Nick's Blog

Weekly Real Estate Update

Posted: February 13, 2017

Pacific Union's January 2017 Real Estate Update

The median sales price for homes in Pacific Union's Napa County, Silicon Valley, and Sonoma Valley regions climbed to one-year highs in the first month of 2017, while low inventory remains a challenge for the region. See how activity played out across the Bay Area last month in Pacific Union's January 2017 Real Estate Update, which is full of the latest market data. You’ll find it exclusively at


Bay Area Housing Activity Slightly Slower in January as Markets Diverge

Pacific Union Chief Economist Selma Hepp examines January home sales volume activity and inventory across the Bay Area and finds noticeable differences between individual markets. Read her expert analysis at


Bay Area Home Sellers Reaped the Nation's Largest Profits in 2016

Last year turned out to be an opportune one for U.S. home sellers, who realized the biggest profits in almost a decade. And here in the Bay Area, sellers in the San Francisco, San Jose, and Santa Rosa metro areas enjoyed the largest returns in the country. Read more at


U.S. Housing Affordability Falls to Six-Year Low

It's not just the Bay Area and California that are experiencing major housing affordability challenges: it's the entire country, and the rising mortgage rates that ensued in the wake of the U.S. presidential election are exacerbating the problem. For more, go to


Real Estate Roundup: Bay Area Still Has the Most Equity-Rich Homeowners

There are more equity-rich homeowners in San Francisco and San Jose than anywhere else in the country, while the latter city is ranked as one of the best U.S. places to live in 2017. Check out these and other stories of note in our weekly Real Estate Roundup. It’s online at

Weekly Real Estate Update

Posted: February 6, 2017

Strong January U.S. Job Gains Continue Expectations for Sustained Economic Growth

January's U.S. job numbers paint an encouraging picture, Pacific Union Chief Economist Selma Hepp reports in her latest Straight Talk column. ‪It’s online at


Forecast: U.S. Home Sales and Prices to Rise in 2017

U.S. home sales volume and prices should continue to increase this year, although rising mortgage rates and declining affordability will prove challenging – particularly in expensive markets like the Bay Area. For the outlook, go to


Bay Area Home Prices Eclipsed Previous Highs in 2016

U.S. home prices are just short of their prerecession peaks, while California still has a bit further to go. Here in the Bay Area, however, prices surpassed their previous highs during 2016. For more, go to


Direct From CES: Digital Gadgets Galore and Smart Home Technologies

The recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas showed off a dazzling array of digital gadgets and smart home technologies, including home-automation devices, ultrahigh-resolution television sets, and home control systems. See some examples on the Pacific Union blog at


Creating a Healthier Home With Feng Shui: a Primer

Check out our quick guide to feng shui design practices and tips for incorporating it into your home. You’ll find it on Pacific Union's blog at


Real Estate Roundup: California Homebuyers Face Lengthy Down-Payment Savings Time

San Francisco homebuyers should put their savings plans on steroids if they hope to amass enough for a down payment. Also, February is the best month for home shoppers to snag a bargain. Check out these and other stories of note in our weekly Real Estate Roundup. It’s online at

Weekly Real Estate Update

Posted: January 31, 2017

Pacific Union Forms Strategic Partnership With Smart Home Pioneer Nest Labs

Pacific Union is proud to announce that we've formed a strategic partnership with Nest Labs, an innovator of smart-home technologies. Read all about it at


Bay Area Housing Markets Begin 2017 as the Nation's Hottest

Low inventory and rising mortgage rates are motivating homebuyers as the year kicks off, with three Bay Area cities ranking as the nation's most sought-after real estate markets. Details are at


California’s Job Growth Slows in December but Ends 2016 Stronger Than the U.S.

Despite a slower addition of jobs in December than in other months, the Golden State's employment growth is still outpacing the U.S. Pacific Union Chief Economist Selma Hepp takes a look at the latest numbers. You’ll find the story only on the Pacific Union blog at


Bay Area Housing Markets Are Among the World's 10 Least Affordable

While the Bay Area's housing affordability crunch is all too familiar for local home shoppers, a recent report brings a global perspective to the situation, with San Jose and San Francisco ranking among the planet's least affordable housing markets. Read more at


Home Amenities More Important Than Size, Buyers Say

New home sizes dropped for the first time in seven years in 2016, which isn't likely to trouble the majority of buyers, who are willing to sacrifice square footage for the right features. Details are at

