Does it bum you that while “consumers and real estate professionals have eagerly adopted technology…a technology blind spot is developing”? Or are you cool with that?
“Many Americans moved in together as housing costs outpaced income over the last decade, resulting in fewer households” and fewer first-time buyers, says a recent Zillow press release. Sobering as this is to read, it’s something else to see it in practice.
Okay, so you’ve probably heard about “serial borrowers”: homeowners who, back in the easy credit days of the early 2000s, refinanced repeatedly to draw equity out of their homes. Lenders assured them that since “California real estate always appreciates”, they could avoid the downside of rock-bottom “teaser rates”, higher loan payments or negative amortization, by selling or refinancing.
Foreign investors have long been attracted by Bay Area commercial, industry and residential real estate. But that interest seems to be growing rapidly, especially among Chinese buyers. And that trend could have a very strong impact on housing prices in San Francisco, Silicon Valley and all around the Bay for years to come.
Renters, feeling like you paid nearly $21 billion more in rent this year than last? You did! Not you personally, of course, although a few Palo Alto renters may feel that way and probably should.
Cost-versus-value studies can be a real crack-up if they’re taken from a national sample.
For most of us, the latest news from China is Mark Zuckerberg’s “brave, foolish or both” conversation in Mandarin with students at Beijing’s Tsinghua University. And while a top-level American business executive practicing his Mandarin in public is real news, and on a number of levels, there’s even more real news concerning China: President Obama’s executive order loosening restrictions on trips to the US by Chinese students, tourists and business executives.
A bulletin just issued by Zillow reveals that a survey of 107 housing experts predicts that:
•home values will exceed their pre-recession peak in February 2018 (mark the date on your iPhone calendar)
•the housing market won’t normalize “for at least another three years”