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.
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.
A feature article in the Mercury News this morning, recaping a report from the state’s Dept. of Finance on population, stated that since mid 2005 we’ve had a net increase in population here in Silicon Valley. This fact, coupled with the new trend of elderly folks “aging in place”, puts additional upward pressure on housing prices making owners very happy. Buyers…not so much.
In Los Altos Hills there were 3 sales over $4 million during the last week! During the entire third quarter the highest priced sale was $3.2 million. The Valley and its residents are awash in cash and any up tick in confidence is likely to result in a stronger high-end market.
A few more homes came on the market under $2m last week and sold with multiple offers. One near Gunn High, listed at $1.7m reportedly received 13 offers and sold for $400k over the asking price – all cash. Wow!
There was an excellent article last Sunday in the Chronicle, Holiday real estate doldrums are more myth than reality these days, explaining why folks should put their homes on the market now and not wait for spring. Gee, you think so? Most folks won’t do it though. They’ll wait for spring anyway and miss this great opportunity to get an excellent price for their home.
Also out last week was First Republic Bank’s report on called the Prestige Market Index. Check out the difference in down times in the market for San Francisco, San Diego, and L.A. [It was nice to be quoted re:the Palo Alto market area].