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Real Estate Market Blog: January 2015 — December 2015


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.

2015 Survey Exclusive: Wealth, Real Estate & the High-Net Worth Investor

December 17, 2015
Ginny Kavanaugh
Here's an excerpt from Coldwell Banker's Previews Inside Out: A Look Into Luxury Home and Style. Rising home prices? C’est la vie, say a majority of today’s high-net-worth (HNW) individuals. According to new research Coldwell Banker Previews International®/NRT commissioned from Ipsos MediaCT: 54% of HNW individuals say they plan to make a real estate investment this year, up from 48% in 2014. 69% of HNW millennials (those under age 35) say they plan to purchase a new property in the coming year — running contrary to the myth that ...

December 2015 Real Estate Update

December 14, 2015
Ginny Kavanaugh
Looking back, 2015 turned out to be another strong year overall for our local real estate markets, especially for home sellers. The Bay Area housing market experienced good appreciation in home prices in many areas, although some home values did come back to earth a bit as the year wore on. The median sales price in the Bay Area through October reached $710,000, up 9 percent in 2015 from last year, according to local MLS data analyzed by Coldwell Banker. Year-to-date 2015 Year-to-date 2014 Percent change Portola V ...

Around Town November 2015

November 20, 2015
Ginny Kavanaugh
Before you gear up for the holidays, take some time to check out these helpful resources that will put you in the know. With the rainy season ahead, sign up for SMC or SCC ALERT, an alert notification system used to contact you during urgent oremergency situations for various areas. Visit for San Mateo and for Santa Clara county visit AlertSSC. And before the rain comes, for those town that have CalWater, get your Cal Water historical consumption data to track your water usage. The Town of Portola Valley provides a ...

November 2015 Real Estate Update

November 16, 2015
Ginny Kavanaugh
The World Series is over, the clocks have been changed, and we’ve actually seen a little rain – it’s definitely a new season. And, at this time of year, that usually means the real estate market slows down. But that's not the case for many of our local markets. Here in Portola Valley we’ve seen an amazing real estate market all year and it hasn’t slowed yet. In fact, October recorded the 4th highest number of transactions this year with 6 sales compared to 8 in July, 7 in May, and 14 in April. An additional 4 homes are pending close of ...

Painted Floors

October 27, 2015
Ginny Kavanaugh
A friend of mine shared these images with me via email, and I wanted to share them again. Check out the slide show above for some neat 3D floor designs.

Around Town October 2015

October 20, 2015
Ginny Kavanaugh
Looking for activities this month? October has plenty of Halloween events to offer. Forget about driving over Highway 92 only to be stuck in traffic for the harvest carnival there, check out the ones we have right here in our backyard first. Date & Time: Thursday, October 29, 3:00PM to dusk Location: Town Center – Schoolhouse Parking Lot Come and visit the pumpkin patch, ride the Webb Ranch “train”, climb on the Library’s big blue imagination playground in the Community Hall and watch the pumpkin carving demonstration at 4pm....

October 2015 Real Estate Update

October 16, 2015
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. Check out the local real estate markets for Portola Valley, Woodside, Atherton, Menlo Park, Palo Ato, Los Altos and Los Altos Hills below. On the news front, a national change in the lending laws went into effect on October 3. The changes are designed to protect consumers but may make obtaining a mortgage and expediting a closing more difficult. If a mortgage or refinance is in your future, I ...

Cosmos Roofing: Prepare for the rainy season!

September 21, 2015
Rich Cosmos
All roofs and gutters should be checked each September/October before the rainy season. With trees growing around many houses, the house movement we experience on the adobe soil is this area of the country, and the general wear and hardening of sealants due to much sun suggest a general inspection of the roof before the rains. Gutters and different roof types require vary of roof maintenance. Most pitched roofing surfaces will shed tree debris and are readily visible for roof wear. Most tree debris will collect in the valleys near the ...

Around town 09/15 Issue

September 16, 2015
Ginny Kavanaugh
Welcome to my new blog series I'm calling Around Town. Our local communities offer an abundance of activities, although sometimes we don't hear about them, we forget or it's not just not on our radar. For this, I am sharing a monthly round-up of activities that are happening in our neighborhoods. 45th ANNUAL HALF MOON BAY ART & PUMPKIN FESTIVAL October 17 & 18, 9:00AM – 5:00PM  Downtown Halfmoon Bay, Main Street ENTERTAINMENT AT THE SEQUOIAS:  WEST BAY OPERA SEASON PREVIEW September 18, 7:00PM Hanson Hall, The Sequoias, 501 Portola R ...

September 2015 Real Estate Update

September 16, 2015
Ginny Kavanaugh
We are seeing 2 trends in the real estate markets on the Peninsula. Some continued to stay strong through the summer months with August even outshining some of the performances in the spring. Others succumbed to the typical end of summer slowdown. In either event, the overall market trends are strong with median and average prices increasing year over year. With the recent downturn in the stock market, there is more uncertainty now than earlier this year, and only time will tell how this may impact our housing market. I anticipate more homes ...

