road, Los Gatos Blvd, Los Gatos Almaden and Longwood. Homes in this area are in the Los Gatos School District. (See post and photos of this neighborhood.)
The Boulevard – Los Gatos Boulevard, which is the road that Main Street turns into as it heads towards San Jose. This is the area where normal shopping happens for many of the town’s residents. It’s where you find grocery stores, drug stores, fast food and other inexpensive restaurants, etc.
East Los Gatos – definitions vary, sometimes referencing everything from approximately Harwood Road to Highway 17, other times Harwood Road to Los Gatos Blvd. (Post on this topic.)
Downtown – usually references Main Street, Santa Cruz Avenue (north or south), University Avenue and areas closest to all of these. (Usually does not include areas as far as Highway 9, aka Los Gatos Saratoga Road.) Most of downtown is business related but there are some neighborhoods that are right in downtown too.
The Hill – Los Gatos has tons of hills, but “the hill” actually means the Santa Cruz Mountains and the pass through them.
Blossom Hill – can mean Blossom Hill School, Blossom Hill Park, Blossom Hill Road, or perhaps even the hill which is called “Blossom Hill”. (If you traverse Blossom Hill Road, you’ll drive up a little bit at one stretch between Camino del Cerro and Blossom Dale Drive – at this point you’re up on the base of the hill which is Blossom Hill.) Yes, it is confusing.
Old Town – shopping center on University Avenue in downtown, once the site of the town’s elementary school. (It’s where you’ll find the Border’s bookstore and a number of nice shops and restaurants.)
In town – a contrast to “in the mountains” or perhaps “in a county pocket” but in the general area of the town of Los Gatos. There are areas with a Los Gatos mailing address but are not actually part of the town of Los Gatos. This is true for all of the 95033 zip code (which is in the mountains and reached via Hwy 17 – some of that is actually in Santa Cruz County and not Santa Clara County) as well as some of the county pockets in 95030 and 95032 (which are mostly “in town”).
The Chart House – people still refer to the old Coggeshall Mansion on North Santa Cruz Avenue by that name, but the Chart House closed several years ago and had other restaurants at that site afterwards. It’s a lovely old Victorian, one of many which initially lined that street but now the only one remaining. Initially it was a private home, then a mortuary, then a series of restaurants. It has a reputation for being one of the most haunted places in town. At this writing, it is The Palms, and I hear their food is great!
NUMU – the town’s museum, both an art museum (formerly in the old firehouse on West Main) and a history museum (formerly at Forbes Mill). Located in the Civic Center on Main Street, it has changing exhibits and is worth popping by at least a couple of times a year.
In the Schools – a phrase meaning that homes in a particular area are within the Los Gatos School District. Los Gatos has several school districts, including Union Schools (shared with the Cambrian Park area of San Jose) and Moreland Schools (shared with Campbell).
Almond Grove, Edelen, Glenridge, Fairview Plaza – older residential neighborhoods either in or very near to downtown Los Gatos. Many of these areas have homes dating back to the late 1800s. (To read about these and other neighborhoods (such as Surrey Farms, Strathmore, Belwood, Heritage Grove and many more), please click on this link for all the neighborhood posts on Live in Los Gatos.)
One of the more confusing areas in Los Gatos may the Alberto Way. There are a number of HOA communities and for those new to the area, they may all blur together.
Los Gatos Commons
The largest complex along Alberto Way in Los Gatos is the The Los Gatos Commons, a senior community with 110 units. (To read more about senior housing in the area, please see my post on it here.)
As with most senior housing, the units at The Commons are more affordable than the majority of Los Gatos condos. The Commons was built in 1978 and requires that at least one resident be 55 years of age or more. As of 2020, you may be able to purchase a a unit there between $500,000 and $700,000.
Pueblo de Los Gatos
A smaller condo community just a little closer to Los Gatos-Saratoga Road, and on the opposite side of Alberto Way, is Pueblo de Los Gatos. These homes are a little further away from Highway 17, are a little quieter, and are not senior housing. They tend to sell for a little more than the homes across the way. There seems to be about a 5% to 10% difference in price, most of which may be attributable to freeway noise, but part of it to the “senior community” status. This property was developed in 1970, so is actually a little older than the Commons.
Pueblo de Los Gatos consists of 53 units. Of these 53 condo units, 1 of them is a 3 bedroom (unit # 1, which also has a large 2 car garage), 44 are 2 bedroom units, and 8 are 1 bedroom units. Except for unit # 1, the rest of the homes in this community have carports. For many home buyers, these properties offer a more affordable way to get into the Los Gatos Union School District than might otherwise be possible.
Bella Vista Village
Next to and behind Pueblo de Los Gatos is the much newer and more expensive Bella Vista Village, which was built in 1997 and 1998 and includes 47 townhomes. Click on the link to see some photos and learn about it!
Additionally, there is a small townhouse complex built in 1979 with 18 units on the same side of the street as the Los Gatos Commons, Las Casitas, located at 435 Alberto Way. Something unusual is that all of them appear to have the same floor plan – all have 1448 square feet. It is a tidy complex built around a central grassy courtyard area. Each home has a small back patio & storage closet outside, a laundry closet in the kitchen, 3 skylights for the 2nd floor, good sized bedrooms and baths, and pleasant grounds. There are carports and uncovered parking at the back of the property, up against the freeway. Click on the link above to see a half dozen photos of this attractive complex and learn more about it.
What is the fastest way to tell them apart? The easiest way, without even clicking on a link, is to spot the address. If there’s a letter as part of the unit number (as in A100 or B202), it’s part of The Commons. Also, if the price looks low for the area – it’s probably the Commons. If there’s no letter, as in #7, it’s part of one of the other communities. Or just check the map – The Commons is tucked back at the far left side of the cul de sac (beyond it are office buildings with a private driveway).
All of these are in close-to-downtown Los Gatos locations. If you’re in the market for Los Gatos real estate and would like to live close in, this is a great street to check out.
All Alberto Way area homes for sale, pending, or sold over the last year – including The Commons
This includes properties on Alberto Way as well as Maggi Court and the other Bella Vista Village homes.