Jerry’s Journal of 2008
December 29, 2008. – – – 2 new listings were posted during my hiatus, 1 in San Jose and 1 in San Mateo. 1 sale
was reported in the San Mateo Highlands.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
There are now 11 Eichler homes currently on the market in the Bay Area. They range in price from $519,000 in Palo Alto, to $1,499,000 in Palo Alto.
1 is in Cupertino, 3 are in Palo Alto, 3 are in the San Mateo Highlands, 1 is in San Mateo,
1 is in Sunnyvale, and 2 are in San Jose.
12-29-08. Back in the saddle to a bit of activity during the holiday. As mentioned early this month, the market
activity on my Eichler Market Data page got down into the 60's – 66 to be exact – and will probably stay around that area
for a month or so. Typical.
As mentioned last week, I'm happy to announce that I have formed a new relationship with a very active and capable team
of realtors, so that Eichler enthusiasts and home sellers can continue to benefit from the activities and history of
Eichler Homes Realty – now infused with new energy and talent. Mark Easterday and Sabrina Huang, of the MESH Network,
Eichler owners and enthusiasts of "prime order", will bring new and fresh efforts to "the cause". You'll soon see a new
and improved website / blog, that will add a much more informative service to our readers. And of course you will have a
new team of informed and dedicated realtors to assist you in your real estate needs. 2009 should be a very interesting
"real estate year", and our new association should make it even more so – for all of us!
12-22-08. We're winding up the year with a bit of sales activity that is bringing our inventory down close to single digits. Only a couple more sales – with no listings – and we'll accomplish that. I'm sure you will see that occur during the month of January, and that usually is a good sign or precursor of a very active spring listing and sales season.
Have a great holiday week, and a very, very Merry Christmas! I'll have some rather exciting news regarding the future of Eichler Homes Realty and yours truly next week. See you then!
12-15-08. Mid-December, and our slow market continues. A week ago I reported 1 new listing, and 1 sale. This past week there was 1 sale, and no new listings. Typical.
Progress continues well on the "2-story Lower Level" Eichler being built in Silicon Valley. The sizable concrete piers have been sunk, piping for aspects of the geothermal heating/cooling system are in place, and one enormous hole for the lower level has been dug. As I recall, some 140 truckloads full of 18 yards of good ole'adobe soil have been removed. It is an enormous, virtually lot-line to lot-line hole. Two walls remain, which has made for an interesting excavation! It appears that all is on schedule. I'll continue with brief updates periodically.
12-8-08. The weather is turning cool, as is our marketplace. We did enjoy 1 new listings occurring last week, as well as a new sale. It was a good example of a property, priced well, with a sale occurring in a couple of weeks. Not bad in this market. If you wish to draw a conclusion based on one property, that home was priced about 10% lower than similar properties sold earlier in the year. As I have mentioned before, during the last real estate downturn during the bubble bursting in Silicon Valley, the average home in our Eichler marketplace sold for about 10-12% less than levels before the burst. Folks that bought at that time are happy they did – yes, even now.
12-1-08. We've entered the last month of this very testy year, continuing the rather slow pace of recent weeks. Note that the Eichler Market Data page indicates the total transactions for the last 6 months number 76. That's the lowest number I recall occurring for a very long time. And, it will very likely go into the 60's before the year is out. I suppose the "proof of the pudding" will be what happens in our marketplace come about February of next year. As you likely recall, that is the time when the active spring real estate season gets going around here, and it will be interesting to see what home sellers and home buyers do then.
11-24-08. Another slow week in Eichlerdom – as in the rest of the real estate market – but check the Eichler Market Data page, and you'll see that about 20% of our inventory sold last week. Selling 4 out of about 20 homes would be the envy of many markets, micro market or not. We're now at the time when you can really expect not too much to be happening in our marketplace. Between the lousy economy, horrible financial mess, and now simple seasonality, not much will be happening until early spring of next year. If you are a homebuyer, look at some of these prices. I really doubt that you will be seeing our market place suffer much more. The modest price reductions that have been occurring are resulting in rather quick sales.
