Local Happenings In And Around The Bay Area

 

Headed to Lake Tahoe This Summer ? Here are 10 solid Swimming Spots in Lake Tahoe !

 

Swimming in Lake Tahoe is an exhilarating experience.  Whether you’ve been running amok or lounging around on a warm sunny day in the basin, the crystal blue water is beckoning you to cool off, right?  Just looking at the beauty of Lake Tahoe makes you feel like immersing yourself in it?  Some of the best places to swim in Lake Tahoe on this Top 10 List range from sloping sandy beaches to sheer drop offs suitable for launching from shore.  Wherever you (carefully) dive in, you’ll emerge refreshed!  Now, go jump in the Lake!

If you can bike to the swimming destination, I’d highly recommend doing so, Lake Tahoe offers some of the best biking / trail access to multiple swimming spots

The following photos are from a family Tahoe trip

Note: Lake Tahoe is so deep, it never really gets hot.  Shallow bays and gentle sloping shorelines will warm fastest.  Also, the clarity of Lake Tahoe can be deceiving when it comes to depth.  Check depth before diving in!

 

1.  Sand Harbor – North Lake Tahoe

Sand Harbor is one of the top 10 beaches in the Tahoe area and is one of the best places to go swimming. The water is shallow toward the beaches and gradually gets deeper, so it’s great for smaller children. There are piles of granite boulders along the corners of the beaches where you can practice some cool jumps. The water along the boulders is deeper for it type of activity. Sand Harbor is also a good place to do some snorkeling.

Hot Tip: Sand Harbor has a beach and area specifically for SCUBA divers, so bring your gear if you have it.

Directions: Sand Harbor is located three miles south of Incline Village on State route 28.


2.  Angora Lakes – South Lake Tahoe

For the more adventurous types who want to do some cliff diving, hike up to Angora Lakes above Fallen Leaf Lake. These two large lakes have a small store that serves snacks and rents out kayaks and canoes. This clear and green swimming hole is known for its tall cliffs where daredevils can practice some mean jumps and dives. The highest ledge is about 60 feet. Please check the water depth and submerged objects before jumping.

Hot Tip: The Angora Lakes resort’s lemonade is “world famous”.

Directions: To reach Angora Lakes from Highway 89, take the Fallen Leaf Lake Rd. turnoff for approximately 2 miles (3.2 km). Turn left and climb to the top of the one-lane road and look for the dirt road and a sign reading “1214”. The steep paved road leads to fantastic vistas and ending in the Angora Lakes parking lot. There is a short 1-mile (1.6 km) uphill hike to Angora Lake.


3.  Fallen Leaf Lake – South Lake Tahoe

Another small lake to jump around in is the beautiful Fallen Leaf Lake on the South Shore. The beach here is rocky, but if you can snag one of the few free public parking spots on the south part of the lake, you might have the beach to yourself. You can go swimming right off the beach in the clear, cold water and get some great views of Mount Tallac and the local Stanford Camp on the south part of the lake.

Hot Tip: Fallen Leaf Lake is also a great place to take your dog swimming.

Directions: From Highway 89 in South Lake Tahoe, head toward Emerald Bay and turn left on Fallen Leaf Road. This twisty and sometimes one lane road will pass by the campground and take you to the far side of Fallen Leaf Lake. There is a small parking area by the resort and marina.


4.  Pope Beach – South Lake Tahoe

Pope Beach is a typical beach that’s great for families. It’s long and has no rocks or boulders, but the water is great for children and adults who just want to dig in the sand and jump in for a few minutes. There are some shady areas and a bathroom. There are also some great views of the South Shore and Mount Tallac.

Hot Tip: Parking costs about $7 at Pope Beach, but you can ride a bike in for free.

Directions: From South Lake Tahoe and the Tahoe Keys, head West on Highway 89 toward Emerald Bay. Turn right on Pope Beach Road to access the parking area.


5.  The Rocks – Glenbrook

Pope Beach is a typical beach that’s great for families. It’s long and has no rocks or boulders, but the water is great for children and adults who just want to dig in the sand and jump in for a few minutes. There are some shady areas and a bathroom. There are also some great views of the South Shore and Mount Tallac.

Hot Tip: Parking costs about $7 at Pope Beach, but you can ride a bike in for free.

Directions: From South Lake Tahoe and the Tahoe Keys, head West on Highway 89 toward Emerald Bay. Turn right on Pope Beach Road to access the parking area.


