Silicon Valley Business Journal reported on March 26 that In the market for a two-bedroom apartment in Silicon Valley? Renters in the region must now make $31.71 per hour — far above average wages for hundreds of thousands of local workers — to afford a market rate two-bedroom apartment, according to a new report. Silicon Valley was ranked as one of the nation's three most expensive housing markets. Only San Francisco and Honolulu, with housing wages for a two-bedroom apartment of $37.62 and $35 respectively, were costlier than the San Jose metro area.
Mercurynews.com reported on January 30 that Fueled by mushrooming tech wealth, luxury home sales set new records in the Bay Area last year. While in most markets million-dollar-plus homes would be onsidered luxury, in the high-priced Bay Area, real estate agents say it's homes selling for at least $2 million that fit that description. The 2,604 homes that sold for more than $2 million represented a 28 percent jump from a year ago, according to the real estate information service DataQuick, and the highest level in the company's records dating to 1988.
Much of the country is still recovering from the recession, making it difficult for companies to secure financing. Northern California, however, is an exception.
“It’s definitely a bifurcated market right now. The environment for financing is very robust here in Silicon Valley and other tech hubs,” says Kelly Cook, senior vice president and market manager at Bridge Bank. “If you read the Wall Street Journal or the Economist, they say banks are still not really lending. That’s not the case here.”
Greater Bay Area Market Snapshot: Deal volume ended the year with its fifth highest amount on record – the market closed 2013 with more than $15.4 billion in total trades. Office product, particularly in Silicon Valley, dominated trading activity in 2013 accounting for nearly $7.9 billion in total volume. Investors continue to chase trophy assets but fewer availabilities has impacted deal activity. Over the course of 2013m we saw private entities being the most active in purchasing properties in the Bay Area accounting for 43% of total investment dollar volume.
Bloomberg.com reports: Fueled by the recent boom in the tech sector, San Jose has become one of the most expensive places in the country for wannabe home buyers. Homeowners here paid an average 35.6 percent of monthly income to cover the mortgage between 1985 and 1999; they're now paying 38.9 percent.
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It’s important to know the desired outcome before entering into a marketing program, says Ryan Barringer, senior vice president of marketing and brand strategy at Bridge Bank.
“Too often a manager invests in a campaign without having first identified the appropriate criteria to evaluate its performance. The output might be obvious — a TV spot, a sponsorship, or a viral video aimed at delivering impressions. The question then becomes, ‘What is the outcome of those impressions and how will they affect revenue, if at all?’” Barringer says.
DQNews.com reports that Bay Area home sales dipped again in November, constrained by supply and market uncertainty amid mixed economic news. Prices continued their year-and-a-half-long upward march. Purchase and mortgage patterns are moving slowly but steadily toward long-term norms. While much of the median's ups and downs can be attributed to shifts in the types of homes sold, it appears that most of the current year-over-year increase in the median reflects an actual rise in home values.
After a couple of years sitting stagnant at 3.25 percent, the prime interest rate is expected to go up in 2014, making this a good time to secure a business loan.
“There’s not a lot of inflationary pressure yet. The Federal Reserve has been signaling a desire to come off of quantitative easing, and they’ve been trying to set the market up for rate increases. But every time it’s mentioned, the stock market drops 100 points,” says Michael Hengl, senior vice president and group manager of Corporate Banking at Bridge Bank.
The Check 21 Act, passed in 2003, had a dramatic impact on businesses’ cash flow by allowing banks to send digital versions of checks — eliminating the need for physical copies. Similarly, important developments are on the horizon to further enhance payment capabilities, says Tom Hoffman, senior vice president and manager of the Treasury Management Services Division at Bridge Bank.
“We’re seeing a lot of start-up technology companies focused on creating better ways to process payments, and adapters to allow accounting systems to interact with bank services,” Hoffman says.
All banks will tell prospective clients they can serve every need. But proper preparation and key questions will reveal whether a bank is the right one for your business.
“Banks say they do everything, but you have to find the institution that shares your priorities, and focuses resources in areas important to you,” says Matt Christensen, senior vice president and regional manager at Bridge Bank.
Smart Business spoke with Christensen about the process of choosing a bank.