Whether you are an entrepreneur or plan to work for an established company, the real estate industry offers a variety of career opportunities, including those dealing with residential sales and leasing, commercial properties, industrial properties, and farmland, as well as property management appraisal, and counseling.
Here are 5 real estate career paths in the industry and their respective professional designations and certifications.
Residential real estate agents help people throughout the process of buying and selling homes. In addition to showing homes to prospective buyers, agents help clients with property valuation, financing, mortgages, and government programs. Agents and brokers must be licensed in the state they practice as there is no national license. Each state has a licensing system and requirements that include some pre-licensing and state-specific licensing examinations.
Accredited Buyer's Representative (ABR): Awarded by the Real Estate Buyer's Agent Council of the National Association of REALTORS (REBAC), the ABR designation is designed for real estate agents who focus on working directly with buyer-clients. Candidates must complete a two-day course and successfully pass an test to achieve the ARB candidate status. Within the following three years, candidates fulfill experience and continuing education requirements before becoming an ABR Designee.
Accredited Seller Representative (ASR): Awarded by the Accredited Seller Agency Council, the ASR designation is designed for real estate agents who focus on working directly with seller-clients. Candidates must complete a 12-hour course, pass an exam, show proof of five closed sides of transactions where the candidate represented sellers, provide three letters of recommendation from three of those sellers, and be members of the National Association of REALTORS.
Commercial agents and brokers specialize in income-producing properties, such as retail stores, shopping centers, office buildings, industrial parks, and apartment complexes. Commercial real estate professionals help clients evaluate a property's income potential and offer guidance regarding local zoning and tax laws. Some states require a specialized license for commercial transactions, while others cover residential and commercial transactions under the same license.
Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM): The CCIM designation is awarded by the CCIM Institute, an affiliate of the National Association of REALTORS. CCIM candidates must complete a curriculum that includes ethics, interest-based negotiation, financial analysis, market analysis, user decision analysis, and investment analysis for commercial investment real estate. Also, candidates must submit a portfolio that demonstrates their commercial real estate experience and complete an examination.
Certified Commercial Real Estate Advisor (CCREA): The CCREA designation is awarded by the National Association of Commercial Real Estate Professionals. CCREA candidates must complete a curriculum that includes multifamily asset-class analysis, cash flow, equity projection and analysis, loan analysis and procurement, commercial foreclosure and short sale strategies, financial analysis, and negotiation. The CCREA designation is awarded to candidates who complete a comprehensive three-day live course and examination.
If you are interested in the real estate industry, learn what types of licenses your state requires for you to work in the field. Most jobs from agent to property manager require a state-issued license to operate legally.
Property managers maintain properties that produce financial returns for the property owners and are responsible for maintaining and managing the property, including budgeting and leasing. Residential property management involves apartment buildings, condominiums, and vacation rentals.
Commercial property management entails properties such as office buildings and shopping centers. Property managers often work for real estate firms. Most states require a real estate license for property managers who collect rent, list properties, or negotiate leases.
Those interested in learning more about the different types of property management may want to consider enrolling in one of the best property management courses currently available.
Certified Property Manager (CPM): The CPM designation is awarded by the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM). A CPM candidate must hold an active real estate license (where required), be a member of IREM, complete seven required courses (or equivalent education/experience), pass the CPM certification exam, and complete the IREM ethics education. In addition, they must submit three letters of recommendation, have three years of qualifying real estate management experience and be affiliated with the National Association of REALTORS.
Accredited Residential Manager (ARM): The ARM certification is awarded by IREM. ARM candidates must complete a week-long course or complete four individual courses (or hold a CPM, CAM, CRM, or RAM designation or have qualifying education or experience), pass the ARM certification exam, complete IREM ethics education, and have one year of qualifying residential real estate management experience.
Real estate appraisers determine the value of properties to help people and businesses find the assessed value for tax purposes, investment value, present value for potential investors, book value for accounting purposes, rental value, and insurable value. Appraisers must know acceptable appraisal principles, have practical experience, and some knowledge of mathematics, accounting, and economics.
Often, appraisers work for banks or appraiser firms. Appraisers must be licensed by the state in which they work. You must first become an appraiser trainee by completing state-specified coursework. With additional coursework and experience, you can go on to become a licensed residential appraiser, a certified residential appraiser, and a certified general appraiser.
Residential Accredited Appraiser (RAA) and General Accredited Appraiser (GAA): The RAA and GAA designations are awarded by the National Association of REALTORS. Candidates must be active members of the National Association of REALTORS, obtain state certification, have a minimum of 1,000 hours of experience (in addition to state requirements), and take tested coursework (45 hours for the RAA or 60 hours for the GAA).
MAI: The MAI designation is awarded by the Appraisal Institute to appraisers who are experienced in the evaluation and valuation of commercial, industrial, and residential property and who counsel clients on real estate investments.
