Housing Slump? Are You Kidding?

What happens when an already-pricey area for home buyers heats up again?


A blog posted this week on Palo Alto Patch suggests that the city's housing woes are over and that the real estate market in Stanford's back yard is fully recovered.

It also informs readers that the median price of a single family home in Palo Alto topped $2 million in April.

As Sheldon might say on The Big Bang Theory: "Bazinga!"

The author of the Patch blog is local Palo Alto realtor Michael Talis.

To support the MLS data, Talis points out that homes are now selling faster than at any time since March 2005, just shortly before everything went into the dumper. In fact, homes are now on the market an average of 14 days before they have a committed buyer.

Is it the Facebook phenomenon? Are those who are about to become fabulously wealthy making the search for a new home incredibly difficult for the rest of us? And is it just Palo Alto? Or has the market throughout San Mateo County become nothing but a broken American Dream?

Foreign investors - particularly Chinese - continue to flood the area with cash offers on pricey homes. Startup companies are selling for large sums of money, creating more and more independently-wealthy local residents.

Where does it all end? Is there (home) life left for the 99 percent? Can agencies attempting to create affordable housing succeed in this climate? Are we heading for a lifetime of landlords and slumlords? Or is what we're witnessing simply good economics, supply and demand? A testimony to those who work hard to succeed.

Tell us your feelings in the comments. And vote in the poll we've included below.

Doug Radtke May 19, 2012 at 03:11 AM
Millbrae already is an official SAR of China like HK is LOL... but seriously, dozens of houses have been bought up by overseas investors and they plunk their kids in the school district. some of those investors also lease/sub-lease their houses and pour more kids in the district. lot of those folks living out there are just kids or satellite wives
Buck Shaw May 19, 2012 at 05:13 AM
What are they going to do when no one smokes any more? Where will they get there money? 50 million from prop 29 feeds the old prop in 1993 because there are less smokers now than then. 10 years from now prop. XX will feed prop. 29 which feeds the 93' prop. On and on. It creates four funds to feed research employment and that admin group you mentioned. Its not a good Prop. Mr. Lance Armstrong. Doug; I agree I was comming up from the bottom. Theres that 100% of poor thing at 32K and the more peopleyou have in the household the more poor allowance you get. So a family of 5 can make 100k or something like that and still qualify for monitory help and what I call subsidies. They ask to be paid in cash, don't report it and stay below the poverty line. Collecting benifits, low income housing, discounts of PG&E. That sort of thing. Makes me upset.
Doug Radtke May 19, 2012 at 01:21 PM
Buck that would be EIC i spoke of earlier, and the max income a household can make with 3 or more children is $43,279. However, they would also get child tax credits (non-refundable) likely lowering their tax liability to nothing if they were really making that little money. EIC gives out a maximum $16,998 benefit for having 3 or more kids. A household of 5 on that income is broke too, so they would likely qualify for EBT (food stamps) and section 8 housing. They're not pulling in 100k at all, but I understand what you're saying because I know families like this. They do cash jobs and misreport their income. I see it all the time. It's a bizarre artificial poverty. They won't get off the dole because they think they're coming out ahead, but they can't make a large capital purchase like a house making a ton of money in cash.
Buck Shaw May 19, 2012 at 02:50 PM
Do you think we chased Mr. Boone out of the conversation or did he move on to the next article? We're old grass clippings already. Ha Ha...
Buck Shaw May 19, 2012 at 03:08 PM
Not looking forward to "Obummer" day in Redwood City. May 23 everything is closed. Traffic totally messed up. Downtown forced closings. Not that I go downtown anyway. Wonder if the County Court system will function. Guess its West to 280 and over to 92 or 84 to function. I guess and its a guess ECR will be at very least slowed down to a crawl. Oh well. The Republic can survive a Barack Obama, who is, after all, merely a fool. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools, such as those who made him their President. That should get the dialog going again! Pow! Zip! Pop! Bang! A whot !


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