Thought this was interesting article to pass along to you!
Real-estate agent Ken DeLeon said he plans to market to Facebook employees with ads on the Web site.
“I’m kind of worried — a thousand millionaires are going to be buying houses!” Connie Cao said as she and her family toured a home in a good school district here.
Her husband, Jared Oberhaus, was more optimistic. “Maybe sellers are sitting on their houses now, waiting for Facebook, and they’ll all come on the market at the same time,” he said.
It will be some time before the first Facebook shares are sold to the public, and even longer before Facebook’s employees are able to turn their paper wealth into cash and officially take their places as the newest members of the 1 percent. But the mere anticipation of the event may pour a little kerosene onto what is already a fairly hot local real estate market.
When Ken DeLeon, a Silicon Valley real estate agent, recently sold an 8,000-square-foot house to a Facebook employee, he said, the movers showed up at the client’s old 1,000-square-foot home and asked, “Did you win the lottery?”
Silicon Valley has been good to Mr. DeLeon, a former lawyer, who said he sold $275 million worth of homes last year, and who is finishing up a memoir about overcoming illness, injury and loss that he calls “Why Do Bad Things Happen to Sexy People?”
Even after some of the air went out of the housing bubble in the Bay Area in recent years, prices in the most desirable parts of San Francisco and Silicon Valley stayed buoyant enough to remain out of reach for most people. A report on 2011 housing prices by Coldwell Banker, the real estate company, found that 8 of the nation’s 20 most expensive markets were in Silicon Valley or the Bay Area. Mr. DeLeon said Palo Alto, with its limited supply, had remained remarkably strong — and could hit new peaks this year.
In recent weeks, he said, there have been signs that the market has been heating up more: 10 homes in Palo Alto sold for more than their asking prices last month, some by large amounts. Now, with the long-expected Facebook public offering a step closer to reality, Mr. DeLeon said he expected to see several things happen: some sellers may keep their homes off the market until they judge the time is right, some speculators may snap up old houses to tear down and rebuild, and some buyers may feel pressure to make offers before the deluge hits.
A steady stream of would-be buyers walked through the open house Mr. DeLeon held here on Sunday — a 2,325-square-foot home with a small backyard and an asking price of nearly $1.8 million. They checked out the sunken Japanese-style dining room and the heated concrete floors with leaf inlays. Many got lattes from the barista stationed in the backyard.
Mr. DeLeon said he already had plans to market to Facebook employees. One strategy: he intends to buy ads on Facebook. “It’s amazing how you can target them,” he said.
One last item of interest: Remember just a year and a half ago when consumption and spending seemed to be at an all-time low? There were articles appearing about a possible trend in Renting versus Buying. Well just two weeks ago, The San Francisco Business Times took a poll, asking readers if “renting is the new American Dream.” Despite the challenging housing market in recent years, homeownership still won by a wide margin. Some things never change!
Warren Buffet: What He Would Buy
Warren Buffett: “I’d buy up a couple hundred thousand” homes
When Warren Buffett talks, people listen. Lately he has been talking about real estate and why now is the right time to be investing in housing. In fact, Buffett went so far in an interview on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” as to say that he’d “buy up a couple hundred thousand” single-family homes if it was practical for him to do so.
Buffett said he believes purchasing a home with today’s historically low mortgage interest rates and holding it for the long-term has actually become a better investment than stocks right now. This, from someone who has always put stocks above all other investments. In his annual letter to shareowners, Buffett wrote, “Housing will come back, you can be sure of that.”
In explaining his investment picks, Buffett said he would shy away from gold and treasuries, the latter of which he said will not keep up with inflation, particularly after taxes. Instead he said he prefers to put his money into investments that he considered to be “productive assets.” Within this category are stocks and real estate.
According to the Buffett, real estate and stocks not only boast the greatest upside potential, but also are safer investments in the long run than treasuries and gold.
In a recent interview, Buffett forecasted an increase in household formations as the economy continues to recover. He believes that more people who moved in with their parents or in-laws during the recession will soon look to move out and get their own home soon.
According to the International Business Times, the annual pace of housing starts in the U.S. last year was just 609,000 – far less than the household formation of 1.14 million. Eventually, this imbalance will absorb the oversupply in the housing market, Buffett said, although how long this process takes could vary widely among various local U.S. housing markets. “Demographics and our market system will restore the needed balance – probably before long,” he said. No one knows for sure what the future holds, but I agree wholeheartedly that if you’re looking to invest in a home for the long term you couldn’t find a better time.