MAIs must hold an undergraduate degree from a four-year accredited institution, complete 400 hours of classroom instruction, pass a series of examinations, successfully take the General Comprehensive Examination (a two-day, four-part exam), and show evidence of 4,500 hours of specialized experience over at least three years.
Real estate counselors advise on property issues and help investors decide how to select properties that are likely to appreciate. Rather than selling real estate, counselors focus on each client's unique needs to offer solutions that address those needs. Counselors (also called real estate advisors) must know many facets of the real estate business. Often, real estate counselors have a background in real estate valuation, development, investing, or property management.
Counselor Real Estate (CRE): The CRE designation is awarded by the Counselors of Real Estate and is available only to individuals who have been invited by their peers into membership. Through the CRE Invitation Process, candidates must show evidence of at least 10 years of real estate experience (three of which must be in counseling). In addition, they must demonstrate that they are recognized by clients and peers for their professional knowledge, integrity, and judgment.
They must also have attained REALTOR designations such as CCIM, CPM, GRI, and SIOR and hold advanced degrees in business and related fields.
Real estate certifications prove your proficiency, knowledge, and skillset as a real estate professional. Certifications allow you to work in various real estate markets and illustrate your expertise in your particular field to potential clients.
The cost of a real estate license varies depending on the state you live in, and other designations and certifications may run hundreds of dollars. Still, the price will depend on the type of certification. It may be possible to go to community colleges to get your real estate career underway, and that could cost anywhere from $600 to $5000 or more, depending on the school.
You can earn your real estate certifications online, along with necessary real estate training. However, it is worth noting that some in-person training may be necessary to complete some certifications, depending on the program.
Professionals in the real estate industry earn a variety of salaries based on their job. For example, a real estate counselor's average base pay is $68,997. The average salary for a real estate appraiser is approximately $57,606, but overall salaries depend on the levels of certification.
Depending on where they work, certified residential real estate agents can make upwards of $91,640 a year, according to Indeed.com. However, since agents work on commissions of sales, salaries can fluctuate wildly depending on numerous factors.
Real estate lawyers must (obviously) have their law degree and passed the bar exam. Real estate lawyers may need special training in the area of real estate law, and most law schools offer master of laws (LLM) in real estate degrees, plus certificates in real estate.
The real estate industry is robust, with numerous career opportunities. This article names only a few of the many career paths currently available. Other real estate career opportunities include:
Real estate designations and certifications can help you increase your skills, proficiency, knowledge, and, ultimately, your marketability as a real estate professional. In addition to those listed here, there are dozens of other designations and certifications to show your experience and expertise in the various real estate sectors.
Departing Californians take a lot of pride in their new home state.
I know this because my “Leaving California” columns – designed to help folks choose which state might be best for a relocation – draw spirited comments from readers on how their relocation selection was slighted by my rankings.
Yes, the trusty spreadsheet isn’t free of bias in various forms. But there are 49 other states. Some will grade higher than others. That’s the scorecard business.
But to get past my personal blind spots, this edition of “Leaving California” scores relocation options for Californians on a simple scale – the average ranking derived from nine other “best state” scorecards. These gradings are based on a host of economic and demographic factors, each with its own wisdom – or not – backing the math.
If we assume that such “best state” scorecards are valuable tools for home hunting, the average ranking says New Hampshire is your top spot. Then comes Vermont, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Minnesota. By the way, California’s nemesis Florida ranked 14th best.
Now California’s average grade on these scorecards was 37th. Politely said, that’s well below average.
That leaves 13 states with worse scores. Arguably, these are places to avoid for an interstate move because you’d want an upgrade to exit the Golden State, no?
Louisiana was the “worst” state, according to the average ranking. Then came Mississippi, Arkansas, New Mexico, Alabama, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Alaska, West Virginia and South Carolina to round out the bottom 10.
Next came three surprises, just behind the Golden State: Arizona, Nevada and Texas – popular spots for exiting Californians.
Whose rankings were in this math?
My composite score includes six overall “best” state rankings. Here’s who did the math, the best and worst states, and California’s grade …
Wallethub: Best? Massachusetts. Worst? New Mexico. And California? No. 24.
US News and World Report: Best? Utah. Worst? Louisiana. And California? No. 33.
24/7 Wall Street: Best? New Hampshire. Worst? Louisiana. And California? No. 29.
Scholaroo: Best? Wyoming. Worst? Louisiana. And California? No. 48.
Moneyrates: Best? Washington. Worst? Hawaii. And California? No. 48.
Top Agency: Best? Washington. Worst? Louisiana. And California? No. 24.
The composite also tracked three broad livability rankings from niche scorecards …
CNBC: Best? Vermont. Worst? Texas. And California? No. 19. This was the “life, health and inclusiveness” ranking within the best state for business scorecard.
Bankrate: Best? Hawaii. Worst? Indiana. And California? No. 15 on the “well-being” slice of a retirement-relocation scorecard.
Motley Fool: Best? New York. Worst? Arizona. And California? No. 48 on the “quality of life” part of another retirement-focused ranking.
