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Real Estate Market Blog: January 2016 — December 2016


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.

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 ...

2016 Half Year Report: Woodside, Atherton, Menlo Park, Palo Alto, Los Altos and Los Altos Hills

July 15, 2016
Ginny Kavanaugh
Only 33 homes sold in the first half of 2016 compared to 46 in the same period last year. However, prices reached record highs. The average sales price rose 31% and the median price increased 45%. Despite the fact that days on market increased to the highest level since 2012, more than half of the homes sold in 30 days or less. The majority of homes in the first half of the year, 67%, sold for less than list price, although 7 sold for more than asking. The highest end of the market performed well in the first half with 4 sales in excess of ...

2016 Half-Year Report: Portola Valley

July 11, 2016
Ginny Kavanaugh
The Portola Valley real estate market remained strong in the first half of 2016 with 34 sales, just one more than the same period last year. Sales prices continue to rise with the average up 1% and the median up 4.7% over last year. Homes sold very quickly with 62% selling in 2 weeks or less – a marked improvement over previous years. Half of the homes sold between $2 million and $3 million, and 5 sales exceeded $5 million, 4 of which sold in 2 weeks or less. Currently, there are just 11 homes on the market, ranging between $965,000 and $15 ...

June 2016 Real Estate Update

June 14, 2016
Ginny Kavanaugh
Overall the real estate market performed well in May, some towns and cities faring better than others. Inventory remains one of the bigger challenges in most areas, but has also resulted in some significantly higher prices. Buyer demand remains strong, making it a seller’s market. But even with strong demand, whether you are buying or selling, it is critical that homes are inspected properly and negotiated aggressively to ensure the best results for price and terms of sale. I know exactly what it takes to get theseresults for you. Please ...

Wire Fraud: A Real Threat

June 01, 2016
Ginny Kavanaugh
I want to highlight an area, which is becoming of great concern in the real estate industry. Wire fraud scams continue to affect the real estate industry. Given the ongoing risks of wire fraud, it is imperative to maintain a heighten awareness throughout the transaction process of the real threat of wire fraud. I urge you to insist that all persons involved in your real estate transaction (lawyers, title agent, etc.) use the precautions listed below. ALWAYS PERSONALLY VERIFY wire instructions. DO NOT AGREE to requests to forward ...

May 2016 Real Estate Update

May 16, 2016
Ginny Kavanaugh
Buyer demand remains strong and inventory low, creating a competitive market. Whether you are on the buy side or the sell side, contact me anytime for a personal consultation or just to catch up on the market. Check out the specifics for the cities below. Portola Valley sales volume decreased 41% in the first 4 months compared to the same period last year, due largely in part to the limited inventory. April proved the strongest month this year for sales with a total of 5 homes closing escrow. The few homes that did come on the market ...

April 2016 Real Estate Update

April 20, 2016
Ginny Kavanaugh
The numbers are in for Q1 of 2016. Some areas fared better than others, the main challenge across the board is low inventory. However, spring seems to be arriving late this year as I am seeing the market heat-up, I anticipate inventory to steadily increase. Check out the specifics below for each of the cities/towns. The low inventory of homes for sale, with just 14 new listings, resulted in only 8 homes closing escrow in the first quarter. An additional 4 homes went into contract, but have not closed escrow. Due in part to the few number ...

National Home Prices Edge Higher in Janaury

March 29, 2016
Wells Fargo Economics Group
I received the following report from the Wells Fargo Economics Group, and found it quite interesting. Hope you enjoy, you can also download it here. "U.S. home prices rose in line with expectation in January, with all three S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices (HPI) rising modestly during the month. Nationally, home prices are up 5.4 percent from their year-ago level."

March 2016 Real Estate Update

March 15, 2016
Ginny Kavanaugh
At this time of year, we have spring breaks occurring at schools, which often keep both buyers and sellers preoccupied. I anticipate that the “normal” spring market will be upon us soon and we will see more activity. While there has been stock market volatility this year that very well could be affecting our market, local experts are still predicting a good year overall. I encourage you to read the articles below for more information. And, of course, it would be my pleasure to provide you with an in-depth consultation on your local market at ...

Tips for Homebuyers in a Hot Seller's Market

March 11, 2016
Ginny Kavanaugh
This may be a really good time to be in the housing market - if you are a seller, that is. There just aren't enough homes on the market, so if you are selling right now, you may find yourself in a more favorable position. Multiple offers and bids over list price for some properties aren't unusual these days. But what if you're a buyer - one of many out there in the trenches looking right now? With lots of competition from other buyers, how do you "survive" the house-hunting wars and, hopefully, land that home you're after? While there are ...

February 2016 Real Estate Update

February 17, 2016
Ginny Kavanaugh
While it’s too early in the year to accurately predict what will happen to the real estate market in the area, we do know that there is uncertainty in the financial markets here and abroad, which may very well affect our local market. If the stock market continues to decline, which is often the trend in a presidential election year, we may see prices and sales level off. Because of this, right now could be the best time to sell a home particularly with little competition, which generally increases as we move into the spring months. Six ...

Annual Real Estate Stats Charts 1998-2015

February 02, 2016
Ginny Kavanaugh
And the numbers are in. Check out the stats comparisons year-over-year and town by town.

January 2016 Real Estate Update

January 15, 2016
Ginny Kavanaugh
Overall, the Northern California’s housing market enjoyed a good year in 2015, although a shortage of homes on the market posed a challenge for many homebuyers. Double-digit price increases from a year ago were common in many communities, along with multiple offers on some homes, while the limited inventory helped keep a lid on home sales. As 2016 begins, many industry experts believe we’re heading towards a more balanced market, one in which inventory will gradually increase and sales will climb at a moderate rate. If the forecast holds ...

Garage Door Art

January 15, 2016
Ginny Kavanaugh
Thought I would share this just for fun. What would you paint on your garage door?

Inman News: The days of bedroom, bath and price are dead

January 11, 2016
Another good article from Inman News, this time from Bernice Ross. The original article is here. New tools that evaluate lifestyle, affordability and commute time are about to make finding the right home for your buyers much easier. There are apps that can help clients assess commute times as well as routes and traffic conditions. has evolved into a robust application to provide information such as demographics, education, schools and more to agents and brokers. Move over, Zillow and Trulia — and take ...

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