Nick's Blog

Weekly Real Estate Update

Posted: February 22, 2016

To Panic or Not to Panic: Think the Bay Area’s Real Estate Market Has the Jitters?

Pacific Union's Vice President of Business Intelligence Selma Hepp offers an in-depth analysis of current economic conditions and how they will impact the Bay Area's housing market. Get the full story at

Bay Area Home Affordability Improves in the Fourth Quarter

Here's some welcome news for homebuyers: Housing affordability improved in the Bay Area and across California in the fourth quarter of 2015, according to a recent report. Read all about it at

California Home Sales Blast Off in January

Golden State home sales enjoyed their best January in three years, starting 2016 on a positive note. And while inventory conditions in the Bay Area remain the lowest in the state, supply did improve from the previous month. For details, go to

Planning a Remodeling Project? Watch for Trouble Spots in Your Relationship.

A home-remodeling project can strain a relationship. Plan ahead to keep stress at a minimum. Read more at

Alameda’s East End Attracts With Schools, Parks, and Recreation

The island city of Alameda is no longer a local secret. It has become a highly desirable location for both East Bay homebuyers and those coming from San Francisco, and its East End neighborhood offers plenty of big pluses. Check out our community profile at

Weekly Real Estate Update

Posted: February 17, 2016

Pacific Union’s January 2016 Real Estate Update

Bay Area home shoppers who ventured out in the first month of 2016 were in luck, as the amount of homes for sale expanded in every one of our regions, although conditions still mostly favor sellers. See how 2016 kicked off in the world of Northern California real estate in our January real estate report.

Bay Area Cities Top the List of Nation's Wealthiest

Silicon Valley communities are again making news for their high leves of wealth and education, accounting for four of the five most affluent communities in America. We take a look at recent home sales activity in these and other high-end Bay Area enclaves that rank among the country's 20 richest. Find out more at

Prices Up in 9 of 10 U.S. Housing Markets Last Year

The vast majority of U.S. residential real estate markets saw price growth in 2015, squeezing affordability in many parts of the country. That's especially true here in the Bay Area, where home prices are three to four times the national average. Read more at

Variety of Homes for White House Contenders

Three presidential candidates have homes adjoining golf courses, two live in high-rise condominiums, and two more live in traditional colonials. Get the full story at

Real Estate Roundup: Bay Area Vacancy Rate Almost Nonexistent

The San Jose and San Francisco metro areas have the lowest vacancy rates in the U.S., while local millennials are pessimistic about their housing options. Get a look at the week's most relevant headlines in Pacific Union's Real Estate Roundup, online at

Weekly Real Estate Update

Posted: February 8, 2016

California Housing Markets Stay Sizzling as New Year Begins

Golden State real estate continued to command high demand in the inaugural month of 2016, with the Bay Area's largest two cities once again ranked as the nation's hottest. Get the story at

Proper Home Design Crucial to Chinese Buyers

The Chinese make up the fastest-growing segment of homebuyers in the United States, and they strongly prefer newer properties that promote the design philosophy of feng shui. Read more at

Petaluma's Historic Midtown Neighborhood a Nice Fit for First-Time Homebuyers

Within walking distance of downtown and brimming with Sonoma County history, Petaluma's Midtown neighborhood is a popular choice with first-time buyers, thanks to both its convenience and relatively affordable homes. Check out our community profile at

Real Estate Roundup: Bay Area Home Sellers Gain Six Times the National Average

Home sellers in three Bay Area counties cashed out big-time in 2016, while residents of Portland, Oregon, are blaming rising home prices on an influx of Californians. Take a look at the week's top headlines in our Real Estate Roundup. See it at

Weekly Real Estate Update

Posted: February 1, 2016

California Home Sales Set for Modest Increase in 2016

Pending home sales were on the rise both statewide and here in the Bay Area in December, a sign that points to a moderate increase in activity in 2016. Get the full story at

Bay Area, California Job Growth Strong in December

Although California unemployment claims ticked up slightly in the final month of 2015, job growth was solid, foreshadowing what will hopefully be another a bright year ahead for the state's labor and housing markets. Read more at

