Friday, November 12, 2010

1341 Duende Lane: Available for both Lease or Sale is Open Sunday 1-4

Our listing at 1341 Duende Lane is now offered for sale at $1,299,000 and for lease at $4,700.00 per month. Come by and check out the best view property available in the Palisades for this price range on Sunday from 1-4 pm. City light and mountain views from every bedroom! This 3 bed/2.5 bath home with hardwood floors, fireplace and balconies on both levels sits on almost a 1/2 acre of land creating tons of privacy and potential for yard or home expansion. Check out the virtual tour here: 1341 Duende Lane Virtual Tour


For another great value, check out 12679 Promontory in the exclusive Mountaingate community. At $2,289,000, this 5,050 sq. ft. home has too many wonderful features to list including superior built-ins, picture windows, high ceilings, a chefs kitchen and great views. This 4 bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms is located in a resort like setting with 24 hour guard gated security and a community pool and spa. This home is truly exceptional. Easy to show. Please contact my office to set up and appointment. Check out the virtual tour: 12679 Promontory

Home Prices Fall In October: The First Since The End Of The Tax Credit

Home sales rose slightly and prices slid in October compared with the prior month as the Los Angeles real estate market searched for a bottom now that federal home buying tax credits have expired.

The median price fell 3.6 percent versus September to $346,000. It was the first drop on a month-to-month basis since the credits expired in April.

At the same time, sales rose 1.6 percent to 3,760 homes.

However, Paul Habibi, a professor of real estate at the UCLA Anderson School of Management, considers the market to be still artificially stimulated by the government, including higher Federal Housing Administration mortgage loan guarantees.

“The government stimuluses, in a sense, have created this artificial bridge under housing prices so that they can’t reach their equilibrium,” said Habibi. “A lot of what we’re seeing is bouncing along the bottom.”

Year over year, the median home price countywide was up 2 percent, while sales were off 14 percent.

As indication that the market has yet to reach an equilibrium, the supply in Los Angeles County rose to 6.2 months, a significant jump from the 4.3 months of inventory tallied in August. The number has now slightly crept ahead of the five- to six-month level considered healthy.

A quick look at sales prices vs. original list prices shows that Westside properties are selling around 90-93% of their list price which is still below the typical 95 to 97% range.

Sources: MLS Data and Los Angeles Business Journal

A Look at Sales Volume in Manhattan Beach for October from 2000-2010

Thanks to the Manhattan Beach Confidential blog, they have provided a look at October's sales pace among Single Family Residences west of Sepulveda and it shows that the past two years are back in line with the pre-bubble volume in 2005.

Both Oct. 2009 and 2010 outperformed the 3 slump years of 2006-2008. That's in line with the general sense that a local Real Estate recovery of sorts began in Q3 2009.

The question now becomes whether this is a true recovery or the start of a potential double dip. The current economic recovery tells us we may avoid a dip but quite a few developers and higher end property owners are struggling with the reality of the market and will eventually have to throw in the towel and sell for a realistic price.

Source: Manhattan Beach Confidential

Looking at Price per Square Foot for the Westside, Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach

If you cannot do a comparable where you can find the sales history of the same house over a period of time, then price per square foot is usually your best indicator of value. It usually gives you a good range for what you can afford in certain areas especially if the zip code has at least nine sales for the month.

As I have stated many times on this blog, The median price numbers usually stated in the mainstream media can be useless when comparing numbers month to month. A small sample of sales or type of sales can completely skew the numbers. However, they are fine when looking at data over a six to twelve month period.

You do have to be careful when comparing price per square foot. Smaller houses normally go for a higher square footage value than larger homes in the same area unless it is a tear down or new construction.

