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New Palo Alto homes give snapshot of sellers' market

Original post made on Jul 24, 2013

The average number of days that a Palo Alto house stayed on the market during the first half of 2013 was 20 days. A condo took 33 days to sell. But it was less than a week for homes in a new Palo Alto development that went on sale this month.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, July 23, 2013, 12:02 PM

Comments (27)

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Posted by cid young
a resident of another community
on Jul 24, 2013 at 11:09 am

The article did not specify if this development is a PUD. If all have such low association fees, it sure sounds like it. If some are detached, and some are free-standing, are they all considered to be town homes, or are some single family residences? Is it only common area lighting and grounds maintenance that is included for the monthly assessment of $131? it seems some info. has gone missing.


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Posted by Michele
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Jul 24, 2013 at 11:30 am

Three story homes are not attractive to the older homebuyer. Wonder when developers will figure that out?


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Posted by Welcome
a resident of Green Acres
on Jul 24, 2013 at 1:59 pm

"Three story homes are not attractive to the older home buyer" Who says older people are even considering buying these homes? They are very attractive to the young entrepreneurs of Silicon Valley who are now our neighbors.


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Posted by Traffic
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 24, 2013 at 3:08 pm

26 homes x 2 cars per home = 50 more cars on the roads.

At least they avoided the unfortunate PAUSD.


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Posted by Not such a great idea
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 24, 2013 at 3:52 pm

I am willing to bet that many of these were sold to investors who will either turn them around in the next couple of years or simply rent them out. That's what is happening to the relatively new developments on East Meadow near Fabian Way. As for the tree story homes, I also agree that they are unattractive, not just for the older population, but also for those of us who don't want to have such a layout. Why don't developers simply build 2,000 square feet condos instead - they are truly much more attractive and convenient!


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Posted by Not such a great idea
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 24, 2013 at 3:53 pm

Three story homes, not "tree" story homes :).


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Posted by Not an issue
a resident of Community Center
on Jul 24, 2013 at 4:02 pm

Looks like these homes are selling, so the number of stories are irrelevant. Naturally they are " unattractive" ( everything recently built in palo alto in " unattractive")-- they do not look like eichlers and/or were not designed by Julia Morgan.
As for traffic-- you are assuming thatbthe people that bought do not live in palo alto now and/or do not commute to palo alto. Yes, we need a deep recession and/ or depression so that there will not be traffic in the city. The other option of having good public transportation and descent shopping in town will never happen.


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Posted by not keen
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 24, 2013 at 7:24 pm

Did they sell to people who actually visited them in person? Or to investors in Shanghai and/or Beijing who bid remotely? I ask, because our esteemed city manager and reps of the Silicon Valley Realtors Association have in the last year visited China in order to heat up the foreign investors--even establishing offices there--so as to increase the list prices and therefore get more money for the city (in terms of property-tax assessments whose proceeds get passed on from Santa Clara County to the city of Palo Alto).

Lovely place this is!! What prospect of downsizing, ha?!


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Posted by Not an issue
a resident of Community Center
on Jul 24, 2013 at 7:31 pm

Not keen-- did you bother to,read the story:

"By 1 p.m. on Saturday, about 60 groups had already gone through the two open model homes, according to Frances Ibay, also a community sales manager. In the kitchen of the first unit, caterers were busily refilling platters, expecting around 300 people.

By end of day, there were closer to 350, according to Riccardi."

I guess not.


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Posted by not keen
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 24, 2013 at 8:55 pm

@ Not an issue:

Did you read my question? "Did they sell to people who actually visited them in person?"

So what, that 350 people visited? They may have been outbid by investors overseas!

I guess you saw my question but didn't stop to actually take it in.


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Posted by Not an issue
a resident of Community Center
on Jul 24, 2013 at 9:02 pm

Not keen- perhaps you also did not read this part of the story:
"To ensure quick sales, bidders all had to be pre-approved by Classics' designated lender, who was on hand at the open house; offers were accompanied by $10,000 deposit checks."
I guess you did not stop to read the story. Are we starting another round of Asian bashing? Why does it matter if Chinese people did buy it?


