Jeff Stricker & Steve Tenbroeck
Alain Pinel
photo photo photo photo

Welcome

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.

Will This Hot Market Continue?

As you review the graphs below, you will see that you’d have to go back to 2005 or 2000 to find a market as low in supply of homes for sale as there are in the current market. The median sales price reflects what is being sold rather than how much homes are appreciating in value.  A better metric is the average percentage of list price received by sellers. The current overbidding is as high, or higher, than it was in ’05 and ’00.

This market will continue as it is until the next financial shock causes homeowners and buyers to believe that home prices will fall. Meanwhile, prices will continue to rise as demand for homes is far greater than the supply.


In the charts below, you’ll find 15 years of data for market activity and median sales price for the month of January for Palo Alto, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Menlo Park and Mountain View. You can’t find this level of historical data all in one place anywhere else, so if you have any questions or wish to get more info about your community, don’t hesitate to contact us.

PA-Med-SP---Jan-00-14-fixed Read the rest of this entry »

Topics: Commentary, Market Trends, Monthly Snapshots      Comments Off

Annual Real Estate Market Snapshot – SF Peninsula & Silicon Valley

How 2013 compared to 2012, 2008, and 15-year Averages

BUYERS WRESTLE OVER FEWER HOMES FOR SALE IN 2013

Heavy demand in a recovering economy is nothing new. What was unusual in 2013 was the extremely low number of homes for sale! This is due to several factors. The greatest contributing factor is state and federal tax policy. At the state level, “Prop. 13” (passed in 1978) essentially freezes property tax rates based upon its sales price. Prior to the passage of Prop. 13, folks would often trade up or down as their circumstances changed. This occurs much less frequently now.

Today most owners will stay in their home and add on or remodel, as needed, rather than risk increasing their tax basis by buying a more expensive home. At the federal level, the IRS allows owners to leave their primary residences to their heirs at the “stepped up basis” (current market value). Thereby, both the home owner and their heirs avoid capital gains taxes on the property. These tax policies encourages the elderly to stay in their homes. Instead of moving into a senior facility many seniors are now bringing help into their homes instead. In fact, the “in-home care” industry is growing rapidly, due to this trend.


In the tables below, you’ll find 15 years of data for market activity and median sales price for the Year 2013 for Palo Alto, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Menlo Park and Mountain View. You can’t find this level of historical data all in one place anywhere else, so if you have any questions or wish to get more info about your community, don’t hesitate to contact us.

2013Snp12013Snp2

Homeowners tend to stay put when the value of their property is rising. Those who are thinking of moving tend to wait until signs appear that property values are starting to decline. At that point in the cycle, we typically see a terrific increase in the numbers of homes for sale. Lastly, people are simply living longer.

Adding up all of these factors, it’s easy to see why we have record low numbers of homes for sale. Demand for homes in our area will most likely continue at a heated pace and inventory of homes for sale will remain low until the next financial shock occurs.

WANT MORE SPECIFIC INFORMATION?
The towns included above have diverse neighborhoods and prices. When we look at averages we get clues to the overall market, but not the details. If you would like an in-depth analysis of market trends in your particular town or neighborhood, simply call Jeff at 650.823.8057 or Steve at 650.450.0160, or email us: [email protected]. We’ll be happy to help!

Topics: Annual Report, Commentary, Market Trends      Comments Off

On The Brink Or More Of The Same?

2000, 2007, and 2013 have been the hottest real estate markets in our area in the last twenty years! Extremely low interest rates are keeping affordability up. Couple that with an influx of cash from successful companies and foreign investors and you have increased demand for the very few homeowners who have any desire to sell at this time.

Unless there is a significant financial shock to the economy we expect the spring market to be very hot, pushing prices higher. But keep in mind that 2001 and 2008 were terrible years for sellers.


In the charts below, you’ll find 15 years of data for market activity and median sales price for the month of November for Palo Alto, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Menlo Park and Mountain View. You can’t find this level of historical data all in one place anywhere else, so if you have any questions or wish to get more info about your community, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Palo Alto Median PricePalo Alto Market ActivityLos Altos Median PriceLos Altos Market ActivityMenlo Park Median PriceMenlo Park Market ActivityLos Altos Hills Median PriceLos Altos Hills Market ActivityMountain View Median PriceMountain View Market Activity

Topics: Commentary, Market Trends, Monthly Snapshots      Comments Off

Sellers Are Still Holding Back

In spite of record sales prices, most potential sellers are still waiting (for the top?) to put their homes on the market. Inventories of homes for sale are at an all-time low! The imbalance of supply and demand has caused homes to continue to sell with multiple offers, well over the asking price and in record time (see the average days on market in the following charts).


In the charts below, you’ll find 15 years of data for market activity and median sales price for the month of October for Palo Alto, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Menlo Park and Mountain View. You can’t find this level of historical data all in one place anywhere else, so if you have any questions or wish to get more info about your community, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Palo Alto Median Price Read the rest of this entry »

Topics: Commentary, Market Trends, Monthly Snapshots      Comments Off

Q3 Market Update – Have We Reached a Tipping Point?

In the towns listed below the housing market was hot again in the 3rd quarter of 2013. Overall, sales were up, the percentage of list price received by sellers was up, price per square foot was up, and median sales prices were up. The number of new listings and the average number of days it took to sell were both down – two more indicators of a hot market. An extremely low supply of homes for sale continued to fuel bidding wars for rationally-priced, well-located homes during the 3rd quarter.

HAVE WE REACHED A TIPPING POINT?
As we write this, Congress has yet to settle its differences regarding the budget and debt ceiling – they’ve only put it off until January and February of 2014. Meanwhile, consumer confidence is rapidly eroding! Whether or not these difficulties will bring about the end to the current real estate bull market remains to be seen. If inventory starts to steadily grow, we’ll have the answer.

THE BOTTOM LINE:  Buyers, select very carefully!  Sellers, don’t miss this low-inventory market!

THIRD QUARTER MARKET ACTIVITY

This Year, Last Year & 5 Years Ago

First Chart Q3 2013

Second Chart Q3 2013

Topics: Commentary, Market Trends, Quarterly Updates      Comments Off