Los Gatos real estate market

The Los Gatos real estate market is really a collection of smaller markets rather than one market that behaves uniformly across home sizes, zip code, price point, school district, proximity to downtown, walk-ability, and much more.  An entry level condo will be a different “market” than a $5 million estate. But so do will a perfectly preserved Victorian in one of the historic districts be a different “market” than a ranch style tract home in a tract neighborhood. Today we’ll discuss the major drivers of value and pricing in the Los Gatos real estate market – or markets. (To learn how the market is doing, please use the links at the bottom of this article.)

Why Los Gatos zip codes really aren’t ideal for understanding the local market

Los Gatos zip code mapsMany of the large, national websites use zip codes as a way of keeping a pulse on the housing market.  Zip codes in our fair town are kind of wonky, though, and often not the best way to track changes in inventory, absorption, sales price to list price, or other data points.

  • 95030 is mostly Los Gatos and Los Gatos schools, but part has Campbell schools.
  • 95030 is also the main zip code for Monte Sereno, and most of that has Los Gatos schools, but not all!  Some are in the area served by Campbell schools.
  • 95032 is mostly Los Gatos with either Campbell Elementary (west side of town) or Union Elementary (east side of LG), but some is in the Los Gatos Union School District
  • 95032 has a sliver of Monte Sereno and 100% of it (maybe 150 homes) is within the Campbell Elementary area.

If you are using something like Altos Research, though, just remember that only most of 95030 is “in the schools” and most of 95032 isn’t. If your house is in 95032 but has Los Gatos Union School District, pay better attention to the 95030 info.

Want more info on the LG zips? See https://liveinlosgatosblog.com/los-gatos-zip-code-maps/

Major housing price drivers are the schools and proximity to downtown Los Gatos

Folks living in any of the downtown Los Gatos areas, or close in Monte Sereno neighborhoods, enjoy a double bonus of both the highly prized Los Gatos Union School District and also being close to downtown, often with very charming historic districts as part of the package.   These areas are often the most expensive, if comparing homes of similar size, age, lot size, remodeling, etc., as compared to properties further north or even more, at the far eastern or western ends of town.

Measuring Los Gatos home prices by school district

Los Gatos price per SF exampleI ran the numbers for the school district, using a hypothetical 1750 SF – 2250 SF house on a lot of 7000-9000 square feet in Los Gatos 95030 and 95032. So think of it as a 2000 SF home on an 8000 SF lot.

In the last 120 days (as of July 27 2016), 11 such houses have sold throughout these 2 zip codes in Los Gatos and the average price per square foot was $802. (The number would likely be higher in Monte Sereno.)

Of the 11, five have been in the area served by the Los Gatos Union School District, and the average price per SF in that area was substantially more at $933 per SF.

The remaining 6 are in the areas of the far west or far east of town, within the areas for Campbell Elementary or Union School District. Average price per SF for this area is $752. (All but one are in the Leigh area, so cannot break it down further.)


Measuring Los Gatos real estate costs by proximity to downtown

Harder is defining “close to town”, but again we’ll try, using similar criteria as much as possible

Read more

Comparing the Los Gatos Zip Code Areas to Each Other: 95030, 95032, 95033

Los Gatos zip code mapsHow do the various zip code areas covering Los Gatos compare to one another?

A few years back, the US Post Office rearranged the boundaries for the zip codes a bit (see map of Los Gatos zip code boundaries), but 95030 tends to be the downtown Los Gatos area and 95032 flanks it east, north and northwest, and 95033 is the area of the Los Gatos Mountains.

Any of them, by the way, might be in the Los Gatos Union School District (or not).

When this post was written, I used a source called ZipSkinny, which unfortunately is now defunct.  There are other zip codes and demographics sites around, but they don’t compare multiple zip codes like ZipSkinny did.  Numbers below were taken from that site.

The mountain area has far less population density than the “in town areas” (89 people per square mile in 95033 vs. 1089 in 95030 and 2575 in 95032). So the largest lots are in 95033, followed by 95030 and the most crowded is 95032.

What about education? All three areas enjoy a highly educated population. For those completing a 4 year college degree, the percentage is as follows:
95033 = 30.6%; 95032 = 33.3%; 95030 = 35.7%. That might seem lower than you’d think until you bump it up a level and ask how many have a graduate or professional degree (MA, MS, MBA etc.). 95033 = 24.9%; 95032 = 23.4%; 95030 = 31.6%. It is pretty stunning to see that everywhere in the greater Los Gatos area, more than half the population has either a bachelor’s or master’s degree or more. (I recall reading elsewhere that Monte Sereno had the highest percentage of PhDs in the area.)

Check it out – it’s a free site and is an interesting set of data to see.