Posts by Doug Buenz

Market Minute Alamo, CA December 2018

 

Hi, everybody. It is Doug Buenz with the 680 Homes Group at Venture Sotheby’s International Realty. This is your Market Minute for December for Alamo, California.

Alamo is an interesting case. Activity is certainly slow across the board, but prices are up, so indicating that some of the higher priced inventory has sold here in November. Inventory in November, the end of November, was 38 single-family homes. That is down from 46 in October. But it is higher than 30 in November of 2017. It is up from last year at this time, but it is down a little bit from October. Not unusual for December market.

Pending sales are down as well. There were 10 pending sales in the month of November, as compared to 15 in the month of October. Again, that is not unusual for this time of year. There were 15 in November 2017. It is down a little bit from last year at this time.

Of course, closed sales, we had 14 closed sales in Alamo in November. That is down from 17 in October. We had 20 closed sales a year ago in November of 2017.

All the activity categories, inventory, pending sales, closed sales, are down.


Now, interestingly enough, prices are up, at least in broad based statistics. The average price per square foot for sole properties in Alamo was $575 a square foot in November. That is up from $536 a square foot in October. The peak this year was $591 a square foot, which occurred in July. It is down a little bit from the peak, but holding fairly firm.

The median price for Alamo for closed sales in November was $2,128,000 and that is up from $1,750,000 in October. Again, we saw some higher priced trophy properties sell in the month of November, which has skewed the price ranges up.

 

The absorption rate is down. 26.3% of the inventory has been absorbed in November. That is based on pending sales. 26% of the available homes sold in November. That is down from 32.6% in October, so a little slower pace. In November last year, so a year ago, the absorption rate was 50%. Our absorption rate in November was half of what it was in November of 2017.


Sales activity down, prices firm to … Let is say firm. The market remains really pretty good, especially given the time of year.

That is our Market Minute. As always, if we can help you or someone you know, give us a call at 925-621-0680, or visit our website at 680homes.com. As always, feel free to share this with anybody you think might find it useful. If you have any comments, we would love to hear from you. Thanks so much.

The Market Minute | Pleasanton, CA December 2018

Hi everybody. This is Doug Buenz with the 680 Homes Group at Venture Sotheby’s International Realty. This is your December Market Minute for the City of Pleasanton.

What is going on in Pleasanton? Well, it is much the same story in the East Bay. We are seeing sales activity, and inventory down. We are seeing some downward pressure on prices. The market is slower. It is December, so certainly a big part of that is seasonal, but there also seems to be some structural components as well with higher interest rates, and a little more economic uncertainty.

For Pleasanton, inventory at the end of November was 56 single-family homes. That is down from 71 at the end of October, so inventory is down. To put it in context, in November of 2017, inventory was 40 homes, so inventory is higher than it was last year at this time. Pending sales are also down. There were 38 pending sales in November for single-family homes in Pleasanton. That is down from 52 in October. As comparison, in November of 2017, a year ago, there were 40 pending sales, so it is down slightly from a year ago. Closed sales are also down. 51 closed sales in November of this year. That is down from 54 in October and down from 56 in November of 2017.

 

We are seeing little slower sales activity for sure. Interestingly enough, the average price per square foot for sold properties in November was $553 a square foot. That is up from October, which was $541 a square foot. Compared to a year ago, it is up about 10%. It was $515 a square foot on average for sold properties in November of 2017, so prices have really stayed the course. It is kind of interesting. Although, if you look at the median home price, that is down. The median home price in November for sold properties was $1.2 million. That is down from $1,277,000 in October. What is happening is, there are a few more sales on the lower end, which are typically at higher prices per square foot, so the median price is down, reflecting the fact that more lower end homes have sold, but the average price per square foot is up a little bit, which is certainly in step with the price per square foot trends based on price ranges.

