Nick's Blog

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

Weekly Real Estate Update

Posted: July 21, 2015

California: Home to Most of the Country's Priciest ZIP Codes

Seventy percent of the most expensive U.S. communities in which to purchase a home are located in the Golden State, with Silicon Valley of course well represented. Read all about it at

Stanford, UC Berkeley Rank Among the Nation's 10 Best Colleges

Money magazine ranked hundreds of colleges for overall excellence and value, and two Bay Area powerhouses were among the top 10 – with Stanford University taking the No. 1 spot. Get the full story at

Bay Area Rental-Property Return Rates Lower Than National Average

Even with the Bay Area's astronomical rental costs, expensive home prices mean that buyers who purchase an investment property they plan to rent will see smaller returns than those in the rest of the country. Details are at

First-Time Buyers' Toughest Hurdle: The Down Payment

In a recent survey of would-be homebuyers, nearly two-thirds said that they would like to provide a sizable down payment of 20 percent or more, but most were unable to do so. In fact, needing to save money for a down payment was the biggest deterrent to buying a home. Read more at

Real Estate Roundup: U.S Foreclosures Drop to Decade Low

Recent news of interest to homebuyers, home sellers, and the home-curious: U.S. and California foreclosure starts have reached precession lows, Google's stock price has climbed to a record high, and mega-basements are all the rage in Silicon Valley. Get all the week’s top news at

Weekly Real Estate Update

Posted: July 13, 2015

A College Degree Is Nearly Essential to Buy a Home in Coastal California

If you're a millennial and hope to someday own a home in the Golden State, you'd better make sure that you have a college degree under your belt, a recent study found. Read all about it at

Nearly One-Half of California Homeowners Removing Lawns in Response to Drought

Homeowners in the drought-stricken state are nearly three times as likely to remove their lawn during an outdoor home-improvement job, say results from a survey that examines landscaping and gardening trends. For more information, go to

Update Your Home-Security Plans, Then Enjoy Your Vacation

Going away for an extended trip? Here are 10 common-sense tips to make sure your home is safe and secure while you're away. Now relax and have fun!

East Bay City of El Cerrito Offers Convenient Commute, Views, and Affordability

East Bay home shoppers in search of a favorable location and relatively affordable real estate when compared with neighboring communities should put El Cerrito on their list of places to explore, though buyers should still expect to pay a premium to close a successful purchase. Read our community profile at

Real Estate Roundup: Second Bay Area County Breaks Property-Value Record

Recent news of interest to homebuyers, home sellers, and the home-curious includes a report that property values in San Mateo County have reached a new peak. Also, second-quarter rental rates in San Jose were up 7.2 percent from a year earlier, while San Francisco rents rose 6.8 percent. Get all the week’s top news at

Weekly Real Estate Update

Posted: July 6, 2015

25 Pacific Union Professionals Rank Among Nation's Best for Sales

Pacific Union is honored and pleased to share the news that 25 of our real estate professionals have been ranked among the top 250 in the U.S. We'd like to congratulate them on their outstanding achievements and thank our entire team of Northern California real estate professionals, who recently propelled our company into the top 10 in the country based on 2014 sales volume. Read more at

Golden State Real Estate Markets Stay Sizzling in June

Demand for homes in California showed no sign of cooling as summer officially began, with three Bay Area cities named among the nation's five most booming real estate markets. Get the story at

>b>Bay Area Housing Markets Highly Unaffordable for Low-Down-Payment Buyers

Although nine out of 10 U.S. homes are more affordable than their historic averages for buyers using low-down-payment programs, that's not the case here in the Bay Area, according to a recent report. It’s online at

How Much Is That President's Home Today?

Teddy Roosevelt's 23-room home in Oyster Bay, N.Y., cost $16,975 to build back in the 1880s. Today, it would sell for a bit more: an estimated $3,195,000, not counting its historical significance. Here's a look at six presidential homes and how much they would be worth if they hit the market today:

Real Estate Roundup: Bay Area Buyers Willing to Pay Large Premiums for the Right Neighborhood

Recent news of interest to homebuyers, home sellers, and the home-curious includes a report that most Bay Area residents are willing to pay nearly 25 percent extra to live in the best neighborhoods. Also, the five least affordable real estate markets for millennial buyers are all located in California, with the Bay Area well represented. Get all the week’s top news at

Weekly Real Estate Update

Posted: June 30, 2015

California Ranks Fifth in the U.S. for Annual Job Growth in May

Although unemployment claims inched up in California and across most of the Bay Area from April to May, the Golden State ranks among the top five in the country for year-over-year job growth. And here in the Bay Area, employment levels are further above their prerecession peaks than anywhere else in the state. Read more at

First-Time Buyers Help Boost U.S. Home Sales in May

Thanks in part to a healthy job market, first-time buyer activity is on the upswing and helped propel U.S. existing home sales to the highest level in five-and-a-half years last month. For details, go to

Gay, Lesbian Neighborhoods Lead Home Price Increases

Home prices are higher and grow faster in neighborhoods with large concentrations of gay and lesbian couples, according to a recent report. Check it out:

Petaluma's D Street Neighborhood Brims With History and Charm

Perhaps best locally known for its concentration of handsome and historic homes, Petaluma's D Street neighborhood also earns points with Sonoma County homebuyers for its excellent schools and proximity to the city's thriving downtown. Read our neighborhood profile at

Real Estate Roundup: East Bay Community Named California's Wealthiest

Recent news of interest to homebuyers, home sellers, and the home-curious includes a report that California's wealthiest homeowners hail from a small Alameda County city. Also, affluent homeowners from around the country are spending major money to convert historic barns into extravagant entertaining venues. Get all the week’s top news at