Friday, February 12, 2016

February Silicon Valley Real Estate Market Update

Quick Market Overview: As is usual for this time of year, the number of available homes for sale have increased. While not a huge jump, we do see a trend change nonetheless. Notwithstanding this, however, the real estate markets in both Santa Clara and San Mateo counties remain in record territory in terms of prices and well off their average inventory levels over the past 15+ years. Record median prices were seen again in January in the Silicon Valley real estate market, breaking last year's records. Demand continues to outstrip supply in Santa Clara County as 60% (versus 58% last month) of homes that closed escrow sold for more than list price inferring multiple offers whereas in San Mateo County, it had an even higher percentage of homes that sold for more than list price of 62% versus 60% last month. Both of these are record highs for this time of year! The median price for a single family residence in Santa Clara County continued in record territory at $898,000, and increased 10.6% over January 2015 so the Silicon Valley real estate trends continue in a positive manner. For San Mateo County, its median price settled at $1,155,000, increasing at 9.5% on a year over year basis.

Below is a chart of the number of single family residence sales in Santa Clara County from January 2002 to January 2016. (Data source: mlslistings.com) Notice the general downwards trend.

Nuts and Bolts: Inventory or the amount of homes available for purchase in Santa Clara County was 591, up from 495 or 19.4% from the record low in December but a decrease of 18.5% from the same month a year ago. whereas sales (accepted offers -- please see above chart) decreased 13.2% in Santa Clara County keeping the downtrend in force since 2012.
For San Mateo County, inventory of single family residences stood at just 234 which decreased 2.9% from the same month a year ago. For both counties, the inventory continues to lag below the average for this time of the year placing pressure on buyers as evidenced in the predominance of multiple offer situations and heated competition between buyers. Sales (accepted offers) were 200 a 8.7% decrease from the same month a year ago.  
Sale price to list price ratio shows that for Santa Clara County transactions completed during January, this ratio stood at 102.5%, level with the previous month and among the highest for this time of year over the past 16 years! Currently, the highest ratio belongs to the Los Altos/Palo Alto market area (median price of about $2.30 million) at 108.3%, a continued very hot marketplace! It also registered the lowest median days on market at just 9 which means half the inventory disappears in just 9 days! 
The Cupertino/Sunnyvale market area (median price about $1.60 million) came in a close second at 106.7% with a median days on market of 13. San Mateo County's ratio overall is at 105.0% with the highest ratio in the Bay Cities (Belmont, Burlingame, Milbrae, San Carlos, San Mateo) market area (median price of about $1.42 million) at 106.2%.

As you may suspect, market dynamics change and the supply and demand relationships can vary by area. If you would like specific market condition information for your area or neighborhood or a current home value, please feel free to call me, your Remax Agent! And as always, you are welcome to leave your comments or questions. Thank you.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

World Class Chocolate in the Valley of Hearts Delight

You've made dinner reservations at a romantic restaurant (we did!) and you might have picked up a little something for her at one of her favorite stores (I'm looking!) but then there's always sweets for your Sweets for Valentine's Day.


Here are some world class chocolatiers from Silicon Valley to Santa Cruz to consider:


Chocolate Dream Box







Pictured are hand-crafted European-style chocolates in beautiful boxes by Chocolate Dream Box

Fleur e Cocoa Patisserie Chocolaterie






39 N. Santa Cruz Avenue, Los Gatos 95030. 408-354-3574 http://www.fleurdecocoa.com/




Richard Donnelly Chocolates



Saratoga Chocolates



Schurra's Fine Confections



Sugar Butter Flour

  • 669 S. Bernardo Avenue, Sunnyvale 94087. 408-732-8597 http://www.sugarbutterflour.com/
  • 1875 S. Bascom Avenue (in the Pruneyard Shopping Center), Campbell, CA 95008. Phone: 408-371-5485





Pictured is Dark Chocolate Ganache Truffle from Sugar Butter Flour




Happy Valentine's Day!

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Lunar New Year - 2016


Happy New Year! OK, Happy Lunar New Year! In the Chinese calendar, the longest chronological record in history dating back to 2700 B.C., this year marks the lunar year 4714 -- Year of the Monkey. The first day of the lunar year is February 8, 2016. For the Tet Vietnamese New Year it will be the same, Year of the Monkey! 

