As of today, November 10, 2023, the Los Gatos real estate market in 95030 & 95032 remains strong, especially for well priced, turnkey homes.
Across the county, first time home buyers are the most active and more entry level prices is the strongest segment.
Los Gatos real estate market statistics for the last 30 days (not a calendar month)
Numbers for today (pulled from the MLS), going back 30 days from yesterday, so appx mid September to mid October:
40 houses for sale
15 are contingent or sale pending
27 have closed in the last 30 days
average home size 2,438 SF
average lot size 19,052 SF
average days on market = 19 (up from 13!)
average sale price $2,963,808 (down from last month’s report of $3,338,419)
median sale price $2,800,000 down from $3,040,000 in last month’s report)
average sale to list price ratio 106% (up from 104% last month and 102% in mid Sept)
Trends at a Glance from the RE Report for Los Gatos 95030 & 95032
The numbers below analyze data gathered during the first week of each month and cover real estate statistics from the month prior in Los Gatos 95030 & 95032 (all areas / school districts), or MLS “area 16”. See the full RE Report here.
These numbers never line up exactly with the MLS figures, but the data trends line up:
Trends At a Glance
No. of Sales
Sale vs. List Price
Days on Market
Days of Inventory
And the month before:
Trends At a Glance
No. of Sales
Sale vs. List Price
Days on Market
Days of Inventory
Further below you’ll find similar charts for houses in the Los Gatos Mountains and also condos and townhomes “in town”.
Los Gatos real estate market statistics: multi year data by month
Here is some Los Gatos real estate market data that I pulled directly from the MLS today.
Inventory of available homes for sale in Los Gatos 95030 and Los Gatos 95032
A quick glance at the last few years suggests that this inventory remains a little low.
The Santa Clara County real estate market is very similar to last month: inventory remains tight, home prices are rising year over year, interest rates came down a little last week, most listings are “have to sell” situations (more sales after a death than usual), and the number of sales is way down.
It’s hard for buyers to get into a good home and it is pretty easy to sell, but most sellers are staying put as they have low interest rate mortgages and don’t want to change that. Except for interest rates moderating slightly, this has been our market condition in recent months. Homes are still selling, but far fewer than normal. We are hoping that interest rates come down next year. That would help a ton.
Today, in addition to sharing the Silicon Valley real estate statistics, we’ll also touch on something that’s been making the news a lot in the last week or so: real estate lawsuits.
Here’s the RE Report summary table. It’s an excellent summary of our Silicon Valley housing market.
PLEASE NOTE: to view any of the data tables / images below in a larger version, just click on them and you will be taken to our blog post, where the images are larger (except for the first one). Still too small? Click on them in the article and a larger still version will pop up.
Real estate lawsuits
Have you heard about the lawsuits against NAR (the National Association of Realtors) and several brokerages? Recent court decisions are beginning to change the way we work as an industry across the nation. In our local market, one of the biggest shifts we expect to see is a more widespread use of a written buyer-agent agreement as opposed to a verbal commitment and a handshake. This written agreement will also shift the responsibility of payment for the buyer’s agent to the buyer, though we do not anticipate a major change in how commission payments are made in the immediate future, as home sellers can continue to cover that cost. And these changes are already underway.
Clair and I have been studying and preparing, attending legal updates and seminars with our brokerage to adapt to these new best practices as this unfolds. We know that you probably have a lot of questions about how this will impact the Silicon Valley real estate market. So do we! In the future expect to see a blog post on this. Right now we are still gathering information so we can provide accurate insight for our readers. For our active clients, feel free to reach out to us at any time, we’d be happy to discuss this with you in person, in a video call, or over the phone.
Monte Sereno is a small city that sits between Los Gatos and Saratoga. Like its larger neighbors, it includes areas in the foothills and flatlands both. This city includes about 4,000 residents. There are no office buildings, restaurants, or shops here, just homes, the city’s offices and community center, and a few churches. Much of it is close to downtown Los Gatos, though, it is not far for shops and eateries.
Monte Sereno and Los Gatos – a special connection
Monte Sereno and Los Gatos share a police department, parks, library, and several schools in the Los Gatos Union School District and the Los Gatos Saratoga Union High School District.
