Skip to comments.Bay Area buyers frustrated by tight supply of homes for sale
Posted on 06/01/2014 8:57:37 AM PDT by artichokegrower
In one of the most agonizing disconnects of the Bay Area's surging economy, far more people want to buy a home than want to sell one, making this the tightest housing market in the nation.
Would-be homebuyers are crowding into scarce open houses and battling for the few available, leading to rising prices, rapid sales -- many homes sell within a week -- and frustrated house hunters.
"This is the most sustained period of low inventory I've seen in 20 to 24 years," said Chris Trapani, head of the Sereno Group in Silicon Valley.
(Excerpt) Read more at mercurynews.com ...
How many properties are owned by landlords who lease the properties rather than permitting sale?
It sure is sweet to be on the “good” end of this. While I was buying my present house, my Realtor told me of a young, 30-35 year old couple who got out of California to relocate here, and, with the profit they made on their California house, were looking for a 300K house (=550+K in a large metropolitan area) to buy CASH. How would you like to be 35 years old, live in a very nice house, and have ZERO mortgage?
yuk why would anybody want to live there, it is filthy, it is cold in the summer, people let their houses go to hell, it is communist, and it is unbearably expensive
so Obama will have to move some of these people to Red States
If I lived there and had a house, I’d be cashing out.
There are some similar things happening in TX due to the fracking boom.
You can’t beat the sourdough bread. Nothing like it in the world.
Not just because of fracking though, the favorable business climate helps. In this area many sellers are getting multiple offers as soon as the home goes on the market, sometimes over the asking price. Unfortunately, that affects the comps for existing homes and we get to pay more in property taxes.
America’s real estate is being rapidly bid-up by Chinese, who are rolling in dough.
If you want to keep Americas real estate affordable, then stop sending American jobs to China.
China doesn’t allow Americans to buy their real estate. Yet we sell America real estate to Chinese, and sell China our jobs.
Lately I am seeing Reators signs in yards that say “Coming Soon”.
I don’t remember ever seeing that before.
The reason the Bay Area is so high in demand is due to the fact that you are getting in on the ground floor of the high-tech boom that will dominate our economy over the next 50 years (at least). Companies like Google, Apple and Facebook have their HQ in that area - among many others that will lead the economy of the 21st century.
Pursuant to that, this is where you are going to find your best school systems, your best restaurants, the best shopping experience, and on and on concentrated in that area. Yes, the weather and traffic both suck often but that's not going to be a major factor once we go totally wireless and will be able to work during our commutes. For example, Google already transports many Bay Area workers to and from the campus in luxury buses equipped with Wi-Fi and self-driven cars will be here before we know it.
Weather outside not a factor when you are hanging out in cafes, working in sprawling open-area campuses, and being essentially chauffeured in luxury wherever you want to go.
So buying a home in the Bay Area is probably one of the best investments you can make right now, especially if you are young and have high-tech skills.
Ditto for other fast growing high-tech areas such as which you will find in states like Texas, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina and Colorado.
We complain a lot on this board about how manufacturing jobs are going overseas and whatnot but that is not our future. Soon, all manufacturing will be done by robot - and the robotics technology is being developed here in the U.S.
If only we could get the damn government out of the way, our economic future here in the U.S. is very bright indeed. I would love to be 22 years again and just coming out of college with an engineering degree.
Immigration is the largest factor. Leading realtor in heart of SillyCon Valley reports three-quarters of purchases are from communist China, etc. Many for all cash. Very few local folks can afford to buy anymore. How long will the commies let the money leave? Nobody knows. It does buy a lot of influence But the commies used to restrict money from leaving. So they could always do it again. This reality is ( we are told by many Asians) is why so many of them are rushing to get money out of there right now. Go figure?! ( average sale price of 60 year old house in Palo Alto is now 2.5 million dineros)
It’s a big country.
Eventually some of them will get the message.
Unfortunately a lot of the ones that spill out of Cali are liberal dingbats like my niece who helped turn Colorado blue.
Until the market crashes again. Which it does here.
Or until you reach your late 30s, and your company lays you off in favor of a cheaper H1B import. Which they do.
And then you can't find a job. Which is an epidemic here.
So, other than that, real estate in the Bay Area is AWESOME. Because high tech ONLY goes UP, UP, UP!! Never down. Nope, never.
The Bay Area is unique in that virtually everywhere that can be built on has been. All the open space is locked away as “green belts”. While other areas in CA were overbuilding in the last decade, the supply has remained static there. So prices never decreased much, and rebounded early.
Unfortunately I believe part of the problem right now is that our side is enthusiastically in China’s pocket.
Nobody but nobody, is saying we need jobs.
Not dems. Not the GOP. Everyone is in the back pocket of communist China.
That is a very big problem.
America needs jobs. Jobs right here.
Jobs. If people have a job, they can build up and support the GOP.
If people do not have a job, they will almost always go democrat.
That explains why the democrats are currently not helping the economy.
What is extremely difficult to understand however, is why the GOP is not strongly advocating for the return of American jobs.
