Nick's Blog

Weekly Real Estate Update

Posted: October 20, 2015

Pacific Union Acquires Premier Real Estate Marketing Firm The Mark Company

Pacific Union is thrilled to share the news that we have acquired San Francisco-based The Mark Company, the premier urban residential real estate marketing and sales firm in the Western U.S. The acquisition gives our company a stronger foothold in the Bay Area's new-home market and expands our geographic footprint on the West Coast. Learn more at

California Home Sales, Prices Projected to Grow Moderately in 2016

Both Golden State home sales volume and prices are likely to increase next year, though slim inventory levels could hold back activity in the Bay Area. For more information, go to

Less Than One-Third of Homebuyers Comparison Shop for Mortgage Rates

Here's a curious trend: While most Americans consider themselves bargain hunters, a much smaller number actually shop around for mortgage rates. Details are at

Americans Agree: Homeownership Is a 'Good Financial Decision'

An overwhelming majority of Americans agree that buying a home makes smart financial sense, according to a just-released survey by the National Association of Realtors. Get the full story at

Dining, Shopping, and Prime Location Make Oakland's Grand Lake a Hot Destination

As in other highly walkable and vibrant East Bay neighborhoods, demand for real estate in Oakland's Grand Lake remains intense, driving up home prices and ensuring speedy sales. Check out our community profile at

Weekly Real Estate Update

Posted: October 12, 2015

Economists: Low Interest Rates Will Linger Longer

Hoping for a new home? Experts say interest rates will remain low for many months ahead, with the first rate increases not expected before December and quite likely not until next year. And even then, mortgage rates will crawl higher, not jump. Get the facts at

3 Bay Area Counties Are Among the Nation's Least Affordable

Even though price gains have outpaced wage growth across the majority of the U.S., homes began the year more affordable than they had been in two years. That's not particularly true in the Golden State, where half of the country's least-affordable real estate markets are located. For more information, go to

U.S. Sees Big Spike in All-Cash Chinese-Speaking Buyers

Almost half of Chinese homebuyers across the country are paying for their purchase entirely in cash, a substantial increase over the past decade. Read more at

As Home Equity Rises, So Does Cash-Out Refinancing

California homeowners are becoming equity-rich, and an increasing number of them are taking advantage of their property's increasing worth by opting for cash-out refinances. Get the full story at

Real Estate Roundup: What a Tech Bubble Could Mean for Bay Area Housing

Recent news of interest to homebuyers, home sellers, and the home-curious includes a report that examines the impact that a tech bubble would have on the world of Bay Area real estate. Also: San Francisco remains the country's priciest rental market, while Oakland has seen costs explode over the past year. Get all the week’s top news at

Weekly Real Estate Update

Posted: October 5, 2015

California Still Dominates the Ranks of Hottest U.S. Housing Markets

California cities account for more than half of the nation's hottest real estate markets as autumn gets underway, with San Francisco at the top of the list for the fourth consecutive month. Read all about it at

Homebuyers: It's October. Are You Ready?

October is here. If you're a buyer in the Bay Area or the Lake Tahoe/Truckee region, you need to act fast to make your dream a reality in 2015. Need an incentive? It's likely that the superlow interest rates of recent years will soon be a memory. For details, go to

U.S. Homeownership Rate Continues to Decline

Homeownership levels across the country have been steadily dropping for the past eight years, evidence that the U.S. housing-market recovery is still a work in progress. And both nationwide and here in the Bay Area, fewer homeowners face a cost burden than do renters, thanks in part to low mortgage rates. Get the full story at

Lake Tahoe's Schaffer's Mill Offers a Wealth of Activities for All Four Seasons

Homebuyers in the Lake Tahoe/Truckee region are even more active than usual this fall thanks to the brewing El Niño and the hopes that it brings plenty of fresh powder to the Sierra Nevada range. And while the private Martis Valley community of Schaffer's Mill is indeed a fine place to enjoy many memorable ski seasons, residents have no shortage of things to do regardless of the time of year. Check out our community profile at

Real Estate Roundup: Baby Boomers Are Biggest Drivers of Housing Demand

Recent news of interest to homebuyers, home sellers, and the home-curious includes a report that older Americans have formed the most households in 2015. And if you think your commute is a beast, check out how far some Bay Area residents travel to get between home and the office. Get all the week’s top news at

Weekly Real Estate Update

Posted: September 28, 2015

Pacific Union Ranked as Bay Area's Third Largest Residential Brokerage

The San Francisco Business Times recently ranked Pacific Union as the third largest residential real estate brokerage in the Bay Area, the latest industry accolade our company has received thus far in 2015. Read all about it at