Here is a look at the September Dataquick SFR sales report for the Westside and Manhattan and Hermosa. Please note that some of the more affluent zip codes were in the high $900 price per square foot range in 2005-2006:

Beverly Hills 90210 18 sales $584/sqft
LA/Bel-Air 90077 11 sales $480/sqft
LA/Brentwood 90049 24 sales $634/sqft
LA/Mar Vista 90066 18 sales $493/sqft
LA/Westwood 90024 12 sales $622/sqft
Pacific Palisades 90272 17 sales $622/sqft
Venice 90291 12 sales $753/sqft
Malibu 90265 13 sales $583/sqft
Santa Monica 90402 9 sales $760/sqf
Santa Monica 90405 12 sales $648/sqft
LA/Westchester 90045 20 sales $451/sqft
Hermosa Beach 90254 8 sales $692/sqft
Manhattan Beach 90266 27 sales $625/sqft

Sources: Dataquick, Westside Bubble

Property Lists for $75 million in Malibu

Real estate developer Richard Weintraub has listed his Malibu home for about $35 million. If you add in the four adjacent lots and guest homes that sit on them, the price leaps to $75 million, making it the highest-priced listing in Malibu and one of the top properties listed in greater Los Angeles.

The property has been featured in the movies “Funny People” and “I Love You Man,” and is also available for lease at $87,500 or $250,000 per month, depending on how much is needed.

The property is an 8-acre estate featuring a three-story home of 12,500 square feet with four bedrooms and eight baths. There are three swimming pools, including one in Greek revival style with walls lined with more than 500,000 seashells and a glass ceiling. The resort-style property includes a north-south tennis court and parking for up to 10 cars.

Sources: MLS and Los Angeles Business Journal

$30 Million Dollar Price Reduction and 9.5 Million Listing in Palisades

Investment banker William Chadwick has listed his 10,500-square-foot Carbon Beach home in Malibu at $35 million. Two years ago, it had a price tag of $65 million, which was unrealistic but it is now priced to sell. Yes, despite the $35 million price tag, it is well priced compared to comparables in the area.
The property has 150 feet of beachfront and a 75-foot oceanfront swimming pool. There is a 16-seat home theater, an aquarium that takes up one full wall, a wine cellar, a home gym and a pub.

Ursitti Lists for 9.5 Million in Palisades

Chris Ursitti, the chief executive of GreenHouse Holdings, has come on the market at $9.5 million.
The home is a gated estate with unobstructed canyon views. The traditional-style home has an open floor plan, formal living and dining rooms, a kitchen with attached great room, a wine-tasting room and a media room. There is a pool, spa, waterfall and terraces for dining. The property is next to hiking trails at Will Rogers State Park.

Sources: MLS and Los Angeles Business Journal

Mortgage Rates Sink to Record Lows Again

Home loan rates set record lows yet again this week in response to the Federal Reserve's plan to buy $600 billion in Treasury bonds, mortgage finance giant Freddie Mac said in its weekly report on rates.

Freddie Mac said Thursday that the lenders it surveyed were offering 30-year fixed-rate loans at an average of 4.17% with 0.8% in upfront lender fees, down from 4.24% last week and the survey's previous record of 4.19%, set on Oct. 14. Freddie Mac has been tracking the 30-year loan since 1971.

The lenders were offering 15-year fixed-rate loans at 3.57% with 0.8% in lender fees, down from 3.63% a week earlier and the previous record of 3.62% in the Oct. 14 survey. Freddie Mac began tracking 15-year loans in 1991.

For adjustable mortgages with rates fixed for the first five years, the average start rate was 3.25% with 0.7% in lenders fees, also a record for the survey.
Mortgage rates have been bumping around near historic lows since April, tracking a decline in the yields on U.S. Treasury bonds. Formally confirming an expected program aimed at stimulating the economy, the Fed said last week that it would buy $600 billion in Treasuries. That additional demand is expected to continue exerting downward pressure on Treasury yields, presumably keeping rates low on private debt such as corporate bonds and mortgages as well.

Freddie Mac surveys lenders across the nation each week. The rates aren't available to all borrowers, just those with solid credit, enough verifiable income to support payments and 20% down payments for purchases.