A lot of our Republican leadership is part of the crony capitalist network. Even a lot of the ones who didn’t start out that way but found out how good life can be in DC as part of the establishment.
That’s only in San Francisco and along the coast. Where there are mountains between you and the ocean (most of the Bay Area) the summers are very pleasant, highs in the 80s generally.
Yes the sourdough is good and so is the access to Russian food
Best schools? Don’t make me laugh
And the Central Valley is frickin roasting
IMO we are very much becoming a two tiered society here. Brazil comes to mind, although we're not quite there yet.
I see those signs occasionally also. A neighbor behind me sold his house a few months ago... and received a solid offer the day before it officially went on the market. According to several Realtors that live in my subdivision most everything in our area sells within a couple days, and they have buyers lined up for just about anything that goes on the market.
They are doing something right.
I thought ChiComs were scooping up a ton of properties over there for investment purposes.
There could be some of that but I cannot vouch for it personally.
money from PRC insiders is driving a lot of the Vancouver B.C. real estate craziness as well
the bay area has chinese money plus the tech economy
however, a lot of the rationales for the bay area bubble remind me of tokyo in the late 80’s or even manhattan real estate pre 1929 crash
there is an assumption that the economic driver can never turn down or move away
when protestors appeared at the house of a google engineer, that was an important warning to the wealthy in the bay area that they are potential targets if they live in the urban areas
there is a reason that the wealthy generally do not live in urban areas with public transportation links
If you were 22 with an engineering degree your have many benefits ahead. But you wouldn’t be buying a house for a very very long time, if ever, on just your salary without maybe a half million cash dow in SillyCon Valley. The rich foreign buyers from you- know- where have bid those old tract houses up to the million and two million dollar level, way way beyond what those nice big computer company pay levels. Times have changed. You can buy a house in the San Joaquin valley 120 miles away and join a “ van- pool” for five hours a day commuting. Even the Calif Highway Patrol has been quoted as saying they understand the problem and they try ( not always successfully it must be said) to give the long- distance commute vans full of engineers and computer programmers “ some space “ as they race into the Bay Area at 90 mph . The vanpoolers have their own culture, too. If one of them gets a speeding ticket, that engineer is relieved of his driving duty for a year so as to not jeopardize his license with a second ( likely “ augmented charges” ticket). People do adapt. But in previous times, they were able to adapt without having to compete with thousands of ( largely all - cash) wealthy bidders from foreign lands. It’s a major change in several American markets (Bay Area, parts of LA, NYC, etc). The young American engineers or whatevers can still live comfortably in Texas and many other parts of the country, however.
Many of us have romantic notions of the "Laverne and Shirley" jobs that existed in decades past - you know, putting on a hard hat and stamping caps on beer bottles. Then going home at the 5PM whistle and spending the evening cavorting with Lenny and Squiggly.
However, those tended to be drab, dead-end jobs that were not really satisfying at all. In fact, the conditions and environment were miserable for the average working man. And we want to go back to that?
During the 1980s and 1990s, the working environment transformed from the factory floor to the cubicle farms. We complained about that too and the culture is parodied in films such as "Office Space" and sitcoms like "The Office." Yet this was a huge step up for the average working man (and woman) and was only a transition to where we are headed now.
Now as we move into the 21st century, the working environment is becoming a mobile one where most of us can work just as effectively from the home or sitting on the backyard patio (where I'm typing this right now) as in a cubicle. No need to be tethered to an office at all. In fact, cubicle farms are quickly being replaced by open "campus-style" workspaces where everything is wireless and people are encouraged to gather in "pods" and collaborate together on projects instead of walling themselves off in a cubicle for 8 hours a day.
Many of these jobs pay very well and top tech companies can't hire employees fast enough. However, to take these jobs, the workers need to change their old attitudes. Many older employees still see the workplace in terms of a "punch a time clock" 8-5 existence. They still try to cling to a "job description" and try avoiding working outside that narrow scope. This is outdated thinking that is keeping these employees from moving up or getting opportunities for the higher paying jobs they seek. I know because I've been a hiring manager for 15 years and I've had to pass over many otherwise good workers because of these attitudes.
Most of the Millennials I deal with get that but they are missing the work ethic of the Baby Boomers. Those employees who combine the virtues of both generations tend to do the best in the workplace these days - which admittedly is very demanding and requires that you dedicate a fair amount of your "off-time" to improving your skill set.
Back in the 1950s or 1960s, you could get a job, be trained for 2-6 weeks and then spend the rest of your career doing basically the same thing, at a decent wage, until the time came to get your gold watch. It's not like that anymore and those days are never coming back.
True, “Up or Out” isn’t just for the military anymore.
What are the rest of the working population supposed to do for a living?
IF I recall correctly, Mexico has very restrictive laws on foreign ownership of property. Americans can’t just go down there and buy a house. Yet, we allow foreigners to buy our real estate, no strings attached.
Would it make sense if we did restrict foreign ownership of our land and real estate? Just asking, it might make sense if we did have restrictions.
Is it in our best interest, to have Chinese in this case, bid up the price of our real estate, so that regular American citizens end up having to pay more?
