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Mary Pope-Handy
Sereno Group Real Estate
214 Los Gatos-Saratoga Rd
Los Gatos, CA 95030
408 204-7673
Mary (at)
License# 01153805

Selling homes in
Silicon Valley
San Jose, Los Gatos,
Saratoga, Campbell,
Almaden Valley,
Cambrian Park and
Santa Clara County

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Posts Tagged ‘market’

Gilroy, the Garlic Capital of the World – things to do, homes for sale, the real estate market

Saturday, July 26th, 2014

Gilroy Garlic FestivalGilroy is a scenic area well known for wineries, farmland and fruit stands.  More than anything,  it’s most iconic produce is garlic, which is celebrated late each July with the annual Garlic Festival, which began yesterday and continues through the weekend.  If you’ve never been, I highly recommend it!  Go early and bring your appetite!  There’s more than just eating to be enjoyed, but eating is surely high up on the list of priorities!  Click on the link above to see what’s on the schedule this weekend.  (Be sure to wear sunscreen and a hat. It is very hot…so drink a lot of water…)

In the days and weeks leading up to this fun food festival, the scent of garlic fills the early morning air and blows north along the coastal foothills so that those of us in Silicon Valley get a healthy nose full when grabbing our morning paper off the driveway. This has been my experience since I was a small child and I’m happy that all the progress of the last 40 or 50 years hasn’t changed the smell of garlic heralding mid-summer.

Garlic is king in Gilroy, but it’s not all that’s happening there

A nice easy, and fairly fast trip by car will bring you to South County and to Gilroy.  It’s a wonderful day trip to explore the backyard of Silicon Valley, or better, take a whole weekend to get to know the area.  There’s a nice downtown area where you can do some shopping and dining.  Go out a bit and there are a number of fabulous wineries to check out.  And lest we forget, Gilroy is a local epicenter of bargain shopping.

At the intersection of highways 101 and 152, the Gilroy Premium Outlet Mall is found.  Go with the intention of spending money, because resistance is futile once you park your car.  This afternoon I spent a few hours there with my daughter and we found some especially good pricing on clothes – perhaps because of the Garlic Festival and the anticipated crowds.

Many will attest that cars are found for a better price there, too.

But wait, there’s more!  Gilroy is also home to a charming family amusement park (aimed at younger kids), Gilroy Gardens.   (more…)

Saratoga, CA, Real Estate Market Update

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

How’s the Saratoga California real estate market?

As always, “the market” is really several micro markets even within the same geographical area.  Let’s start with the broad view of how the real estate market is for the single family home (houses and duet homes) market as opposed to the condo & townhouse market in the same city.  So first, let’s look at the a graph displaying the overview of the median list prices for condominiums and single family homes in Saratoga – all price quartiles combined.  The market for single family homes has been in a fairly stable band for awhile, but is lower overall.  Does this mean that any particular house has lost value?  Not necessarily.  This represents homes for sale – and it may mean only that the more affordable properties are on the market (perhaps more in the Campbell Union High School District or simply “entry level” houses generally).  Ditto that for the rising median list price of condos.  It could indicate rising home values, or it could point to more expensive townhouses getting listed.

Real Estate Market Chart by Altos Research

Let’s now focus in on the data for single family homes in Saratoga, and see if we can get a clearer picture of what’s happening with the Saratoga, CA real estate market.

Here are the real estate sales statistics for closed sales last month among houses and duet homes (if there are any) in the 95070 zip code (click on link to read the full Saratoga Real Estate Report for houses):

Median Home Price +5.2% $2,152,000 $2,045,500 +16.1% $1,854,000
Average Sales Price +5.4% $2,386,850 $2,265,270 +20.5% $1,980,220
No. of Homes Sold +16.7% 35 30 +9.4% 32
Pending Properties -19.4% 25 31 -37.5% 40
Foreclosures Sold N/A 1 0 N/A 0
Short Sales Sold N/A 0 0 -100.0% 1
Active Listings -1.6% 60 61 -17.8% 73
Active Foreclosures N/A 0 0 -100.0% 1
Active Short Sales N/A 0 0 -100.0% 1
Sales Price vs. List Price -0.8% 105.0% 105.9% +3.9% 101.1%
Average Days on Market -11.1% 23 26 -25.0% 30

It looks like prices are rising in Saratoga, both month over month and year over year. (more…)

Los Gatos Real Estate Market Trends and Statistics

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

The Los Gatos real estate market is varied from one price point or school district to the next, but over all, this is a stable period with some appreciation and in many cases, a warm seller’s market (as the sale price to list price ratio indicates).   Here are the current numbers, per my Los Gatos real estate report (click on the link for full information).  The sale price to list price ratio actually rose, and that implies that no value is slipping.


Median Home Price +3.0% $1,580,500 $1,535,000 +10.7% $1,427,500
Average Sales Price -6.2% $1,731,320 $1,846,640 +8.0% $1,602,470
No. of Homes Sold +28.6% 54 42 +3.8% 52
Pending Properties -50.8% 29 59 -31.0% 42
Foreclosures Sold -100.0% 0 1 -100.0% 1
Short Sales Sold N/A 0 0 N/A 0
Active Listings 0.0% 58 58 -37.0% 92
Active Foreclosures 0.0% 2 2 N/A 0
Active Short Sales N/A 0 0 -100.0% 2
Sales Price vs. List Price -2.2% 101.3% 103.6% -0.2% 101.6%
Average Days on Market -3.6% 28 29 -20.9% 35
Please continue reading for info on the LG condo market, and for real estate market information for Monte Sereno and the Los Gatos Mountains too. (more…)

The Cambrian Park Real Estate Market Update

Sunday, July 6th, 2014

My Cambrian area of San Jose Real Estate Report was recently published with the updated numbers from the closed sales last month for this part of San Jose (95124 and 95118 with a little of 95008 too).  Please click on the link above to see much more information there. In Cambrian, we are seeing mild seasonal cooling taking place with unimpressive month over month numbers – in many segments, it’s flat, and in others a mild increase or decrease in pricing – but still very decent year over year appreciation.  Low inventory continues to make things difficult for home buyers. (Be sure to read to the end to see the live Altos charts too.)

