A resource for folks living in or moving to Los Gatos, by Mary Pope-Handy

Los Gatos

Los Gatos real estate statistics and market trends

Los Gatos real estate market graphicThe 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%)

Continue reading

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

 

 

Fiesta de Artes in Los Gatos

Los Gatos Fiesta de Artes

 

Saturday September 21st and Sunday September 22nd mark the return of the Fiesta de Artes Los Gatos, Art & Wine Festival, the only Art & Wine Festival in town all year!  It will be located at the Civic Center lawn, and the hours are 10 am to 6 pm both days. (This year it was moved from August to September – hopefully there will be far less “beach traffic” with this timing, which seems like a great idea to me.)

What happens at the Fiesta de Artes?

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 here: Fiesta de Artes music lineup

Where is the Fiesta de Artes held?

Fiesta de Artes will be at the Civic Center lawn across the street from Los Gatos High School.

For more information, please visit https://LosGatosFiesta.com/

Claws for a Cause in Los Gatos

Claws for a cause 2019Each year, in early to mid-Septemeber, the Los Gatos Morning Rotary Club, sponsors a fun end of summer bash: Claws for a Cause. The annual Maine lobster party features good food, live music, and dancing. It is often a sell-out event!

Proceeds going to the Los Gatos Morning Rotary Charitable Foundation (supporting music, art and youth scholarships).

This year it’s Saturday, Sept 7, 2019, from 5:30 pm to 10pm and it will be held at the Los Gatos Lodge.

Last year, tickets sold out! Learn more and buy your tickets here:

http://lglobsterparty.com/

 

 

Los Gatos Park Dance

musical notesNeed something to do on Labor Day weekend? The Los Gatos Park Dance is back during the holiday weekend – the 7th annual at Oak Meadow Park. The first year over 2000 people attended and it’s been growing ever since!

Los Gatos Park Dance Details

Cost: FREE – courtesy of Music in the Park

Date & Time: Saturday, August 31, 7 PM – 9:30 PM

Location: Lyndon Bandstand, Oak Meadow Park, Los Gatos

The band this year will again be The Houserockers (a Los Gatos band).

What else: to get a good spot, arrive early! Bring a picnic supper. Beer and wine are allowed with meals (no other alcohol). Bring layers, as it cools down once the sun sets. Prepare to dance on the lawn, so wear comfortable shoes and watch out for gopher holes as you leave – they can be hard to spot in the dark.

Parking at Oak Meadow Park is free to town residents, but if you’re a local, you know that it fills up fast. You can park on nearby public streets if that happens, or try Vasona’s parking, which will cost a little.

This event is sponsored by Los Gatos Music in the Park.

More details:

https://www.facebook.com/events/oak-meadow-park-los-gatos/los-gatos-park-dance/2231979613548484/

 

 

Los Gatos Summer Block Parties

Town Park Plaza fountain in Los Gatos

Town Plaza Park fountain in downtown

The Summer Block Party series in Los Gatos is back! One Thursday of each summer month (it used to be the 3rd Thursday, but no longer tied to that week) the town celebrates with live music at the Town Park Plaza from 5 – 7  and then at adjacent Grays Lane with a DJ and Loma Brewing Company. This is sponsored by the Los Gatos Chamber of Commerce together with some local businesses.

The next one is Thursday, July 18th. Get the details on the Chamber’s website. (The following event will be August 8th – mark your calendars!)

Plein Art Show in Los Gatos

PaintingThe Plein Art Show in Los Gatos returns this weekend!

  • Preview and sale at 100 N. Santa Cruz Ave., Los Gatos on Sat., June 22nd from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  • The show itself is Sunday, June 23rd from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Los Gatos Town Plaza. These will be works of art created here in recent days. Beer & wine will be available for purchase.

 

What is Plein Air?  Plein Air is a French phrase which refers to the way of painting in the open air, which was especially popular in the 19th century with many impressionists.  There will be dozens of artists coming to town and over 100 pieces of art on display (and to purchase). Also found at the event will be wine tasting, music, and mini art sessions for kids.

Thanks to the Los Gatos morning Rotary for sponsoring this great event yet again. Learn more on the Los Gatos Plein Air website:
http://www.lgpleinair.org/

Los Gatos Free Music Concert Series: Music in the Park, Jazz on the Plazz and Vasona Vibrations Schedule of Events and Performers

Summer 2019 is just around the corner and we’re all revved up and ready for those free concerts around Los Gatos. Most artists and schedules have been announced and, knowing that you are as excited about these as I am, I have compiled a calendar of free outdoor music events for us all! Below please find a compilation of the FOUR different Los Gatos free musical concert series (and don’t forget Independence Day festivities)! As always, the information below should be reliable but as with any concert or outdoors event it is subject to change, so double check the website prior to going and always read the rules (especially if you plan to picnic). Hope to see you there!

