Los Gatos real estate market for May 30, 2012

May 30, 2012

Months of Inventory for the Los Gatos Real Estate Market by School District and Price Point

The Los Gatos real estate market is “hot” overall – but not equally, and certainly not in all areas or price points!  Yesterday I crunched the numbers from my MLS to provide for you the absorption rate or months of inventory. This figure is calculated by getting the count of active listings (not under contract – some statisticians include pending sales as well) and the sales closed in the last month and dividing them.  If there are 3 homes for sale and 1 closed in the last month, you have 3 months of inventory.  What this means is simple: if no new inventory came on the market, how long, at the current rate of sales, would it be for buyers to “absorb” the current supply of inventory?  The shorter it is, the hotter the market. Five or six months is balanced.

Group One: The more affordable homes in 95030 and 95032 in Los Gatos – up to $2 million. Where it says “infinite”, that means that homes are for sale but none sold/closed escrow in the last 30 days.  Where it says N/A, no homes for sale or sold. Have a look:

Los Gatos, CA real estate market - absorption rate for houses for sales up to $2 million as of May 30, 2012 - Mary Pope-Handy, Realtor, Sereno Group, Los Gatos

What’s hot? Up to the $1.5 million point, everything in LG is hot!  The cooling starts at $1.5 mil in the part of down with Campbell or Union Schools.  For houses “in the schools”, the market remains strong up to the $2 million mark, where it changes dramatically.

How are things for the over $2,000,000 point?

Los Gatos real estate market absorption rate for houses over $2 million May 30, 2012 - Mary Pope-Handy, Sereno Group, Los Gatos.

Over $2 million, it’s anywhere from a balanced market to impossible to sell for Los Gatos houses on the market. Homes over $2 million are tough to sell if they don’t feed to Los Gatos High School.  But even properties which have LGHS as the school of attendance are challenged to sell in the upper pricing tiers.


Los Gatos Real Estate Report for April 2012 Sales

Prices are up for Los Gatos real estate sales! (Click on link for full data from my Los Gatos Real Estate Report.)

Below please find the statistics and numbers for house sales in the town of Los Gatos (95030 and 95032) which closed in the month of April. Things are looking up!


Trends At a Glance Apr 2012 Previous Month Year-over Year
Median Price $1,350,000 $1,260,500 (+7.1%) $1,344,000 (+0.4%)
Average Price $1,431,940 $1,405,640 (+1.9%) $1,479,120 (-3.2%)
No. of Sales 39 38 (+2.6%) 30 (+30.0%)
Pending Properties 54 53 (+1.9%) 47 (+14.9%)
Foreclosures Sold 3 2 (+50.0%) 0 (N/A)
Short Sales Sold 3 1 (+200.0%) 1 (+200.0%)
Active Listings 78 88 (-11.4%) 50 (+56.0%)
Sales Price vs. List Price 99.6% 100.1% (-0.6%) 96.7% (+2.9%)
Days on Market 36 35 (+2.4%) 61 (-41.3%)

Los Gatos condominium & townhouse sales (click on link for more info)

Improvement month over month, but year over year the numbers are still down.

Trends At a Glance Apr 2012 Previous Month Year-over Year
Median Price $616,000 $565,000 (+9.0%) $715,000 (-13.8%)
Average Price $596,557 $590,294 (+1.1%) $768,500 (-22.4%)
No. of Sales 11 17 (-35.3%) 5 (+120.0%)
Pending Properties 21 15 (+40.0%) 13 (+61.5%)
Foreclosures Sold 2 2 (0.0%) 1 (+100.0%)
Short Sales Sold 1 2 (-50.0%) 0 (N/A)
Active Listings 11 20 (-45.0%) 40 (-72.5%)
Sales Price vs. List Price 98.1% 96.8% (+1.3%) 97.4% (+0.7%)
Days on Market 63 78 (-19.3%) 108 (-41.6%)

The Los Gatos Mountains 

Softer prices prevail in the mountains….