The school districts in Silicon Valley do not follow city limits, zip code boundaries, or other more seemingly intuitive coverage areas. The reason is that the school district areas were decided long before the final city limits were figured out. Below is a map from our MLS that I’ve doctored a little (darkening some lines and adding texts and arrows) to show how these areas do not really line up in places.
Most of Monte Sereno has Los Gatos Schools, but a pocket with about 150 homes is part of the Campbell Union School District and the Campbell Union High School District. Part of Los Gatos is in this school area of attendance, too (and another area in east Los Gatos has Union Schools).
It is also evident that the boundary lines themselves are quite erratic looking if you follow the green lines around the edges of the city’s limits.
How is the Monte Sereno real estate market? Because the city is small, with just about 3,500 residents, there usually are few homes listed for sale or selling, and with small numbers we can get seeming volatility. This article is updated monthly with new data and analysis, so scroll down to read the latest and check back regularly. Here are a few details from the latest market update:
With so few sales and listings, Monte Sereno real estate data can swing quite wildly in the charts below so take it with a grain of salt.
This city appears to be in a seller’s market with severely low inventory, just 7 available homes at the end of September. That’s huge growth, but still a drop in the bucket for what’s needed.
There were just 2 closed sales and 2 pending sales, both short of this time last year.
There are ALMOST no condominiums or townhomes in Monte Sereno. As of August 2023, the MLS showed just 6 sales in these two categories in total – and that’s going back to 1998! And one of those, at least, appears to actually be in Los Gatos. One of the major challenges for this city is to ensure that at least some housing units are deemed “affordable.” You can find the city’s housing plan here (an online pdf): http://www.montesereno.org/DocumentCenter/Home/View/674
Because this is such a small city and there’s a tiny pool of data, please also have a look at the Los Gatos real estate market post on this site.
Below is a quick market profile for the Monte Sereno real estate market. This is updated automatically weekly, so please check back often.
So many variables impact the real estate market, both here in Silicon Valley but across the country. Employment, interest rates, the stock market, the availability of real estate inventory, the confidence of the buying public (say, in the wake of a terroristic attack, announced layoffs, or global conflicts like the invasion of Ukraine) all can move the housing market one way or the other. But they’re not the only forces that do.
Weather and natural disasters can likewise have a pronounced effect on a local housing market too.
Our closing got delayed as the lender refused to fund the loan until the home was professionally checked out by an appraiser. They’d seen images of the Bay Bridge, homes off their foundations, fallen chimneys and other disastrous structural failures and weren’t taking a chance on any home!
Luckily for us, the property we were in contract for was essentially unscathed. It was not a young home, but built by a respectable builder, and more importantly it was on solid ground. Thankfully the house was fully vacant since we were close to the planned close of escrow, so there was no fallen furniture or broken glass in the carpeting and most everything was visible and easy to check later for damages. We did close, though it was about 10 days later than expected.
For listings not yet sale pending, it was already a slowing market and the beginning of a correction, but the earthquake plunged the market more deeply into the doldrums. At least for awhile.
Weather Forecasting the Market Activity
There are similar stories with markets all across the state, country, and globe after similar disasters. More recently here in California we’ve seen major impacts on various markets after fiercly destructive wildfires. But mother nature can effect the housing market in much more subtle ways as well, no disaster necessary.
The Heritage Grove neighborhood in Los Gatos had an interesting beginning. An old apricot orchard used to line Blossom Hill Road between Union and Leigh Avenues until the 1990s. The former owners, Ralph and Sophie Heintz, lived there in their farmhouse until their deaths, at which time the property was willed to the University of California at Berkeley for eye research.
Sophie and Ralph were interesting people. He ran a small train on their property and was an inventor. She was a ham radio operator.
In 1998, the Heintz land (and house etc.) was sold to Summerhill Homes and a portion developed as housing by Summerhill. A few of the homes higher up in the neighborhood were built by different builders. That Los Gatos neighborhood is now called the Heritage Grove neighborhood.
