By: Global Mobility Solutions

October 16, 2015

Imagine having to relocate to the most expensive metropolitan area in America. An area that stretches from the southern banks of San Francisco to San Jose County, better known as Silicon Valley. A place where “only 44 percent of Santa Clara County households could afford to purchase an entry-level home — defined as costing $833,850, or 85 percent of the county’s median sale price.”  The housing sector has seen an explosion in population “reaching three million people just last quarter at a rate of one person for every sixteen seconds”. As the world’s leader for thousands of startup companies and high tech corporations, it has hit an all-time high in housing cost; forcing workers farther away from their place of employment and schools.

The combination of high-income industry leaders, a rising population and shortage of land is the perfect storm for the future rising cost in real estate. It is important to note that sales data mentioned is not adjusted and accounted for seasonal factors that can influence home sales. Movements in sales prices should not be interpreted as changes in the cost of a standard home, but rather by the price per square foot. Which is determined by how much space a buyer is willing to pay for the property. So when shopping for a home, by focusing on off-peak seasons, i.e., November through February, will help save time and money.

silicon valley housing market“Click Map to Navigate Housing Market in Silicon Valley.” – Powered by Google Maps

Prior to looking for a home without sacrificing your other needs, you may have to consider driving a few extra hours to save money. According to the Silicon Valley Leadership Group and the Silicon Valley Community Foundation in 2015, the average commute time of workers rose by 8 percent in which 1 in 6 commuters travel two or more hours each day to work and growing. It could be difficult to make price comparisons, regarding commute times by having too many locations. So it’s best to limit yourself to two or three locations. By choosing the right real estate agent, they will be able to determine a cost comparison on price per square foot. As well as discovering several resources in the different areas by saving precious contract time and money in the end. Without these vital factors this will cost the winning the offer on the home. If the buyer is not ready to buy they should wait. Only if one has a strong stomach, nerves and able to take strong suggestions from their Realtor.

Currently, housing is being underpriced in hopes of getting an overbid. The strategy works bringing in offers over a $1000/square foot. Looking for the needle in a haystack can be time-consuming, but possible. If there is no time to wait and have a weak stomach, then cash is your quickest answer. While choosing to rent, remember it is always more expensive in the long run. Plan carefully. Renters are being priced out of the areas as prices are increasing, less than 25 percent of workers and just 40 percent of households in metro San Jose can rent or buy average-priced housing.” While Justin Fichelson, stated that “We’re slowing down. Instead of seeing 30 percent appreciation, homeowners may see 10 to 15 percent appreciation, echoing Zillow’s assessment last week that the pace of appreciation is slowing. Redfin had a different take on the strength of the Bay Area housing market. Such debates are common as some perceive shifts in the housing market.” However, housing markets fluctuate during seasons, and while going into the holiday season, we are going to see a slight change in the market.

Ever since Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, moved to Palo Alto – prices have increased dramatically. Along with the idea of buying multiple lots and rebuilding, brokers are calling Silicon Valley a tear-down market. Anything in the $4 million and below range will likely be demolished, or they will need to rent and place their money in another investment. However on the other side of the spectrum, lower to middle-income housing plans are being implemented by city, state and federal officials. San Jose affordable housing law was upheld earlier this year by state Supreme Court. The California Building Industry Association and the Pacific Legal Foundation announced on Tuesday, and they have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review a June decision by California’s highest court. Clearing the way for San Jose to implement a long-planned “inclusionary” housing ordinance. Lawyers for the industry argue that San Jose’s law and others like it across California violate federal constitutional protections against the “taking” of private property. Requiring developers of new, for-sale homes to set aside 15 percent of units as affordable housing, or pay a fee.

Instead of using the term “housing bubble”, which is widely used and less understood, a correction in the housing price index will continue into 2016. While San Jose and San Francisco “are projected to have yearly growth rates of around 3%, entering winter 2015-2016 on the downside is of great concern. What started as ‘red hot’ at the start of 2014 may end as ‘in the red’ come 2016,” stated by Alex Villacorta from Clear Capital. As 2015 begins, eight years after the peak and six years after the crash, real estate markets across the country are transitioning from the recovery phase to the expansion phase. For many areas, like Silicon Valley, the expansion phase is well under way. According to Glen Mueller (Full report Author of The Cycle Monitor) Boston, New York, Denver, and San Francisco, are already experiencing incredibly tight rental markets and robust new construction in apartments. Between now and then, aside from the occasional slowdown, the real estate industry is likely to enjoy a long period of expansion.

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