Look, any “best place” scorecard – even a ranking of rankings – is a nuanced mashup of statistics and analytical art. So take any of these grades with a dash of humility.
Consider the mixed opinions even among these nine rankings. There were eight different “best” states – Washington was named No. 1 twice. And while Louisiana was “worst” four times – it also garnered a sixth-best score.To gauge scorecard consistency – both good and bad – the geeky “standard deviation” calculation was used to measure the states by their relative uniformity among the nine rankings.
New Hampshire, ranked No. 1 overall, also had the smallest variances in its scores. Its worst grade was 20th. Iowa (ranked No. 9) was second for uniformity.
But a solid consensus on grades was also found lower in the composite rankings. The third-most consistent state was North Carolina (ranked No. 30), followed by Nevada (ranked No. 40), and Ohio (ranked No. 33).
Meanwhile, other states drew wildly mixed opinions.
Hawaii’s grades had the most variance. It had a composite rank of 28th best but had both a “best state” score and “worst state” among the nine scorecards.
Utah, ranked No. 21, was next in unpredictability. It had both a “best state” and a “next-to-worst state” grade. Then, on this low consistency scale, came Oklahoma (ranked No. 45), Washington (ranked No. 7), and Idaho (ranked No. 18).
You could argue there’s plenty of debate about the livability of these states.
And California got jumbled reviews, too. It had the 35th-lowest consistency in its rankings.
Jonathan Lansner is the business columnist for the Southern California News Group. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
The overriding consideration in the big California markets this year is how long you plan to be invested. If you're a home builder or rehabber who will finish your project soon, if you're a speculator who will flip an acquisition, if you plan to split a property into several rental units or condos, if - in other words - you have an investment horizon of only a couple of years, now is a great time to invest in California property.
On the other hand, if you're a builder with a multi-year project, if you plan to buy and hold rental property, if you're investing with the intention of selling out after five years or so, be very wary of getting into LA or San Diego or the Bay area right now.
And if you already hold property and are looking for a good time to sell, you should start the process.
It's not so much that home prices are in danger of falling anytime soon - at Local Market Monitor we're forecasting that prices in all California markets will rise over the next three years - but that the risk of prices peaking and then falling will increase sharply every year. You never know what will trigger the end of a boom - or exactly when - and that's what many California markets are in right now.
The table of stats shows that much of the LA and Bay areas are already above the 15 percent threshold for over-pricing when you compare the current average home price with the 'income' price. Over-pricing gets serious above 30 percent and into the danger zone above 40 percent. With prices rising at 7 to 10 percent a year, that danger zone is only a couple of years away for Anaheim, Riverside-San Bernardino, and San Francisco.
It seems only yesterday that California home prices were falling and foreclosures rising, but the tech boom and the continuing attraction of California as a migration and immigration destination quickly ran up against the reality that very little home building has been accomplished in the state for more than a decade.
With average home prices sky-high in many markets - in San Francisco now more than $1 million - investments in rental property will continue to be needed but this is where investors must be very careful not to overpay. Rents are far less volatile than home prices but if you plan a five year investment you could easily be looking at a very poor market when it comes time to sell. Don't include expected appreciation in calculating the purchase price you're willing to live with, and walk away if the asking price isn't right; bad investments never look bad in the first couple of years.
Within the larger markets, Sacramento looks like the best bet right now - population and job growth are good, home prices aren't yet too high, and the price/rent ratio at 21 is still reasonable. Vallejo-Fairfield looks most attractive in the Bay area, although we don't yet know what effect the recent fires may have.
There are certainly more opportunities among the smaller markets like Modesto and Fresno that have price/rent ratios under 20, but the economic situation in these markets tends to be less stable. The north California markets like Redding, Chico and Yuba City have a different kind of economy but with their lower home prices are likely to have better growth in the future and are less competitive for prime investment properties.
So remember -
A real estate agent is a professional who helps people buy and sell properties. But there's more to it than that. Here's a primer on what real estate agents are (and aren't) and the different roles agents can take on in a real estate transaction.
Real estate agents are licensed professionals who facilitate real estate transactions between buyers and sellers. In a transaction, the agent representing the buyer is — no surprise here — the buyer's agent, while the seller's agent is often referred to as the listing agent. There are commercial as well as residential real estate agents; to buy or sell a home, you'll go with the latter.
Real estate agents on both sides of the transaction earn money through a commission, which is generally paid by the seller. Each agent's commission is a percentage of the total sale price, with the combined commission generally totaling 5% or 6%.
Real estate agents must be state licensed. In order to receive a license, agents generally undergo training and pass an exam. Continuing education is often required to maintain an active license. To verify that an agent is currently licensed, check your state real estate commission's website. You can also search the Association of Real Estate License Law Officials database website.
Agents may have additional certifications or accreditations that can be helpful when buying or selling certain properties. For example, if you're buying a condo, you might look for an agent who's a Certified Condominium Specialist. Someone who knows your area's developments and has experience with condo transactions may be an asset.
