In a nutshell, I'd say Los Gatos is fairly healthy. Homes that are in the lower to midrange prices and are nicely improved and are selling well. Overpriced homes that need updating are not moving well at all (but of course that tends to be the case in all markets). Homes with a good lot that are priced like "land value" are selling well too. It seems to be all about positioning.
Here are the numbers:
For the "monthly under contract sales" (pendings), it looks strong. There were 46 new sales and 62 new listings in March, for a 74.19% ratio of sales to new listings. In February that ratio was 71.71% and in January it was 53.85%. Another strong indicator is the average days on market for these new sales (how long it takes a home to sell). For March it was 49 days, for February it was 74 days and for January it was 84 days. So all of that looks like improvement.
Inventory is rising, though. Inventory for January was 100, February 103 and March 118. (To recap the ratio above, the sales are currently keeping pace, with sales in January being at 28, February 33 and March 46.) If the sales can keep pace with the rising inventory, which so far they've been doing, the market will remain healthy.
What about the closed escrows? Looks like the market is mildly strengthening from this part of the data too. The number of closed sales (as opposed to pendings, above) is as follows for the first quarter of the year: January 22, February 23, March 26. The "months of inventory" is a ratio of current inventory in the month divided by the number of closed sales in the month (or you could do weeks of inventory/weeks of sales etc.). In January the "months of inventory" or absorption rate for homes with a Los Gatos mailing address was 3.6, in February it was 3.69 and in March it's 3.9. That is the rate at which the current inventory would be depleted if no new homes came on the market and homes continued selling at the present rate.
The "days on market" for the closed sales was up slightly. In March it was 62. February it was 50 and January 105. Sort of all over the board.
This data is all backwards-looking into March. I am hearing anectodal stories that things have been heating up even more in recent days and I have been surprised at some of what I've heard. In other words, the market may be "hotter" than it appears even in these numbers.
The real estate market consists of many micro-markets. A condo in downtown Los Gatos is really very different from a view estate up on Santa Rosa or Sierra Azule. A home in Belwood or Surmont will be in a different market than a townhouse in La Rinconada. Homes in Blossom Manor are going to sell differently than those off of Oka Road or Golf Links Drive. Please contact me if you'd like specific information on what the market is doing in your neighborhood, for your size home.