Trends At a Glance Apr 2012 Previous Month Year-over Year
Median Price $662,500 $678,000 (-2.3%) $715,000 (-7.3%)
Average Price $589,750 $651,484 (-9.5%) $683,750 (-13.7%)
No. of Sales 4 8 (-50.0%) 4 (0.0%)
Pending Properties 16 8 (+100.0%) 7 (+128.6%)
Foreclosures Sold 0 1 (-100.0%) 0 (N/A)
Short Sales Sold 0 1 (-100.0%) 0 (N/A)
Active Listings 31 32 (-3.1%) 21 (+47.6%)
Sales Price vs. List Price 91.6% 99.6% (-8.1%) 93.6% (-2.1%)
Days on Market 190 90 (+112.0%) 144 (+32.2%)


Los Gatos Real Estate Market Update for July 2010

August 05, 2010

The Los Gatos real estate market cooled a bit in July after having a little improvement in the market in June. Sales fell 19.5% from the month before (up 13.8% year-over-year).

Prices slipped in July 2010 with the median sales price for Los Gatos houses dipping 1.6% from the previous month (up 7.0% compared to last year). The average price fell 1.2% in July, a yearly gain of 1.5%.  The low point of the market appears to have been in 2009, so anyone waiting for the best prices in Los Gatos may have missed that point already. 

Inventory fell 2.3% from last month, and was down 5% year-over-year.

Here are the numbers at a glance for houses in Los Gatos:

Trends At a Glance Jul 2010 Previous Month Year-over Year
Median Price $1,230,000 $1,250,000 (-1.6%) $1,150,000 (+7.0%)
Average Price $1,332,280 $1,348,340 (-1.2%) $1,312,410 (+1.5%)
No. of Sales 33 41 (-19.5%) 29 (+13.8%)
Pending Properties 53 62 (-14.5%) 36 (+47.2%)
Active 157 153 (+2.6%) 185 (-15.1%)
Sale vs. List Price 98.8% 96.8% (+2.1%) 96.1% (+2.8%)
Days on Market 36 47 (-21.8%) 62 (-41.7%)

For the Los Gatos condo market, it’s been rougher.

  • Sales fell 9.1% from the month before, and were up 25.0% year-over-year.
  • Prices slipped in Jul 2010 with the median price dipping 9.1% from the previous month, up 12.4% compared to last year. The average price fell 1.8%, a yearly gain of 15.1%.
  • Inventory fell 8.3% from last month, and was down 16.7% year-over-year

And the numbers at a glance for condos:

Trends At a Glance Jul 2010 Previous Month Year-over Year
Median Price $582,000 $640,000 (-9.1%) $518,000 (+12.4%)
Average Price $615,345 $626,625 (-1.8%) $534,806 (+15.1%)
No. of Sales 10 11 (-9.1%) 8 (+25.0%)
Pending Properties
5 8 (-37.5%) 13 (-61.5%)
Active 50 52 (-3.8%) 53 (-5.7%)
Sale vs. List Price 96.0% 97.3% (-1.3%) 99.2% (-3.2%)
Days on Market 80 109 (-26.6%) 86 (-6.5%)


Here are some countywide facts on the real estate market:

  • The number of sales fell 6.6% from the month before, and were down 22.7% year-over-year.
  • Prices slipped in Jul 2010 with the median price dipping 1.1% from the previous month, up 9.5% compared to last year. The average price rose 2.4%, a yearly gain of 13.8%. (Condo prices slipped more, in the 2-4% range.) 2009 appears to have been the bottom of the market.
  • Inventory rose 0.9% from last month, and was down 13.5% year-over-year.
  • The list price to sales price ratio slipped slightly but is close to 100% – so we are seeing lower list prices as well as lower sales prices.

Please visit my comprehensive on-line report for Santa Clara County, which includes market data by city and area within the county (for instance, the market for houses or condos in Cambrian, Willow Glen, Almaden, Monte Sereno, Saratoga etc.).

