Whether you are a first time buyer or seller, or have been through multiple transactions, you might be surprised by how quickly the real estate market changes in Los Altos, Palo Alto and surrounding communities. You need hard-hitting historical data, current market analysis, and insider experience to stay informed and succeed in these real estate markets.
As a service to their clients, Jeff Stricker and Steve TenBroeck of Alain Pinel Realtors provide regular market analysis and commentary. You are invited to read the entries below, add your comments, ask questions or contact them directly.
1/3/08 The year starts with the biggest first-day-of-the-year stock market drop and $100 per barrel oil. What does this mean to the local real estate market? Not much unless it leads to contraction of the local Silicon Valley job market, leading to reduced buyer demand for real estate. Watch Valley job levels and regional consumer confidence as leading indicators of where the local real estate market is heading this year.
A final comment about following national and state real estate statistics: They are about as effective in understanding the local real estate market as a national or state weather prediction is for predicting local weather. The chance of their accuracy in your area is minimal. The Bay Area market, more often than not, behaves differently than the rest of the country. Our local economy and lack of housing supply are unique. Jeff Stricker
January 2- Silicon Valley tech stocks were up by 20% on average in 2007 versus 10% for the Nasdaq!Is it any wonder that our local real estate sales were robust and prices went up? The number of completed sales was down due to a lack of sellers, not a weak market. Of course, the real estate market was very different (i.e. weak) elsewhere in California. Resolve in the New Year to ignore state and national real estate statistics. All meaningful real estate analysis is local in nature. Jeff Stricker
The Conference Board released their December Consumer Confidence Index today. Although confidence in the economy hasn’t worsened (it’s actually up just a tick), consumers are still pessimistic about the future. How this continued malaise will affect the local housing market remains to be seen. In the past, whenever confidence dropped the number of sellers increased and the number of buyers decreased. So far, this has not occurred, locally. Obviously, homeowners in our area do not need or want to sell. Inventory of homes for sale has remained at an all-time low this year.
At last, some Mercury News reporters have caught on to the fact that when the median and average prices for homes in Santa Clara County are rising or falling not all homes are moving in the same direction. They have at least been able to distinguish expensive homes from low-priced ones. What about: condos versus single family homes?… homes on busy streets? …a home’s condition? …good vs.bad floor plans, etc.? Homes are obviously not homogenous and therefore they appreciate/depreciate at different rates.
Beware what you read on the web. Recently an Internet based real estate company examined their sales and concluded that vacant homes sold for less, and conversely occupied homes sold for more. Wait a minute! Could it be that the vacant homeowners were more motivated and therefore sold for less? Or was it because they were using an on-line discount brokerage and shortcutting the preparation and marketing? Were they too cheap to stage the vacant home so it looked like a model home? We find that vacant and staged homes definitely sell for the most money – as they are easy for agents to show and show nicely to potential buyers.