A Bold Move: Pacific Union Names Selma Hepp VP of Business Intelligence

Selma HeppMark McLaughlin, CEO of Pacific Union, announced today another bold move within the residential real estate industry. Pacific Union names Selma Hepp VP of Business Intelligence to the newly created position of ‘Vice President, Business Intelligence’.  Selma joins Pacific Union from her position as Chief Economist for Trulia.

Prior to Trulia, Selma Hepp was Senior Economist for the California Association of Realtors and Economist for the National Association of Realtors, both trade organizations dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate. Continue reading

East Bay Real Estate – Finally, Great News!

For the first two months of 2008, there is a dramatic increase in home sales!

If Buyers are awaiting the “bottom” to hit the real estate markets in the Tri-Valley and San Ramon Valley, they may have waited two months too long!  Again, remember that all real estate is a local economy, and in some cases actually a micro-economy. There are not only differences within regions of the East Bay real estate markets, there are even micro-economies within zip codes.  What we are noticing is a dramatic increase in opened escrows in the Tri-Valley and the San Ramon Valley!

13-forde_melrose.jpgThe real estate reporting firm for the Bay Area is DataQuick. Their statistics for the first two months of 2008 show an increase in sales in all but a very few communities in the East Bay real estate markets! Plus, the median home prices have also increased. One of the most dramatic increases have occurred in Pleasanton with a 128% jump in opened escrows compared the first two months of 2007. “Most encouraging are that the increases we found in units sold, pending sales, and median prices have occurred throughout the southern and eastern portions of the two East Bay counties, and are not limited to the traditionally stronger geographic markets,” said Melrose Forde, the 2008 president of the Bay East Association Of Realtors. “Traditionally, real estate sales activity is seasonal. These market statistics show that we’re moving out of the slow Winter months into the more active buying and selling seasons,” Forde said.

It is obviously too early to see if this is a trend in the East Bay real estate world, but it again demonstrates that the generalizations that13-downtown_danville1.jpg are made in the media regarding real estate sales are not the basis a Buyer is to use for their buying decisions.  Remember, all real estate markets are “local economies”.  Another factor that is going to be a key factor is mortgage interest rates.  With the Fed’s interest rate reductions last week in the short term lending world, it will not have a direct effect on consumer mortgage rates. It does have an impact on consumer confidence. And, with the fears of  inflation still lingering, it is expected that interest rates may even rise by one percent by the end of the year because of the inflation factor.

So, the Buyers who are waiting for the “bottom” may want to notice that it may be already here. And, if they want to get the best mortgage rate of the year, today is the day to buy a home in the East Bay real estate markets! Even Sellers need to pay attention to becoming Buyers as soon as possible, so they do not miss out on the real estate opportunities that are currently present. Contact me if you would like to further discuss these trends I am noticing.  Until next time….