Well-qualified borrowers who shop around often obtain slightly better rates, and it's possible to lower the rates further by paying additional amounts known as discount points when the loan is originated.

Source: LA Times

Coveted North Santa Monica 8,900 Sq. Ft. Lot Sells For 1.9 Million

365 24th street, located on one of the nicest north-south streets in the prestigious 90402 zip code, sold for $1,900,000 on November 4th. It was originally bought for $2,337,500 in May of 2006.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Sunday's Open House and the Best Value in Brentwood

Our listing in the Palisades at 1341 Duende Lane is now offered at $1,299,000 and is Open this Sunday 10/24 from 2-5pm. Come by and check out this great value, 3bed/2.5bath home with great views, a landscaped backyard that's perfect for entertaining and huge patios on both levels.

For another great value listing, check out 12679 Promontory. Up in the exclusive Mountaingate community, at only $2,289,000 this home has too many great features to list. Including superior built-ins, picture windows, high ceilings, a chefs kitchen, great views, 4 bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms, this home is truly exceptional. Easy to show and so worth checking out. Please contact my office to set up and appointment.

$13M Bank Owned Property in Brentwood

12759 Chalon Rd. Los Angeles, CA 90049.

This listing proves that bank owned properties come in all shapes and sizes and at all sorts of prices. In the past week, a Brentwood Estates, bank owned home hit the market with the tiny price tag of $13.4M... no sweat right?

Whats kinda ironic and owing to the state of the property market is that the current price tag is rather cheap for this property... yes, cheap. How is that? Well... about a year and a half ago, it was listed at around $20M. So from $19.9 to $13.4 is a $6.5M or a 33% decline in list price.

What do you get for $13.4M? Well for one thing 8 Bedrooms, 9.5 Bathrooms, a Cigar room, a wine room and wine tasting area (that's wine tasting, not wine drinking), and celebrity neighbors like Tom Brady and Giselle, and the Governator. Not too shabby.

The Importance of Setting a Realistic List Price

According to studies performed by, a New Zealand housing web-site and popular American online property web-site, properties receive four times as many views in the first week of being on the market than it does a week later.

“The most important people in the market are serious buyers who are searching online every day and they’re fully aware when a home that might meet their needs becomes available.” Said Alistair Helm, chief executive of whose study looked at 1,100 New Zealand properties during a six-week period in July and August.

The bottom line: If you're considering listing your house and you're serious about selling, you're better off being realistic right from the get-go. Otherwise, you are blowing it, especially in a market facing continuing downward pressure.

Source: LA Times: Set a realistic price from the start when you list your home online

The Mess Regarding Foreclosures

Foreclosures in all 50 states are now being called on for complete reviews. Banks could have been fraudulently throwing people out of their homes, without the legal authority to do so thanks to a break in the chain of title since the mortgages were bundled into securitized products, nobody really knows, who is actually able to foreclose.

With foreclosures making up 1/3 of the home purchases in California, this could cause some serious issues regarding title insurance in the future since banks were signing off on foreclosure paperwork without the legal authority to do so. I am sure this will all get figured out appropriately but it just another way for the banks to extend things further out and pushing a recovery even further into the future. I still find it absolutely amazing that banks, which we bailed out, are able to tell Wall Street the value of a loan is its original value as opposed to what it would be on the secondary market. A bank can tell Wall Street a loan that originated in 2004 at a value of $1.5 million is still worth 1.5 million even though we all know it is probably worth more like $900K in today’s environment. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to tell people that your stock portfolio is worth the same amount it was before the stock market crash?

If you have a few minutes, watch this funny video regarding the foreclosure crisis from Jon Stewart.

Mid-October Update: Mortgage Rates Increase Slightly

Freddie Mac said in its latest survey that fixed rates on home loans increased this week after declining for the past 3 consecutive weeks. For well-qualified borrowers who paid 0.8% of the loan amount in upfront lender fees and discount points, 30-year fixed rate mortgages were offered at an average of 4.21%, up from 4.19% the previous week.

