Sunday, August 1, 2021

July 2021 Silicon Valley Real Estate Update

The Silicon Valley real estate market remains a strong Sellers’ market.

 

Single Family Home Sector

The Single Family Home sector continues to be strong with homes selling with multiple offers within the first 2 weeks on the market. However, due to a slight increase in summer inventory, not every property necessarily will sell in this manner. When Buyers have options, a less desirable home (poor condition, not staged, hard to show owner/tenant occupied, etc) may sit on the market longer. These homes will still likely sell within a month regardless, unless the home is overpriced.

 

Townhome Sector

The Townhome sector is on the mend in the last quarter. As Single Family Home prices have sky rocketed and Covid restrictions have eased for the meantime, the need for yard space is not as pressing as in 2020. We are seeing a couple to a handful of multiple offers in this sector assuming the property is in move-in condition.

 

Condominium Sector

 

The Condominium sector, which was completely abandoned in 2020, has shown signs of a recovery as well. Workers have been returning to the Bay Area anticipating returning to the office in the September timeframe. We are seeing quality offers within a couple of weeks but be prepared for 30 days on the market for certain properties as this sector is still recovering. The rental market is recovering as well.

 

2021 Projections

 

For the rest of 2021 there does not seem to be a slowdown in the marketplace, but we will need to be monitored on the Covid/variant front. If the cases remain under control, then all 3 sectors will continue to perform well. If we lockdown and shelter-in-place once again, the Single Family Home sector will spike once again and the Townhome and Condominium sectors will fizzle. At this moment I do not anticipate a slowdown in 2021. This assumes that interest rates, tech employment and the NASDAQ stock market remain consistent.

 

Contact Us

 

This is a complex market. As a Seller, even though we are in a Sellers’ market, you will need a team to help you position your property in a manner that maximizes your returns. If you are a Buyer, you will need a team that moves quickly, that knows how to win but within reason to what the market is dictating. 

 

Please reach out to us so that we can analyze your specific real estate scenario.

 

Reach us at alan@alanwangrealty.com or (408)313-4352.


Feeling Social?


Join the conversation on Linkedin! https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/july-2021-silicon-valley-real-estate-update-alan-wang


We wish you and your families the utmost safety during this continuing trying times.


Alan Wang Realty Group

Saturday, April 10, 2021

April 2021 Silicon Valley Real Estate Update










The real estate market remains largely unchanged from our March update. Interest rates have inched up slightly, but that has not put a damper on Buyer's enthusiasm. The Single Family home sector continues to be the most aggressive that we have seen in our near 18 years in the business. If you are looking to buy a Single Family Home you have to be well-positioned financially, have the will to want it more than other families and a strong team behind you. Unfortunately, cash offers seem to be more abundant this year, reminding us of the times when foreign funds were pouring into the valley. Tech Buyers are turning their restricted stock and options into real estate assets. This sector continues to accelerate and the winners are the ones that do what it takes to win. As disheartening as this process can be, our key advice is to get in and out of the market as quickly as possible and allow other Buyers to keep bidding prices up. You don’t want to be in a position where you are chasing the market. The Townhome sector is regaining traction as Buyers who are priced out of Single Family homes have more opportunities in this sector. The condo sector is slowly showing signs of life as well.

We anticipate 2021 to be more of the same. Low inventory, low-interest rates, overall healthy stock market equating to multiple offers. In short, it will continue to be a very strong Sellers’ market.

We wish you and your family a happy start to the upcoming summer months and continue to stay safe! There seems to be a light at the end of the COVID tunnel!

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

March 2021 Silicon Valley Real Estate Update - A Market on Fire


In the 18 years that we have been in business, we have seen our share of competitive bull markets in the real estate industry. Yet 2021 has unveiled a level of aggression that even we have never seen before. Buyers have been desperately pushing over list prices and appraisal values, often in $50,000 to $100,000 increments or greater. I equate this to a poker game where players are raising with $50,000 to $100,000 chips at a time. Often Buyers have been all-in with their savings and investments. With the current work/life situations caused by the pandemic likely to linger, Buyers have been laser focused on the Single-Family Home sector as Buyers have been looking for more bedrooms and more backyard space. This is directly causing unprecedented bidding wars.

 

Why is This Happening?

 

This is an example of the inequities that are on full display in our microeconomy. There are certainly many in our nation that have been impacted by the pandemic. However, in the Silicon Valley, it provided an even deeper advantage especially to those in the technology sector. Unlike like those that have been impacted locally or in the rest of the nation, the technology, medical and financial sectors continue to have high employment rates. When a dual income family remains employed, so does their confidence in pursuing or upgrading their housing needs. Also unique to the Silicon Valley are stock options or restricted stock units, which are the life blood of Silicon Valley down payments and wealth creation. With the NASDAQ trading 53% higher than the same time last year, Bay Area home buyers have the collateral to back up their purchases. Lastly, once again record low interest rates, designed to bolster the overall economy, further provides local homebuyers with access to money at a very low cost. This perfect storm is at the root of the hyperactivity in our real estate market.

