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 all the stats 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 become incorporated into Monte Sereno and condos or townhomes built there.
First up for the market analysis is the Altos Research weekly profile for Monte Sereno (uses list prices, not sales):
This chart shows a slight seller’s advantage in the market, which is consistent with the rest of the area.
The Los Gatos real estate market had been cooling down, but activity levels have remained up noticeably. At office meetings and with friends in the industry I still hear many stories of multiple offers and overbids. In one case, a property I was watching (near but not in LG) sold for 16% over list price. Many are surprised by the surge in buyer interest, which appears to be strongest in the lowest priced homes which are in good locations and in excellent condition (meaning recently and thoroughly remodeled).
Market upticks in December?
Throughout Santa Clara County and San Mateo County, pending sales increased dramatically in November, and the ratio between active listings and pending sales narrowed. When this happens, meaning that the absorption rate increases, prices often rise. It’s a simple case of supply and demand. Typically, supply shrinks in fall, but demand does not always shrink as much as supply. Hence, selling in autumn can be good in that the odds of selling increase. That’s good for sellers. For buyers, it may be tougher to buy due to limited choices, but prices often are a little softer in the late months of the year than they are in spring. Bottom line: if you need to buy or sell, it can happen in the last quarter of the year. Buyers cannot be too picky, though, as selection is limited. (See similar data for the Santa Clara County real estate market on the Valley of Heart’s Delight blog.)
What is selling best in LG right now?
Of the 25 closed single family home sales in December, 12 closed under $2 million (the lowest was a FHA property at $655K, with the next smallest double that at almost $1.29 mil), 9 were between $2 and $3 million, 2 between $3 and $4 mil, 1 between $4 and $5 mil, and 1 over $5 mil (and that one was close to $7 mil). The high end price point tends to be at 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.
For the houses under $3 mil, the average days on market was 66, the average list price was $1,923,066 and the average sale price less at $1,909,095. For those transactions, the average living space square footage was 2,185 SF and average lot size 22,150 SF.
Los Gatos Trends 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 will be 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 are down both year over year and month over month, but that doesn’t mean the market’s cooling. The number of sales are up from last month and last year, active listings are shrinking, and both the Days on Market and the Sales vs List Price ratio are heating up a hair since last month. Turnaround is quick and it’s an active market, but it’s still only a mild seller’s market.
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.
Sorting out the local Los Gatos real estate market can be a bit tricky, but one of the best instruments for measuring performance is the months of inventory (MOI, or absorption rate). In this article we’ll consider the MOI houses in Los Gatos 95030 and 95032 by high school district and price point, since I believe those are the two main drivers of our residential real estate market.
Also, this time I’m adding in the pending sales as an indicator of where the market is going, too – just to cover the bases! Finally, since I did a similar study the first week in November, but without the pendings, I’ll keep those below the current tables for the sake of comparison. Overall, right now we have a brisk 2 months of inventory for houses in Los Gatos. But homes in the lowest price point are selling far faster – at about 10 days of inventory!! The MOI increases very clearly with higher price points, where it becomes increasingly challenging to sell.
About six weeks earlier, it looked like this chart below -the MOI is now a lot faster (4.19 then to 2.04 now) as inventory has shrunk by about a third and sales have increased (21 to 28 now). Perhaps most striking is the change in the luxury or high end market over the last six weeks. It seems far harder to sell a luxury home now as opposed to then.
Next up – homes “in the schools” with Los Gatos High School, then those in the Leigh HS and Westmont HS attendance areas. How will these numbers stack up compared to the town as a whole?