Los Gatos Free Music Concert Series List of EventsVasona - Los Gatos Free Music Concert Series: Music in the Park, Jazz on the Plazz and Vasona Vibrations Schedule of Events and Performers

Music - Los Gatos Free Music Concert Series: Music in the Park, Jazz on the Plazz and Vasona Vibrations Schedule of Events and Performers(1) Vasona Vibrations  5-7pm every Saturday of June & July (pl;us a bonus Open Mic on Aug 3) at Vasona Lake County Park, schedule of performers has recently been announced here at the event’s website. Performances are held on the lawn near the Ranger Office, just down the hill from the pedestrian entrance at University Ave and Pepper Tree Lane. Consider bringing food and cash donations to Second Harvest Food Bank, which are accepted at every concert. Please note that a $6 fee is charged for parking within the County Parks.

(2) Music in the Park   5-7pm Sundays from July 7th – August 4th, usually with a dance party finale at the Los Gatos Civic Center campus lawn.  Get more information (rules, dates, location, schedule and lineup) when available at the website, closer to June.000 Jazz - Los Gatos Free Music Concert Series: Music in the Park, Jazz on the Plazz and Vasona Vibrations Schedule of Events and Performers

(3)  Jazz on the Plazz 6:30-8:30pm Wednesdays, June 19 – August 21 at the Los Gatos Town Plaza (where the farmers market is held) on West Main St and Santa Cruz Ave by the post office. More information and a schedule is available on the website. Please note that while the other music venues are 100% free, with Jazz on the Plazz, the “best” seats come with a price tag.

(4) Fiesta de Artes open 10am-6pm August 10th – 11th, at the Civic Center Lawn in Downtown Los Gatos. The Fiesta is the only art and wine festival in Los Gatos and offers musical performances both days from start to finish. Find the schedule here.

Don’t forget to include the Fourth of July in your plans – it is always spectacular, and is one of the more child-
friendly concerts! The events are held at Oak Meadow Park, and Los Gatos residents park for free. Event page is showing information from 2017, this is normally updated as we approach July. Last year, a new event was held the weekend prior, the Red, White, & Blue Block Party on sjws 4thSaturday, July 1st, 2017. Santa Cruz Avenue in Downtown was closed for festivities including, music, family games, a bike parade, and dunk tank. No updated information has been given yet, but we hope the party will be back in 2018!

Now for the full schedule of performances. Once again, please double check all rules, directions, and schedule information with the information on the festival website so you can enjoy the music to the fullest. A complete list of performers is not yet available, the chart will be filled in as details become available.

 

Series Date Day Time Performer & Link
Vasona Vibrations 1-Jun Sat 5:00-7:00pm Top Shelf Big Band
Vasona Vibrations 8-Jun Sat 5:00-7:00pm Blue House
Vasona Vibrations 15-Jun Sat 5:00-7:00pm The Jones Gang
Jazz on the Plazz 19-Jun Wed 6:30-8:30pm Jane Monheit
Vasona Vibrations 22-Jun Sat 5:00-7:00pm Andre Thierry
Jazz on the Plazz 26-Jun Wed 6:30-8:30pm Tiffany Austin
Vasona Vibrations 29-Jun Sat 5:00-7:00pm Windy Hill
Vasona Vibrations 30-Jun Sat 5:00-7:00pm Andre Thierry
Jazz on the Plazz 3-Jul Wed 6:30-8:30pm Curtis Stigers with Full Spectrum Jazz
4th of July Celebration 4-Jul Thurs 1:00pm Symphony in the Park – San Jose Wind Symphony
4th of July Celebration 4-Jul Thurs 11:00am The Hipwaders (for kids) on 2nd stage
Vasona Vibrations 6-Jul Sat 5:00-7:00pm Blue Summit
Music in the Park 7-Jul Sun 5:00-7:00pm The Sun Kings (Beatles tribute)
Jazz on the Plazz 10-Jul Wed 6:30-8:30pm Paula West (Facebook Link)
Vasona Vibrations 13-Jul Sat 5:00-7:00pm Jessica Johnson
Music in the Park 14-Jul Sun 5:00-7:00pm Sweet HayaH
Jazz on the Plazz 17-Jul Wed 6:30-8:30pm John Proulx
Vasona Vibrations 20-Jul Sat 5:00-7:00pm Isis and The Cold Truth
Music in the Park 21-Jul Sun 5:00-7:00pm Ryan Scripps
Jazz on the Plazz 24-Jul Wed 6:30-8:30pm To Be Announced
Vasona Vibrations 27-Jul Sat 5:00-7:00pm Bean Creek
Music in the Park 28-Jul Sun 5:00-7:00pm Stealin’ Chicago
Jazz on the Plazz 31-Jul Wed 6:30-8:30pm Jamie Davis
Vasona Vibrations 3-Aug Sat 4:00-7:00pm Vasona Vibrations Acoustic Open Mike
Music in the Park 4-Aug Sun 5:00-7:00pm Caravansarai (Santana Tribute)
Jazz on the Plazz 7-Aug Wed 6:30-8:30pm Monterey Jazz Festival County High School All Stars
Jazz on the Plazz 14-Aug Wed  6:30-8:30pm  Roberta Gambarini
 Jazz on the Plazz  21-Aug Wed  6:30-8:30pm The Funky Godfather
Los Gatos Dance Party 31-Aug Sat 7 – 9:30 pm See https://liveinlosgatosblog.com/los-gatos-park-dance-3/
Fiesta de Artes 21 & 22-Sept Sat & Sun 10am –  6 pm See https://losgatosfiesta.com/
That is quite the roundup! Los Gatos is a fantastic place in which to live and recreate, but no time more than in the summer. Enjoy!

