How long will prices keep going up? Five minutes? Forever?

For the answer, all we have to do is ask complete strangers hanging out at Palo Alto’s Town and Country Village.

Recent photo of popular Town and Country Village.

If you do, you’ll find, as the Palo Alto Weekly did recently, that in the next five years Palo Alto home prices will:

  • go up about 15 percent
  • go up to around $6 million
  • go up at least 5 percent
  • go up, but not as steady

Or you might decline to state, but observe that prices haven’t gone down in your neighborhood.

Can you take any of these complete strangers’ predictions to the bank?  No, of course not, yet buyers and homeowners sometimes accept the opinions of friends, neighbors and co-workers (or complete strangers on the Internet) just as qualified to forecast the local real estate market as the average Town and Country shopper.

My own opinion is that anytime you hear near unanimity on where the market is going, it’s probably about to go in the opposite direction.  Consensus means that the boom (or bust) has been around long enough to wear down the scoffers, and that’s a long time.  And booms (and busts) don’t last forever.

Or do they?

And if any of your friends, neighbors or co-workers respond “I have no idea where home prices will be in five minutes, let alone five years”, they should have a bridge or at least a neighborhood park named after them.  Because that’s the correct response.

copyright © John Fyten 2017




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