11-17-08. A bit of activity occurred over the weekend with a couple of sales, and as you see above a couple of price reductions. No question about it – these are very strange and testy financial times. Politicos and governmental officials have never seen anything quite like it – nor have I. All things considered, if history is any guide, patience and persistence will pay off here in Silicon Valley.
11-10-08. Little activity again, other than the media's attempt to "inform." For those of you that take the S F Chronicle, I'm sure that the inner front-page headline in Sunday's edition, "Zip Code Guide to Lost Wealth" really grabbed your attention – as was intended. Hopefully you read the article from staff writer Carolyn Said very carefully, because if you didn't it could be quite misleading. While the methodology to come up with the statistics upon which the article was based was an attempt to "inform" with limited numbers of real estate transactions, from my perspective it is far more misleading than informative.
One has to be careful with sales price per square foot comparisons from one period of time to another like period, in particular in an area the size of a 5-digit zip code. Sales price per square foot comparisons within a zip code can vary quite substantially during any period of time, and when one compares such statistics to another period, like or not, it can be apples and oranges – or worse.
I can assure you that such was the case in the Palo Alto zip code 94303, a sizable Eichler area, where Ms. Said stats indicated that year over year comparisons accounted for a 57.2% loss in value, this year versus last year. That would mean that, on average, an Eichler that sold between July and October for at least $1,000,000 last year (there were more than a few), sold for $428,000 this year. If you really think that was the case, as the saying goes, "I have a bridge – – -." Seriously, just take a quick look at my Eichler Market Data page, and focus on Palo Alto sales from July to October this year. The numbers speak for themselves.
11-3-08. Much the same to report this first Monday in November as was mentioned last week. 'Tis a very slow time in the real estate business. As I completed the Eichler Market Data page this past weekend, listing the 2 new listings posted during the week, and the 1 sale, (that's all!), it was interesting to note the comparison of the 2 new listings. The home in San Jose was listed for $490,000, and the one in Los Altos was listed for $2,295,000. There are considerable differences in most aspects of the homes, notably square footage, lot size, and of course location, which of course accounts for the pricing disparity. But it also brought to my attention the success of Joe Eichler's contribution to mid-century modern architectural acceptance. Same architects, same post and beam building system, and same material concepts were used in both of those homes, but the Los Altos home was built about 15 years later. Inflation – sure, location – absolutely, size et al – sure – but the understanding and acceptance of classic contemporary architecture must have made Joe quite proud.
10-27-08. The activity of both listing and selling still remains minimal in Eichlerdom. An occasional new listing
occurs, and then an occasional sale. Folks that have their homes on the market are still harkening back to the not too
distant past, and when listing at those past prices, they are usually feeling the effects of this lousy market. If the economic
uncertainty continues to persist, and at this point not much points to clarity, I think we may be looking at several months
of the same relative lack of real estate activity. You expect this to occur about Thanksgiving, not now!
10-21-08. No question about it now. I would say that the "Pause" I refered to last week, really marks the
timing of the impact that the financial fiasco has had on our particular real estate market. Absolutely nothing occured
during the few days I took off, other than a couple of price reductions. Perhaps the "Mexican standoff" that has been
effect between sellers and buyers is beginning to soften, and that of course is indicative of how our market is reacting to
our real estate market. You may be interested to know that, in general, the drop in home values that occured during the
last time the tech bubble burst in 2001, in my Eichler marketplace i.e., was no more than 12%, plus or minus a couple
"percents", depending on the area.
That hasn't happened this time, at least as yet.
10-13-08. The "Pause" button on the remote, as well as on our
marketplace has been in great use this past week, and
of course it's no wonder. The financial state of affairs in this
country as well as around the world has left everybody wondering what
will stop the carnage, and when, and it's no wonder that house listings
and sales have taken a back seat. I'm
writing this after the U.S. stock market has closed, up 940 points on
the DOW, so maybe, just maybe, those markets may be regaining some
sense of reason. We'll see, and in the meantime, be watching activity
10-6-08. Not too much happening in Eichlerdom at the moment, at least in comparison to past fall periods at this
time. I suppose that other areas would be more than happy to report a couple of sales and a like number of new listings
during the past week – which is what we enjoyed last week. And as mentioned last week, the financial mess this country –
and beyond – is experiencing, likely contributes to our relative slowdown. Time to take a deep breath!