Tree pruning, tree removal in Los Gatos

A canopy of trees

A canopy of trees

Most Los Gatans know that you cannot just remove any tree you like in town – some older and larger trees are protected, and some are deemed so important as to be known as heritage trees.

Did you know that the protections extend to pruning certain trees, and not just removing them?

Not all trees are protected, and not all pruning is prohibited.

  • At what point is it required to get permits to prune or remove a tree in Los Gatos?
  • How old and how large do they have to be to need a permit for pruning (let alone removing) them?

I was surprised at the answers, so thought I’d share some of the highlights of them here. If you’d like to just jump to the town’s document, here it  is: Town of Los Gatos Parks and Public Works Tree Removal and Pruning Permit

The town’s info all uses the diameter of the tree’s trunk at 4.5′ above grade, but I think it’s easier to measure the circumference. Jim, my better half and a guy who thinks math problems are recreation, reminded me that you can learn the circumference of a circle simply by multiplying the diameter by pi, or 3.12 (appx!).

The town has three categories, protected, large protected, and heritage.

What is a protected tree in Los Gatos?

Protected trees are classified as such by meeting any of a variety of criteria: diameter of trunk at 4.5′ above natural grade, type of tree, or some combination of the two of them together with the type of location in town.

In addition to the criteria, there are a few exceptions, such as fruit or nut trees up to 18″ in diameter, or a short list of others up to 24″ in diameter, including most palm trees.

A protected tree may be as small as 4″ diameter (appx 9″ circumference)  on vacant or non-residential property.

For residential lots which are developed (a home exists on the property), all trees which have a 12″ or greater diameter (less exceptions). For the developed hillside areas (see the map for the designated Town of Los Gatos residential hillside areas), it’s just an 8″ diameter (about 24-25″).

There are additional criteria, and specific trees named in the town’s document, including some oaks, buckeye, and madrone. And, as you’d expect, if there’s a development review or related requirement from the town, there are other requirements, too.

Protected trees need permits to be removed OR to be pruned by more than 25% over 3 years

What is a large protected tree?

A large protected tree has a diameter of 48 inches or more, or could also be an Oak, California Buckeye, or Pacific Madrone with a diameter of 24 inches or more.

What is a heritage tree?

A heritage tree is “specifically designated by action of the Town Council which possesses exceptional aesthetic, biological, cultural, or historic value to the community”(quote from the link above).

Permits are needed to remove or cut any branch or root greater than 4 inches in diameter of any Large Protected Tree or Heritage Tree

These are just the highlights – if you are thinking of doing major pruning or removal of a tree in Los Gatos, please read this document thoroughly, and if in down, check with the town:
Town of Los Gatos Parks and Public Works Tree Removal and Pruning Permit

 

Related reading:

TOWN CODE Chapter 29 – ZONING REGULATIONS ARTICLE I. – IN GENERAL  DIVISION 2. TREE PROTECTION

Los Gatos: private trees

Los Gatos: street trees

Trees, Branches, and Property Lines in Silicon Valley (older post on my Valley of Heart’s Delight blog)

 

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Mary Pope-Handy

Realtor
ABR, CIPS, CRS, SRES
Sereno Group Real Estate
214 Los Gatos-Saratoga Rd
Los Gatos, CA 95030
408 204-7673
Mary (at) PopeHandy.com
License# 01153805

Selling homes in
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and the San Jose areas of
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