 

State of the Market

 

As forementioned, Single Family Homes are on fire pretty much anywhere you go in the Silicon Valley and even in the nation. The trend of buying in the East Bay has elevated to astronomical levels in 2021 as Buyers continue to realize that they get much more for their money and they are expecting not to go back to the office in the near future. It is my opinion that Buyers should be cautious with this assumption, I believe that companies will eventually want workers back in the office. In the blink of an eye you may find yourself in a 3-hour commute a couple years from now.

 

Bidding wars abound and we are in a full Sellers’ market. In 2020 the Townhome and Condominium markets struggled, however this year both of these sectors have been showing signs of life. This is likely due to Buyers being priced out of the Single-Family Home market and shifting to the Townhome and subsequently the Condominium market. Even San Francisco in the last few weeks has seen a pickup in demand in the Condominium sector. 

 

Buyer Advice

 

This Sellers’ market is not for the faint of heart. As a Buyer you need to look deep within and ask yourself are you willing and in a position to be able to do what it takes to win a home. If you are looking for a deal or hoping to go under list price, this is not the right market for you and it might be prudent to sit this out until the market balances out or turns in your favor. There are always corner cases, but rare at this very moment. The comparable market data must be analyzed with a grain of salt. The data is 2 to 3 months behind and the market has been increasing week by week. The latest information is key in this market. If you must buy in this market, then you should get in and get out as quickly as you can and allow other Buyers to keep bidding the prices up.

 

As a Buyer How Do I Win?

 

First, having an experienced Real Estate team as your guide is critical to your success. Secondly, we have broken this down to the winning formula below.

 

Winning Offer = Price (Factoring Past Comparables + Most Recent Sales (if any) + Number of Offers + Level of Aggression from Other Buyers) + Strong Terms + Strong Down Payment + Terms Unique to This Seller + Complete Offer Package + Solid Agent + Solid Loan Agent

 

In the end there is no formula when it comes to the emotions of a Buyer and their families. Buyers are ignoring the comparable market data and bidding their maximum willingness to pay. Each Buyer should ensure that they have a strong cash position in case of any appraisal deltas which is a major risk in this market. See my previous blog on how this works or reach out to us so that we can show you in detail https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-loans-appraisals-down-payments-deposits-intertwined-alan-wang/. If you do not have sufficient buffer for appraisals, you should lower your price point or sit out of this market unless you find a corner case opportunity. You could also shift to Townhomes or Condominiums where it is not as competitive.

 

Seller Advice

 

If you are the owner of a Single-Family Home the market has never been more on your side. We never know when things will change in the market or the economy, if you plan to move, we know that at this very moment this is an excellent time as any. For those of you in the Townhome and Condominium sector, we will have to analyze your area and complex to see if there is an opportunity there.

 

Looking Ahead

 

There is certainly more optimism and a light at the end of the tunnel with the rollout of the vaccine. This is better news than we have had for all of 2020. Housing will likely continue to be an essential part of our lives. As long as all the factors driving the demand remains constant, 2021 will continue to a strong Sellers’ market on fire.


Feeling Social?


Join the conversation on Linkedin https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/march-2021-silicon-valley-real-estate-update-market-alan-wang/


For a personal consultation call or text us at (408)313-4352 or e-mail us at alan@alanwangrealty.com


Photo Credit - https-/upswingpoker.com/poker-chip-values


Sunday, January 3, 2021

2020 Silicon Valley Real Estate Year in Review

 

We all know that 2020 has been one of the most challenging years in history due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We hope that you and your family had a safe holiday and continue to do our part and Shelter-in-place.

 

First Half of 2020

 

The first quarter of 2020 kicked off with a strong Sellers’ market across all real estate product categories. The market was shaping up to be a competitive market for Buyers resulting in steady price increases for Sellers. Then Shelter-in-place hit mid-March and real estate came to a grinding halt for a little over a month. Realtors were not considered essential at first and there was much confusion on how real estate would be sold. By May, Realtors were made essential and we had a procedure on how to show homes safely paired with an understanding from the industry as how to show and close transactions in a safe manner.

 

Latter Half of 2020

 

Consumer preferences shifted quickly. First, there was an exodus from the Bay Area especially from downtown city centers such as San Francisco and San Jose. The justification of high prices living in a downtown, when residents are not able to enjoy what a city center offers, made it a simple decision for many to move. Available rental units increased quickly, and rental rates dropped and are still at bargain prices.

 

The second trend was a migration to the suburbs in the Peninsula, Southbay and even more flocked to the East Bay. With remote work being the norm for the near future, Buyers have flocked further from center for more affordable areas in exchange for larger homes, good schools at a lower cost.

 

Thirdly, Buyers have steered away from Condominium and Townhomes, while Single-Family Homes are in very short supply. Multiple offers abound for Single-Family Homes and be ready to compete with heavy competition in most areas. For Buyers, the deals will likely continue for Condominiums and Townhomes especially in San Francisco. If you are a Seller of a Single-Family Home, the market is on your side. If you are looking to sell a Condominium or Townhome, the property will sell but patience is warranted.