 You can read the full report here: http://popehandy.rereport.com , you may have to cut and paste this address into your browser address bar, or, you can just Click here.

There is also a 4 page printable version with more articles here: http://rereport.com/scc/print/Mary.PopeHandySCC.pdf , you may have to cut and paste this address into your browser address bar, or, you can just Click here.

As always, please contact me for information specific to your home & neighborhood.

Los Gatos Real Estate Market 95030 and 95032 Update June 2010

June 06, 2010

The Los Gatos real estate market varies between the price points, areas, school districts and zip codes (and, where present, sale type – regular sale vs short sale or bank owned home).   Today we’ll update the market info for the homes for sale in Los Gatos (houses and duet homes, not the condo or townhome market).

First, here’s some data from my RE Report subscription for May sales in Los Gatos. (You can see the whole online report here.)   To get the months of inventory or absorption rate, simply divide the active listings by the solds in the month – so 156/29 = 5.37 months of inventory for Los Gatos.  It is just slightly inside the definition for being a seller’s market (6 months is balanced, less is a seller’s market and more is a buyer’s market). It is close to a balanced market in Los Gatos overall.

Trends At a Glance May 2010 Previous Month Year-over Year
Median Price $1,231,150 $1,275,000 (-3.4%) $1,012,000 (+21.7%)
Average Price $1,416,700 $1,333,370 (+6.2%) $1,111,280 (+27.5%)
No. of Sales 29 29 (0.0%) 20 (+45.0%)
Pending Properties 62 60 (+3.3%) 37 (+67.6%)
Active 156 130 (+20.0%) 160 (-2.5%)
Sale vs. List Price 97.5% 96.6% (+0.9%) 95.6% (+2.1%)
Days on Market 46 70 (-35.0%) 55 (-16.6%)

Next, we’ll break it down a little:  a look at the Los Gatos real estate market this week by zip code and price quartile for houses (and duet homes) – not condos or townhomes. Data from Altos Research, to which I have a subscription.  (You can get a weekly report for Los Gatos by zip code sent to you automatically….just email me and ask and I’ll set you up to receive it on auto-pilot.)

Let’s start with the numbers for the Los Gatos 95030 zip code area by price quartile.  Median price here refers to the median LIST price, not sold price. The quartiles each reference 25% of the market. The first quartile is the most expensive segment and the 4th is the least. What I find really helpful with this view is what size of home your money can buy and on what lot size.

Los Gatos, CA 95030 Real Estate Market Trends at a glance by price quartile June 6 2010
Please remember that these numbers mostly reflect listings, not sales.  If you just look at the days on market, it appears that the 95030 market is much better than the 95032 market.  But that is not really true.  More than half of Los Gatos is in the 95030 area but note the number of homes absorbed – just 3!  In the same time, though, for 95032 there were 19 homes absorbed.  So while the DOM is longer in 95032, homes are actually selling better in that part of town than in 95030! (My hunch is that it’s because of two things: first, homes in 95032 tend to be more affordable and second, there are more short sales available in 95032 so they are getting scooped up at a faster rate than regular sales.)

Let’s next look at pricing trends by Los Gatos zip code next.  First is the 95030 zip code area of Los Gatos with the median list prices for the last year.  Hurt the most is the luxury market.

Median list price of homes for sale in Los Gatos 95030

Same info but for the 95032 part of town – the median list price of houses for sale in Los Gatos, CA 95032:

Lastly, a look at the trend for “days on market” (DOM) of homes for sale in Los Gatos over the last year.  Has it gotten harder or easier to sell in the last 12 months in 95030 and 95032?

Average Days on Market for houses for sale in Los Gatos, CA 95030

For this part of Los Gatos, which tends to be the most expensive part of town, the DOM was rising until about March for all price points, then suddenly began to fall.  A market reversal?