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People often use the terms real estate agent and Realtor interchangeably, but that's sort of like saying Band-Aid when you mean adhesive bandage. Not all bandages are Band-Aids, and not all real estate agents are Realtors. (And yes, Realtor is a licensed trademark.)
A Realtor is a licensed real estate agent who is also a member of the National Association of Realtors. NAR is the largest trade association in the U.S., so many real estate agents are Realtors. Realtors are expected to adhere to NAR's standards and code of ethics, and they must participate in regular training to maintain their status.
NAR isn't the only trade association for agents. In addition to state and local associations, there are other national associations, including the National Association of Real Estate Brokers. NAREB, which emphasizes social justice and housing equality, designates its members as Realtists. Agents can belong to multiple professional organizations.
Real estate brokers are agents who've undergone more training and acquired additional licensing. Agents must work under a broker, but brokers may work independently or supervise real estate agents within a brokerage. With the brokerage model, the broker receives a portion of each agent's commission.
If you're interviewing a potential agent who is a real estate broker, ask whether you'll be working directly with them or be handed off to an agent within their brokerage. You may not want to go after a big-name broker only to find you'll mostly be working with their assistant.
You might also hear about discount real estate brokers. These are generally larger brokerage networks that connect home sellers with agents willing to take a lower commission. While it may cost less to work with a discount broker, there are trade-offs, as these brokers might not provide all the services a listing agent typically would.
Whether you're on the buying or the selling side of the transaction, your real estate agent will assist with several parts of the process.
Here's what you can expect any real estate agent to do:
Have deep knowledge of the area. This can include property values and comparable home sales, but also information on schools, neighborhoods and more.
Understand the process. The nuts and bolts of buying and selling are a given, but your agent should also know local and state real estate laws and common practices. They'll tip you off on who and what you'll need and when you'll need it.
Answer all of your questions. If it's your first time buying — or selling — you're likely to come across terms you don't recognize and tasks that seem baffling. What's the difference between pending and contingent? Why do you need title insurance? How thoroughly do you need to fill out disclosure forms? Your agent should be able to confidently and competently explain it all.
Take care of the paperwork. In some cases, your agent might be the one who draws up the contract. Even when that's not the case, an agent will usually review every document in the transaction. After you've signed off, the agent will submit the paperwork on your behalf.
Keep lines of communication open. Buyers and sellers seldom meet (which is probably for the best), and your agent is your go-between. They will be in touch with the agent on the other side of the transaction and once an offer has been accepted, they will guide you through any negotiations. Your agent will also keep you (and the other parties) up to speed on where the process stands. Closing on a home can take a while, and it's easy to get antsy if you aren't sure what's going on.
Provide support. Buying or selling a home is stressful, and a good agent will be helpful and compassionate. Whether you need a pep talk, a reality check or a shoulder to cry on, your agent should be there for you.
One more thing: Your agent should consistently represent your interests in the transaction. After all, getting the best price means two very different things depending on whether you're the home seller or the buyer. A single agent representing both sides is known as dual agency, and it's illegal in some states.
If your agent has any stake in the transaction (for example, if the property owner is a relative), they should disclose that to you.
A buyer's real estate agent helps their clients buy homes. Agents can be exclusive buyer's agents, but it's common to work with both buyers and sellers. Someone who's selling their current house and buying a new one will usually retain their listing agent as their buyer's agent. This isn't considered dual agency, because the home sale and the home purchase are two separate transactions.
Listen to your likes and dislikes. Knowing what's a must-have and what's negotiable will help them better assess which homes on the market will interest you. You'll also want to be clear with your agent on your price range — both your ideal price and your absolute maximum.
Find potential homes. Your agent should uncover new listings for you, but in an age where scrolling through real estate apps is a common pastime, you'll likely send your agent listings, too. They can help here by looking at the property in the Multiple Listing Service — or MLS — where, as a licensed agent, they'll be able to see information that's unavailable to the public. This can include details about potential issues with the home or conditions of the sale.
Talk to listing agents. Your buyer's agent will reach out to listing agents to get answers to your questions about properties and set up in-person showings. In some cases, sellers may be so bold as to ask for a copy of your mortgage preapproval, and your agent will deal with these types of requests.
Provide referrals. There can be a surprising number of parties involved in a home sale. While it's best to find your own home inspector, for example, your agent should be able to deliver you referrals as needed.
Generate and submit offers. When you see a home you love, your agent will work with you to craft a bid and submit your offer to the listing agent. A good buyer's agent should know what local sellers expect and will be able to discuss contingencies and other considerations with you.
You will sign a contract to work with a buyer's agent. But typically the home seller will pay your agent's commission.
When you're ready to sell your home, you'll turn to a listing agent. Assuming you're moving into a new place, it's fairly standard for the listing agent who sells your home to be your buyer's agent as well. As the seller, you're on the hook for both agents' commissions on your home sale, so you'll want to be sure your listing agent is up to par.