Full Article from the LA Times Money and Company Blog: Mortgage rates edge higher after 3 weeks of declines

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Mortgage Rates Drop to 1951 Levels

The LA Times: Money & Company Blog is reporting that mortgage rates have continued their decline to record lows according to Freddie Mac's survey of lender offering rates.

The 30-year fixed-rate loan dropped to an average of 4.19% this week from 4.27% in the previous week.

Link to the full article: Freddie Mac: Mortgage rates drop again, now at 1951 levels

Foreclosures - Record High Numbers and CA Investigation of Practices

This September saw a record number of homes being foreclosed upon as lenders carry on working through the distressed properties in their inventory. September foreclosures increased 3% from August and reached a high of 347,420 properties.

Arguably in response to the increasing number of homes in foreclosure and the spike in foreclosure fraud that has occurred during this real estate bust, California has joined 48 other states who are investigating foreclosure practices. California's non-judicial foreclosure process may be to blame for lenders not complying with the law to contact homeowners to discuss other options before foreclosing. California Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown announced the investigation and explained that he wants it to be determined if lenders are in compliance.

Links to full articles from HousingWire and the LA Times: Money & Company Blog are below:
Housing Wire: Foreclosures reach record high in 3Q
Money & Company: California among 49 states to jointly investigate foreclosure practices

Latest Real-Time Market Data - Westside and Manhattan Beach

**Click on charts to enlarge

Friday, October 8, 2010

Palisades Home - New Reduction! Under $1.3M and Open this Sunday!

Our featured listing at 1341 Duende in the Palisades has just been reduced and is newly staged!
Now $1,299,000!
This home, only minutes from Sunset, the village, and the beach, makes you feel like you’re living above it all. With city views and all the Palisades has to offer, this home is not to be missed.
Check out the Virtual Tour Here. Open Sunday from 2-5pm.

Other Featured Listings:
12679 Promontory Only $2,289,000.
This superbly designed and elegantly remodeled 4 bed/4.5 bath view home is a great opportunity and the best price per square foot in Brentwood for a home recently remodeled.
Take a look at the Virtual Tour Here and as usual, please contact our office for any more information or to schedule a viewing.

September 2010 Sales Data

In comparison the last three years, September sales activity was strong on the Westside and in Manhattan Beach. Though it trails the scorching 2005 sales numbers (it will be a very long time before we see those numbers again), these numbers are starting to show the market balancing out and finding a bit of a normal pattern. In terms of activity, Westwood/Century City saw a solid jump in sales in comparison to last month and Manhattan Beach and Santa Monica led the way with the total # of sales this month. In fact, Manhattan Beach almost doubled the amount of sales it had in September of 09.

High-end sellers are still having a difficult time coming to grips with the reality of the market. The % difference between the average list to sale price is between 10%-22% in most high-end markets while it is usually between 3-6% in mid-level markets. The struggle between buyer’s and seller’s on the high end will continue but some seller’s are starting to wise up with quite a few properties priced above 1.5 million going into escrow in a fairly quick manner. The smart seller is turning back the clock and pricing in the 2003-2004 range.

OUCH! A Few Recent Sales Discounted over 40% from the Original List Price

Two homes in the Palisades, one home in Malibu and another in Santa Monica take some big hits in comparison to the original list price. The seller’s left a lot of money on the table by not pricing correctly right away…it is tough to catch a falling knife. ..

554 Almar, Pacific Palisades (Left) - This 6 bed/5.5 bath, nearly 5,900 sq. ft. home built in 2008 was originally listed for $5.395M almost two years and ago and just sold for only $3.175M…a 41% difference between list price and final sales price. The home is very nice with a finished basement, home theater, wine cellar and parking for three cars.