Famous people born in the Year of the Monkey include: Lucy Liu, Donald Rumsfeld, Elizabeth Taylor, Johnny Cash, Elanor Roosevelt, Tom Hanks, Will Smith, Patti Labelle. Tom Selleck, Buster Keaton, Joe Cocker, Jennifer Aniston, Michael Douglas

Here are selected local events celebrating the Lunar New Year in San Francisco and Alameda counties.

Alameda County:

Saturday, February 20, 7:00pm-9:30pm - 2016 PKUAANC Chinese New Year Gala

Peking University Alumni Association of Northern California (PKUAANC) at James Logan High School Center for the Performing Arts, 1800 H Street, Union City, CA 94587

San Francisco/San Francisco's Chinatown:

Saturday, January 30, 10:30am, mini procession/ribbon cutting, Chinatown/Grant Avenue from California to Pacific. Sneak peak at what larger parade will bring! Ribbon cutting approximately 10:50am on the main stage on Washington Street, mayor is joined by others to officially open festival.
Saturday, January 30, 10:00am-8:00pm, Flower Market Fair, Chinatown/Grant Avenue
Sunday, January 31, 9:00am-6:00pm, Flower Market Fair, Chinatown/Grant Avenue
Saturday, February 6, 10:00am-4:00pm - 23rd Annual Basketball Jamboree, Betty Ann Ong Recreational Center - San Francisco. More information: email hoopsterlee@gmail.com
Saturday, February 13, 7:30pm - Miss Chinatown USA Pageant, Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco (www.chineseparade.com). Tickets: $35, $45, $65.
Friday, February 19, 6:00pm-Midnight, Miss Chinatown USA Coronation Ball, San Francisco Hilton and Towers, 333 O'Farrell Street. More information: Chinese Chamber of Commerce., 415-982-3071
Saturday, February 20, 5:15-8:00pm, Southwest Airlines Chinese New Year Parade http://www.chineseparade.com 
History: San Francisco's Chinese New Year Parade began in 1860 and was named by the IFEA to be one of the top ten parades in the world! It is also one of the few remaining night illuminated parades in the country. The parade and festival have grown to be the largest celebration of Asian culture outside of Asia! Since 1958 the parade has been organized and directed by the Chinese Chamber of Commerce.
More Information: Chinese New Year Festival and Parade, Market and Second Streets to Kearney and Jackson. Check out "Gum Lung", the 201-foot-long Golden Dragon! (www.chineseparade.com/)  Can't be there?  Watch or DVR it on KTVU Fox Channel 2 or KTSF Channel 26 (Chinese broadcast) on Saturday, February 20, from 6:00-8:00pm.
Sunday, February 28, 8:00am start, registration begins at 7:00am, 38th Annual Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Chinatown YMCA 10K/5K Run/Walk, Chinatown/Sacramento and Grant www.ysfchinatownrun.org or 415-576-9622
This event comprises a 10K or 5K run or walk and raises funds for the YMCA's youth and teen programs. The event expects 1,700 participants and 250 volunteers.
More Than A Hundred Years of the Chinese (Lunar) Calendar (1912 to 2031) --
The Chinese Calendar names each year after an animal and legend has it that a person born under a certain animal will display traits of that animal. I was born in the Year of the Tiger. What sign are you in the Chinese 12-year calendar cycle? Look up in the table below what year you were born and the corresponding animal.
Rat: 1912 1924 1936 1948 1960 1972 1984 1996 2008 2020
Ox: 1913 1925 1937 1949 1961 1973 1985 1997 2009 2021
Tiger: 1914 1926 1938 1950 1962 1974 1986 1998 2010 2022
Rabbit: 1915 1927 1939 1951 1963 1975 1987 1999 2011 2023
Dragon: 1916 1928 1940 1952 1964 1976 1988 2000 2012 2024
Snake: 1917 1929 1941 1953 1965 1977 1989 2001 2013 2025
Horse: 1918 1930 1942 1954 1966 1978 1990 2002 2014 2026
Ram: 1919 1931 1943 1955 1967 1979 1991 2003 2015 2027
Monkey: 1920 1932 1944 1956 1968 1980 1992 2004 2016 2028
Rooster: 1921 1933 1945 1957 1969 1981 1993 2005 2017 2029
Dog: 1922 1934 1946 1958 1970 1982 1994 2006 2018 2030
Boar: 1923 1935 1947 1959 1971 1983 1995 2007 2019 2031
Gung Hey Fat Choy! Happy Year of the Monkey!
ChĂșc Mung Nam Moi! Happy Tet 2016 - Year of the Monkey!