Inman News: How stock market slump is both good and bad for real estate

August 31, 2015
Great article from Brad Inman, Staff Writer at Inman News that I wanted to share. Original article is here. Takeaways: Slumping stock market could put brakes on interest rate hikes. Real estate perceived as safe haven for investments when stocks falter. Biggest danger is when stock market woes portend deeper economic woes, which is bad for housing. Every Saturday morning at Nate ’n Al of Beverly Hills Delicatessen, a group of older guys gather to gossip and chat about their families, their friends, politics and the ...

August 2015 Real Estate Update

August 19, 2015
Ginny Kavanaugh
As we head into the end of summer with people returning from vacations and focusing on back-to-school, we start to see a seasonal shift in the real estate market. See the specifics below for Portola Valley, Woodside, Atherton, Menlo Park and Palo Alto real estate markets. In the past 4 weeks in Portola Valley, just 4 homes went into contract, 3 of which were in Ladera. It is encouraging to see 3 new listings just this past week, ranging in price from $1.7 to $6.8 million, making a total of 10 homes for sale in Portola Valley. In ...

Why now may be the time to downsize

August 11, 2015
Ginny Kavanaugh
For many people, their house may be their biggest asset. But it also can be their biggest expense. That's true whether they're planning for retirement or even if they already are in retirement. So it's no wonder that many homeowners begin to think about selling their home and moving into a smaller one as they approach their golden years. Downsizing your home doesn't have to mean downsizing your lifestyle. Homes have steadily expanded over the years with the average home now more than 2,600 square feet in the U.S. according to Census data – ...

July 2015 Real Estate Update

July 14, 2015
Ginny Kavanaugh
Prices remain strong in the first half of 2015, and in many cases at record highs, throughout Portola Valley, Woodside, Atherton, Menlo Park, Palo Alto, Los Altos and Los Altos Hills. While new listings have definitely picked up in the past few months, the year-overyear trend shows a decline in the number of new listings. Buyers want to live here and it's still a great time for sellers. Whether you buying or selling, my local expertise, market knowledge and negotiating skills will bring you the best results. Please contact me any time for ...

June 2015 Real Estate Update

June 15, 2015
Ginny Kavanaugh
Since my report to you last month, the real estate market in Portola Valley has continued on the same path – escalating prices, few number of homes for sale and strong buyer demand. It’s beginning to sound like a broken record but, fortunately, it’s a very good song! Once again, record high prices have been achieved with the year-to-date average price exceeding $3.3 million, up 22% from the same period last year, and the year-to-date median price exceeding $2.6 million, representing a 9% gain from the same period last year. In May, there ...

10 Simple Water Conservation Tips to Help Homeowners save Water and Money

June 05, 2015
Ginny Kavanaugh
It's no secret that California is going through one of its worst droughts in years. Last month, Governor Jerry Brown ordered mandatory water use reductions for the first time in state history. There are a number of simple steps that homeowners can take to help conserve our water resources – and possibly even save money in the long run. Some of the steps may even improve your home's appeal to potential buyers when it comes time to sell. A typical household uses approximately 260 gallons of water every day, according to the U.S....

Upcoming Portola Valley Events: June 2015

June 03, 2015
Ginny Kavanaugh
Just wanted to remind you of 2 upcoming Portola Valley events, see all the details below. The Town Picnic has always been a family favorite, my kids now come with their children. And the Men's BBQ has been a longtime tradition that started ages ago with a few fathers who realized they were missing out on a lot of social time that their wives enjoyed before and after school drop-offs and pick-ups. It has since evolved into something much larger with fathers and grown sons enjoying it together.   PORTOLA ...

May 2015 Real Estate Update

May 11, 2015
Ginny Kavanaugh
The spring still proves to be the strongest time of year to sell, according to the numbers we have so far for Portola Valley, Woodside, Atherton, Menlo Park, Palo Alto, Los Altos and Los Altos Hills. See the details for each town below. Sales in Portola Valley really picked up in April. Year to date, there have been 22 sales, 14 of which were in April. While the total number of sales has declined significantly compared to the same time last year (when there were 31sales), during both periods, April was the strongest month. As shown in ...

Onsite Water Recycling for San Mateo County

April 24, 2015
Ginny Kavanaugh
I just received this update from Michelle Bilodeau from San Mateo County Environmental Health on water recycling. It outlines the residential guidelines for water recycling. Download the original document here. Here is a copy of what the document includes. As California continues to experience one of the most severe droughts in history, many residents and businesses are looking for innovative ways to conserve and reduce consumption of drinking water. Simple methods toconserve water can include:   Limiting showers to five ...

Q1 2015 Real Estate Report

April 16, 2015
Ginny Kavanaugh
Here are some metrics that I have pulled for the real estate market performance in Q1 2015. Surprisingly, each of the town were both similar and different in various ways The year started out with very low inventory of homes for sale. There were 11 homes for sale in January, 15 in February, and then 22 in March. Due in partto the low inventory, there were just 8 homes that closed escrow, compared to 18 for the same quarter in 2014. There were an additional 7 homes that went into contract but have not closed escrow yet. The average ...

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