Real Estate Market
December 05, 2009
The Silicon Valley Real Estate Report, including data for Los Gatos homes for sale and sold in November, is now ready. Below please find a summary for the key points and a link to view the entire report.
The Los Gatos condo and townhouse market had been improving in months prior but seems to have suffered a little setback in November:
|Trends At a Glance||Nov 2009||Previous Month||Year-over Year|
|Median Price||$573,500||$644,000 (-10.9%)||$536,250 (+6.9%)|
|Average Price||$560,394||$652,136 (-14.1%)||$570,625 (-1.8%)|
|No. of Sales||8||11 (-27.3%)||4 (+100.0%)|
|Pending Properties||12||18 (-33.3%)||4 (+200.0%)|
|Active||39||37 (+5.4%)||42 (-7.1%)|
|Sale vs. List Price||96.5%||97.1% (-0.6%)||92.6% (+4.3%)|
|Days on Market||95||99 (-4.5%)||77 (+24.2%)|
Click the following link to see the whole online report for Los Gatos townhomes and condominiums.
For the Los Gatos single family home market, there’s noticeable improvement. Inventory is declining, prices are nudging up from earlier this year (and also from a year ago in many parts of the local market). The trend appears to be moving toward a more balanced market overall. There remain some mixed indicators, though – hinting that the recovery is not happening uniformly across all price points, neighborhoods, etc.
|Trends At a Glance||Nov 2009||Previous Month||Year-over Year|
|Median Price||$1,360,000||$1,110,000 (+22.5%)||$1,060,000 (+28.3%)|
|Average Price||$1,412,730||$1,182,290 (+19.5%)||$2,025,000 (-30.2%)|
|No. of Sales||31||25 (+24.0%)||9 (+244.4%)|
|Pending Properties||50||51 (-2.0%)||20 (+150.0%)|
|Active||118||134 (-11.9%)||195 (-39.5%)|
|Sale vs. List Price||96.2%||96.2% (0.0%)||94.6% (+1.8%)|
|Days on Market||63||52 (+20.0%)||36 (+73.1%)|
To read the entire report online, please click on the following link to visit my Real Estate Report for Los Gatos houses and estates.
General Comments for the real estate market in Santa Clara County
For San Jose, Saratoga, Monte Sereno, and the rest of Santa Clara County, please visit www.popehandy.rereport.com and pull the specific area that interests you (for districts within San Jose, please first select the city of San Jose, then choose Cambrian Park, Almaden Valley, etc.)
Please contact me for assistance with your particular situation & area.
October 16, 2009
As readers of this blog know, Los Gatos is full of micro-markets, and that can make generalizations about how the “Los Gatos real estate market” is doing a bit skewed. So whatever you read online, or hear about in your neighborhood or from friends, do take with a grain of salt since your home may or not be similar to whatever other home you’re hearing about in terms of how it might sell (or if you’re a buyer, the home you may want to purchase may be different….).
Disclaimer aside, I did a few minutes of data-collecting on MLSListings just now for single family homes (houses or attached/duet homes, but not condos or townhomes) in the town of Los Gatos (not Monte Sereno, but LG with zip codes 95032 and 95030). It appears that the general trend continues: the most affordable Los Gatos homes, generally, are selling fairly well.
What I did was run the numbers (agents: using the “preview” button on REIL), then simply added two other criteria: high school district (Saratoga-Los Gatos High School District and Campbell Union High School District) and then list price of up to $1.5 million. Then I figured out the absorption rate, or the months of inventory (MOI). The solds are homes which have closed in the last month.
Where the MOI is greater than 6, it is a buyer’s market, and where it’s under 6 it is a seller’s market – six months is considered a “balanced” market.
So, looking at the first set, for Los Gatos overall the absorption rate is 5.6 months – or very close to a balanced market. But we know that some areas and price points are selling much slower than others. Surprisingly, when all of Los Gatos with “the schools” are considered, the MOI is 7.7. Given that it feels like entry level homes in that part of town feel like they’re flying off the market, this doesn’t sound right. So look at the second group of numbers, where the price range is limited to those under 1.5 million. We can see that there are only 39 such homes for sale now (vs 101 for all price points) and the MOI is a brisk 3.55. That makes sense. So what’s slower are the more expensive homes, generally. Entry level homes in the schools are selling at a healthy pace.
Interestingly, homes in the Campbell Union High School District are faring even better – and the data is inverted, slightly, as to where the sweeter spot of the market lies. For these homes, those under 1.5 mil are going at a quick 2.4 months of inventory. The market as a whole for Los Gatos houses for sale in this area is lower still, though – 2.23. That demonstrates that the market is even faster in the higher priced homes. My belief is that this is the case because those homes – high end homes in the CUHSD – have taken a bigger hit on pricing and buyers are responding. Cannot prove it in this brief blog post entry, though, but that’s my (hopefully educated) hunch.
