Sound Off: What are your predictions for 2015?

  • 1454c 920x920 Sound Off: What are your predictions for 2015?

A: On the heels of what may have been the most successful year ever with respect to Bay Area real estate, the forecast for 2015 remains much the same, according to economic forecasters “in the know.” Why? Gasoline prices are down, the stock market is up — favorable conditions translating to more disposable income and greater confidence in the markets overall. The American economy is stronger than it has been in more than a decade, while demand for good homes is still outpacing available inventory by a fair margin.

Much of this success, specifically in the Bay Area, has been driven by abundant tech and IPO dollars, a well-educated and growing professional population, a moderate climate year round, and the inability to easily expand housing units within our borders, thus proving once again that real estate is highly localized.

This is fantastic news for Bay Area sellers and tougher news for buyers, no doubt, emphasizing the continuing need for an active approach that includes pre-approval with a local lender, knowledgable vigilance and tracking of your identified communities, quick decision making, pre-inspections when allowed and early alignment with a successful neighborhood specialist to dig out any “off-market” opportunities.

I expect another exuberant year in real estate throughout the South, North and East Bay areas.

Julie Gardner, The Grubb Co.,

(510) 326-0840,

A: Most predictions on what the Bay Area housing market will do in 2015 will be around the possible rise in interest rates, fluctuations in home pricing, how lenders have tighter requirements and, of course, how everyone wants to move to the Bay Area.

However, I would like to focus on what the Bay Area’s housing market will not be doing in 2015.

We will not see a slowdown in development or redevelopment of properties in such areas as San Francisco and Oakland, where housing is desired or needed; however, there are counties with successful businesses that are proceeding too slowly or not at all in approving new development projects, which could help spread the housing need and desire off overburdened cities (it’s not just about land availability).

We will not see the market weaken; instead, it looks more like it is plateauing.

Rent prices are not going to relax anytime soon. They will stay high, and in desirable locations they will have a steady increase.

If you are a first-time buyer, your real estate agent will not require you to attend a first-time buyers education workshop or online learning alternative, but they should. If you are planning on becoming a first-time buyer, then look up these programs in your area.

Vincent Alvarenga,

Mission Economic Development Agency, (415) 282-3334 ext. 101,

A: San Francisco’s residents are changing. More people in the 50 to 60 age range will sell while Millennials will buy. Also, buyers over 60 will move back from the suburbs.

Sellers will still get multiple offers. Demand will exceed supply as only 6,700 residential units are set to be built in 2015. However, buyers and renters may see relief in future years, because 50,600 units are in San Francisco’s planning pipeline.

Half of those units will be big developments in Bayview/Hunter’s Point, Park Merced and Treasure Island. The remaining units are clustered in South Beach/SoMa/Mission Bay, Market Street, Potrero Hill/Dogpatch and the Mission.

Single-family homes will be even more precious and more valuable. Demand will surge in relatively affordable neighborhoods such as Outer Sunset and Ingleside Heights. However, the golden neighborhoods of Noe Valley and Pacific Heights will keep shining.

John Solaegui,

Paragon Real Estate Group,

(415) 738-7232,

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