Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Silicon Valley 2017 Real Estate Year in Review, 2018 Outlook and Tax Reform!



2017 Year in Review

We hope that you and your families had a wonderful winter break! Going back in time, 2016 ended with uncertainty about the presidential election. Yet those concerns were short lived as 2017 started and ended with record low inventory levels, record high property prices and we remain in a strong Sellers’ market in the Silicon Valley. The majority of the homes on the market garner multiple offers. Especially in prime locations, homes receive anywhere from 5 to 30 offers each, creating intense Buyer bidding wars. Prices increase on a weekly basis, with Buyers even more desperate than weeks prior. 2017 ended with some concerns about the changing tax laws, which we will break down.

Tax Reform Major Changes

Tax reform will directly affect states such as California, as we have the highest home prices in the nation. However, we believe the impact will be short lived and the market should remain strong in 2018.

Here is the breakdown of the Tax changes coming into effect that directly affect real estate. Remember that they will be applied to 2018 taxes the following year. Disclaimer: We are not Accountants or CPA’s, and we advise that you discuss your families’ specific use cases with the appropriate expert. This is a high-level view of real estate specific changes.
  • Home Seller Profit - It is important to note that there is NO change to this provision. If you live in your home for 2 out of the last 5 years, joint filers can deduct up to $500,000 tax free or single filers can deduct up to $250,000 tax free.
  • Mortgage Deduction – Previously, if you had a mortgage of $1,000,000 you could deduct that amount from your taxes. This amount has been reduced to $750,000.
  • Property Tax Deductions – Also known as SALT (State and Local Tax Deductions): There was previously no cap on this; now there will be a $10,000 cap on this deduction.
  • Equity Line Deduction – Previously a homeowner could deduct $100,000 from their equity lines. This is no longer the case, as this deduction has been eliminated.

Tax Reform Impact

Change is difficult, especially to a system and rules that are complex and have been the same since 1986. We are pleased to see that Sellers’ profit gains have been left alone. The Mortgage Deduction was initially discussed to be $500,000 and they pushed this up to $750,000. This is not great and could have some Buyers tapering their home purchase prices by $250,000 possibly. The Property Tax Deduction cap is certainly not beneficial to homes over the $800,000 to $900,000 mark, as property taxes are usually at 1.25%. If a Homeowner is in Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT), they would not have had this benefit anyway. This would, however, affect Home Owners who are were not in AMT. The Equity Line deduction was always nice to have if you had a project you were funding; however, this has also been eliminated now. Homeowners who have room in their primary mortgage could refinance that into the first loan as long as it is under $750,000 to maintain the same benefit.

In the short run, there could be a pause for Home Buyers as they digest the impact. However, given the demand from 2017, even if half of this group suddenly stopped looking for real estate, multiple offers will still be the case. Shelter is one the key foundations of our basic human needs. When we meet with clients looking to purchase homes, usually there is an additional family member on the way, more space needed for parents moving to the country, a need for yard space, a commute that is taking a toll, or a desire for better schools or a better neighborhood. Very rarely are taxes the reason Buyers purchase homes, although it is an added bonus to have a tax deduction.

2018 Silicon Valley Real Estate Outlook

We may see a short-term halt from Buyers due to getting the facts around tax reform, but likely the momentum from 2017 will carry into 2018. Home Sellers continue to struggle with their next move and as high prices and competition make it extremely difficult to move up, Sellers are opting to stay put with a few moving out of the area. These new tax laws should have grandfather clauses for previous mortgages, which could further dis incentivize Sellers from moving. Low inventory levels will likely continue through this year and Buyer bidding wars will also continue, though hopefully at lower levels than last year to give Buyers a chance.

If you are a Home Seller this will be an excellent year for you to sell your home once again. If you are looking to move up, we will have to have further detailed planning sessions on how to achieve this goal.

If you are a Home Buyer, this market is not for the weary or conservative. The competition is fierce, cut-throat, and irrational. In order to compete you must first have the foundations of down-payment, additional reserves, the right lenders and above all be mentally ready to overbid. Comparable market data is barely just a data point; This is a bidding war and you must do what it takes if you want to win a house, or you will continue to chase the market and prices will keep rising.

We are bullish on 2018 being yet another busy year for Silicon Valley Real Estate. As long as Technology stock prices continue to hold or increase, and job creation continues, the real estate market will continue to remain strong.

We wish you and your families a wonderful 2018! Let us know how we can help you with your real estate needs!

Regards,

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Q4 2017 Silicon Valley Real Estate Update

Executive Summary

The Silicon Valley Real Estate market continues to show historically low inventory levels causing a bidding frenzy for Buyers. Taking Santa Clara County as a prime example, there are 58% less Condominiums and Townhomes for sale and 46% less Single Family Homes for Sale than the same time last year. The most fundamental principles of Supply and Demand in Economics are on full display in this market. With a low Supply of homes reducing the Quantity of homes (S1 -> S2) available, coupled simultaneously with an increase in Demand (D1 -> D2), is the root cause of Buyer bidding wars. In short, if you are a Seller you have a major opportunity to attain record setting prices on your home. If you are a Buyer, you will need to have a strong plan of attack plan and be extremely aggressive in your home bids to beat out other Buyers in this very cut-throat market.

Exhibit 1 - Supply and Demand Curves Driving the Silicon Valley Real Estate Boom


Exhibit 2 – Snapshot of Key Statistics in Santa Clara, San Mateo and Santa Cruz Counties (August 2017)




Macroeconomy

Despite the Federal Reserve raising interest rates, mortgage interest rates have remained steady. Jumbo Loans have been seeing near record lows this year. Buyers flooded the market this year in anticipation of a rate increase, but have been pleased to find steady and low interest rates which continue to fuel real estate price increases. With the stock market continually hitting record highs, this seeds a key component to funding local homebuyers’ purchases. Cash Buyers from abroad have screeched to a grinding halt, as Governments continue to control the inflow and outflows of funds.

Microeconomy

The key economic indicator in our market is the health of the Technology sector. Although there have not been any recent notable Initial Public Offerings (IPO’s), with the stock market hitting records highs, Technology stock values are continuing to increase in value. These makeup the foundations of the down payment for homes and enable Buyers to be competitive in the marketplace. The Technology sector does not show any signs of slowing down this year or next. Furthermore, although there has been an outflow of the California population to areas such as Seattle, Denver, Portland and various cities in Florida, there is a healthy in-flow of Technology workers and the Technology sector continues to hire.

Why is Inventory So Low?

The crux of the issue is that Sellers do not know where to go and how to avoid a homeless period during the exchange process. Few have enough funds to buy a home outright before selling, as much of their down payment lie in the equity of the home that they currently live in. Secondly, moving means an increased property tax amount, which is another burden that is difficult to accept. Also with increasing prices, Sellers are opting to stay put in the home they already have if there is no need to move and pay higher prices. Coming up with complex project plans have become paramount in order to help Sellers move to their next home. There are creative strategies, advanced planning and project management skills to create as stress free a transition as possible.

The Emergence of Downtown San Jose

With latest news of Googles Downtown San Jose campus, coupled with Adobe’s expansion, Downtown San Jose is positioned to be the next hottest location in the Silicon Valley. Though the campus buildout is still underway, excitement has already begun in what is likely to be a hot location in years to come.

The Sunnyvale Halo Effect

As more Technology workers are hired, traffic has become a major concern around the Silicon Valley. This makes the old cliché of Location, Location, Location even more true. With the opening of the Apple Spaceship and expansions of Google and Microsoft/Linkedin into the city of Sunnyvale, this has caused a spike in demand for housing in the city. The Sunnyvale market is the hottest market to date with homes selling 11% to 19% over list price in an average of 13 days.

Shift on the School Requirement

There has been a major shift in the last few years in the Valley. Traditionally families considered a school with the highest scores to be the desired school to purchase a home in. Since the Palo Alto Caltrain suicides, our thinking about sending our children to the top-rated schools have shifted. More and more families are opting not necessarily to have the best schools but seek balance for their children outside of simply academics.

Cost of a Great School

For those of you familiar with the market a great school will cost more initially but also retain its’ value in the long run. Also for those of you monitoring real estate closely will know that homes will sell over list price.

Below is a sample of the most popular areas in the Valley, their Average Sale Prices, the Percentage the Sold Over List Price and the Average Days on Market.

Exhibit 3 - Top Elementary Schools Statistics



Exhibit 4 - Top High Schools Statistics

 


Q4 2017 Outlook and Beyond

We are approaching the fall and winter seasons where the market tends to hit a seasonal lull with reduced inventory levels along with lower price levels. Given the low amount of supply this year and the increased amount of demand from home buyers, we are not sure that there will be a price dip this fall or winter season. There appears to be enough demand to carry us well into 2018 and onward. Looking forward to 2018 we believe that there maybe more inventory hitting the market, but likely not enough to satisfy the current demand. As long as the Technology sector continues to be strong, price will likely continue to rise in the short run.

Join the Conversation on Linkedin! - https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/q4-2017-silicon-valley-real-estate-update-alan-wang/

We wish you the best in this fourth quarter to close out the year!

Regards,

The Alan Wang Realty Group


Alan is the Founder of the Alan Wang Realty Group at Keller Williams and has been in the Real Estate industry helping clients for over 14 years. Previously he was also in the Technology industry for over 13 years. He is passionate about helping families achieve their real estate dreams!

Contact us at (408)313-4352 for a complimentary consultation or e-mail us at team@alanwangrealty.com

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Q1 2017 Silicon Valley Real Estate Update



The Spring season has started out with a roar. Inventory levels have been at extremely low levels and Buyer demand has been high. One component is certainly the usual Spring seasonality, but we also believe that the rising interest rates are an even more critical driver. The all powerful cash offer has now resurfaced with investors also heavily active in the market place as well. Thus far the new administration hasn’t dampened the Silicon Valley Buyers’ home buying spirit.  Demand is especially high in the Single Family Home category. Single Family Homes in the million-dollar mark have seen competition levels from 15 to 20 offers.  Buyers are realizing that they cannot be picky and settling for smaller homes less than 1,000 square feet and even settling for 1 bathroom. Competition is fierce; if you are a Buyer we suggest that you go with your most aggressive strategy and do not underestimate the competition. Home prices are pushing up with every sale on a weekly basis and many Buyers eventually find themselves priced out of the market.  The next category are homes in the $1M to $2M bracket. Homes in this range have also been very aggressive though with offers in the single digits typically occasionally breaking double digits.  Homes in the $2M and up price points will vary by location, but typically with multiple offers as well.  Week by week more inventory is coming onto the market, so if you are a Seller get out soon before everyone else catches on.

Rise in Move Up Sellers

We have seen a trend of Sellers who are selling to purchase their next property as well. As with many Sellers, their equity is in their homes, which requires a deeper dive into each Sellers’ unique financial situations to derive a property strategy.

Macroeconomy

The Federal Reserve raised interest rates by .25% and signaling another .5% increase this year.  This will ultimately affect the interest rates on mortgages in the long run. Interest rates are still at all time lows and we are still seeing great interest rates still from our preferred lenders. There will come an inflection point where higher interest rates will affect affordability and ultimately home prices. This inflection point will not likely be attained in 2017.

Technology Sector

Snapchat, Okta and Mulesoft led the way this year with their Initial Public Offering (IPO). This will pave the way for more IPO’s this year and next. The stock market has performed well in 2017, helping technology workers procure their downpayments to buy homes. Some Silicon Valley companies to watch for are Cloudera (Palo Alto) and Dropbox (San Francisco) are possible candidates as well.

Looking Ahead

We expect inventory to peak in the June/July timeframe. This year is unique in that it is possible that the market may continue to be good for Sellers as the number of Buyers that are in the market may still go unsatisfied through the summer months. It goes to be seen how the inventory levels are for properties on the market.

In Summary

As a Buyer if your mindset is anything other than aggressive, you may continue to lose multiple homes until the market forces your hand, or you simply decide to put a hold on your home search.  By then prices have increased on a weekly basis and often Buyers find themselves priced out. For Sellers, keep in mind that you are not the only Seller monitoring the market.  Many Sellers are gearing up to hit the market so take advantage while you can.

Join the Conversation

Join the conversation on Linkedin! https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/q1-2017-silicon-valley-real-estate-update-alan-wang

Sunday, April 2, 2017

The Alan Wang Realty Group is Now Hiring Buyer and Listing Agents!


The Alan Wang Realty Group is a team that is a part of Keller Williams Realty, the largest real estate brokerage in the nation. The Alan Wang Realty Group ranks in the top 1% of real estate teams in the nation. Alan has been in the industry for over 14 years and has a strong customer base. Join a group in the infancy of it's development with a startup environment. Fast paced, fun and entrepreneurial team pushing the envelope in real estate!  The team is a growing team with high aspirations and to become a mega team in the Silicon Valley. You will learn more than you can imagine on this team!  

Alan was voted one of the top 10 influencers in the Bay Area https://mykukun.com/top-10-realtors-in-san-francisco-bay-area/, rest assured you are learning from the best.




Common Traits

Candidate must be a self starter, can do attitude, strong work ethic, team player, with a heavy focus on customer service. Ability to pick up technical tools and have strong written and communication skills.

We are looking for a variety of candidates
  • Buyer Agents
  • Listing Agents
Why Join a Team?

Real Estate is a difficult business. The learning curve is steep and sustainability is even more difficult. Lead Generation is perhaps the hardest part of this business in addition to being a sole business owner responsible for accounting, marketing, public relations, business development, facilities, strategy is daunting. Why not join a team where that is all taken care of for you and all you have to do is service the client?  Also be coached to take yourself to the next level and learn more than you could possibly learn on your own.

Listing and Buyer Agents

These positions are high touch roles with Buyers and Sellers.  You will learn the process on how to take a customer from a lead to closing and then a customer for life.  You will be trained in methods of lead generation and how to create an excellent customer experience!

Candidate must possess a passion for customer service, sales ability, excellent communication skills, problem solving ability and a passion for getting things done.  Open to various levels of experience.  Fluency in languages such as Mandarin or Cantonese a plus.  Opportunity for leadership and career coaching and development.

Must be a licensed California Real Estate Salesperson.

Compensation
  • This is a sales commission based position.  The amount you can make has no ceiling and is directly correlated to your effort level
  • Agents on a team typically can make from $50,000 a year to $200,000 a year.  Again there is no limit!
Contact

Please e-mail your resume to katie@alanwangrealty.com for consideration.



Sunday, March 26, 2017

The Alan Wang Realty Group is hiring a Director of Marketing Operations/Executive Administrator and Team Assistant


The Alan Wang Realty Group is a team that is a part of Keller Williams Realty, the largest real estate brokerage in the nation. The Alan Wang Realty Group ranks in the top 1% of real estate teams in the nation. Join a group in the infancy of it's development with a startup environment. Fast paced, fun and entrepreneurial team pushing the envelope in real estate!  The team is a growing team with high aspirations to become a mega team in the Silicon Valley. You will learn more than you can imagine on this team!  



Alan was voted one of the top 10 influencers in the Bay Area https://mykukun.com/top-10-realtors-in-san-francisco-bay-area/, rest assured you are learning from the best.

To learn more about Alan www.linkedin.com/in/alanlwang


Why Join a Team?


Real Estate is a difficult business. The learning curve is steep and sustainability is even more difficult. Lead Generation is perhaps the hardest part of this business in addition to being a sole business owner responsible for accounting, marketing, public relations, business development, facilities, strategy, etc is daunting. Why not join a team where that is all taken care of for you and all you have to do is service the client?  Also be coached to take yourself to the next level and learn more than you could possibly learn on your own.

Common Traits

Candidate must be a self starter, can do attitude, strong work ethic, team player, with a heavy focus on customer service. Ability to pick up technical tools and have strong writing and communication skills.

We are looking for a variety of candidates
  • Director of Marketing and Operations
  • Assistant/Executive Administrator
Director of Marketing and Operations/Executive Administrator

Marketing
  • Creation of Marketing Pieces
  • Manage Social Media Campaigns
  • Manage Farming Campaigns
  • Ensure new content is added frequently on Website, Blog, Linkedin and Linkedin Company Page, Facebook Page, Twitter, Instagram and other sources
  • Ensure content is emailed to our database on a monthly basis at a minimum
  • Ensure our farming campaigns are populated with content and sent out monthly at a minimum
  • Create, manage, organize and execute events on behalf of the Group
Operations
  • Manage operations in the area of customer pipelines, operations, human resources and other functions as assigned
  • Expected to streamline and automate manual processes throughout the organization
  • Expected to run meetings and ensure that critical meetings occur or are re-scheduled as appropriate
  • Expected to bring new and innovative ideas to continue pushing the envelope in this space
  • Ensure smooth operation of the office such as facilities, upkeep of printers, monitors, computers, desks, chairs, shelving as well as food and drink
    Projects
    • When customer management, marketing and operations work have been completed, there will be project work that will be worked on an ongoing effort to improve the business. These will be defined by the team and prioritized by the team leader
    Team Administrator

    Support the Team Leader and the team with administrative tasks.  Be the engine that runs the operation!
    • Ensure that customer files are on-track, issues managed/resolved and customers responded to.  Own this process and take it from pending to close (not limited to these stages), interact with clients and support the team and the team leader
    • Employee has a can do attitude in order to help offload the Team Leader and team to free up time to do lead generation, establish strategic partnerships, define strategies, define and execute on projects
    • Examples of work are handling payments and billing, obtaining disclosures, running comparable market analysis, scheduling meetings, arranging home showing schedules, manage listing preparations and presentations, preparing listing kits, buyers kits, scheduling contractors and more!
    Compensation
    • Depending on the position and experience levels- These positions can pay from $15 to $20 per hour with bonuses.  This equates to a salary range of $31,000 to $41,000 a year including team performance and volume based bonuses.  These bonuses range from 10% to 30% of annual salary depending on team performance.
    Application Process

    Please send your resume to katie@alanwangrealty.com