What about your neighborhood, or where you’d like to buy? Get hyper local when you think about how “the market” is. Feel free to visit my Los Gatos Real Estate Report and see local sales in your neighborhood. Make it more precise by indating the beds/baths you want to consider, and how far out (in a radius) you’d like to see the comps, or how far back in time. Best part: you don’t have to register, you don’t have to leave a footprint. (Your search is not saved on my site, so I will not be showing up on your front porch!) Or call or email me for a confidential, no obligation, no-pressure consultation.
June 26, 2009
In addition to doing a post comparing Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, and Saratoga today, I also did one on just the Monte Sereno real estate market in my other blog at ValleyOfHeartsDelight.com. If you are tracking the Monte Sereno housing market, please have a look at this article, which discusses the days on market, inventory level, percentage of homes relisting, and pricing trends. Find it on the ValleyOfHeartsDelight.com site or click directly on this link:
June 12, 2009
As noted many times in this blog about Los Gatos real estate, the market is varied from one price point and school district, among other things, to the next.
The homes in the lowest price points and “in the schools” seem to be selling faster. For today’s view into the market, let’s consider homes in Los Gatos, with Los Gatos Schools, with 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, priced at under $1,500,000.
The days on market or “DOM” for all pendings is a misleading number of almost 100 days. If the average DOM is 100, buyers can take their time, right?
But let’s have a closer look and sort the results. If we pull the data apart by the date of the sale (when buyers and sellers agreed on price and terms), a different picture of the market emerges. The average DOM now is 1/3 of what it was for the current pendings PRIOR to June 1st!
|Street Address||Bldg SqFt||DOM||Pend Date|
|NEW YORK AV||1890||95||6/5/2009|
|GOLF LINKS DR||3200||20||6/4/2009|
|LAS MIRADAS DR||1300||12||5/30/2009|
|LA CANADA CT||1150||35||5/29/2009|
|LAS MIRADAS DR||1820||135||5/28/2009|
|LOMA ALTA AV||1496||42||5/12/2009|
|CERRO VISTA DR||1706||18||5/9/2009|
|LOMA ALTA AV||1450||249||4/29/2009|
|GARDEN HILL DR||2016||17||4/24/2009|
|Av DOM all pendings||99.96|
|Av DOM since 6-1||41.44|
|Ave DOM before 6-1||130.94|
While some homes are not selling too fast, the pace appears to be quickening dramatically. It may be awhile before this is seen in the sold data, but it’s very much a “real time” snapshot of the market activity now.
Sellers, if you get your home into great shape and price it aggressively, you may be able to sell your home so fast that it will shock your neighbors.
Buyers, if you are trying to purchase a home that falls into this segment, it’s important to see homes that interest you quickly now, since they may not last a week or two.
If you’d like more information on data pertaining to your home or the type of home you’d like to buy, please contact me. We can set up a meeting and go over the information that matches your own situation.
(Numbers by our MLS, MLSListings.com. Data exported, sorted and crunched by Mary Pope-Handy.)
June 05, 2009
Countywide, prices are marching upward! It is a HOT seller’s market in the lower price ranges of Silicon Valley, especially if a home is not a distressed sale. Rising prices bring a cooler market in most areas and price points, though.
Los Gatos is a mixed bag too. Lower priced homes “in the schools” are selling nicely. Although it’s more challenging to sell higher priced homes, there are quite a few homes over $2,000,000 which are sale pending.
Below please find a snapshot of the statistics for closed sales of single family homes in Los Gatos for May 2009:
|Trends At a Glance||May 2009||Previous Month||Year-over Year|
|Median Price||$1,012,000||$955,000 (+6.0%)||$1,377,500 (-26.5%)|
|Average Price||$1,111,280||$1,035,330 (+7.3%)||$1,438,880 (-22.8%)|
|No. of Sales||20||25 (-20.0%)||36 (-44.4%)|
|Pending Properties||37||26 (+42.3%)||37 (0.0%)|
|Active||160||170 (-5.9%)||163 (-1.8%)|
|Sale vs. List Price||95.6%||95.0% (+0.5%)||97.5% (-2.0%)|
|Days on Market||55||54 (+0.7%)||27 (+104.8%)|
To get the whole story on Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, Saratoga, San Jose and all of Santa Clara County, both condos or townhomes and houses, please visit my online Real Estate Report:
Los Gatos real estate for May 2009
Monte Sereno real estate for May 2009
Saratoga, CA real estate for May 2009
Cambrian Park real estate for May 2009
Almaden Valley real estate for May 2009
Cupertino real estate for May 2009
As always, please remember that the market really is a collection of smaller markets. What’s happening in one part of town or price range may not be happening in your home’s area or price point. Please contact me for assistance in understanding the market you’re most interested in.