6.  Lester Beach – West Shore

Located in the D.L. Bliss State Park on the West Shore of the lake, Lester Beach is also one of the best beaches on the lake. The water is Caribbean blue and full of soft white sand. Since the bay around Lester Beach is protected from the winds, this is also a great place for kayaking. Lester Beach and the parking lot fill up fast on summer days, so get there early to claim your spot. You can also pick up the Rubicon Trail to Emerald Bay at Lester Beach.

Hot Tip: On the far south side of Lester Beach are some large boulders that offer shade and some more private beach areas.

Directions: From South Lake Tahoe take Highway 89 toward and around Emerald Bay. A few miles after the bay overlook, take a right on Lester Beach Road and drive through the park and the campground. The parking lot for the beach is at the bottom of the hill near the shore.


7.  Rubicon Trail near Emerald Bay – South Lake Tahoe

If you’re hiking the Rubicon Trail from either Lester Beach or Emerald Bay, some of the lower parts of the trail have great access to the water—especially closer to the Emerald Bay peninsula. Keep an eye out for private bays surrounded by rocks where you can take a dip.

Hot Tip: You can even swim the green waters inside Emerald Bay, but watch out for boat traffic.

Directions: You can access the Rubicon Trail from Lester Beach or from Emerald Bay.


8.  Secret Cove – Glenbrook

Secret Cove is the lake’s unofficial nude beach and is also one of the best places to swim on the lake—with or without clothing. Secret Cove is located on the East Shore and is accessed from a small parking lot via a mile-long hike through the woods. This beautiful little beach has private areas for sunbathing and some large boulders for jumping into the water.

Hot Tip: The Secret Cove parking lot is not so secret. Get there early for a parking spot.

Directions: From Sand Harbor, drive south on Highway 28 about 3.35 miles until you see a small parking lot on the right hand side of the road. The trail to access Secret Cove is on the south side of the parking lot. The hike to the water is about a mile down the trail.


9.  Eagle Lake – South Lake Tahoe

Eagle Lake is a small, but stunning lake accessed via the Eagle Falls trail above Emerald Bay. You do have to hike up a difficult trail for about a mile before you can cool off in this lake, but it’s worth it. The lake is cold and gets deep very quickly, but if you are a good swimmer, you can swim out to the lake’s small island.

Hot Tip: The area of the lake closes to the trail gets crowded in the summer, but just follow the trail along the edge to find some more secluded areas—and a few small beaches.

Directions: From South Lake Tahoe, drive on Highway 89 to Emerald Bay and the Eagle Falls trailhead. There’s some limited parking here—some free, some with a fee. Hike the Eagle Falls trail up about a mile to Eagle Lake.


10.  Meek’s Bay Resort – West Shore

If you want a nice swimming area with amenities like restaurants, picnic tables and boating areas, the Meek’s Bay Resort on the West Shore has all that. This small resort and campground has a small white sand beach, boat dock and marina. It also has a restaurant that serves burgers, sandwiches, wraps and drinks. Meek’s Bay is protected from big winds and is a good place for small children.

Hot Tip: The resort also has a small general store and kayaks and canoes for rent.

Directions: From South Lake Tahoe drive toward Emerald Bay and around the bay. Keep heading north on Highway 89 for about 8 miles until you come to Meek’s Bay. The road for the resort is on the right hand side.

EPIC Places To Experience Around The Globe: See Photos


Preachers Rock, Preikestolen, Norway

Blue Caves – Zakynthos Island, Greece

Skaftafeli – Iceland


Plitvice Lakes – Croatia

Crystalline Turquoise Lake, Jiuzhaigou National Park, China


Four Seasons Hotel – Bora Bora

Ice skating on Paterswoldse Meer, a lake just South of the city of Groningen in the Netherlands.


Marble Caves, Chile Chico, Chile

The Gardens at Marqueyssac http://www.frenchmoments.com/Marqueyssac.html


Ice Canyon – Greenland


Capilano Suspension Bridge, Vancouver, British Columbia

Valley of the Ten Peaks, Moraine Lake, Alberta, Canada

Multnomah Falls, Oregon http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multnomah_Falls

 

Seljalandsfoss Waterfall on the South Coast of Iceland


Petra – Jordan (at night)

Verdon, Provence, France

Wineglass Bay, Freycinet National Park, Tasmania, Australia

Norway Alesund Birdseye of City

Benteng Chittorgarh, India

Riomaggiore, Italy


Keukenhof Gardens – Netherlands.


Sky Lantern Festival – Taiwan.