 

The absorption rate, 67.9% of the inventory was sold in November. That compares to 73% in October, and 100% in November of 2017. The inventory is moving at a little slower clip. Percent of properties sold over asking in Pleasanton in November was 32.7%. The percent of homes that had price reductions, 34% of the active listings in November had price reductions. 40% of the pending sales had price reductions, and 45% of the closed sales had price reductions. You can see there is some softening of the market, and some downward pressure on prices.

But overall, certainly not a bad report for December, for this time of year. That is our Market Minute for December. As always, if we can help you or someone you know with any of your real estate needs, give us a call at 925-621-0680, or visit our website at 680homes.com. If you know anyone who would find this information useful, please do share it with them. Feel free to comment on the video below. Thanks for watching.

 

 

Inside Real Estate – Episode 5 – Losers in a Softening Market

Losers in a Softening Market

 

Hi everybody, this is Doug Buenz with the 680 group at Venture Sotheby’s Realty and 680homes.com. Welcome to the latest episode of Inside Real Estate. Today our topic is Losers in a Softening Market. Everybody knows the market has softened, so the question is, who is not benefiting from these market conditions?

So, the first group that is having a hard time in a softening market would be unmotivated sellers. If you are not really that motivated to sell you might find it to be a tough market for you. So, really as a seller, the question you need to answer, are you motivated enough to win in this market? And if the answer is no, perhaps you should wait for a different market.

The second group of losers in a softening market are homes with location issues. So, if your home is on a busy street, or backs up to a freeway, or has some locational issue that makes it less compelling in the marketplace, you are going to find that you are going to have a tougher time in this market. Why? Because buyers have many more choices in the marketplace. They don’t have to choose homes with locational issues. Remember, even in a hot market, buyers tolerate location issues; they don’t seek them out. When they have more choices, they naturally gravitate towards homes in better locations.

The third group of losers in a softening market would be homes that need substantial upgrades. Buyers, again, have several choices out there in the marketplace and they are less inclined to choose homes that need a lot of work, especially if they can find other homes that are more up to date at a similar price. So again, buyers determine what is compelling to them and if your home needs a lot of work, it really needs to be discounted to attract buyers’ attention in a softening market.

The fourth group that experiences challenges in a softening market would be properties that have high HOA dues. In a sellers market, when there are multiple offers, buyers tolerate higher HOA dues. However, when the market softens, buyers take a much closer look at things like HOA dues and expenses, and we find generally, that homes that have higher HOA dues, condos, or townhouses that have higher HOA dues typically have a harder time in this marketplace. Remember, buyers tolerate high HOA dues, they do not seek them out. So, if you have high HOA dues, you need to adjust your price accordingly to attract attention.

The last group that struggles in a softening market, are sellers who have been on the market for a while but are not willing adjust their price. If you are going to stick firm to your price and it is not selling, you might be better off taking your home off the market and waiting for market conditions to change because, once you are on the market for 30, 40, 60 days or more, buyers almost completely disregard your property or maybe worse yet, come in and extreme low ball offers. So, if you are a seller and you are really just not willing to lower your price, perhaps you should rethink selling your property in the current market conditions.

Please be sure to like or share this video with someone you think might get some value out of it. Also, do you have a real estate question you’d like us to address? We’d be happy to just type it into the comments below, and as always, if you know anyone who could use our services, please do give us a call at 925-621-0680 or visit us at 680homes.com. Thanks for watching.

Inside Real Estate Episode 4 Winners in a Softening Market

Hi everybody. This is Doug Buenz with the 680 Homes Group at Venture Sotheby’s International Realty, and 680homes.com. Welcome to the latest episode of Inside Real Estate. Today my topic is Winners in a Softening Market 

Everybody knows the market has started to soften, so I thought it would be useful to take a look at who benefits from this type of market.

My winners are, number one, realistic sellers. If you are a seller, and you are motivated to sell your home, and you are realistic about pricing it, you can position it to look like a compelling offering in the marketplace, versus all the other listings that might be over-priced. If you are willing to aggressively price your property, you would be a winner in this market.

