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Real Estate Market Blog: January 2014 — December 2014


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.

December 2014 Real Estate Update

December 09, 2014
Ginny Kavanaugh
The holidays certainly don’t seem to be slowing the buyers down. The only thing holding the market back is the few number of homes for sale, which is expected at this time of year. Here are the specific market updates broken down by town. If you want to sell your home, the wise move is to start preparing for sale right now and get your home on the market as early as possible next year before the competition heats up. It would be my pleasure to meet with you toreview what, if any, preparation needs to be done at your home to get it ready for ...

What to expect from your realtor

November 17, 2014
Ginny Kavanaugh
Hiring a realtor for the critical job of selling your home is a really key decision. Get it wrong and there could be some serious consequences, in terms of a home remaining unsold for longer than you would like and/or not achieving its optimum price in whatever current market conditions happen to be. Your search for the right realtor will be considerably enhanced if you know exactly what you should be expecting your realtor to do for you. As your agent I will Demonstrate absolute integrity. Educate you about the current conditions of ...

November 2014 Real Estate Update

November 11, 2014
Ginny Kavanaugh
The new normal for Silicon Valley home buying: 36 days on the market The Bay Area is the second-fastest moving residential real estate market in the entire country, with homes listed on the market for a median 36 days. Modest Bay Area homes hit mind-boggling prices Location drives people to the Bay Area even as price persquare foot soars, particularly in Palo Alto and Menlo Park. Who to call for winter home maintenance care I have compiled a short list of people you can call to helpprep your home for the winter months. It continues to ...

Fall home maintenance

November 03, 2014
Ginny Kavanaugh
Here is my short list of people I recommend to help with all the fall home maintenance tasks to prep your home for the winter months. Many people turn off their thermostat during the summer, and now is the time to switch it back on. General recommendation for the temperature setting in the winter is 68 degrees when at home and 58 degrees when not at home or sleeping. Consider installing a WiFi thermostat that allows you to monitor your home’s temperature. My recommendation Nest 855-469-6378 Start with replacing dirty or clogged ...

Quick tips for fall lawn care

October 27, 2014
Ginny Kavanaugh
You can feel that fall is finally approaching. With temperatures starting to dip, small spurts of rain and the leaves changing, it’s the perfect time for you to protect your lawn from the coming winter months and prep for the spring. Here are some quick tips on things you can do now that will ensure a stronger, greener lawn for you to enjoy next year. Aeration allows air, water and nutrients to penetrate the grass roots, helping roots grow deeply and produce a stronger, more vigorous lawn. One of the main reasons for aeration is to ...

October 2014 Real Estate Update

October 16, 2014
Ginny Kavanaugh
The 3rd quarter has come and gone, which is always a good time to take a look at the real estate market to see how it compares to previous quarters. Below is a look at the 3rd quarter median price this year compared to the same quarter last year, for Portola Valley, Woodside, Atherton, Menlo Park, Palo Alto and Los Altos/Los Altos Hills. I believe the median (half the homes sold above this price and half below) is a more accurate indicator of prices than the average, which can be inflated based on the sale of just one or two really high-end ...

Tuscan Villa Rentals

October 01, 2014
Ginny Kavanaugh
Plan the perfect getaway. I wanted to share a great resource for you, your clients and anyone looking for an Italian vacation. Local residents Laura Kavanaugh and Brandy Stroh of Tuscan Travel Group have put together a portfolio of hand-picked Tuscan homes and villas, each chosen for its location, amenities, character and many other factors that make a vacation property special.  Enjoy! Known for its world-class gardens and breathtaking views, this villa's inviting gathering rooms and beautiful antiques are not to be missed. ...

September 2014 Real Estate Update

September 10, 2014
Ginny Kavanaugh
This month, I found 2 great reports on the real estate market: San Francisco Bay Area Home Values A report generated by First Republic tracks the Bay Area home values since 1985 and clearly demonstrates the stability and economic growth of the real estate market in this area. Knight Frank’s 2014 Wealth Report A comprehensive look at global prime property markets, wealth distribution, and investment trends. Summer vacations are over and schools have started – in real estate terms this usually translates to buyers and sellers getting ...

August 2014 Real Estate Update

August 12, 2014
Ginny Kavanaugh
It may just be the more typical slowdown in real estate in the summer months or we might be seeing a touch of air being let out of this hot real estate market, but it will take a while to determine. Why do I say this? The number of homes that went into contract in July were significantly fewer than the numbers in May and June for many Peninsula cities. These numbers are not to be confused with the number of homes that actually closed escrow in July (see charts shown below). Taking a look at when a home goes into contract can give us the most ...

July 2014 Real Estate Update

July 10, 2014
Ginny Kavanaugh
The numbers are in for the first half of 2014 real estate. Home sales were strong throughout Portola Valley, Woodside, Atherton, Menlo Park, Palo Alto, Los Altos and Los Altos Hills. See the detail for each town below. Home sales are the strongest they’ve been in many years with 50 sales already in 2014. The average length of time to sell a home declined by 17%, and even more impressive – the median number of days on market decreased 27%. The average price shows a slight dip but this is due to a particularly high-end sale in 2013 that ...