The Wave is on the slopes of the Coyote Buttes, which are in turn located in the Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, on the Colorado Plateau, Arizona.


Mount Roraima – Venezuela.

Seychelles


Restaurant near Sanyou Cave above the Chang Jiang river, Hubei , China.


East Iceland.

Lucca, Tuscany, Italy.

 

Inside Look into this sleek $39.5 million triplex penthouse in an iconic NYC building

 

 

zaha hadid penthouse
  • three-story penthouse at 520 W. 28th St. in New York City is on the market for $39.5 million.
  • The 39-residence boutique building was designed by the legendary Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid, who died in 2016.
  • The condo comes with a 2,000-square foot rooftop terrace overlooking the High Line park.
  • The building’s amenities include a private Imax theater, a 75-foot swimming pool, a sauna and steam room, and automated robotic parking and storage.
  • I took a tour of the building, and I’ve never seen anything like Hadid’s design.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Curving over the High Line park in New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood is an 11-story residential building that looks like it belongs in the future.

The building, 520 W. 28th St., is one of the last designed by the legendary Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid, who was nicknamed “Queen of the Curve.” That seems particularly apt when you look at the 39-residence boutique building, the only one she designed in New York before her death in 2016.

The lavish residence has attracted celebrity residents such as Stingand Ariana Grande.

Marketing and sales for the building are handled by Related Sales and Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group, and Charlie Attias is the listing agent.

If the 6,853-square-foot, three-story penthouse isn’t enough space for you, it can be combined with the neighboring penthouse for a total of 11,121 interior square feet and a 3,892-square-foot terrace, according to Corcoran.
520 W. 28th St. is a 39-unit boutique residential building in New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood designed by the legendary Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid. It’s the only building she designed in New York City before her death in 2016.
520 W. 28th St. is a 39-unit boutique residential building in New York City's Chelsea neighborhood designed by the legendary Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid. It's the only building she designed in New York City before her death in 2016.
On a recent spring afternoon, I got a tour of the building and its sprawling $39.5 million triplex penthouse.
The doorman let me into the building only after I announced my name and the name of the person I was supposed to meet. I imagine the security is part of the draw for the building's celebrity residents, who reportedly include the musicians Sting and Ariana Grande.

From the moment I stepped into the lobby, the space felt different from any other residential building I'd ever been in.
The graceful curves and natural elements gave me the impression that I'd stepped into a luxury resort in Iceland.
11-story building’s triplex penthouse, which is on the market for $39.5 million.
I headed up to the 11-story building's triplex penthouse, which is on the market for $39.5 million.
The expansive great room offers views of the Empire State Building and overlooks the High Line, the city’s famous elevated park built on a former railroad line.
The expansive great room offers views of the Empire State Building and overlooks the High Line, the city's famous elevated park built on a former railroad line.

Hadid was nicknamed the

The penthouse was all smooth, clean lines.

The penthouse was all smooth, clean lines.
The curved windows gave the condo a space vessel-like vibe.
The curved windows gave the condo a spaceship vibe.
The sleek white kitchen features Gaggenau appliances.
The sleek white kitchen features Gaggenau appliances.
 The penthouse’s standout feature was its massive wraparound terrace.
To me, the penthouse's standout feature was its massive wraparound terrace.
The view of the Empire State Building
The views of the Empire State Building and the neighborhood were stunning.
Like in the rest of the condo, the curves of the terrace gave it a futuristic feel. I could imagine some seriously chic parties taking place up here.
Like in the rest of the condo, the curves of the terrace gave it a futuristic feel. I could imagine some seriously chic parties taking place up here.
Downstairs is the family level, which includes a master suite, three bedroom suites, and a utility room.
Downstairs is the family level, which includes a master suite, three bedroom suites, and a utility room.
The sumptuously decorated master bedroom is in the corner, allowing for floor-to-ceiling wraparound windows.
The windows are 10 feet tall.
The master suite includes a walk-in dressing room and closet ...
... and a luxurious bathroom with a soaking tub and the same curved windows found upstairs.
Each of the other four bedrooms comes with an en suite bathroom.
One was set up with bunk beds.
After the penthouse tour, I was eager to check out the building's amenities, which include this spacious lounge that opens to an outdoor space.
The building’s wellness level includes a 75-foot skylit swimming pool that wouldn’t look out of place in a luxury resort.
The building's wellness level includes a 75-foot skylit swimming pool that wouldn't look out of place in a luxury resort.
Then there's the spa suite, which includes a whirlpool, a cold-plunge pool, a sauna and steam room ...
... and massage beds.

