Heritage Grove is a younger east Los Gatos neighborhood which was developed by Summerhill Homes, a very highly regarded builder in Silicon Valley, in about the year 2000. It sits between the beautiful Heintz Open Space Preserve (with trails to nearby Belgatos Park and other open space) and a mini orchard along Blossom Hill Road between Union and Leigh Avenues. Recently I videotaped the community and think it’s a pretty good introduction to the neighborhood.
A few years back, I wrote about this area extensively, and included a map and slideshow, on another of my blogs (SanJoseRealEstateLosGatosHomes.com). If you’d like more real estate information on the homes there, or the open space trails, please continue to learn more here:
Low inventory is the main story in the Los Gatos real estate market for 2020. Here’s a multiple year view of single family homes for sale in Los Gatos 95030 and 95032 since January 2014 – I find this to be enlightening since any one year can be an anomaly. The chart below shows us that the average inventory for Los Gatos in December can vary, but usually sits somewhere between 30 to 40 and occasionally higher. Seasonal trends for 2020 have been thrown completely off. Inventory has been unusually consistent since March with little fluctuation, the result of which is a higher than average inventory in December. This is a shift from the preceding months when, in fact, most of the year Los Gatos inventory has been extremely low.
The ultra low number of listings is due to many factors, one of them being the current coronavirus pandemic and health and safety concerns. For a look at how Covid-19 is affecting the local real estate market today, please check Coronavirus Impact on Real Estate Sales on my other blog.
What is selling best in LG right now?
In general, single family homes listed at or under roughly $2.5 million are selling well, averaging around 8% over list price. For those listed in the high $2 millions and upward, on average they are selling a bit under asking. Even so, there are exceptions in both groups. Certain things can skew the data. A home in east Los Gatos listed under $2 million took over 50 days to sell and sold below asking, causing the days on market for that set to look longer than is actually the case for most homes. When planning to buy or sell, it’s best to look at the data within a mile of your home (or the one you want to buy), and across similar properties excluding the odd sales which don’t apply.
By the numbers: Of the 22 single family home sales in Los Gatos (not including the mountain market) in December on the MLS, none sold under $1 million, 7 closed under $2 million (only 1 went below $1.5 million), 9 sold above $2 and below $3 million, 5 from $3 million to $4 million, 1 sold above $7 million. The high end price point tends to be 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.
Los Gatos real estate statistics 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 are the 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 rose since last month and last year (although that is likely skewed due to the $7.1 mil sale). The number of sales, on the other hand, is a little below last year and significantly cooler than the month prior. Active listings have also fallen since November, which is normal seasonal cooling, but are higher than 2019 inventory. Pending sales are holding steady and are nearly double the year prior, and the sales vs list price ratio cooled to 101.5%, remaining well above last year. Overall it remains a seller’s market in Los Gatos with some seasonal cooling, possibly impacted by delayed activity from earlier this year.
The Town of Los Gatos is home to many lovely neighborhoods with historic homes (Broadway Area Historic District, Fairview Plaza and others), but perhaps none is so quaint or popular as the Almond Grove neighborhood. (See video drive through this neighborhood near the bottom of this article.)
Location, location, location: the Almond Grove’s got it
The location itself could be very compelling alone as the Almond Grove neighborhood is as much “in town” as “walk to town” with so many activities and opportunities happening along North Santa Cruz Avenue, Main Street and University Avenue – all a stone’s throw away. Quite vibrant, downtown Los Gatos enjoys an inordinate amount of restaurants, shops, coffee houses, bars, places to dine , taste wine, stroll or take in a film. It’s also home to free musical concerts in the summer, a parade in December, a gorgeous new public library, a Farmer’s Market every weekend and many other events year round. Finally, the Almond Grove is set near two parks, Bachman Park and the Los Gatos Town Plaza, so there’s a good amount of open space nearby too. There’s something for everyone!
Traditionally designed neighborhood with good community results
The allure of the Almond Grove is more than convenience, though. There’s an old time friendliness that seems to come with the big, welcoming front porches on so many of the older houses. Dwellings are also set closer together than one might find in suburbia, too. Rather than live so much in the privacy of the backyard, there’s an invitation implicit with this combination of close neighbors and a front porch that seems to underscore that residents are part of the neighborhood community and a bit less secluded.
The Almond Grove displays that sense of community from October to January especially, when it steps out as the best decorated corner of Los Gatos with a huge percentage of participation in the effort. Halloween is a great example. People’s enthusiasm is evident in by the beginning of October as props come out for the spookiest day of the year. Sometimes even in September, “Land of the Giant” sized spiders begin to appear, life-sized ghosts start to swing from porches and trees, the normally tidy and trim picket fences become smudged with spider webs, and every manner of Halloween decor drapes the district. On Halloween night, the Almond Grove district becomes positively overrun with enthusiastic kids from all over Los Gatos. I’ve been told that some homes get as many as 1,000 trick-or-treaters on Halloween night there.
The Blossom Hill Manor (aka “the Manor” or “Blossom Manor”) is a highly sought after neighborhood with its close proximity to the well regarded Los Gatos schools, parks, shops, grocery stores and major transit routes. Homes there are nicely maintained, many streets are tree-lined and there’s a good amount of community spirit and involvement in this close-in, walkable area. Explore the area more using my Google Map of Blossom Manor, or take a video drive-through of the neighborhood at my other post, The Blossom Manor neighborhood of Los Gatos.