9-29-08. The financial market mess still continues. I've been around longer than most of you, and I've never seen
anything like it. It gives one great confidence in our governmental and financial leaders doesn't it! Nevertheless, back in
silicon valley, we still enjoyed a couple of sales and a new listing in Eichlerdom last week. We also saw some price
reductions from home sellers, which is part and parcel of a normal marketplace.
A quick note about the progress of the unique Eichler basement remodel first mentioned in my 8-25-08 Summary below.
The "deconstruction" has begun, with a particular eye towards minimizing construction "waste", saving and utilizing much
of the current "old" materials. For example, the existing tongue-and-groove redwood roof decking, and the sizable structural-
grade Douglas Fir beams have been saved, and will be re-milled for use in the new structure. The owners chose to pursue LEED
certification for this project, so, in addition to energy and environmental efficiencies obtained through this "re-cycling"
of materials, the remodel will incorporate innovative building materials such as hollow-core concrete panels, and SIP's
(structural integrated panels). Energy savings will result from photo-voltaic solar panels as well as geothermal heat
exchangers. All in all, it is not only a very unique undertaking and structure, it is a very "green" one as well.
In the future, I think I'll refer to this home as a "2-story, lower level Eichler." The term "basement" really
doesn't do the home justice, for it conjures up enclosed, even dark spaces, and that simply isn't the case here. The open
entry atrium, as seen from the lower level, brings marvelous light and the "open to the sky" feelings one has in such spaces.
Such is not the case in basements!
I'll be back to you in about a month or so with another update.
9-22-08. The financial market mess has undoubtedly caused some misgivings among home buyers, even here in silicon
valley. Nevertheless, In spite of all this, we still enjoyed 3 sales occuring in Eichlerdom. By the way, the Eichler
home tour that occured in Palo Alto a couple of weeks ago, brought out over 500 people, anxious to see what those particular
homes were all about. A great turnout, and at $40 a pop, a very nice contribution was generated for the Peninsula Habitat
for Humanity cause. Congratulations to the organizers!
9-15-08. Wow! A flurry of listing activity last week, in particular in Palo Alto, doubled the number of
active listings – from 9 to 18. That's what was supposed to happen with the seasonallity of new listings, and it
finally did. The new listings included some absolutely gorgeous homes with fitting upgrades, and of course some prices to
go along with them. Prices are holding up quite well, in particular in Palo Alto, where it is now very difficult to find
an Eichler under $1,000,000. Sensational Silicon Valley!
9-8-08. The headline this past weekend of the Real Estate section of the S F Chronicle was "A Level Playing Field."
That pretty well says it, in that our market has essentially returned to a "willing seller / willing buyer" one. This past
week in our Eichler market reflects that. In addition to price reductions occuring, and listings being withdrawn, we had
3 properties that found their "willing seller, willing buyer", and were sold – at least with a "Pending Sale." Now listings
in my marketplace have hit the single digits – 9. It hasn't been that low since early July of this year.
9-2-08. Labor Day has come and gone, and the fall real estate season now begins. Not much of anything happened
during the long weekend, and we should begin to see a bit of activity shortly, probably about the same level that we enjoyed
during the late spring. Not like the rip roaring stuff we saw in a few years ago, but hopefully more activity than the last
couple of months. Don't forget the Eichler home tour which will be held next Saturday, the 6th. It will begin at the
Eichler Swim & Tennis Club at 3530 Louis Road in Palo Alto at 10:00AM and continue until 4:00PM. It should be
interesting to see what Eichler owners have done to their homes, and for those that hope to be owners to see various ways
to upgrade these classic homes.
8-25-08. A rather noteworthy event in Eichlerdom occured during this slow and somewhat boring summer real
estate season, and I was happy to play a small – very small – part in its happening. What occured was a full-blown approval
of an Eichler remodel that, to my knowledge, has never happened before. Sure, there have been many, many remodels performed
in Eichlerdom, some great and some not-so-great, but I have a feeling that this one will be a forerunner of a new approach
that could start a wave, albeit small, of similar remodels to come.
