Friday, January 25, 2008

Busy, busy, busy

OK, I apologize for such a large gap between posts. The market has been very active which means I've been really busy.

Los Altos Is A COOL CITY!
On Tuesday night the Los Altos City Council voted to have the mayor sign the US Mayors Climate Protection Agreement which has been signed by nearly all of our neighbor cities. The council also agreed to spend $15,000 on a study on Los Altos use of energy and other resources. The purpose of agreement and the study will be to enable Los Altos to take a leadership role in conserving resources, saving money, and protecting the environment.

For more information on the Cool Cities initiative go here

Market Update
Several homes that have come on the market sold quickly including 11 Middlebury and 1509 Country Club Drive. Both sold with multiple offers after their first weekend open. Middlebury was on at $2.3M and probably sold for $2.4 or $2.5. Country Club was on for $2.2M and probably sold for $2.2M or maybe $2.25M.

Inventory is still low with only xx homes on the market. We should see another 5-6 homes come on the market this coming week pushing our available homes up to the low 30s. Open house activity has been brisk. The new home on Guadalupe had over 50 visitors on Saturday. My open house on Stanley had close to 20 visitors (not including neighbors or agents) over the weekend.

The two newest listings are 287 Marich Way ($2.2M) and 556 Cuesta Drive ($1.4M). Marich has seen a lot of activity in the last year including two sales in the last 2 months. Cuesta should sell quickly since it's in the "sweet spot" of Los Altos locations and price.

Downtown Events and Openings
The Los Altos Village Association will launch the Los Altos Valentine's Experience next week. This is your chance to "buy local" and get your sweetheart a first-class valentine's surprise with goodies from town. Look to next weeks Town Crier for details.

Also, last Friday the new restuarant, L'Acquolina, opened at First and Main Streets. This new hotspot features regional European cuisine (northern Italian / southern French), a great atmosphere, and exceptional service. The owner and head chef, Fernando Urroz, is highly regarded for his work at Tre Scalini and brings those talents to Los Altos. Stop by for dinner as soon as you can.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Happy New Year! Hot Market Coming!

The final numbers are in and the average sales price of a single-family home in Los Altos rose 9% in 2007. For those buyers who are waiting for a price drop, stop waiting. Prices will continue to rise in 2008. I'll make my estimate now that prices will rise 5-7% in 2008.

Why are prices so high and still rising when the rest of the Bay Area is dropping or holding steady? Simple - demand. There are effectively 19 houses on the market and only one that I know of coming on next week (there will probably be another 4-5 new listings next week). However, there are dozens of buyers looking for homes here because of the excellent schools and overall quality of life.

What hasn't sold are homes that are overpriced with stubborn sellers. Sellers will often have an idea of what their home is worth and will hold firm regardless of what else happens. Getting a home with a stubborn seller is difficult, if not impossible.

Most of the other homes that haven't sold are in poor locations or offer little room for improvement (small lots are a challenge).

If you plan to buy, do so before the end of February because March onward is when the buyers swarm and multiple bids occur. If you plan to sell, it isn't a bad time to list because there are a LOT of buyers out there.