Nick's Blog

Weekly Real Estate Update

Posted: July 17, 2017

Luxury Segment Heats Up Bay Area Housing Markets in June

The first half of the year ended on a strong note for Bay Area housing markets according to a new analysis by Pacific Union Chief Economist Selma Hepp. You can read it exclusively at


Most Americans Still Think Buying a Home Is a Good Financial Decision

An overwhelming majority of Americans believe that purchasing a home is a solid financial move, though worsening affordability is a top concern. Read more at


U.S., Bay Area Homes Sell Faster When Staged

Sellers hoping for a speedy sale should seriously consider staging their homes, a process that most real estate professionals believe helps a buyer better visualize the property as their own. That's true here in the Bay Area, where Pacific Union Chief Economist Selma Hepp found that staged homes not only sell nearly twice as fast but also receive more offers and command higher prices. The report is online at


Number of U.S. Homeowners With Tappable Equity Climbs to All-Time High

Strong price appreciation has increased the amount of equity that homeowners can borrow against, with California accounting for a significant share of the nation's equity. Get the latest numbers at


What Color to Paint Your Home's Exterior? White Is the No. 1 Pick of Buyers.

Forty percent of homebuyers say white is the color of choice for a home's exterior, but it's important to choose a hue that you can live with for the long haul. Read more here:

Weekly Real Estate Update

Posted: July 10, 2017

June U.S. Employment Report Shows Solid Trends

The latest U.S. job numbers are in, and they give cause for confidence in the employment market and the economy. Pacific Union Chief Economist Selma Hepp breaks down June's report. You’ll find it exclusively at


Forecast: California Home Prices to Grow by 10 Percent Through 2018

Golden State homes should appreciate at almost double the national rate by next spring, although price growth and increasing rental costs do not bode well for affordability. Read more at


U.S. Home Affordability Drops to Nine-Year Low

Second-quarter home price growth outpaced wage growth throughout most of the country – including the Bay Area – further eroding already challenging affordability conditions. Get the latest numbers at


Lawn-Care Lessons: How to Mow the Right Way

It's July, and your lawn is at its most vulnerable under the fierce Northern California sun. Here are some smart lawn-mowing tips to help keep it healthy all summer long. Read more at


Real Estate Roundup: Know the Unexpected Costs of Buying a Home

Don't let unexpected costs surprise you when you're ready to close on the home of your dreams. Find out what they are in Pacific Union's latest weekly Real Estate Roundup. It’s online at

Weekly Real Estate Update

Posted: July 5, 2017

Bay Area Suburbs Rank as Hottest U.S. Housing Market for Fifth Straight Month

Limited inventory prompted U.S. buyers to snap up properties quickly in June, with homes in the Bay Area selling about twice as fast as the national average. Read the story at


California, Bay Area Pending Home Sales Drop Again in May

Pending home sales continue to fall nationwide, statewide, and in the Bay Area, an early sign that housing markets may be in for a slower-than-usual summer. Details are at


U.S., Bay Area Home Prices Hit New Record Highs in May

Intense demand for housing coupled with supply constraints pushed U.S. home prices to an all-time high in May, with properties leaving the market faster than ever before. Here in the Bay Area, home prices also reached a new peak, as buyers hit the market in full force. Read more at


Will Increased Homeowner Confidence Equal More Listings?

The number of homeowners who think that the time is right to sell is up significantly from one year ago, but that may not necessarily translate to more inventory, the lack of which has some economists worried about an affordability crisis. For more, go online to


Real Estate Roundup:  The Plight of Millennial Homebuyers in Silicon Valley

A new study says that millennial homebuyers in the Bay Area face a down-payment savings time of nearly three decades, while another finds that Napa is one of the best places in America to hold an outdoor party. Get the lowdown on these and other stories of note in Pacific Union's weekly Real Estate Roundup – online at

Weekly Real Estate Update

Posted: June 26, 2017

MLSes and Portals Should Respect Exclusive Listings

Pacific Union CEO Mark A. McLaughlin offers his thoughts on Zillow Group's latest move to access brokerage data. It’s on the Pacific Union blog at


California Home Prices Climb to a 10-Year High in May

California home prices hit their highest level since the previous housing boom in May, as demand continued to outstrip supply, both statewide and here in the Bay Area. Details are online at


