The City of Monte Sereno is quite small, with just about 4,000 residents, so the number of houses sold in any given month will always be extremely small.
For that reason, the data may appear to jump around wildly compared to Los Gatos or Saratoga, which each have about 30,000 people living there. Please take these statistics with a tablespoon of salt, and be sure to view the Los Gatos housing market data to get a more accurate picture of what’s happening with Monte Sereno homes (just add a little to the price tag as homes there tend to sell for a bit more than LG properties).
Also, there are only single family, detached houses in Monte Sereno: no apartments, multi unit housing (2 – 4 plex), no duet homes (attached single family homes). That will be changing soon, however, as the old La Hacienda property (formerly an estate, then a hotel and restaurant) at Hwy 9 and Austin Way will likely become incorporated into Monte Sereno and condos or townhomes built there.
Also, this month’s data will show some of the effects of the pandemic on the real estate market, but not all of it, and plenty has changed since March 2020! To learn more about how Covid-19 is affecting the local real estate market, please check Coronavirus Impact on Real Estate Sales on my other blog.
During the shutdown so far, the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) stopped the timer on all Days on Market (DOM) for a time. Therefore these numbers will be off beginning from March 17th through around May 17th, 2020. In the data below, this will affect any numbers related to the days on market, the absorption rate, and the days of inventory from those months, but current numbers should be accurate.
First up for the market analysis is the Altos Research weekly profile for Monte Sereno (uses list prices, not sales – so the median sale price here is much higher than the median sale price on the solds):
This chart shows a strong seller’s market with declining market action. Prices have been holding relatively steady, inventory is extremely low and falling, and days on market are continuing to rise.
Low inventory has been the headline story in the Los Gatos real estate market for the last year. 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 February can vary, but not by a large margin and usually sits somewhere between the mid 40s to low 50s. This February fell well below that range with only 38 active listings.
Seasonal trends for 2020 were thrown completely off after the lockdown order with inventory has been unusually consistent since March with little fluctuation, the result of which was a higher than average inventory in December and lower averages throughout the rest of the year.
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 is affecting the local real estate market today, please check Coronavirus Impact on Real Estate Sales on my other blog.
Some homeowners may be waiting until the restrictions are lifted to list their home, but seller’s willing to jump through a few hoops are benefitting from a very 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 roughly $2.5 million are selling well, averaging around 3% over list price in February. Those listed around $2.5 millions and upward are regularly selling under asking with an average of roughly 3% below list price in February. Even so, there are exceptions in both groups. Certain things can skew the data. For instance, a home in Los Gatos listed under $2.3 million took over 4 months to sell and sold around 4% below asking, while another listed around $1.9 million sold over 25% above asking in just 6 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 odd sales which aren’t comparable.
By the numbers: Of the 26 single family home sales in Los Gatos (not including the mountain market) in February on the MLS, none sold under $1 million, 5 closed under $2 million (none went below $1.5 million), 10 sold between $2 and $3 million, 7 from $3 million to $4 million, and 4 sold above $4 million with 2 in the $4 – $5 million range, 1 in the $6 – $7 million range, and 1 over $12 million! The high end price point tends to be around $3,000,000 and up for this part of Santa Clara County. 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). 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 soared from last month and last year. The number of sales and sales pending are also well above last month and last year. Active listings continue to fall short of last year, but grew month-over-month. The sales vs list price ratio cooled to 101.2%, falling short of last month and last year, although that’s likely being pulled down by the multiple luxury market sales that happened in February. Overall it’s a stable seller’s market in Los Gatos with some seasonal cooling, possibly impacted by delayed activity from earlier this year.
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.
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).
There are many factors impacting the Los Gatos real estate market, including the price point and the elementary or high school district. This post is updated every month or two. Today we’ll look at the Los Gatos realty market by pricing tiers and high school district using the months of inventory as a data point. The months of inventory, or MOI, is the currently active (for sale, no contract or pending sale) homes for sale divided by the number of homes using the same criteria which have closed escrow in the last 30 days.
These numbers were runtoday using MLSListings.com and it’s possible that a few more homes will be recorded as closed sales or new homes added to the market after I ran these numbers. One other disclaimer: sometimes the number of closed sales is very low or is at 0. This can be for many reasons. In some cases, there are a few which are sale pending and simply haven’t closed recently. In other cases, the market might actually be empty in those tiers, indicating a possible lack of demand or inventory. That being said, what do the numbers say?
Los Gatos real estate months of inventory in 95030 and 95032 combined
The overall MOI for the town as a whole with 95030 and 95032 zip codes shows a mild seller’s market, with post-summer cooling likely in what is a typical seasonal pattern. It is a bit of a mixed market when looking at the town as a whole, but less so when viewed by high school district or price point. We’ll see when the month is over, but already in many parts of Santa Clara County, the real estate market is returning to seasonal patterns with some cool pockets and some which remain hotter.
And here’s the same chart with data from last February. You can see that in mid-winter the inventory was smaller and moving slightly slower.
Looking back farther, here’s the same info for last November – the overall absorption rate isn’t much different from right now, and inventory and sales are neck-and-neck. Almost exactly a year ago, the market doesn’t look too different.
And a reference from April, when the market was red hot:
The real estate market for homes with the Los Gatos – Saratoga Joint Union High School District only
Now let’s view just the homes which are in the Los Gatos – Saratoga Joint Union High School District (or homes “in the schools” as locals say).Houses for sale with Los Gatos schools tend to be more pricey than those in neighboring school districts. This isn’t just the schools, but is also a function of being closer to downtown Los Gatos. The lowest priced homes in this area are seldom listed for less than $1 million.
Once again, we’ll compare it against last February. While the overall market is moving faster today than in February, here we can see that for homes in the Los Gatos School District were moving more quickly in winter. While the number of sales hasn’t changed much, inventory has gone up in this sector.
From last November, again, not a ton different between then and now.
My RE Report stats come out between the 5th and the 10th of each month, but I like to get a sneak peak, so crunch my own numbers some of the time. Today I wanted a window into Los Gatos real estate pricing. First, here are the average and median sale prices for the Los Gatos market in the two “in town” zip codes of 95030 and 95032 (for single family homes):
Next, the Los Gatos Mountains (MLS area 23, zip code 95033):
Additional market info to follow in just a few days!
Silicon Valley real estate market comparison: Los Gatos, Saratoga, Cupertino and Los Altos on the Valley of Heart’s Delight blog, SanJoseRealEstateLosGatosHomes.com
Today we’re looking at the real estate market for houses in some of the “west valley” communities along the base of the Santa Cruz Mountains – areas where schools are good, crime is low, residents enjoy scenic views of the hills (or of the valley from the hills, depending on the location) and overall, a highly educated population not too far from Highway 85.
Please hop on over to my Valley of Heart’s Delight blog to check out how the Los Gatos market is doing as compared to Saratoga, Cupertino, and Los Altos.
Recently 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.