What Bay Area Peninsula / South Bay cities' condo/townhouse prices are expected to appreciate?

Asked by Sarah T, 94085 Wed Dec 29, 2010

first-time homebuyer trying to decide whether to buy in Sunnyvale, Cupertino, Los altos, Mountain View, San Carlos, Palo Alto, Redwood City / Redwood Shores, Menlo Park, Woodside, Portola Valley, and San Mateo

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Slava Derugin, , Palo Alto, CA
Wed Feb 16, 2011
Well, that depends on what timeframe you are looking at. In the long term? Pretty much all the areas you mentioned are expected to appreciate. In the short term? Who the heck knows. If we get more bank-owned properties on the market, prices could potentially drop further.

Check out some price trends:

Cupertino - http://www.trulia.com/real_estate/Cupertino-California/marke…
Sunnyvale - http://www.trulia.com/real_estate/Sunnyvale-California/marke…
Mountain View - http://www.trulia.com/real_estate/Mountain_View-California/m…
Los Altos - http://www.trulia.com/real_estate/Los_Altos-California/marke…
Palo Alto - http://www.trulia.com/real_estate/Palo_Alto-California/marke…
Menlo Park - http://www.trulia.com/real_estate/Menlo_Park-California/mark…
Woodside - http://www.trulia.com/real_estate/Woodside-California/market…
Portola Valley - http://www.trulia.com/real_estate/Portola_Valley-California/…
Redwood City - http://www.trulia.com/real_estate/Redwood_City-California/ma…
Redwood Shores - http://www.trulia.com/real_estate/Redwood_Shores-Redwood_Cit…
San Carlos - http://www.trulia.com/real_estate/San_Carlos-California/mark…
San Mateo - http://www.trulia.com/real_estate/San_Mateo-California/marke…

As you decide where to live, consider not only appreciation, but also affordability, neighborhoods, local conveniences, schools, etc. By the way, even if you don't have children, schools are important because they make a location more desirable for future buyers when you plan to resell.

Hope this helps! Let me know if you need further assistance!

Realtor, Short Sale Specialist
2 votes
Michael Cheng, Agent, San Jose, CA
Mon Jan 10, 2011
The vast majority of current homeowners in those areas expect the property prices to appreciate. That may be simply a symptom of an ownership-bias. Similarly, while opinions vary subtly amongst agents, the NAR almost always expects further price appreciation. Still, that expectation probably doesn't help very much. So, be careful when you're basing your purchase decisions on expectations alone.

In every neighborhood, a handful of factors and trends have major impact on current prices and demand, like the quality of schools, jobs, commute, views, weather, etc. While some of the factors won't be changing much (views and weather), the relative appreciation potential of a location is primarily driven by the flow of money. If more money is going into an area, schools usually do better as the tax base improves. Jobs, demographic shifts, and even available credit are key contributors to those money flows.

So, if you work with a realtor well-versed in detailed analysis, she/he can help you parse out the underlying trends to reasonably assess which one of those areas is expecting the most amount of improvement in money flows. Otherwise, you'll have to base your decision on mere opinions which are usually derived from gross simplifications like "expensive areas tend to appreciate more".
Web Reference:  http://www.archershomes.com
0 votes
Robert Lei, Agent, Cupertino, CA
Wed Dec 29, 2010
The quality of the schools are both a leading and trailing indicator to the quality of the neighborhoods you are considering. Cupertino is a safe pick because every school in Cupertino is a good school and almost every family who moves into Cupertino has conscientious parents who know the value of education. Sunnyvale and Mountain View have some good areas and some not as good. Los Altos has excellent elementary schools. Palo Alto and Menlo Park have nice neighborhoods, but you also have to be careful about homes that are a little too close for comfort to East Palo Alto. San Carlos, Woodside, Portola Valley, San Mateo and Redwood Shores are all nice. Redwood City has some nice neighborhoods too, but is overall not as nice as Redwood Shores. On the flip side, Redwood City is more affordable.

Before I answer your appreciation question, I would like you to narrow down your list by first talking to a mortgage professional who will calculate how much house you can afford. All those cities you mentioned have multiple condo/townhouse complexes, some will be in your price range, some not. I answered your other question about closing on a home in 3 months. Please read that answer too.
0 votes
Terri Vellios, Agent, Campbell, CA
Wed Dec 29, 2010

This website is very useful. It may assist you in narrowing your search.
Web Reference:  http://terrivellios.com
0 votes
Dallas Texas, Agent, Dallas, TN
Wed Dec 29, 2010
Against professional code of ethics for a Realtor make any statement or comment. We can't predict the future however make suggestions for your decision.

Google search published articles in magazine or local newspaper of the growth in the community which would indicate a potential appreciation of any property.

ISD website
Crime Police department website

Lynn911 Dallas Realtor & Consultant, Loan Officer, Credit Repair Advisor
The Michael Group - Dallas Business Journal Top Ranked Realtors
0 votes
Pacita Dimac…, Agent, Oakland, CA
Wed Dec 29, 2010
The first thing you should ask yourself is how much can you afford to buy because there's a world of difference in prices of all the areas you mentioned. Further, each city will have its own areas that command the most attention.

One thing that may in demand --- waterfront homes
And as you already know, location, location, location is a constant.

Trulia offers a really good snapshot per city, of the most popular communities. Take a look
Redwood City http://www.trulia.com/real_estate/Redwood_City-California/
Palo Alto http://www.trulia.com/real_estate/Palo_Alto-California/
San Mateo http://www.trulia.com/real_estate/San_Mateo-California/


Have fun exploring!
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