While screening rooms have become a somewhat predictable amenity in luxury buildings, 520 W. 28th St. has a private Imax theater. Residents can also use the building's automated robotic parking and storage vaults.

Zuckerberg secretly snaps up $59M Lake Tahoe compound

 

Facebook founder and CEO required listing pictures of the homes be removed from the internet

Mark Zuckerberg and wife Priscilla Chan quietly purchased neighboring properties in Lake Tahoe. The couple paid a whopping $59 million for two lakefront estates—and they could buy even more.

 “The deals were kept under wraps through the use of a limited-liability company, a high-end wealth manager and a series of nondisclosure agreements, which even required that listing pictures of the homes be removed from the internet.” Indeed, such secrecy is ironic “given the recent scrutiny his company has faced over its handling of Facebook users’ personal information.”

The two circa-1920s properties—christened Brushwood Estate and Carousel Estate—were purchased for $37 million and $22 million, respectively.

Brushwood Estate, owned by San Francisco philanthropist Tamara Fritz, comes with 6.2 acres, a 5,322-square-foot main house with six bedrooms, a guesthouse, three yurts, and a private dock. It also played host to an annual Oscar de la Renta fashion show, frequented by San Francisco’s society’s blue blood B-listers.

And the Carousel Estate, spread out on 3.2 acres of land, comes a main house and two cottages featuring 14 bedrooms and 11.5 bathrooms. According to SFGate, “The main home has eight bedrooms and 9.5 baths and is separated into three separate living areas connected by breezeways. The dining and living rooms have soaring beamed ceilings painted in a white-wash style, while bedrooms are paneled in natural wood. There’s a two-car garage.”

But that might not be all for the tech titan. Zuckerberg could buy even more property in Lake Tahoe.

Wall Street Journal notes, “Mr. Zuckerberg has made overtures about buying a third property across the street, but hasn’t yet closed on a deal, according to people familiar with that property.”

Given his real estate track record, Zuckerberg and Chan could combine the two (or three) properties together, similar to what they did in Palo Alto, purchasing the four homes surrounding their main house. The couple also own property in San Francisco’s Dolores Heights and Kauai, Hawaii.

Though understated compared to other tony vacation spots, Lake Tahoe is known for old money and pricey homes. Take, for example, Crystal Pointe, which has lingered on the market for $75 million since 2017, or this 24-acre property on Zephyr Cove, which regularly served as the backdrop for the TV series Bonanza, asking $46 million.

BARE Market Update: May

 

Cool Things to Do When Someone Visits San Francisco

 

 

Labyrinth | Flickr/Jess Liotta and Colin Liotta
sea lions
Pier 39 |
Golden Gate Bridge | 
Lombard street
Lombard street | 
Buena Vista | Flickr/Casey Bisson
cable car
Tono Balaguer/Shutterstock
alcatraz island
Alcatraz Island | 
Eat Drink SF
Eat Drink SF

Most expensive cities in the world: 2019

Singapore skyline
Singapore remains the world’s most expensive city, but shares its title with Paris and Hong Kong this year.
  • Singapore reigns as the world’s most expensive city for the fifth year in a row, based on a report by The Economist Intelligence Unit.
  • This year, Paris and Hong Kong join Singapore for a three-way tie in the top spot.
  • Asia remains the continent with the most expensive cities, closely followed by Europe.
  • Since last year, two United States cities have rejoined the list: New York and Los Angeles.

Asian and European cities led the list of most expensive cities around the globe in 2019.

That’s according to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s annual Worldwide Cost of Living report, which highlights the top 10 most expensive cities around the globe. The report uses more than 400 prices across 160 different products and services — including food, drink, clothing, and home rents — to calculate rankings.

Singapore has consistently held its No. 1 ranking since 2014, when it surpassed Tokyo, which had previously occupied the top spot nearly every year since 1992.

While Singapore still holds its title, it now shares first place with two other major cities: Paris and Hong Kong. Paris moved up from its No. 2 seat last year, while Hong Kong moved up from No. 4. Because of the multiple ties in this year’s ranking, 11 cities are listed among the report’s top 10 most expensive cities.

This year also marks the return of two major American cities: New York and Los Angeles. In past reports, American cities have appeared in the top 10, but last year, New York City and Los Angeles topped out at No. 13 and No. 14 respectively. According to the report, this was due, in part, to a weakening dollar when compared to other currencies.

Below, you’ll find the most expensive cities ranked from least to most expensive, along with their comparison ranking from last year.