I'll be providing more details during the coming months as the construction continues, but let me give you a quick
summary preview now. This remodel will more than double the square footage of the home, and will retain the Eichler
architectural idiom in both materials and style throughout. The atrium will remain, but it will also be open to the second
level below! Yes, while the elevations are truly a classic Claude Oakland design – front, rear and side views – of a
single story home, it will become an Eichler with a full basement, with bright space and new amenities that are seldom found
in remodeled homes.
For those folks who love their Eichler, really love their neighborhoods and hate to move, but could
use a lot more space and updating, it is a very, very creative solution. Again, I'll keep you updated on it's progress as
the construction continues.
8-18-08 The Olympics must be occupying a lot of attention and time from home buyers and sellers, for another
week passed without much activity. That will likely be the case for the next 2 or 3 weeks, and then the post-Labor Day
real estate season will begin – a usually more active time. Speaking of that, a well-organized Eichler home tour will be
held in Palo Alto on Saturday, September 6th, beginning at the Eichler Swim & Tennis Club , at 3530 Louis Road, from
10:00 to 4:00PM. Donations of $40 will be accepted benefiting the Peninsula Habitat for Humanity, and of course would
be welcome. 12 beautiful Eichlers will be on tour in that fair city, and I was privileged to see one that has undergone a
a fabulous, taseful remodel. Joe Eichler would love it!
I was asked to provide some old sales brochures from a few of the early
developments in Palo Alto – Greer Park, Fairmeadow, Garland Park,
Greenmeadow, et al,- for the tour, and of course I was happy to go into
my archives of old Eichler material to do so. If you take the time to
review any of them, you'll get a kick
out of seeing the $18,000 price tag for the homes at that time. Yep –
8-12-08. I just finished updating the Eichler Market Data
page – a bit later than usual – and 'twas interesting
to see just how the market is "unveiled" when you look at the data. In
times like these, typically, potential home sellers
are reacting to the barrage in the media about the market, and if
selling their home is an option, they will wait until they
perceive the timing to be better. So, in addition to a normally slow
seasonal market, it can become slower with fewer listings, and when
they do come on – correctly priced – they go in a hurry. That's what
the data tells me anyway.
8-4-08. Back from a little trip to much the same that I left! Business wise, that is! Not unusual for this time
of year. As mentioned last week, and many times before in this summary "column", we are very fortunate to be living in
silicon valley. The national real estate difficulties are certainly still with us, and it appears that it may continue for
a long time to come. While the effects are being felt around here to a degree, the real estate market while tempered is still
a relatively healthy one.
7-21-08. We live, many of us, in a lovely, great part of the bay area, that has many benefits including real estate
values. Reading newspaper headlines reminds me of this a lot! Last Friday's S F Chronicle's headline read "Bay Area
Home Prices Plunge 27%.
That certainly gets your attention, but when you read further you
understand. The Chronicle's
"Bay Area" includes 9 counties, including those a long way from Silicon
Valley. And unfortunately for those folks have been
hit quite hard by sub-prime problems, et al, that headline is correct.
Our area, in particular the majority of Eichler areas in our valley has
suffered very little, if at all, depending on the community. Always
remember, like politics, real estate is local – very local, like 9
digit zip code local and beyond!
7-14-08. Single digits quickly doubled – almost – so we're once again back to listings in the teens. Most of those
new ones were in Palo Alto, which, as I've mentioned to others, continues to defy gravity in our real estate market. Little
else to review. Have a good week with this cooler weather.
7-7-08. We're down to single digits for the first time this year, in listings that is, – 9 – , and the majority
of those have been around awhile. Long time readers of this "summary" won't find that too surprising, for this is the time
of year that things slow down normally with vacations et al, and given the "national malaise" in the real estate market,
that likely has an effect as well. Time to "stay cool" in several ways- it's supposed to be a very warm week around
6-30-08.Well, the stock market didn't do so well during the month of June, but our Eichler market didn't do that
badly. Even during our slow summer season, activity during the month of June was fairly active. We ended the month of May
with 19 listings, and I just posted last weekend's activity above, that leaves us with 12 active listings as we leave June.
Not bad, not bad at all.
