Select Page
The Monte Sereno real estate market

The Monte Sereno real estate market

Monte Sereno Stained Glass Click Here
The City of Monte Sereno is a popular community bordering Los Gatos, Saratoga, and the Santa Cruz mountains. It’s also quite small, with just about 3,500 residents, so tracking the real estate market trends for the area can be tricky.

Info at a glance (details further below):

  • This city has been in a seller’s market with severely low inventory, just 5 available homes at the end of June, according to the RE Report (linked below).
  • The sales to list price ratio soared to 98.8%, rising a whopping +8.1% from the month prior, though it’s a hair behind last year.
  • Last month (June 2024) the MLS shows there were 6 closed sales. Of those 1 sold under $3M, 2 sold in the $4 – $5M range, 2 sold in the $5 – $6M range, and 1 sold over $12M. Of these, 3 sold over asking (101.8% – 110.2%) and  and the other 3 sold under asking (87.7% – 96.9%). Most sales took between 0-9 days on market, the +$12M sale took 73 days, and 1 of the sales under $5M took 196 days to sell (a new construction home).
  • As of today, July 18, 2024, the MLS shows that there are 9 available Monte Sereno homes for sale (of those, 2 are Member’s Only: Show and 4 are Member’s Only: No Show), 0 contingent sales, 2 pending sales, and 0 closed sale so far this month in Monte Sereno.

The number of houses sold in any given month will always be extremely small making the data tend to jump around. Checking the Los Gatos market will also help, but the best pulse on the market will come from identifying particular sales in particular neighborhoods to track relevant micro markets.

Houses make up most of Monte Sereno – there are no commercial buildings, just a post office, city hall, some churches or religious grounds, and an elementary school. There are also extremely few residential properties that are not detached single family homes. We don’t track the condo or townhomes in this area as we do in other communities because there just wouldn’t be enough (if any) data for it!

First up for the market analysis is the Altos Research weekly profile for Monte Sereno (uses list prices, not sales). This is updated automatically, so feel free to check this article weekly to see what’s happening now with list prices.

 

 

 

Below is the Monte Sereno Real Estate Report (click to view the complete Real Estate Report).

Trends at a Glance from the RE Report:

 

The number of home sales is very small in Monte Sereno. Even when there are sales, one or two outstanding properties could cause major waves in the data, so take this summary with a grain of salt.

June: 6 Sales

Trends At a Glance Jun 2024 Previous Month Year-over-Year
Median Price $5,075,000 (-43.0%) $8,900,000 $3,200,000 (+58.6%)
Average Price $5,916,670 (-33.5%) $8,900,000 $3,140,000 (+88.4%)
No. of Sales (+200.0%) 2 (+100.0%)
Pending (-100.0%) 4 (-100.0%)
Active (+25.0%) 4 (0.0%)
Sale vs. List Price 98.8% (+8.1%) 91.3% 99.8% (-1.1%)
Days on Market 48 (-22.3%) 62 23 (+106.4%)
Days of Inventory 24 (-59.7%) 60 48 (-50.0%)

 

While the lack of sales and listings can make the data in these charts swing wildly, the overall chart shows an active market within this high-end community, though ultra high-end listings are moving slower and more in the buyers favor. When inventory and sales are this low it’s crucial to track the neighboring Los Gatos market as well, to gain additional insight.

 

What does it cost to live in Monte Sereno? With an average sale price of roughly $4 – $5 million, you may wonder if anything sells that’s not in the stratosphere – can you buy an entry-level Silicon Valley home in Monte Sereno? The short answer is this: it’s not easy to find anything for under $2.5 million in Monte Sereno. Even a “fixer” often goes well above that. It can happen, although it’s rare, and the home will certainly be priced that way for a reason.

We also keep track of this market over at the Valley of Heart’s Delight blog, in addition to many other communities around Silicon Valley.

Other pricing consideration: what about schools?

Something else to be aware of is that most Monte Sereno houses are in the Los Gatos Union School District, but a small pocket of properties lies within the Campbell School District. Those with Campbell schools usually sell for a little less. Additionally, most of this city is within the 95030 zip code, but again, there’s a small pocket which is in the 95032 area.

