Nick's Blog

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

Weekly Real Estate Update

Posted: April 3, 2017

Pacific Union Moves Up the List of Largest U.S. Real Estate Brokerages

Pacific Union is pleased to share the news that we've again moved up the rankings of the largest residential real estate brokerages in the country, an accomplishment made possible by the diligence of our talented team of real estate professionals in both Northern and Southern California. Get the full story at


At 5.0 Percent Unemployment, California's Job Market Reaches Full Employment

California and Bay Area job markets enjoyed continued prosperity in February, though an out-migration of workers from Silicon Valley to other tech hubs is a potential concern. Pacific Union Chief Economist Selma Hepp offers her take on the latest employment numbers. You will find it online exclusively at


Wage Growth Helps Boost First-Time Homebuyer Activity

Student loans and high housing costs are posing challenges for both millennials and Gen Xers, but income gains and a thriving economy helped more of them become homeowners last year, prompting a modest improvement in first-time buyer activity. For details, go to


Bay Area Homes Are Selling at the Nation's Quickest Pace

Bay Area house hunters hoping to score a property this spring before interest rates move even higher should be prepared to act quickly and decisively, as homes in the region are selling faster than anywhere else in the country. Read more at


Americans Are Upbeat About Housing and the Economy as the First Quarter Ends

The first quarter of 2017 is over, and consumers are feeling good about the state of the economy and the housing market, even as more mortgage-rate hikes loom. Read all about it at


Real Estate Roundup: San Francisco Housing Affordability Improves in the First Quarter

Healthy wage growth helped boost affordability in San Francisco in the first quarter, although buying a home here still takes up the bulk of the average income. And tight inventory conditions aren't just a problem here in the Bay Area, as the U.S. home supply drops to a record low. 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: March 27, 2017

Bay Area Pending Home Sales Slide for the Fifth Straight Month

Pending home sales dropped statewide and in the Bay Area in February due to an all-too-familiar culprit: extremely tight inventory. Get the story at


Homebuyers Should See Faster Loan-Close Times This Spring

The time it took to close a home loan dropped in February, a trend that is expected to continue as the traditionally busy spring real estate season officially arrives. Read more at


The Bay Area and California: Home to America's Happiest Residents

Half of the happiest 10 places in the U.S. can be found right here in the Bay Area, yet another reason why so many people want to call the region home. Find out which city took the top spot for happiest residents. It’s online at


What Are New Homeowners' Biggest Worries?

Buying a home will most likely be one of the biggest decisions you ever make, so it's no surprise that many new owners have some anxiety. Here's how to cope with a few of the most common worries. Go online to


Real Estate Roundup: Bay Area Cities Are Among the 10 Hottest Spots for Millennials

In spite of the Bay Area's high housing costs, millennials are still flocking here for the region's plentiful, high-paying jobs. Also, some of the Bay Area's most expensive rental markets have seen significant price declines since last March. Check out these and other stories of note in our latest Real Estate Roundup. It’s on the Pacific Union blog at

Weekly Real Estate Update

Posted: March 20, 2017

The Federal Reserve Sizes Up the Economy: All Quiet on the Western Front

Pacific Union Chief Economist Selma Hepp breaks down the Federal Reserve's decision to raise interest rates for the second time and what it could mean for the Bay Area's housing market. You’ll find it exclusively on the Pacific Union blog at


California, Bay Area Post Strong Annual Home Price Gains in February

A limited number of homes for sale helped push prices higher both statewide and locally last month, although the tight supply conditions could put a damper on the traditionally busy spring season. Get the latest data at


San Francisco Remains the Top U.S. Market for Home Equity

Although California price appreciation slowed in 2016, homeowners still gained about twice as many equity dollars as the national average. San Francisco remains the country's leader in that respect, with virtually all homeowners in positive-equity territory at the end of last year. Read more at


Silicon Valley: Home to 2017's Most Financially Savvy Homebuyers

More than half of America's 10 best cities for money-management skills are located in Silicon Valley, with a Santa Clara County city claiming the top spot for the second year in a row. Find out which Bay Area residents are the most financially savvy. Details are at


Looking for More Living Space? Look Up!

Homeowners with an unfinished attic have a viable option when they want more room. Remodeling an attic may be easier and more cost-effective than a basement, and it's a lot simpler than building an addition. For more information, go to


Real Estate Roundup: Spring Homebuying Season Starts Early This Year

Spring has officially arrived, but U.S. real estate activity was already heating up in February. Also, your credit score might soon get a boost, as the major reporting agencies are relaxing a standard. Get a quick rundown of the latest headlines in Pacific Union's weekly Real Estate Roundup. It’s online at

Weekly Real Estate Update

Posted: March 13, 2017

Pacific Union's February 2017 Real Estate Update

Annual home price movement was a mixed bag across the Bay Area in February, although prices in the East Bay, the Mid-Peninsula, and Lake Tahoe climbed to one-year highs. Get a handle on current market conditions with Pacific Union's latest monthly real estate update. It’s online at


Bay Area Home Sales Continue to Decline in February, but Signs Point to Strong Spring

As in January, Bay Area home sales declined year over year in February, though recent open-house activity in one local county suggests another busy spring. Pacific Union Chief Economist Selma Hepp has an expert, in-depth analysis of the latest real estate statistics in a new Straight Talk column. You’ll find it only at


