Having a little too much post-Inman fun and excitement…
Tags: Humor, Industry, NAR
CNN Money is a favorite consumer source for news and sensationalism about issues affecting us financially. A friend uses it as his homepage, and sent me this article on indications that the housing market is pulling out of its downward spiral. Judging by the commentary on the Yahoo news service that picked it up, most people think it is another self-serving article written by real estate agents who want to further dupe consumers into buying homes and further leveraging them selves with unnecessary debt. There, I said it, so you can save your comments.
Here in Sillycon Valley, we are continuing to see variations on the Tale of Two Cities theme, with markets like Palo Alto and Menlo Park holding up strongly (click the links to see current market data), while prices in parts of Sunnyvale and San Jose have fallen off a cliff this year. We won’t mention Sacramento, because it’s not nice to kick ‘em when they’re down.
So, the key leading indicators for monitoring the health of your local housing market are:
Locally, we are still kind of bumping along. The current housing stock in Palo Alto is up slightly, but that isn’t unusually during the late Summer. If the trend continues through Fall, it may signal a trend.
Home prices have been stable here, so that is tough to measure, though the multiple-offer / overbid madness is definitely a rarity these days.
Depending on how you measure it, it’s still cheaper to rent than own, but tell that to my clients who were tossed into the housing market when the rental property was sold and they received a 60 day notice from the new owner.
Houses here are still unaffordable, but take a look at the chart at the bottom of the page and compare San Jose and San Francisco. It may be a good time to get into San Jose, especially if you understand foreclosures and short sales. If not, contact 3Oceans contributor Bart Marchioni, aka Mr. Short Sale.
Remember, real estate is local, and be careful what you read on the internet.
Thanks for reading . . .
Tags: 2008 real estate market, housing market turnaround, mortgage crisis, mortgage mania, Palo alto housing market
I’ve been accused — rightly, I might add — of being a geek. I also happen to be in real estate. You put the two together, plus a keen interest in using new social media tools like Twitter, and what do you get? The Twitter-MLS!
For a long time, MLS searches have been available via email. Recently, some real estate search providers — like our friends at Trulia and at Diverse Solutions — have enabled MLS searches via RSS feeds. (That’s actually the technology I use on the sidebar to provide the link searches.)
As the latest new big online thing, Twitter has attracted a massive cult following, and as a permission-based communication tool, it’s ideal for sending out news snippets such as new listings.
Here’s how it works:
If you’re more of a FriendFeed type, I have the same offering available in FriendFeed room format. Find your way yonder, select your favorite city, and click “Join This Room.” And, as our British cousins would say, “Bob’s your uncle!”
FriendFeed room example for Burlingame:
Twitter example for Menlo Park:
Tags: FriendFeed, Real estate, Real-estate-technology, Technology, twitter
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About a year ago we did what may have been the world’s first virtual open house. Alas, we’ve been one-uped by Pam Buda, a Coldwell Banker agent in the wine country north of San Francisco. In conjunction with Trulia, she’s live-web-casting her open house in Healdsburg today.
As video becomes more mainstream and more accessible via technologies like Qik, Mogolus, and ustream, this sort of event will probably become more common.
Pam Buda gets my vote for this year’s real estate Oscars!
Tags: Healdsburg, Open houses, Trulia
In a former life, I was a middle school math teacher. In the Peace Corps. In Botswana. I distinctly remember spending a number of days teaching about the importance of place value in numbers — you know, the concept that decimal points and zeros aren’t just decorations. .32 and 3.2 and 32 and 320 are distinctly different.
As far as I know, none of my former students are Realtors in Palo Alto. Which might explain this juicy little chart from our friends at Altos Research:
Note the drop in per-sq-ft prices a few years ago, from $75,000 per sq ft down to perhaps only a thousand bucks a sq ft. Then, a massive run-up back to over $20,000. Then back down again. Kind of like a scary roller-coaster ride.
Even during the incredible run-up in real estate prices, trust me, we were never at $75,000 per sq ft! The explanation for that chart? Simple: Every now and then a listing makes it onto the MLS with a misplaced decimal or zero. A $2,000,000 home gets listed for $200,000 (these mistakes are typically corrected quite quickly when the listing agent gets 100 phone calls in the first hour from agents wanting to make offers.) Then a $700,000 home gets listed for $7,000,000. (These mistakes take longer to correct. The agent wonders why nobody comes for the open house, then figures it out.)
Then there’s the square foot mistake, where a $1,600,000 home (price entered correctly) gets its floor space shrunk from 2000 sq ft (correct) to 2 sq ft (incorrect.) Voila! This home now costs $800,000 per sq ft! A few of these in the same week, and poof! Up goes that average!
Athol Kay has proved that, as a species, we Realtors aren’t that good at taking pictures. But for the love of God, people, can we please please please remember the importance of correctly-placed decimal points and zeros!
Tags: Altos Research, Palo Alto, realtors