Real Estate Report June/July 2010


Many Silicon Valley homes in the mid range (which I consider $850K – $1.1M) are selling with multiple offers and often going over asking. Three bedroom homes are flying off the shelves, as long as they are in good condition and in the right location.

In cities with the best schools, such as Cupertino, Mountain View, Palo Alto, and Sunnyvale, properly-priced and well-maintained homes are still receiving multiple offers and the sales price to list price ratio in all those cities is over 100%.

Investors are buying in the low-end of the market, hoping to buy and flip. That has been somewhat problematic as, when they go to flip, their original purchase price is probably part of the appraisal, which lowers the market value of the property.

It is better for investors to buy and rent it out for a year rather than trying to flip immediately.

The problem with prices in this segment of the market is the poor condition of REO properties that have been stripped by the former owners, and short sales with sellers who are no longer doing any maintenance. These sales are skewing the prices on similar properties.

First-time buyers continue to be edged out by investors for REO properties because the investors are coming in with all cash offers.

First-time buyers should concentrate on well-kept homes in good neighborhoods rather than trying to get a steal. Doing that will lower your frustration level.

The high-end market, above $1.2 million, is probably the weakest segment. Homes here are languishing on the market.

With interest rates at 50-year lows, now is an excellent time to buy a home, particularly if you plan on staying there for a while.

Inflation is coming, make no mistake about that. It’s not a matter of if, but when. In the future, you will look back on this period as a golden time to buy real estate and lock-in a 30-year fixed rate mortgage. Whether or not you look back and smile will depend upon whether you buy or not.

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