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Coldwell Banker Realty
Ramesh Rao, Coldwell Banker RealtyPhone: (408) 806-6496
Email: [email protected]

Driven by intense demand, low interest rates and few houses for sale, the median price in March of an existing single-family home in the Bay Area rose nearly 15% to $1.02 million, according to...


Prices have skyrocketed in desirable suburban neighborhoods popular with tech employees. “Everything’s been bumped up $1 million,” said Cupertino agent Ramesh Rao. “Four million is the new three million.”

Rao said the intense bidding has pushed some buyers out of the market – but many strong bidders still remain in Santa Clara County. Saratoga, Almaden Valley, Mountain View, Sunnyvale and Los Altos continue to command premium prices from tech families, he said.

COVID-19 restrictions and intense demand have meant buyers have often had to make snap decisions on a $3 million home after a 15-minute tour of a property, he said. Homes have been selling at a record pace – as little as a few days on the market – in some Bay Area hot spots.

“It’s a very interesting market,” Rao said.

Bay Area home prices near record $1 million amid Covid crisis 

Bay Area home prices climbed to near-record levels in November, touching nearly $1 million as suburban 

properties lured buyers with ample space and worry-free, bedroom-to-home office commutes.


Cupertino agent Ramesh Rao said many tech clients are looking to add space after spending months in cramped home offices and juggling responsibilities with young children.

Buyers are more likely to ask for pools and big yards.

San Jose Mercury News, July 30, 2020: https://www.mercurynews.com/2020/07/30/coronavirus-what-pandemic-bay-area-home-prices-continue-to-r ise/ 

Home sales and bidding wars were brisk in Silicon Valley cities. 

“The market is super-hot for single family homes,” said Ramesh Rao, a Coldwell Banker agent based in Cupertino. “Selling your home is not a problem.” 

Rao credits the strong stock market and low interest rates, giving tech professionals greater buying power in recent months. He’s seen multiple offers on large homes in upscale communities, including Monte Sereno. 

But, he noted, the way of doing business has changed dramatically. Buyers are asked not to touch surfaces, and lingering tours are discouraged. Online research has replaced weekends spent at open houses. “It takes the fun out of it,” he said. 

Home-buying during the pandemic, Rao said, “is more transactional than emotional.” 

San Jose Mercury News, March 17, 2020: https://www.mercurynews.com/2020/03/17/coronavirus-could-it-bite-bay-area-home-market/  

Coldwell Banker agent Ramesh Rao, based in Cupertino, has not seen a noticeable slowdown in open house traffic at Silicon Valley properties. 

But, he said, some sellers have delayed plans to list properties and others shared concerns about the falling stock market. “I see more psychological changes,” Rao said. 

San Jose Mercury News, March 3, 2020: https://www.mercurynews.com/2020/03/02/bay-area-home-prices-regaining-momentum/  

Ramesh Rao, a Coldwell Banker agent in Cupertino, said first-time buyers are once again house-hunting. He’s seen demand grow among Silicon Valley tech employees, whose incomes were boosted by a strong stock market until recently. 

An open house at a three-bedroom home in Milpitas on the first weekend of January drew more than 200 people over two days. The home, in a strong school district, listed for $1 million, received about 10 offers, and sold for $1.16 million. 

Another home in West San Jose sold before an open house, with a buyer making a preemptive offer far above the listing price, he said. 

“If you want to sell, now is the time,” Rao said. “If the house is in a good school district, at the right price, buyers will come.”

Pessimism seeping into Bay Area home market for 2020 

A national survey of economists showed pessimism about the Bay Area housing market for 2020, expecting lower home value gains than the overall U.S. market.www.mercurynews.com 

Ramesh Rao, an agent with Coldwell Banker in Cupertino, said he’s encouraging clients to put their homes on the market in the first few months of 2020. The number of houses for sale in the region has dropped from the previous year, and Rao expects home shoppers to be active in the new year.

“The pent-up demand” Rao said, “has not gone away.” 

Financial sacrifices bigger for younger Bay Area home buyers

The new homes and condos going up in the Bay Area have done little to make housing more affordable for young home buyers. A Zillow survey found millennials are more likely than other generations ...www.mercurynews.com 

Ramesh Rao, a Coldwell Banker agent in Cupertino, has worked with tech clients through years of Silicon Valley booms and busts. 

Despite high prices in neighborhoods around Facebook, Google and Apple, Rao sees strong demand. A young software engineer making $125,000 plus stock options and bonuses after college can accrue enough personal wealth by the time she reaches her late 20s or early 30s to buy a home with a partner, he said. 

