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As Real Estate Climbs, Homeowners Hold Their Ground | David Taran

Eventually, Palo Alto needs a more permanent solution to the housing affordability problem rapidly developing in Palo Alto and many other cities throughout California and the ... None of this is to say that real estate sales are down.

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As couples get engaged or married, they embark on the house hunting journeyAs families grow, parents purchase new homesAs kids leave for college or set out on their own, parents begin to downsizeNevertheless, homeowners tend to follow a similar cycleFor Palo Alto and its highly prized zip code, that cycle seems to be on hold Fewer families consider selling after they already laid claim to the property because the market is too expensive and consider them lucky for getting into the market when they didNow many young couples and families can't afford to purchase even a small apartment or starter home The Affordability ProblemThe rise in property values is a double-edged swordWhile investors rejoice at the incredulous value spike over the past few years, many people cannot afford to gamble at finding another home in their price range even if or rather when their home sells for much more than the original value No matter the case, this new pattern of buy and hold has method created a trend of its ownAs mentioned on Forbes, "In ZIPs across the country, tight inventory remains the big theme in 2017, with 12% fewer properties for sale today than in our 2016 analysis." No major shift appears on the horizon yet, but the pattern inevitably has to change before these gaps cause a severe impact on the local economy and disparity of wealth In the meantime, the city has attempted to alleviate the problem for a small portion of Palo Alto residents with the below-market-rate programAs described by the Peninsula Press, "When developers build a residential property of three or more units in Palo Alto, they are required to set aside 15 percent of those units as BMR, though they can request to pay in-lieu fees instead of providing the BMR units, according to city guidelines." Eventually, Palo Alto needs a more permanent solution to the housing affordability problem rapidly developing in Palo Alto and many other cities throughout California and the United States, but agreeing on a solution is another issueA Small Supply in High DemandNone of this is to say that real estate sales are downYes, the market doesn't offer as many listings, but those that are on the market are selling above the asking price and even faster than beforeMercury News reported that as of August "a square foot [in Palo Alto] was worth $1,499," up 4 percent from the month priorAlso, while sales declined throughout the Bay Area, sales experienced a marginal increase in Santa Clara County A lot of factors played into the continued market spikeLike many, Palo Alto Online attributed the current condition to "Low inventory and a shifting market, combined with sales strategies from the dot-com boom." 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