10. Los Angeles, California

10. Los Angeles, California

2019 city ranking by cost of living: 10

2018 city ranking by cost of living: 14

10. Tel Aviv, Israel

10. Tel Aviv, Israel

2019 city ranking by cost of living: 10

2018 city ranking by cost of living: 9

7. New York, USA

7. New York, USAGetty Images

2019 city ranking by cost of living: 7

2018 city ranking by cost of living: 13

7. Copenhagen, Denmark

7. Copenhagen, Denmark

2019 city ranking by cost of living: 7

2018 city ranking by cost of living: 8

 

7. Seoul, South Korea

7. Seoul, South KoreaPublic Domain

2019 city ranking by cost of living: 7 (tied with New York and Copenhagen)

2018 city ranking by cost of living: 6

5. Osaka, Japan

2019 city ranking by cost of living: 5 (tied with Geneva)

2018 city ranking by cost of living: 11

5. Geneva, Switzerland

5. Geneva, SwitzerlandShutterstock

2019 city ranking by cost of living: 5

2018 city ranking by cost of living: 6

4. Zurich, Switzerland

4. Zurich, Switzerland

2019 city ranking by cost of living: 4

2018 city ranking by cost of living: 2

1. Hong Kong, China

1. Hong Kong, China

2019 city ranking by cost of living: 1

2018 city ranking by cost of living: 4

1. Paris, France

1. Paris, France

2019 city ranking by cost of living: 1

2018 city ranking by cost of living: 2

1. Singapore, Singapore

1. Singapore, Singapore

2019 city ranking by cost of living: 1 (tied with Paris and Hong Kong)

2018 city ranking by cost of living: 1

Is the “Uber Effect” going to be as large as the “Facebook Effect”?

economic-straight-talk

If IPOs do come to fruition and there are some newly minted millionaires, Bay Area housing markets could have another renaissance.

Bird’s Eye View:

  • Uber (and/or Lyft), Airbnb, Pinterest, and Slack are believed to be going public in 2019 
  • Combined, the four potential 2019 IPOs could reach valuation of $176 billion, almost twice as large as Facebook’s 2012 valuation
  • 10,000 San Francisco based workers could be affected, which could have a notable impact on the Bay Area housing market
  • Nevertheless, a company going public does not necessarily guarantee wealth for all of its employees  

Bay Area housing market dynamics may be changing once again as a result of potentially large tech IPOs on the horizon. With Uber (and/or Lyft), Airbnb, Pinterest, and Slack all believed to be going public in 2019, their rumored IPO valuations would all rank among the 10 largest venture-backed IPOs since 2012, according to CBInsights and Figure 1. In fact, if Uber alone stands to its valuation at $120 billion, it would be bigger than Facebook’s $104.2 billion valuation in 2012. Combined, the four potential 2019 IPOs could reach valuation of $176 billion, almost twice as large as Facebook’s 2012 valuation. 

However, even more importantly for the Bay Area, the headquarters of all four IPOs are in San Francisco. And, with Uber and Airbnb being among the largest employers in San Francisco, combined workforce of the four companies that could be affected by IPOs adds up to about 10,000 workers.

Figure 1

Source: CBInsights, The 2019 Tech IPO Pipeline

Naturally, these IPOs could have a notable impact on the Bay Area housing markets. However, it is difficult to say if the impact would be as notable as the Facebook Effect – which according to some was one of the main reasons that ignited Bay Area housing market starting in late-2011 as buyers rushed to buy before IPOs and highest ever tech valuation. 

To illustrate the Facebook Effect, Figure 2 tracks 3-month rolling average of year-over-year change in median single-family home prices in the Bay Area and California, with the onset of Facebook IPO marked in May 2012. The chart illustrates that throughout 2011, year-over-year median price growth was negative, and turned positive in early 2012. However, in the year following the Facebook IPO, year-over-year median price growth in the Bay Area reached as much as 37 percent. Overall California prices were also growing strongly as housing market conditions at the time were very favorable and home prices still hovered at their post-bust lows. Still, Bay Area’s price growth markedly outpaced California’s overall growth. And while it’s out of the scope of this analysis to tease out the marginal impact of Facebook on home price growth in the Bay Area, Zillow’s previous analysis has shown that the Facebook Effect led to 21 percent increase in home values in census tracks where Facebook employees were most likely to live compared to 17 percent increase in all other Bay Area census tracks. “More precisely: Every 10 Facebook employees living in a given census tract at the time of Facebook’s IPO in May 2012 were associated with an additional 1.6 percentage points of home value increase over that year,” according to the research.

