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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 is currently in a seller’s market with severely low inventory, just 4 available homes at the end of January.
  • The sales to list price ratio shot up to 105.9%, rising +5.9% since the last month and +8.6% compared to last year.
  • As of today, February 15, 2024, there are 5 available Monte Sereno homes for sale (1 is Member’s Only: Show, and 1 is Member’s Only: No Show), 1 pending sale, 0 contingent sales, and 2 closed sales so far this month in Monte Sereno.

The number of houses sold in any given month will always be extremely small and the data will jump around. Checking the Los Gatos market will also help, but the best pulse on the market will come from particular sales in particular neighborhoods.

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.

January: 2 Sales

Trends At a Glance Jan 2024 Previous Month Year-over-Year
Median Price $4,314,400 (+72.6%) $2,500,000 $3,250,000 (+32.8%)
Average Price $4,314,400 (+72.6%) $2,500,000 $3,386,120 (+27.4%)
No. of Sales (+100.0%) 1 (-60.0%)
Pending (0.0%) 3 (N/A)
Active (-20.0%) 5 (+33.3%)
Sale vs. List Price 105.9% (+5.9%) 100.0% 97.4% (+8.6%)
Days on Market (-76.2%) 21 51 (-90.2%)
Days of Inventory 60 (-60.0%) 150 18 (+233.3%)

 

While the lack of sales and listings can make sales data (like price and days on market) swing wildly, we can see that the closed and pending sales are higher than the number of available listings, and sales are happening extremely quickly. When inventory and sales are this low it’s crucial to track the neighboring Los Gatos market as well, to gain a bit more insight.

 

What does it cost to live in Monte Sereno? With an average sale price of roughly $3 – $4 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

 

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See all Monte Sereno, CA Homes for Sale & Recently Sold.
(all data current as of 2/22/2024)

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

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Los Gatos real estate market statistics and trends

Los Gatos real estate market statistics and trends

Los Gatos real estate market graphic with home near downtownAs of today, February 12, 2024, the Los Gatos real estate market in 95030 & 95032 remains fairly strong, but the closed sales in January were cooler than it was a few months ago. Homes coming onto the market now that are in good shape, don’t have location issues, and are priced well are selling fast – within 2 weeks.

Across the county, first time home buyers are the most active and more entry level prices is the strongest segment.

Los Gatos real estate market statistics for the last 30 days (not a calendar month)

Numbers for today (pulled from the MLS), going back to January 12 (1 month ago):

  • 14 houses for sale today (Feb 12, 2024) (1 has a Los Gatos mailing address, not actually in the town)
  • 2 are contingent, 8 are sale pending (no contingencies) – same as last month
  • 5 have closed in the last 30 days (1 of them has a LG mailing address, isn’t actually in town)
    • average home size 1,924 SF
    • average lot size 12,877 SF
    • average days on market = 58
    • average sale price  $2,645,000
    • median sale price $2,520,000
    • average sale to list price ratio 101%

The sales since mid-February are smaller, more modest homes and don’t reflect the wider price points that we normally see in town.

Trends at a Glance from the RE Report for Los Gatos 95030 & 95032

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.

These numbers never line up exactly with the MLS figures, but the data trends line up.  The market was a little cooler in January, but the average home price rose both annually and monthly just the same.

Trends At a Glance Jan 2024 Previous Month Year-over-Year
Median Price $3,510,400 (+15.3%) $3,044,500 $3,560,000 (-1.4%)
Average Price $3,558,130 (+17.6%) $3,024,940 $3,388,160 (+5.0%)
No. of Sales (-62.5%) 16 16 (-62.5%)
Pending 17 (+88.9%) 9 (+183.3%)
Active 24 (+9.1%) 22 28 (-14.3%)
Sale vs. List Price 104.6% (+6.0%) 98.7% 100.4% (+4.2%)
Days on Market 34 (-13.4%) 39 63 (-46.7%)
Days of Inventory 120 (+190.9%) 41 53 (+128.6%)

 

 

Further below you’ll find similar charts for houses in the Los Gatos Mountains and also condos and townhomes “in town”.