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Posted by not keen
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 24, 2013 at 9:21 pm

@ Not an issue:

I don't care who buys property in Palo Alto if they're here and are going to live here and participate in the community. What sickens me is foreign investors who buy properties here, tear them down, build outsized new houses on the lots, and then sell them for a fat profit--without ever setting foot in this town!!

And to think that realtors in this city, plus the city manager, have gone overseas (to China, specifically)to heat up the real-estate scenario here (already overheated, in that there are too few properties on the market for prices to stay reasonable). Palo Alto is being auctioned off by money-makers. How do children who grew up here ever have a chance of returning to live here as adults??

I'm not "Chinese-bashing" as you put it, in your attempt to discredit any protest; I'm bashing the greed of those who promote the selling-off of what was a pleasant place to live to foreign investors whose only interest is in making money from "flipping" properties.


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Posted by Alex
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 24, 2013 at 10:01 pm

I've always wondered about fast-selling homes. I would think that if homes are selling that quickly, they aren't being priced high enough. I suspect the realtors are going for the quick buck.

Beware of realtors! They can be the same as attorneys who want to settle your case too quickly in order to pocket the fast cash.

Thanks in advance, PA Weekly for not deleting this comment, considering how much ad revenue you get from realtors. :)


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Posted by Facts, please
a resident of Stanford
on Jul 25, 2013 at 6:03 am

@Not keen:
"I don't care who buys property in Palo Alto if they're here and are going to live here and participate in the community."
That is none of your business, is it? We do not dictate who can buy home and if they need to "participate" in the community.

"What sickens me is foreign investors who buy properties here, tear them down, build outsized new houses on the lots, and then sell them for a fat profit--without ever setting foot in this town!!"
So what does that have to do with this development. Obviously there will be no buying and tearing down of this development. But again, is it any of your business?
But since you brought it up, please cite examples (with specific adresses) of homes that were bought by foreign investors, torn down and outsized homes built (not that easy to do in Palo Alto!).

"And to think that realtors in this city, plus the city manager, have gone overseas (to China, specifically)to heat up the real-estate scenario here "
Which realtors????



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Posted by s
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Jul 25, 2013 at 3:20 pm

The story then the problem is as follows.
Chinese money is "real estate tycoons". That is the Chinese local govs borrow money at crazy low rates, give it to their cronies as "incentives" for local developments. These were then sold. During the last few years price just kept on climbing. It was a ponzi speculative bubble throughout all of China. Just as during our bubble a lot of people mad a ton of money. Now these people see the writing on the wall and want to invest overseas in more stable markets, and where the schools are way bettter than in China and universities are cheap. Perfect California, near China, cheap good universities, free schools. Just for 500,000 dollars house the E-5B gives them free schooling for all their kids who can through being a bit creative with test taking score their way into the UC system, squeezing out families of all ethnicities who have lived in the US for years.

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by s
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 25, 2013 at 3:23 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by Catalan
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 25, 2013 at 3:28 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by silly
a resident of Community Center
on Jul 25, 2013 at 3:59 pm

For the thing that you aren't sure, you've got to repeat yourself when communicating with people because people don't pay attention at all under this forum until the portion get removed. It'll happen to your post, my post or any other posts. Ha!.


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Posted by No facts whatsoever
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 25, 2013 at 4:17 pm


S--I did find this article
Web Link
but no articles stating that in Vancouver "Chinese speculators took it over. Prices went through the roof. There was white flight. And now real estate has tanked. Wiped out. Even the Chinese are trying to sell.
They came, the gobbled up, they destroyed, the tried to leave. "

The claims about Chinese investors in the USA have become common place in this forum. Unfortunately most of it is not based on fact and is just an example of scare tactics against this so called "yellow peril".


