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 the whole of it and plenty has changed since March 2020! 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, 2020. 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):

 

 

This chart shows a slight seller’s market, falling from a strong market last month with declining market action. List prices have been holding relatively steady, although the price per square foot is dropping, inventory is extremely low and stable, and days on market are leveling out.

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 are fairly consistent with last month with a mere 2 closed sales in March, 3 sales in February, and 1 sale in March 2020. And that is a tiny pool for market analysis! Low numbers can throw off the whole chart, so take this data with a grain of salt. Nonetheless the market remains hot. We have seen wide swings from in the sale to list price ratio, which plunged from a whopping 109.8% in January to 97.3% in February.  It rose to exactly 100% in March. If this were to happen in the much larger San Jose market that would be a very upsetting swings, but here with so few sales one hot or cool listing can change everything. Active listings held stable from last month and remain below last year. Days on market dropped to a rapid 0 day average. Overall we can tell that the market remains active with a steady, though limited, seller’s market.

Trends At a Glance Mar 2021 Previous Month Year-over-Year
Median Price $4,100,000 (+30.2%) $3,150,000 $2,200,000 (+86.4%)
Average Price $4,100,000 (+28.3%) $3,196,670 $2,200,000 (+86.4%)
No. of Sales (-33.3%) 3 (+100.0%)
Pending (N/A) 0 (+25.0%)
Active (0.0%) 7 11 (-36.4%)
Sale vs. List Price 100.0% (+2.8%) 97.3% 104.8% (-4.5%)
Days on Market (-100.0%) 75 (N/A)
Days of Inventory 105 (+66.7%) 63 330 (-68.2%)

 

And from the month before:

Trends At a Glance Feb 2021 Previous Month Year-over-Year
Median Price $3,150,000 (+12.9%) $2,790,000 $1,828,000 (+72.3%)
Average Price $3,196,670 (+6.3%) $3,007,170 $1,828,000 (+74.9%)
No. of Sales (0.0%) 3 (+50.0%)
Pending (-100.0%) 3 (N/A)
Active (+40.0%) 5 11 (-36.4%)
Sale vs. List Price 97.3% (-11.4%) 109.8% 105.9% (-8.1%)
Days on Market 75 (+397.8%) 15 32 (+133.3%)
Days of Inventory 63 (+26.0%) 50 154 (-59.1%)

 

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 2 sales from March on the MLS and saw that, as it shows in the chart above, both sold exactly at list price and in zero days on market. Both are quite unusual even in this market! One sold above $3.7 million while the other sold a little under $4.5 million. In recent months we saw a few more Monte Sereno properties selling under asking than those selling above, but before winter more properties were selling above list price than below.

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. It’s best practice to find comparable listings and sales, and for a small municipality like Monte Sereno this means also looking at the neighboring markets in Los Gatos and possibly Saratoga. Monte Sereno remains in a seller’s market this winter.

 

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 4/22/2021)

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