The Monte Sereno real estate market

Elm Park in Monte Sereno, sold by Mary Pope-Handy
Ranch style home on Elm Park in Monte Sereno, sold by Mary Pope-Handy

The City of Monte Sereno is quite small, with just about 4,000 residents, so the number of houses sold in any given month will always be extremely small.

For that reason, the data may appear to jump around wildly compared to Los Gatos or Saratoga, which each have about 30,000 people living there. Please take these statistics with a tablespoon of salt, and be sure to view the Los Gatos housing market data to get a more accurate picture of what’s happening with Monte Sereno homes (just add a little to the price tag as homes there tend to sell for a bit more than LG properties).

Also, there are only single family, detached houses in Monte Sereno: no apartments, multi unit housing (2 – 4 plex), no duet homes (attached single family homes). That will be changing soon, however, as the old La Hacienda property (formerly an estate, then a hotel and restaurant) at Hwy 9 and Austin Way will likely become incorporated into Monte Sereno and condos or townhomes built there.

Also, this month’s data will show some of the effects of the pandemic on the real estate market, but not all of it, as plenty has changed since March. To learn more about how Covid-19 is affecting the local real estate market, please check Coronavirus Impact on Real Estate Sales on my other blog.

During the shutdown so far, the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) stopped the timer on all Days on Market (DOM) for a time. Therefore these numbers will be off beginning from March 17th through around May 17th. In the data below, this will affect any numbers related to the days on market, the absorption rate, and the days of inventory from those months, but current numbers should be accurate.

First up for the market analysis is the Altos Research weekly profile for Monte Sereno (uses list prices, not sales – so the median sale price here is much higher than the median sale price on the solds):



This chart shows a strong seller’s market for the third month in a row with market action on the rise again. Data here is relatively consistent with, though stronger than, nearby Los Gatos’ statistics.

Below is the Monte Sereno Real Estate Report (click to view the complete Real Estate Report).


Trends at a Glance from the RE Report:

Sales plunged since the month before, with only 5 homes closed in September. That’s significantly better than the meagre 3 sales from last year! Still, 5 sales is still small for a statistically useful pool of data! These low numbers can throw off the whole chart, so take this data with a grain of salt. Nonetheless, there is good growth after months in decline. The sale to list price ratio rose to 105.2% (what a swing from 97.6% the month before!), pending sales rose while active listings remained stable, and days on market shrank to only 17 days. Overall we can tell that the market is experiencing increased activity with a solid warming trend. It’s an active, though limited, seller’s market.


Trends At a Glance Sep 2020 Previous Month Year-over-Year
Median Price $3,000,000 (-29.3%) $4,245,000 $4,143,750 (-27.6%)
Average Price $3,171,800 (-25.2%) $4,242,500 $3,684,580 (-13.9%)
No. of Sales (-37.5%) 8 (+66.7%)
Pending (+80.0%) 5 (+50.0%)
Active (0.0%) 8 13 (-38.5%)
Sale vs. List Price 105.2% (+7.9%) 97.6% 97.9% (+7.5%)
Days on Market 17 (-52.6%) 35 52 (-68.1%)
Days of Inventory 46 (+54.7%) 30 126 (-63.1%)


And from the month before:


Trends At a Glance Aug 2020 Previous Month Year-over-Year
Median Price $4,245,000 (+10.3%) $3,850,000 $3,000,000 (+41.5%)
Average Price $4,242,500 (+6.1%) $3,997,140 $2,673,000 (+58.7%)
No. of Sales (+14.3%) 7 (+60.0%)
Pending (-37.5%) 8 (0.0%)
Active (-11.1%) 9 12 (-33.3%)
Sale vs. List Price 97.6% (+1.6%) 96.1% 98.6% (-1.0%)
Days on Market 35 (+99.2%) 18 48 (-27.7%)
Days of Inventory 30 (-22.2%) 39 72 (-58.3%)


While so few sales don’t give us much to work with, we can analyze some. To dig a little deeper, I pulled up the 6 sales from September on the MLS and saw that 2 sold below list price, 1 sold at list price, and 3 sold over list price. This ratio is very similar to what we saw the month earlier and agrees with the sales vs list price ratio in the charts above, although one sale that went well over list skewed that a bit. Whether they sell over or under list price is determined by a variety of factors, but another common thread is usually the speed of sales. Of those selling over list price, 2 sold in only 6 days and one at 26 days, the one selling at list price sold in 11 days, while those that sold below took 20 and 40 days to sell.


What about schools?

Something else to be aware of is that most houses are in the Los Gatos Union School District, but a small pocket of properties lies within the Campbell School District. Those with Campbell schools usually sell for a little less. Additionally, most of this city is within the 95030 zip code, but again, there’s a small pocket which is in the 95032 area.

Next, what kind of home is available to purchase in Monte Sereno now?

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(all data current as of 10/29/2020)

Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.