Home Price Growth Recorded in Virtually All U.S. Metro Areas Last Year

Record-low inventory levels pushed appreciation higher across the country in 2016, though home prices in most parts of the country and the Bay Area are still well short of their previous peaks. Get the facts at


Pacific Union and John Aaroe Group Professionals Honored for 2016 Sales Results

Pacific Union and John Aaroe Group are proud to share the news that nine of our elite real estate professionals have been honored by a respected industry publication for their impressive sales achievements. Read more at


Real Estate Roundup: East Bay Suburb Named California's Best Place to Live

Bay Area cities dominate the rankings of the best places to live in California, while Stanford University remains the third best college in the world. Check out these and other stories of note in Pacific Union's latest Real Estate Roundup. It’s online at



Weekly Real Estate Update

Posted: June 19, 2017

The Bay Area's Five Fastest Appreciating (and Depreciating) Housing Markets

Home prices rocketed up about 30 percent year over year in the first four months of 2017 in one Marin County community, while they fell by about the same amount in a trendy San Francisco enclave. Find out which 10 Bay Area ZIP codes experienced the largest housing price gains and losses. Details are online at


The Federal Reserve Increases Interest Rates, but Slow Inflation Keeps Mortgage Rates Low

Pacific Union Chief Economist Selma Hepp breaks down the implications of the Federal Reserve's decision to increase interest rates last week. Her exclusive analysis is online at


Californians Gained $25,000 in Home Equity, on Average, Over the Past Year

Golden State homeowners pulled in the nation's second-largest equity gain in the first quarter, as the San Francisco metro area again posted the highest number of properties with positive equity. Get the facts at


No Vacation Necessary: The Best Bay Area Summer 2017 Events

If you're skipping a summer vacation to house hunt while the competition is less intense, fear not: There are plenty of events to entertain you all around the Bay Area. Check them out at


Real Estate Roundup: Is the U.S. Headed for a Housing Inventory Crisis?

Some prominent economists fear that the nation's housing inventory shortage could soon become an emergency. Read Pacific Union's weekly Real Estate Roundup for this story and other recent headlines of interest. It’s online at

Weekly Real Estate Update

Posted: June 13, 2017

Surging Demand Pushes Bay Area Home Prices Higher in May

The Bay Area's housing market heated up in May, with prices higher from one year ago and seven of 10 properties selling above asking price. Pacific Union Chief Economist Selma Hepp examines the latest local market conditions. Get her take at


Pacific Union’s May 2017 Real Estate Update

As in April, inventory conditions in the Bay Area in May were almost uniformly down year over year, which drove prices higher. Get all the latest market data of note to make an informed buying or selling decision in Pacific Union's May 2017 Real Estate Update, available at


You’re a New Homeowner? Congratulations! Now Get to Work.

Your first priority is to change the locks on all the doors. Also, find out where the fuse box and main water valve are located, check all smoke detectors, and change all filters. Read the full story on Pacific Union's blog at


How Much Do Utility Bills Add to Bay Area Homeownership Costs?

Although some home shoppers may overlook electricity, water, and gas bills when calculating how much they can afford to spend, utilities can add a significant amount to homeownership costs. Golden State homeowners can get some of that money back with solar panels, which more than double a home's profit when the time comes to sell. Find out more at


Real Estate Roundup: The Bay Area’s Hottest Spots for Home Flippers

Home flippers in select Contra Costa County and Santa Clara County ZIP codes made out big in the first quarter, profiting as much as $450,000. Get this and other headlines of note in Pacific Union's weekly Real Estate Roundup, at

Weekly Real Estate Update

Posted: June 5, 2017


Deciphering Home Prices: Are They Declining in San Francisco?

Some statistics say that San Francisco area home prices fell year over year in the first quarter, while others recorded appreciation. Pacific Union Chief Economist Selma Hepp explains the numbers in her latest Straight Talk column. You’ll find it exclusively at


California Millennials Need Two Decades to Amass Down Payment

High housing costs can delay homeownership for California millennials for more than 20 years, and to complicate the situation, their expectations about the down-payment size are not exactly aligned with reality. For details, go to


U.S. Job Growth Stalls in May, While the Unemployment Rate Reaches a 16-Year Low

Pacific Union Chief Economist Selma Hepp examines the May U.S. employment report, which brought slower-than-expected job growth yet falling unemployment. Get the facts at


