Real Estate Market Blog


Insights on the real estate market trends on the Mid-Peninsula: Portola Valley, Woodside, Atherton, Menlo Park, Palo Alto, Los Altos and Los Altos Hills.

Portola Valley 2017 Annual Report

February 02, 2018
Ginny Kavanaugh
In Portola Valley, the 2017 real estate market was particularly strong. Record-high prices were set, inventory of homes for sale increased (unlike neighboring cities), and the number of homes sold escalated sharply compared to the past two years. The Multiple Listing Service reported 76 sales, a 19% gain from 2016. Additionally, several homes sold off market. The graphs in this report do not include off-market sales; if you would like information on these, just contact me. The average price in Portola Valley increased 14% to a ...

2018 Winter Games Schedule

January 24, 2018
Ginny Kavanaugh
The 2018 Winter Olympics will take place in PyeongChang, South Korea, kicking off with the opening ceremony on February 9th and running through February 25th. More than 2,800 athletes from more than 85nations are expected to participate in 102 events across 15 sport disciplines. The Games will be the first ever Olympic Winter Games with over 100gold medals. The 2018 U.S. Olympic Team is expected to reach approximately 240athletes. Stars to watch include veteran skier and medal winner Lindsey Vonn along with 18-year-old figure skater Nathan ...

December 2017 Real Estate Update

December 08, 2017
Ginny Kavanaugh
Looking back on 2017, it has been another record-breaking year for home prices in our area. Check out the market performance for specifics on each of the cities and towns. It is too early to tell how the proposed tax law changes may impact our local real estate market, but we could see some changes in the new year. If you are considering buying or selling in 2018, let’s talk about next steps now. Whether you are preparing to come on the market or searching for the perfect place to call home, the earlier you start the better in order to get ...

November 2017 Real Estate Update

November 15, 2017
Ginny Kavanaugh
The World Series is over (what a great win for a well-deserving city this year!) and the clocks have been turned back – the end of the year will be here before we know it. Typically, the real estate market slows down at this time of year. However, we are not seeing that trend yet in our local markets. Demand remains high, particularly those priced under $3 million. See a recap below for each of the individual cities and towns. Market knowledge, competitive pricing/ bidding, and wide-reaching networks are essential for buying and selling ...

October 2017 Real Estate Update: 3rd Quarter Performance

October 13, 2017
Ginny Kavanaugh
The end of the 3rd quarter is a good time to take a look at how the real estate market compares to previous quarters. In terms of gauging market performance, I like to look at the median sales price as it tends to be a more accurate price indicator than the average, which can be inflated or deflated based on the sale of just one or two really high or low-end properties. Check out the market performance of the various cities and towns we live in. Whether you are buying or selling, please contact me any time for a personal consultation and to ...

Where to watch the solar eclipse in the Bay Area

August 18, 2017
Ginny Kavanaugh
It's been almost 40 years since the last total solar eclipse was visible in the US. While California will see only about 60-80% of the eclipse, it's still an event worthy of attention. Witness history by joining a viewing party in your area or watch the live streaming video on the NASA website: Bernal Heights Park Coit Tower Corona Heights Park Crissy Field Grandview Park Hamon Observation Tower Mission Dolores Park Mount Davidson Treasure Island Twin Peaks Burlingame Main Library Menlo Park ...

August 2017 Real Estate Update

August 07, 2017
Ginny Kavanaugh
Contrary to the popular belief that sales lag in summer, the real estate market performed quite well in July along the Peninsula. Even with this activity, I anticipate this to increase after Labor Day with sellers wanting to sell their home before the holidays. Portola Valley performed well in July with 4 homes going into contract (one of which I represented) and 5 homes closing escrow (2 of which I represented). Only one home sold in July for more than $2.775 million, resulting in a lower median price than we saw in the previous 3 months ...

2017 Half Year Report

July 25, 2017
Ginny Kavanaugh
The Portola Valley real estate market reached record highs in the first half of 2017. The average price increased 4% to more than $3.1 million and the median price increased 11% reaching $3 million for the first time. Of the 35 sales, 22, or 63%, sold for more than list price. The vast majority of homes, 77%, sold in the first half were between $2 million and $4 million. The highest sale recorded in the Multiple Listing Service was $7 million. Homes also sold very quickly with 69% selling in 2 weeks or less. On average, the length of time to ...

The Strongest Selling Season in a Decade

June 30, 2017
Ginny Kavanaugh
Real estate is currently booming and experts attest that this is the strongest market since the 2006 price peak, but with the added benefit of market stability. The latest National Association of REALTORS® Confidence Index concluded that much of the country has experienced very strong, or strong buyer traffic. This is an indicator of demand, but not necessarily supply, which has been short in many states across the county. The latest highlights according to NAR indicate: First-time homebuyers accounted for 34 percent of sales. With fewer ...

June 2017 Real Estate Update

June 15, 2017
Ginny Kavanaugh
The real estate market in Northern California is seeing varying activity depending on the counties, cities, neighborhoods and homes - a strong indicator of a shifting dynamic. Competitively-priced homes in any range are expected to sell steadily and swiftly, and properties under $750K are not sitting on the market for long. The sub-$750K homes are also seeing tighter inventories than higher-priced homes. With additional inventory expected to appear over the coming days and weeks of summer, buyers who have been waiting for new listings will ...