6-23-08. Wow! – that was a hot one wasn't hit – last Saturday, that is. Fortunately for all of us, that kind
of weather doesn't happen very often around here. Another "cooler" subject. You all - home owners, home buyers and
Eichler aficionados will I think find the offerings of a Santa Monica art gallery,Terrence Rogers / Fine Art of considerable
interest. They are now showing the paintings of photorealist artist Danny Heller of several Eichler homes and areas.
They are, as
expected, quite realistic and beautifully done. They represent several models that were done in the early 1960's that are
found in the 3 areas of southern California – the city of Orange, Granada Hills, and Northridge. Go to the art gallery's
website, http://www.trogart.com, and then click on "Eichlers." Think you'll enjoy seeing them, and who knows, you may even
wish to buy one!
6-16-08. The listings are fewer in number this Monday versus last – 14 versus 17 – and the sales remain fairly
fluid. I think that there are lot of home buyers essentially "on the fence", hoping for either lower home prices or
lower interest rates. I'm not so sure that we're going to find both of those going in tandem. Our Eichler prices seem
stable for the most part, and interest rates, if anything, seem to be drifting higher. As usual, the better part of valour
is once "the" home is found, it's best to bite the bullet around here.
6-9-08. The weather feels a bit more summerlike today, and
the Eichler real estate market feels that way too.
The inventory is certainly coming down a bit, with 6 pending sales
happening last week, and only 3 new listings posted, so
we begin the week with only 17 listings. Regardless of what you may
read or be hearing, our marketplace is still quite fluid. For
example, of these 17 current listings, 15 of them have been on the
market -"DOM" – for only 21 days. The other 2 have been
around awhile, averaging 161 days on the market. Again, as mentioned
before, our area is to me envied in many ways!
6-2-08. If history holds true, real estate "things" in silicon valley will slow up a bit, now that we've gone by
Memorial Day, and begun our summer months. It is of course a bit slower this year anyway, given the state of the national real
estate market, and the perception that brings. When updating the Eichler Market Data page this weekend I noted that the
number of listings for the last 6 month period are up about 15-16% over the same period of 2007. There are 96 listings
as of June 1, 2008 – there were 83 as of June 4, 2007. The "DOM", or days on the market are obviously up versus last year,
but again, most parts of the country would be very envious of our market and activity.
5-28-08. No commentary this time.
5-19-08. Another active week last week with 10 new listings posted in the areas I cover, and 6 new sales. I think
silicon valley is really beginning to discount national real estate news – somewhat depressing – and once again realize
where we live. An interesting email from Zillow last week – the service that essentially covers the U.S., showing sales,
at least "average" sales results, among other things. Their data indicates that contrary to many reports you see, much
of the bay area reported average sales increases during the first part of this year. The average increase
in sales prices for the following areas were Cupertino – 7.0%, Los Altos – 3.2%, Mountain View – 1.1%, San Jose minus 9.6%,
Saratoga – 4.4%, and Sunnyvale – 2.9%. Palo Alto was not listed, and of course, all of those numbers were averages,
averaging all zip codes. (Remember the importance of 9 digit zip codes!) In any event, a lot of the country would very much
like to have those results for that period of time.
5-12-08. We finished a relatively active week in Eichlerdom last week, with 6 new listings posted and 4 sales
reported. Even though a comparison with the past few years is inevitable, the listing and sales activity can really be
described as having returned to "normalcy". In other words, while it has been nice for home sellers to have sold their home
in 8 or 10 days, returing to the more "normal" days on the market of severak weeks or a few months before a sale is transacted
is happening. Listing periods of 90 days or 6 months has been the common length of time for listing periods – for good reason.
That has been and probably always will be the norm, for it has historically taken that time. Yes, silicon valley has been
an exception, and certain areas defy the "norm", but in general a "return to the norm" is likely very healthy.
5-5-08. I did the same thing this week as last, and scrolled back to my commentary of 1 year ago. Interesting
The number of listings that have sold and closed this year versus last, is about 20% off of last year – 26 vs. 33, and
of course the sales have softened a bit in most areas. Palo Alto continues to hold up very well, with multiple offers
still the order of the day usually, and over list price offers dominating. While there have been over or at list price
sales in other areas, many have been at reduced prices from list (some list prices were way to aggressive for the property),
but in general those average sales prices were no more than 10% from the original list price. Not bad at all in a market with
all the negative press.