Why now may be a good time for move-up buyers

June 25, 2014
Ginny Kavanaugh
You’re beginning to feel a little cramped in that home that seemed so perfect several years ago. There just aren’t enough bedrooms anymore, or adequate storage space or a big enough back yard for the kids and the dog to play. Or maybe there is another little one on the way - a baby, not a dog! Many Bay Area residents are facing a similar dilemma these days. While that small bungalow or rancher made perfect sense back when you bought it, you are quickly realizing that you have outgrown your home. The good news is that this may actually be a ...

June 2014 Real Estate Update

June 11, 2014
Ginny Kavanaugh
Prices continue to rise all around the Peninsula. The numbers insome cities (and individual neighborhoods) are showing staggering increases year over year. The median price in San Mateo County has exceeded $1 million this year, currently at $1,050,000. This means that half of all homes sold in San Mateo County are selling for more than $1,050,000. To put this in perspective, just 2 years ago, the median price in San Mateo County was $735,000; last year, it was $910,000. Sales in parts of Santa Clara County are also tremendous. Read down on ...

May 2014 Real Estate Update

May 14, 2014
Ginny Kavanaugh
Buyer demand is clearly strong and it is a great time for sellers. Evenwith this strong demand though, it is still critical that homes areprepared properly and marketed aggressively to ensure the bestresults for price and terms of sale. Having represented more sellersand buyers in Portola Valley than any other agent, I know exactlywhat it takes to get these results for you. Please contact me anytime for a personal consultation regarding your home – or to justcatch up on more details about this ever-changing market. Check out the specifics on ...

Last Week’s Economic News in Review

May 01, 2014
Ginny Kavanaugh
This is news that I received from Michael Haigh, Retail Sales Branch Manager, W.J. Bradley Mortgage Capital, LLC. Enjoy! Real estate dominated last week’s economic headlines, with sales of both existing and news homes dropped, as inventory remained scant and prices grew. Meanwhile, initial jobless claims experienced an unexpected spike. March saw basically flat sales of existing homes, but inventory continued to push prices upward. Sales of existing single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, slipped 0.2 percent to an ...

Weekly Economic Summary from Jonathan Rouse

April 30, 2014
Ginny Kavanaugh
I received this economic summary from Jonathan Rouse, Mortgage Loan Officer at Bank of America. There is some good information here and wanted to share. Last Week in Review New Home Sales for March plunged by 14.5 percent from February to an annual rate of 384,000 units. This was far below the 455,000 expected and the lowest level since July of last year. New Home Sales in March were down 13.3 percent from the same period last year. Existing Home Sales for March didn’t fare much better as they declined by 0.2 percent from February to ...

April 2014 Real Estate Update

April 16, 2014
Ginny Kavanaugh
Right now, the economy is charging along and moving forward. There is positive economic growth. This was the message reported at the California Association of Realtors® meeting of the MenloPark/Atherton and Palo Alto districts last week. The nation’s GDP is at 2.4 percent, up from 1.9 percent in the beginning of 2013. Personal consumption, the biggest component of GDP, hinges on consumer confidence, which is factored on jobs and income. The country lost 8.8 million jobs in the recession, but has gained back 8.1 million since January 2010. In ...

March 2014 Real Estate Update

March 18, 2014
Ginny Kavanaugh
In all honesty, I could just repeat here this month exactly what I said last month! Not too much has changed. Buyers are still desperate for homes to but sellers are still sitting on the side lines. While we are certainly seeing more homes come on the market than we did in January or February, we are nowhere near meeting the demand of buyers. In Portola Valley, only one home closed escrow in all of February, although another 10 are currently under contract and pending sale. There are just 18 homes for sale, 7 of which have been on the market ...

Dramatic Inventory Shortages Driving Bay Area Home Prices Higher

February 21, 2014
Ginny Kavanaugh
From our resident expert, Rick Turley: A red-hot, full-blown seller's market has engulfed Bay Area real estate. Buyers are fighting each other to land the winning bid on homes from Novato to San Jose, Burlingame to Pleasanton. Six-figure properties are being bid up into the seven-figures. In all my years of real estate, I've rarely seen a situation quite like this. The only thing missing from this wild seller's market is...well...sellers! There's a dramatic shortage of homes for sale all around the Bay. This mirrors a national trend, which ...

February 2014 Real Estate Update

February 19, 2014
Ginny Kavanaugh
The supply of homes for sale in the Bay Area has been at or near historical lows in many communities, driving up prices for those relatively few properties on the market. However, I am starting to hear from clients that they’re thinking about selling, and a good number of homeowners are actually getting their properties ready to list for the spring selling season. Only time will tell if homeowners do in fact decide to list their homes. But my guess is that those who have been on the fence about selling are reading news accounts of prices ...

January 2014 Real Estate Update

January 15, 2014
Ginny Kavanaugh
Happy New Year! I feel very optimistic about the potential for a strong housing marketin 2014. Here are 4 reasons why: A robust local economy. Silicon Valley, the Peninsula, and San Francisco have one of the strongest economies in the country. reports that 55% more employers, a record high, areready to hire a large number of techies – who will provide a better-capitalized pool of buyers this year. Supply and demand. Demand is extremely high and supply is historically low. This is what pushed prices up and created so many ...