As of this writing, the Saratoga real estate market is a mild seller’s market for both single family homes and for condominiums and townhouses (condos and townhomes comprise a small part of the overall market in Saratoga). November’s closed sales, quick facts:
- Single family homes are selling at an average of 99% of list price, and have 38 days on market.
- For condos and townhomes, the sale to list price ratio is a cooler 95.2%, and the days on market is 53
- Single family home prices, median and average, are off slightly (less than 1%) from last year, and are also off from October (-3.8% from the median and 7.3 % for the average)
- Condo and TH prices have been rising, both month over month and year over year, both average and median sale prices
The Saratoga real estate market is comprised of several “micro markets”, as the city itself has several school districts, homes that are close to downtown and homes that are in suburban neighborhoods and others which are in remote mountain locations, and of course a wide variety of home prices up into the luxury tier. Each of these will be a little different. Please take the general numbers with a big grain of salt!
In terms of pricing, the lowest price points have been fairly flat while the most expensive properties have seen an increase in list prices. You can view that in the weekly Altos Research Report for Saratoga CA 95070.
Overall, though, as of this writing it is a slight seller’s market in Saratoga. Below, please find an Altos Research profile for Saratoga, CA 95070, using list prices (not sold data). This is automatically updated each week.
Today we’re looking at the real estate market for houses in some of the “west valley” communities along the base of the Santa Cruz Mountains – areas where schools are good, crime is low, residents enjoy scenic views of the hills (or of the valley from the hills, depending on the location) and overall, a highly educated population not too far from Highway 85. This will be a real estate market comparison for Los Gatos, Saratoga, Cupertino, and Los Altos.
Of the four municipalities, three are really very similar to each other in several regards. Cupertino has the largest population – about 61,000 people – but Los Altos, Los Gatos and Saratoga are all similarly sized, somewhere between 31,000 residents. The latter three also enjoy a traditional “downtown” area which is popular with pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists alike. (Monte Sereno has under 4,000 residents, which is so small that the statistics are very easily thrown from month to month, so it is omitted in this quick study.) Of the four, Cupertino, then, is the least similar due to size and lack of a central downtown area for now. This may feel different once the Vallco Mall is redeveloped.
We’ll take a quick look at these areas now in terms of the real estate market trends and statistics for each area, considering just “class 1” (houses and duet homes). The charts used below are from Altos Research, to which I have a subscription, and they will be automatically updated each week.
Please note: the Los Gatos data is probably a little artificially low as it will include all 3 zip codes, meaning also the Los Gatos Mountains, which are quite a bit more affordable than the areas “in town”.
(1) Median List Price (per Altos Research):
A few years back, while touring homes for sale in Saratoga, I saw a sign for a hiking trail in a residential area that I did not know had trails. After a bit of research, I found a list of trails on the city’s website and thought my readers might enjoy some of this info, too.
The city’s website includes a page with links to ALL available Saratoga trail maps which are all pdf files (so be prepared for loading). It offers both a map with all of the trails (shown above) and more.
Love hiking? Here are some other resources and info on nearby trails in Santa Clara County:
Los Gatos parks and trails – see especially the Los Gatos Creek Trail and Belgatos Park (which connects to the Santa Rosa open space, Heinz open space and more), and the Novitiate Park, which connects to a huge long trail that goes to or near Lexington Reservoir
Link to the Heinz Open Space and Santa Rosa Open Space trail maps
Mt Umunhum (often called Mount Um)
Santa Clara County Parks
- Almaden Quicksilver Park
- Saratoga – hiking at the Montalvo Arts Center
- Map of ALL of the Santa Clara County parks
Saratoga Parkside is a tidy community of 77 townhome style units adjacent to El Quito Park. These homes are held in condo ownership and the private road, Sara Park Circle, is directly off of Saratoga Avenue. Homes in the back, shown below, are a little smaller and have garages behind them. Closer to Saratoga Avenue, the design is different, and properties feature a 2 car garage in front.
Here’s the greenbelt and building opposite these homes:
At the center of the complex is a good sized pool and spa. At the back end of the campus, there is a large greenbelt area between two of the buildings. Beyond that, accessed by a locked gate, is beautiful El Quito Park. It’s close to a number or shops and stores on nearby Cox Avenue. Overall, it’s a fantastic location. All homes have an address along Sara Park Circle.
