Morgan Hill, CA Real Estate News

By Robert Whitelaw, Broker, CEO, Realtor , ePro
(Whitelaw & Sons Real Estate Services)
The city of Morgan Hill is refusing to disclose wages of the folks at the top of the governmental food chain in the city.The bottom line in a case like this is that WE pay these people. They are public servants and we are the bosses. We deserve to know what these folks are being paid. Would you higher someone to work in your company, but then put up with not being allowed to know what that person makes?Too many people seem to miss the connection between the fact that these people are being paid by us to conduct our business and that every dime that is paid to them is money that is taken from the residents of our city. If someone at city hall is making 200k a year, I would really like to know about it. While the motivation here could simply be that privacy issues are at stake, it is equa...
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By Robert Whitelaw, Broker, CEO, Realtor , ePro
(Whitelaw & Sons Real Estate Services)
Anyone who has visited the bay area can enjoy a lot of different types of communities. All of them have been faced with the challenge of how to manage their growth.Cities like Palo Alto, Los Altos, Los Gatos and Campbell have all made choices that allowed them to stay true to the style and rhythm of their respective communities. To accomplish this, they have required new businesses to work within certain limits. Often, these communities can work cooperatively with businesses so that these requirements can be offset in other ways. The benefit is that the community gets to keep its personality while benefiting from the commerce drawn in by the new business. Los Gatos is a great example of this. Downtown Los Gatos is a great place to take a walk. It became a destination spot because it int...
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By Robert Whitelaw, Broker, CEO, Realtor , ePro
(Whitelaw & Sons Real Estate Services)
While tax breaks are good, getting them by having your home drop in value is not a great way to get one. But that is exactly what has happened to 161 homes in Morgan Hill.With the real estate market softening in many areas, property values for some have gone down. As a result, some homes have had their property taxes reduced as the result of the reassessment of their homes value.Homes here can have their assessed value increased by no more than 2% per year. You are then charged a property tax on 1% of your homes total assessed value. For home owners that have seen their homes decrease in value, a lower tax is small comfort for that loss. However, it is better than nothing.The total reduction in property taxes in Morgan Hill came to a total of $9.1 million. 
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By Robert Whitelaw, Broker, CEO, Realtor , ePro
(Whitelaw & Sons Real Estate Services)
Most folks who live in Morgan Hill realize they live in a pretty special place. It's a great little town that still gives you easy access to the more stress filled - but lucrative - environment of Silicon Valley to the north.The numbers have come out for crime statistics and it looks like Morgan Hill has shown itself special there as well. We had no homicides in 2006 and 1 in 2005. In addition, rape and robbery were both down substantially. Aggrivated assault was the only area where we saw an increase in crime from  32 incidents in 2005 to 44 incidents in 2006. What is amazing is that this is occuring right along side population growth in our town.So despite the increase in population, we are seeing decreases in crime! Much of this success is credited to the more proactive efforts of th...
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By Robert Whitelaw, Broker, CEO, Realtor , ePro
(Whitelaw & Sons Real Estate Services)
The Morgan Hill Times recently reported on the advice from a consultant where he suggested that the downtown businesses would benefit from longer hours since many homes are two income and folks cannot shop during normal work day hours.Is it must me or should the immediate follow up to this be "Duh!"?I sure hope the city did not pay some huge fee for this sage advice. There is no doubt that the Morgan Hill downtown needs some help. Many folks have offered ideas on how this could be achieved. While the hours the stores are open plays a part - the problems of downtown go far deeper than that.First, there are no big magnet businesses downtown. No destinations. Downtown needs to be someplace that offers a few anchor stores that then allow visitors to take in the other stores. This is one rea...
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By Robert Whitelaw, Broker, CEO, Realtor , ePro
(Whitelaw & Sons Real Estate Services)
Okay, so maybe it wasn't an 'era'. But it was the most hard to miss sign in all of downtown.When Zubow Realty opened its doors in downtown Morgan Hill, they wanted to make a big impression. So they installed 1,000 pound, orange and black neon sign.I remember the first time I drove through downtown at night. The thing almost had its own gravitational pull as you drove by it. To say it was eye catching would not do it justice. From the day it was installed in the early 1960's, many were saying it was too much Vegas for our little Morgan Hill downtown.But, like so many things that really annoy us, the old Zubow sign started to grow on some in the community. After a while, it was finally gaining nostalgic status.But now the sign is gone. Heading off to become scrap metal.  
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By Robert Whitelaw, Broker, CEO, Realtor , ePro
(Whitelaw & Sons Real Estate Services)
If you know Morgan Hill, you know that the downtown area needs help. The city council done diddly and squat to effectively remedy the situation.One thing they did decide to do was to loan the owners of the El Toro Brew Pub $400,000 to cover construction costs. Remember, this is a LOAN.Well, some merchants in the area starting crying "Favoritism" - confidentially of course - siting the owners of the brew pubs long standing community reputation. It is THAT VERY REPUTATION that should make the loan a no-brainer.These are folks who want to settle down and make a successful business in downtown - WHERE IT IS DESPERATELY NEEDED! There are darn few destinations in downtown. However, the El Toro Brew Pub is one of those that could help increase the overall appeal of downtown to shoppers, visito...