Rising Mortgage Rates Drag Down Refinancing Activity

Although mortgage rates remain low by historic standards, the increases that began last year had a significant impact on both refinancing and loan-origination activity in the first quarter of this year. For more information, go to


San Francisco Is No. 1 in the Nation for Access to City Parks

The Trust for Public Land gave San Francisco a perfect score of 100 for access to city parks and recreation area. The report found that every San Francisco resident lives within a 10-minute (half-mile) walk of a park, something that no other major U.S. city can claim. Get the full story at




Weekly Real Estate Update

Posted: May 30, 2017

Bay Area Pending Home Sales Continue to Plummet

Golden State pending home sales dropped for the fourth straight month in April, with the inventory-starved Bay Area feeling the brunt of the declining activity. Get the latest numbers at


Americans Are Confident in the Housing Market but Concerned With Rising Mortgage Rates

Most Americans are optimistic about the current state of the economy and the real estate market, although potentially higher interest rates are causing some trepidation. For details, go online to


U.S. Homes Are Selling Faster Than Ever This Spring

Serious home shoppers who are hitting the open-house circuit hard during the traditionally busy spring season should not hesitate long, as properties are flying of the market quicker than ever before. That's especially true here in the Bay Area, where homes continue to sell at among the fastest pace in the nation. Read all about it at


Create the Perfect Pet-Friendly Home

Whether you're a dog person or a cat person, there are some modifications you can make to your home to best accommodate your four-legged friend. Learn more at


Real Estate Roundup: Bay Area Home Prices Hit New Peak – Again

Bay Area home prices have once again hit an all-time high amid exceptionally tight inventory conditions. Get this story and more in Pacific Union's weekly Real Estate Roundup. It’s online at

Weekly Real Estate Update

Posted: May 22, 2017

Pacific Union CEO Mark A. McLaughlin's Top Four Time-Management Tips

Pacific Union CEO Mark A. McLaughlin offers his thoughts on efficient and effective time-management skills – sound advice that's applicable to the real estate industry and beyond. Check them out at


California's Housing Affordability Inches Up, While Bay Area Conditions Stay Flat

Despite the state's thin supply of housing, wage growth helped boost affordability ever so slightly in the first quarter, while there was little relief to be found for Bay Area home shoppers. Get the latest data at


California Home Prices Near a 10-Year High in April

The Golden State's median home price climbed to a height not seen since the previous housing boom in April and is likely to keep rising, further squeezing already tight affordability conditions for the rest of the year. For details, go to


First-Quarter U.S. Home Sales Hit Strongest Pace in a Decade

Homebuyers were active across the country in the opening months of 2017, depleting inventory and pushing prices higher. Major Bay Area housing markets were among those to see annual price appreciation, and they remain the nation's most expensive. Read more at


Real Estate Roundup: The College Degree That Buys a Home the Fastest

With the right college degree and a strict savings plan, it's possible for millennials to own a home in less than three years. Find out how in Pacific Union's latest Real Estate Roundup, online at

Weekly Real Estate Update

Posted: May 15, 2017

Bay Area Home Sales Slide in April  Except for Luxury Homes

Bay Area home sales dipped from March to April, which is not consistent with typical seasonal patterns. Pacific Union Chief Economist Selma Hepp examines the latest numbers and trends in a new Straight Talk column. It’s online at


Pacific Union's April 2017 Real Estate Update

Bay Area real estate markets are having a strong spring showing, as April's median sales price for single-family homes set or tied a one-year high in Contra Costa County, the East Bay, Marin County, Napa County, San Francisco, and Silicon Valley. Stay up to date on the latest market statistics of note with Pacific Union's April Real Estate Update. You’ll find it exclusively at


Global Tech-Hub Home Prices Growing More Than Twice as Fast as Financial Centers

The tech industry is driving luxury real estate prices in cities such as San Francisco, although even expensive U.S. markets remain a bargain by global standards – particularly China. For details, go to


First-Time Buyers Spending Significantly More on Home Renovations

More news that coincides with National Home Improvement Month: First-time buyers pumped quite a bit more money into renovations in 2016 than they did the previous year, and they're especially keen on installing smart technologies. Read more at


Real Estate Roundup: Bay Area Sees Big-Time Postrecession Home Price Growth

Bay Area home prices are up by more than 50 percent since the end of the recession, helping make San Jose and San Francisco the nation's two most-recovered housing markets. Get this story and others of note in Pacific Union's weekly Real Estate Roundup. It’s online at