Los Gatos real estate market statistics: multi year data by month

Here is some Los Gatos real estate market data that I pulled directly from the MLS today.

Inventory of available homes for sale in Los Gatos 95030 and Los Gatos 95032

A quick glance at the last few years suggests that this inventory remains low, though better than the previous two years.

 

Inventory of homes for sale in Los Gatos 95030 and 95032, MLS Area 16

 

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Biggest home seller mistakes to avoid

Biggest home seller mistakes to avoid

4 biggest home seller mistakes to avoid - keyboard and house keysThe biggest home seller mistakes tend be the most common ones. The majority of seller mistakes often boils down to not hiring a good real estate agent and simply following her or his guidance.

Biggest home seller mistakes: summary

Here are the top four “biggest home seller mistakes” in my experience.  In most cases, a good listing agent will try to avoid these, but sometimes sellers pressure their real estate agent do do it the seller’s way, cutting these essential corners or ignoring the realities of the current real estate market.

  1. Overpricing the property for sale, misunderstanding what their home is worth.
    • Not studying the market stats and believing that the data applies to their home.
  2. Going on the market unprepared:
    • Not making the home “show ready”, nicely staged, clean, bright, and professionally photographed.
    • Not making the disclosure package complete and ready with all pre-sale inspections and disclosures completed.
  3. Lack of MLS exposure and lack of listing syndication.
  4. Overly restrictive showings, sellers being present during showings, any other hurdles to buyer’s agents showing the home to their clients.

Related to #1 and #2 above, a common mistake among sellers is pressuring the listing agent to tell them what they want to hear rather than what they need to hear. Hire a good real estate agent, ask for that professional’s guidance and act on it.

 

 

Errors with over pricing

What tops the list for the biggest home seller mistakes? High pricing! All the marketing in the world cannot compensate for a price that is too high. A low price may cause problems, too, but most of the time it will generate multiple offers, overbids, and a great sale price. In most markets, it’s riskier to overprice than to under price.

When homes don’t sell within 3-4 weeks in Santa Clara County, the vast majority of the time it is due to the list price being too high for what buyers are willing or able to pay for it.
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Pricing difference for Los Gatos homes “with the schools” versus Union or Campbell schools

What is the pricing difference between homes with the Los Gatos Union School District and those with either Union Elementary School District or the Campbell union Elementary School District? It is not huge, but it is noticeable.

For this study I wanted to compare similar sized homes and lots in various parts of Los Gatos 95030 and 95032.  Extremely narrow parameters resulted in too small of a group, and I ended up using 2000 – 3000 SF houses on lots of 9,000 – 11,000 SF. There were 27 such single family homes sold in 2021, so not a large group. It is spread throughout the year since when I attempted to narrow it just to one quarter there were not enough homes.

Additionally, I wanted to look at three specific neighborhoods to check the pricing difference between them and their respective school districts as a whole. For this I selected the Old Adobe Road area in West Los Gatos, Blossom Manor with the Los Gatos Union School District, and the Belwood-Belgatos-Surmont area with the Union School District in East Los Gatos.

Here are the results of the 2021 pricing differences study (please note that homes may cost considerably more today as values are up quite a lot from last year):

2021 Los Gatos Sales by Elementary School District - pricing differences

 

Homes with Los Gatos Schools are the most expensive, followed by the homes in West LG, and then just a hair behind them are houses in East LG.

In the highest demand, as measured by the sale price to list price ratio, were the homes in Blossom Manor. That’s easy to understand because it’s a close to everything location, including Blossom Hill Elementary, Blossom Hill Park, and loads of shops, stores, coffee houses, and restaurants.

Next highest in demand for neighborhoods is the Belwood, Belgatos, and Surmont area, which offers the biggest bang for your buck in town.

What is the pricing difference for homes in these 3 school districts?

Pricing difference on a hypothetical 2300 SF house

If we use a mythical 2300 SF house, here’s how the dollars would shake out:

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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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