Live Like a Local by The Joel Toller Team

The Joel Toller Team

The Joel Toller Team

January, 2019

Hello, friends --

We ended the third quarter of 2018 with a flurry of activity and multiple closings.  It seems that buyers who were waiting for an opportunity finally jumped in to purchase a property in a low-inventory market.  What implications does this have for 2019?  Read below in the Real Estate Round-up for a local, state and national forecast.  The good news is that both buyers and sellers could benefit this year, depending on their motivation and preparation.

On the local front, one reason for decreased inventory is owners who lost their homes in the devastating fires of October 2017 have received their insurance payouts and are now purchasing new homes.  Unfortunately, the reality is that the number and intensity of fires in our area is likely to increase. It may be difficult to think about fire prevention in the middle of winter -- especially since we are (fortunately) getting abundant rain -- but this is just the time to plan to fire-harden your property.  Simple actions like keeping gutters free of leaves, removing dead shrubbery, and installing fire-resistant plants, could help protect your home.  Find more tips on Napa County Firewise.

Thank you for recommending us to your friends.  We are always available to address your real estate needs.  Please feel free to contact me any time.  

On behalf of the entire Joel Toller Team, best wishes for a peaceful and prosperous New Year!



Real Estate Roundup

The National Association of Realtors' Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun, predicts that home sales are expected to increase a little less than 1 percent nationwide.  The wild card is the growing threat of recession fueled by a trade war with China and other countries.  "Stock market volatility caused by talk over a trade war is not good, Yun says.  "But economic fundamentals remain strong and should stay that way if normal trade patterns continue."

Yun expects price gains to slow in once-hot markets that include the San Francisco Bay Area, in part due to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act lowering the cap on the mortgage interest deduction from $1 million to $750,000 and capping state and local tax deductions at $10,000. Another factor that could impact sales is interest rates: they are expected to be 5.5 percent by the end of 2019.

In its State of the Housing Market 2018 (SHIFT) report,The California Association of Realtors states that, "All signs seem to suggest that the market is losing momentum, and that California is experiencing a sustainable slowdown."  They cite several factors contributing to the slowdown including, as the NAR suggested, changes in the tax code and interest rates.  CAR also points to research that suggests  sellers have not been moving as often as in previous years, with a typical seller owning his/her home for 11.5 years before selling, the highest level in at least the last 38 years.  

So, do the state and national statistics reflect our Napa Valley market? Yes and no.  We are seeing a bit of a slowdown in activity due to fewer buyers in the market and lower inventory.  However, the Napa Valley is a unique, highly desirable market that combines the wine country lifestyle with close proximity to major metropolitan areas -- appealing as much to buyers looking to raise their families here, as to second-home buyers looking for a place to vacation.  Many of the buyers we work with purchase properties with all cash and, therefore, are not affected by rising interest rates.   

Although this has not become a buyer's market, prices have softened and buyers may find some opportunities.  If you are considering buying, be prepared to act quickly. Sellers will have better results if they price their properties competitively when they first come to market.  We are seeing properties take longer to sell if not priced correctly.

We will keep you up to date on new market information as it becomes available.  Please contact me for a free market evaluation if you are curious about your property's worth.

Real Estate Roundup
What's New?

Dry Creek Building Site


7007 Dry Creek Road

This enchanting 18 acre property is set atop Mt. Veeder, just 6 miles from Oakville Grocery, yet worlds away. Building site with existing 2 car garage, potting shed and beautiful pool overlooking the Mayacamas. Hand-crafted stone walls, Mediterranean gardens, gated driveway, and valuable existing infrastructure including 3 wells, septic, power, propane, irrigation and much more. Tranquil walking paths lead to peaceful and biodiverse natural settings with gorgeous natural stone boulders and endless possibilities.

What's New?

Feb. 7- 9th

Ottmar Liebert and Luna Negra

Liebert has become one of the most successful instrumental artists of the past decade, thrilling audiences throughout the world and releasing a catalog of classic recordings. 

Feb. 7 - 10th

Yountville International Short Film Festival

A true celebration of cinema with over 75 World Class Short Films, select VIP film and wine events with local Yountville wineries, plus other culinary events with multiple venues all within walking distance.

Feb. 16th

It’s Dungeness Crab season in Northern California and we're in the mood for a party! Join us for the quintessential pairing of Robert Mondavi Winery’s finest white wines with these savory swimmers.

March 9th

Loco-Motion at the CIA at Copia

Napa Valley Vine Trail Coalition announces the 2nd annual LOCO-MOTION evening fundraiser – this year, an ode to all things “transportation”.