Listing agents handle many of the same to-do lists as buyer's agents, but there are a few tasks that are specific to seller's agents:
Help price your home. A listing agent will look over your property in detail, ask about repairs and upgrades and show you examples of comparable properties in order to properly price your home.
Make presale prep suggestions. In order to get your home the best price, your agent may recommend a few adjustments. That could include taking care of repairs that will turn up on a home inspection, decluttering or depersonalizing the space, or even home staging.
Market your home. A solid listing agent will get professional photography of your home and write up a strong listing for the MLS. Additional marketing may include advertisements, open houses or simply networking with other agents.
Vet potential buyers. These days, it's not just separating the lookie-loos from the folks who actually plan to buy. Sellers can ask to see a preapproval or other proof of funds in order for a buyer to see a home in person. The listing agent will talk with buyer's agents to assess their clients' seriousness and set up in-person tours.
Guide you through multiple offers. Having multiple offers on your home is exciting, but it can also be stressful. Your agent should help you determine which is best for you. Depending on your needs, it might not be the highest dollar amount or a cash offer — certain contingencies or a rent-back deal might make a lower offer more compelling.
Your listing agent will also, of course, be on your side throughout negotiations. They'll double-check paperwork that comes through, communicate with the buyer's agent and other parties to the sale, and generally stay on top of things through to closing day.
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What does a real estate agent do for the buyer?
A buyer's agent will help you find homes for sale, write and submit offers, negotiate with sellers and make referrals for services like home staging.
What does a real estate agent do for the seller?
A listing agent helps you price and market your home, evaluate offers and negotiate with buyers.
What are the advantages of working with a real estate agent?
Working with a good real estate agent can remove a lot of hassle and stress from the buying or selling process. Good agents know the local market and how real estate transactions work. They listen to your needs, help you set realistic expectations and negotiate on your behalf.
What does a real estate agent do for the buyer?
A buyer's agent will help you find homes for sale, write and
, negotiate with sellers and make referrals for services like home staging.
What does a real estate agent do for the seller?
What are the advantages of working with a real estate agent?
Working with a
good real estate agent
can remove a lot of hassle and stress from the buying or selling process. Good agents know the local market and how real estate transactions work. They listen to your needs, help you set realistic expectations and negotiate on your behalf.
AKG | Christie’s International Real Estate
Morgan Trent joined AKG|Christie’s International Real Estate to build on the team concept that has been an integral part of his life. He was born and raised in Southern California and returned after a unique journey. Trent graduated from the University of Michigan on a football scholarship and was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in 2009. While living out his dream in the NFL, Trent’s love for real estate led him to earn his real estate license and actively practice real estate in the off-seasons. His clients have included executives, professional athletes, entertainers and contacts from his network.
Trent brings a competitive spirit as well as a wealth of relationships and real estate knowledge to the team and to his clients. The same hard work and dedication that allowed him to accomplish so much in his past, is the same approach he takes every day with his clients.
Real Estate Headlines
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What the latest tax assessment rolls reveal about San Mateo and Santa Clara counties
Santa Clara and San Mateo counties' property values reached record highs this year due to continued recovery from the pandemic, a high volume of home sales at the start of last year and new construction -- but is this good news? Wednesday, July 12, 7:33 PM
Want to increase your property value? Plant a tree
Front-yard trees can greatly impact a home's value depending on their condition, placement and species. Find out which trees to plant for the best curb appeal on the Midpeninsula. Monday, July 10, 3:44 PM | 9 comments
Homes sales: Los Altos Hills home with fruit orchard sees highest price at $9.3M
Of the 39 home sales recorded this week, 23% sold for more than $5 million and just 5% sold for under $1 million. Palo Alto saw the most home sales, and Los Altos Hills saw the highest home sale. Friday, July 7, 4:34 PM
Despite shrinking real estate market, Santa Clara County's tax roll sees $41.2B increase
Property values in Santa Clara County saw a 6.6% increase last year largely due to a record level of home sales and new construction at the start of 2022, according to the annual tax roll released this week. Friday, July 7, 3:07 PM | 3 comments
New state law makes it easier to purge ‘whites-only’ language from property deeds
When Leslie Wambach was house hunting on the Midpeninsula, she thought she had found the perfect home. But then she discovered something that gave her pause: The property deed included outdated and illegal racial restrictions. Thursday, July 6, 9:29 AM | 4 comments
Layoffs leave H-1B visa holders in limbo – and unsure whether to keep or sell their Silicon Valley homes
Silicon Valley's tech layoffs have left H-1B visa holders unsure whether to sell their homes as time runs out to find employment or face deportation. Wednesday, July 5, 3:31 PM | 17 comments
Where to spot Palo Alto architect Birge Clark’s iconic work a century later