Saratoga Parkside history
Saratoga Parkside was built in the 1980s by Jerry Lohr of J Lohr Winery fame. From MLS comments of sales 20+ years ago, it seems that this pretty community was begun as a senior housing tract, which converted to use for residents of all ages use sometime before 1998, at which point some Realtors added in their MLS notes “no age restrictions”.
How’s the Saratoga California real estate market?
It’s a slight seller’s advantage in the Saratoga CA real estate market right now, per Altos Research (see below). Much of it depends on the price point, school district, and condition – today’s buyers generally prefer recently remodeled homes. (Not long ago, I showed a home that was remodeled in 2010 and my buyers found it to be dated.) In response to this strong preference, many sellers are moving out and getting their homes updated prior to going on the market.
First, a quick glance at the Altos Research market profile for a quick summary of the market conditions. Altos uses LIST prices, not sold prices, for this chart and the others, below.
As of writing this, January 7th, Altos shows a slight seller’s advantage in the market right now. Prices are rising, but inventory is dropping. Demand is high, but not as crazy as it was in spring or summer so houses are taking longer to sell.
Next, let’s turn to the closed sales from last month. This time we’re using data from a subscription service of mine to the RE Report.
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). Bottom line is that most livable homes in Saratoga will run between $2 and $3 million if they are mid sized (2000-3000 SF) and in the best schools area (Saratoga or Cupertino). Homes in the Campbell schools area, which have very strong elementary and middle schools, are very rare and generally more affordable, closer to $1.5, but depending on size, condition, and location they can be significantly higher (the ones selling in October 2019 were closer to $2.5, for instance).
Trends at a Glance for the Saratoga CA Real Estate Market
As with much of the county, it’s fairly flat right now in Saratoga. Though prices have tended to lag behind 2018, which was the peak of the market, December of 2019 looked quite stable year over year.
|Trends At a Glance||Dec 2019||Previous Month||Year-over-Year|
|Median Price||$2,602,500 (+2.1%)||$2,550,000||$2,598,000 (+0.2%)|
|Average Price||$2,745,590 (+0.9%)||$2,721,480||$2,947,460 (-6.8%)|
|No. of Sales||18 (-14.3%)||21||15 (+20.0%)|
|Pending||14 (-41.7%)||24||12 (+16.7%)|
|Active||22 (-48.8%)||43||26 (-15.4%)|
|Sale vs. List Price||98.9% (-0.2%)||99.0%||100.3% (-1.4%)|
|Days on Market||42 (+9.4%)||38||69 (-39.7%)|
|Days of Inventory||37 (-38.3%)||59||52 (-29.5%)|
And the month before:
Thanksgiving is just a few days away, and there are interfaith services in Los Gatos and Saratoga going on and welcome all. In both of these places, the venue rotates from one house of worship to another each year.
In Los Gatos, the interfaith prayer event is Tuesday, November 20th at 7 pm, and it takes place at the Presbyterian Church of Los Gatos, 16575 Shannon Road.
In Saratoga, the Community Interfaith Thanksgiving Service will take place on Thanksgiving morning, from 10-11 a.m. (November 22nd) at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 13716 Saratoga Ave, Saratoga. This is the 53rd year for this gathering!
Wishing everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving! Hope to see you at one of these events!
Luxury home sales are going like crazy in the west valley areas of Santa Clara County. Right now in Almaden Valley, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno and Saratoga, there are 115 houses for sale listed at or more than two million dollars (just checked MLSListings.com), and in the last 30 days 52 have sold and closed escrow in those same areas and price ranges. For the Almaden – Saratoga region generally, then, there are 2.212 months of inventory in the over two million dollar price range (115/52). That makes it a strong seller’s market. Things have certainly stayed lively since last year. (In the same region, there are 39 pending sales.)
Next we’ll look at these four Silicon Valley communities separately to see how the luxury market in each one is faring overall.
Almaden Valley (San Jose, 95120)
Currently in Almaden there are 12 houses for sale which are listed at or over $2,000,000. In the last 30 days, 3 sold in that price range (with 2 sales pending). That makes for 4 “months of inventory,” which can be considered a balanced market in many areas though is leaning towards being a seller’s market. That would mean this luxury market has good turnover but is not as strong a market as elsewhere. It’s a close to balanced market in Almaden Valley among the most expensive real estate offerings for sale. Five to six months is balanced and over six is a buyer’s market. Continue reading