Next, what kind of home is available to purchase in Monte Sereno now?

Click here to view Monte Sereno Homes for Sale

 

  • List View
  • Map View
  • Grid View

See all Monte Sereno, CA Homes for Sale & Recently Sold.
(all data current as of 7/20/2024)

Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Los Gatos Luxury Home Market

Los Gatos Luxury Home Market

The Los Gatos luxury home market is faring surprisingly well now, given the strange real estate market that we are currently experiencing with ultra low inventory, interest rate hikes, and the stock market being off after Fitch’s downgrade.

Earlier this year it moved around with extremely low inventory in January and an easier time selling to a whopping 13 months of inventory in March.

Some of the bouncing around is a reflection of the very low inventory and accordingly, very lo numbers of home sales. It’s important to take it with a big grain of salt. The best homes, meaning that they are in good shape, don’t have location issues, and are well priced, continue to sell in 1 – 3 weeks.

For an in-depth article about the Los Gatos real estate market generally (not just the most expensive properties), please check our linked article, which is updated monthly!

Los Gatos luxury home market months of inventory – homes listed for sale at $4 million or more

The months of inventory is the single best gauge to use in deciding how hot or cool the market is. For July 2023 it fell to 2.2 months of inventory, which is a decently warm seller’s market.

Los Gatos luxury homes market data - 95030 95032 4 mil and up months of inventory

Most of the luxury properties in Los Gatos are under $8 million, and that upper level can be much cooler than the $4 – $6 million market.

I tried to pull the same info for the Los Gatos mountains 95033, but kept getting an error message from the MLS that there were too few sales to chart meaningfully.

Altos Charts for homes listed in the top 25% or top quartile for Los Gatos 95030, 95032 and 95033

These will be automatically updated, so check back often for a quick update on the Los Gatos real estate data for this upper tier!

Median list price

(more…)

Twin Creeks neighborhood in Monte Sereno

Twin Creeks neighborhood in Monte Sereno

Twin Creeks Road near the creekThe Twin Creeks neighborhood in Monte Sereno (and a small number in Saratoga) enjoys an ideal setting away from busy commercial roads, with gently curving streets graced by creeks, an abundance of trees, and the coastal foothills as its backdrop. It’s a more rural community in that you won’t find sidewalks, curbs, gutters, or many street lamps – if any. Property in this area is impeccably presented, with nicely maintained or updated homes and often gorgeous landscaping. Both homes and land tend to be large, though not in every case.

The neighborhood does not come across as pretentious at all, although of course it is a very costly place in which to buy a home. I think it comes across as more low key because the homes seem proportionate to the land, and many are ranch style rather than something trendy. These lovely houses are in sync with the space around them, so you don’t end up with the McMansion effect. The houses are nice but do not crowd the land.

As with most of Monte Sereno, this charming neighborhood is served by the Los Gatos Union School District (or the Saratoga Union School District for the handful in Saratoga) and the Los Gatos-Saratoga Joint Union High School District.

What are properties like in the Twin Creeks area?

(more…)

Austin Corners: from Popular Resort Destination to Death Curve

In 1940 construction began to widen, straighten, and modernize Highway 9. This was eagerly welcomed by locals who hoped to ease beach traffic and to eliminate the infamous ‘Death Curve’ at Austin Corners. The project was a success and the once bustling, popular, and even notorious, Austin Corners has since become a nearly forgotten by way.

The Austin Corners Namesake

Austin Corners Map

Historic Maps from History San Jose highlighted to show DB Austin’s property of Los Gatos-Saratoga Rd and Quito. Click to go to the source of the maps.

The name Austin comes from Captain Daniel “Dan” Buckley Austin, who purchased 60 acres of land 1.25 mi from Los Gatos around 1882. By 1888 he sold all but the 2.25 acres of his parcel surrounding his home, though the area would keep his name for centuries to come.

Mr. Austin was one of the original stockholders and directors of the Los Gatos and Saratoga Wine and Fruit Company, and his property became the location for the Plant from 1885-1919. The Wine and Fruit Plant was a community effort, “built by local growers… to facilitate the processing of grapes” (LG History Research Collection) and its managers were respected members of the community, such as orchard owner Alfred Malpas and Antone Anderson. Mr. Austin did not live to see the Plant’s destruction due to prohibition in 1919.