The second group that benefits from a softening market are low down payment buyers. Everyone remembers the height of the market when people got five, seven, ten, twelve offers on their listings. Low down payment buyers in that type of market have very little chance of securing a home. However, in a softening market, where market times are elongated, they have an excellent chance of procuring a property, because there is no competition. It is a great time for low down payment buyers to enter the market right now.

The third group of buyers that benefits from the current market slowdown would be contingent buyers. Again, when sellers get five, seven, ten, twelve offers on their property, they are never going to consider a contingent offer. However, when the property stays on the market for a long period time, contingent buyers become a viable option for many sellers. If you are a contingent buyer, who needs to sell their property in order to secure the other property, it is a great time to consider doing that. The onus will be on you to prove to the seller that you can get your home sold, but if you can, it is a great opportunity for you.

The next group of people who benefit from a slower market condition are cash buyers. Why do I say that? Because there are some sellers who are hyper-motivated, who need to get their home sold, and they are not having any success. If you are a cash buyer, and you can come in and solve the seller’s problem, especially problems related to timing, where the seller needs it sold quick, you can gain an incredible amount of equity right out of the gate in this type of market condition.

The next groupof buyers who would benefit from a softening market is buyers willing to do some work to a property, willing to take a property that is out of date, tired cosmetically, unattractive, and buy the property and fix it up. Bring it up to today’s standards. You can find some excellent values out there, because now that the market has softened, there are a lot of choices. Buyers who are willing to do some cosmetic remodeling will find this a pretty good market to do that.

The last groups of winners in a softening market are sellers who have homes that are absolute turn key state of the art. Everyone knows modern is hot, so if you have a home that you have remodeled with modern décor and finishes, it is going to get a lot of attention in the market, even if it is softer.

 

Thanks for watching. Be sure to like this video, and share it with friends, or people you think might be interested. We would really appreciate it. Also, do you have a real estate question you would like us to address? Just simply type it in the comments below, and we will address it on a future issue. If we can help you, or anyone you know with their real estate needs, please give us a call at 925-621-0680, or visit our website at 680homes.com.

4774 Sutter Gate Ave, Pleasanton, CA 94566

4774 Sutter Gate Ave | Pleasanton | CA | 94566

Offered at $1,649,000

Imagine a gorgeous, completely rebuilt & expanded energy efficient home.  Imagine soaring vaulted ceilings bathed in light.  Imagine French oak floors, state of the art granite & stainless kitchen, and fabulous designer finishes throughout.  Imagine an inviting, open floor plan perfect for entertaining.  Imagine relaxing in your private yard enjoying the sparkling pool & spa and serene waterfall. Welcome Home!

 

A season of gratitude with Doug Buenz. Reflections on community and bringing you home.

I am grateful to live in such an awesome community. Pleasanton, Livermore, Danville, all of these communities are just incredibly enticing places to live. I love the downtown areas. I love the sense of community that brings. I love the schools. The schools are outstanding. I love the cultural vibrancy. I love the economic vibrancy. I love the weather, couldn’t be better. I am grateful to live in such a beautiful place.

Our tagline here at the 680 Homes Group is “Bringing You Home.”

We really consider home to be a sacred word. Home is where we raise our families. Home is where we share meals together and entertain friends. Home is our sanctuary. It is our safe space. And I love the fact that I can help people find home. Whatever home is defined for my clients; that is what I try to deliver. As I said, it is a sacred word, home.

The Market Minute Ruby Hill, CA November 2018

Hi everybody. This is Doug Buenz with the 680 Homes Group at Venture Sotheby’s International Realty and 680homes.com.

This is the November Market Minute for Ruby Hill, California. The market in Ruby Hill remains rather sluggish. Right now, at the end of October, there are nine homes for sale, and that is down from 15 at the end of September. So, inventory is constrained a little bit, which certainly helps. There were three pending sales in October, which is identical to the three pending sales in September, and there was five closed sales in October, relative to two in September. So, a little uptick in closed sale activity, but the market remains rather sluggish.