I’m a free market person at heart, but think it’s worth asking questions and maybe having some regulations in this area.
“yuk why would anybody want to live there, it is filthy, it is cold in the summer, people let their houses go to hell, it is communist, and it is unbearably expensive”
I don’t know what you think you are describing, because it sure as hell isn’t here in California. The house across the road from me sold ten years ago for $1.6 million and is now on the market for $2.49 million. Drove from here to Salinas and back yesterday and didn’t see: 1) any Communists, 2) no filth, 3) it was 75 degrees and 4) no houses “going to hell.” I guess 1 out of 5, for you isn’t so bad.
But I will make the best of it because the opportunity is good and I will have potential to earn much more. So I will need to learn to have some productive commutes because we are going to be talking up to 2 hours each way!
I spend most of the winter debating whether or not to take this opportunity as I said for years I never wanted to work in NYC. However, I refuse to allow myself to become a victim of the changing economy. I've posted here for years that people should be willing to relocate and go where the jobs are. So I'm basically following my own advice on this one.
I understand not everybody can work at Google, Apple or some other high-tech start-up. But for those with the skill set and ambition, opportunities do abound there and if you get with the right start-up at the right time, you can actually get wealthy should the company have a successful IPO.
For those not inclined for that career track and would rather be working in the outdoors in an exciting new industry, I would highly recommend relocating to the Dakotas and getting into the fracking industry. Apparently they can't hire fast enough and pay very well.
I'm sure there are other hot beds of opportunity in non high-tech areas. You just need to be willing to relocate to where these opportunities are - for they may not be available where you live today.
Please come buy my house.
I’m in the East Bay and I want out of here.
In our little town on the Peninsula, the number of people right off the boat who don’t speak a word of English would amaze you. It’s definitely the Asian money. At least two or three times a month, we get letters from Chinese realtors representing clients who want to buy in our neighborhood. As Sam Adams pointed out, the huge concentration of high-tech HQs here is an enormous driver. Lastly, the Bay Area is largely built-out. The mountains surrounding the Bay are largely off-limits to building. If you want an affordable new home, you have to commute 90 minutes each way. For those who want a short commute, you pay the Bay Area prices.
The bonus is, if you are within 20 miles of the coast, you get an ideal climate where you can live or play outdoors ten months out of the year, have low heating bills, and almost zero AC bills.
Excellent question and I've wondered that myself. Without wanting to sound callous, I refer you to the phrase "the world needs ditchdiggers too." And no matter how technologically advanced we become, I believe the world will always need common laborers.
That said, I want to make it clear that I do not intend "common laborers" to be a pejorative term at all. There is a certain dignity in a simple job well done, be it painting a house, landscaping a lawn, or performing maintenance on an automobile. I'm not sure we will ever have robots perform those (and many other) menial tasks anytime soon.
In recent years, I have begun to hire people to do things around the house I used to do myself. For instance, I have my landscaping done by others, I pay an independent businessman to come plow and shovel my driveway everytime it snows. I also hire a husband/wife team to come clean my house every two weeks and have a handyman that comes periodically to do things around the house like hang ceiling fans or repair/paint window casings. All of this I could do myself if I wanted to save the money but I feel good about helping them make a living. Also, they tend to do these things way better than I would.
I think if everybody who could afford to do so took that approach, we'd have plenty to do for everybody.
Which is what illegals are for.
Sounds like your ship has come in. Call your realtor ASAP.
It’s interesting to see how many wealthy Chinese there are.
What’s up with so many wealthy people from a communist country? What would Chairman Mao think of today’s China? Is he turning in his grave at what free market reforms have done to his country????
Point being, there should be no wealthy people under communism. The concept of private ownership is against the theories of communism. The concept of millionaire business people in communism, making so much money, runs counter to communist theory. The concept of them then taking money out of the country and buying real estate, real estate which is individually owned, is also against communism.
China has changed, no question about it.
Actually, Fort Collins CO is worse.
1% vacancy on rentals.
Lots of homes are being bought up by speculators and landlords.
Lots of stuff is being built but it won’t come on line for a couple years.
China sells America approximately 440 billion dollars / year now.
America only sells China approximately 122 billion dollars / year.
That leaves almost one billion dollars America sends to China, every single day of the year. Every single year.
We are selling out America.
I remember when candidate Barack Obama was angry that we borrow so much money from China to fund deficit spending. He was frustrated at a $9 trillion national debt. He said it was unpatriotic to borrow so much to run deficits, with our creditor being the Bank of China.
President Obama has pursued policies which have driven the total official debt to $17 trillion and counting, and freely borrows from that Bank of China to finance his deficit spending.
Well the houses are dinky and run down
I know you must not know what I am talking about because when people come from the Bay Area to where I live, they go wow, this would be a multimillion dollar house where I live, wow, everything is so big here, wow, everything is painfully clean and fixed up here
So, hit flyover country sometime, then you will know what I am talking about
I work anytime, any day from anywhere, not necessarily great if you are stuck answering emails and putting out fires on spring break.
Yeeeeeeeeeeah Or even on Sundays from the back yard
You must be blind not to see the communists