Los Gatos condo sales: what does your money buy?

Los Gatos condo sales are good to watch as it provides info on the most affordable segment of the local real estate market. The condo / townhome market in Los Gatos includes a broad spectrum of housing and affordability across the 95030 and 95032 zip codes and its various school districts.

Included are senior condominiums (mostly but not exclusively at the Los Gatos Commons), which are usually the lowest priced homes and which are residences with age restrictions (mostly 55+). This can skew the data a little, so remember that if it looks too good to be true, it probably is (for all the non-seniors who would love the prices at the Commons in a non seniors complex).

Also incorporated in the chart below are townhouses. A townhouse is an architectural style, not a type of ownership. A townhouse really refers to properties with no other units above or below them. They are either in condo style ownership (essentially a condominium in the shape of a townhouse) or they are planned unit developments (PUDs), which are not condos and in which the ownership includes the land under the unit.  (See also: Is that Los Gatos house or townhouse actually a condo? on this blog.)

Chart of Los Gatos condo sales in 2020

Below please find data on the Los Gatos 95030 and 95032 condominium and townhome sales.

 

Los Gatos condo sales in 2020 year to date

 

How do these condo and townhome prices compare to other nearby areas? Here’s the most recent data from my RE Report (link is to the main site, the PDF with this chart is listed in left column).

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Pricing difference for Los Gatos homes “with the schools” versus Union or Campbell schools

Alta Vista School SignRecently I have noticed a couple of very high sales prices for properties in east Los Gatos with Union Schools, especially Alta Vista, Carlton, and Noddin schools.  It should be noted that ALL of the elementary and middle schools throughout Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, and the Los Gatos Mountains are very strong and can boast excellent school test scores, notably good parental involvement, and pleasant campuses. Even so, homes closest to downtown Los Gatos and with the Los Gatos Union School District have always sold for a noticeable amount more than those outside of that area. Often the delta is 10-20%, but it can very a lot.  On a couple of occasions recently, though, it seemed like at least some homes selling in the Union or Campbell schools are were gleaning prices more typically seen closer to downtown.

So I started to wonder – Is the gap between the two major areas (in the schools / not in the schools) shrinking?   Let’s see by running the numbers in the MLS for one or two segments of the market.

Multiple Listing Service study criteria:

The search I created was for houses in Los Gatos (not Monte Sereno or San Jose on the border),  zip codes 95030, 95032 (sorry, Los Gatos Mountains not included in this study); home age 20-60 years, lot size 6,000 to 10,000 SF.  These are “normal homes” and not luxury or estate properties, of course.

Los Gatos 95030 and 95032 with Los Gatos Union School District
# of Listings:  9     AVG VALUES:  age: 34  years       days on market:  28   size of home:  1,798 SF  size of lot: 6,342   price per SF: $901.94
average list price:  $1,472,872    average sale price:  $1,480,000

Los Gatos 95030 and 95032 with Union School District or Campbell Union School District
#  of Listings: 15    AVG VALUES:  age: 49 years      days on market:  22    size of home: 1,912 SF  size of lot: 8,416  SF  price per SF:  $712.23
average list price:  $1,245,033     average sale price:  $1,297,700

As you can see, it’s not really wise to use just “price per square foot” to compare these areas, because the age of the property and the lot size are significantly different.    I approached it also by trying to target just the sale price at about $1.5 million, but the data was so limited that I could not exclude newer homes or smaller parcels.  So let’s see what you can get in these two areas for that amount, or close to it.

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