17832 Tramonto, Pacific Palisades - This 4 bed/3.5 bath , 4,273 sq. ft. home featuring ocean views from every room originally listed for 3.825M in March of this year before finally selling on September 27th for only $2.250M. The house was updated but did have floor plan issues and appealed to a very limited number of buyers.

23816 Malibu Road, Malibu Beach (Right) - This 6 bed/5.5 bath on 17K of beachfront land was recently completely remodeled and features a 3 bedroom guest house, pool and ocean front master suite. It was originally listed for $23.5M and finally sold for $15.3M after being on the market for over 400 days!

560 Latimer Road, Santa Monica Canyon - This 3 bed/3 bath, 2,607 sq. ft. home on a 17K sq. ft. lot across from Rustic Canyon park provides a good floor plan but definitely is in need of remodeling. It was on the market for 118 days and debut with a list of price of 2.795M before finally selling for 1.975M, a 28% drop from the original list price.

On the flip side…

3701 Grand View, Mar Vista (Right) - This 4 bed/4 bath, 3,263 sq. ft. home situated on a very large lot (15K)for the area, sold in multiple offers and 7% over the asking price. It was listed at $1.468M and sold for $1.575M. The house has a wonderful vintage feel and is in solid condition. You can’t go wrong with the Mar Vista hill location.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

JD Power & Associates: Prudential Ranked Highest Among Home Sellers

From J.D. Power and Associates:

Prudential Real Estate ranks highest among home sellers that use full service real estate firms according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2010 Home Buyer/Seller Satisfaction StudySM.

Check out the Special Power Report: Prudential Real Estate.

Got a First and Second Mortgage?

Rebel Cole, a finance and real estate professor from DePaul University has some controversial advice for you if you are delinquent on your first mortgage but still making monthly payments on your home equity credit line or second mortgage.

Article: An iffy strategy for borrowers with first and second mortgages.

405 Bridge Change to Come

Neighborhood traffic concerns—and the potential for saving millions in construction costs—have prompted a radical rethinking of plans to bring down the Mulholland Bridge over the 405 Freeway.

Instead of demolishing and rebuilding the 1959 structure—one of three bridges targeted in the 405 Sepulveda Pass project—workers instead would construct an entirely new Mulholland overpass just south of the current bridge. Coming from the west, drivers would enter the new bridge in the same place they do now, then angle slightly south across the freeway before ending up on Skirball Center Drive. Only after the new span was completed would the old one come down, thus reducing traffic-related inconvenience during construction.

Mike Barbour, who is heading up the project for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority estimates the new method would save between $4 million and $10 million.

Mortgage Rates Still Breaking Record Lows

Mortgage rates, nearly across the board, reached record lows again for the week ending Sept. 23.

The Freddie Mac weekly survey showed the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage reached 4.32% with an average 0.8 point, down to its all-time low from 4.37% last week. Last year, at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 62 basis points higher.

The 15-year FRM reached a new record low at 3.75% with an average 0.7 point, down from 3.82% last week and 4.36% a year ago.

[…] The weekly Bankrate survey of large banks and thrifts showed the average 30-year FRM at 4.5%, unchanged from last week. New record lows came for the 15-year FRM, which fell 2 [basis points] to 3.94%, and the 30-year FRM jumbo loan that dropped to 5.16%.


Latest Real-Time Market Data - Westside and Manhattan Beach

*Click on charts to enlarge

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Featured Listing Reduced!

12679 Promontory Rd. Los Angeles, CA 90049
Now listed at $2,289,000!

This is the best deal in an exclusive guard gated Mountaingate community of Brentwood. Reduced over $135K and needs to be sold.

This over 5,000 sq. ft. home has top quality finishes throughout and was completely remodeled in 2007. Features include great city light views, a fully-equipped cook's kitchen, exceptional master suite, media room, private guest suite, high ceilings and situated in a resort like setting. The home will be open on Tuesday 9/28 from 11am – 2pm and it is very easy to show.