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Posted by not keen
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 25, 2013 at 4:44 pm

@ Facts, please:

A healthy community is one in which its residents give to the common good by participating in its government and organizations. People who don't participate are takers, not givers.

Properties being bought up and developed by investors sends all the housing prices up, and therefore all the rental charges up. Is that fair to long-time homeowners or tenants??

If you want specific addresses of properties bought by investors, read the local newspapers and go to city and county records to verify that the journalists are correct. And I recommend that you Google Silicon Valley Association of Realtors, and go to sites such as this one: www.nbcbayarea.com news local‎, and/or Web Link. Just two examples of a number of places you can find information.

If you want to step off campus and see some outsized (i.e. oversized) houses on tiny lots, you won't have any difficulty at all in Palo Alto.


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Posted by PA Dweller
a resident of Community Center
on Jul 25, 2013 at 4:54 pm

I was one of the 350 parties that viewed the property, and I have no interest in purchasing one.

The developer was effective in drumming up interest. They put 4 properties on offer to test the market. If all 26 unite are up for sale, I doubt there would be any overbidding.

This is a free market. Whoever is willing and able to shell out the money is entitled to buy it regardless of ethnicity. That's like baseball and apple pie. Personally, I do not see the value, nor the investment potential. There are plenty of alternatives with a yard outside of PAUSD.


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Posted by Not an issue
a resident of Community Center
on Jul 25, 2013 at 5:08 pm

Not keen--- seems that PA residents take part in government and organizations ( familiar with the Maybell issue?) as PA dweller stated, this is a free market. If you wantbto restrict Chinese citizens from buying property, see you elected representatives.
[Portion removed.]
The "outsized and oversized" houses you claim exist we're approved by the city, correct?


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Posted by not keen
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 25, 2013 at 5:10 pm

@ PA Dweller: As "s, an Adobe-Meadows resident" wrote, the ongoing discussion is NOT about ethnicity. It's about what happens to a community when it's become a hot market for foreign investors. If the economy in their own country fails later on, then there's a bad ripple effect in the communities in which they invested.




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Posted by Not an issue
a resident of Community Center
on Jul 25, 2013 at 5:12 pm

BTW, not keen. The story you linked to states thatbthe Chinese are bolstering the bay area real estate market.
And are you also saying that sellers should limitntheirpotential profit and not sell to certain people?. Doesn't sound American to me


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Posted by Close this thread
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 26, 2013 at 10:43 am

Wow. Even with some of the comments removed, there are still some totally inflammatory, ugly, and offensive statements in this discussion thread. I cannot imagine what was being censored. So sad.


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Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Jul 26, 2013 at 12:14 pm

Don't you realize you are in Palo Alto which is smack in Silicon Valley.

I lived in England for 3 years long enough to meet and maintain friends. One of my mates was looking at relocating to the states, it was either NYC or LA. I told him about Palo Alto, now he was married with a daughter, what I did for him was told him about Gunn and the surrounding neighborhood.

He didn't pick Palo Alto went with NYC, purchased home and land without looking at home. He have his realtor specific instructions on what, how and where he wanted to buy. He purchased a large family home, 2 stories, formal dining room, land, double front door with formal entry way. His real estate agent followed the instructions right down to the front brick wall.


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Posted by Longtime Paly resident
a resident of Green Acres
on Jul 27, 2013 at 5:50 pm

I toured the model homes last weekend at Monroe Place. The problem with them is that they are sterile and soulless. I miss the bowling alley that used to be there.

I miss the Quonset hut that used to be at the intersection of Page Mill and Arastradero and housed Old Pro for so many years. We traded that Quonset hut for a cell phone store, instead of the turn lane that was needed at the spot. Ever notice how big trucks have to drive over the curb to take a right from El Camino onto Oregon because there isn't enough room for them to make the corner?

What was fun, quirky or real about Palo Alto is fast disappearing. What we are getting in exchange is not something I'd want my kids to move back here for.


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