Recent Job Reports Offer Optimism for 2017

Pacific Union Chief Economist Selma Hepp offers her perspective on the most recent U.S. and California job reports. Read the analysis at


The U.S. Economy Is on Pace for Record 10-Year Growth, Forecast Says

The economy is expected to continue its expansion over the next three years, marking the longest stretch of prosperity on record, although there is a substantial risk of a recession by 2021. For more information, go to


Bay Area Suburbs Are Back on Top of Real Estate's Hot List

U.S. homes remained a sought-after commodity in February – typically a slow month for real estate activity. That was certainly the case here in the Bay Area, where homes sold at the quickest clip in the nation. Read more at


Real Estate Roundup: Silicon Valley Is Still the Most Profitable U.S. Market for Home Flippers

Home flippers in three Bay Area cities pulled down profits in excess of $100,000 last year, while Americans' confidence in the housing market has climbed to a new high. Peruse the latest headlines of note in our weekly Real Estate Roundup. It’s on the Pacific Union blog at

Weekly Real Estate Update

Posted: March 6, 2017

What Are Homebuyers' Biggest Regrets?

Half of all U.S. homeowners would do something differently if they could repeat the purchase process, with saving a larger down payment at the top of the list. Find out what other aspects of the homebuying process invoke a bit of buyer's remorse. The story is on the Pacific Union blog at


San Francisco Homeowner Remodeling Spend Is Among the Nation's Highest

U.S. home-remodeling spend has surpassed its previous peak, as owners in metro areas like San Francisco, where both home values and incomes are high, spare no expense on upgrades. For more information, go to


California: The Toughest State for Millennial Homebuyers

The current U.S. real estate market is proving challenging to the youngest and largest group of homebuyers, with ownership rates for those under 35 at a two-decade low as of 2015. Conditions are even harder for first-time buyers in California, where high prices, tight supply conditions, and poor affordability are keeping more millennials from purchasing homes. Get the full story at


More U.S. Workers Are Telecommuting Amid Traffic Woes

Home sellers with an office space or a bonus room will likely find it an increasingly attractive amenity to buyers, as the number of Americans who telecommute is on the rise. Which comes as fortunate news, considering that traffic and commute times aren't getting any better. Read more at


Real Estate Roundup: Fourth-Quarter Home Purchase Loan Activity Drops Sharply

Rising mortgage rates caused home loan origination activity to dip in the fourth quarter, while they had the opposite effect on refinancing activity. And no surprise here: Three Bay Area counties rank among the nation's top 10 wine destinations in 2017. Check out these and other stories of interest in Pacific Union's weekly Real Estate Roundup. It’s online at

Weekly Real Estate Update

Posted: February 27, 2017

Low Affordability, Inventory Drive Bay Area Homebuyers to Bedroom Communities

California home sales got a boost in the inaugural month of 2017, while the number of transactions trended lower here in the Bay Area – particularly in the more expensive counties. Get the latest facts and figures at


San Francisco: America's Healthiest City in 2017

Here's another feather in San Francisco's cap and another reason why so many people desire to own a home here: The city is the best in the U.S. when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle. Read more at


This Old House: Tips for Maintaining an Older Home

Older homes are beautiful and often full of character, history, and charm, but they have unique needs when it comes to care, repairs, and maintenance. If you're considering purchasing an older or historic home, it can be helpful to get a high-level overview of some of the main issues and challenges you might encounter. For more information, go to


Real Estate Roundup: January U.S. Home Sales Strongest in a Decade

Nationwide, existing home sales had their best month in nearly 10 years in January, while Santa Rosa ranks as one of the 10 cleanest cities in America. Catch these stories and more in Pacific Union's latest weekly Real Estate Roundup. It’s online at

Weekly Real Estate Update

Posted: February 21, 2017

Wage Growth Slightly Boosts Housing Affordability in Three Bay Area Counties

Income gains helped keep California's housing affordability in check in the fourth quarter and even resulted in some modest improvements in the Bay Area, though only one-quarter of the region's residents can afford to purchase a home. For more information, go to


A-Plus: Silicon Valley Tops List of California's Best 2017 School Districts

Top-quality public school districts never fail to attract homebuyers, and California's three best are located in Santa Clara County. Find out which other Bay Area school districts are at the head of the class in 2017. Details are online at


First-Time Buyers Overestimate Down-Payment Size

The vast majority of Americans who don't own a home want to purchase one in the future, although affordability is a primary concern. The down payment, however, may not be as big of a hurdle as many first-time buyers believe. Read more at


Half of U.S. Metro Areas Reach New Home Price Peaks

Appreciation sped up in the final three months of 2016, pushing prices to new all-time highs in just more than 50 percent of U.S. housing markets. Here in the Bay Area, annual home price growth outpaced the national rate, and the region's two largest cities remain America's most expensive. Get the facts at


Pets Have a Big Say in the Homes We Buy, Sell, and Remodel

Eight out of 10 respondents to a recent National Association of Realtors survey said that pet-related considerations play a role when deciding on their next living situation. The story is on Pacific Union’s blog at


Real Estate Roundup: Two Bay Area Suburbs Are Among the Nation's Most Sought-After

Suburban communities in Alameda and Santa Clara counties rank among the 10 hottest housing markets in the U.S., while April Fools' Day is the most popular day of the year for new home listings. Check out Pacific Union's weekly Real Estate Roundup for these and other stories of interest. It’s online at