Sound Off: Bold predictions for 2016

A: The real estate industry is a fascinating cycle. Having experienced different real estate markets for more than 35 years, here are my predictions:

There will be moderate increases in prices around the Bay Area, and San Francisco markets will stabilize on the higher end, but increase on properties under $2.5 million. It still comes down to supply and demand.

Interest rates will rise, but an election year will stave off any large jumps. By the end of 2016, we will see rates around 4.5 percent. Rents will continue to rise, making it cheaper to own than rent.

Banks will loosen up qualifications and money, allowing more first-time home buyers to enter the market.

All-cash offers will decrease, giving mortgage-dependent buyers their opportunity in the market.

New construction will become more relevant in the Bay Area.

Affordable housing becomes the Bay Area’s most debated topic involving politics, practicality and reality.

Jeannie Anderson,

Pacific Union Real Estate,

(415) 271-4887,

A: This is going to be a very good year for Bay Area real estate, as crosscurrents appear to be aligning in our favor.

Interest rates will rise, yes, but only modestly. The rise should not have as significant an impact as people may think. Let’s face it, rates will remain super attractive.

Here in San Francisco inventory levels will increase somewhat but will still remain low. Who wants to leave San Francisco?

Buyers will be sitting on the fence more. With buyers not pulling the trigger as quickly, it bodes well for sellers who will identify the shift in market conditions and move forward with their plans.

The luxury market will be under attack as buyers won’t have to purchase, and inventory will be scarce.

The local economy will remain healthy. Technology and biotech companies continue to flourish, providing continued demand and price stability.

Last, the Warriors will finish with the best win-loss record in NBA history and the Giants will win the World Series because it’s an even year.

Frank Castaldini, Coldwell Banker, (415) 846-1899,

A: The next 12 months should prove fruitful for Marin County, the place I work and call home.

Prices have always been high, yet should continue to grow even with rising interest rates. While this is true for the entire county, it’s especially noticeable in Mill Valley, a region that only seems to grow in demand.

Also on the rise is the amount of young singles, couples, and families leaving San Francisco in favor of Marin’s athletic lifestyle and open spaces.

These buyers are notorious for looking past traditionally popular (and expensive) neighborhoods in order to discover and revitalize previously undervalued locations.

That energy should only intensify in 2016, with pockets of vibrancy popping up in unexpected areas.

Keep an eye on San Rafael and Novato. Thanks to a growing biotech cluster, those cities are in the midst of a renaissance.

Logan Link,

Sotheby’s International Realty,

(415) 380-4300,


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