Monday, November 16, 2015

November Silicon Valley Real Estate Market Update

Quick Market Overview: The gradual seasonable slowing is now taking place as we head towards Thanksgiving and the Holiday Season. However, the real estate markets in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties remained with seller's market characteristics. Once again, record median prices were seen in October in the Silicon Valley real estate market, breaking last year's records. Demand continues to outstrip supply in Santa Clara County as 61.1% of homes that closed escrow sold for more than list price inferring multiple offers whereas in San Mateo County, it had an even higher percentage of homes sold for more than list price of 72.0%. Both of these actually increased from the same month a year ago and are the highest rates ever for this time of year! The median price for a single family residence in Santa Clara County continued in record territory at $950,000, and increased 8.9% over October 2014 so the Silicon Valley real estate trends continue in a positive manner. For San Mateo County, its median price settled at $1,209,000, increasing at an even higher 13.4% over October 2014. Nuts and Bolts: Inventory or the amount of homes available for purchase in Santa Clara County was 1,111, flat from the same month a year ago and still remains historically low for this time of year. Sales (accepted offers) increased 4.4% in Santa Clara County from the same month a year ago. For San Mateo County, inventory of single family residences stood at 389 which was an increase of 4.3% but it, too, continues to lag below the average for this time of the year placing pressure on buyers as evidenced in the predominance of multiple offer situations and heated competition between buyers. Obviously, expert negotiation skills will help buyers increase their probability of success without overpaying or going nuts on their offer price. Sale price to list price ratio shows that for Santa Clara County transactions completed during October, this ratio stood at 103.2% -- the highest for this time of year in the past 16 years! Currently, the highest ratio belongs to the Los Altos/Palo Alto market area (median price of about $2.75 million) at 111.8%, a continued very hot marketplace! The Cupertino/Sunnyvale market area (median price about $1.51 million) came in second at 106.0% but had the lowest days of unsold inventory (DUI) at 26, denoting an even tighter marketplace. San Mateo County's ratio overall is at 106.2% with the highest ratio in the Foster City/Redwood Shores market area (median price of about $1.68 million) at 109.1%. Buyer's take note: If you've been in the market during last Spring to early Fall of this year, you're probably frustrated dealing with all the competition and lost out in multiple offer situations. However, the tables are turning. As we head towards the Holiday Season, there are less competition as some buyers "take a breather" and have holiday travel plans and family commitments to think of. The advantage shifts more toward buyers at this time of year. You might also consider having an excellent negotiator on your team! As you may suspect, market areas do vary in terms of supply and demand attributes so if you would like specific market condition information for your area or neighborhood, please feel free to ask me, your Remax Agent, now a part of the largest Remax agency in California -- RE/MAX Gold! And as always, you are welcome to leave your comments or questions or give me a call. Thank you.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

March Silicon Valley Real Estate Market Update

For February in Santa Clara County for single family residences, there were a very low number of closings which would have set a new low except for February 2008 (before the financial crisis!). Closings in one month are more times than not, sales the previous month so these were in large measure indicative of January's slower activity. As we look at inventory, the amount or supply of single family residences available to purchase in Santa Clara County stood at 776, the second lowest February other than the 721 reached in 2000!

All the while, the Silicon Valley real estate market continues to be rather slow but gaining speed as it usually does this time of the year. Last month, I noted that we saw continued buyer demand to prop up prices and I advised buyers to buy quicker rather than later for this purpose. For February, that translated into a record median price of $801,000, an increase of 12.3% from the same month a year ago. Where else can you reap an average 1% a month return on your investment? I believe this demand will continue and probably increase as we get into the strongest portion of the selling year (after Super Bowl Sunday to just before Memorial Day weekend).

I see higher prices ahead with somewhat stable mortgage interest rates. Last month there were 65.6% of the sales with sales prices greater than list prices, second highest since February 2005 (an extremely hot real estate market). Additionally, the average sale price to list price ratio stood at 104.3%, higher than the 103.9% for the same month a year ago and means that the average sale took place at better than 4% higher than list price. This continues to indicate to me that there is ample buyer demand to further push up prices in the near future as activity usually increases as we go deeper into spring. Also, when we see a sale price higher than list price it infers that there were multiple offers — otherwise why would a buyer offer more!