Tips for Lowering Homeowner's Insurance Premiums

Homeowner's insurance costs can vary by hundreds of dollars a year depending on the insurance company you buy your policy from, but there are other ways you can lower the price, too. Here are a dozen tips:

Homeowners Open Up to Open Kitchens

As homeowners spend more time entertaining, socializing, and working in their kitchens, remodelers are finding that their jobs are all about enhancing the flow to both indoor and outdoor spaces. For details, go to

Real Estate Roundup: Bay Area Has Nation's Smallest Underwater-Home Rate

A very small number of San Francisco and San Jose homeowners are underwater, while businesses and homeowners in the latter city hope to cash in on Super Bowl 50. Get a look at the latest headlines in our weekly Real Estate Roundup at

Weekly Real Estate Update

Posted: January 25, 2016

Pacific Union Quarterly Report: Q4 2015

Get the latest market statistics, expert commentary, and our exclusive Bay Area and economic and real estate forecast in Pacific Union's Q4 2015 report. It’s online at

December Home Sales Volume Spikes in California, Bay Area

Golden State and Bay Area home sales rebounded as 2015 came to a close, say the latest numbers from the California Association of Realtors. That, combined with fewer new listings, exacerbated already tight inventory conditions statewide and locally. Get the full story at

Latest Home Design Trends Are Familiar in the Bay Area

Some of the newest and hottest design ideas at the recent International Builders' Show in Las Vegas are old favorites in the Bay Area and the rest of California. Read more at

Palo Alto's Low-Key Midtown Neighborhood a Hot Spot for New Homes

A significant number of new homes built on spacious lots, along with excellent public schools, have helped make Palo Alto's Midtown neighborhood an increasingly popular choice with Silicon Valley families over the past few years. Check out our community profile at

Real Estate Roundup: Mortgage Rates Keep Dropping in the New Year

Mortgage rates have dropped every week thus far in 2016, while the construction of Super Bowl City is projected to cause traffic madness in downtown San Francisco. Get a look at the latest headlines in our weekly Real Estate Roundup:

Weekly Real Estate Update

Posted: January 19, 2016

San Francisco to Remain a Top Market for International Investors in 2016

The U.S. is by far the most favorable country for foreign real estate investors seeking a safe haven for their money, new survey results say. And just as last year, San Francisco is one of the top destinations for international investors, both on a national and global level. Read more at

Bay Area All-Cash Sales Bounce Back in a Big Way

All-cash sales across the U.S. rose to the highest level in nearly three years in November, with Bay Area cities posting the largest increases in such transactions. Get the full story at

Survey: Improving Economy a Boost to Housing Markets

A survey by Fannie Mae found that Americans are increasingly optimistic about housing market conditions, encouraged by a growing confidence in their personal financial outlook and the U.S. economy in general. For more survey results, go to

Pacific Union Appoints David Buurma President of Property Management Division

We are pleased to announce that industry veteran David Buurma has been named president of Pacific Union Property Management, our firm's joint venture that provides full-service property management services throughout the Bay Area. Read more at

Real Estate Roundup: Bay Area Homes Still Worth More Than Owners Think

Bay Area homeowners continue to underestimate what their home is worth – bucking the national trend – while Mark Zuckerberg's Mission District neighbors are irritated at him again. Get a quick look at the most compelling headlines in our weekly Real Estate Roundup. It's online at

Weekly Real Estate Update

Posted: January 11, 2016

U.S., Bay Area Housing Markets Finish the Year Strong

The national housing market enjoyed a sizable annual improvement in December, with the Bay Area's two major metro areas also flexing their muscles. Read all about it at

Mortgage Lenders Get a Year-End Surprise After Complaints About Closing Times

Three months after new mortgage-disclosure rules took effect, federal regulators and U.S. lenders are smoothing out some wrinkles that remain in the procedures designed to protect homebuyers. For details, go to

Californians Once Again the Nation's Top Movers

As in the previous three years, Californians did the most moving in the U.S. in 2015, although the Pacific Northwest is currently the most popular interstate immigration destination. Get the full story at

