The spring home buying season (or spring home selling season) is usually pretty good in Los Gatos, with April being one of the best months. How was this year? And how was it in relation to recent years in the 95030 and 95032 zip codes of Los Gatos?
I ran the numbers myself – so every effort was made for accuracy but it’s not guaranteed – and also ran them in recent years dating back to 1998. Additionally I provided the “average” so see how this year actually compares.
For April 2010, there were a total of 40 houses, duet homes, condominiums and townhouses which closed escrow between April 1 and April 30, about 7% off the 13 year average of 43. The breakdown was 31 houses or duet homes (close to average) and 9 condos or townhomes (30% fewer than average). So this view shows that it’s a mixed real estate market with trend improving for houses for sale more than condominiums.
A look at last year shows a lot of improvement for houses sold. And a look at the year before that, 2008, also shows marked improvement for houses on the market in Los Gatos. Not so true for the condominium and townhouse sales, though. Those sales continue to lag. The condo market has been hurting throughout Silicon Valley because home buyers can now afford to buy a house and that’s their preference, most of the time.
Below, find list prices in Monte Sereno over the last year, by price quartile. Interestingly, the 1st and 3rd quartile appears to have been changing downward the most while the highest priced homes seem to be faring the best (remember, though, these are list prices not sold prices).
Now Los Gatos, 95030, where again the highest median list price seems to be holding better than other price points:
And finally Los Gatos, 95032:
In this last group, it looks more clear that the higher the price point, the less the list price appears to be experiencing downward pressure.
Finally, Days on Market in these three areas by quartile.
Monte Sereno, 95030, is mixed.
Los Gatos, 95030 – where it’s really not getting easier to sell a home, overall:
Los Gatos, 95032, things are not so dire as elsewhere – perhaps because prices are lower here than in the other two areas. This seems to be born out by the fact that the highest priced homes are experiencing the longest DOM.
What about the role of school districts in all of this?
Much of 95032 is in the Campbell Union High School District. So I did a little more crunching on my own, looking at school district rather than zip code.
For active listings right now in “area 16” again, here’s what I found for DOM (days on market)
(1) All of “area 16” with Los Gatos Saratoga High Schol District – DOM = 185 Same but a maximum list price of $1.5 million – DOM = 133
(2) All of “area 16” with Campbell Union High School District – DOM = 71 Same but a max list price of $1.5 million – DOM = 66
(3) For all of “area 16” without regard to school district, the DOM = 152 Same but with max list price of $1.5 million – DOM = 106
(Monte Sereno is 99.5% Los Gatos Schools with only the tiniest sliver falling into Campbell Schools.)
So this is a little surprising – we tend to believe that homes with Los Gatos Schools always sell better than those with Union or Moreland. But is that the case?
Let’s drill it down once more to a more specific price range and see, among the active listings, what’s happening.
Price range: $1,000,000 to $1,400,000. I added the average square footage of the home since the results surprised me and I thought this might be an important factor.
(1) LGSHSD – DOM = 100 (av SF = 1904) (2) CUHSD – DOM = 42 (av SF 2826) (3) All schools – DOM = 82 (av SF = 2185)
Within this band of pricing, it appears that the homes may be moving faster in the less expensive part of Los Gatos. Why is this? Perhaps because it’s taken a bigger correction and is now viewed favorably. There could be lots of factors. We could continue breaking it down by neighborhood, by age of construction, and many other factors, including whether or not something was a short sale or bank owned property (which is a separate topic). It might also look different if we picked apart the pendings or solds this way, so this is not comprehensive, but is a general indicator that homes not in the most expensive part of town are selling easlier than those “closer in”.
For help with understanding the home you want to buy or sell, please contact me!
What’s the market doing? As always, it depends on which part of the market. For an overview of the Los Gatos Real Estate Market, my Silicon Valley Real Estate Report will update you by home type (house or condo/townhouse). In January, how things seemed depended a lot on what you were comparing it to. Clearly it’s a lot better than a year ago – but we have far to go.Single family homes (houses and duet homes) in Los Gatos – prices are slipping (thought this isn’t the case in all parts of the Los Gatos real estate market), sales were up as compared to a year ago, inventory is still low, DOM is shrinking and the list price to sales price ratio is rising slowly. So another month of mixed signals but clearly some “green shoots” of hope.
Today on my Valley of Hearts Delight blog, I posted a long article on the Monte Sereno real estate market. In places I compared and contrasted it with the Los Gatos & Saratoga markets, so readers of this blog might find that piece interesting as well.
Monte Sereno is a lovely, upscale residential community of about 4000 people. It’s located adjacent to the town of Los Gatos and the city of Saratoga, California. There are no businesses in Monte Sereno – just homes, the post office, and the city office building along Highway 9.
