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?
The market is heating up in Los Gatos as of about 4 weeks ago with new sales commenced. These will not be reflected in the closed sales until early March, so please take the ‘solds’ info below with a grain of salt and keep the changed market conditions in mind!
Below please find the statistics and numbers for house sales in the town of Los Gatos (95030 and 95032), including county pockets, which closed in the month of February 2013. The median price is down both month over month and also year over year. It has been softer in Los Gatos than in many Silicon Valley communities right now.
Trends At a Glance
No. of Sales
Short Sales Sold
Active Short Sales
Sales Price vs. List Price
Days on Market
Inventory is low all over – and Los Gatos is no exception, though inventory did go up a bit countywide from January 2013 to Feb 2013. How bad is it? Off 30% from a year ago (and inventory was low then: Feb 2012 was 86, Feb 2011 was 132 available houses).
Days on market: The figure for February of 88 days on market for sold properties reflects the DOM of houses that closed in February and most likely went into contract in January, or possibly December – both of which were “cooler” times than the shift we saw take place in early February 2013.
How long have the currently available single family homes in LG been on the market?
As of this moment, in 95030 and 95032 combined there are just 76 single family homes for sale. Most haven’t been on all that long, in fact, appx 64% or 2/3 have been on the market for 60 days or less, and exactly half of the available inventory has been on the market for 1 month or less. Let’s see the breakdown in one-month increments of the number of homes in each time bracket.:
How long were the under contract single family homes in LG on the market?
I won’t repeat this level of detail for the Los Gatos houses which are sale pending or under contract (real estate agents: status 3 & 4), but the average days on market for those 17 pending properties is 26 and of these, only 2 were more than 30 days (1 sold with 49 DOM and another 191 DOM). In other words, when homes sell now, they are selling faster than the DOM from the closed sales in February would reveal. This will show up in March’s statistics next month.
Are there multiple offers in Los Gatos, and overbids?
Yes, there are some of each. I did a spot check of the sales for the last 7 days and the last 14 days and in both cases, the average sales price was higher than the average list price. For the last 7 days, there were 8 closed sales, 4 above list, 1 at list price and 3 below.)
Dramatic improvement in the median and average sales price of condos and townhomes in town year over year as well as from the prior month.
Trends At a Glance
No. of Sales
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Short Sales Sold
Active Short Sales
Sales Price vs. List Price
Days on Market
The Monte Sereno real estate market
Monte Sereno houses (no condos in MS) – primarily 95030 but a smattering of 95032 also. There are so few homes in Monte Sereno (just 4,000 residents) that the sales numbers are very easily skewed. Disclaimers aside, here are the Monte Sereno market stats:
A more affordable, but beautiful, place to live is in the coastal foothills over the town of Los Gatos. The communities there are closely affiliated with the town of Los Gatos, if distinct! This area is always tougher to sell, and slower to appreciate. Prices here aren’t much better, and possibly worse off (depending on the area, price point etc.), than a year ago.
Altos Live Charts for Los Gatos 95030 and 95032 plus Los Gatos Mountains 95033 and Monte Sereno Real Estate
Next please enjoy the live Altos charts, which are updated automatically each week – each segment is a little different than the others (and the reports would be more diverse still if we broke these down further, by price quartile – – sign up below if you want these delivered to you via email each week).
As you can see, pricing is stronger in 95030 than in 95032. This may be due to the schools (only a little of 95030 is in the Campbell Union High School District, but a larger portion of 95032 is). The strong Los Gatos schools are a major driver of desireability – but not the only one. Many people want to have the “walk to town” element, even if their kids are in private schools.
As of today, there are 163 single family homes (houses & duet homes) for sale in Los Gatos 95030 and 95032. In the last month, 29 homes in that same area closed escrow. So the months of inventory for Los Gatos houses for sale is 5.62, very close to the benchmark of a balanced market, which is 6 months. (There are also 48 sales which are pending without a release clause, but not all of these will close escrow.)
Here are some quick facts regarding the 29 homes which have closed escrow in the last month.
List price to sales price ratio
the average list price to sales price is 98% (most homes sold for less than asking price)
14 out of 29 sold for less than list price (48%)
3 sold right at list price (10%)
12 sold for more than list price (41%)
Distressed sales (short sales and bank owned homes)
3 of the 29 were short sales (10%)
1 of the 29 was bank owned or REO (3%)
distressed sales (3 +1) accounted for 14% of the solds
Days on market, home size and lot size
the average Days on Market of these solds was 48
the average length of escrow was 46 days
the average square footage of the homes was 2552
the average square footage f the lot was 15,788
Average list price and average sales price, median list & sales price, highest and lowest price of homes bought
the average list price was $1,460,754
the average sales price was $1,437,434
the median list price was $1,308,000 & median sales price $1,275,000
the least expensive home sold went for $800,000 (a 1 bed, 1 bath cottage)
the most expensive home sold for $3,550,000
Price Points of sold homes in Los Gatos
Most of the homes sold between 1 and 2 million dollars. Here’s the breakdown by price points:
Over $3 mil = 1 home Between $2 mil and $ 3 mil = 2 homes Between $1 mil and $2 mil = 21 homes Under $1 million = 5 homes
How fast are homes selling in Los Gatos?
