Featured home: 26326 Esperanza Drive in Los Altos Hills

A serene setting in Santa Clara County

Where: 26326 Esperanza Drive, Los Altos Hills, CA 94022 (listing | tour)

Situated on more than an acre of land in Los Altos Hills, this beautifully-renovated home is located in a peaceful, tree-lined setting, surrounded by fine estates and other top executive properties. An open landscape and your own private patio allow you to enjoy the landscape. The luxury interior of the ranch-style home matches the upscale location, which is conveniently within minutes of Stanford, downtown Palo Alto and many major employers in the area. Completely move-in ready with the opportunity for expansion, this property is a Santa Clara County stunner.

The 2,087 square-foot home and property include:

  • 4 bedrooms
  • 2 baths
  • 2-car garage
  • Private back patio
  • Convenient access to downtown Palo Alto

See this exceptional home for yourself at our open houses all weekend, with the first taking place tonight, July 21 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Listed at $3,798,888 by Julie Tsai-Law of the Menlo Park office

Luxury is Alive on the Peninsula

Author: Rainy Hake, Executive Vice President, Alain Pinel Realtors
This article ran in the April 18th, 2014 Palo Alto Daily News publication Premier Homes, pg 10.

Last week, it was announced that the “Copper Beech Farm” estate in Greenwich, Connecticut sold for $120 million. While the property sold for $70 million below the original asking price of $190, the 51-acre estate still captured the title as the single most expensive home sale in the country ever.

While the Bay Area might not be home to the highest single-family home sale in the nation, it is no stranger to luxury. The highest property currently on the market is the impressive $69.8 million “Flood Estate,” sitting on over 90 acres in Woodside. Communities in the Bay Area – including Atherton, Menlo Park, Los Gatos, Los Altos Hills, and many more are known for their high-end homes that fetch some of the highest average prices in the country. It is no surprise that they are consistently among the most expensive zip codes in the nation.

As we wrap up the first quarter of the year, the report remains much the same as it has in the previous year – with constrained inventory, prices are continuing to elevate, while the number of sales are slightly down when compared to last year. It will really be this next quarter that communicates the true economic direction for the year, as warmer weather and seasonal changes usually draw more sellers to the market.

While this is the case for the general real estate market, when you look at the highest price points in the Bay Area, you will see a more favorable story. If you look at Santa Clara and San Mateo counties – there are a considerable number of homes over $3 million on the market (94 and 95, respectively). While this may not seem like many, when you look at supply and demand at this price point it is reflective of a relatively healthy inventory.

What is most interesting in the numbers is the year-over-year increases we are seeing. While the rest of the market is slightly down when it comes to number of sales (-9% in Santa Clara County and -6% in San Mateo County), we are seeing high double or even triple-digit increases in the number of sales of homes priced over $3 million and $5 million – and 2013 was a good year! For both Santa Clara and San Mateo counties almost half of the quarter’s sales over $5 million happened in March alone.

While these numbers are fairly impressive, they are actually understated because these numbers are taken directly from the MLS – and at the highest ends of the market, we see more “off-market” listings and transactions. So, if anything, this means that the actual activity in the luxury market is even better than statistically reported.

As we enter the spring, one thing is clear – the luxury and high-end market is alive and well in the Bay Area.


rhakeAbout Author:

Rainy Hake currently serves as the Executive Vice President of Alain Pinel Realtors where she plays a role in managing the strategic direction of the company, and also oversees the Marketing, Technology, Training and Strategy departments. She has over 15 years of experience in the real estate industry and holds and MBA from the University of Oxford.
 
 

Bay Area Market Summary 2013

Overall, 2013 was a banner year in the Bay Area real estate market – especially in the luxury and higher end markets our region is known for. While we have known the real estate market has been rebounding, this past year we saw that recovery dramatically accelerate. While the numbers showed limited inventory and historically low interest rates, the headlines told stories of multiple offers and bidding wars. With an influx of cash from booming tech companies and international buyers, sales and prices reached or exceeded pre-recession peaks in many of our communities. In some areas, year-over-year numbers show double-digit increases. For Alain Pinel Realtors, this meant a record breaking year in which we closed $10.5 billion, a 19% increase over our 2012 sales.

