A roundup of local home and garden news and events, including Midpeninsula zip codes ranking in the top 10 toughest places to build, luxury homes sales rising in Silicon Valley and Gamble Garden's upcoming Community Day.
MOUNTAIN VIEW, 94043 ... According to BuildZoom.com, a website that connects customers with contractors, Mountain View's 94043 zip code is the third "toughest" place to build in the San Francisco Bay Area, and Menlo Park, at 94025, ranks 10th. According to BuildZoom's Issi Romem, these cities are not necessarily tough because it's difficult to get permits. "The toughest places to build tend to see few, if any, proposals for new construction" because developers tend to look for places that are less built out. Romem said that "if expensive Silicon Valley suburbs like Palo Alto were to sprout glass condo towers in the midst of single-family homes, they would sell out in no time. However, the fact that no developer wastes (his/her) time proposing such a project doesn't mean it would be easy for a developer to swoop in to build it." A better way to gauge the toughest places to build, Romem said, is to ask, "Where does an increasing willingness to pay for housing fail to result in more housing being built?" If people are willing to pay increasing amounts of money for housing, then a shortage of new homes indicates that construction is obstructed somehow, making it a "tough-to-build" area.
GAIN IN LUXE HOME SALES ... Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage reports that the Silicon Valley luxury home market saw a gain in total sales in June year-over-year. A total of 870 residential properties priced $1 million and higher were sold last month in Santa Clara County, a 29 percent increase from 673 sales in June 2016 and up from 785 sales in May. The median price for luxury properties sold in June dipped to $1,438,844 from $1,455,000 in June 2016, a 1 percent slip. The data is based on sales transactions recorded in Santa Clara County by the Multiple Listing Service. "While the number of home sales increased dramatically in June, home prices stayed level, which encouraged buyers," said Mike James, president of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage San Francisco Bay Area. Sales in the upper end of the market also experienced gains. Of the luxury home sales in June, 78 were priced $3 million and higher, compared to 51 sales in the prior year and 67 properties in May. The most expensive home sale in Silicon Valley in June was a 5,330-square-foot home in Palo Alto with five bedrooms and five baths that sold for $15,100,000. Sellers received an average of 107 percent of their asking price in June. Of the total luxury sales in June, 690 sold at or above asking price. Luxury homes sold in an average of 17 days on the market in June, compared to 20 days in June 2016. Los Altos had 6 of the top 10 most expensive sales.
SAVE THE DATE ... Gamble Garden will host a free Community Day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 1. The day will be filled with fun children's activities, a plant sale, horticultural resources, displays, garden demonstrations, food and entertainment. For more information, go to gamblegarden.org.