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Go to JeffAndSteve.com for the latest Real Estate Insight and Analysis

Increased Turnover of Housing Ahead

July 12, 2010

The lead editorial in the July 19th issue Forbes points out that for the past 50 years, accountants have been advising their clients to accelerate deductions and defer income because of declining tax rates. Now that the tax momentum is reversing, accountants will correctly be advising clients to accelerate income and defer deductions. Therefore, as a result of this phenomenon, I expect sales volume to increase going forward. Sales prices will not necessarily be affected by an increase in volume, of course, as value is impacted by the ratio of supply to demand.

Steve TenBroeck

Q1 Market Trends

April 30, 2010

In Palo Alto, Los Altos and surrounding communities, the residential real estate market continued to recover in the 1st quarter of ’10. Supply and demand continued to move back in favor of sellers with multiple offers common and prices rising.

SINGLE FAMILY HOMES

South and Mid-Peninsula Market Snapshot

A Significant Shift in Supply & Demand

Several factors – including improving consumer confidence and lots of rain – caused the number of homes for sale in our market area to decline by 20% on average from a year ago. Sales volume, on the other hand, increased by 55%.

The number of days it took for homes to sell (Days on Market) was essentially unchanged. This number can be easily misinterpreted. As the market heats up, homes that had been sitting unsold become more attractive and start to sell – thereby increasing the average number of “days on market”. Median sales prices also were basically unchanged. That figure has more to do with which segment of the market is selling in each community. For example, median sales prices were up by 40% in Sunnyvale and down by 40% in Los Altos Hills. Home values have not changed by those amounts. Folks are simply buying more expensive homes this year in Sunnyvale and less expensive homes in Los Altos Hills than last year.

The average percentage of list price received by sellers shows the impact of the reduced supply and greater demand. It increased to 98%, on average, in 2010 from 95% in 2009.

Can This Market Continue to Improve?

Yes, if the U.S Treasury and Federal Reserve Bank (with the assistance of Congress) are able to manage the massive financial de-leveraging that’s taking place. If they are able to continue to underwrite the staggering quantity of commercial and residential loans currently “under water” (without causing inflation and interest rates to spike) then yes, this rebound in our residential market will continue to improve.

ADVICE FOR SELLERS

Buyers are very motivated at the moment, particularly in the under-two million dollar range. As stated above there is dwindling inventory. However, buyers are extremely sensitive to any perceivable “negative” issues relating to condition or location and expect to pay less as a result. Improving the home’s condition prior to putting your home on the market is very profitable.

ADVICE FOR BUYERS

Interest rates will soon rise. How high and when? No one knows. Plus, home values in our area are rising. Although selection is very limited at the moment, buying soon and locking in a low 30-year fixed rate mortgage will most likely prove to be exceptionally profitable. Buying a home that is in need of surface improvements will also be profitable. One’s particular buying strategy, home selection, and ability to hold long-term are always critical to success.

March Sales Snapshot

April 27, 2010

A 4th Quarter 2009 Real Estate Rebound

February 9, 2010

Here’s our summary of the 2009 Palo Alto and Los Altos residential real estate market. In it we explain how the 4th quater saved the year from being a complete disaster.

It only took a slight improvement in consumer confidence to bring back multiple offers and over-bidding in the under-$1.5m market. The $1.5m to $2.5m started to thaw, too. Over $2.5m? Buyers are still tentative.

Home for Sale in Los Altos: 693 Arboleda Drive, Los Altos, CA

January 21, 2010

Lowest Priced Four Bedroom With Los Altos Schools!

A beautiful, tree-lined setting and an open floor plan with tall windows make this a delightful home.  The availability of highly rated Los Altos schools completes the value of this offering.

The 1,985+/- sq. ft. residence includes four spacious bedrooms, two full baths, inside laundry area, and attached two-car garage.  A center-island kitchen is open to the living area and views mature landscaping in the rear yard.   Gleaming hardwood floors, fresh paint, new carpet, and recent landscaping provide for immediate living enjoyment. 

The home is situated on a 10,000+/- sq. ft. lot with mature landscaping, and offers highly rated Los Altos schools including Springer Elementary, Blach Intermediate, and Los Altos High. 

Offered at $1,299,000.

935 Berry Avenue, Los Altos, CA

January 21, 2010

New Listing in Central Los Altos Open 1/23 and 24!

New Listing-935 Berry Avenue, Los Altos

The semi-circular drive, flagstone walk, shady front porch, and country-charming exterior are an invitation to make this your next home!  The many recent upgrades allow you to move in and enjoy!

 The 2,708+/- square foot floor plan includes 4 bedrooms, 3 full baths, family room kitchen, and separate dining room. 

Finished with crisp white tile and hardwood flooring, the large kitchen offers ample cabinetry and spacious informal eating area. 

The master suite is very large and includes custom storage cabinetry including media space, cathedral ceiling with two banks of bright windows, walk-in closet, and spa-like bath with dual sink vanity and large shower.  

 Offered at $1,500,000.