Silicon Valley real estate trends continue to be positive and we should see higher prices in the future. Mortgage rates have trended higher but have fallen slightly and are currently in the low to mid-4% range. The gains in the stock market help supply of the down payments for some buyers to afford the prices and most buyers using loans decide upon a fixed rate mortgage with 20% or more down payments. Along with this, almost one-third of the closings were cash transactions.

For questions, comments on the Silicon Valley real estate market or update in your neighborhood or your target area you are considering, please contact me and I’ll personally respond to assist you with the current market dynamics. Thanks for reading!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Silicon Valley Real Estate Market Update

For January, as compared to previous Januarys, we had very low closings and would have set a new low level except for January 2008 (before the financial crisis!). Closings in one month are more times than not, sales the previous month so these were in large measure indicative of December's slower activity. As we look at inventory, the amount of single family residences available to purchase in Santa Clara County, this did in fact set a record low for a January at just 715. All the while, the Silicon Valley real estate market continues in its slower pace as it usually does this time of the year, we see evidence of buyer demand sufficient enough to firm and otherwise increase prices. Keeping in mind that smaller homes sell during the holiday season (less family-related activity), as 54% of the closings have a sale price greater than list price with an additional 12% of sellers obtaining full list price. In San Mateo County, the number is 61% of the single family residence closings that had a sale price greater than list price. These indicate that there is ample buyer demand to push up prices in the near future as activity increases into the early-Spring season. As mentioned in the past, a sale price that is greater than list price infers that there were multiple offers -- otherwise why would a buyer offer more! Historically, the Silicon Valley real estate market shifts more toward a seller's market after Super Bowl Sunday -- the last "holiday" of the season. This certainly appears to have taken place. Matter of fact with the above ratios, it may not have ever ebbed too much from last year's high level of activity! Prices, as measured by the median price or the middle transaction, have been choppy to flat with a few exceptions. Santa Clara County median price for a single family residence stood at $739,000 in January, a slight decrease from the month before but more importantly up 11.8% from the same month a year ago. This is a scant $1,000 lower than the January record median price reached in January 2007! Remember to compare year over year as it eliminates the seasonality factor we experience each year and the annual shift to smaller homes that sell during the holidays with their resultant lower prices. Newspaper and internet accounts of price movements tell you that you should look at the month-to-month variations which is patently false (perhaps they sell more papers with the scary headlines!) and don't bring up the fact that smaller homes sell during this time of year. In San Mateo County, the median sales price reached $1,010,000, also up nicely from the same month a year ago. Silicon Valley real estate trends continue to be positive and we should see higher prices in the future. Mortgage rates have trended higher and are now in the low to mid-4% range, employment in the valley is higher for well-paying jobs in high-tech, biotech, etc which increases the demand for housing especially when the major employers encourage employees to live closer to the campus otherwise they pick you up in a wi-fi bus so you start working as soon as you get on board! The stock market gains also are a contributing factor as gains help with higher down payments and even cash transactions. Last year cash transactions accounted for about one third of all transactions! Hot market areas in Santa Clara County are the Los Altos-Palo Alto area as well as the Cupertino-Sunnyvale area. Each one has a median days on market of just 9! This means that half of all the closings were sold in an incredible 9 days. The coolest market area in Santa Clara County was the East, Central and South San Jose area with a reading of 30. For San Mateo County, the hottest market area is the Bay Cities area comprising Belmont, Burlingame, Milbrae, San Carlos and San Mateo followed closely by Redwood City and Foster City with median days on market of 12. The coolest market area remains the San Mateo Coast of Half Moon Bay, El Granada, Moss Beach and Montara with a reading of 66. I track the different market areas to understand the latest dynamics in the market because county-wide averages don't help sellers or buyers. This also helps me to advise clients on the most appropriate strategy to employ to sell at the highest possible price the market will bear or for a buyer to obtain the most house for their money while still being able to purchase a home without overpaying. That said, of the last nine buyers I have helped in multiple-offer situations, my buyers have prevailed in seven of them! For questions, comments on the Silicon Valley real estate market or update in your neighborhood or your target area you are considering, please contact me and I’ll personally respond to assist you with the current market dynamics. Thanks for reading!