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 (aka Austin Corners) is under development and incorporation into Monte Sereno with plans to include 7 townhomes and 8 duet homes in addition to single family dwellings. Some of those designs are now for sale, and 1 of the single family designs are currently (as of September 15, 2021) listed on the MLS.

This month’s data will reflect some of the effects of the pandemic on the real estate market, but not the whole picture – 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 advantage with recent declines in market action. Inventory is extremely small, days on market are slowing, and most indicators suggest it is following seasonal cooling trends.

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

 

Trends at a Glance from the RE Report:

By the numbers in this chart, the latest market update showed wild swings with strong ups and downs compared to last month and last year! … But in this small community that is fairly common with such a tiny pool for market analysis! If this same swing were to happen in the much larger San Jose market these would be a very upsetting and major shifts in the market, but here with so few sales one hot or cool listing can change everything.

Low numbers can throw off the whole chart, so take this data with a grain of salt. Nevertheless, the market remains hot and strongly in the seller’s favor.

Currently the chart shows a warm 100.7% of asking, which is well above the August 2020 market. Month-over-month, closings increased a hair, pending sales plunged, and active inventory grew. Compared to last year, however, closed sales continue to fall short while both pending sales and active inventory are high. Days on market slowed to a 2 month average.

Overall we can tell that the Monte Sereno market has plenty of momentum and remains in a clear seller’s market.

Trends At a Glance Aug 2021 Previous Month Year-over-Year
Median Price $4,990,000 (+24.8%) $4,000,000 $4,245,000 (+17.6%)
Average Price $5,255,830 (+29.7%) $4,053,000 $4,242,500 (+23.9%)
No. of Sales (+20.0%) 5 (-25.0%)
Pending (-44.4%) 9 (+25.0%)
Active 12 (+33.3%) 9 (+71.4%)
Sale vs. List Price 100.7% (-5.4%) 106.5% 97.6% (+3.2%)
Days on Market 61 (+548.9%) 9 35 (+74.3%)
Days of Inventory 60 (+11.1%) 54 26 (+128.6%)
And from the month before:
Trends At a Glance Jul 2021 Previous Month Year-over-Year
Median Price $4,000,000 (-6.2%) $4,265,000 $3,850,000 (+3.9%)
Average Price $4,053,000 (-3.0%) $4,179,740 $3,997,140 (+1.4%)
No. of Sales (+25.0%) 4 (-28.6%)
Pending (+50.0%) 6 (+12.5%)
Active (0.0%) 9 (+12.5%)
Sale vs. List Price 106.5% (+4.8%) 101.6% 96.1% (+10.8%)
Days on Market (-31.6%) 14 18 (-46.5%)
Days of Inventory 54 (-17.2%) 65 34 (+57.5%)

A Glance at MLS Sales

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 sales from August on the MLS. This showed 8 closings, taking between 4-301 days on market. List prices ranged from $2.750 – $8.499 million, and sales prices ranged from $3.00 – $7.80 million. Most sold over list price with some selling more than half a million over! Only 3 sold below asking, and all 3 were luxury properties listed from $6.99 million and up. And all but 2 sold in under 2 weeks!

Last month had some particularly dramatic swings, most likely due to a unique luxury home that sold in August that took 301 days to sell, was listed around $8.5mil and sold at $7.8. If we remove that property from our analysis, the average DOM speeds to 10 days, SLP rises to 104.7%, and the average sales price drops closer to $4.5mil.

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 clear seller’s market.

 

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?

At the moment, inventory is larger than usual due to all of the new homes on the market at the old La Hacienda site (near Austin Corners).

Click here to view Monte Sereno Homes for Sale