Anyone who has driven through Palo Alto likely has seen the Spanish-influenced architecture of Birge Clark. His work had so much influence on the city's look that Palo Alto has been referred to “as the city the Birge built." Monday, July 3, 2:32 PM | 9 comments
Home Sales: Atherton sees $96M in home sales for the week of June 26
Five of the eight homes recorded sold in Atherton the week of June 26 fetched between $11.75 million and $21 million, including two side-by-side properties that were part of the estate of Golden State Warriors owner Joe Lacob. Friday, June 30, 6:00 PM
Meet the duo behind Redwood City's one-stop shop for real estate, home staging and shopping
Realtor Cliff Whearley and his wife Natalie, a designer and the business' creative director, are the team behind the storefront that opened in a historic downtown building last year. Thursday, June 29, 12:37 PM
California Housing Market report: Expect higher prices, fewer options
A recent report on California's housing market shows that sluggish home sales improved overall in May compared to previous months, but an imbalance between inventory and demand means there won't be a rapid recovery any time soon. Wednesday, June 28, 3:02 PM
Golden State Warriors owner divides and sells Atherton estate for $41M
Two side-by-side properties that were part of the estate of Golden State Warriors owner Joseph Lacob recently sold for a total of $41 million. The estate includes a 10,355-square-foot Italian Villa complete with heritage olive trees. Tuesday, June 27, 6:16 PM
Master gardeners answer your summer gardening questions
Wondering why your tomatoes have brown spots? Not sure how to keep your garden healthy during the heat? Experts from UC Master Gardeners can help. Send your questions, and they will diagnose your plant problems. Monday, June 26, 1:18 PM | 4 comments
Home Sales: At $18M, Old Palo Alto home sees highest sales price for week of June 19
Old Palo Alto home that sold for $18M comes with a wine cellar, library, wrap-around porch, sunroom, and custom-built tree house. See what other homes sold on the Penisula for the week of June 19. Friday, June 23, 1:39 PM
Reclaiming lost household space: Meet the professional organizer helping residents declutter their homes
When people have no idea how to get rid of items cluttering up their homes, they call Monica Rhodes. For two decades, Rhodes has been helping Peninsula residents reclaim lost household space by eliminating 'junk hot spots' and clutter. Thursday, June 22, 1:35 PM | 6 comments
California just lost two of its largest property insurers. Now what?
State Farm and Allstate are the latest property insurers to limit new policies in California due in part to natural disaster risks, leaving many homebuyers wondering what to do. Local realtors share tips on how to find a policy. Wednesday, June 21, 11:01 AM
From 'completely destroyed' to modern Palo Alto oasis: See 1959 home transformation that includes powered laundry chute straight out of 'The Jetsons'
Maor Greenberg found the perfect Palo Alto property for his family, but it came with a rundown home. The veteran homebuilder decided to start from scratch and transformed the lot into a retreat chock-full of ultramodern features. Tuesday, June 20, 7:06 PM
Real Estate Matters: Multiple offers and price reductions simultaneously? Spring market's mixed signals confuse Peninsula buyers, sellers
The market's early recovery this year seems to have been short-lived. After looking like it would make a rebound, the market took a strange turn, and we started seeing multiple offers and price reductions occurring simultaneously. Monday, June 19, 5:56 PM
At $29M, Woodside estate with mini passenger train sees highest sales price for week of June 12
Woodside estate that sold for $29 million was home to early Facebook investor, bestselling author and rock musician with ties to U2's Bono. Friday, June 16, 1:34 PM
The ups and downs of rebuilding after a disaster: Peninsula homeowners share their stories
When a massive Douglas fir tree fell on her Palo Alto home during the rain and wind storms last March, Leah Russin knew the repair work would be extensive. Weeks later, she found herself still waiting for an estimate and repair work. Friday, June 23, 3:11 PM
Less than a quarter of U.S. homes are affordable for the typical buyer, study shows
The U.S. housing market needs more than 300,000 affordable homes for middle-income buyers, who face the greatest housing shortage among all income group, according to a new report. Wednesday, June 14, 6:08 PM | 2 comments
Woodside home designed by famed modernist Gardner Dailey sells for whopping $29 million
Designed by noted architect Gardner Dailey, the sprawling 1928-era home on Woodside's Olive Hill Lane recently sold for $29 million, making it among the most-expensive recorded home sales in Woodside so far this year. Tuesday, June 13, 8:21 PM
It's almost summer. How often should I water my trees?
As summer nears and people head outdoors -- and often under the cool shade of a tree -- it's not unusual to get inquiries from residents wondering how to keep their trees healthy during the area's hotter months. Here's some tips. Tuesday, June 13, 9:30 AM
The House of Yabba Dabba Doo
Perched on the hillside along Interstate Highway 280, Hillsborough's prehistoric-looking "Flintstone House," as it is affectionately called, was designed by architect William Nicholson in 1976 to resist earthquakes and wildfires. Monday, June 12, 12:16 PM
Compare weekly home sales activity for your city during the month of May using our interactive charts
Want to know what's happening in the local real estate market? Check out our week-by-week comparison of home sales activity on the Peninsula for the Month of May. Friday, June 9, 8:21 PM
Pesticide-free movement gains momentum on Peninsula with new ban
Put away the poisons and opt for earth-friendly ways of dealing with animal, insect and plant pests: That's the clear message coming from Woodside, which is now among 32 cities in California that have banned chemical pesticides.