Figure 2: 3-month rolling average of year-over-year change in median single-family home prices in the Bay Area and California

Source: California Association of Realtors

In addition, sale of higher priced properties in San Francisco surged following the Facebook IPO. Figure 3 illustrates year-over-year growth in sales of residential properties priced below $2 million and above $2 million. Higher priced sales started increasing in the last quarter of 2012 and jumped 84 percent year-over-year in January 2013. Note that Facebook shares employee lockup was between 90 and 180 days, thus the increase coincides with ending of lock-up periods.

Figure 3 6-month rolling average of year-over-year change in San Francisco residential sales by price range

Source: SFRMLS

Nevertheless, it is important to note that going public for companies in general does not necessarily guarantee wealth for all of its employees. Many factors govern how much money an employee makes from an IPO, including their tenure with a company, how many stock options or restricted stock units they received, when they can exercise their options and ultimately when they decide to sell. Also, different options have different stroke prices pegged to the company’s private market valuation at the time they joined. And, as noted above, employees are subject to an IPO lock-up period, which is a contractual restriction preventing insiders who acquired shares of a company’s stock before it went public from selling the stock for a stated period of time after it goes public, typically from 90 to 180 days after the date of the IPO. Importantly too, restricted stock units may be taxed at ordinary income rates, which can exceed 39 percent at the federal level, plus the applicable state taxes.

Also, current housing market conditions are notably different than prior to the Facebook Effect in 2012. Most specifically, median home prices in the Bay Area now are about 2.2 times higher than they were at the beginning of 2012. And, buyers have already shown significant restraint leading to a jump in price reductions in recent months, as described in our recent analysis.  But, if IPOs do come to fruition and there are some newly minted millionaires, Bay Area housing markets could have another renaissance.

Northern California Real Estate Quarterly Report: Q1 2019

Uniting All The Best In Real Estate !

Chief Economist Selma Hepp offers a brief synopsis of first-quarter real estate activity in each of Compass’ Northern California regions. The accompanying links lead to the full report for each area, where you can access the latest regional and community-specific market data and statistics to help you make a better, more informed home-buying or selling decision.

Q1 2019 Regional Summaries

Contra Costa County

Similar to the Bay Area overall, home buyers in Contra Costa County in the first quarter of 2019 generally showed restraint, bringing home sales activity below levels seen in the same period last year. While sales mostly slowed across all price ranges, buyers of homes priced between $2 million and $3 million maintained their momentum keeping sales activity on par with last year. This price range has been popular in Contra Costa over the last year.

At the same time, available inventory continued to improve across all price ranges with an overall increase of about 12 percent and all price ranges positing 10-plus percent increases. Buyers of homes priced between $2 million and $3 million saw the largest increase in options compared with last year.

Despite more inventory, buyers remained reluctant and unwilling to engage in bidding wars or pay more than the asking price. Price reductions, while fewer than during the winter months, still remained elevated compared to last year with 2 in 10 homes selling below listed price. The median sales price perked up about 2 percent compared to last year’s first quarter.

Looking Forward: With the arrival of spring, many home buying conditions improved, including lower mortgage rates, more inventory, and realigned seller expectations – all of which should signal opportunities for home buyers in coming months and are reflected in increased buyer interest.

Click here to read the full Q1 2019 Contra Costa County real estate report.


East Bay

While East Bay housing market activity in the first quarter showed similar restrain as most of the other Bay Area markets, buyer demand of homes priced above $2 million remained strong and notably above last year’s first quarter activity. Most of the slowdown in sales came from homes priced between $1 million and $2 million, which could be a result of detrimental impact of the tax reform among the buyer group which may be more sensitive to lower home deductions.

Buyers in the East Bay also saw continued improvement in inventory among all price ranges, with largest increases again among homes priced between $1 million and $2 million. Buyers continued to take longer to decide on buying homes leading to longer time on market and more price reductions compared to the same period last year. With affordability as a main concern for some buyers, homes priced below $1 million saw relatively more price reductions than higher priced homes. As a result, the pressure on median home price growth continued to ease.

Looking Forward:  Following a difficult quarter, spring has brought improved home buying conditions, including lower mortgage rates, more inventory, and realigned seller expectations – all of which signal opportunities for home buyers and are reflected in improved home buying sentiment.

Click here to read the full Q1 2019 East Bay real estate report.