A strip of trees was planted along Blossom Hill Road, reminiscent of the history of the area. A wonderfully large section of land was made a permanent open space, now known as the Heintz Open Space Preserve. This open space connects directly with Belgatos Park, which also connects with the Santa Rosa Open Space Preserve. So the network of trails is quite extensive. (Link to Town of Los Gatos page with pdf files of these three trail maps. Link to Google Maps map of Blossom Hill Trails, drawn by Jim Handy.)
In 2015, we did a video drive through of the Heritage Grove neighborhood. Please take a look:
Is it a good time to sell a home in Silicon Valley? One of the best ways to get a pulse on the real estate market with an eye to selling or buying is with the months of inventory (MOI), also known as the absorption rate. This is the months of supply of housing for sale.
The months of inventory tells us how fast the current inventory of properties will be sold off if sales were to continue at the same rate with no new inventory were to come on the market.
The easiest analogy is with a bathtub full of water. If we added no more water to the tub, and the drain were opened, how much time would it take for the water to be depleted if it continued to empty at the same rate? That’s the question being answered with the absorption rate of inventory.
Or, simpler still, if you have an hourglass that you turn over, how long does it take for the sand to empty from the top (since you cannot add more sand to that end)?
How to calculate the months of inventory or MOI
The way to calculate the months of inventory is simple: find the current available inventory of homes for sale (not under contract or sale pending), then find the number of homes with that exact criteria which have closed escrow in the last 30 days. Divide the first by the second and you get the months of inventory. Or, I can just use the stats program on the MLS to generate that number, as I did today.
Earlier I pulled this data from MLSListings.com, our local MLS association (of which I am a member) and I ran the numbers for single family homes (houses and duet homes) in Cupertino, Los Altos, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, Mountain View, Palo Alto, San Jose (all areas combined), Santa Clara, Saratoga, Sunnyvale. Separately, I also ran this same query for the City of San Jose by district.
The months of inventory by city or town in Santa Clara County
A balanced market for our area is 2-3 months of inventory (for most of the US it’s 4-6 months). Two months or less is a seller’s market, and one month or less is a very hot seller’s market.
Here’s a look at the months of inventory by city or town in SCC in April 2023 for single family homes. As you can see, the vast majority of the county is a strong seller’s market, with the only exception being Los Altos Hills.
Which are the hottest markets? They’re the ones with the smallest months of inventory -Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, Cupertino, Milpitas and many more are well under the 2 month market. A few are a tad higher and in the “balanced market” area, and only one is in a deep buyer’s market.
The months of inventory by area within the City of San Jose
Looking forward to those fabulous free summer concerts? So am I! This year we’ve combined the schedules of different Los Gatos music festivals: Music in the Park, Jazz on the Plazz, and Fiesta de Artes, as well as some single-day events in a post on my Live in Los Gatos blog. Not all schedules are published, and remember to check the festival web sites for rules, schedule changes, and directions.
Meet the Team – Mary Pope-Handy and Clair Handy, a mother and daughter team with Christie’s International Real Estate Sereno.
I, Mary, have been selling homes full time for over three decades. Clair assisted me for years with various clerical and blog tasks, and later did more marketing, article writing, graphic design for some of the post artwork, social media sharing, and real estate errands generally.
In 2021, Clair received her California real estate license to take on a forward facing role in the team and became my junior partner.
We coordinate and do nearly everything together, whether it’s open houses, showings, or marketing efforts, but when there’s a time crunch and we need to be in two locations to accommodate our clients’ schedules, then we divide and conquer.
Learn about the folks supporting our team
Several people, companies, and systems assist us in our work with buyers and sellers in Silicon Valley. Most often, our clients will not see or speak with many of our team members much (if at all), but they are all part of the package, if on the “back end” much of the time. Without them, though, it would be impossible for us to assist our clients in getting their homes bought and sold. Transaction Coordinator:
We employ a transaction coordinator, Joe Chames (and team) of Serulian Virtual Services, who makes sure that the paperwork is complete when preparing homes to sell or when navigating clients through the sale and escrow period. With a myriad of places to sign and initial and papers not to forget, it’s helpful to have a second set of eyes on the file.
