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.
1-10-08 The stock market is clearly predicting a national recession later this year as most indices have had their worst drop to start a year ever. What does this mean for local real estate, if anything? Likely it will mean lower interest rates which will stimulate the local real estate market. Watch the local Silicon Valley economy (currently very strong), and in particular hiring and layoffs, to determine if a national recession slows the local economy and real estate market.
1-6-08_ Carol Lloyd’s Sureal Estate column in today’s business section of the SF Chronicle gives some excellent examples of what we’ve been talking about this week (regarding drawing conclusions from regional or city-wide sales statistics). Folks are amazed to find that there can be multiple offers in one neighborhood while in an adjacent neighborhood sellers can’t find a buyer, regardless of how many times they drop their asking price. This is the point in the real estate cycle when people painfully rediscover what is really meant by “location, location, location”! That old advice to buy the worst house on the best block you can afford is still the best.
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.