The median price per square foot for active listings in Ruby Hill is $556 a square foot. For pending sales, it is $535, and for sold properties, it is $500. That shows you active listings are priced higher than the pending and sold products, another indication that the market is a little bit slow.

The absorption rate for Ruby Hill right now is 33%. That is the amount of inventory divided by the number of sales, therefore giving you how much of the inventory gets absorbed, which is the absorption rate, and that is 33%. That is about on par for these kind of neighborhoods.

Another indication that the Ruby Hill market is a bit sluggish is the percent of listings with price reductions. So, all active listings, 44% of the listings in Ruby Hill, have had price reductions. That is active listings at the end of October. 67% of the pending sales in October had price reductions, and 20% of the closed sales in October had price reductions. You can see there is a lot of downward pressure on prices in terms of asking prices. You can see that sellers are under some pressure to try to move the needle with a price adjustment.

If you look at homes over $3 million in Ruby Hill, that is a very slow market. Right now, there are seven active listings out of the nine total that are over $3 million. There are zero pending sales, and there is one closed sale. So, you get over $3 million and the market definitely gets a lot tougher.

So, in summary, the Ruby Hill market, like many luxury neighborhoods, is very soft right now. The good news is inventory is constrained, at least good news for sellers. So, that should put some pressure on buyers, but overall that price segment, especially over $3 million, is very soft.

That is it for now. Be sure to like this and share this with your friends if you think they would find it interesting. We also invite your comment on this video below. And as always, if we can help you or someone you know with your real estate needs, please reach out to us at 925-621-0680, or visit our website at 680homes.com.

Thanks for watching.

 

7138 W Woodbury Ct, Pleasanton, CA 94566

7138 W Woodbury Ct | Pleasanton | CA |94566

Offered at $2,050,000

Imagine a pristine luxury home with a private lot in an ideal cul-de-sac location. Imagine a flexible open floor plan designed for modern living with designer upgrades and finishes throughout. Imagine a state of the art granite and stainless kitchen with center island. Imagine relaxing in your fully landscaped private yard with covered patio. Welcome Home!

680 Homes – Market Minute Pleasanton November 2018

Hi everybody. This is Doug Buenz with the 680 Homes Group, Venture Sotheby’s International Realty and 680homes.com. This is our November Market Minute from Pleasanton, California.

So what’s happening in the Pleasanton market? Well, the good news is the Pleasanton market seems to have rebounded some. As you know, it certainly softened up in August and September, but October showed a little bit of a rebound.

 

Pleasanton market

For inventory, there were 74 Pleasanton CA homes available overall, compared to 97 at the end of August, so you can see the inventory has constrained a little bit. Some of the inventory has sold. Some of the sellers have taken their homes off the market.

Pending sales and closed sales are higher. We had 51 closed sales in October, and that is up from 48 in September.  The pending sales were up slightly, so good news. A little more activity on the demand side, a little less supply, so the market did indeed rebound a little bit.

Let’s take a little deeper dive into some of the stats.

Pleasanton CA Homes

The average days on market for active listings, for Pleasanton CA homes under $1,000,000 it was 32. That is up significantly from the spring, but it is  still not bad. For homes between $1,000,000 and $2,000,000 it was 28, so that remains a very active price segment. And for homes over $2,000,000 the average days on the market was 211, which indicates that that market segment remains very slow.

680 Homes

The average price per square foot for sold properties, under $1,000,000 it was  $612 a square foot on average. For homes between $1,000,000 and $2,000,000 it was  $596 a square foot for average. And homes over $2,000,000 the average price per square foot for sold properties in October was $448 a square foot. You can see that as you go up the price curve the price per square foot tends to decline and the market gets softer.