Monte Sereno shares some services with Los Gatos, such as police and schools. While Los Gatos has two zip codes, 95030 and 95032, Monte Sereno shares the 95030 zip code with Los Gatos. Some folks mistakenly think that whatever is happening in Los Gatos with the housing market is also reflective of the Monte Sereno real estate market. They are sometimes quite different.
We’ll now look at a few key indicators to see how the Monte Sereno real estate market is doing, and also how it’s doing compared to the same zip code but in Los Gatos. Graphs and stats are from Altos Research, to which I have a subscription (and the right to republish this information), which uses current listing data (list prices, not sold prices, for instance). About once a month I also publish an update which uses information from the solds, and you may see that interactive report at any time by visiting http:www.popehandy.rereport.com.
I. Inventory of Houses for Sale in Monte Sereno
This first graph displays the trend of inventory among houses for sale in Monte Sereno, 95030. The four different lines are for the four quartiles, or price points. Sometimes they behave differently from one another, but here we can see that for much of the last year, inventory rose dramatically among all price ranges.
Next, a comparative look between Monte Sereno and Los Gatos inventory levels of homes for sale. While it makes sense that Los Gatos has more homes for sale (it has more households!) it is interesting to note that the rise of inventory has been more dramatic in Los Gatos than in Monte Sereno.
A retrospective: how is inventory in Monte Sereno now compared to two years ago? (The chart says only 95030 but this is just from Monte Sereno.)
II. Average Days on the Market of Homes for Sale in Monte Sereno
Below, please see the breakdown by price point, or quartile, of the days on market for Monte Sereno this year. The lowest priced homes did not experience the same degree of a “dip” in the first half of the year that the higher priced homes did. It is interesting to note that the most expensive homes had the greatest improvement for the DOM (Days on Market) early in 2008.
How does this compare to the same zip code in Los Gatos?
The patterns are pretty similar, but it would seem that for most of the year, it has been easier (faster) to sell a house in Monte Sereno than in Los Gatos.
Compared to two years ago, how do the DOM look in Monte Sereno?
As we had suspected, it was much easier to sell a home in 2006 than it has been in 2008. In fact, it looks from this indicator that it is approximately twice as hard to sell a home now, if not more, then in 2006. This has been especially grue in the last quarter of the year.
III. List Price of Homes for Sale in Monte Sereno
Now we’ll turn to the number which home sellers care about the most: price. Below, please see a graph with the median list price by quartile of homes for sale in Monte Sereno this year.
Interestingly, the most exclusive homes have come down the most, while properties in lower price ranges seem to have adjusted downward the least.
How does this compare to what’s happening in the town of Los Gatos?
It is commonly known that homes in Monte Sereno are a bit more expensive than those in Los Gatos, so the gap between the two is not surprising. That said, the way each has responded to the market is curious. While Los Gatos home prices (list prices) went down early in the year, they went up in Monte Sereno for the same time frame. In fact, these two graphs are almost completely inverse of each other!
Finally, how does the median list price of homes in Monte Sereno today compare to the list prices of two years ago?
This is another weird graph which almost looks like a symmetrical inverse from 2008 to 2006. List prices today are higher, on average, then they were two years ago.
In summary, compared to Los Gatos, Monte Sereno is faring better overall. The inventory is lower, days on market are shorter, and list prices remain higher than in Los Gatos. Compared to two years ago, it’s tougher to sell a home (and easier to buy one) in Monte Sereno: inventory is up, days on the market are up – but list prices are up too, an odd twist! In fact it’s an anomoly for most of Silicon Valley, but it does not mean that any one house will necessarily sell for more than it did 2 years ago. The median sales price is the point at which half the homes are selling for more, and half for less. So a higher median list price or sales price may simply indicate that more expensive homes are selling. That seems very likely because with the more expensive homes, buyers are less likely to be dependent on a loan.
For analysis of what’s happening in your neighborhood, or where you’d like to buy a home, please contact me. I’m happy to meet with you and go over your situation in person and in confidence.
It remains a buyer’s market in Los Gatos, but not as deep a buyer’s market as in many other parts of Silicon Valley.
Below please find links to reports on the local Los Gatos housing market, broken down by zip code and housing type, current as of April 28, 2008. One of the most helpful aspects of the Altos reports is that it breaks the activity down by market quartiles, so that the activity in entry level homes, for instance, is differentiated from the luxury home market. Have a look:
These are care of Altos Research, which uses list prices (rather than sales prices). In a week or so we’ll have the data on solds in Los Gatos from April, care of another subscription I have, the Real Estate Report. Please check back soon to get that information.