Campi Properties Joins Golden Gate Sotheby’s International Realty

We are pleased to announce Campi Properties Inc. is joining Golden Gate Sotheby’s International Realty. Established in Los Altos, California, Campi Properties specializes in luxury real estate, operating as one of the strongest independently owned residential real estate firms on the Peninsula with a strong reputation for excellence in their local market.

This strategic union strengthens Golden Gate Sotheby’s International Realty’s presence in Silicon Valley and enhances our network, growing our brokerage to over 425 agents serving Wine Country, Marin County, the East Bay and the Peninsula.

To learn more, visit WeAreGoldenGateSIR.com.

Q1 2016 Market Update – Los Altos and Los Altos Hills

Early 2016 was slower than usual for the Los Altos and Los Altos Hills real estate market, even more so than is typical for the start of each year. Continued low inventory, high (but stable) prices and stock market volatility have made many potential high-end buyers nervous. However, the inventory picked up a little in March, especially for Los Altos Hills, so buyers are coming back in the game for the summer. So, overall, not much has changed compared to last year, after all.

Median Sales Price – March 2016

Los Altos Hills $3,780,000
Los Altos: $2, 625,000

Median Days on Market – March 2016

Los Altos Hills: 68 days
Los Altos: 32 days

Months Supply of Inventory (closed) – March 2016

Los Altos Hills: 5.4
Los Altos: 1.2

Median Price Per Square Foot – March 2016

Los Altos Hills: $1,038
Los Altos: $1,207

Q3 2015 Market Update – Los Altos and Los Altos Hills

The real estate market may have cooled down a little over the past couple of months. However, it remains strong and demand is still at near record highs. Here are some more details on recent market conditions for Los Altos and Los Altos Hills.

While the overall trends are similar for both of these market areas, some significant variations can be found, attributable to the differences in their basic characteristics. Los Altos Hills tends to have larger lots and quite a few very high end properties, while Los Altos tends to be more homogeneous and more of a high end suburban market. As a result, statistics for Los Altos show much more similar numbers, while Los Altos Hills can show higher variance around median numbers.

 

Median Prices

Los Altos – Median Prices

The Los Altos market is on a steady and impressive growth path. The third quarter of 2015 saw price increase rates continue even higher than in the preceding periods, and the median price has now passed the $2.5M mark. The annualized increase rate is now well over 25%.

LAH-medianprices

Los Altos Hills – Median Prices

The Los Altos Hills market also continues on a steady growth curve. Even though that market is more sensitive to seasonal fluctuations, and has more variances among properties, the general trend is still for steeper increases in median price, which is now steadily around $3.5M. The annualized increase rate now stands at around 20%, and might be starting to stabilize around that number.

LAH-medianprices

 


Days on Market (Median)

Due to the very low inventories in both markets, accurately (and average) priced properties continue to be sold in a very short period of time. The third quarter of 2015 saw essentially the same median days on market as for the past 2 years: 10 days for Los Altos, and 3 weeks for Los Altos Hills.

Los Altos – Days on Market Median

LA-DOM

Los Altos Hills – Days on Market Median
LAH-DOM

Months of Inventory

Los Altos – Inventory

Inventory levels continue to be very low in both markets, especially in much sought after Los Altos. The numbers are staying fairly constant on average, with about 3 weeks of inventory at any given time, as in the past 2 years.

LA-inventory

 

Los Altos Hills – Inventory

The property inventory in Los Altos Hills continues to flatten out, and has now reached a fairly stable level at around 2 months’ worth of properties on the market at any time over the last quarter.

LAH-inventory

Inside Los Altos Real Estate: Q4 2013 and Year-end Market Commentary

Everyone knows the economy is on the rebound.  The Silicon Valley real estate market has, once again, reaped the benefits in 2013 as it did in 2000 and 2007.   Those three years mark the most red-hot real estate markets over the last 20 years.  Q4 2013 for Los Altos real estate, and especially North Los Altos, was no different!  During 2013, I often likened our real estate market in Los Altos to the “Wild West” as not a great deal made sense in terms of buyer and seller behaviors, recent comparable sales (were all over the board) and sometimes even agents were acting as though they wore gun holsters.

Los Altos as a whole saw some interesting real estate market trends in 2013.  Available housing inventory has been low for the last few years, but especially during 2013.  You are probably most familiar with 2013’s low inventory as it was blasted across nearly every real estate headline.  Despite what the media reported, the lack of inventory in our valley in desirable cities, like Los Altos and popular neighborhoods such as North Los Altos, has been trending higher and higher for the last few years.  At the end of Q4 2013, available homes in Los Altos were at:

49.1%  of  Q4 2012 (inventory down by 50.9% from previous year)
55.8%  of  Q4 2011 (inventory down by 44.2% from previous year)
56.2%  of  Q4 2010 (inventory down by 43.8% from previous year)

Inventory continued spiraling downward while the average Days on Market for the city was slashed from 54 days to 24 days over the same time periods.  That means that homes are selling far more quickly than they have in the past, and in North Los Altos, Sellers received an average of 110% of their list price.  Another factoid is that the median sales price in North Los Altos for 2012 was $2,027,804 and jump by 11.4% to $2,289,767 in 2013.  Due to job growth and another year of historically low interest rates, our market’s Buyers did not go away and were willing and able to pay the high price for a home.  Our Sellers, however, thinned out…

