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, and 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 with declining market action. Prices have been holding steady, inventory is extremely low and shrinking, and days on market are up a hair.

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 have risen above last month and last year with a meagre 6 closed sales in December. 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, but is showing some signs of seasonal cooling. The sale to list price ratio held steady at 96.9% (this number swings back and forth regularly with the small number of sales), active and pending listings both fell short of last month and last year, and days on market slowed to (a still fast) 39 days. Overall we can tell that the market remains active with a solid, though limited, seller’s market, although it’s not as hot as it was a few months ago.

 

Trends At a Glance Dec 2020 Previous Month Year-over-Year
Median Price $3,462,500 (+0.7%) $3,437,500 $2,362,500 (+46.6%)
Average Price $3,364,170 (-20.5%) $4,231,250 $3,301,250 (+1.9%)
No. of Sales (+50.0%) 4 (+50.0%)
Pending (-66.7%) 6 (+100.0%)
Active (-16.7%) 6 (-37.5%)
Sale vs. List Price 96.6% (-0.3%) 96.9% 99.9% (-3.3%)
Days on Market 39 (+20.3%) 32 22 (+77.0%)
Days of Inventory 25 (-42.5%) 44 60 (-58.3%)

 

And from the month before:

Trends At a Glance Nov 2020 Previous Month Year-over-Year
Median Price $3,437,500 (+2.1%) $3,367,500 $3,450,000 (-0.4%)
Average Price $4,231,250 (+21.0%) $3,496,480 $3,504,000 (+20.8%)
No. of Sales (-33.3%) 6 (-20.0%)
Pending (-25.0%) 8 (+100.0%)
Active (-25.0%) 8 (-33.3%)
Sale vs. List Price 96.9% (-6.6%) 103.8% 96.1% (+0.8%)
Days on Market 32 (+67.0%) 19 56 (-42.7%)
Days of Inventory 44 (+8.8%) 40 52 (-16.7%)

 

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 December on the MLS and saw that 5 sold below list price and only 1 sold above list price. This is consistent with last month’s trend but is a shift from earlier in the year when 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. Most homeowners choose not to list their home around the major holiday season so most of these homes, including the one that sold over asking, had been on the market for over a month.

 

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 1/22/2021)

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