The DOM was 48 as an average, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. While some homes sold only after many months, a number of them sold fast: Within 1 week = 6 (21%) Between 1 and 2 weeks = 4 (14%) Between 2 and 3 weeks = 5 (17%) Between 3 and 4 weeks = 2 (7%)
All DOM at or under a month = 17 = 59% of the sales. So the odds are very good that if your home is priced right, it will sell in the first 1-3 weeks on the market. The most sales of these “sold quickly” homes happened in the very first week.
What about all the homes that have not sold? What can the owners learn from this? First, your best chance of selling is early on in the listing period. If you get to the one month mark, the chances begin diminishing that you can sell without a price change. Do everything you can to make your home turnkey and super accessible that very first week or two especially!
What is key to sales success is generating a good amount of qualified traffic, again especially early in the game. In Los Gatos, having open houses and having the home open for the broker’s tour are both important (at least initially – less so after 2 or 3 weeks on the market). If you are not getting at least 3 to 5 showings per week, you may have a problem. (Disclaimer: this is “in general” and may not apply to luxury estates and certain other properties.) Having overly restrictive showing schedules makes it hard to show and hard to sell.
For homes priced below $2,000,000 it is really not a bad market right now for sellers or buyers – it is pretty balanced overall. In some areas there’s more competition then sellers would prefer, but in general these homes are moving when priced right, nicely staged and well marketed.
The Los Gatos real estate market varies between the price points, areas, school districts and zip codes (and, where present, sale type – regular sale vs short sale or bank owned home). Today we’ll update the market info for the homes for sale in Los Gatos (houses and duet homes, not the condo or townhome market).
First, here’s some data from my RE Report subscription for May sales in Los Gatos. (You can see the whole online report here.) To get the months of inventory or absorption rate, simply divide the active listings by the solds in the month – so 156/29 = 5.37 months of inventory for Los Gatos. It is just slightly inside the definition for being a seller’s market (6 months is balanced, less is a seller’s market and more is a buyer’s market). It is close to a balanced market in Los Gatos overall.
Trends At a Glance
No. of Sales
Sale vs. List Price
Days on Market
Next, we’ll break it down a little: a look at the Los Gatos real estate market this week by zip code and price quartile for houses (and duet homes) – not condos or townhomes. Data from Altos Research, to which I have a subscription. (You can get a weekly report for Los Gatos by zip code sent to you automatically….just email me and ask and I’ll set you up to receive it on auto-pilot.)
Let’s start with the numbers for the Los Gatos 95030 zip code area by price quartile. Median price here refers to the median LIST price, not sold price. The quartiles each reference 25% of the market. The first quartile is the most expensive segment and the 4th is the least. What I find really helpful with this view is what size of home your money can buy and on what lot size.
Please remember that these numbers mostly reflect listings, not sales. If you just look at the days on market, it appears that the 95030 market is much better than the 95032 market. But that is not really true. More than half of Los Gatos is in the 95030 area but note the number of homes absorbed – just 3! In the same time, though, for 95032 there were 19 homes absorbed. So while the DOM is longer in 95032, homes are actually selling better in that part of town than in 95030! (My hunch is that it’s because of two things: first, homes in 95032 tend to be more affordable and second, there are more short sales available in 95032 so they are getting scooped up at a faster rate than regular sales.)
Let’s next look at pricing trends by Los Gatos zip code next. First is the 95030 zip code area of Los Gatos with the median list prices for the last year. Hurt the most is the luxury market.
Same info but for the 95032 part of town – the median list price of houses for sale in Los Gatos, CA 95032:
Lastly, a look at the trend for “days on market” (DOM) of homes for sale in Los Gatos over the last year. Has it gotten harder or easier to sell in the last 12 months in 95030 and 95032?
For this part of Los Gatos, which tends to be the most expensive part of town, the DOM was rising until about March for all price points, then suddenly began to fall. A market reversal?
In the 95032 part of town, here’s how the DOM looks over the last year:
Interestingly, the days on market for 95032 has seemed to be a lot less volatile with one exception: the most expensive homes in the 95032 zip code. As a group, the DOM for 95032 is longer now than a year ago, which is also true for the 95030 part of town. the recent movement has been downward, though, and this also changed starting at about March 1st for most parts of town.
Overall, it is close to a balanced market in Los Gatos. Depending on the price point, zip code, school district and more, it could be a “hot seller’s market” or a “cold buyer’s market”. If you are buying or selling a home in Los Gatos, it is very important to drill down to the micro-market that applies to your home to understand how to price your home to sell or how to structure your offer price to buy.
Feel free to shoot me an email or call me to chat about your buying & selling plans. Please also check out my Valley of Heart’s Delight blog for comparative market info.
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:
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.
General Comments for the real estate market in Santa Clara County
The median price for single family, re-sale homes (houses and duet homes) surpassed $600,000 for the first time since August 2008.Inventory remained in a downward trend in November: down 66.7% compared to November 2008.Pending sales were up a whopping 90.4% year-over-year.
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.)
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 Districtare 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.
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:
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