Thursday, June 8, 2:59 PM | 1 comments
Signs your home has a foundation problem following this year's epic storms
The heavy rains that beset the Bay Area earlier this year caused properties across the region to experience flooding and water damage, which in many cases triggered foundation issues. How can you tell if your home has a problem? Wednesday, June 7, 4:33 PM
Historic English manor recently sold for $19.5M has ties to Palo Alto's prohibition on booze
The 25-room English manor that recently sold for $19.5 million was known as one of the "finest" residences in Palo Alto when it was built 107 years ago. A century later, it became linked to the repeal of Stanford's alcohol ban. Tuesday, June 6, 9:22 PM | 4 comments
A break for renters? California considers reining in high security deposits
A bill would hold security deposits to one month's rent, not three. The California Apartment Association says it could drive up rents, making it harder to find a home. Monday, June 5, 5:17 PM | 3 comments
At $19.5M, historic 1916 English manor in Palo Alto tops list of 40 homes sold
Want to know what's happening in the local real estate market? Take a look at our interactive charts showing home sales activity in communities along the Midpeninsula for the week of May 29. Friday, June 2, 9:35 AM | 6 comments
From outlawing 'equity theft' to redefining wetlands, Supreme Court gives property owners big wins
The National Association of Realtors is lauding two Supreme Court rulings that significantly boost the rights of property owners: One puts an end to government "home equity theft"; the other redefines "protected waters."
Thursday, June 1, 3:45 PM
At $22M, 4-bedroom rancher in Atherton sees highest Peninsula home sale for the week of May 22
Want to know what's happening in the local real estate market? Take a look at our interactive charts showing home sales activity in communities along the Midpeninsula for the week of May 22. Friday, May 26, 8:54 AM | 2 comments
Number of homes sold on Peninsula plunges amid mortgage rate increases, inventory shortage
Increased mortgage rates combined with an inventory shortage caused a significant drop in home sales statewide and along the Peninsula in April, according to a new report from the California Association of Realtors. Wednesday, May 24, 2:50 PM
Find the highest, lowest sales prices in each Midpeninsula city for the week of May 15
Want to know what's happening in the local real estate market? Take a look at our interactive charts showing home sales activity in communities along the Midpeninsula for the week of May 15. Friday, May 19, 1:47 PM
Modern Home Tour opens the doors to some of Peninsula's most ultramodern private residences
The Modern Architecture + Design Society is holding its annual Silicon Valley Modern Home Tour on Saturday, May 20, for the first time since 2019. Take a look at the seven homes featured on this year's tour. Friday, May 19, 3:47 AM
Get your broken household appliances fixed for free
When Alberto Ribas' espresso machine went caput after only a few years of use, rather than toss it out, he brought the appliance to a local Repair Cafe event, where volunteer "fixers" bring new life to old appliances for free. Monday, May 15, 4:46 PM
Remodeling in a flood zone: Palo Alto couple faces unexpected challenges
When Laurence and Anantha Kancherla decided to expand their Palo Alto midcentury home to accommodate their growing family, it seemed like a fairly easy project -- until they discovered they were living in a flood zone. Tuesday, May 16, 10:35 AM
Where are houses selling the fastest along the Peninsula? See sales activity in your neighborhood, mapped
Want to know what's happening in the local real estate market? Take a look at our interactive charts showing home sales activity in communities along the Midpeninsula for the week of May 8. Friday, May 12, 1:58 PM
When it's harvest time, volunteers lend a hand in neighborhood backyards
When the citrus trees in Sharon Hudak's Palo Alto backyard begin to bow under the weight of ripening fruit, she doesn't fret. She calls volunteers from Village Harvest to pick the fruit and share it with those in need. Friday, May 12, 6:08 PM
Find the highest, lowest sales prices in each Midpeninsula city for the week of May 1
Want to know what's happening in the local real estate market? Take a look at our interactive charts showing home sales activity in communities along the Midpeninsula for the week of May 1. Friday, May 5, 1:21 PM
With remote work here to stay, commute distance is no longer a top priority for homebuyers
More than three years after the pandemic shifted workplaces from office buildings to private residences, the work-from-home phenomenon could be a factor in the Midpeninsula housing market for many seasons to come. Friday, April 28, 2:46 PM | 5 comments
Spring's here, and the house hunt is on: See what's selling in neighborhoods along the Peninsula in our annual Spring Real Estate Guide
See our seasonal Home & Real Estate guide for Peninsula housing trends, home sales and other real estate news. Friday, April 28, 5:26 PM
Woodside records the highest home sale, while Palo Alto sees the most sales activity
Want to know what's happening in the local real estate market? Take a look at our interactive charts showing home sales activity in communities along the Midpeninsula for the week of April 17. Wednesday, April 26, 1:02 PM
Midpeninsula's spring homebuying season kicks off with tight inventory, tech layoffs and economic uncertainties
Midpeninsula Realtors are navigating the spring real estate season with no shortage of challenges, but those who we spoke to said they are retaining optimism in a historically strong and resilient market. Monday, April 24, 2:24 PM
Five wacky ways Peninsula communities are trying to avoid building housing
From protecting a "mountain lion habitat" to vote-trading allegations, here are five of the most unique approaches that Peninsula communities have taken to push back against adding new homes within city limits under state mandates. Monday, April 17, 4:14 PM
Is the Peninsula real estate market on road to recovery?