Weekly Real Estate Update

Posted: January 23, 2017

Pacific Union Quarterly Report: Q4 2016

Check out Pacific Union's comprehensive fourth-quarter report, which offers the latest regional and community-level real estate statistics for all of our Northern California regions, along with expert commentary from Chief Economist Selma Hepp. Read the report at


Annual Home Prices Up in All Nine Bay Area Counties in December

The Bay Area enjoyed uniform year-over-year home price appreciation in the final month of 2016, though persistent tight inventory conditions and affordability will likely remain challenges for the region and the state in 2017. Get the full story at


Most Bay Area Home-Remodeling Jobs Projected to Pay Back in 2017

Homeowners in the nation's hottest real estate markets can expect to reap substantial returns on home-renovation projects that they undertake this year, with the majority of jobs in San Francisco and San Jose projected to earn back 100 percent of their costs.For details, go to


A Checklist for Finding Your Dream Neighborhood

Commute, noise, schools, and more: Check out our high-level list of neighborhood factors to consider when plotting the location of your next home. Head over to


Real Estate Roundup: Mortgage Rate Hikes Will Cost Bay Area Buyers the Most

Here's a bit of timely news for potential Bay Area homebuyers who are sitting on the fence: Rising mortgage rates could cost you up to an extra $450 per month when they reach 5 percent. Get these and other headlines of note in Pacific Union's weekly Real Estate Roundup. It’s online at

Weekly Real Estate Update

Posted: January 16, 2017

Election Outcome and Rising Mortgage Rates Temporarily Slow Bay Area Home Sales

Home sales across the Bay Area declined more than usual in the final month of 2016. Pacific Union Chief Economist Selma Hepp takes a look behind the numbers in her latest analysis. Read the full story at


San Francisco: Still a Top Five Global City for Foreign Real Estate Investors

Even with the uncertainties surrounding the incoming presidential administration, international investors remain almost unanimously confident in U.S. real estate, with San Francisco again ranking as one of the most popular global markets. Get the facts at


In the Bay Area, Land Is More Valuable Than the Homes That Sit on It

A research firm revealed a truth about Bay Area properties: Your home is worth far less than the land it sits on. For more information, go to


U.S. Home Construction to See Healthy Gains in 2017

Single-family home production, housing starts, and permits are all expected to rise this year, providing at least some relief to a market starved for inventory, although rising mortgage rates will likely exact a toll on affordability. Read more at


Renovated Kitchens Equal Healthier Homeowners, Survey Finds

It turns out that remodeling your kitchen can actually lead to a healthier lifestyle. Get a glimpse into the major kitchen-remodeling trends of 2017. It’s on Pacific Union's blog at


Weekly Real Estate Update

Posted: January 9, 2017

Pacific Union CEO Mark A. McLaughlin Named to List of Real Estate Influencers

Pacific Union is honored to share the news that company CEO Mark A. McLaughlin has been named to an esteemed list of industry influencers for 2017. Read all about it at

Bay Area Projected to Lead U.S. for Home Price Gains in 2017

Home price appreciation in the San Francisco and San Jose metro areas is expected to more than double the national rate this year, while rising mortgage rates will shut more first-time buyers out of the housing market. Get the full story at

How Long Will This Take? A Look at Major Home-Renovation Projects

Here’s a short and handy guide on what timelines to expect for some common home-renovation projects. It’s on the Pacific Union blog at

Real Estate Roundup: Voice Control Is the Leading Smart Home Feature

The majority of Americans who have adopted smart home technologies want to control those systems with their voice, a new survey finds. Also, mortgage rates dropped for the first time in two months, and Bay Area rents are also falling. Get these stories and more in Pacific Union's latest Real Estate Roundup. You can find it online at

Weekly Real Estate Update

Posted: January 3, 2017

California's 2017 Economic Outlook Is Bright

Since the end of the recession, California's economy has been one of the top performers in the U.S., buoyed by the robust home price appreciation recorded over the past half-dozen years. Get the full story at


Four Bay Area Counties Still More Affordable Than Their Historic Norms

Although Bay Area home shoppers can expect to funnel a hefty portion of their incomes into mortgage payments, about half of local counties are still more affordable than their historic norms. Read more at


New Year Resolutions for Homebuyers and Sellers

Maybe you've been thinking about buying a home in 2017 – or selling one. Now is a good time to set some realistic real estate goals (call them resolutions, if it helps!) for the weeks and months ahead. Here are some ideas to help you get started. For more, go to


