Bay Area Rental Rates Cooling?

According to a recent report by RealFacts, a real estate market research firm, Bay Area apartment rentals rose only slightly during the past quarter with Santa Clara, San Mateo, and San Francisco counties even dropping slightly.

Rents at large apartment complexes in the Bay Area averaged $2,238 in the last quarter of 2014, an increase of only $4 from the previous quarter but up 11.3 percent from the previous year. Rents in Contra Costa County were the cheapest in the nine counties, averaging $1,676 while San Francisco remains the most expensive at $3,392.

Experts disagree on the long-term rental trend. Some see it as finally flattening out while others point to the continued increase in income in the Bay Area along with a short supply of units, both of which are elements conducive to continuing rental increases.


Under 35? Do You Know the Way to San Jose?

Despite high rents and poor public transportation, San Jose has been named one of the best American cities for residents under the age of 35 by Vocative in their “livability index,” checking in at number 26.

In addition to taking in to account the usual factors such as housing costs and public transportation, the index also measures such features as walkability, the number of sunny days, and the percentage of violent crimes per 100,000.

While admitting that San Jose isn’t nearly as “cool” as San Francisco – which was rated number 3 – the report stated, “San Jose ain’t the coolest place around, but the Willow Glen and Santana Row neighborhoods offer walkability and cool shopping, respectively.” What more could you want?

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Mortgage Rates Falling As New Home Sales Disappoint

According to Freddie Mac, long-term mortgage rates fell this week with the average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage hitting the lowest level since May 30, 2013. Currently a 30-year fixed rate averages 3.89 percent in the week ending Dec. 4, down from 3.97 percent the previous week. A year ago, 30-year rates averaged 4.46 percent.

A 15-year fix decreased to an average 3.10 percent from 3.17 percent while a one-year adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 2.41 percent this week, down from 2.44 percent.

the National Association of Realtors reported that new home sales in October were short of expectations as pending sales of existing homes fell 1.1 percent in October.


Builder Confidence at a 9-Year High

The the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index reports that builder confidence in the new-home market rose to it’s mark int he last last nine years. September sas the fourth consecutive month that this builder confidence has risen.
NAHB Chairman Kevin Kelly was quoted as saying, “Since early summer, builders in many markets across the nation have been reporting that buyer interest and traffic have picked up, which is a positive sign that the housing market is moving in the right direction.”

This confidence measures builders’ perceptions of single-family home sales and sales expectations of the next six months as well as buyer traffic.


Low Mortgage Rates Keep Some Homeowners From Selling

An article in the San Jose Mercury News points out that recent historically low mortgage rates are giving many homeowners pause when it comes to selling their homes, even if they are looking to upgrade. Mortgage rates reached an all-time low of 3.3 percent in November 2013. While rates are currently around 4.2 percent, that is still a significant increase for many. It is estimated that more than one-third of homes in the U.S. currently have rates below 4 percent. And, if rates continue to rise – as they are expected to do – by the close of 2014 even more homeowners will have reason to stay right where they are.


Effort to Kill High-Rise Ballot in SF is Rejected by Court

A legal challenge to Prop. B, which would allow voters to approve high-rise buildings that exceed height limits along the city’s waterfront has been rejected by a San Francisco Superior Court judge. The legal challenge stated the measure would intrude on the state’s jurisdiction and the Port Commission’s authority. It was underwritten in part by the San Francisco Giants who are proposing a major development along the water. An appeal may be forthcoming.


Green Escrow Receives 2013 Best of Pleasanton Award


PLEASANTON December 11, 2013 — Green Escrow Services Incorporated has been selected for the 2013 Best of Pleasanton Award in the Title Services category by the Pleasanton Award Program

Each year, the Pleasanton Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Pleasanton area a great place to live, work and play.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2013 Pleasanton Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners were determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Pleasanton Award Program and data provided by third parties.

About Pleasanton Award Program
The Pleasanton Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Pleasanton area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.

The Pleasanton Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in our community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to recognize the small business community’s contribution to the U.S. economy.


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