After a drop in sales activity at the end of 2022, homebuyers made a comeback early this spring. Whether the market will remain on track for a healthy recovery, however, remains unclear following the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank. Friday, April 14, 5:42 PM
From a full-blown conversion to gradual changes, Peninsula residents share how they ditched their gas appliances
Award-winning fully electric barn in Woodside houses seven horses and a family of five
With collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, industry leaders weigh in on how local housing market could be impacted
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New technology increases internet speed, access to underserved communities
“Crash, correction or chill” looks at economic and real estate trends that offer hints about the depth of housing’s troubles.
Buzz: Building new hotels in California is no longer a popular endeavor, with openings cut nearly in half.
Source: My trusty spreadsheet reviewed Atlas Hospitality Group’s mid-year hotel construction reports dating to 2018.
First, ponder the words from the industry analysts at Atlas, not the data.
Start with the 2019 executive summary, written in the middle of a tourism boom …
“2018 was a record-breaking year for California hotel development, and as we predicted, 2019 is on pace to eclipse it,” the snapshot enthusiastically stated. “Lenders and developers continue to be very bullish on new California hotels, as they see a very positive long-term outlook for the Golden State. The rapid rise in construction costs has done very little to dampen the supply of new California hotel rooms.”
Now see what Atlas wrote four years later, in mid-2023, in a far more anxious timeframe …
“Through the first six months of 2023, California continued to see a decline in the number of new hotels added as compared to the same period in 2022,” the dour conclusion stated. “We are clearly seeing the impact of the increased cost of new construction and as interest rates and as the scarcity of construction financing take hold, we are forecasting a big decline in new hotels starting construction for at least the next 18 to 24 months.”
Now let’s look at the numbers.
It is a crash? The pace of openings is kind of bleak with just 20 new hotels debuting statewide in 2023’s first six months. That’s down 31% in a year and off 46% vs. the average pace of 2018-2021.
In Southern California, 10 hotels opened – up 25% in a year but down 46% vs. 2018-2021. In Northern California, 10 opened – down 52% in a year and down 46% vs. 2018-2021.
It looks just as sluggish when eyeballing how many new rooms were available in 2023’s first six months.
Statewide, 2,705 rooms were down 24% in a year and down 42% vs. 2018-2021. Southern California’s 1,210 rooms were up 65% in a year but down 51% vs. 2018-2021. And Northern California’s 1,495 rooms were down 47% in a year and down 33% vs. 2018-2021.
Maybe only a correction? Hotels are being built, but it’s just a thin pipeline of new lodging properties as of mid-year 2023.
California has 122 hotels under construction – up 5% in a year but down 34% vs. 2018-2021. Southern California’s 63 is down 6% in a year and down 38% vs. 2018-2021. Northern California’s 59 is up 20% in a year but down 30% vs. 2018-2021.
That translates to a significant dip in the number of upcoming new rooms.
California’s 16,321 rooms under construction are a 2% increase in a year but that’s 36% below 2018-2021. Southern California’s 9,279 is down 6% in a year and down 37% vs. 2018-2021. Northern California’s 7,042 is up 16% in a year but down 36% vs. 2018-2021.
Or just a chill? Hotel owners may not be betting on adding capacity. But it’s not because rooms aren’t filling up after a rough pandemic rollercoaster.
Look at the overall hotel business, using my trusty spreadsheet’s peek at data from a recent statewide forecast from Visit California.
California hotels are expected to sell 147 million nights of lodging this year – that’s up 7% vs. 2022 and 1% below pre-pandemic 2019. That’s quite a rebound from the 39% tumble taken in locked-down 2020.
That reversal means California hotels should be 71% full this year vs. an occupancy rate of 68% last year. Yes, that’s still below the 75% rate of 2019 but occupancy was slashed to 49% when coronavirus crimped travel in 2020.
And the pandemic era’s surprising tourism revival allowed hotel owners to raise their rates. Look at the price hikes this way – average revenue per room for each occupied night.
Guests will pay $196 a night this year – up 5% vs. 2022 and up 17% vs. 2019. Remember, this room rate measure fell 22% in 2020.
Jonathan Lansner is the business columnist for the Southern California News Group. He can be reached at email@example.com