In the 95032 part of town, here’s how the DOM looks over the last year:

Interestingly, the days on market for 95032 has seemed to be a lot less volatile with one exception: the most expensive homes in the 95032 zip code.  As a group, the DOM for 95032 is longer now than a year ago, which is also true for the 95030 part of town.  the recent movement has been downward, though, and this also changed starting at about March 1st for most parts of town.

Overall, it is close to a balanced market in Los Gatos.  Depending on the price point, zip code, school district and more, it could be a “hot seller’s market” or a “cold buyer’s market”.  If you are buying or selling a home in Los Gatos, it is very important to drill down to the micro-market that applies to your home to understand how to price your home to sell or how to structure your offer price to buy.

Feel free to shoot me an email or call me to chat about your buying & selling plans.  Please also check out my Valley of Heart’s Delight blog for comparative market info.

Thanks for reading,

408 204-7673
mary (at) popehandy.com

A New Home for Mary: Sereno Group Real Estate

January 12, 2010

Sereno Group Real Estate, 214 Los Gatos-Saratoga Road, Los Gatos, CA 95030Dear Live in Los Gatos blog readers,

At the end of December, I joined Sereno Group Real Estate and am now happily settled in at the Los Gatos office (214 Los Gatos – Saratoga Road, Los Gatos, CA 95030).

I’m very, very excited & happy to be a part of Sereno Group, which has a fabulous team of high-producing Realtors, many of whom are friends of mine whom I’ve known since my first days as a new licensee in February of 1993.

Sereno is locally owned and enjoys great community ties, the highest professional standards and superior tools (such as an in-house marketing person to create wonderful print pieces).  There are offices in Los Gatos, Saratoga, Los Altos, and Santa Cruz (as of next month).


Is Now a Good Time to Buy or Sell a Home in Los Gatos?

January 04, 2008

Is January a good month to list your home, or to make an offer on one, in Los Gatos? When is the best time to buy or sell?

In auto sales, it’s said that making an offer on a car the last day of the month, especially if it is a rainy, “slow day”, can result in a good bargain. Is that true in buying a house in Los Gatos too?

Auto sales and real estate sales are not the same, but they can respond to the same economic factors, among others. Predictions for 2008 are very mixed. The weather, though, also impacts sales in both areas.

What about the weather? As I type this, it’s pouring rain, the wind is howling and my power here in Belwood has browned out 3 times in the last 2 minutes. This is not the kind of weather that brings most buyers out to shop! So competition will be less for the best homes. Interest rates, too, often rise in mid-February as demand increases. There’s not a ton of inventory at the moment, but it’s very possible that the “best deal of the year” for getting that condo, townhome or house here in the west valley will be had right now.

No one can say with any certainty whether the realty market will be more or less favorable in a month, but I would say to buyers who are serious about purchasing a home this year: do look now. If you see a home you like, make an offer. And sellers, most of your competition will wait for fairer days. Right now, that’s not much of an issue.

What’s the inventory? And sellers, is this a good time for you? Right now,inventory is low: there are exactly 95 single family homes that are on the market in the 95030 and 95032 zip codes. There are just 22 condominiums or townhouses in the same parts of town. Winter is not usually known as the best season to sell, but there is also far less competition now than there might be later in the year. And buyers who come out to view homes in the middle of January’s weather are usually very serious about writing a contract to purchase a house.

What about pricing? Home sales have been plummeting for 34 solid months. Most homes in most parts of Silicon Valley are not selling. (Believe it or not, even in a hot sellers market, not all homes sell. A percentage are always overpriced, in poor condition, or marketed so badly that they do not procure an offer that goes through.) Los Gatos, and neighboring Monte Sereno, Saratoga, and Almaden Valley, are stronger than many parts of the valley – in large part because of the quality of life in these areas, the low crime, the well-kept neighborhoods, and the great school scores. Those factors make some areas desirable in any market. So while you might find a foreclosure emporium in some parts of Santa Clara County, you won’t find it in this part of the Valley of Heart’s Delight! Short sales and foreclosures pull prices down, perhaps by as much as 10 percent, in areas where those occur. But prices in the town of Los Gatos and the lovely areas adjacent are continuing to rise.