California Unemployment Rate Falls to Half of Recession Peak

The Golden State's unemployment rate dropped in August, reaching half of the level recorded during the depths of the recession five years ago. Bay Area jobless claims followed suit, falling from the previous month in all nine counties. Details are at

Bay Area Millennial Renters Less Certain of Homeownership Plans

Three out of four millennial renters plan to buy a home, although most of them plan to wait a few years before making a move. Perhaps not surprisingly, expensive regions of the country such as the Bay Area have lower rates of expected Generation Y homeowners. For more information, go to

Bay Area Communities Continue to Rank High for Livability

Fifteen percent of the most livable 100 small and midsized U.S. cities are located right here in the Bay Area, with Palo Alto, Walnut Creek, and San Mateo ranked among the top 20. Get the full story at

Real Estate Roundup: Buying Versus Renting in San Francisco Is a Toss-Up

Recent news of interest to homebuyers, home sellers, and the home-curious includes an index that calls the decision whether to purchase or rent property in the San Francisco metro area a draw. Additionally, another analysis says that a Tudor home is worth three times as much as a more common ranch-style home. Get all the week’s top news at

Weekly Real Estate Update

Posted: September 22, 2015

Bay Area Home Sales Slip in August as Inventory Shortages Persist

Although California home sales eased a bit as the summer wound down, activity is at its highest level in nearly three years. Here in the Bay Area, a lack of available homes caused sales volume drops across the board and should keep prices rising for the remainder of 2015. Read more at

Bay Area Homeowners Underestimate Property Values, Bucking National Trend

Homeowners across the country continue to have overly lofty expectations concerning their property values, while those in the Bay Area's two largest cities are in fact underestimating what their homes are worth. For more information, go to

Buying a Home? Insist on an Inspection.

Home inspections are so important that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development recently began instructing lenders to urge all mortgage applicants, at first contact, to hire a licensed home inspector before signing a sales contract. Get the full story at

Guerneville: Spectacular Scenery, Outdoor Activities Draw Homebuyers to Sonoma County Community

Situated on the banks of the Russian River amid towering redwood trees, the small, scenic, and relaxed community of Guerneville is becoming an increasingly popular spot for Sonoma County homebuyers, particularly given that real estate there remains quite affordable. Check out our community profile at

Real Estate Roundup: College Degrees That Buy the Most House

Recent news of interest to homebuyers, home sellers, and the home-curious includes a report that ranks the college degrees that offer the most real estate purchasing power. Also, foreclosure activity in San Francisco took one of the largest drops in the country in August. Get all the week’s top news at

Weekly Real Estate Update

Posted: September 14, 2015

Pacific Union’s August 2015 Real Estate Update

Bay Area homes were even tougher to come by in August than they were at the end of last summer, as the months' supply of inventory (MSI) fell year over year in every Pacific Union region but Lake Tahoe/Truckee. Get all of the latest, most relevant sales data and commentary in Pacific Union's August 2015 Real Estate Report. It’s online at

Bay Area Millennials Pulling in the Nation's Biggest Bucks

Generation Y workers in the Bay Area earn the largest salaries in the U.S. for their age group, one more reason to suspect that intense demand for real estate will persist for the foreseeable future. Read more at

Educational Opportunities, Exceptional Job Market Propel Palo Alto Home Prices

Palo Alto has seen home prices rise by more than 50 percent over the past three years, thanks to a thriving job market, the allure of Stanford University, and an excellent public-school system. Read more at

Real Estate Roundup: The Best Day of the Year to Buy a Bay Area Home

Recent news of interest to homebuyers, home sellers, and the home-curious includes a study that pegs the exact best day to purchase home in the San Francisco and San Jose metro areas. Also, the Bay Area's limited levels of construction can't even begin to keep up with the region's phenomenal job growth. Get the latest news at

Weekly Real Estate Update

Posted: September 8, 2015

San Francisco Retains Title of Nation's Hottest Real Estate Market

For the third month in a row, has ranked the San Francisco metro area as the hottest housing market in the U.S. based on buyer interest and fewest days on the market. Three other Bay Area cities also made the top 20 list. Read more at

California Homeowners Hesitant to Sell Due to Affordability, Inventory Concerns

Rising prices have tempted some Golden State property owners to consider putting their homes on the market in the past year. But the majority of them are wary of actually pulling the trigger, as they are not sure where they will find their next home. Get the full story at

Average U.S. Credit Score Climbs to Record High

The average consumer credit score has reached an all-time high, enabling more Americans to leverage today's low mortgage rates and save big bucks over the life of their home loans. For more information, go to

Faculty, Students Raise Housing Demand in Inventory-Lean Berkeley

Tech workers who are priced out of San Francisco's exorbitant real estate market aren't the only Bay Area residents scrambling for homes in the East Bay. Recently ranked as one of the country's top 10 colleges and a perennial breeding ground for entrepreneurs, the University of California, Berkeley, is also a prominent driver of demand for East Bay real estate. Read more at

Real Estate Roundup: Will Job Growth Spur Interest-Rate Hikes?

