Author: Cindy Liebsch

February 3, 2015

Bay Area Real Estate Outlook 2017: 5 Key Takeaways


Pacific Union teamed with noted Irvine, Calif.-based consulting firm John Burns Real Estate Consulting (JBREC) to deliver a first-of-its-kind, forward-looking report and presentation that offer a lens into the future of the Bay Area’s residential real estate market and economy.

In an exclusive, hour-long Nov. 5 presentation at the SFJAZZ Center in San Francisco, Pacific Union CEO Mark A. McLaughlin, JBREC CEO John Burns, and JBREC Senior Vice President Dean Wehrli  introduced the report and expanded on the factors that will shape the Bay Area and Tahoe/Truckee real estate landscape over the next three years.

Highlights from the forecast event include:

1.  We project the rate of annual price appreciation in most Bay Area regions to slow from its current rate of roughly 8 percent to 1 to 4 percent over the next three years. The level of continued investor activity will play a prominent role in price appreciation.

2.  The Bay Area’s housing market is currently the hottest in the United States, but prices are close to peaking.

3.  Job growth is outpacing population growth across the Bay Area — most notably in the San Francisco and San Jose regions – which is driving demand for real estate. Silicon Valley has one of the highest median incomes in the nation, and incomes are projected to continuing growing.

4.  The Bay Area and California have a very limited supply of new homes being built. In 2013, more homes were constructed in the Houston metropolitan area than in the entire state of California.

5.  Because of the home-price-to-income ratio, the number of residents who can afford to buy a home is much lower in the Bay Area than it is across the United States. Affordability in the Bay Area currently ranges from 23 percent in San Francisco to 43 percent in Sonoma County.

I encourage you to view the webcast of the event to get a complete picture of where our real estate markets are heading. We have produced a Mandarin-language version of the webcast.

January 21, 2015

Wacky Exterior Paint Jobs That Will Shock You !

2015 Blog Hello Kitty Paint Job copy


9 Wacky Exterior Paint Jobs That Will Shock You!


2015 Blog Helly Kitty Exterior Paint Job

Check out these crazy exterior paint jobs. Some are hilarious and some are just plain ugly…what were they thinking??

January 12, 2015

How Much Do You Need To Earn to Afford A Home in the SF Bay Area?


2015 Blog Photo Money House Origami


Prospective homebuyers in the San Francisco region need to earn nearly three times as much as those in the rest of the country in order to afford a property, reflecting the rapid price appreciation our local markets have enjoyed over the past few years.

In a study, crunched third-quarter numbers for 27 major U.S. metro areas and found that buyers in the San Francisco region need to earn a minimum of $145,361 per year to afford the $744,400 median-price home, the highest of any city included in the report. Nationwide, the average homebuyer could afford the median-price home on an annual salary of about $51,000.

While local buyers will certainly need at least one healthy income — or better yet, two — to afford a home, the study says that the San Francisco area actually saw the largest quarter-over-quarter decline in required salary, partially due to a 3 percent home price decrease in that same time period.


Sluggish construction activity is likely causing the price differential between to new and existing homes to widen, says a blog post from the National Association of Realtors.

In November, the median price for a newly constructed U.S. home was $280,900, 36 percent more than an existing home. NAR says that, historically, new homes have commanded 15 to 20 percent more than their older counterparts.

Part of the reason for the growing divide is the fact that construction activity is still 35 percent below normal levels. Although single-family housing starts have risen in four of the past five years and are projected to increase to 820,000 in 2015, NAR warns that the uptick may not be enough to keep home prices from rising further.



Although the U.S. housing recovery is projected to continue in 2015, there are some potential hazards that could throw it off track, according to a CNN Money article.

A drop-off in investor activity, both institutional and foreign, is a chief concern, although Chinese buyers remain quite active. Rising mortgage rates, which some economists say are guaranteed this year, are also a cause for concern, as is strict access to credit.

Finally, for the housing recovery to stay on track, incomes will at least need to keep pace with home prices, CNN Money says.


December 23, 2014

Beautiful song to get you in the holiday spirit now!

The Celtic Thunder’s version of Hallelujah is beautiful….worth your time to listen and get in to the holiday spirit.

Celtic Thunder 2

September 14, 2014

San Mateo Park

San Mateo Park
San Mateo Park is the rare community that achieved its ideal vision of urban development. With an emphasis on finding harmony with its natural surroundings, San Mateo Park is one of the San Francisco Bay Area’s most beautiful residential communities. Located on the San Francisco Peninsula, approximately 20 miles south of San Francisco, gives you that lush small town feel within a cosmopolitan area.
When San Mateo Park was founded in 1896, it sought to be apart of the…
San Mateo Park
September 14, 2014


Woodside, a rural home to many lavish estates and more than two thousand horses, is a town criss-crossed with bridle paths with a unique, park-like setting.
The area now called Woodside was gradually developed starting in the 1830’s, first as sawmills that supplied redwood to build San Francisco, later as farms, small cattle ranches and vineyards. By the 1880s, prosperous San Franciscans began building country estates in the area. Their ranks included coffee tycoon…
September 14, 2014

San Carlos

San Carlos

It’s easy to see why San Carlos bills itself as the “city of good living”. Located 25 miles south of San Francisco and at the north end of Silicon Valley, San Carlos finds a balance between its quiet neighborhoods, charming downtown and natural beauty. San Carlos is a family oriented community, with highly regarded schools and an active community services program. The neighborhoods are inviting for their quiet and the mature oaks that line the streets.

San Carlos
September 14, 2014

Portola Valley

Portola Valley
Astride the San Andreas fault, with views extending from across the Bay to San Francisco, Portola Valley’s history begins with the logging town of Searsville. Its most famous 19th-century settler was Andrew Hallidie, inventor of the cable car, who purchased property in 1883, then donated land for a school and post office.
Farming and stock ranching were major enterprises between 1860 and 1920, but as with much of the Peninsula, the real surge for development came after…
Portola Valley
September 14, 2014

Palo Alto

Palo Alto
A charming mixture of old and new, Palo Alto’s tree-lined streets and historic buildings reflect its California heritage. While Palo Alto is recognized worldwide as a leader in cutting-edge technological development, it has sought to make tradition a centerpiece of its communal spirit.
Located 35 miles south of San Francisco and 14 miles north of San Jose, Palo Alto is a community of approximately 61,200 residents. Since incorporation in 1894, Palo Alto has expanded…
September 14, 2014

Menlo Park

Menlo Park
Without sacrificing any of its sense of community and small town feel, Menlo Park has earned a reputation for being a high-tech haven for some of the largest companies in the area.
Due to its proximity to Stanford, its high-tech roots and a strong sense of family, Menlo Park is a diverse community that takes pride for being an All-American city.
The downtown-shopping district is wonderful place to experience the diverse community of Menlo Park while enjoying…
Scroll to top