The future of real estate sales in Silicon Valley is a bit uncertain for this new year, perhaps especially since it is an election year. We truly don’t know how long the sales slump here will last. If homeowners need to sell, it is probably best to get the home on the market sooner rather than later since the competition is not very great at the moment. Buyers can gain on this market now by purchasing when no one else is looking and while interest rates are good and before prices rise any more. (I have often heard buyers say “I’m waiting for prices to go down” but in most markets within Los Gatos, they are simply not falling.)

“The Market” is a broad term, and really even within our fair town, there are micro-markets from east Los Gatos to downtown to the areas bordering Monte Sereno, and that is also true as relating to school districts and price points.

Right now – even with this inclement weather – can be a great time to buy and sell in Los Gatos or anywhere in the west valley areas of Silicon Valley.

Please call or email me if you’d like to discuss your particular circumstances.

Best regards,

Comcast Didn't Deliver in Los Gatos, So I Went to the Bar…

November 05, 2007

Enjoyed a Stella Beer at Double D's in Los Gatos...Going to a bar alone is really out of my comfort level, but even more so when I’m not even meeting someone there.

But that’s exactly what I did yesterday, and it’s Comcast’s fault.

Why? Because Comcast did not broadcast the NFL “Game of the Century” – the Patriots vs. the Colts. Last week I saw a (national) television ad that it would be shown. Being played at Indy, the game was on yesterday afternoon starting at 1:15pm local time.

But when I looked at the television listings for Sunday, I was shocked and appalled that this incredibly significant game wasn’t listed as being televised. We’re talking about the game between arch rivals. The game where both went into it undefeated this season, 8-0.

I just wanted to watch the Patriots on television at home, but Comcast did not broadcast it west of the RockiesI did what any paying customer would do: I phoned Comcast. “Can I upgrade the sports package and watch the game?” I asked, rather than complaining. “No, ma’am, Comcast isn’t showing that game west of the Rockies.”

Incredible. Obviously, I should have satellite television instead of Comcast if I’m going to live in Los Gatos…or apparently anywhere “west of the Rockies”.

closeup of my Pats hatPerhaps I should explain why I’m a passionate Pats fan while living in Niners (and Raiders) country. The quarterback, Tom Brady, who hails from nearby San Mateo, is my second cousin. I always liked football – I think I attended every Saratoga High and Bellarmine College Prep game when I was a teenager. (My college, Gonzaga University, didn’t do football. Basketball was – and is – king in Spokane.) I didn’t grow up watching the Niners or Raiders except occassionally on t.v. But when you have a cousin on the field, it changes everything. Or, as I like to say, “blood is thicker than geography”. (We have loads of other family in the area too, including my sibs and their families and other cousins.)

Anyway, all of this to say that we’re Patriots fans and I watch any Pats game that Comcast will deign to put on the air. I was certain that the Patriots vs the Colts game would be aired – heck, I saw the ad on TV that asserted it would!

No dice.

Double D's in Los Gatos is a fantastic sports barThe only alternative was to go to a sports bar. Happily, in Los Gatos we have a wonderful one, Double D’s. I phoned them one minute after they opened to ask if they’d be showing the game. “All over!” the gal reassured me.

My husband and kids weren’t able to go with me. I tried calling one friend to see if she’d go – she would have but was in southern California with her mom, who’d been ill. Most of my other friends really don’t watch football games on television. Since I was sure the game would be on tv, I just hadn’t planned out going to a bar to catch a little football.