Let’s talk about percent of homes sold over the asking price. That’s a good indicator of the strength of the market. So homes under $1,000,000, 14% of those homes sold over asking price, so that tells you buyers are a little more concerned about value and they are  not being nearly as aggressive in their offer prices.  For homes between $1,000,000 and $2,000,000, 46% of those homes sold over asking price, so again another indicator that that price range remains one of the most active in Pleasanton. For homes over $2,000,000, 14% of the homes sold over asking price, so again another indication that when you get over $2,000,000 the market gets a little bit tougher.

Let’s take a look at median sales price. The median sales price in Pleasanton was $1,240,000 in October. That’s up from $1,123,000 last month, so it is  up slightly. A year ago it was $1,125,000, so prices again are up from a year ago, even though the market has slowed.

In summary, October saw a rebound in the Pleasanton market. There were  buyers out there looking for value and some of the sellers  delivered that value in the form of lower prices or price reductions. The $1,000,000 to $2,000,000 market remains very strong and the market over $2,000,000 remains very weak.   Overall,  not bad for October.

So that is it for now. Be sure to like and share this video with friends or someone you think might get some value out of it, and we invite you to comment on this video. As always, if you know someone who could use our services, please give us a call at 925-621-0680, or visit our website at 680homes.com.  Thanks for watching.

Inside Real Estate Episode 3 – Compelling Offers

Inside Real Estate Episode 3 – Compelling Offers

 

Hi everybody. This is Doug Buenz with the 680 Homes Group at Venture Sotheby’s International Realty and 680homes.com. Welcome to the latest episode of Inside Real Estate.

Our topic today is why aren’t buyers looking at my home?   This is a question I get quite often from sellers that are experiencing little interest and very little traffic. The simple answer is it’s not a compelling offering in the marketplace.

What do I mean by that? Buyers get to decide what is compelling to them. Ten or 20 years ago,  buyers went to see homes in person. That was their first showing, and if they were interested they would come back for a second look. Nowadays and with modern technology, the buyer’s first showing is online and they decide at that point whether they want to come see the house or not. 

So if your home is not a compelling offer in the marketplace buyers are not going to come out to look at it. In essence, buyers are voting with their feet. If it’s not compelling, it’s not selling.

Compelling Offers

So the question is, what is a compelling offering or a compelling value?

Well, it’s several things.

*Up-to-date fit and finish.  For instance, right now modern homes are very much in demand. So if the home is nicely upgraded with modern finishes it’ll get a lot of attention.

*Outstanding amenities. If you have outdoor kitchen and pool and outdoor living room, en suites, all the bedrooms are suites, things like that, buyers find that compelling.

*Great location is always important.

*Privacy, views, all these things contribute to the property being a compelling offering, and if you’re missing any of them it’s not as compelling to buyers. 

Compelling Offer

The last thing of course is price. Price makes any property compelling, if it’s at the right price. So if people are not coming to see your home and you have checked all of those boxes, it’s likely an issue where the price is just perceived to be too high on the part of the buyers.

It is not what most sellers want to hear, but price is simply the adjustment mechanism between supply and demand.  

Doug Buenz- 680 Homes

If you have a weak demand for your property at a given price, if you lower the price and reposition it in the marketplace, that will normally compel more buyers to come out to see it.

So what can be done if people aren’t coming to look at your house? What can I do as a seller?

That’s a great question. Number one, you could change the photographs. You could virtual stage, change some of the furnishings, make them more modern or up-to-date.

You can change the front picture of the property. Add an aerial view.

Change something to make the pictures and the visualization of the property more compelling to home buyers. Remember, $100,000 in marketing won’t sell an overpriced listing.

Those are some of the factors that influence whether buyers come out to see your home or not. Thanks for watching. Be sure to like and share this video with friends.

Also do you have a real estate question? Comment below and we will be sure to address it in a future issue. As always, if we can help you or anyone you know with their real estate needs reach out to us at 925-621-0680 or at 680homes.com.