How’s the Saratoga California real estate market?

This spring has been unlike any other, yet remains in the seller’s favor for the Saratoga, CA real estate market. Much of the market strength 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 have begun moving out and getting their homes updated prior to going on the market.

That being said, the real estate market today is not the same as it was at the start of March. We’ll see more of the results of these changes in the April market analysis than we will looking back on March. To learn more about how Covid-19 is affecting the real estate market, please check my post: Coronavirus Impact on Real Estate Sales.

During the shutdown so far, the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) stopped the timer on all Days on Market (DOM). 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 for those months. Current numbers are accurate.

Orchard and Hills in Saratoga, California - photo for article on the Saratoga CA real estate market

Orchard and Hills in Saratoga, California

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.

Real-Time Market Profile Saratoga, CA 95070

In the latest update, September 9th, Altos shows a strong seller’s market with rising market action and low inventory.

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

Saratoga has remained fairly stable. Prices are fairly stable year over year but dropped since last month. Activity has slowed since last month with fewer sales, sale pending, and active listings, though sales are close to last year and active inventory is only half of 2019. The sales to list price ratio is up to 103.2% and the days on market are a mere 22 days. This isn’t too far from the usual market at this time of year, but limited supply with ample demand are creating a strong seller’s market.

Trends At a Glance Aug 2020 Previous Month Year-over-Year
Median Price $2,675,000 (-8.9%) $2,935,000 $2,658,000 (+0.6%)
Average Price $2,736,470 (-10.6%) $3,061,070 $2,811,700 (-2.7%)
No. of Sales 27 (-27.0%) 37 27 (0.0%)
Pending 26 (-3.7%) 27 24 (+8.3%)
Active 32 (-11.1%) 36 62 (-48.4%)
Sale vs. List Price 103.2% (+3.8%) 99.4% 99.2% (+4.0%)
Days on Market 22 (-39.0%) 36 51 (-56.9%)
Days of Inventory 36 (+21.8%) 29 69 (-48.4%)

And the month before:

Trends At a Glance Jul 2020 Previous Month Year-over-Year
Median Price $2,935,000 (+2.2%) $2,872,500 $2,625,000 (+11.8%)
Average Price $3,061,070 (+3.7%) $2,952,790 $2,901,530 (+5.5%)
No. of Sales 37 (+68.2%) 22 31 (+19.4%)
Pending 27 (-28.9%) 38 25 (+8.0%)
Active 36 (-7.7%) 39 65 (-44.6%)
Sale vs. List Price 99.4% (-1.3%) 100.7% 99.0% (+0.4%)
Days on Market 36 (+9.3%) 33 33 (+8.0%)
Days of Inventory 29 (-43.2%) 51 63 (-53.6%)

Altos Research – list prices for Saratoga CA 95070

Real Estate Market Chart by Altos Research

It’s costing around $3 – $3.5 million for a “typical” Saratoga house – whatever that might look like!
Homes have been selling close to list price. The sale price to list price ratio was hovering around 105%-110% in 2017 and 2018, but has been bouncing around 100% and dipped as low as 96.8% in 2020. The general picture: for years it’s been a seller’s market in Saratoga for single family homes, with varying degrees of heat.

Median List Prices of Saratoga Houses for Sale by price point

Next, the median list prices for single family homes with a breakdown by price quartile. (Please note that the info would be even more precise if broken down by school district, but this particular program doesn’t yet filter by schools.) Properties across the board appear to be fairly level, keeping steady, but more recently with a gentle rising trend.  The top tier, as usual, shows the most dramatic ups and downs. The peak pricing for the top two tiers of homes was around March of this year, whereas the mid-priced and entry-level tiers of the market are reaching their peak more gradually.

Real Estate Market Chart by Altos Research

Saratoga condo and townhouse market:

Next, please find the basic statistics for closed sales last month among townhouses & condominiums in the 95070 zip code (see the Saratoga Real Estate Report for condos & townhomes).

The numbers of sales for this segment of the realty market are always small, so it can appear more volatile than is actually the case. This small inventory means data can quickly swing, so don’t trust the percentages in this chart too much.

Still, looking back we can see it’s been a steady seller’s market often with more listings selling and pending than those currently active. By March it had heated to a strong seller’s market, though the usual spring trend was soon interrupted and the market cooled since. In the latest update, September 9th, the market action has begun to turn, dipping into a slight seller’s advantage.

Saratoga, CA Condo Real-Time Market Profile

Saratoga CA real estate stats:

Saratoga’s condo market hasn’t gained any inventory since last month, and it wasn’t much to begin with. With so few sales the best way to understand the market is to study individual comps (comparable properties sold recently).

Trends at a Glance

This segment of the real estate market can sometimes show more significant swings in data than there really are, since there are so few sales to gauge the market by. With the sales vs list price ratio, we can see that properties have been selling close to, and often above list price for a long time. Sales fell significantly, below last month and last year. Pending sales remain low, and active inventory dropped a hair. After a firey March, the market hasn’t quite caught up to where it was before the pandemic. Still, it seems like Saratoga condos saw some cooling in August and remains a mild seller’s market.