Packed house at Double D's sports bar in Los Gatos to watch the Patriots vs Colts on Sunday November 4 2007 (photo taken with Palm Treo 700)I went alone to Double D’s to watch at least part of the game. The place was packed!! Saw the first half – the Pats were trailing as it went into the halftime show and it had been hard-fought to that point. I enjoyed a beer and a burger and watched some great football on a huge, super clear screen. Only problem for me was that I don’t know all the refs’ hand signals and there was such an enthusiastic crowd at Double D’s that it was difficult to hear anything.

For that and a lot of other reasons, I still prefer watching the game at home. But I was thankful to be able to see it at all.

I had been sitting next to a guy named Oscar who was sporting a # 12 shirt (and who told me that for Halloween he “was” Tom Brady) and told him as I left at halftime, “they have often come from behind in the second half, and I bet they do it today”.

Back at home, there were things I had to do but I kept my computer logged in to NFL.com, where at least I could follow the score and read the plays, if not see what was going on. The fourth quarter was wild. My teens were attempting to finish the weekend’s homework load but I updated them on the game fairly frequently. What an upset! The Patriots charged back in the last quarter, reversing the lead and winning 24-20 there on the Indy homefield.

Congrats, Patriots! I knew you could pull it off!

Thank you, Double D’s, for showing this game. Obviously a whole lot of other folks wanted to see it “west of the Rockies” too.

And Comcast? Today I’m going to see what it costs to install satellite television. . . .


Double D’s is located in downtown Los Gatos at the corner of Highway 9 and North Santa Cruz Avenue, just off Highway 17. The parking lot there is small but there’s tons of free public parking between University Avenue and North Santa Cruz Avenue.

354 N Santa Cruz Avenue
Los Gatos, CA 95030
Phone: (408) 395-6882
Fax: (408) 395-8402

As with other blog posts highlighting local businesses in Los Gatos, this is not a paid post but again this blogger’s positive experience with a locally run place.

Thank You, Los Gatos!

August 02, 2007

Frances Flynn Thorsen and Mary Pope-Handy win the Project Blogger Contest at Bloggers Connect on Aug 1, 2007This week I’ve been a little quiet on the blog posting as I’ve had company and spent some time in San Francisco at Blogger’s Connect. You may know that I was involved in a blogging contest, Project Blogger. On Wednesday the tallying of the points was done, and my mentor, Frances Flynn Thorsen, and I won. The neat thing is that $5000 will go to a fabulous charity, CARE (helping to fight poverty and hunger around the globe). Fran and Joeann Fossland have both been championing the work of CARE through the Web Women Giving Circle.

Mary Pope-Handy wins Project Blogger Contest with the mentorship of Frances Flynn Thorsen and blogging about living in Los GatosWhen I was at some of the events, a few of my fellow bloggers (and coaches) told me how lucky I was to be able to blog about our wonderful town, Los Gatos. And they’re right. If I’m enthusiastic about living here, it’s because we really are blessed with living in a fanstastic place, rich in history, art, culture, scenic beauty, smart and interesting people, and on and on.

Since the contest was sponsored by Inman News and Active Rain, I’ve blogged about the last few days a little on the Active Rain forum (though not about the contest, or CARE, just yet). Just before the contest results were announced, I got to meet some of the other apprentices and coaches and have some R & R with them, both in groups small and large. If you’re interested, here are the links to those posts:

Project Blogger apprentices Kevin Tomlinson, Mary Pope-Handy and Tisza Major-Posner have fun in San Francisco I am trying to get some of these done as a “recap”

http://activerain.com/blogsview/163353/Fun-With-Tisza (fun with Tisza, in Los Gatos and Santa Cruz)

http://activerain.com/blogsview/163451/The-Fun-Continues-Picking (picking up Kevin at SFO)

http://activerain.com/blogsview/163513/Bloggers-Between-Beer-and (beer event for Bloggers Connect)

So Project Blogger is over, the pressure is off, but Los Gatos continues to be a wonderfully intriguing place to live. Look for many, many more posts about our wonderful corner of Silicon Valley here on “Live in Los Gatos:.