Category Archives: Real-Estate

Since Palo Alto Isn’t Expensive Enough

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The Palo Alto Daily Post is packed, cover to cover, with real estate ads these days. Most of the houses range from $5 million to $12 million, but in case you got into Facebook (or one of their target companies) early, maybe that isn’t enough. Perhaps that’s why, day after day, the Post is running a full-page ad for a $21 million residence in Italy, of all places. Here’s the web site for the residence, in case you want to kick the tires.

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Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

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For a price not much higher than that of the Six Million Dollar Man, you can come hang with me here in drought-sticken Palo Alto! In this morning’s paper, there is a property featured in my neighborhood for the low, low price of $6.5 million, which is a cinch if you happen to be one of Facebook’s earlier employees. And the lot size – simply massive – a full .172 of an acre (and I am not making that figure up – less than one-fifth of a single acre). Must be pretty magnificent building, though, eh? Here ya go! (more…)

Real Estate Recency Bias

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If there’s one sweet job to have — besides being a Goldman banker – – it’s Palo Alto real estate agent (at least a top-tier one). These days, just toss an ad into the Palo Alto Daily Post, and, voila, multiple above-market offers, of which you get a healthy percentage. The winningest realtor in town these days in Ken DeLeon, who is (not surprisingly) given editorial space on a regular basis in the paper in which he advertises regularly so he can share his (cough cough) objective view on where real estate is headed. His conclusions, of course, tend to suggest everlasting upside.

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More Unreal Estate

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I have personally benefited in two direct ways from the insane multi-trillion dollar credit-creation that we’ve seen happen over the past half decade: one, a private investment I made in a startup has been blossoming very nicely, and two, the house in which I live is worth nine times what I paid for it. It’s this latter phenomenon I wanted to touch on this holiday, since it’s quiet, and Slopers outside the Silicon Valley might find perverse comfort in the relative bargains of their neighborhood.

Below is a simple chart showing the median sales price of Palo Alto houses and – helpfully – the percentage of the list price received. It’s a pretty interesting litte chart. At first, it gently descends, as the Valley dipped from the Internet bubble bursting. Next, it began a steady ascent, as interest rates plunged (thanks to Greenspan) and the housing bubble went into full swing. The financial crisis took the froth out (although Palo Alto didn’t suffer the 50%+ drops of less attractive areas, like Stockton) and, most recent, we have soared into unchartered territory, both in terms of median sales price and price received (as you can see, the price being paid is actually averaging 11.6% above the already lofty asking price). (more…)