Marin County

Sausalito, California, Residential Building, Residential District, Restaurant

As in most of the Bay Area, first quarter housing market activity in Marin remained challenging, leading to fewer overall sales compared to last year. However, most of the decline in sales came from homes priced above $3 million, while lower priced homes fared relatively better than in most of the other Bay Area regions.

Meanwhile, the inventory of homes for sale continued to increase compared to a year ago, albeit at a lower pace than in some other regions. Homes priced above $3 million saw a relatively larger increase in inventory than lower priced homes.

Buyers remain trepid amid the economic and political uncertainties that characterized the first quarter, taking longer to make a decision and seeking price reductions. However, while the price reductions are elevated compared to the year before, they have declined since winter peaks. Most of the homes sold below asking price were higher priced homes. As a result, median price growth stalled in the first quarter.

Looking Forward:  Following a challenging beginning to the year, spring home buying season offers improved opportunities for buyers, including lower mortgage rates, more inventory, and improved balance between buyers and sellers already leading to more optimistic buyer sentiment than in recent months.

Click here to read the full Q1 2019 Marin County real estate report.


Napa County

Napa’s first quarter housing market faced challenges including continued slowing of overall home buyer demand and rainy winter conditions, leading to fewer homes sold compared to last year’s first quarter. While fewer homes were sold across price ranges, sellers of homes priced between $1 million and $2 million faced relatively more resistance from buyers, while buyers of homes priced below $1 million demanded more discounts.

Availability of for-sale inventory continued to improve in the first quarter with buyers across most price ranges having more options than in the last year. Buyers, however, remained reluctant, taking much longer to make a decision than in the last couple of years.

Although buyer reluctance led to fewer bidding wars over the last two quarters, the last couple of months showed some rebound in buyer competition with more homes selling over asking price than during the winter lows. Still, notably more homes sold below asking price than last year. Home price growth, while weakening in the first quarter, picked up again as March rolled around.

Looking Forward: With improved home buying conditions in recent months, not least of which are lower mortgage rates and slower price growth, home-buyingdemand should pick up. Napa County’s relative affordability make it especially attractive to Bay Area buyers.

Click here to read the full Q1 2019 Napa County real estate report.


San Francisco

San Francisco’s slowing housing market activity which started in the fourth quarter 2018, continued to trend lower in the first quarter leading to fewer units sold across all price ranges.  Homes priced between $2 million and $3 million saw a relatively larger decline on a year-ago basis which was the case in most Bay Area regions.

Despite slight improvements, for-sale inventory remained a challenge and buyers continued to face limited options. However, buyers remained relatively more enthusiastic than elsewhere in the Bay Area, with buyers of both single-family homes and condominiums more likely to absorb the newly available inventory and homes more likely to sell over the asking price than not. Six in ten homes continued to sell above asking price with the average premium keeping relatively steady at 13 percent. As a result, San Francisco did not see an increase in price reductions compared to last year’s first quarter, unlike many other regions in the Bay Area.

Looking Forward: San Francisco homebuyers remain determined, helped by improved home buying conditions, better financial markets, lower rates and possibly increased competition from newly minted IPO beneficiaries.

Click here to read the full Q1 2019 San Francisco single-family homes real estate report.

Click here to read the full Q1 2019 San Francisco condominiums real estate report.


Mid-Peninsula

Following the overall slowing of housing market activity in the Mid-Peninsula in the later part of 2018, first quarter finished with a continued decline in total number of homes sold, except for a jump in sales of homes priced below $1 million. At 5 percent fewer sales in the Mid-Peninsula in the first quarter, this decline is relatively smaller than in adjacent San Francisco and Silicon Valley where declines averaged over 10 percent.

For-sale inventory continued to improve, mostly among homes priced above $1 million while fewer and fewer lower priced homes were available for sale.

Buyers remained restrained and fewer homes sold over asking price compared to the first quarters of previous years. However, recent months have shown some renewed enthusiasm leading to a pick up in buyer activity and bidding wars. Overall, 6 in 10 homes continued to sell over asking price. In addition, slowing of median price growth, which started in the second half of 2018, reversed some in March, showing a positive increase year-over-year.

Looking Forward: With the arrival of spring, many home buying conditions improved, including lower mortgage rates, more inventory, rebound in financial markets and realigned seller expectations – all of which should signal more opportunities for home buyers and a stronger housing market in the coming months.

Click here to read the full Q1 2019 Mid-Peninsula real estate report.


