Although volatility in the stock market is making buyers nervous, real estate experts claim Silicon Valley’s housing market will stay strong.

Veteran appraiser Roger Miller with Taketa Miller & Associates told members of SILVAR’s Los Gatos/Saratoga District in January that he doesn’t believe fluctuations in the stock market will affect Silicon Valley’s housing market. Miller said the market will continue to be hot, at least for the next six months. The only bad news is traffic will get worse in the region.

According to Miller, Facebook, Google, Intuit and other major companies in the area are expanding production and employment. These companies are not like the start-ups in 2000; they are big companies with infrastructure. These companies have made the valley their home and they want to stay here. Add the current state of China’s economy to the picture and you have the “perfect storm” creating a boom in the market, said Miller.

Miller explained China’s economic slowdown and uncertainty in what the communist government will do is prompting the Chinese to invest more of their money abroad. They are buying high-end residential and commercial real estate here. According to Miller, the hottest market right now is Mountain View, where home prices are “ridiculous,” said Miller. Other hot markets are Cupertino, Sunnyvale and Los Altos. He described land values in Los Altos as “insane,” and in Palo Alto, a 1,400 sq. ft. fixer-upper is selling for $2 million dollars.

“If you are thinking of selling your home, put it on the market now; don’t wait,” said Miller.

At the February Palo Alto District tour meeting, Bay Area real estate analyst Carole Rodoni also said real estate in Silicon Valley will continue to be a hot item. Rodoni, who formerly served as president of Alain Pinel Realtors and now operates Bamboo Consulting, Inc. explained what happens around the world affects the perception of business and real estate. She expects the economy to grow just 2.3 to 2.4 percent and projects only a single-digit appreciation in homes this year

Despite “choppiness” in the economy, Rodoni said, “All will be well in Silicon Valley because this is Silicon Valley. It’s a place everyone aspires to be at, to work and live in, and be.”

Like Miller, Rodoni believes now is a good time to sell, but she noted the real estate market is undergoing a transition. She sees the high-end market slowing, but the lower end will be “on fire.”

Due to fluctuations in the stock market, buyers will be skittish this year. REALTORS® will have to “re-educate” their clients. “Buyers are watching, hesitating, and standing by. They are still interested, but they know the market is changing. They already get it; sellers don’t,” said Rodoni.

For sellers, the key is pricing. “Do not overprice. Sellers need to get real. Sellers cannot play games. The market rules are different now,” she warned.

Despite the high-end market slowing, Rodoni believes Silicon Valley, with its location and booming technology, will continue to grow. While not all start-ups will succeed, like Miller, Rodoni believes companies like Google, Hewlett Packard, Facebook will continue to do well.

“Real estate is still an asset people aspire to buy. It will be a choppy year, but we’re still the engine driving the world and everything will be okay,” Rodoni told SILVAR REALTORS®.

 

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