4-28-08. If you scroll back and review the comments I made in this Summary section last year, about this
time, you'll see that the inventory this year is running about 50% higher than it was last year, roughly 18 to 20, versus
10 to 12, and as you would expect, sales have slowed a bit but not all that much. All in all our marketplace has
generally escaped the difficulties of the broader real estate market. Home sellers should be pretty happy, and home buyers
should take note!
4-21-08. Again, little to comment on today. We have what appears to be the beginning of the proverbial
"Mexican stand-off" - many home sellers standing firm on their list prices, a few price decreases, and every now and
then a price increase. And of course, home buyers standing firm, or as more often the case, waiting – waiting for prices
to soften. As mentioned last week, that is very much the sign of a market returning to normal, with eventual sales prices
usually still to the advantage of the seller.
4-14-08. Very little to report or discuss on this Monday. "Average" listings, if there are such things,
in less than prime locations are remaining on the market longer, and "Above average" listings, in prime locations are
being sold in much the same time – rapidly – as in the recent past. Home sellers are for the most part realizing that the
several weeks, or a few months that it used to take in "normal" times have returned. That timing would be viewed as
terrific in many parts of our country.
4-7-08. I just finished posting the data on the Eichler Market Data page, and of the 5 new listings entered, 4 of
them are priced over $1,000,000. 5 pending sales were entered as well. The Eichler marketplace in silicon valley seems
very alive and well.
3-31-08. I'm not sure whether to characterize March's departure as a lamb or a lion, but it's over. I hope a warmer spring is about to
begin. Alain Pinel Realtors, a local and well respected real estate brokerage has a fairly recent, informational advertising
program, in which they provide the lay person with good, factual, well sourced information about the local real estate market.
A recent example was a newspaper ad with the headline, "92.7% Current". It reads as follows: We bet you've never seen
this headline in any recent media coverage of the real estate market. Yet it is fact – 92.7% of all mortgages in the United
States are current. What's more, the "sub-prime mortgage crisis" refers to a tiny portion of sub-prime mortgages. Sub-
prime mortgages represent only a fraction of all mortgages – and the vast majority of these are current.
It goes on further to point out that13.2 percent of U.S. mortgages are of the sub-prime variety, and of those 13.2%,
76.8% of those are current. Do the math – that means that only slightly over 3% of sub-prime mortgages are not current.
As has been said, "… crises may sell newspapers", but this firm and others attempt to bring market realities to the
lay person. Remember, like politics, all real estate is local!
3-24-08. Over the weekend, I was finally able to report some sales prices on those homes that had sold
over the slower winter season, and finally closed escrow this year. You'll find that in the Eichler Market Data section of
this site. Of the 6 homes in this category, 3 homes sold over list price – 2 in Palo Alto and 1 in Sunnyvale, and 3 sold
at prices less than list price – 1 each in San Jose, San Mateo and Sunnyvale. Interesting, but hardly enough data to
determine much of anything!
3-17-08. Well we're finally getting into some spring activity – regardless of what the papers lead you to believe.
5 sales were reported last week for example and 3 new listings were posted as well. Days on the market are growing a bit,
but all in all Eichlerdom in general is quite healty, with different zip codes exhibiting their normal activity and
3-10-08. Back from a quick trip to find a bit of activity with 3 sales reported over the weekend. Interesting,
to me in that they were recent listings, priced well. That folks is the the secret of real estate sales. And during the
week it does appear that spring may have sprung, with 6 new listings and 6 sales reported, including today.
3-3-08. Well, maybe the more active spring activity is
beginning. There were 5 new listings posted last week, and
a couple of the older ones found a buyer. I just posted another new
listing this morning so, again, maybe what normally
happens in early February is beginning to happen in March this year. As
I was updating the Eichler Market Data page this weekend, it was
interesting to note that of the 5 transactions that "rolled" off the
page of the rolling 6 month data, all 5 were properties that sold with
multiple offers, and sold over list price. Those escrows closed
virtually exactly 6 months ago in late
August. If you're following my commentary, that is not exactly what is
happening in our marketplace in late February / early
As you probably saw above, or on the home page or others, this is essentially the last year of my active life with
Eichler Homes Realty, but as mentioned, I'll continue with the daily updates and weekly commentary. I enjoy staying up with
what's happening. Thanks for the nice comments!