Silicon Valley

Silicon Valley continued to see relatively muted housing market activity in the first quarter, especially when compared to last year’s uncharacteristically dynamic conditions. Nevertheless, while total number of homes sold declined, winter’s build-up in affordably priced inventories in Santa Clara County helped push sales of those homes above last year’s levels. Largest decline in home sales activity was among homes priced above $3 million.

At the same time, while Silicon Valley continued with inventory decreases, the remainder of Santa Clara County experienced relatively larger increases in the number of homes for sale compared to other Bay Area regions, and the increases were widespread across price ranges.

Buyers remained restrained and less likely to engage in bidding wars than in previous years. However, improved home buying conditions and lower mortgage rates brought back some enthusiasm leading to a bounce back in the share of homes selling over asking price. About 50 percent of homes sold over asking price at the end of the quarter.

Declines in sales of higher priced homes, coupled with buyer restraint, led to a decline in median home prices on a year-over-year basis. However, median prices are still in line with levels prior to last year’s extraordinary jump in prices, averaging almost 30 percent at times.

Looking Forward: With improvement in buying conditions such as lower mortgage rates, more inventory, lower median prices, buyers are facing great opportunities this spring. Renewed interest is also evident in improved home buyer sentiment in March.

Click here to read the full Q1 2019 Silicon Valley real estate report.


Sonoma County

While the spirit of rebuilding continued in Sonoma County in the first quarter, housing market activity remained affected by similar buyer restraint as in other Bay Area regions. Sales activity continued to trend below last year’s levels, though the largest relative declines were among higher priced homes, especially those priced above $3 million which showed virtually no sales in the first quarter.

Meanwhile, following strong increases in for-sale inventories during the winter months, sellers took a step back, leading to much smaller increases in inventories on an annual basis, especially among homes priced below $1 million. Overall, inventory is still higher than last year.

Post-fire bidding wars and rapid price growth continued to wane, and together with restrained buyers, led to lower prices than March 2018. Median prices are now back to levels seen in October 2017, prior to the wildfires. Sellers also adjusted their expectations and homes were priced at levels aligned with buyer’s willingness to pay, resulting in fewer overall price reductions than during the winter months.

Looking Forward: The extreme rains that have been pelting Sonoma County are beginning to slow, and an increase of sunny skies should kick off a delayed buying season. Another wildcard for Sonoma County might be that many fire survivors will running out of the two years of Like-Kind housing provided by insurance companies. That will likely force the decision to build, buy or move on. Since the cost of building has risen substantially, primarily due to the price of both materials and labor, many survivors may be coming into the market for comparable existing home options.

Click here to read the full Q1 2019 Sonoma County real estate report.


Sonoma Valley

Housing market activity in the first quarter in Sonoma Valley continued at a slower pace, resulting in fewer homes sold compared to last year’s first quarter. Slower sales activity reflected a similar sentiment seen across the region. However, unlike the rest of Sonoma County or other Bay Area regions, Sonoma Valley did not see an uptick in listing inventory. The persistent rains this winter and spring seem to have kept sellers from bringing their properties to market. One good sign is that open house activity has been strong despite the rain, indicating that buyers’ intent doesn’t appear to have been dampened by the weather.

Buyer restraint continued to hold back demand for homes resulting in more price reductions and lower sales price than the original asking price. Median prices, while slightly lower than in the first quarter last year, returned to levels seen prior to wildfires, which led to remarkable price growth in first half of last year.

Looking Forward: Sonoma Valley remains a favorable market for buyers, both for primary homebuyers and second-home buyers due to its proximity to San Francisco and other Bay Area job centers. With improved buying conditions, such as lower rates, lower home prices, and reduced financial market volatility, home buyers once again have a great opportunity to buy in Sonoma Valley.

Click here to read the full Q1 2019 Sonoma Valley real estate report.


Lake Tahoe/Truckee

Much like in the Bay Area, first quarter housing market activity in the Lake Tahoe region continued to slow compared to last year’s first quarter. Decline was relatively more notable in March compared to the previous two months, likely due to a spike in sales activity in Lake Tahoe last March as well as relatively snowier conditions this winter.

For-sale inventory showed improvement, with an increase among both single-family and condominiums. Buyers, however, remained restrained and took longer to make a decision, leading to more price reductions and lower sales to original asking price ratios than in recent quarters.

Looking Forward: Home buying conditions have recently improved, including lower mortgage rates and more inventory, once again spiking consumer home buying sentiment. Upcoming Bay Area IPOs should also bring some enthusiasm to Lake Tahoe housing markets.

Click here to read the full Q1 2019 Lake T