The competition for talent between major tech companies has driven salaries up for engineers, Rao said. Many techies can afford to stay in the region, and like the ability to shop their talents to different companies and startups, he said. “The Bay Area is the perfect place,” he said. 

Bay Area home prices continue to slip 

Bay Area home prices continued to decline in September as the regional market slows from the rapid pace set over the past seven years. The median sales price in September for an existing home in ...www.mercurynews.com 

Ramesh Rao, a Coldwell Banker agent in Cupertino, said pricing at or below comparable homes in a neighborhood is key to attracting buyers. The market isn’t as hot as it was last year, he said, but plenty of younger tech professionals still want to buy.

Larger trends in the housing market don’t apply to Silicon Valley. “Listen to what’s happening locally,” Rao said, “not nationally.”  

San Jose Mercury News, August 29, 2019 https://www.mercurynews.com/2019/04/04/bay-area-ipos-to-add-fuel-to-hot-housing-market/

Bay Area home sales retreat with trade, stock market volatility
Bay Area home sales slowed slightly in July, with last year’s record prices giving way to buyer caution amidst a volatile stock market and trade wars. Sales of existing homes in the nine-county ...www.mercurynews.com 

Ramesh Rao, an agent with Coldwell Banker in Cupertino, said homes listed for $3 million a year ago now are priced around $2.7 million, drawing interest with a lower price, he said. 

If a single-family home is move-in ready, with upscale features and in a good neighborhood and school district, a seller likely will get two or three solid offers, Rao said. 

Rao added that political and economic uncertainty, including a volatile stock market, changing immigration policy and trade wars, have weighed on foreign-born buyers working in tech. “They don’t want to pull the trigger,” Rao said. “All of these concerns are throwing a monkey wrench.” 

Tech-heavy suburbs see home sales slow even further
Dragged down by sluggish markets in Alameda and San ta Clara counties, Bay Area median home prices in May took their greatest swoon in more than seven years in a retreat from record-setting prices ...www.mercurynews.com   

Ramesh Rao, an agent with Coldwell Banker in Cupertino, said sales have slowed in some neighborhoods popular with tech workers. 

“More and more buyers know exactly what they want in a home,” Rao wrote in an email. Houses need to be updated with new appliances and features. “If it looks dated (old kitchen or bath and flooring), homes are not moving.” 

Lyft, other unicorn IPOs to boost market for upscale homes 

The stream of newly minted, IPO payouts from Lyft — and soon, other tech unicorns — may have Bay Area home sellers dreaming of bigger payouts and buyers wary of even heftier mortgages. But Bay ...www.mercurynews.com 

Ramesh Rao of Coldwell Banker in Cupertino, said his tech clients have become more conservative. More two-income families have been willing to take on a mortgage they can pay with just one salary, he said. “They might splurge a little bit,” he said, but he believes many will seek to diversify their investments. 

San Jose Mercury News, March 20, 2019: https://www.mercurynews.com/2019/03/20/even-cool-bay-area-housing-market-is-still-hot/

Even cool, Bay Area housing market is still hot
The San Jose housing market has cooled more than any other in the country -- and it's still the hottest in the nation, according to a recent Zillow survey. www.mercurynews.com 

Real estate agent Ramesh Rao said higher-end properties in Cupertino and Saratoga are taking longer to sell. “At the moment, it is neither clearly a sellers’ market nor a buyers’ market,” Rao said in an email. “The market is moving sideways.” 

San Jose Mercury News, February 28, 2019: https://www.mercurynews.com/2019/02/28/bay-area-home-sales-slow-but-prices-shift-back-into-high-gear/

Bay Area home sales slow but prices shift back into high gear: https://www.mercurynews.com/2019/02/28/bay-area-home-sales-slow-but-prices-shift-back-into-high-gear/

Real estate agent Ramesh Rao, of Cupertino, said high-end sales have been slower, and customers have been more savvy about checking prices. 

Michael Tkachuk, 42, moved from Luxembourg in September with his wife and 11-year-old son. He braced for high prices in the Bay Area but was willing to make the move for an enticing tech job and good schools. 

“We knew that it was expensive,” said Tkachuk, an executive at a cybersecurity firm in Santa Clara. But by the end of July, he added, “the market kind of cooled down.” 

They spotted an ideal house with five bedrooms and a big backyard on a quiet street in Los Gatos and bought below the $2.8 million asking price. The school is great and the neighborhood is filled with redwoods. 

Rao, Tkachuk’s agent, said his tech industry clients come into the market with more data and sophistication.