STRATEGIES IN 2013

A few of our Buyers in Los Altos actually went through a dual loan process throughout the entire transaction—all the way up to loan documents being delivered to escrow.  Why, you may ask?  In a highly competitive market when it’s not uncommon for a buyer to go up against other buyers paying with all-cash who have little or no contingencies, some of our buyers wanted to make sure their lender could perform.  Since they ran dual loan processes, they felt they had a better safety net to close their transactions on time and not lose the house they worked really hard to find.  Since many buyers need financing, they also found that “sweetening the pot” a bit more in a multiple offer situation helped them to win their home in North Los Altos this past year.

CONSIDERATIONS FOR 2014

I don’t want to discourage our Buyers out there as there is hope:  Interest rates are still low for the time being, and we in the real estate industry have been marketing to Sellers for two years regarding the shortage of inventory.  Hopefully they’ll begin to hear the message.

For future Sellers who are thinking of making a move in the next five years, I DO want to nudge you to seriously consider accelerating your plans.  In 2013, there were a few instances where we wrote offers on the same home more than once because the Sellers were not in tune with what their home offered and what the market would really be willing to bear.   The second time around was a winner a few times in 2013!

It definitely was in 2013 and still is a Sellers’s Market in North Los Altos—for now.  The question is how long will it last?  Even the Wild West era didn’t last forever as stabilization had to eventually occur.  Our real estate market will stabilize.  It cannot keep this pace.

I get it—we all want the most money for our homes.  When we, however, are winning the second time around in writing an offer on the SAME house in today’s Silicon Valley real estate market, it is a sure indication that even Sellers are not certain this market will continue much longer.  What does this mean for Sellers in 2014?   GET YOUR HOME SOLD NOW!

The first one out of this market wins!

 

losaltos_dom


losaltos_inventory


losaltos_median

 

What’s Next for the Bay Area Real Estate Market?

With the Bay Area real estate boom in full force, many of us don’t quite know what to expect for the future. Will housing prices keep rising? What is the prediction for interest rates? How will the tax increase affect buyer demand? While we do not have a crystal ball, economic forecasters say that the Bay Area job growth and its robust local economy show no signs of slowing.  The tech sector is generating solid profits and companies continue to hire new employees from San Francisco to San Jose.  Solid stock market gains, in addition to high paying jobs, continue to create an abundance of local wealth.  As for the overall U.S. economy, forecasters have a cautious outlook for 2014.   Some predict that corporate growth may slow as well as consumer spending which will be directly influenced by the federal income tax increase from 35% to 39.6% plus other tax changes. Foreign money continues to pour into the area, especially Palo Alto and Atherton, in the form of all cash purchases in the $4 – $7 million range.  With already low inventory in the high-end market, the foreign buyer competition has made it even more frustrating for local buyers to buy a house.

Interest rates and Mortgages: Historically, strong economic growth has led to rising inflation. However, virtually every measure of inflation has been falling over the last two years and forecasters do not anticipate a change in 2014.  Actions by the Fed are holding down longer-term interest rates and expectations suggest rates will remain relatively stable (under 5%) for 2014 and with a slow rise starting in 2015. For today’s buyer, the recent interest rate movement appears large and it is when viewed through a short-term lens of one year. However, technical trends suggest there are limits of how far rates may shift within a given time period. So while the long-term downward trend may be coming to an end, that does not necessarily mean interest rates will reverse and increase at a dramatic pace.

In the beginning of 2014, the mortgage underwriting guidelines will be further tightened to continue the quality control initiative for newly issued loans.  There is likely to be some short-term interest rate fluctuations as the loan market adapts to the newly implemented changes.  However, rates are expected to settle by mid-year and remain relatively flat through the end of 2014.

What to Expect:  It will continue to be a sellers’ market as buyer demand will remain high.  Sellers should not wait to list their homes for sale. Despite our typical “slow” winter months, there is so much pent up buyer demand that the typical seasonality factor is not relevant in this hot market. Interest rates should remain attractive and continue to fuel buyer demand in the sub-$2 million zone through until 2015. The tax increases may throw a curveball in the level of buyer demand in the 1st half of 2014 as buyers adjust to lower cash reserves.  However, a strong bonus season in the finance sector as well as continued stock vesting may counterbalance the tax affect on buyers’ purchasing power.  We actively see a multitude of buyers looking in the $4M+ range (usually with all cash) and the sub-$2M range (usually with loan financing). However, there appears to be slightly less competition for properties in the $2M- $3.5M range (with the exception for Palo Alto which shows no signs of softening) in Menlo Park and Los Altos. That said, since there are so few active listings in any of the mid-Peninsula cities between $2-$3.5M you can still expect some level of competition with 2-3 offers for homes in this price range.

In conclusion, our real estate market will continue its strength throughout 2014 and will likely bleed into 2015.  And even if the growth of our local economy slows a bit, the demand to live on the Peninsula will continue to outpace the other parts of the Bay Area and that will support the new benchmark of housing prices that have been set, especially at the entry level ($1M-$1.5M).