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By Robert Whitelaw, Broker, CEO, Realtor , ePro
(Whitelaw & Sons Real Estate Services)
The Morgan Hill Times recently reported a change in the way that Morgan Hill will be working with developers.Since 1977, the rules have been set in such a way that developers had to create resident supported common areas that would be maintained through a homeowners association. With the new modifications to the Morgan Hills city growth management system, in developments of 50 homes or less, the developer could simply pay a park fee to the city and then the city would look after that park. Prior to this change, a developer could do the same thing with projects of 24 homes or less.The community benefit in that anyone can enjoy the common areas. In an association, only those residents in the association are allowed to enjoy the park areas. Another added bonus is that it allows residents t...
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By Robert Whitelaw, Broker, CEO, Realtor , ePro
(Whitelaw & Sons Real Estate Services)
Just one more sign that our little town is getting more and more popular is the fact that this years Mushroom Mardi Gras was the most attended yet! According to the Morgan Hill Times, over 60,000 people attended to two day celebration which overwhelmed the local facilities for a while.The best part is that this added attendance meant that the non-profits participating in the celebration took home more cash than usual to support their causes. The times estimate as much as $15,000 was taken in by local charities.One big change this year was the move of the event out of downtown Morgan Hill to the Morgan Hill Community and Cultural Center.Many residents were a bit confused by the move, saying that having it downtown seemed roomier. Of course, there is also the fact that our downtown could ...
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By Robert Whitelaw, Broker, CEO, Realtor , ePro
(Whitelaw & Sons Real Estate Services)
According to the Morgan Hill Times, Morgan Hill is number one. At least that is the case if you judge it by population growth.From 2006 to 2007, when measured from the month of January, population growth in Morgan Hill topped out at 3.1%.It is not difficult to understand why folks would move to Morgan Hill. Until recently, Morgan Hill was just a well kept secret. While many folks stopped in Morgan Hill to get gas while they were on their way somewhere else, few took the time to really see what Morgan Hill is all about.Of course, like most things, this is a double edged sword. Clearly, the word has gotten out about Morgan Hill and we can only expect more people to come to town looking for what we have to offer.I can only hope that the community is able to hold on to its small town charm....
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By Robert Whitelaw, Broker, CEO, Realtor , ePro
(Whitelaw & Sons Real Estate Services)
The tide continues to turn as I predicted earlier last year. The average sold home price is now lower than we have seen in a long time. While re-listing has been greatly reduced, we continue to see it skewing some numbers right here in Holiday Lake Estates. For those interested in buying in Holiday Lake Estates, there has not been a better time in more than 5 years. There are lots of homes to choose from and buyers are in the drivers seat. Prices are down and market influences look like they are going to stay there for a while. Read on for all the details.  First, lets take a look at the numbers for the homes that sold in Holiday Lake Estates in April 2007.  The numbers included below tell the story of the homes that sold. However, it is helpful for me to point out that while the numbe...
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By Robert Whitelaw, Broker, CEO, Realtor , ePro
(Whitelaw & Sons Real Estate Services)
The housing market in Morgan HIll for April 2007 is continuing along the trends started just last month regarding the fall of average home prices. As for other important data like inventory of homes for sale, total sales and days on market - we continue to see them all moving in a direction that makes it more of a buyers market. With each passing month, my prediction that this will be the pivotal season for our market continues to look more and more likely.  Supply and Demand   Inventory continues to increase at an amazing rate. In April, inventory was up 27.5% from the same time last year.    Sales are down 19% from the same time last year. Take a look at the graph to the left - it really tells the story. Inventory has been on the rise since 2004 and sales have been on the decline yea...
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By Robert Whitelaw, Broker, CEO, Realtor , ePro
(Whitelaw & Sons Real Estate Services)
Morgan Hill has seen some big changes in the market this month. For the first time in yeas, we have seen a real drop in the average price of a home. In fact, homes are down 4.7% from the same time period last year. That means the average home in Morgan Hill is now selling for over $45,000 less than last year. While this should not be a surprise given what we have talked about in previous articles, it is the final piece in the puzzle for our market. With all the other elements in play, home prices really had nowhere else to go. Read on for all the details!   Supply and Demand We are finally seeing the market move in the way all the numbers we have looked at over the last 6 months or so said they would. For months, we have seen high inventory, low sales and still we saw increased average ...