April 10, 2009
The Silicon Valley real estate market is picking up, but we are primarily seeing that in entry level housing in more affordable areas of San Jose such as Cambrian Park, Blossom Valley, and South San Jose. In Los Gatos, Monte Sereno and Saratoga, it’s still a tough time for selling a home.
Luxury condos have been hard hit too since people who could buy an upscale townhouse may instead opt to simply buy a house in a less expensive area.
Below please find a graph displaying the aborption rate of both single family homes (houses) and condominiums and townhouses in Los Gatos. This measurement is the relationship between available inventory and homes which sold and closed escrow that month. (For instance, in March in Monte Sereno, there were 36 homes for sale and just one closed escrow – my listing on Francesca Court – so that makes for 36 “months of inventory”.)
Six months of inventory is considered neutral. Less than six months is a sellers market. More is a buyers market. As you can see, we have been in a deep buyers market in Los Gatos for awhile.
What is the opportunity here? This is actually a great time for people to “move up” because the lowest priced homes are moving and the higher priced homes are a bit stalled out.
If you would like more data, I invite you to visit my Silicon Valley Real Estate Report online to get all the stats available for Santa Clara County. Below, please find a few quick links:
Market data and statistics for:
- Los Gatos condos and townhomes
- Los Gatos single family homes (houses)
- Monte Sereno homes (no condos)
- Saratoga condominiums and townhouses
- Saratoga houses (single family homes)
- Cambrian Park condos and townhomes
- Cambrian Park single family homes
And many more areas: Almaden Valley, Campbell, Santa Clara, Cupertino, Willow Glen, and all of the cities and areas in Santa Clara County.
Please contact me if you’d like more information on your particular circumstances, whether buying or selling here in Silicon Valley. I’d be happy to talk with you.
January 12, 2009
The real estate sales numbers are in for Los Gatos, Saratoga, Monte Sereno, San Jose and all of Silicon Valley for December 2008 and for the year as a whole.
Santa Clara County Real Estate Report for 2008 (annual report – you may also find on this site the annual reports for Los Gatos, the Los Gatos Mountains, Campbell, Saratoga, etc. as well as quarterly reports and monthly reports – monthly report links found at the bottom of this post).
You already know that things have been bad: money’s hard to borrow, homes are hard to sell, jobs seem to be threatened.
There was some good news to be found, though.
- Home sales increased in the second half of 2008, and we expect that to continue
- By the end of 2008, the number of sales were up year-over-year from 2007
- Prices are down – in some areas prices have “rolled back” two to three years. In other places, it’s closer to four years. This is good news for buyers!
- If your downpayment is strong and credit is great you can get a loan and the news for you is great: interest rates are very, very attractive now! FHA loans are reappearing! Sellers are considering carrying second loans!
- Banks are finally getting it together for handling REOs and short sales. New divisions are appearing to handle the increased workload.. These sales should be smoother in 2009.
How about our local market in the west side of Silicon Valley?
The upscale communities of Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, Saratoga, Almaden Valley, Cupertino and other foothill areas with good schools did not fare as badly as most of Santa Clara County in 2008, but they are not immune from the prevailing winds, either.
Overall, inventory is up and time on the market is up while the list price to sales price ratio is down.
Please visit my Real Estate Report at www.PopeHandy.ReReport.com for the complete, interactive report for last month, last quarter, or last year – countywide, by city, or by area of San Jose, or click on the following links to see the most recent monthly report for these areas:
Monte Sereno Single Family Homes (there are no condos or townhomes in Monte Sereno)
(apparently no homes closed escrow in the LG Mountains in December – in Nov there was one and in Oct one)
August 30, 2008
We’ll get the exact, hard data for the Los Gatos real estate market in a week or so from MLSListings.com, our MLS provider (formerly known as REInfolink). Meanwhile, though, we can have a look at the closings reported to date and get a feel for how the market is doing.
This month, there were 29 closings, or completed sales, in the town of Los Gatos (zip codes 95030 and 95032) among single family homes and condos/townhomes. Of the 29 Los Gatos homes which sold, 24 were single family homes and 5 were condominiums or townhouses. I was involved in two of those sales – one as the listing agent and one as the selling agent (working with the buyers), both single family homes that were in the $1,000,000 to $2,000,000 price range, and both are in the Los Gatos School District.