May 2017 Real Estate Update

May 24, 2017
Ginny Kavanaugh
Northern California continues to experience a healthy sellers’ market with median and low priced properties and, in some areas, with reasonably priced luxury properties. Due to the limited inventory and high demand for median priced properties, most reasonably priced listings receive multiple offers above asking price. According to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), in March there was a 0.8 percent decline in the Pending Home Sales Index based on contract signings from February to March, but there was a 0.8 increase in the Pending ...

April 2017 Real Estate Update

April 11, 2017
Ginny Kavanaugh
The first quarter results are in for the local real estate markets. While some cities and towns show a decrease in average sales price, it's too early in the year to be concerned about any downward trend in prices. I anticipate inventory to increase steadily as we move more into the spring selling months. Because buyers are always searching for new listings and inventory remains low, it’s a strong market for sellers. Now is the time to act and t would be my pleasure to represent you in buying or selling your Menlo Park home. If you would like ...

March 2017 Real Estate Update

March 08, 2017
Ginny Kavanaugh
As the housing market approaches the end of the first quarter, there have been some encouraging signs for homeowners who may be weighing whether to sell. The year kicked off on a fairly strong note for the housing market on a national, statewide and local level. The overall real estate theme in the region continues to be a shortage of supply met with strong buyer demand. Open houses are attracting large turnouts and we continue to see multiple offers for properties across most price ranges. However it’s the “lower-priced” homes driving the ...

Outlook for 2017: Will The Seller’s Housing Market Continue?

January 26, 2017
Ginny Kavanaugh
Over the past year, California has seen a strong seller’s market for housing – thanks in large part to a shortage of homes on the market, strong demand by buyers and mortgage interest rates that hovered near historic lows. But as 2017 gets underway, the question is whether that seller’s market will continue, especially given a recent uptick in interest rates. According to Freddie Mac, the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage nationwide climbed to 4.16 percent in mid-December (the latest figures available), up more than a half a percentage ...

Bay Area Housing Market Turns in Strong Performance in 2016

December 27, 2016
Ginny Kavanaugh
The Bay Area housing market had its challenges in 2016, including low inventory of homes for sale, rising prices that challenged would-be buyers, and political uncertainty with the presidential election. But despite the headwinds, this turned out to be a fairly good year overall for our local housing market.  Many home sellers once again enjoyed strong gains in sale prices - albeit not quite as strong as 2015, but good nonetheless. The median sale price for single-family homes, condos and townhouses in the Bay Area through October (the ...

December 2016 Real Estate Update

December 13, 2016
Ginny Kavanaugh
As we approach the end of the year and look back at 2016, we see that it turned out to be another strong year for our local real estate markets. Mortgage rates continued to decline despite predicted increases. The near record low mortgages converted many renters into buyers as homeownership could bring a lower monthly payment in some cases. 2016 also featured more eco-friendly additions to the home, including electric car charger stations in most newly constructed homes, solar panels for electricity, and synthetic lawns due to the ongoing ...

November 2016 Real Estate Update

November 10, 2016
Ginny Kavanaugh
The World Series is over, we’ve set the clocks back, and voted for a new president – it’s definitely a new season! At this time of year, that usually means the real estate market starts to slow down. However, we have seen some very encouraging buyer activity for this time of year, demand has not waned. Even still, I anticipate a holiday slowdown ahead. If you are serious about buying or selling in the area, I can advise you on how to get the best results for price and terms of sale. If yo uwould like more information, please call, text, or ...

October 2016 Real Estate Update

October 14, 2016
Ginny Kavanaugh
The end of the 3rd quarter has come and gone, which always presents a good time to take a look at the real estate market and compare it to previous quarters. In terms of gauging market performance, I like to look at the median sales price as it tends to be a more accurate price indicator than the average, which can be inflated or deflated based on the sale of just one or two really high or low-end properties. Let's check out how each of our micro city and town markets performed. And as always, whether you are buying or selling, please ...

September 2016 Real Estate Update

September 14, 2016
Ginny Kavanaugh
A caller recently asked why they should hire me. So, this got me thinking that rather than just providing you with my standard report on the market, I should let all of you know my answer as well. One of the main reasons that sellers and buyers hire me to be their professional real estate agent is because of my expertise in the marketplace. Information is easy to find in today’s world, but my value to you is my ability to disseminate all of this information and more importantly, to include data that is not publicly available. I know every ...

August 2016 Real Estate Update

August 24, 2016
Ginny Kavanaugh
Contrary to the popular belief that sales lag in the summer, the real estate market in quite a few of the local cities and towns performed quite well this year. I anticipate the inventory to increase after Labor Day with sellers wanting to get their home sold before the holidays. Since July 1, 6 homes closed escrow and another 7 homes went into contract and are now pending sale. While sales remain strong, the days on market increased to an average of 46 days for the 13 homes that sold. Despite the fact that only 1 of the July homes sold ...

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