Friday, July 13, 2012

East Bay Real Estate Neighborhood Data For 2nd Quarter 2012 Now Available

I have just posted on my website sales data for the 2nd quarter of 2012.  This data is pecfic to neighborhoods such as Rockridge, Gourmet Ghetto, Elmwood, Thousand Oaks, South Berkeley, Berkeley Hills, Montclair, Grand/Lake, Glenview, Dimond, Laurel, Redwood Heights, El Cerrito, Albany, Richmond View, Richmond Annex, Piedmont, Piedmont Ave, Piedmont Pines, Thousand Oaks.  Check it out by CLICKING HERE

Friday, May 4, 2012

Good News for the Bay Area Economy

A colleague of mine had the privilege of attending the Fisher Center Real Estate Conference. Ken Rosen is one of the foremost real estate economists in the nation, and he was the keynote speaker. He gave a valuable macro view of the economy and how it affects real estate, both nationwide and in the Bay Area. A few points to share with you:

  • The Bay Area is the strongest region in the nation. It is experiencing a boom similar to the late 90s. 
  • However, the national market has bottomed but remains weak.
  • Projection for 2012: 65% chance of moderate recovery; 20% chance of strong recovery; 15% chance of double dip.
  • However, there is high uncertainty in the future, particularly in 2013. This is because tax laws may change in September/October, Iran and the Euro remain unsettled, and the government is projected to "inflation away the debt." 
  • We are in a recession only in politicians' minds. There is a projected increase in 2012 GDP of 2.5%.
  • Only a small percentage of the US is unemployed. The U.S. is projected to add 2M jobs in 2012.
  • Consumer confidence is very high and increasing for the wealthy and the mid-aged (35-54).
  • 3.5-4% inflation projected over next decade; when inflation increases, the real estate market booms (real estate is a great hedge against inflation).
  • In the Bay Area, unemployment is only 4.2% (those with less than high school education, it is 12.6%). However, it is trending down for all.
  • Looking at job growth by market, two of the highest markets are in the Bay Area: San Jose is #3 (3.5% growth, or 35K jobs) and San Francisco is #5 (2.8%/28K). Oakland, "a spill-over economy," is #14 (1.6%/15K).
  • Housing starts have bottomed, resales are improving and affordability is at a 30-year high.
  • US housing inventory recently plunged, "always" a sign of improvements to come.
  • San Francisco rentals are the highest in the nation: a 13.3% increase year over year, 3% vacancy rate.
  • Case Shiller has said values are not yet increasing - they are "wrong." Based upon numbers provided to Mr. Rosen by Red Oak Realty, values in the top markets in the Bay Area have all increased 2-6% in Q1 2012.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

858 Neilson Street OPEN Sunday (2/12) from 11-1

Sorry about the weird time for this open house.   The tenants have a small child who naps between 1 and 4.  This house is difficult to get into to see so if you are interested please come by.  We'll be looking at offers next week

Short Sales

There is a lot of talk about short sales and how they effect one's credit.  I have learned that if a seller stays current on his payments right up to the closing of the short sale that he can immediately purchase a new home as long as he buys down. (Meaning that the new property has to have a value less than the one sold via short sale.)

Right now I am working as the listing agent on two short sales with Bank of America.  What I like about the program I am using (cooperative short sale) is that an inital price is agreed upon ahead of time so the buyer knows going into the transaction what the lender will accept.  It takes a lot of the ambiguity out of the transaction.  One listing at 858 Neilson in Berkeley is listed at $465K.  We know the lender will approve that price.  By the way this property is open on Sunday 2/12 from 11-1.  Come by and see what a bargain looks like.  This house is tenant occupied and they have a small child who naps during  the regular open house time.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Emergency Supply Caches Available to Berkeley Neighborhoods

Neighborhood and community organizations who are prepared to be self-sufficient in a major disaster can now apply to get free containers stocked with emergency response equipment from the City of Berkeley.

The Office of Emergency Services now has applications available for the 2012 Community Emergency Supply Program application. Measure GG passed in November of 2008 provided funding for a limited number of emergency supply caches to be awarded to neighborhoods or community organizations that show a high degree of preparedness and organization. The Community Emergency Supply Program has been supporting neighborhood organizations with supplies and training since 2003. There are currently 62 City-awarded disaster equipment caches distributed throughout the city.

It is essential that every household, family, apartment tenant, neighborhood and community group be prepared to survive for five to seven days on their own, until utilities and services can be restored.  The disaster cache program aims to foster awareness and provides neighborhoods and community organizations a goal for a minimum level of readiness to attain.  No one is prepared until everyone is prepared.

The equipment that includes portable generators, fire suppression hoses and nozzles, disaster first aid kit, portable communication radios and other safety equipment.

Caches will be awarded based on several criteria, including geographical distribution across the City, the risk assessment of the neighborhood, and the level of neighborhood involvement in the Community Emergency Response Training program.

The 2012 Community Emergency Supply Program is accepting applications through May 25, 2012. Applications can be picked up at the Fire Department Administrative Offices at 2100 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, 2nd Floor, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., or online on the Office of Emergency Services web page at

Residents with questions can also contact Khin Chin, in the Office of Emergency Services via email or phone, (510) 981-5506.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Positive Press About Oakland!

The New York Times posted an article about the best places on planet earth to visit, and you know what? Oakland is listed as number 5!  Check out the article here:

"The 45 Places to Go in 2012"
But there is more!

"The West Coast Brooklyn"
This short video just came out.  Hope you enjoy it!

So I say why visit when you can live here?!
Best wishes as we enter the Year of the Dragon