For a more detailed look at 2013 and the year ahead, check out our summaries on specific regions below:

East Bay: Limited inventory of homes for sale continued to keep a lid on the number of sales while driving sales prices upward and time on the market downward. Unlike buying frenzies of the past, overpriced and/or poorly prepared properties didn’t attract buyers, while properties that were priced well received a lot of attention, resulting in many multiple-offer situations.  We anticipate a more moderate increase in home prices as inventory begins to increase and the anticipated increase in interest rates somewhat dampen demand compared to 2013 levels.

Marin: 2013 was the best of times, and it was the worst of times. We struggled with a low inventory of houses all year, yet the number of homes sold was very good. In terms of homes sold, 2013 was significantly ahead of 2012 (California’s first year of recovery after the recession), and in May, July and December, even outperformed pre-recession numbers. All-in-all, this is a very strong indication that the recovery is alive and well.

Monterey Bay: The Monterey Bay is probably one of the most diverse areas of California, with prices ranging from $80,000 to $80,000,000. While total number of sales remained relatively level, we’ve seen an increase in median home price. In Santa Cruz County, we have seen a new energy in sales of $1 million or more. In Monterey County, we are experiencing more sales and fewer listings, which means that prices will go up even more. The overall market is now on solid footing and we project that 2014 should show continued growth.

Peninsula: The entire region is experiencing one of the shortest inventory selections in years. Multiple offers still abound, yet in most cases, fewer than earlier last year. Agents are finding themselves reaching out to their co-workers for upcoming offerings and priming their clients to react as quickly as possible when the right property comes on the market. The coastal area had a phenomenal increase in activity in 2013 and offers tremendous value in 2014 compared to many Peninsula areas. Although multiple offers are somewhat common in that market as well, they are not experiencing the frenzy that many Peninsula communities are.

San Francisco: The market continues to be a seller’s market with price appreciation continuing to rise in 2014. In most San Francisco neighborhoods, there is a shortage of available homes; however, record-low rates continue to drive buyers into the City. In addition, cash offers are plentiful, fueled by Silicon Valley and Pacific Rim buyers. New condominium developments will provide much needed product in 2014 on the Van Ness Corridor and Market Street. Multi-family and apartment buildings will continue to be sought after by value investors, motivated by record high rents paid by newcomers.

Silicon Valley: Because of the shortage of inventory and an excess of buyers, many transactions experienced multiple offers, with most properties selling over the listed price. Although the total number of sales was off slightly from 2012 (-5%), there was a dramatic increase in the median sale price (+23%). It is expected this robust marketplace to continue into 2014, especially during the first six months. Elements that will influence the rate of appreciation and level of activity in 2014 are: interest rates (it is anticipated they will rise), scarcity of inventory, and overall economic health.

Wine Country: While generally speaking the number of sales in the region was slightly fewer in 2013 than 2012, the average sales prices were significantly higher. 2014 is starting very strong as dryer conditions and warmer weather have resulted in many consumers flocking to the region. The hills may be brown instead of their lush winter green, but it’s great for wine country real estate, which traditionally doesn’t take off until the second quarter.

Overall, as we look towards 2014 in the Bay Area, we expect a healthier, balanced market. Lured by increasing prices, and new-found equity in their homes, we expect more sellers to enter the market, slowly increasing inventory. Some wild cards for buyers include interest rates, interest deductions and mortgage reform, and the actions of the Federal Reserve, which all can impact housing affordability. However, we expect sustained demand for home ownership and continued, but slower, growth in sales and home prices – leaving plenty of opportunity for buyers and sellers in 2014.

This article recently published in the Winter 2014 Exquisite Living.


About Exquisite Living

Exquisite Living is a premier digital luxury magazine presented by Alain Pinel Realtors. The magazine immerses readers in the luxuries of the Bay Area and beyond as one flips through luxury trends, market updates, community spotlights, and of course some of the most magnificent homes and estates.