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By Robert Whitelaw, Broker, CEO, Realtor , ePro
(Whitelaw & Sons Real Estate Services)
March has been an interesting month for Morgan Hill in general. This is the first month that we have seen a significant drop in the average price of a home when compared to the same time last year. The average priced dropped by about 5% in March 2007. In real dollars, that comes to about a $40,000 drop in the price of the average home. While no homes closed escrow in Holiday Lake Estates in March, 2007, one home did go into escrow and later closed in April. The interesting point to note is that the home sold for $19,000 below asking price!    When we do the math, we see that the this represents a 2.5% drop and 97.6% of the sellers asking price. While these types of numbers are to be expected at higher levels, given that the asking price was $789,000, this is a bit unusual. For Holiday ...
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By Robert Whitelaw, Broker, CEO, Realtor , ePro
(Whitelaw & Sons Real Estate Services)
I was doing the numbers for March today. We have finally had a month where there was a statistically significant price drop when compared to the same time last year.Prices are down 4.7% in Morgan Hill, CA. We have had a few months where we skirted a drop... my something less than 1%, but this is the first month we have had one that really hits home. For the average priced home, that comes out to over a $40,000  drop in what the average home can sell for.In some of the neighborhoods where I do business, the average home prices is quite a bit higher. The drops there will clearly be bigger.While this may not be great news for folks who want to sell right now, it is likely to be good news if this drop in average home price draws more buyers into the market.I suspect that we will have to see...
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By Robert Whitelaw, Broker, CEO, Realtor , ePro
(Whitelaw & Sons Real Estate Services)
More of the same would be one way to describe what we have seen in the real estate market in Morgan Hill for February of 2007. All the big indicators we usually track have headed more or less on the same course that we have plotted over the last 6 months.  Inventory is up compared to the same time last year. The number of new listings is about the same and sales are actually a bit higher. However, not by nearly enough to make a dent in the huge inventory of homes currently on the market.  So lets take a look at the numbers for Morgan Hill. As usual, we will start with the supply and demand statistics. Supply And Demand  Click to enlarge First, lets take a look at the numbers for the month of February going back to 1998. By looking at the numbers just for the same month of each year, we...
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By Robert Whitelaw, Broker, CEO, Realtor , ePro
(Whitelaw & Sons Real Estate Services)
One home sold in Holiday Lake Estates in February. In this case, it took just over 90 days. Despite being a number higher than what we are used to, it is definately on par with what we are seeing in the overall real estate market. In this particular case, it did not hurt that the home which sold was below the 1 million mark. Another home is in contract in February, and it too is under the 1 million dollar mark. Other properties that are over 1 million  are on the market, but they have not been active long enough to yet say anything definitive about what this most recent data might hold for their prospects of selling quickly. Read on for all the details.Frankly, there is not much here that can help us decide what direction the market is heading. We are seeing a normal number of homes act...
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By Robert Whitelaw, Broker, CEO, Realtor , ePro
(Whitelaw & Sons Real Estate Services)
When will this market start to balance out? In my personal experience, I cannot recall a time when things were this out of whack.We have a record number of homes on the market with very few people out there buying them. In my area, there are about 6 homes for sale for every one that actually sells. The days on market is increasing with each month. Yet, the average price of a home continues to rise! Not by much and we have had one month in the last 12 when it did drop by about 2%, but it was followed up by two months of increases.Something here has got to give. As the "speculative" sellers leave the market, that is only going to leave sellers who really need to sell their homes. Eventually, something has got to bring this all back into balance. A reduction in price would serve to draw in...
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By Robert Whitelaw, Broker, CEO, Realtor , ePro
(Whitelaw & Sons Real Estate Services)
Ouch, sales down, inventory up! Not what you usually want to see in a real estate market. Despite these trends, we are STILL seeing the average price of homes increasing in Morgan Hill. Can we sustain a market where there are fewer buyers, more homes for sale and homes that take longer to sell and STILL see the average price of homes increasing? Not likely. There is no telling what the key factor is going to be that brings our market back into balance. Read more to take a look at all the nitty gritty details of the real estate market for Morgan Hill in January of 2007.  Supply and Demand  The numbers for January are telling an interesting story. Our inventory numbers are the highest they have been going all the way back to 1998. Even if you look back on the last dip we saw in our marke...
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By Robert Whitelaw, Broker, CEO, Realtor , ePro
(Whitelaw & Sons Real Estate Services)
Two homes managed to sell in Holiday Lake Estates in January 2007. However, you could not get a more varied result in numbers. One home sold in 16 days, while it took the other a whopping 196 days to finally sell!  While that gives us an average of over 100 days for a home to sell in Holiday Lake Estates, given the small sample and huge variety between those two, I cannot say we should give too much weight to that number. Read on for all the activity in Holiday Lake Estates in January 2007.  One home was listed in Holiday Lake Estates in January 2007.  Two homes actually closed escrow and one more went into escrow. This is actually a very respectable level of activity for our community. For a full list of all the homes currently listed in Holiday Lake Estates, just click this link . At ...
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