Real Estate Roundup: Nearly Half of Young Americans Live With Their Parents

More millennials are living with their parents than at any time since before World War II, while mortgage rates continued to climb as the year ended. Get the lowdown in Pacific Union's inaugural Real Estate Roundup of 2017. It’s on our blog at

Weekly Real Estate Update

Posted: December 27, 2016

California Again Rules List of Hottest Real Estate Markets as Year Ends

As 2016 draws to a close, demand for real estate across the U.S. and California shows few signs of letting up, with San Francisco retaining its title as America's most sought-after market. Get the full story at


U.S. Housing Inventory Woes to Continue in 2017

Home sales are surging as 2016 nears its end, though inventory constraints remain a challenge both nationwide and particularly here in the Bay Area. For more information, go to


Pacific Union Marks 25 Years of Giving Back to Bay Area Charities

The year 2017 will mark the 25th anniversary of Pacific Union's Community Fund, which enables our real estate professionals to give back to charitable organizations in their communities. Our story is online at


Blended, Golden, and Sophisticated: 2017 Interior-Design Trends

Gold accents, mixed metals, and darker bathrooms are on the list of home-decor trends to expect in the upcoming year. Read more at

Weekly Real Estate Update

Posted: December 19, 2016

Pacific Union Expands in California, Merges With Los Angeles-Based John Aaroe Group

Pacific Union is very excited to share the news that we've extended our firm's geographic footprint to key Southern California real estate markets by merging with Los Angeles-based John Aaroe Group. Read more at


The Federal Reserve's D-Day: Interest-Rate Hike Reflects Confidence in the U.S. Economy

In her latest analysis, Pacific Union Chief Economist Selma Hepp breaks down the Federal Reserve's decision to increase interest rates. Read it at


Home Prices Are Relaxing in Silicon Valley's Most Expensive Pockets

Although Silicon Valley still ranks among the country's most expensive places to buy a home, prices in the region are leveling off, with Atherton losing its title as the priciest ZIP code in the U.S. Get the facts at


San Francisco Ranks No. 1 in U.S. for Homes With Positive Equity

More U.S. homeowners moved into positive-equity territory in the third quarter, with the San Francisco area again leading the nation in that respect. For details, go to


The Western U.S. Is Bullish on Selling Homes but Not So Much on Buying

Residents of Western U.S. states are more likely than those in other regions to say that now is a good time to sell a home, according to a new survey. But they're more wary about buying a home. For more information, go to


Real Estate Roundup: The World's Two Richest People Could Buy Every Home in San Francisco

If Bill Gates and Warren Buffett pooled their fortunes, almost every home in San Francisco could be theirs. And while first-time buyers face several challenges, 2017 may be kinder to them. Get the latest news of note in Pacific Union's latest Real Estate Roundup. It’s online at

Weekly Real Estate Update

Posted: December 12, 2016

Which Bay Area Housing Markets Are Hot and Which Are Not?

Pacific Union Chief Economist Selma Hepp maps home price appreciation and deceleration across individual Bay Area communities this year. This exclusive analysis is available on Pacific Union’s blog at

Bay Area Homebuyers Push November Sales 10 Percent Higher Than Last Year

Pacific Union Chief Economist Selma Hepp examines November home sales trends across the Bay Area and individual counties. Get her expert take on the numbers and what they mean at

Pacific Union's November 2016 Real Estate Update

Bay Area homebuyers expressed slightly less urgency in November than in October, with the pace of sales slowing across most of Pacific Union's regions. Stay informed on local market conditions with Pacific Union's latest data-packed Real Estate Update. It’s online at

Suburban Communities Fit the Bill for Millennial Homebuyers

The U.S. remains a nation dominated by suburban dwellers, and the Bay Area is no exception. And contrary to popular belief, the majority of millennials are suburbanites, and most of them are buying their first homes in these types of communities. Read more at

Update Your Bathroom Without Breaking the Bank

You don't have to spend a lot of cash to freshen up your bathroom. Check out this list of helpful tips and resources to breathe new life into your space. It’s online at

Real Estate Roundup: Luxury Home Sales Spike in Lake Tahoe Area

Luxury home sales have been rising for the past year, with one Lake Tahoe area county seeing the largest such gains in the country. Also, mortgage rates rose once again in advance of the upcoming Federal Reserve meeting. Get a high-level view of what's going on with the housing market in Pacific Union's weekly Real Estate Roundup at