SF Peninsula — Sales activity is on the rise and there is a definite positive attitude in the buyer’s market. Five to seven offers on Burlingame, San Mateo, Belmont and San Carlos properties are becoming the norm. Buyers are waiving contingencies and appraisals after going through four or five tries to buy a property and losing out. There are also a many cash buyers, which adds to the frustration of those trying to buy with conventional financing. The luxury end of the market is also picking up. We are seeing the early Facebook/tech company etc. buyers coming to Hillsborough and in many cases making cash purchases. Coast side realty agents are enjoying the overflow from the Peninsula with all their multiple offers. This overheated market continues to be short on inventory and long on buyers. All the buyers who have been ‘sitting on the fence’ for the past 18 months have now all jumped off at the same time. Realtor compare it to stock market anticipation. In Palo Alto, extraordinarily low inventory is resulting in numerous multiple offers. It’s a very frustrating market for buyers and agents alike. Woodside and Portola Valley are not experiencing the frenzied activity that we are seeing in Palo Alto and Menlo Park. Price points are higher and sales are slower. The higher the price, the more cautious the buyer. Many younger buyers want more urban, close to town and transportation locales. In Redwood City, the few open houses in the area had had an amazing amount of people through. San Carlos properties are selling very quickly usually with multiple offers. Redwood City seems to take a little longer but if priced correctly in a good location homes are also getting multiple offers but usually not as many. Belmont inventory is also low but again if priced right in a good location they are also selling. The main drive seems to be affordable money and lack of inventory. San Mateo inventory levels are dropping lower and lower. Buyers are out there as multiple offers indicate. The high-end market is also improving.
2012 home sales in the Bay Area were up in January. Several key economic reports showed surprising gains. And even the long job market turned in positive numbers in the initial weeks of the new year.
Bay Area home sales in January jumped to their highest level for the month in five full years, according to DataQuick, the La Jolla-based real estate research firm. A total of 5,479 new and resale houses and condos sold in the nine-county region during the month, up 10.3 percent from January 2011. This marked the seventh straight month of year-over-year sales gains.
DataQuick attributed the improvement to:
o lower home prices,
o record-low mortgage interest rates,
o a surge in investor purchases and
o an improving economy.
While the jump in sales is encouraging, the firm cautioned that activity was still tilted heavily toward distressed sales in many Bay Area markets. As a result, the median sale price dipped 2.8 percent from the previous month and 3.6 percent from a year ago.
Even more encouraging for the housing market, the labor market is steadily improving. Initial weekly unemployment claims fell 15,000 to 358,000 in a new report by the Labor Department. And the four-week average fell to its lowest level since April 2008, the period before the financial crisis. Finally, the unemployment rate has dropped to a three-year low of 8.3 percent.
Most analysts agree that in order to have a self-sustaining recovery in the housing market we first must have a significant turnaround in the job market. There are indications with improvements in recent months that could be happening at long last.
While all of these economic and employment reports give us reason for optimism, we can’t ignore the fact that the housing market still faces some challenges before returning to normalcy.
Sales have rallied in the new year, but we’d like to see the mix of homes selling move more towards the center of the market and become less reliant on distressed sales. That’s happening in many communities, but far from all.
Should you not wish to see your name and photo in a LinkedIn advert you can take the following action:
1. Place the cursor on your name at the top right corner of the screen. From the small
pull down menu that appears, select “settings”
2. Then click “Account” on the left/bottom
3. In the column next to Account, select the option “Manage Social Advertising”
4. Finally ensure that the box “LinkedIn may use my name and photo in social advertising” is unticked.
5. and Save
If you wish to inform your own connections you can do so easily:
Simple: Via Inbox – > Compose message in Linkedin, you can send a message to 50 connections at once. All whom will appreciate being informed.
I’m Nino Gaetano, a 3rd generation Bay Area native/resident, realtor and grandson to one of Portola Valley/Menlo Park’s pioneering families(Skrabo-Croatia). I attended St. Raymond’s School, Menlo-Atherton High School and then Washington State University – majoring in Cultural Anthropology and Sociology. I have 14 years of real estate experience and am an evolving expert in local & national markets. I brokered the largest real estate transaction in Portola Valley town history. I have a wealth of industry knowledge, respect among colleagues and am a recognized industry leader in creative technology and marketing homes through the Internet.
My blog is going to address real estate topics of interest. Topics that are of interest to you on a daily basis. I also want my blog to be an Internet location that will on occasion, entertain you by providing you with tips about everything from the ways of the Internet to perhaps an interesting recipe.