The Monte Sereno real estate market

Monte Sereno Stained Glass Click HereThe 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.

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, 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:

By the end of August this small city had only 5 closed sales and 4 active listings – so take any swings in data with a grain of salt. Despite those swings, Monte Sereno appears to be showing a fair amount of stability. Inventory and turnover have calmed a hair month-over-month with active inventory way down year-over-year.

Over the last couple of months the market has calmed down. Prices fell significantly since last year, a big change from the month prior when prices were up 10% year-over-year, and that was closer to 20% or even 30% in spring. Still, with so few sales the data is likely to have been sqewed some by a few extraordinary sales.

The sales to list price ratio tends to swing wildly with so few sales, but has remained over 100% on average for months. While the average days on market were stable month-over-month, the individual sales tell a different story – only one sold in under a week, compared to July where that was a small majority of sales.

With high demand and extremely low inventory, Monte Sereno remains in a strong seller’s market with clear cooling.

 

Trends At a Glance Aug 2022 Previous Month Year-over-Year
Median Price $3,075,000 (-30.1%) $4,400,000 $4,990,000 (-38.4%)
Average Price $3,334,000 (-22.5%) $4,304,190 $5,255,830 (-36.6%)
No. of Sales (0.0%) 5 (-16.7%)
Pending (-22.2%) 9 (+40.0%)
Active (-20.0%) 5 12 (-66.7%)
Sale vs. List Price 100.4% (-7.0%) 108.0% 100.7% (-0.4%)
Days on Market 23 (0.0%) 23 61 (-63.0%)
Days of Inventory 24 (-20.0%) 30 60 (-60.0%)

MLS info pulled directly: the charts below all were pulled from MLS Listings.com

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Los Gatos real estate market trends and statistics

The Los Gatos real estate market has some mixed data points and it’s an odd time. Inventory has shrunk, sales have increased, but sales are coming it at lower prices. It’s a peculiar combination of a seller’s market but with falling prices. Los Gatos home prices are generally down 15-20% from the peak a few months ago. 

Realistic sellers are pricing their homes low and selling fast. Others are languishing. It’s a tale of two (or more) Los Gatos real estate markets. If a listing is overpriced, it simply won’t get offers close to list price.

As of today, September 8, some info on single family  homes in LG 95030 & 95032:

  • 44  single family homes are on the market in “Active” status – last month at this time it was 48 (of those, 4 are listed as “agent only, show”, and 3 are “agent only, do not show”). The agent only listings means that they are not syndicated to other websites, meaning 7 of the homes for sale will not be seen on places like Realtor.com, Zillow, or Redfin.
  • 7 houses are under contract but there are contingencies of some kind in place (could be loan, appraisal, property inspection, buyer to sell current home, seller to find a replacement home) – so those sales may not go through. It was 4 a month ago.
  • 20  houses are sale pending, no contingencies (this is a small number compared to the active listings) – it was 23 last month at my last update for this post
  • 29 houses have closed escrow in the last month, up from 19 last month. The trend had been toward a drop in sales, so this is a reversal.
  • The average sale price to list price ratio for these 29 houses was 97% (down from 100% for my August update) – this figure has been falling consistently

Multi Year Statistics: Los Gatos real estate market

Here is some multiple year over year Los Gatos real estate market data that I pulled directly from the MLS today:

Inventory

Inventory has fallen, making it a harder market for home buyers. Inventory in August is the lowest we’ve seen in recent history.

 

Los Gatos 95030 and 95032 Inventory

 

Months of inventory for Los Gatos homes for sale

If homes continue selling at the current rate, and with no new inventory added, how long would it take to sell off everything currently listed? This number tightened up significantly in August as compared to June.

 Los Gatos 95030 and 95032 months of inventory

 

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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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Los Gatos real estate market trends by price point and high school district

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 run today 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.

 

2019-2-12 Los Gatos Months of Inventory 1 - 95030 95032

 

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.

 

Los Gatos 95030 and 95032

 

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.

 

2019-2-12 Los Gatos Months of Inventory 2 - LGSUHSD

 

From last November, again, not a ton different between then and now.

 

Los Gatos 95030 95032 LG Schools

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Average & median sale prices in Los Gatos

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):

2019-5-2 Los Gatos 95030, 95032 average and median sale prices

Next, the Los Gatos Mountains (MLS area 23, zip code 95033):

2019-5-2 Los Gatos 95033 average and median sale prices

Additional market info to follow in just a few days!

Comparing the Los Gatos real estate market to others

Market comparison_ Los Gatos, Saratoga, Cupertino, and Los AltosSilicon 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.

https://sanjoserealestatelosgatoshomes.com/market-comparison-los-gatos-saratoga-cupertino-and-los-altos/

 

See also:

Cupertino real estate market trends and statistics