Additionally, other agents also review the file on behalf of Sereno management. When there are legal questions, which can come up from time to time, we have a legal counsel available to make sure that we as agents are walking the straight and narrow. (This is not legal guidance for our clients.) We get answers back within a business day, if not a few hours.
Finally, there are several agents who assist us in some cases (vacation, sickness, family emergencies) as I am part of a Realtor “co op” group in which we support each other when a hand is needed. If you work with Mary and Clair, there are two backup people or groups to make sure you are able to see homes or have things taken care of in case of vacation, illness, or unexpected issue.
We are very well supported on the office or brokerage level. When you hire us, you get a full staff behind us, too.
Our outside specialists
Whether buying or selling a silicon valley home or investment property, good inspections are critical. We don’t have one list for buyers and another for sellers – no matter which end of the transaction you’re on, you want excellent information. Surprises tend to sour escrows, so part of the plan in helping you avoid trouble is to avoid surprises. Only with excellent information can you make good decisions and have more control of the way your real estate sale progresses.
1. Home or Property Inspectors. It is crucial that your property inspector be exceedingly well trained, experienced, careful, clear, and through. In California, there is no license for home inspectors. However, there are a couple of trade groups which have a very high standard of practice. One is ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors) and the other is CREIA (California Real Estate Inspection Association).
2. Termite and Pest Inspectors. In California, especially in our sub-tropical coastal area of Silicon Valley, termites are an ongoing issue. We have both subterranean and drywood termites and sometimes even dampwood termites – plus boring beetles, carpenter ants, and many other wood destroying organisims.
By far and away, the termite company I prefer to work with (and have work on my own home) is Thrasher Termite & Pest Control. They are located in Los Gatos but serve all of Santa Clara County (and I believe occasionally go into nearby counties – they once helped me with a listing in Scotts Valley, which is in Santa Cruz County).
On the rare occasion that Thrasher is not available, there are other termite companies that I may need to use. Or, if I’m working with a buyer and the seller has pre-sale inspections, there are pest control companies whose work I trust to be ethical and thorough. The Pest Control Operators of California can provide a complete list of who does termite and pest work in the San Jose area, but we maintain a list of probably 10 local providers that we trust.
The State of California has a site, The Structural Pest Control Board, which has great information for consumers and agents alike, including a license lookup feature.
There are more inspectors whom I endorse and work with, but these two categories are the main ones.
(B) TITLE & ESCROW
There are a number of excellent title companies in Santa Clara County. The one that we prefer to work with is Fidelity National Title in Saratoga with Colleen Stevens, our escrow officer, and Tania Cheater, our title rep, to help us.
They are all also financially sound, which is critically important in today’s real estate landscape in Santa Clara County.
We have a short list of about 3-4 lenders I can refer to you. Some specialize in one type of loan or home situation, some another. Please contact me and I can give you a couple of names that are most likely to be a good fit for you.
If you have a particular bank that you want to work with, please don’t just call the toll free number on the website of that institution. Not every loan officer is as good as another. If we don’t have a name of someone for that lender, we will ask around and find you someone who’s got a known track record. This is imperative so that your escrow is one that’s as smooth and headache free as possible.
(D) And More….
Depending on your needs, we have assistance from movers to house cleaners to photographers and full-time stagers. The list is extensive, reflecting my many years in the business! (Licensed & full time since early 1993.) If we don’t have someone already on our vendors list, we’ll do some research and find some resources for our clients.
The Cameo Park West neighborhood is located close to where Los Gatos, Campbell, and Saratoga meet. It’s actually in the City of Campbell but has a Los Gatos mailing address. This is a tidy community bordered by Pollard Road, San Tomas Aquino Creek, the Highway 85 freeway, and Rolling Hills Middle School.
The 122 or so homes here were built in 1966 and 1967 by one of the better tract builders in the area, Leep Homes. Houses range from 1380 square feet to 2620 SF, and lot sizes run between 6000 SF and about 12,600 SF. A typical home might have around 1800 SF and be situated on an 8000 SF lot. The houses have thoughtful floor plans and the bedrooms and living areas are usually a good size.