It's Never Too Late for New Year's Real Estate Resolutions

The year 2016 is already more than a week old, but it's never too late to adopt a smart set of resolutions to help guide you through the year ahead. Whether you are a homebuyer or a seller – or might become one or the other over the course of the year – take a look at Pacific Union's roundup of real estate resolutions for the new year. They’re online at

Real Estate Roundup: Bay Area Rental-Cost Hikes Are Finally Slowing

They Bay Area's astronomical rental costs are among the highest in the country, but growth appeared to moderate in the fourth quarter. Also, mortgage rates have started 2016 under 4 percent. Find out more in Pacific Union's weekly Real Estate Roundup at

Weekly Real Estate Update

Posted: January 4, 2016

U.S. Home Sales Projected to Reach Decade High in 2016

U.S. home sales should climb in 2016 to levels we haven’t seen since the last housing boom – with millennials leading the charge – as continued economic prosperity appears to be on the horizon. Get the full story at

Bay Area Real Estate Ends 2015 on a Hot Note

Like in previous months, more than half of the nation's most in-demand real estate markets were located in California as December came to a close, with Bay Area cities claiming the top three spots. Read more at

New-Home Sales Point to Energized Construction Industry

Sales of new single-family homes in the West jumped 20.5 percent from October to November – evidence of a rebounding construction industry that has been playing catch-up for several years now to meet the pent-up demand for housing. Details are at

Real Estate Roundup: 4 Bay Area Cities Rank Among Best for Millennials

Recent news of interest to homebuyers, home sellers, and the home curious includes a report that four Bay Area communities are among the best in the nation for millennials, who are projected to make up the largest share of homebuyers in 2016. Also, rising interest rates could deter some international homebuyers, but it won't likely be the Chinese. Get all the week’s top news at

Weekly Real Estate Update

Posted: December 29, 2015

Bay Area Housing Inventory Crunch Doesn't Ease in November

The number of Bay Area homes for sale further constricted in November, says a recent report from the California Association of Realtors. The better news for buyers: Home price growth was mostly flat. Read more at

Golden State Unemployment Rate Once Again at Eight-Year Low

California's unemployment rate declined in November, again reaching levels not seen since the previous housing boom. And as workers flock to take advantage of the job market, the Bay Area has fueled the state's population growth over the past five years. Get the latest facts and figures at

California Tops the List for Chinese Homebuyers

China now has more billionaires than the United States, which is the prime destination for affluent Chinese real estate investors, who are most keen on California. Our report is online at

Real Estate Roundup: Credit Restrictions to Ease in the New Year

Recent news of interest to homebuyers, home sellers, and the home curious includes news that mortgage lenders are planning to loosen credit standards over the next few months. Also, pet-friendly home amenities are becoming popular with buyers seeking to pamper their four-legged friends. Get all the week’s top news at

Weekly Real Estate Update

Posted: December 23, 2015

Bay Area Companies Dominate List of Best Places to Work in 2016

Nearly one-third of America's 50 best companies to work for are located right here in the Bay Area, and their happy, highly paid employees will likely continue to drive housing demand for the foreseeable future. Get the full story at

U.S. Renters Feel a Historic Cost Squeeze

The Federal Reserve recently raised interest rates, and here's more sobering news for hopeful homebuyers who have yet to act: The number of U.S. renters who are cost-burdened has reached an all-time high. Read about it at

Enjoy the Holidays, and Make Sure Your Pets Do, Too

The holidays can be difficult for dogs, cats, and other pets, tempted by foods that wreak havoc on their digestive systems and access to potentially harmful decorations, not to mention the bright lights and loud noises of holiday parties. For details, go to

Sterling Schools, Convenient Commute Options Highlight Marin County's Larkspur

Blessed with an ideal location for commuters and boasting the top-rated schools for which Marin County is known, the small city of Larkspur remains a prime destination for families. Check out our community profile at

Real Estate Roundup: San Francisco Area Home Prices Rising Beyond Explanation

Recent news of interest to homebuyers, home sellers, and the home-curious includes a report that home prices in the San Francisco metro area have grown much faster than incomes over the past 14 years. Also, check out the 15 home-design ideas you should ditch in the coming year. Get all the week’s top news at