The Los Gatos & Monte Sereno real estate market has been improving in recent months. Below please find the numbers of Monte Sereno & Los Gatos homes for sale right now, both houses and duet homes as well as condominiums and townhouses, followed by the months of inventory for each set. Six months is a "balanced" market. Fewer is a seller's market and more is a buyer's market. The months of inventory (or absorption rate) is one of the best ways to gage the market conditions overall.
As you can see, in general the market is "balanced" for houses and condos alike, both hovering close to six months, and is a seller's market for distressed properties (short sales and bank owned homes). The bargain prices found with short sales and REOs makes them the hot ticket of the market in general. Short sale and bank owned condominiums or townhomes for sale are the sweet spotof the Los Gatos & Monte Sereno realty market right now with just 1 -2 months of inventory.
The group above includes all of 95032 and 95030, all school districts, all price ranges. To get the absorption rate or months of inventory, it's simple math - just divide the number of available homes by those sold in the last month. I ran these figures earlier on MLSListings.com (info deemed reliable but not guaranteed, of course).
Right now in Los Gatos, there are 154 houses (or duet homes) available or for sale in 95030 and 95032. Of them, 4 are short sale listings and 3 are REOs (real estate owned by the bank, or "bank owned"). That doesn't sound too dramatic, does it?
But short sale listings are priced significantly lower than normal Los Gatos homes for sale, so they sell faster. (Not all of them will close escrow, but that's for another post.) The numbers are much higher as a percentage of the homes under contract or sale pending. Of the pending sales, there ar 61 single family homes under contract in all, 14 of which are short sales (23%) and none is bank owned.
The numbers become more dramatic when the school district or price point is broken out. A larger percentage of short sales is found among lower priced homes in the Union or Moreland School District areas of Los Gatos rather than more expensive properties which are "in the schools". Some areas have been more hard hit than others. Tonight I ran the numbers for the faithful readers of this blog and I hope you find it interesting - I did!
For about two years, I've been periodically providing the readers of this blog information on distressed properties, mostly short sales but also bank owned homes (REOs) in and near Los Gatos. Today's San Jose Mercury News has an article on the cover by Sue McAllister regarding the increasing number of short sales in Silicon Valley. Across Santa Clara County, short sales account for about one-third of the inventory. (Another "rough number": countywide, our prices are down about 1/3 from the peak.)
What about Los Gatos? Is the trend here also for rising numbers of short sale homes on the market? Bargain hunting home buyers will correctly tell you that there just aren't many Los Gatos homes for sale which are short sales. Some sellers will tell you that the short sales are hurting their home's market value. Both are true.
Right now in Los Gatos (area "16", zips 95032 and 95030), there are 181 houses, condos, duet homes and townhouses for sale. Of those, 7 are short sales and 2 are bank owned properties. (Six of the seven are priced at under $1,000,000, so the most affordable part of the market is being hit hardest by short sales. One of the listed homes is over $2,000,000. Four are in 95030, three in 95032. Three are houses, four are condos/townhomes.)
In the 95030 & 95032 zip codes and with a Los Gatos mailing address (so not necessarily the "incorporated" part that actually belongs to the town per se), for condos, townhomes, houses, and duet homes onlyhomes, right now there are
14 for sale or available (8 houses, 6 condos or townhomes)
16 sale pending
3 closed within the last 30 days (2 houses, 1 condo/TH)
Of the active listings, two of them have been on the market for close to a year.
Info on the Los Gatos short sales which are sold & closed recently:
Of the solds, 2 were houses and one was a townhome. The houses sold for appx 5% less than list, the condo sold for almost 5% over.
If someone were shopping specifically for a Los Gatos short sale, the months of inventory for this subset of the real estate market is currently 4.6 MOI - a seller's market. And, like in the rest of the market, the good ones go relatively fast. If the home is well priced, nicely presented and appropriately marketed, there are good odds that the home will go under contract.
Are there bargain homes to be found in Los Gatos (and Monte Sereno), as in a lot of short sales or bank owned houses, condos & townhomes on the market? These types of properties have been in far shorter supply in the Los Gatos area than in most of Silicon Valley (San Jose, Santa Clara County). Please continue reading on the new home of Live in Los Gatos
Sometimes I get calls from people wanting to get a "steal of a deal" on higher priced Silicon Valley real estate by purchasing short sales and bank owned properties in areas with great public schools like Cupertino, Saratoga, Monte Sereno, Los Gatos, and Almaden Valley.
Unfortunately for bargain hunting home buyers who are seeking premium school districts in Santa Clara County, there just aren't that many of them.
It's very easy to find distressed properties for sale in less expensive areas. In fact, for the first quarter of 2009, 95% of all sales in the Alum Rock area of San Jose, which is one of the poorest areas of Silicon Valley, were either short sales or bank owned properties.
It's a different story in most of the expensive west valley markets, though. We see far fewer of these in places like Palo Alto or Los Altos (or Los Gatos, Monte Sereno and Saratoga). There's a very direct correlation between the best public schools, low crime, higher income, and higher education levels of homeowners with lower numbers of foreclosed homes.
Here are the numbers of available homes for sale, which I've culled from our MLS, without further elaboration:
MLS Area - info as of 5/3/09
16 (Los Gatos/Monte Sereno)
14 (Cambrian Park)
13 (Almaden Valley)
So, bargain hunters, what CAN you do to maximize your potential in this market?
Easy: don't go after the turnkey home. The perfect home with everything remodeled is getting lots of attention because most buyers want exactly that. Aim for the home that needs updating and remodeling, though, and you will have a far better chance to make a great deal because you won't be trying to outbid every other buyer.
Trulia is a great source for real estate information, but when it reports on the distressed housing sector, it relies on Realty Trac, which I have found to be inaccurate and unreliable much of the time. Twice I've had a subscription to Realty Trac and seen homes showing up on their database which were long since closed, for instance (so the numbers were inflated). Please continue reading on the new home of Live in Los Gatos
First of all, we do not see a worsening of the market overall - the doom and gloomers would like us to think that the sky is falling on the local real estate market, but looking through this lens, it doesn't appear to be the case.Please continue reading on the new home of Live in Los Gatos
In some parts of Santa Clara County, a high percentage of homes on the market in the lower price ranges especially are offered as "short sale" listings. For example, Please continue reading on the new home of Live in Los Gatos
A blog about Los Gatos real estate, homes, houses, condos, townhomes, housing market, neightborhoods, history, events, businesses, parks, schools, photos, issues, and lifestyle by Mary Pope-Handy, town resident, enthusiast and Realtor.
Realtor, CRS, CIPS, ABR, SRES
Sereno Group Real Estate
214 Los Gatos-Saratoga Road Los Gatos, CA 95030
BRE # 01153805