Last updateTue, 21 Feb 2017 4pm

Market conditions slow as pending home sales rise

MEGAN WINSLOW/town crier
More houses and townhomes are on the market – like this home listed by Sereno Group near downtown Los Altos. According to the Silicon Valley Association of Realtors, 29 percent of homes sold for above asking price in August.

Realtors responding to the California Association of Realtors August Market Pulse Survey report a slowing down of most leading indicators of overall market conditions, such as a decline in floor calls, listing appointments and open-house traffic.

The survey revealed that the share of homes selling above asking price rose to 29 percent in August, up from 27 percent a year ago. The share of properties selling below asking price dropped from 48 percent in August 2015 to 41 percent. The remaining 30 percent sold at asking price, up from 25 percent in the same period last year.

Does investment diversification still work after the 2008 crash?

A cornerstone of modern portfolio theory is the concept that you can reduce the risk of an investment portfolio by adding securities whose performance does not correlate with those in the portfolio.

Research studies confirmed that the diversification in an investment portfolio explained more than 90 percent of the variability in portfolio returns from year to year. That makes sense intuitively: When some asset-class returns turn negative in a given year, returns from other asset classes can potentially be positive, mitigating the losses.

Miyo is frozen out downtown

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Customers stand outside of Miyo, which closed last week.

When Miyo opened in winter 2008, co-owner Doug Matsumoto was optimistic because customers followed sunshine into his frozen yogurt shop.

“The sun comes out and people come in,” he said at the time.

35 condos proposed for El Camino Real

Rendering courtesy of Luxone llc
A schematic depicts Luxone LLC’s five-story condo complex proposed for El Camino Real.

A five-story condominium project on El Camino Real is up for preliminary review by the Los Altos Planning and Transportation Commission at a special study session Thursday.

The proposed 0.72-acre site – at 4856 and 4846 El Camino Real – is currently home to Mohr Clocks and an adjacent commercial building. The complex would feature 35 units, including five below-market-rate units.

Economic development manager 'concerned' about city vacancies

asher kohn/town crier
Brown paper covers the windows of Cassalto at 169 Main St., next to The UPS Store. Cassalto, a home-furnishings store, looks like an empty storefront now, but Los Altos Economic Development Manager Jennifer Quinn noted the temporary nature of such vacancies.

Although she pointed out that not every empty storefront is an unrented space, Los Altos Economic Development Manager Jennifer Quinn expressed concern about the vacancies in downtown Los Altos.

“I’m always concerned (about vacancies), but I do know that we’re not alone in dealing with them,” she said. “A lot of cities are dealing with the changing retail landscape.”

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