Sound Off: Laying out the benefits and drawbacks of the Bay Area’s future

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A: San Francisco and the Bay Area connect with the global economy more intensely every year. As technology expands, the world only becomes more intertwined.

More people working for international companies travel away from their home office. Thus, the complexity of economic factors challenges us to make predictions about the future of real estate.

The old philosophy of “highest and best use of land” is evident in the gentrification of once-modest neighborhoods.


Two single homes or an industrial building are being transformed into multiple-unit housing. This leads to more people sharing smaller spaces for a higher price.

Parents seeking highly rated public schools for their children will continue looking to buy in sought-after school districts. What remains unknown is if our public schools will reach a higher level of education in the coming years or if there will be a flight to the suburbs.

Transportation and commute times are elements becoming even more important in the property value equation. Will public transportation relieve it?

Healthier living and medical advancements will also increase demand for continuing care communities as people live longer.

When it’s all said and done, the demand continues to be housing, housing and more housing.

Susan Rowan,

Madison Co., (415) 342-7754, quince365@gmail.com

A: The Bay Area is renowned for its sunny climate and varied geography, as well as its diverse population and wealth of opportunities. This combination of assets makes the Bay Area one of the most desirable places to live.

Right now we find ourselves three years into one of the greatest real estate booms the Bay Area has ever seen. This upswing is fueled by multiple sources. People around the world are chasing high-paying jobs, international investors are seeking a safe harbor for their funds, and hedge funds continue to acquire large percentages of our rental housing. Oh, and did I mention we currently have the lowest interest rates in U.S. history?

During boom times, people tend to take greater risks, thinking that the party will never end. Whether that means acquiring assets at inflated values or taking on more debt, we must be cautious not to be excessive. While we have yet to see signs of a slowdown, if there is one thing my economics background has taught me, it is that periods of rapid growth and great optimism are often followed by a strong reversal.

No one knows what the future has in store. The Bay Area will very likely continue to be a great place to live. Times may be good now for Bay Area homeowners; however, we should not lose sight of the alternatives.

Devin Ratoosh,

Marvin Gardens Berkeley,

(510) 848-8888, devin@ratoosh.com

A:
The forecast for 2016 Bay Area real estate market continues to be strong. The Bay Area is ranked as one of the most desirable areas to call home in the country. The San Francisco Bay Area offers a rich, diverse culture and excellent job opportunities. Throw in the booming high-tech industry and the market shows no signs of slowing.

Predictions claim we will continue to see demand outweigh supply through 2016. Home prices are predicted to rise by 5 percent or more in that time.

All indications are that the Federal Reserve feels it is time to raise interest rates, and this will affect some buyers’ ability to purchase a home. No one knows for certain how much rates will rise or when, but predictions suggest that they could rise anywhere from a half or whole percent. If a homeowner has been on the fence about selling their home, now would be the time to decide.

Lisa Lange,

Coldwell Banker,

(415) 464-3318, lisalange@coldwellbanker.com;

Kathleen Daly,

Coldwell Banker,

(415) 925-3205,


kdaly@cbnorcal.com.

Article source: http://www.sfgate.com/realestate/article/Sound-Off-Laying-out-the-benefits-and-drawbacks-6692560.php

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