1-25-08. Not a great deal of consequence to talk about. It appears that I could repeat last weeks comments, and
virtually all would be appropo. I plan to announce a bit of a change, a transition of Eichler Homes Realty and yours truly
in these website pages during the week. It seems to be about time to do so! You'll see more detail by this time next week.
2-18-08. The new listings are coming, albeit rather slowly, but the sales are coming a bit slower. As mentioned
last week, I'll give it a couple more weeks to get a better feeling/flavor of our marketplace, but as of this writing, the
national real estate malaise may certainly be hitting here as well. Some numbers, along with those feelings: As of today,
DOM, i.e. "Days on the Market" – an indicator of the real estate marketplace – of our 21 Eichler listings averages 67 days.
When I exclude the two extremes, highest and lowest number of days, it still averages 59. Most areas of the country would
be delighted to have that 2 month number describe their areas. Around here however, at least for the past 2 or 3 years,
2 months before a sale would be viewed as an eternity.
2-11-08. Well – – – – – - as I said, let the games begin! It appears we're off to a little slower start than
past years, and perhaps the perception of a slower economy may be working, but we'll see. I'll give it 2 or 3 more weeks to
give us a better feel for our normally busy spring season.
2-4-08. The Super Bowl is over (what a game!), so let the real estate games begin! It appears that they already
have to a large extent, with the inventory today already totaling 20 homes. Most have been around awhile, and it's likely
that that number will begin to increase rather significantly. At least that is my considered guess! Recent price reductions
have not seemed to generate instant sales, so that could be a sign of further softening. Stand by!
1-28-08. It should be an interesting spring selling season. When the rains subside, the sun appears and stays out,
and the Super Bowl is history, at the rate we're going we're going to have a very large inventory of homes available. Some of
those that have been around awhile during the winter doldrums have decided to reduce their list price a bit. Probably a good
idea for upcoming sellers to factor into their pricing.
1-21-08. My goodness, on this Martin Luther King holiday, I
once again have to say that the Eichler home sellers are really
begining to stir, several weeks earlier than usual, but that the buyers
are still skiing, or whatever. Wonder what that means? No pending sales
last week, but 8 new listings were posted, giving an early start to the
spring selling season. An example of the "9-digit zip code market"
differential I sometimes refer to once again appears in our current
listings. The San Mateo Highlands area of Eichlers contains 5 of the 21
listings, and for the first time all 5 are priced over $1,000,000.
Market weakness that is occuring in other 9 digit zips is certainly not
occuring up there.
1-14-08.Home buyers are up skiing or otherwise finding other things to do during these early days of the new year.
But it appears that home sellers are beginning to stir, as we see three new ones coming on during the past few days. The total
number of transactions during the past 6 months – as seen on the Eichler Market Data page of this site – will very likely
soon hit the low for the year.
The 2007 "numbers", as mentioned last week were very close to those of 2006. There
were 158 Eichler sold in my market area, about 13 per month on average. The "average" number is of course misleading, for
the bulk of the transactions occured during the active spring through fall period. 130 of the 158 occured during the active
months of March through October, 104 occured between April and September. Even though the national news of real estate
activity is rather depressing, I think we'll see 2008 turn out to be very similar to 2007 in our silicon valley marketplace.
1-7-08. Happy 2008 – it's great to be back! The last couple of weeks have been very eventful "at home", with all
of the activities of the holidays, travel, football games, lousy weather et al, but of course quite uneventful in the silicon
valley real estate marketplace, and of course in our slice of it. The number of listings on December 24th – 15 – were the
same when I returned to my website offerings a couple of days ago. One of those listings just happend to go "Pending" today.
You may find it of interest to know that of those 14 listings, 4 incurred a price decrease during the holidays, not atypical
during this kind of market, and during this time of year.
Categories: Eichler Insights