Fresh from Pacific Union’s blog, this week is a weekly recap of real estate highlights:
The traditional Spring Selling Season is off to a great start – again – according to Core Logic. The company recently released a report showing a 12.2% year-over-year increase in home prices, representing the 24th straight month (i.e. 2 years) this has happened. California – and the Bay Area in particular – is leading the way. Including distressed sales (e.g. foreclosures, short sales, et al), California prices rose 19.8% year-over-year. In good news for first time and move up buyers, Core Logic’s chief economist (Dr. Mark Fleming) said that the company expects home prices to level out next year as fewer home owners are under water, leading to an increase in the supply of homes and decreasing the continued price surges of the last couple of years.
Across the Richmond-San Rafael bridge, a development firm as purchased 101 acres in southern Marin County and plans to build apartments and a school on the site. Apparently, the new owner is seeking to put about 100 rental units on the site. No time table as to when any plans are expected to come up before the County Planning Commission.
Lastly, the California Association of Realtors released a survey last week showing that there is an increasing number of international homebuyers in our state. According to the survey, 85% of these buyers considered only the US as a potential place to buy a home, with the overwhelming reason being the Sunshine State’s climate (they obviously didn’t visit SF in the summer!) and that they wanted to be closer to family.
For a more complete rundown of last week’s real estate roundup, check out Pacific Union’s blog.
There is a lot going on in the Real Estate world these days. For a more complete look, check out Pacific Union’s blog today:
CAR’s February home sales report shows that pending home sales rose 14.2% over January. This is the second straight increase. Meanwhile, distressed home sales dropped across the state except in Solano County.
Home builders are increasingly looking toward infill projects rather than suburban tract homes. According to the Wall Street Journal, this is driving land prices up and is getting in the way of new-home sales, along with a lack of first-time home buyers and rising prices (although the latter two go hand in hand).
Also, last week Trulia released a report suggesting that Coastal California Markets (i.e. the Bay Area) may be headed for a bubble. The report argues that the Coastal CA market is overvalued: San Jose, San Francisco and the Oakland markets are all between 4-8% over what Trulia deems the current market value.
I will be holding open 3848 Happy Valley Road in Lafayette from 1 – 4pm. The home is exclusively listed by Nancy Rothman and offered @ $2,595,000. Historic Happy Valley farmhouse artistically restored with designer finishes & custom quality by McNamara Development and Construction. The original home was built in 1903 for Herbert & Estella Brown Mullikan. Estella’s father was Henry Toler Brown and her grandfather was Elam Brown, the founder of Lafayette. While maintaining the original farmhouse charm, the home was remodeled and expanded to embrace today’s modern lifestyle. Reclaimed wood and brick from the original home can be found throughout. A rare opportunity to own a part of Lafayette’s history.
Just under 4,000sf, the ideal single story floorplan offers formal living and dining rooms, spectacular kitchen/family combo leading out to the patio and yard, 4 bedrooms, plus an office, and a guest suite with separate entrance. The expansive yard and serene setting create an easy indoor/outdoor entertaining lifestyle. Conveniently located in the heart of Happy Valley with easy access to top schools, BART, Freeways, and downtown Lafayette. I hope to see all of you there!
This sophisticated, contemporary masterpiece was designed for the owners to showcase their stunning art collection. A two-story light-filled glass entry which opens to the gallery joins the public rooms, all of which have custom, barrel vault ceilings with no two alike.
This stylish 4 bedroom, 4 bathroom home was designed by Tim Ward and Agnes Bourne. Complete with a unified design and handcrafted finishes, this home features soaring ceilings and walls of glass that show off its gorgeous panoramic view. French doors open to its gardens, decks and infinity pool. An extra 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom Casita adds an additional 600 square feet.
How much stock do you put into school districts when shopping for a home? Purchasing property isn’t just an investment for the present; it’s an investment for the future as well.
That’s why many prospective buyers have been putting high value on homes in neighborhoods with strong school districts.
According to a recent article in the San Francisco Chronicle, buyers in the Peninsula have been paying more than $200,000 extra for homes inside of successful school districts, and not all of them have children!
The respective strength of a school district is determined by how well the students score in standardized testing. Buyers look to these scores with an eye towards the future, but not all that glitters is gold… or rather, not all the gold glitters when it comes to choosing a school.
In San Mateo County, school district officials are challenging that system.
They are working to gather at least 300 real estate agents together next month in San Mateo to give them a broader perspective about how the school system works and what makes a great school.
“I’m hoping to start to change the conversation,” said Carrie Du Bois, a Sequoia Union High School District board member and a real estate agent. “We do need to be working on things (to improve schools), but to be calling perfectly good schools bad – I don’t see how that’s helping.”
Du Bois said real estate professionals are starting to struggle with that old system too, facing 20 offers on one house where bids push up prices $300,000 over the asking price and maybe a couple of below-asking-price offers on another equally nice home, solely because of the local schools’ slightly lower test scores.
Examples abound in this Pacific Union blog, detailing realtors who face aggressive bidding wars over properties in high-scoring areas while seeing declining interest in homes located within comparable but lower-scoring school districts.
A big chunk of those families move north to Marin, where they’re eager to find homes in Tiburon, Mill Valley, Kentfield, and Ross – cities with high-scoring school districts, said Brent Thomson, a senior vice president and branch executive for our Marin offices.
“Bidding wars will break out because those are desirable areas, and if buyers have kids, they’re even more desirable to them,” Thomson said.
She noted that San Rafael’s Dixie School District is also very strong but tends to receive less attention than better-known districts in southern Marin.
The solution may be simply not judging a book by its cover. Test scores may tell some of the story, but a better perspective on a school district may be found by checking out the schools for yourself. Buying a home is an important decision, and which schools are available is certainly tied to it. Taking the time to find out more about the schools in the area could help you find a better deal on a fantastic property.
The Pacific Union Blog unleashed it’s April update on Monday. There were quite a few interesting tidbits that came out of April, namely the median price for a single family home in San Francisco breached $1M for the first time in 5 years last month. Also of note, and of particular interest to those of us working on this side of the tunnel: The “Month’s Supply of Inventory” (or MSI) remained low at 1.1 months. This means that we continue to be in a seller’s market. According to our Pacific Union Blog, any MSI under 4 constitutes a seller’s market.
Pacific Union has some great information on its Real Estate Roundup blog this week. According to the Wall Street Journal, home prices are expected to rise 10% in the next year. This is great news and continued evidence of a strong housing rebound.
Even better news is that the foreclosure rate is going down. According to DQNews, foreclosures in California are at their lowest since 2005. This is good news not only for the housing industry in general, but for stressed homeowners as well.
For more of the real estate roundup, check out PU’s blog: http://bit.ly/10ZkVad