Please click here for the virtual tour

ALSO: See our other listings here. 1341 Duende Lane will be open on Sunday from 2-5 and 756 Bundy can easily be shown.

Let us know if you have any questions or showing requests.

Pricing Right Leads To Quick Escrows and Some Multiple Offers

This month has seen some properties move very quickly after debuting on the market. The power of pricing right and reducing when necessary has never been more apparent.

12112 La Casa Ln. Los Angeles, CA 90049
This Brentwood home moved into escrow after only 5 days on the market! With a sizeable lot, location on a cul-de-sac and a pool, and priced to sell immediately at $1,495,000 (only $452/sq ft)

3370 Mandeville Canyon Rd. Los Angeles, CA 90049
About 7 minute drive up Mandeville from Sunset, this 3+3 traditional modern style, mid-century architectural home went into escrow after only 8 days on the market. At $1,300,000 it is a great starter home in a great school district.

2517 3rd St. Santa Monica, CA 90405
Location and potential seem to be the story of this 3bed, 2bath home on a 9K sq ft lot just blocks from the beach and Main Street. The property was listed on 09/07/2010 and went into escrow 10 days later. Quick history lesson– listed in mid-2008 for about $2.5M, the listing expired after about 7 months on the market. This time, it was listed for $1,850,000 – and moved quickly!

12306 Dorothy St. Los Angeles, CA 90049
This 3 bed, 2.75bath home in Brentwood, is south of Montana and west of Bundy. It was listed on 9/7/2010, and went into escrow on 9/21/2010 after only 2 weeks on the market.

Analyzing Some Intriguing Recent Sales

12305 5TH Helena Dr. Los Angeles, CA 90049
This Brentwood home on a huge 23K sq ft lot sold on September 8th after only 13 days on the market! It not only sold within 2 weeks of being listed, but sold for $3,850,000 – ABOVE the listing price of $3,595,000.

1372 Marinette Rd. Pacific Palisades, CA 90272

Listed in February 2010 for $1.949M this 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms on an approximately 14K sq ft. lot, in the Pacific Palisades, and close to the Village, saw a drastic price reduction before being sold at $1.525M this week; a reduction of 21.75%.

751 Greentree Rd. Pacific Palisades, CA 90272 *multiple offers
Located on a 25K sq. ft. lot, this property sold for land value in a multiple offer situations. The $2.3M sale price was well above the $2.195M list price. It was on the market for 10 days.

235 24th St. Santa Monica, CA 90402
After 70 days on the market, this 4 bed/4.5 bath home sold this week for $2,999,000; more than 500K below its original listing price of $3,449,000 in May this year. Once it was reduced to $2.9M it went into escrow within a week and was a good buy.

133 Hollister Ave. Santa Monica, CA 90405
This 3 bed, 3.5 bath well-located home with great features and ocean views, was built in 2005 and sold this week for its listing price of $3,100,000 after only 3 days on the market…a great example of what a correct listing price can accomplish.

270 S Westgate Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90049

The former home of Maureen O’Hara, the starlet from Hollywood’s Golden Age. It was remodeled and restored and listed in May this year for $2,395,000. The price dropped $285K (approximately 12%) before selling for $2,110,000 this week, after 3 months on the market

Manhattan Beach Bouncing Back… Median Price up 10% in 2010

As the chart here shows – looking at SFRs citywide– the median price locally took its biggest hit in 2009, dropping from nearly $1.8m in 2006-07 to a 5-year low of $1.459m. A drop of 18% from 2006. However, the median has bounced back solidly in 2010.

With 230 sales year-to-date (thru Sept. 22), we've got nearly as many closed sales to look at in 2010 as there were in the full years of 2008 (242) and 2009 (265).

This year the citywide median price, at $1.599m, is up 10% from 2009, down just 10% from 2006.

The nice rally earlier this year, lots of one-time failed sellers came back in 2010 and made their deals, the high end returned – are the main reasons why you see in a 10% boost in the median this year.