Recent news of interest to homebuyers, home sellers, and the home-curious includes predictions of looming interest-rate increases due to the latest U.S. jobs report. Also, the San Francisco Bay's only privately owned island is on the market – and at a drastically reduced price. Get all the week’s top news at

Weekly Real Estate Update

Posted: August 31, 2015

New Report Further Examines California, Bay Area Housing-Affordability Gap

Less than one-third of California's housing stock is affordable for a median-income household, and in certain Bay Area counties, the amount of affordable properties on the market is practically nonexistent. Read more at

Bay Area Employment 10 Percent Higher Than Prerecession Levels

California continues to outpace the U.S. for job growth, with the Bay Area's thriving economy at the forefront of the state's recovery. Get all the facts and figures at

Coming Soon: A Spike in Demand for U.S. Housing

A new report from the Mortgage Bankers Association predicts that nearly 16 million additional households will be formed by 2024, making the next decade "one of the strongest in housing in U.S. history." For details, go to

Stately Homes, Top Schools Are Highlights of Hillsborough's Prestigious Ryan Tract Neighborhood

An attractive location; access to excellent public schools; and grand, historic homes combine to make Hillsborough's Ryan Tract neighborhood one of the affluent San Mateo County town's most popular and desirable enclaves. Read our neighborhood profile at

Real Estate Roundup: Silicon Valley Home Price Reaches New Peak

Recent news of interest to homebuyers, home sellers, and the home-curious includes a report that the median home price in the San Jose metro area climbed to a new high in July. Also, some Bay Area homeowners are looking to pull in big bucks by renting their homes during next year's Super Bowl. Get all the week’s top news at

Weekly Real Estate Update

Posted: August 24, 2015

Bay Area's Dubious Distinction: Tightest Housing Supply in California

The supply of homes for sale in the Bay Area remained exceptionally tight in July, with no other region in California even close to our constricted inventory levels. Read more at

Second-Quarter Home Prices Rise in 9 of 10 U.S. Metro Areas

A limited number of homes for sale fueled prices across the country in the second quarter, with more than 90 percent of metro areas posting annual gains. San Jose and San Francisco were the nation's two priciest housing markets, where homes cost about four times more than they do nationwide. Read about it at

San Jose Sees Tremendous Growth in Home-Remodeling Activity

The new-home construction industry has struggled to regain its footing in recent years, but remodeling activity today is hotter than ever – particularly in Silicon Valley and the San Jose metro area. Details are at

Housing Needs Will Change as U.S. Population Ages

Aging baby boomers present new challenges to urban planners, developers, and home builders. By 2030, one-quarter of the U.S. population will be age 50 or older. Read all about it at

Real Estate Roundup: Bay Area Median Home Price Just Shy of Record High

Recent news of interest to homebuyers, home sellers, and the home-curious includes a report that the median sales price for a Bay Area home is just a few thousand dollars short of its all-time high. Also, more Golden State homeowners are turning to water-recycling systems in order to keep their lawns green during the prolonged drought. Get all the week’s top news at

Weekly Real Estate Update

Posted: July 29, 2015

Pacific Union Quarterly Report: Q2 2015

Our second-quarter 2015 report is packed with data and regional summaries that offer a complete look at real estate activity in the Bay Area and the Lake Tahoe/Truckee region, including data for more than 70 individual communities. For the full report, go to

Upcoming Mortgage-Regulation Changes Will Affect Both Buyers and Sellers

In early October, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will implement new mortgage regulations that both homebuyers and sellers need to understand. Pacific Union CEO Mark A. McLaughlin explains at

Bay Area Inventory Shortages Fuel June Home Price Gains

Home inventory dropped in all nine Bay Area counties last month, driving prices higher from one year earlier and ensuring that multiple offers remained commonplace. Get the numbers at

California Job Growth Outpaces National Rate Since Recession's End

California's economy is firing on all cylinders, with job gains and the gross state product (GSP) both growing faster than the national rates. In fact, the state's prosperity may soon lead it past Brazil on the rankings of the world's largest economies. For more information, go to

Real Estate Roundup: Bay Area Sellers Enjoy Largest Price Gains in U.S.

Recent news of interest to homebuyers, home sellers, and the home-curious includes a report that sellers in San Francisco and San Jose netted gains of about 40 percent in the first half of the year. Also, limited inventory in the Bay Area is impeding pending home sales while affordability conditions worsen. Get all the week’s top news at