Trends At a Glance Aug 2020 Previous Month Year-over-Year
Median Price $1,064,000 (+5.1%) $1,012,500 $1,460,000 (-27.1%)
Average Price $1,064,000 (-10.8%) $1,193,250 $1,430,000 (-25.6%)
No. of Sales (-75.0%) 8 (-33.3%)
Pending (0.0%) 3 (+50.0%)
Active (-20.0%) 5 (-55.6%)
Sale vs. List Price 99.2% (-3.0%) 102.2% 98.6% (+0.6%)
Days on Market 23 (-33.1%) 34 54 (-58.1%)
Days of Inventory 60 (+220.0%) 19 90 (-33.3%)

And the month before:

Trends At a Glance Jul 2020 Previous Month Year-over-Year
Median Price $1,012,500 (+4.0%) $974,000 $1,055,000 (-4.0%)
Average Price $1,193,250 (+22.5%) $974,000 $1,119,720 (+6.6%)
No. of Sales (+300.0%) 2 (+100.0%)
Pending (-57.1%) 7 (0.0%)
Active (0.0%) 5 (-44.4%)
Sale vs. List Price 102.2% (-0.8%) 103.0% 102.9% (-0.7%)
Days on Market 34 (+43.1%) 24 28 (+19.0%)
Days of Inventory 19 (-74.1%) 73 68 (-72.2%)
With condos, it’s very easy to feel alarmed at the numbers, but so few condominiums or town homes sell each month that it doesn’t take much to make the numbers get wonky. So as with the houses, we have to evaluate on a case-by-case basis. Because Saratoga has a number of school districts and property types (condos and town houses), you really need to zero in on the exact area, home type and size, as well as related issues such as condition before deciding that the market is rising or falling. If you are interested in buying or selling a condo or townhouse in Saratoga, don’t go it alone or rely on online stats – give me a call and we will crunch the numbers specifically for your home and pinpoint the pricing.

Median List Prices of Saratoga Condos for Sale

And now, list price of condos by price quartiles.

Real Estate Market Chart by Altos Research

The condo market heated up for the beginning of 2020, but around the start of March most quartiles began to drop again. The most dramatic incline was in the top segment, with the drop in the second highest tier taking a little longer to begin. That being said, this chart updates weekly and we can see three out of four price tiers have all seen some steep downward trend since the start of March.

Additional trend charts for both single family homes and townhouses & condominiums

Inventory of both houses & condos in Saratoga

Real Estate Market Chart by Altos Research

It’s seasonally typical to have more inventory in summer than other times of the year, though last autumn did well compared to the start of 2019. Going back a few more years (see below), please note where the peaks are found – almost always sometime in summer. (Single family homes only.)

Real Estate Market Chart by Altos Research

It’s less clear, but still visible, with condominiums and townhouses in Saratoga:

Real Estate Market Chart by Altos Research

Average Days on Market for Saratoga Homes for Sale

Real Estate Market Chart by Altos Research

Days on Market for Houses by quartile, the chart is not much different –  what is so interesting to me is that the the top quartile is so separate from the rest, though it seems to come closer to the other markets outside of winter. Another surprise, the entry-level properties have changed place from fastest turnover last summer to become the second slowest to sell.

Real Estate Market Chart by Altos Research

It is strangely disjointed in the Saratoga Condo market, though. I can’t explain why this had been so “all over the board” based on just this data.

Real Estate Market Chart by Altos Research

My suspicion is that the homes with the better schools are faring the best, but that’s just a hunch based on how well homes usually sell – it’s not provable with this info at hand. Again, with low inventory, the data for condos gets wonky.

If you’re interested in buying or selling a Saratoga home, please contact me. I’ll be happy to meet with you for a no obligation initial consultation.

View Saratoga CA homes for sale HERE.

Interested in buying or selling a home in Saratoga? I grew up there (and in Santa Clara), graduated from Saratoga High before heading off to college, and have been selling homes as a Saratoga Realtor – and nearby parts of Santa Clara County & Silicon Valley too –  since 1993. I understand the impact of Saratoga’s school districts on home buying decisions, the importance of various locations to market value, and resale concerns that can improve or detract from your return on investment.

Read more about my background on the Valley of Hearts Delight website (sister site to this blog) and learn why my past clients and other readers of the San Jose Mercury News named me “best real estate agent in Silicon Valley” in 2011. There you’ll also see my accomplishments/honors/awards, info on sales experience, and more.

Contact Mary Now 408 204-7673Or just take a moment to phone me at 408 204-7673, or email me


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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:
Santa Clara County,
San Mateo County, and
Santa Cruz County.
Special focus on:
San Jose, Los Gatos,
Saratoga, Campbell,
Almaden Valley,
Cambrian Park.
Mary’s other resources
Silicon Valley real estate report
Real estate statistics and trends for Santa Clara County, San Mateo County, and Santa Cruz County

Live in Los Gatos blog
Los Gatos neighborhoods, history, businessses, parks, restaurant reviews, and more

Valley Of Heart's Delight
Santa Clara County Real Estate,
with an interest in history
Silicon Valley relocation info
Silicon Valley real estate,
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