Thursday, June 16, 2016

News from the trenches .... in the Silicon Valley.

Taking the pulse of the local offices, and managers and agents in the local cities.  It does not get more "down to earth" and "raw" than that!   ;-)

SF Peninsula Listing inventory is steadily increasing in the Burlingame area, and so are sales, according to our local manager. Across the hill in Half Moon Bay, there has been a continuous increase in inventory. Our local manager provided this update for the area of Half Moon Bay, El Granada, Montara, Moss Beach, and Pescadero market update: The average listing price is $1,428,716, highest listing price is $3,388,888, and the lowest listing price is $699,000. Pending Average listing price is $1,372,445, highest listing price is $1,988,000, and the lowest listing price is $785,000. Sold average listing price is $1,062,552, the sold price is $1,071,980, days on the market is 14 days. ...  Our Menlo Park manager said the local market is steady but cautious. No throwing money at houses now like caution to the wind. She adds that sellers are more likely to look at a pre-emptive offer now realizing that we could be close to the ‘top of the market’ if anyone can really see that without it being behind them.  Our Redwood City-San Carlos manager reports lots and lots of frustration out there for everyone (sellers, buyers, agents). It’s a definite alteration in the market (which was needed). Only the ideal homes with the ideal location and the ideal price are selling quickly. All the rest are remaining on the market with very little, if any, showings. The San Mateo market has slowed down, our local manager says. Our Woodside-Portola Valley manager says that
Woodside continues to be a good/bad market. It is a month to month thing. Big buyers are out there but always waiting for the RIGHT house. The market is feeling cautious, she notes.

Silicon Valley – Our Cupertino manager says homes are staying on the market longer and need to be priced right. Open houses are spotty. That can be a good thing because agents have more chances to engage visitors in conversation, and perhaps get new clients. She adds that the luxury segment has been slowing. In the Los Gatos area, competition remains heavy for entry-level homes listed under $2,000,000. More inventory is hitting the market in the $2,000,000 plus range. Our San Jose-Almaden manager says we’re starting to see an increase number of active listings as well as a lower number of homes pending in Santa Clara County. The available inventory is actually higher than the number of available in 2014. Not surprising were the lower number of units sold for May. There were 35 properties sold in Almaden for the month which is down 25% from last month and 18% from the previous year. Blossom Valley was slightly better with a total of 101 homes sold for the month which is down 8.5% from the previous year. Cambrian was almost flat, with 78 properties selling for the month which is just down 2.5% for the previous month and year. Santa Teresa had 27 homes sold which is down 16% from the same time last year. Willow Glen had a sleepy Memorial Day week. Sales were slow and not many new listings came to the market. The following week things started moving again we had one of our better sales weeks and listing inventory is back up to 92 units. We are still hovering at 3-4 year highs for active listing inventory. The local market seems to be driven mainly by price point. Anything under or around the $850,000 price point is drawing lots of attention and still attracting multiple offers well over list price.

It is my experience that in Los Altos / Mountain View / Palo Alto the market is a little slower like elsewhere, but still quite active: anything priced right is selling quite well, even if sometimes it is not right away (like the first week).  I think the consensus is that prices are going to be flatter unless the property is among the most desirable in its category (and not overpriced).
The least expensive house in Mountain View sold in April for $1,050,000.
The least expensive house in Palo Alto sold in February for $1,325,000  (with a lot of 2,875 sq.ft.).

Thanks for reading, and hoping each finds his/her own area in the above ;-)

Silicon Valley real estate specialist
Detailed, local trends etc...
Current mortgage rates

non-profit organization worth noting: Partners for New Generations.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Direct news from the City of Mountain View Affordable Housing initiatives.

The City of Mountain View has earmarked $36 million for affordable housing.   (See: "The View of Spring/Summer 2016).

Of these funds, $22.25 million were allocated by the City Council to contribute to a project  of a new 116-unit affordable family development located at the corner of East Evelyn Ave and South Bernardo Ave.  This project aims to benefit people with incomes at or below 60% area median income (AMI), with a particular focus on those who live or work in Mountain View.  This development by ROEM Development Corporation is anticipated to be fully occupied by late Summer 2018.

Another project by Palo Alto Housing Corporation is a 67-studio unit development located at 1701-07 W. El Camino Real.  It will provide 30 units of veteran housing with the remaining units available to extremely low-income households earning 30 % AMI or less, and very-low income households with annual incomes at or below 60% AMI.  Here the City Council reserved $8 million funding in Oct 2015 and the completion of construction is anticipated for late 2017.
For more information on these projects, or to sign up on the interest list for the proposed affordable developments, go to the Affordable Housing tab of the City of Mountain View web site.  

Separately, but in the same vein on the affordable housing subject, the City is updating its companion unit regulations to allow for and encourage additional diverse housing opportunities.  What is more commonly known as "granny units", or "in-law units", or "accessory dwelling units" currently need to fit fairly strict guidelines, some of them laid out in this part of the City of Mountain View "City Code" page (Chapter 36 - Zoning).
Will we see loosening of the guidelines soon?  Some people like the idea. 

Thank you for reading,


Silicon Valley real estate specialist
Detailed, local trends etc...
Current mortgage rates

A non-profit of interest:  the Salvation Army - Silicon Valley.