Nick's Blog

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

Weekly Real Estate Update

Posted: May 8, 2017

Pacific Union CEO Mark McLaughlin: Innovation or Just More Conflicts of Interest?

Pacific Union CEO Mark A. McLaughlin weighs in on Palo Alto-based DeLeon Realty's recent decision to waive buy-side commissions in home sales where its agents work both sides of the transaction. Get his perspective at


Selma Hepp: U.S. Job Growth Rebounds Strongly From the First Quarter in April

The U.S. unemployment rate fell to its lowest level in nearly a decade in April. Pacific Union Chief Economist Selma Hepp examines the latest job numbers and trends. Her analysis is at


Key Points From the "Golden Bridge From China" Event

Read a quick recap of the May 2 "Golden Bridge From China" event, which featured a panel of experts – including Pacific Union CEO Mark A. McLaughlin – who discussed current trends shaping Chinese investment in U.S. real estate. Read the highlights at


Two-Thirds of the Best-Paying U.S. Companies Call the Bay Area Home

For the second straight year, Bay Area-based tech heavyweights dominate the list of the nation's highest-paying companies – good news for anyone who's landed a job at one of them considering the region's extremely high housing costs. See which local companies offer the best salaries at


Home-Remodeling Spend Surges, as Baby Boomers Lead the Way

Happy National Home Improvement Month: Increasing home equity and confidence in the U.S. housing market helped lift remodeling spend significantly over the past year, with another boost expected in the coming year. Get the full story at


Real Estate Roundup: How Much Does a Golden Gate Bridge View Cost?

No surprise here: San Francisco homebuyers who want a Golden Gate Bridge View are going to pay handsomely for it. Also, Bay Area homeowners remained the nation's most equity-rich in the first quarter. These stories and more in the latest Pacific Union Real Estate Roundup, online at

Weekly Real Estate Update

Posted: May 1, 2017

New Tax-Reform Proposal Is Only a Sneak Preview

Pacific Union Chief Economist Selma Hepp offers her take on the potential impacts of the Trump administration's proposed tax changes and how they might affect homeowners and homebuyers. You’ll find it exclusively at


Bay Area Home Sellers Net Biggest First-Quarter Gains in the U.S.

U.S. home sellers pulled in the biggest gains in nearly a decade in the first quarter of 2017, with Bay Area and California markets leading the pack. Read more at


California Creates 20 Percent of U.S. Jobs in March

Despite having reached full employment, California continues to add jobs at a steady rate. Pacific Union Chief Economist Selma Hepp examines March job numbers in California and the Bay Area. Get all the facts and figures at


Most Americans Predict Continued Home Price Gains Into 2018

Although most Americans think home prices will keep increasing in the coming months, most also still think now is a good time to buy a home. The story is on the Pacific Union blog at


Creating an Older-Adult-Friendly Home

The number of Americans age 65 and older is projected to more than double by 2060 – from 46 million to more than 98 million. And with an increasingly aging population comes the need to modify homes to suit that demographic. Check out these tips for making a home more amenable to older adults:


Real Estate Roundup: Bay Area Pending Home Sales Continue Downward Spiral

Bay Area pending home sales slid for the sixth straight month in March, the result of a continual shortage of affordable homes for sale. Check out recent notable headlines in Pacific Union's weekly Real Estate Roundup at

Weekly Real Estate Update

Posted: April 24, 2017

Pacific Union Quarterly Report: Q1 2017

The median home sales price increased in all of Pacific Union's regions on an annual basis in the first quarter of 2017. Get the latest market statistics, plus commentary from Pacific Union Chief Economist Selma Hepp, in our first-quarter real estate report. You’ll find it exclusively at


Sunshine After the Rain: Bay Area Housing Markets Bounce Back in March

Sales volume in the Bay Area saw a bigger-than-usual spike from February to March, promising a strong spring season. Pacific Union Chief Economist Selma Hepp examines the latest trends across the region and in individual counties. Read her analysis at


Bay Area Home Sales Volume Surges This Spring

After a particularly rainy January and February, Bay Area home sales jumped in March as the region dried out a bit, although low inventory and the consequent affordability conditions are likely to stifle activity as the year progresses. Read more at


Lawn Care: Know the Difference Between Not Enough and Too Much

You risk harming your lawn and landscaping by not paying enough attention to it – or paying too much attention to it. Check out our spring lawn-care tips at


Real Estate Roundup: U.S. Home Sales Remain at the Highest Point Since Previous Boom

Home sales continue to surge across the country this spring, with smaller properties appreciating significantly faster than their larger counterparts. Catch up on the latest housing-market headlines of note in Pacific Union's weekly Real Estate Roundup. It’s online at

Weekly Real Estate Update

Posted: April 17, 2017

Warriors' Draymond Green Runs a Pacific Union Open House

What happens when a Bay Area NBA All-Star goes undercover as a real estate professional? Check it out at

Home Prices in Four Bay Area Counties Are Still Short of Previous Highs

Home prices in San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara counties are now more than 20 percent higher than their former peaks, but prices in other counties haven't fully rebounded yet. Get the data at


Vacation, Investment Home Prices Climb to Decade High

Tight inventory conditions helped push both investment and vacation home prices up in 2016, although they also contributed to sales declines for the latter. For details, go to

Gates, Plugs, and Guards, Oh My: Childproofing Your Home

There's no way around it: If you are a new parent or are new to having children in your home, you will need to make a few adjustments. Some of these modifications are free, easy, and intuitive, while other will require a little more effort and perhaps a small investment. Read more at

Real Estate Roundup: Bay Area Foreclosure Activity Is Now Far Below Prerecession Level

Foreclosure activity has dropped below prerecession levels in about half of U.S. real estate markets, including those in the Bay Area. Also, one Los Gatos family just got a teal paint job on their home courtesy of the San Jose Sharks. Check out these and other local stories of note in Pacific Union's latest weekly Real Estate Roundup. It’s online at

Weekly Real Estate Update

Posted: April 10, 2017

March Job Growth Slows, but There Is a Silver Lining

Although the U.S. economy added fewer-than-expected jobs in March, last week's employment report was overall positive. Pacific Union Chief Economist Selma Hepp takes a look at the latest numbers. You’ll find it exclusively at


Bay Area Suburb Remains Hottest U.S. Housing Market as Spring Arrives

In the midst of the busiest spring real estate season on record, Bay Area and California markets are still the most sought-after in America. For details, go online to


California, Bay Area Property-Tax Rates Are Lower Than the National Average

Bay Area residents are no stranger to exorbitant housing prices and a generally high cost of living, so prospective homebuyers will be relieved to learn that the region's property-tax rates aren't nearly as large as they are in many other parts of the country. Get the facts at


What Neighborhood Attributes Add Value to a Home? You May Be Surprised.

There are many neighborhood attributes that can affect a home's value – some obvious and some not. For example: A home located within a mile of a surf break gains more than $100,000 in value. Learn more at


Homeowners Boosting Curb Appeal With Unique Front Yards

The spring is the most popular time of year to undertake a home landscaping project, as winter storms fade and the weather gets warmer. And while the backyard remains the most popular location for outdoor renovation products, most homeowners who are tackling front-yard jobs want to make sure that their property stands out from the crowd. Details are at


Real Estate Roundup: Many Bay Area Tech Workers Are Seeking Jobs Elsewhere

A new report reveals a potential exodus of tech workers from the Bay Area, as rents continue to rise in San Francisco and San Jose. Get these and other stories of note in Pacific Union's weekly Real Estate Roundup. It’s online at