Leep homes tend to have a fairly consistent layout – here are the 1 story home traits
most are single story homes
front porch with two bedrooms facing the front (sometimes one goes further into the front yard than the other)
formal entryway, often with double doors
step down living room straight ahead from the foyer (the rest of the house is all the same level)
fireplace located on side of living room closest to kitchen – it’s often a two way fireplace
kitchen (and sometimes also a family room) just behind the garage
laundry in the attached 2 car garage but close to the kitchen, usually immediately next to the door from the garage to the kitchen
bedrooms are all down a hall in the opposite direction from the kitchen. Just before the master bedroom suite there will be the hall bath (then inside the master suite, the owner’s bathroom and then bedroom)
the master bedroom faces the back yard, often leading to a patio shared between the kitchen (family room) and living room
central, forced air heat
no formal dining room (but plenty of space in the kitchen for eating)
sliding glass doors from the master bedroom, the living room and kitchen / family room
Below is a pan of one of the streets in Cameo Park West, taken in 2011.
Strengths and weaknesses of the Cameo Park West neighborhood
It’s very easy to list the strengths of this neighborhood: it’s very clean, well kept, had a good builder, convenient location (close to two schools and only a block or two or three to Safeway and nearby shops). Major shopping is within easy reach at Westgate, El Paseo and nearby (appx 7 minute drive). For those wishing to take Lawrence Expressway, it’s a breeze – just hop onto Quito and it becomes Lawrence, making a lot of commutes simpler, easier and faster. For Los Gatos, this location is closer to places like Apple, Google, and other high tech centers (as compared to downtown Los Gatos or east LG).
The elementary school is Marshall Lane, the middle is Rolling Hills and the high is Westmont. Both the elementary and middle enjoy high scores on the major school assessment websites.
The negatives do not impact everyone, but that said, they do exist. At one end of the neighborhood, there’s super close proximity to Highway 85, to the train tracks and to the high voltage power lines and towers. Those are never a plus.
Many homes along Elwood back up to Rolling Hills Middle School. Is that a negative or a positive? That really depends on your point of view, and some would prefer to back to a school yard than to another house. But most buyers would prefer another location for their home.
What do homes cost in the Cameo Park West area?
Like most of the 95032 zip code, it’s unlikely to find a house for under $1.5 million there today (if you do, it is likely in “fixer” condition). To be able to purchase one of these homes, be prepared to pay between $1.7 million and $1.8 million in most cases. Of course, it could always be less or more depending on exact location, size and condition of home, plus the marketing situation (is it easy to see, is it clean and without bad odors, has it been fairly updated etc.).
Christie's International Real Estate Sereno, Los Gatos, CA 95030 408 204-7673 Mary@PopeHandy.com License# 01153805
Clair Handy, Realtor
Christie's International Real Estate Sereno 214 Los Gatos-Saratoga Rd Los Gatos, CA 95030 ClairHandy@sereno.com License# 02153633
Mary & Clair sell homes throughout Silicon Valley: Santa Clara County, San Mateo County, and Santa Cruz County. with a special focus on: San Jose, Los Gatos, Saratoga, Campbell, Almaden Valley, Cambrian Park.
Mary Pope-Handy, Realtor
ABR, AHWD, CIPS, CRS, SRES
Christie's International Real Estate Sereno
DRE License #01153805
“Helping nice folks to buy and sell homes in Silicon Valley since 1993”
Clair Handy, Realtor, GREEN
Christie's International Real Estate Sereno
DRE License #02153633
email@example.com “Helping nice folks to buy and sell homes in Silicon Valley”
This is the Valley of Heart's Delight blog , covering Silicon Valley real estate - Santa Clara County, San Jose, Los Gatos, Cupertino, and nearby communities in the South Bay Area and lower Peninsula. Find info on neighborhoods, disclosure issues, buyer and seller tips, and housing market conditions in the west valley and most of the county.Please also see my other websites and real estate market statistics site, which are listed in the sidebar, above.
Mary Pope-Handy, Realtor
ABR, CIPS, CRS, SRES
DRE License #01153805
“Helping nice folks to buy and sell homes in Silicon Valley since 1993”
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