Jeff Stricker & Steve Tenbroeck
Alain Pinel
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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.

Why Is It A “Hot” Market?

It’s HOT simply because the supply of homes for sale is low and demand for homes is high. Why is demand high? Because jobs are plentiful, interest rates are low, and (local) consumer confidence is bullish. Why is supply low? That’s more complicated.

State and Federal tax policies reward those who remain in their homes. This, coupled with a lack of viable options for seniors, is generating a whole new “aging-in-place” industry: In-home care, “Forever Home” remodeling, health monitoring systems, etc.

In addition, home owners who are contemplating selling their home are not likely to do so when prices are rising.

How long will this dynamic last? It will continue until the next economic shock occurs. In 2008 it was the banking collapse. In 2000 it was the NASDAQ bubble bursting. In 1990 it was the cutback in defense spending.

What will it be this time? We don’t know. What does your crystal ball say?


In the charts below, you’ll find 15 years of data for market activity and median sales price for the month of July 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---Jul-99-13-fixed-2 Read the rest of this entry »

Topics: Commentary, Market Trends, Monthly Snapshots      Comments Off

Q2 2013 Update: Low Inventory + High Demand = HOT Market!

In the second quarter of 2013 listing of homes for sale were down in all the areas below except for Los Altos where the listings were up slightly from Q2 last year. Median sales prices were up to new highs in all areas except Los Altos Hills. One has to look back to 1999/2000 to see similar percentages of list prices received by sellers and homes selling so quickly (Days on Market).


In the charts below, you’ll find 15 years of data for market activity and median sales price for the Second Quarter 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, Quarterly Updates      Comments Off

May 2013 Market Snapshot: What Constitutes A “Hot” Real Estate Market?

A hot market is simply one where demand is greater than the supply. In each real estate cycle (between recessions) the number of homes for sale has been decreasing in all of the high demand areas.

Compare the current number of homes for sale in Palo Alto, for example, to the number of homes for sale during the previous market peaks of 2000 and 2007. On May 31 of 2000 there were 94 homes for sale. On May 31 of 2007 there were 57 homes for sale. On May 31 of 2013 there were just 35 homes for sale.

Owners in our area have fewer reasons and less motivation to sell than ever before. We do not see this trend changing anytime soon. The supply of homes for sale increases sharply during recessions – but during the rest of the market cycle it is very hot our area!


In the charts below, you’ll find 15 years of data for market activity and median sales price for the month of April 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

April Market Snapshot | A Blazing Hot Market!

The real estate was as hot as can be in April.  The number of homes for sale continued to fall. The demand for homes continued to rise. A top appraiser in the area told us that the number of all-cash offers was now clearly in the majority in the Palo Alto, Los Altos, Menlo Park areas. In addition to all-cash offers and significant over-bidding, terms of the offers are typically “as-is” with no contingencies, and free rent-backs for the seller, if desired. This is without a doubt a Seller’s Market!

WINNING TIPS

SELLERS: 
Be careful not to over price the home. If your home doesn’t sell right away in today’s market buyers will assume that there is something seriously wrong with the home. As a result, you will sell for less if the home doesn’t sell in the first two weeks. If you’re thinking of selling – now’s the time!

BUYERS:
Choose carefully! There is very little – if any – discount for negative issues (such as busy streets, odd floor plans, etc.) in a hot market. However, those properties can decline in value by as much as 40% in a slow market. And don’t be afraid to over bid. To win, you’ll most likely need to bid a significant amount over the asking price. Just be prepared to hold for seven to ten years and you’ll do just fine.


In the charts below, you’ll find 15 years of data for market activity and median sales price for the month of April 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

Q1 2013 Update – Market Activity for South and Mid-Peninsula

WHEN WILL THIS HOT REAL ESTATE MARKET END?

All the usual signs of a “market top” are present: from front page newspaper headlines of a “Hot Real Estate Market”, cocktail party conversations about recent home sales, and high-priced homes selling quickly.

In a normal 7-10 year market cycle, the hot market (appreciating) phase usually lasts 2-3 years, but the duration can be affected by the Fed’s interest rate policies. For example, the price declining phase (2-3 years) and market bottom phase (3-4 years) were shorter this time, due to super low interest rates. Will the hot market phase last longer this time? Unfortunately, there’s no way to know when the market will change, only that it will!

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Topics: Commentary, Market Trends, Monthly Snapshots      Comments Off