How did they homes in Los Gatos do in August?
First, let’s look at single family homes. One sold “off” the MLS, so it’s hard to know how it might have done on the open market. It was extreme in another way – it sold at $5,400,000 – the most expensive closing of the month. Not your typical Los Gatos price, though not unheard of either.
For single family homes in Los Gatos, the multiple listing service, the average “days on market” was 50 and average “collective” or “cumulative days on market” was 71. So typically, it’s taking 71 days for houses to sell in Los Gatos. (My listing, which was on Magneson Terrace, took 66 days to sell – felt much longer for everyone involved, though!) Some homes sold fast (1-10 days) and a few a very long time (longest was 238 days), but most are in the 2-3 month range.
The average list price was $1,915,500 and the average sales price was $1,847,989 among Los Gatos houses. The lowest home sold for $870,000 and the highest for $5,400,000, as mentioned above. Fifteen sold between $1 million and $2 million, 3 below that range and 6 above it
Only 3 of the 24 sold higher than list price. Just 4 sold “at” list price (but of those, 2 were reduced before they sold at list price, so only 2 sold at the original list price) and the vast majority had one or more price reductions prior to selling.
What about townhouses and condos in Los Gatos? There were only five spread between two zip codes which are so far reported as closed in August. Of those, the average Days on Market is 41 (same number for Collective DOM), the average list price is $687,789 and average sales price $676,000.
So it looks like the condo market is faring better than the single family home market in Los Gatos right now, according to closed sales prices.
While pricing appears to be flat by some indicators in July, we have seen many price reductions in homes that appeared aggressively positioned in the market before offers are procured. Buyers are waiting, generally, and prices do seem to be falling somewhat in the under $2 million price range.
The soft real estate market that has been plaguing much of San Jose and Silicon Valley now appears to be impacting the entry level and mid-level homes in Los Gatos.
What can we expect? With an election year, things are always uncertain. Likewise, the interest rate has threatened to rise a bit and if that happens, it will adversely affect home prices for sellers. Think of it like the scales of justice: one side goes down, the other goes up.
Waiting may or may not be a good idea. Prices may go down and interest rates may go up. Or perhaps not – no one knows. As one of my buyer clients said, recently, “prices may go down, but if I wait, it’s like I put my life on hold”. (That buyer is now a homeowner.)
The real estate market in Silicon Valley, including Los Gatos, is comrised of many micro-markets. Please call me for specific assistance in the area where you live or would like to live.
April 01, 2008
Please have a look at my latest market update for the town of Los Gatos, broken down by zip, for this week. (Data from Altos Research, a subscription service I have. Disclaimer: they use list prices for their reports.) The following links are to pdf files for these reports.
February 09, 2008
What are the odds that a home in Silicon Valley
will sell right now?
Most of the homes for sale in Los Gatos, San Jose, or anywhere in Silicon Valley are not going to sell this month. In Los Gatos, there’s about a 20% chance than any given home will sell. In San Jose generally, it’s a lot worse than that – it’s about a 13% chance that a home will sell. Here’s a quick look at the numbers for these two areas of Santa Clara County:
Los Gatos Single Family Homes (95030, 95032 zip codes)
Active Listings (For Sale) = 118
Pending Sales (Under Contract) = 23
Closed in Last Month = 18
Months of inventory = 6.5
San Jose Single Family Homes (all areas)
Active Listings (For Sale) = 2921
Pending Sales (Under Contract) = 405
Closed in Last Month = 196
Months of inventory = 14.9
The months of inventory, or absorption rate, is a simple calculation of the number of active listings divided by the number of closed sales in the last month. For Los Gatos, that figure is 6.5 months. For San Jose, it’s a whopping 14.9 months. (The National Assn. of Realtors says that at 6 months or more, it’s a buyers market.)
What is also good to measure, though, is the pending sales against the listing volume. In Los Gatos, you can see that the number of pendings is a little higher than the number of closeds. But in San Jose, it’s more than double! This tells us that the market IS improving. But it’s far from being an easy time to sell. Depending on your area and price point, there’s an 80-90% chance that your home would not sell this month.
How Can A Seller Improve the Odds
of a Home Selling Now?
Prospective Los Gatos, Saratoga, and west valley sellers – what can you do to improve your chances of selling?
Here’s a short list of the most common seller mistakes, things NOT to do:
(1) Hiring an agent based on the list price he or she suggests (going with the highest number) is the biggest and perhaps most common error. A better practice: interview agents, hire someone, and then together work to establish the probable buyer’s value of the home and work out a pricing strategy from there. It’s fine to discuss pricing with the agents you interview, but do not choose your agent based on pricing, but rather on references, marketing, negotiation ability, experience, and other criteria.