Mr. Austin was heavily influential in the creation of a school house and a school district in this part of the county. The original Austin School District’s single room schoolhouse was built on his property in 1884, and was used until a new schoolhouse was built on the same location in 1913 at what is today 19010 Austin Way. This school district was incorporated into the Saratoga School District in the 1920s, and when the highway was straightened the old schoolhouse was raised and replaced with an Arts and Crafts style building that would be used as a nursery school for years (Saratoga History Newsletter March 2009).

A Trip to the Corner

(more…)

Creffield Heights and San Benito Avenue area

Creffield Heights and San Benito Avenue area

From from San Benito Ave next to Ashler

A charming Los Gatos neighborhood with diverse architecture in the central part of town, if not quite downtown, is the San Benito Avenue area. This neighborhood sits on a gentle hill, a bit of a ridge, and many of the homes in this section of town enjoy lovely views due to the mild elevation. Here, a small road named Creffield Heights starts at San Benito Avenue and slides back into the hill, where the far point of the road stretches into Monte Sereno before looping back into Los Gatos.

The pluses for this neighborhood are huge: proximity to downtown Los Gatos, proximity to Oak Meadow Park and Vasona Lake County Park, the scenic vistas of the hills, the diverse architecture, the well-maintained homes, the highly regarded Los Gatos schools, and much more.

The negatives are few and far between. In some areas, especially some of the streets running between San Benito and North Santa Cruz Avenue, roads are narrow and overcrowded with cars. In some areas, residents may only park on one side of the street. Another issue is the hill itself. Often with hillside properties and neighborhoods, water running off the hill, or under it until it finds level ground, can cause home owners tremendous headaches. See “What To Consider When Buying a Hillside Home in Silicon Valley

Creffield Heights

I’ve been curious about the inviting little pocket of homes for over 20 years – who could resist the signs on stucco which announce the street and neighborhood name with so much dignity? When I checked the county records, I found just 10 residences on this street (and some are flag lots), so it’s a very small community.  Two of the parcels are in the city of Monte Sereno. The home styles and ages are also all over the place, giving each home a unique charm and personality. It’s kind of a funny pocket! Even so, that area has a little more altitude, so some of the views are delightful.

San Benito Ave Area

This area is much larger and includes the Creffield Heights block. Within this neighborhood are 10 units in condo ownership (built 1981), 6 listed as duplexes (built from 1900 – 1998), and 12 Multi Family Units (built 1918 – 1998). Most of the area is occupied by over 200 single family homes built between 1900 and 2019. The average age for these homes is 62 years and the median age is 69 years old. As you might expect, homes here can vary a great deal, for instance they come in a range of 1 – 7 bedrooms, so buyers looking in this area should expect to be flexible and patient. In the past year (as of writing, March 2020) only 4 homes sold in this area and none are currently listed.

Terrain for the San Benito Avenue area

Below please find a terrain map with the very approximate neighborhood boundaries marked. The outlined and blue-filled area of the map is the greater San Benito Avenue area. The bright green marker is for the appx center of Creffield Heights, and the pale green one is where the impressive “Creffield Heights” sign and entrance may be seen (photos below in slideshow).

Photographs of the Creffield Heights and San Benito Avenue neighborhood

Please enjoy some photos I took recently, mostly on San Benito Avenue in Los Gatos

Real estate prices & homes for sale in the San Benito area

This area has so much diversity that it would be very difficult to give an estimate of what it would take to buy a home in this area. Houses vary in age, size, grandeur, condition, view, and lot size. Many smaller homes on smaller lots will sell for between $1.4 and $2 million. Large homes on large lots, perhaps will views, will sell for considerably more. Over the last year (as of March 2020) only 4 homes sold in this area. They ranged from a tiny home (under 1,000 sqft) on a good sized lot (over 6,500 sqft) for only $1,215,000 to an average sized home on a large lot (almost 7,500 sqft) at $2,210,000. This is a “low turnover” area, but homes that come to market generally sell quickly.

Below please find homes for sale by map for this area, and a list of available homes through the link. (more…)