By Betty Yu

ATHERTON (KPIX 5) — Home sales have been soaring on the Peninsula lately. One real estate expert says Donald Trump’s presidency could be a contributing factor.

Silicon Valley, which has seen already record-setting home sales, is soaring to even greater heights since President Trump took office, according DeLeon Realty.

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DeLeon Realty CEO Michael Repka said, “Last fall we saw a lot of trepidation in the market, as we got closer to the election, people seemed to be really worried, what if Trump wins, but after he won there was an instant optimism in the real estate market.”

Palo Alto-based DeLeon Realty claims the numbers prove it.

Last year its agents racked up $405 million in sales from closing 135 homes, but saw a real significant jump in the second half of the year.

Repka said, “The interest rates are certainly encouraging people in the mid-level between $2 million and $4 million to go forward with a purchase because they’re worried they won’t be able to afford the rates come another year or two. On the high-end, certainly the stock market, some optimism about taxes coming down…”

He said they have all contributed to a healthy market – particularly in Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Atherton, Los Altos and Mountain View.

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Repka says there are more ultra-rich overseas buyers — particularly from China — dropping tons of cash on extravagant homes.

But Repka says he has seen a slowdown in one kind of buyer.

“The middle-class in China, because of the crackdown on some of the currency migration rules they’ve been finding it more and more difficult to get money outside of China, so we’ve seen a slowdown in purchases in the $750,000 to $1.5 million range.”

Chinese authorities have escalated its enforcement on investors parking money offshore since last year, and got even stricter in 2017.

Under Trump, properties are moving fast.

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About 20 percent of the homes DeLeon sold in Palo Alto and Atherton this year sat on the market in the fall, and sold after Trump’s election win.