*Source: Manhattan Beach Confidential. A great resource about Manhattan Beach Real Estate.

GLOW Event - A True All-Nighter in Santa Monica

This Saturday is the GLOW Event at Santa Monica Beach and Pier, Palisades Park and the 3rd Street Promenade and new Santa Monica Place Mall and Dining Terrace. It features original light installations, art displays and exhibits, as well as live music and DJs, Food and Drinks Specials, Promotions in stores and extended store hours.

It should be a lot of fun and a great way to experience Santa Monica nightlife! Check out the article below for some advice on getting to the event and links to the event's webpage that features the specials and store hours.

Santa Monica Daily Press Article: Glow Survival Guide

Mortgage Rates Still Near Record Lows

Freddie Mac said mortgage rates were unchanged this week, while another rate survey set new record lows.

The Freddie Mac weekly survey put the average for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage at 4.37% with an average 0.7 point for the week ending Sept. 23, stable from last week's slight increase. A year ago, the average rate was 5.04%.

Freddie said the 15-year FRM average also remain unchanged this week at 3.82% with an average 0.7 point — below last year's average rate of 4.46%.

The weekly Bankrate survey of large banks and thrifts shows the average 30-year FRM at 4.5% with a 0.35 point, setting a new low in the 25-year-old survey and below 5.36% a year ago. The 15-year FRM was 3.96% with a 0.35 point, down from 4% last week and also at a record low. The 30-year, jumbo FRM averaged 5.17% last week with a 0.35 point, down from 5.19% last week.

*Source: Housing Wire: Mortgage surveys vary slightly, but weekly rates still at or near record lows

Friday, September 10, 2010

Analysis of August Sales Data

*Click on chart to enlarge

The excitement of the spring selling season has officially passed us by with sales volume continuing to shrink with only Westchester showing higher sales in August over July. Santa Monica pretty much stayed status quo with Pacific Palisades and Mar Vista dropping off over 30%.

If you take a look at the above chart, you will notice a fairly big difference from the Original List Price and the eventual sale price, especially on the high end. We have started to use the original list price in our research as opposed to the list price reported in the MLS to give you a more accurate idea of what is going on in the market. Listing agents have tricky ways to manipulate the original list price to be higher on sales report data and unless the listing history is properly explored, the numbers can be distorted. We found quite a few examples of that this month.

Overall, the high end seller still seems to be struggling with where the market is while more middle class areas like Culver City and Westchester have a very small gap between list and sale price. A few examples:

1415 Summitridge in Beverly Hills Post Office takes the cake for the largest gap between original list price and sales price with a 47.35% difference. It was listed for $3.799M and sold for $2.0M! Talk about an approved short sale…

10830 Chalon Road, is a lot sale overlooking Bel Air Country Club on over an ½ acre. It just sold for $1.850M…in 2005, it was bought for $3.750M! OUCH!

In Santa Monica, 304 14th Street (left) finally sold for $3.550 after being on the market for 158 days and originally listed at $4.3. The 5+4, 4,024 sq. ft. architectural was renovated in 2008. On the flip side, 460 23rd street, a 3+2.75, 2,804 sq. ft. home in decent condition sold in 18 days for $2.228M, 28K over its $2.2M asking price.

In Pacific Palisades, 15901 Alcima Ave (right), a 5+4 project on almost a ½ acre lot finally sold for $2.4 after being on the market for 207 days and having an original list price of $3.499. This home will be torn down or extensively refurbished.

Culver City had a solid month with 3 of the 11 sales going for over asking. 4041 Huron Avenue, a 3+3, 1,468 sq. ft. home that needs some cosmetic updating sold over asking for $718K. It was listed for $649K and was on the market for 15 days.