(2) Related to #1 above, a common mistake among sellers is pressuring your agent to tell you what you want to hear rather than what you need to hear. Some sellers believe that if they “sell” the agent on the higher value of their home, or the current condition (which might need some changes to net you the most money), the house will sell for more, and sometimes homeowners actually push agents to state their estimated value higher than is realistic. One key job the real estate professional has is to provide you with objective input on your home, both at the time the listing is signed and as the feedback comes in and the market conditions possibly change. Ultimately, only you can assign the list price on your home. Allow your agent to provide you with objective input so that you can make a good decision.
Put another way, sellers often have an inflated view of what their own home is worth on the market (this is true of agents selling their own homes, by the way). And sellers take it personally when they believe a home is worth 10% more than the agent is telling them it’s likely worth. Sellers frequently feel as though the lower price is insulting, and a response spoken or unspoken may be “I’m not going to give away my home”. Agents occassionally do underprice a home, but 98% of the time, if there’s a pricing error, it’s on the high side.
Please remember that your agent is not the buyer on your home, and you are not negotiating a sales price with your agent. You are not on opposing sides of the table. When you hire a Realtor, you are a team and you share the same goal: getting your home sold in today’s market.
(3) Another common error among sellers is simply this: not believing that the market data applies to their home. If the market has corrected X% in the last timeframe, and all the other homes in the area have gone down in sales price, it’s also true that your home has gone down in value in the buyers’ eyes. Home prices or values are not a lot different than those of shares in the stock market. What a share of stock sold for yesterday or last year is interesting information, but it may be totally irrelevant to what that same share will sell for today. Holding on to what the home “used to be worth” is not going to assist you in getting your home into the minority pool of homes that are selling now.
(4) And finally, a very frequently seen seller mistake that causes homes not to sell is in not utilizing their agent’s skills (on pricing of course but also staging, garnering feedback, analyzing the market, etc.).
For example, often Realtors have extra training and experience in staging. Agents know that fresh paint and carpet often will get the seller the most return on the investment, and so will decluttering. Sometimes more is needed in this area too. But sellers don’t always want to hear it. The ultimate sales price of the home is tied to a number of factors, including how well it shows to potential buyers.
Another area to watch out for is feedback. If your Realtor tells you that there’s a problem with the way buyers assess your home (pet odors, cooking or smoking odors, clutter or other issues), take it seriously. You will improve your odds by taking the feedback as useful input (and not as an assault). A great system that I use is HomeFeedback.com; the seller can get both individual responses and compiled statistics of the feedback. Sometimes, sellers take it personally and get upset at their agent for the information offered, even via this type of buyer response. This makes it hard to hear what you need to hear.
Put another way, what you CAN and SHOULD do to sell your home in today’s market:
Hire carefully! (Most agents in the Santa Clara Valley have been licensed less than 5 years and have not been through a market like this. Experience is very important. Check references and be very careful here as it is your single most important decision.) Make sure it’s a full marketing plan, using both web and traditional forms of marketing.
Price carefully and realistically! With the vast majority of homes not selling, it is important to not overprice. This is not the market for “trying a price”. Price it to sell. Price it to be the best value among similar homes.
Stage it! Listen to your agent.
Take feedback seriously. Estimating prices and what needs to be offered to buyers in the way of condition, concessions or other thin
gs in falling markets can be tough. Ask your agent for feedback and take it to heart. Sometimes market conditions are a “moving target” and may require readjusting.
To sell your home in this challenging market for the most money and in the fastest time, the home needs to look great and be priced well and be accessible. Recently I was at a real estate educational seminar and it was put this way: “we’re in a beauty contest and a price war”.
And lastly, only put your home on the market if you are serious about selling. It’s a great time to buy a home in Silicon Valley, but it’s not necessarily an ideal time to sell! Rick Campbell, author of The Real Estate Report, opines that we may be “at or near the bottom of the market”. Of course, if you are “moving up”, the overall is most likely a plus even if you take a hit on the sell side of the equation. So sellers, if you want or need to sell now, make sure that you position your home so that it’s not just listed, it’s sold.
P.S. Buyers, don’t wait. This is about as good as it gets!
Mary Pope-Handy, Realtor, CRS, ABR, e-PRO, SRES, ASP, RECS, CNHS, ACRE
Helping Nice Folks to Buy & Sell Homes Since 1993
Co-Author: “Get The Best Deal When Selling Your Home In Silicon Valley”
408 204 7673