 

Lastly, Buyers are looking for move-in ready homes, larger size homes with more space, more rooms for a home office and a yard for the children to enjoy.

 

2021 Projections and Beyond

 

2021 looks to be the same narrative as the latter half of 2020 and not likely to change. Single-Family Homes will continue to be in short supply and multiple offers will continue in most areas. Townhomes and Condominiums will likely continue to struggle unless we get back to some semblance of normalcy in 2021. All eyes will be on the effectiveness of the vaccine and overall rollout. All signs point to slow progress and we expect the majority of 2021 to be similar to latter half of 2020. We wish you and your family a better 2021 and please let us all stay vigilant and stay safe.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Post-Election and California Propositions Real Estate Impact

The elections and California propositions bring some changes ahead in the area of real estate and other areas will remain much the same.


Video Link



Slide Show Links - https://www2.slideshare.net/AlanWang6/november-2020-real-estate-update-presidential-elections-and-california-propositions 


Presidential Election


We do not see many changes in the short run that will have a direct impact on the area of real estate. With the government working to provide necessary stimulus as we try to sustain and recover from the pandemic, one of the key areas of focus will be to ensure that Americans have the ability to pay their rents and mortgages. This will keep interest rates low for the foreseeable future and hopefully provide enough relief paired with forbearance to keep foreclosures from happening. Currently, there is a shortage of real estate especially in the area of Single-Family Homes, but at risk are Condominiums in metropolitan cities and Townhomes as well.


California Propositions


There were a few propositions that were focused on Real Estate on the California ballot.

 

Propositions 15 and 21 - Defeated


u Proposition 15 – Change in Commercial Property Tax – “Taxes such properties based on current market value, instead of purchase price. Fiscal Impact: Increased property taxes on commercial properties worth more than $3 million providing $6.5 billion to $11.5 billion in new funding to local governments and schools.”


u Proposition 21 - Local Government Rent Control – “Allows local governments to establish rent control on residential properties over 15 years old. Local limits on rate increases may differ from statewide limit. Fiscal Impact: Overall, a potential reduction in state and local revenues in the high tens of millions of dollars per year over time. Depending on actions by local communities, revenue losses could be less or more.”


Proposition 19 – Passed - Impact on Seniors and Transfer of Real Estate


“Allows homeowners who are over 55, disabled, or wildfire/disaster victims to transfer primary residence’s tax base to replacement residence. Changes taxation of family-property transfers. Establishes fire protection services fund. Fiscal Impact: Local governments could gain tens of millions of dollars of property tax revenue per year, probably growing over time to a few hundred million dollars per year. Schools could receive similar property tax gains”


This is the proposition that has the most impact on our local real estate market. The focus was upon those that were impacted by wildfires so that they could transfer their property taxes. However, lumped in this proposition is more flexibility for seniors with their property taxes and also changes to how inherited properties are handled.


Tax Base Transfer for Owners 55 Years and Older


In years prior, a senior over 55 transferring their property tax was allowed a one-time transfer, limited to 10 counties and there were value limits usually forcing the owner to trade down mostly.

With the passage of Proposition 19, seniors can now transfer their tax base up to three times, move to a county anywhere in the state of California and a home of any value can be purchased with adjusted transferred values if the price is over 100% of their departing home sale price.

These rules will come into effect on April 1, 2021.

Here is an informative chart from the Board of Equalization:


Source - https://boe.ca.gov/prop19/


Property Tax Transfer to a Child or Grandchild


In the past properties that were transferred to a child or grandchild, the property taxes were allowed to carryover and there was a $1,000,000 limit no matter what type of property.

With the passage of Proposition 19 there is a limit to the value (current taxable value plus $1M) and also this transfer will only apply to the primary home of the deceased. It is assumed that they Child or Grandchild will reside in the home to maintain lower property taxes.

These rules will come into effect February 16, 2021.

Another informative chart from the Board of Equalization:


Source - https://boe.ca.gov/prop19/


Conclusion


Overall, the expansion of property tax options to seniors giving more flexibility is a positive and also allows more revenue to the state in certain scenarios. Limiting the property transfer base to children and grandchildren although not ideal for the surviving family, allows more revenue to the state. In reality the family inheriting a property in our area will be at excellent prices, to pay the property taxes seems only fair. Of course, they could choose to sell the property and they still have a step-up basis in taxes if they choose not to keep the property.


Contact Us


Real Estate is complex and tailored to each family’s unique scenarios. For a planning meeting please call or text Alan at (408)313-4352 or e-mail me at alan@alanwangrealty.com so that we can build a strategy unique to you and your family!


Disclaimer


We are not experts in tax law or estate planning. You are highly recommended to talk to your Tax and Estate Planners or Lawyers to see how these propositions affect you and your family directly.


Credits


-       All descriptions in “quotes” are from the California Secretary of State, California General election November 3, 2020 Official Voter Information Guide https://voterguide.sos.ca.gov/propositions/

-       Board of Equalization Summary Charts for Proposition 19 - https://boe.ca.gov/prop19/