After being on the market for almost a year, 23360 Malibu Colony Road (left) finally sold for $14.95M after originally being listed for $21.5M! Located in the exclusive guard gated Malibu colony, the architectural style home is a 4+4 home with at least 3,500 sq. ft. of living space situated on a 8,708 sq. ft. lot right on the ocean.

Open house this Sunday and Active Listings

1341 Duende - Reduced to $1,329,000
Open this Sunday 2-5pm.
3-bed, 2.5-bath upper Marquez house has all the features of a great starter home in the Palisades and includes impressive city and mountain views. Come check it out!

Other Featured Listings:

12679 Promontory : $2,349,000
4bed/4.5bath Dramatically and elegantly redone in 2007, this is truly one of the nicest homes on Promontory. No expense was spared in creating a comfortable and luxurious living environment. Great features throughout the home include extensive built-ins, a fully-equipped kitchen and exceptional master suite.
Link to virtual tour and photos.

756 North Bundy: $1,585,000
If you're looking for a 3-bedroom home in Brentwood, be sure to check out the virtual tour below. This 3 bed/2 bath, 1,993 sq. ft. this home was rebuilt in 2004. A large chef’s kitchen opening to the living room highlights the property. Located 1 mile north of Sunset.
Link to virtual tour and photos.

1st Time in 12 Weeks: Mortgage Rates Creep Up

After 11 consecutive weeks of record lows, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage increased 3 basis points for the week ending Sept. 9 to 4.35% with an average 0.7 point, according to the Freddie Mac Market survey.

Last week's 4.32% was the lowest rate the survey recorded since its inception in 1971. While the rate this week did increase for the first time in nearly three months, it remains below the 5.07% level seen last year.

The survey of large banks and thrifts reported the average rate for a 30-year FRM at 4.58%, a 5 bps increase from last year.

*Source: Housingwire

Latest Real-Time Market Data - Westside and Manhattan Beach

*Click charts to enlarge

Culver City Retreating to 2003 Price Levels Despite Record Low Interest Rates and Inventory Moving

As we see prices continue to drop despite record low interest rates, one has to wonder what the correction would have been without the homebuyer tax credit and record low interest rates.

Even though the month of August saw 3 of the 11 sales in Culver City go for over asking price, prices are still sliding as a whole. Despite a vibrant downtown area, good city schools and its own police force, Culver City is also coming back down to earth from the real estate steroid era. Here are a few examples:

3972 Midway Ave- (Picture on left)
3+3, 1,943 sq. ft. built in 1980 on a 4,982 Lot

Sold 10/1/03 for $765,000
Sold 5/13/10 for $780,000

5208 Berryman Ave- 3+1, 1,020 sq. ft. built in 1951 on a 5,600 Lot

Sold 11/3/03 for $469,000
Sold 4/29/10 for $499,000

3818 Tilden Ave. (Picture on left)
3+3, 2,219 sq. ft. built in 1928 on a 5,850 Lot

Sold 7/16/10 for $680,000

The next 12-18 months will be a good time for a young family to purchase in Culver City and take advantage of everything it has to offer…but be ready to move on a place you like quickly. Buyers are still circling Culver City and willing to pay over asking if the price is right.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Duende Reduced to $1,329,000 and Open this Sunday

1341 Duende Lane.
List Price: $1,329,000… reduced from $1,365,000.

Just Reduced! This 3-bed, 2.5-bath upper Marquez house has all the features of a great starter home in the Palisades and includes impressive city and mountain views from the living room, all three bedrooms, and the expansive porches on both levels. It is located on a cul-de-sac, close to local schools and situated on a large and very private lot. The private yard is perfect for entertaining and relaxing, and the floor to ceiling windows provide ample natural light and a seamless indoor/outdoor flow. While minutes from Sunset, the village, and the beach, this home makes you feel like you’re living above it all. Easy to show. Link to virtual tour and more photos.

** Check out previous posts for other featured listings. **

Mortgage Rates and Home Values

Check out the graphs below to see the history of Mortgages Rates and Home Values: