The Three International Forces Affecting Your Home’s Value

The San Francisco Peninsula is home to many of the world’s largest and most advanced companies—Apple, Google and Facebook, to name a few.

The robust local economy and strong startup culture contribute to a vigorous microeconomy…that isn’t so micro.

Earlier this year, California was announced to be the sixth-largest economy of 2015, behind the United States at #1, China in second, Japan in third, Germany in fourth and the U.K. in fifth.

The international powerhouse as we are, our attractive real estate market has become somewhat of an international darling.

There are three major international forces—right here at home—that you need to know.

#1: Vancouver Legislation Pushes Investors from Canada to Hillsborough

In early August, Vancouver added a steep 15% foreign buyer tax in an effort to cool its rapidly heating market, which The Guardian reports has seen price increases of up to 39% from just one year ago.

While this move is predicted to cut Vancouver home prices by 10%, foreign investors keen to buy real estate without a steep tax rate are simply looking elsewhere.

Take Hillsborough, for example.

Just after this legislation was enacted, one of my own Hillsborough listings was purchased—sight unseen—by a foreign buyer who had been in contract on a different property in Vancouver that fell through.

#2: Buyers from China Remain a Significant Factor

The buyer of my Hillsborough listing is not alone. Investors from China have been a significant factor in the mid-Peninsula market for a number of years now.

As China’s GDP has declined over the past couple years and the US dollar has strengthened, buyers from China have been a lesser force, but still a strong one.

We had been seeing buyers from China making all-cash offers with 7-day closings. While those kinds of deals are becoming less common, for megalith investors from China looking to fortify their investments, the mid-Peninsula market is a good bet.

#3: Brexit and Mortgage Rates: The Fall and The Climb

Earlier this summer, Britain voted to leave the European Union. Some predicted this would cause massive financial chaos worldwide due to a collapse in the British economy. While these calculations have fallen short, one factor has affected our real estate market.

Mortgage rates are currently sitting at historical lows after the Brexit vote.

But the improving national economy has economists saying that rates will almost definitely climb by the end of this year—if not by the end of September.

What Does This Mean?

The mid-Peninsula real estate market remains an international economic force. Our real estate continues to be not only an excellent investment…but also a wonderful place to call home.

The immediate impetus?

Now is the time to buy or refinance.

Even as the mid-Peninsula market has gone through minor adjustments and normalization, values have held and continue to appreciate.

Those who take swift action will be able to secure incredible value at a low interest rate.

For buyers ready to move up or invest in their first home, now is the time to nab your dream home.

For sellers, once rates creep higher, the buyer pool could take a hit. We are at the cusp of one of the most active listing seasons of the year—get your home on the market now so you can maximize these conditions.

Call me today to lock in your own value in the mid-Peninsula market.

Redwood Shores

Redwood Shores: Waterfront Serenity

Located between Foster City to the north and Belmont to the east, Redwood Shores is situated for optimal access to Silicon Valley. Modern homes with water or greenbelt views give residents a strong connection to the Bay. Bair Island wildlife refuge and Redwood Shores State Marine Park ensure the preservation of the natural surroundings for this community oasis.

In addition to serene water views, Redwood Shores has community pathways, which are a paradise for cyclists and pedestrians. Oracle Headquarters is located within the boundaries of Redwood Shores, and quick access to commuter routes and Caltrain make this area convenient for professionals, especially those with a love of outdoor activities on the water. Award-winning schools complete the package.

Redwood Shores Current Market Data and available Homes

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Portola Valley

Portola Valley, CA

Portola Valley and the surrounding area have stayed true to the goal of preserving the neighborhood's peaceful and rural qualities. The town incorporated in 1964 to maintain local control over development and population growth. Today, Portola Valley boasts around 1,900 acres of permanent open space. The town is home to over 4,000 people, with 1,895 housing units -- nearly 80 percent of which are owner occupied, according to 2010 United States Census Bureau data.

According to Forbes' 2014 list of America's Most Expensive ZIP Codes, the median home price in the town was $3,255,885. Portola Valley also boasts two equestrian centers; a number of soccer, baseball, and softball fields; and Triangle Park. The Spring Ridge Trail runs from Skyline Boulevard and is popular with cyclists.

Portola Valley Current Market Data and available Homes

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Palo Alto

Palo Alto, CA

Palo Alto has a lot to offer its residents, including tree-lined streets, a thriving downtown, a plethora of parks and open space for recreation, and excellent public schools. The city’s location next to the Stanford University campus gives residents easy access to lectures, extension courses, and other educational opportunities.

The city of about 66,000 incorporated in 1894 and got its name from a 1,000-year-old redwood tree along San Francisquito Creek. Palo Alto residents are highly educated, with nearly 80 percent of those 25 and older holding at least a bachelor’s degree, according to 2013 United States Census Bureau estimates. The median household income is $122,532. Forbes ranked Palo Alto's 94301 ZIP code 24th on its 2014 list of Most Expensive ZIP Codes, with a median home sales price of $3,525,837.

Open-space areas account for nearly one-third of the approximately 25-square-mile city, which boasts more than 30 municipal parks. Only residents and their guests may access the 1,400-acre Foothills Park on Page Mill Road. The city has one of the most active downtowns on the Peninsula, and an array of restaurants and shops line University Avenue and California Avenue. The Stanford Shopping Center is also a popular destination for retail and dining. Free parking is available in municipal lots downtown.

Numerous tech companies are headquartered in Palo Alto, including Hewlett-Packard and Tesla Motors. Many prominent Web businesses and brands, such as Facebook, Pinterest, and PayPal, got their start in the city.

Palo Alto Current Market Data and available Homes

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Menlo Park

Menlo Park: Quality Living

Home to more than 10,000 street trees, numerous venture capital firms, and social media giant Facebook, Menlo Park packs a lot into its 9.8 square miles. The city offers residents a lovely place to live amid verdant neighborhoods and a friendly community.

Menlo Park borders Redwood City, Atherton, Palo Alto, East Palo Alto, and Stanford University, as well as San Francisco Bay. Its populace is highly educated, with 70 percent of people older than 25 having at least a bachelor’s degree, according to 2013 United States Census Bureau data.

In 2011, Facebook moved its headquarters from Palo Alto to Menlo Park. Other businesses and agencies with a strong presence in the city include SRI International and the venture capital firms of Sand Hill Road. Numerous stores and restaurants line Santa Cruz Avenue, the city’s main shopping street. The city also offers 12 parks, a wide array of recreational activities, and top-notch schools.

Menlo Park Current Market Data and available Homes

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