In this posting, we’ll discuss the Blossom Manor real estate market. The real estate market in Los Gatos has been on fire like the rest of the Bay Area over the last few years, but there’s a great deal of variation from one area, price point, school district, age and condition of home to the next. As you can imagine, the “fixer” market is very different from the luxury market.
So far in 2019, there have been 15 closed sales in The Manor. A few quick stats on those sales:
Average list price $2,150,343
Average sale price $2,207,518 (103% of list price)
Median sale price $2,060,000
Least expensive list price $1,589,000
Lease expensive sale price $1,775,000
Most expensive list price $2,749,000
Most expensive sale price $2,790,000
Average price per SF $1,114.61
Average days on market 16
Average living space 2046 SF
Average lot size 9,431 SF
Average age of the home 61 years
Of these 15 sales, 9 were over list price, 1 was exactly at list price (an off market sale – the only one not exposed publicly before selling), and the rest sold under list price.
The annual Los Gatos historic home tour returns to town for one day only on April 21st, 2018, and tickets will be available to purchase online as soon as February 26th. Sponsored by the New Museum of Los Gatos (NUMU), the annual event showcases beautiful Los Gatos properties from different eras and frequently their gardens, too.
The focus of this 23rd annual Los Gatos historic home tour will be the lovely Johnson Avenue neighborhood!
Seven houses will be on display for tour-goers. The medley of event features also includes some live music and vintage cars for show on the street.
The NUMU site offers this teaser about the Los Gatos historic home tour: “The program guide provided to all tour goers includes historical and architectural information on the featured homes as well as back stories and trivia on the history of the Johnson Avenue neighborhood, including the locations of the former sites of a private zoo of exotic animals, and the baseball field where Los Gatan Hal Chase practiced. (He was later implicated in the Black Sox scandal of 1919.)”
Sunday evening, in lieu of the usual second tour day is a new event, entitled A Bigger Bash.
Please visit the link below or click on the image at the right to get all of the details and to purchase your advance tickets (more costly if you wait to the day of the event).
How long will it take to sell your Los Gatos home? If you own a house in Los Gatos, 95030 or 95032, the answer is “it depends”. Naturally part of the formula will be the condition of the property and how aggressively it’s priced. The pace also will be a function of schools and price point. Generally speaking, the lower priced single family homes tend to sell the fastest (assuming that it’s priced and marketed well and doesn’t have any “issues”). That’s true in all neighborhoods and subdivisions. (The Los Gatos Mountains area, or 95033, is a different market.)
Today, let’s take a look at the Los Gatos real estate market for home sellers by pricing tier and high school district with a view toward the number of days on the market. (You can read about the ratio of actives to solds and the absorption rate at the article linked below under Related Reading.)
We’ll begin with a look at the town as a whole. For homes actively listed and not yet sold or sale pending in town, have a look at the number of properties for sale and the days on market (“DOM”) for each price point:
The average “days on market” for all homes is 70, so you might think that this is how long it will take to get your home into contract. That’s not the case, though, as some homes never sell (even in a red hot economy like ours). Others sell really fast.
What we can see, though, is that the homes in the lowest price point haven’t been on the market long – a hint that this is the market segment that is moving.
Next, let’s have a look at the part of LG 95030 & 95032 with Los Gatos High School.
Notice that the average days on market for this group is 47, not 70. Most groups have double digit days on the market. So perhaps not flying off the market, but not bad by national standards, and certainly faster than the town as a whole. It looks like the answer to “how long will it take to sell” may be improved by being “in the schools”.
How long will it take in the areas with either Westmont High or Leigh High? Overall, a much longer “days on market” are present for the active listings with 124. But the lower prices, up to $2 million, are extremely fast with the few homes in that band only being available for about a week or less.
The actively listed properties are everything available – the good as well as the not so good. If we look at pending sales, though, we’ll get an idea on how fast buyers take the best homes out of the market. Let’s check on the homes under contract now.
Los Gatos is the “gateway to the Pacific” from Silicon Valley – and vice versa. Snuggled into the base of the Los Gatos Mountains, this scenic area offers a charming downtown, architecturally interesting homes and commercial areas, a beautiful natural setting and great public and private schools to boot. Housing costs are high here, so many wanting to make the town their home may investigate buying a townhouse or townhome rather than a single family home.
What does it cost to buy a Los Gatos townhouse?
Housing prices for townhomes varies with the school district, walkability, and proximity to downtown or other features such as having a view. And, of course, the size of home, number of beds and baths, the outside space, and its condition will all impact the home prices.
Most of the townhouses are 2 or 3 bedrooms. There are some 4 bedroom homes and once in a blue moon, you may stumble upon a 1 bedroom.
On the low end, it may be possible to purchase a small Los Gatos townhouse for about $500,000 for a 1 bedroom, if you can find it. At the high end, they can soar past $2 million. For the 48 townhomes in sold in the last 180 days, anywhere in Los Gatos 95030 or Los Gatos 95032, here are the average numbers (list price, sale price, square footage, days on market, HOA fee, price per square foot) all together, for the Campbell Union High School District area of town and for the Los Gatos-Saratoga Joint Union High School District part of town:
What I found most surprising is that buying a townhouse “in the schools” is not so much more expensive than one with Campbell or Union Schools.
What are typical HOA dues for townhomes in Los Gatos?
The Home Owner Association or HOA dues are often a shock to home buyers. As you see in the chart above, an average HOA fee paid for the homes sold in the last 6 months was $530. But they are not all so expensive – or so inexpensive.