Sales have been low because inventory’s been low – but you can see a slight uptick in the chart below.

Cambrian San Jose Real Estate Market June 2014 closings


Here are the June numbers:

Median Home Price 0.0% $820,000 $820,000 +8.5% $755,500
Average Sales Price -3.0% $839,408 $864,978 +12.5% $745,856
No. of Homes Sold -28.0% 54 75 -25.0% 72
Pending Properties -2.0% 50 51 -32.4% 74
Foreclosures Sold -100.0% 0 1 -100.0% 2
Short Sales Sold N/A 0 0 -100.0% 6
Active Listings +4.7% 45 43 -54.1% 98
Active Foreclosures N/A 0 0 -100.0% 2
Active Short Sales N/A 0 0 -100.0% 7
Sales Price vs. List Price -0.9% 104.5% 105.5% -1.7% 106.3%
Average Days on Market -2.2% 16 16 -20.4% 20


The Monte Sereno Real Estate Market

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

How is the Monte Sereno real estate market? Because the city is small, with just about 4000 residents, there usually are few homes listed for sale or selling, and with small numbers we can get seeming volatility.  Additionally, some of the properties carry hefty price tags, so reductions in those can really fiddle with the stats overall. Finally, while nearly all Monte Sereno properties are within the boundaries of the Los Gatos Union School District and the Los Gatos – Saratoga Joint Union High School District, a small handful has Campbell schools with the Campbell Union High School District.  Homes in the latter area will sell for a bit less, so sales there will pull the average and median sales price down a little and not give an accurate impression for most of the city’s real estate market.

This morning I ran the numbers in MS generally and also by high school district.  To get the months of inventory, we divide active listings by the number of homes sold over the last 30 days.  As you can see in the charts below, homes are selling (closing) faster than they are coming on.  In the Campbell HSD area, there are no recent closings but there is one pending (and I have been told by the listing agent that the pending got 8 offers; similarly, I had a listing on the same street & HSD close escrow about 6 weeks ago and it got 5 offers).  It appears that the market is equally healthy in both high school districts.

Monte Sereno real estate market by high school district on 6-25-2014

Closed sales in Monte Sereno in May: prices up about 5% from previous month and over 30% from last year

Here are the quick statistics for the closed sales in the last complete month to give a sense of how things are going. Sales data comes from my Monte Sereno Real Estate Report .   Given that the supply of homes to study is tiny, what can we tell from this data?   (more…)

Home seller’s remorse

Saturday, June 21st, 2014

Unhappy houseEveryone’s heard of home buyer’s remorse.  The same phenomena happens with sellers sometimes, too: seller’s remorse.  Incredible as it may seem to Silicon Valley home buyers, this can happen even in a strong seller’s market!  In fact, the remorse experienced seems to have little to do with the market conditions at that moment.

Seller’s remorse has everything to do with expectations.  Seller’s remorse comes from unrealistic expectations.  It also comes from agreeing to a list price which is less than what that seller will really accept when offers are presented. Sometimes it’s an “over the cubicle wall” event, when all’s fine until people not involved with the transaction undermine the seller’s confidence by saying “you sold for too little” or “you sold too fast” or other critical comments.

What happens when seller’s remorse makes an appearance? (more…)

Smaller numbers of offers on homes now

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

Where have all the offers gone?Real estate agents from Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties are relaying that although it’s still a strong seller’s market, they are seeing fewer numbers of offers.  Where there used to be perhaps a dozen bids, now maybe there are 5.  For properties that might have gleaned six offers in March, now there are 2 or 3.  Even with just three offers, overbids are the norm and frequently, the successful bidders are the ones going in with few or no contingencies for loan, appraisal or inspection.  (That’s not a safe practice and not recommended, but the reality is that sellers want to know that once’s it’s sold, it is going to close for sure – so they pick the buyers who will take on all the risk and who also bring in the best price.)

And, as before, not every home gets multiple offers.  Some get no contracts at all.

There’s so much hype about the multiple offers and overbids and bidding wars that many Silicon Valley home owners have unrealistic expectations regarding the summer real estate market and find themselves very disappointed with the results of their labors in getting the property to market.

Unfortunately, our multiple listing service,, does not track the numbers of offers, so we do not have an official way of measuring what’s happening with this particular factor.  Networking with other agents, writing and receiving offers, though, Realtors are “boots on the ground” and can gauge the market with issues like this before the impact shows up in other measurable data such as the sale price to list price or days to sell.

Sellers, don’t worry – it is still a fine time to sell your San Jose, Los Gatos or nearby home.  It is very important to work with a great realty professional who will guide you on pricing, staging, showings, and every other facet so that you maximize your net takeaway in this market.  Some home owners will be unrealistically optimistic about the market conditions and will overprice their homes.  Don’t be that seller who gets set up for failure in a market where success is probable.  Understand that summer markets are usually cooler than spring and that getting things right is more important now that there is less buyer interest.  One good offer is all it takes, but if you can get two or three, you should be set up for a happy ending.