Saturday, September 23, 2017

New Santa Monica listing- 954 20th Street #A- 2 bed/2.5 bath + den, 1,700 sq. ft. $1.449M - Open Sunday 2-5

Don’t miss an excellent opportunity to live in a truly charming, 1700+ sq.ft., north-of-Wilshire townhouse! This front-facing, 2-bdrm, 2.5-bath unit features an inviting living room with a high ceiling, gas fireplace and access to a patio; a large dining area overlooking the living room; a separate den/office; an eat-in kitchen; and a spacious master suite with a walk-in closet and a beautifully remodeled bathroom. Additional highlights include attractive hardwood floors, abundant light and volume, direct access from the private 2-car garage with plenty of storage, and only one common wall elevation. Monthly HOA dues of $425 include earthquake insurance. The coveted location is within the Franklin and Lincoln school boundaries, and affords easy access to shops and restaurants on Montana Avenue and Wilshire Boulevard.Please contact us if you would like more information or to schedule a showing.

Mortgage rates increase for the first time in two months

Mortgage rates increased for the first time after two months of straight declines, according to the latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey from Freddie Mac.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage increased to an average 3.83% for the week ending September 21, 2017. This is up from last week’s 3.78% and from 3.48% last year.

The 15-year FRM also increased, rising from 3.08% last week and 2.76% last year to hit 3.13% this week.

The five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage increased to 3.17%, up from 3.13% last week and 2.8% last year.

Source- Housing Wire

LA Times neighborhood spotlight- Cheviot Hills

Cheviot Hills is a highly sought after Westside community with a centralized location that is very popular with those that work in Century City and even Downtown LA. It has the perfect mix of great elementary schools and a diverse range of housing options. Check it out-Neighborhood spotlight- Cheviot Hills 

A look at the pace of job creation and growth in California and L.A. County

The California economy started 2017 on a high note, yet how has the state—and Los Angeles in particular—been performing in more recent months?

Here to report on the subject is Partners Trust’s Chief Economist and Vice President of Business Intelligence, Selma Hepp. In Hepp’s latest Economic Straight Talk analysis, she points out that over the last 12 months, California has added about 265,000 jobs, which is a 1.8 percent increase and still outpaces the national growth rate of 1.4 percent.

Nevertheless, as this year’s numbers have indicated so far, overall job growth and creation has slowed from previous years. Regarding California’s unemployment rate, Hepp reports that the state has incurred a slight increase to 5.1 percent in August, which is largely due to a sizable addition to the labor force of 31,600 new workers. This is the largest monthly increase in the labor force since the spring of 2010. Sectors that lost jobs include leisure and hospitality, while sectors that gained jobs include services—which encompasses personal-care services and equipment and machinery care—manufacturing, retail, trade, and healthcare.

When focusing on Los Angeles County specifically, Hepp notes that L.A. has added 8,300 jobs with the largest increase occurring in the government sector. Professional and business services saw notable gains, as well as job additions in the trade, transportation, and utilities. The information sector also posted a strong increase. Similar to other metro areas, Los Angeles’ leisure and hospitality industry posted the largest month-over-decline, with 67 percent of the decrease in accommodations and food services.

Source- Partners Trust Blog

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Skinny's notes on the market

Welcome back from the August real estate holiday…but don’t let the lull fool you- We saw some multiple offer activity on well price properties in August but it has become apparent over the past few years that activity drops-off enough in August that people wonder if the market is changing…yet, it then picks right back up in Mid-September for a solid six week run before the end of year holiday season. With interest rates at their lowest point for 2017 and a very strong LA economy, we fully anticipate a flurry of activity over the next few months.  

Escrow cancellation rates are at all-time lows: In speaking with local escrow officers, cancellation rates are at all-time lows (give or take 10%) compared to rates that were triple that five years ago. A few other observations from the escrow side of things- *shorter escrows (15-21 days) with little to no contingency periods are becoming more frequent. In fact, some are able to still get loans closed within 21 days. We have buyers from San Francisco/Silicon Valley to thank for this trend. In the hyper competitive Bay Area market, all contingencies are being removed upfront on some deals, even on homes that don’t need much renovation.

Packing up and moving to the Northwest and Texas?- We are noticing a trend of more people willing to sell and relocate out of So Cal and take advantage of the equity they built in their home. Companies relocating to more reasonably cost real estate is obviously playing a significant role. The popular destinations seem to be the Pacific Northwest and areas around Dallas, Texas.

Moving in…New Yorkers fleeing to Los Angeles: A recent Linkedin report shows New Yorkers are on the move to Los Angeles. We are definitely seeing this trend on the Westside and are currently working with multiple parties from the New York area…Article- New Yorkers fleeing to Los Angeles  

Homeless concerns impacting buyers in Venice and Santa Monica?- The homeless issue on the Westside seems to be more noticeable to out of town buyers. We don’t know if the metro has provided easier access to Santa Monica from skid row, but in showing properties in affluent areas (especially Venice and area near the metro in Santa Monica) we are definitely hearing comments on property tours.

Mar Vista/Westchester and Playa Del Rey solidly embraced by Silicon Beach- Mar Vista continues to be very popular with those in the tech world. They love the proximity to Silicon Beach while being central too much of what LA has to offer. It is not as crowded as Venice and with Venice Blvd. and Washington Blvd starting to go through a revitalization with shops and restaurants, we don’t see this trend changing for a long time. The same can be said for Playa Del Rey and Westchester.  Both of these areas are also very popular with young families in the tech sector and even though some can afford what would be considered higher-end areas, they are specifically looking to be in these areas.

Caruso development in the Palisades will have an even bigger impact on home values than originally thought- The Palisades has always been at the top of the list of Westside locales of the rich and famous and even moreso with the current re-development of the Palisades village by renowned developer Rick Caruso. However, based on conversations we have had with area developers and real estate professionals, many believe the added value of this development will not truly be felt until it is fully in-use. They expect another step-up in value and demand for the beautiful seas-side area that will now provide amenities and cohesiveness the area did not provide in the past.

27 offers on a condo in Santa Monica with no laundry and heat- Condo with no laundry and heat in Santa Monica garners 27 offers and goes for almost 200K over asking!- When a sharp looking 2+2, 1070 sq. ft. unit located at 609 Washington hit the market for $896K, it definitely garnered a lot of attention but most thought it wouldn’t go crazy due to the unit not having inside laundry and no heating system. Typically, community laundry is a major handicap when it comes to resale value. However, that wasn’t the case this time. The listing agent was overwhelmed with 27 offers. They responded to the top 10 and supposedly sold to for around $1.070M…

871 Granville #202 (Brentwood) Open this Sunday and Coming Soon- 954 20th street #A (Santa Monica)

Our new listing at 871 Granville Avenue #202 will be open on Sunday from 2-5. 3 bed/ 3 bath, 1870 sq. ft. remodeled unit in the heart of Brentwood listed at $1.299M. Check out the Property Web-Site 

954 20th Street #A, a charming north Santa Monica 2 bed/3 bath + den, 1,700 sq. ft. townhouse will be hitting the market in the coming weeks. Feel free to contact us for more information.

Morgage rates hit another new low for 2017

Mortgage rates continue to hit new lows this year as the Treasury yield reached a new 2017 low for the second consecutive week, according to Freddie Mac’s latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage “FRM” dropped to 3.78% for the week ending September 7, 2017. This is down from last week’s 3.82% but up from 3.44% last year.

The 15-year FRM also decreased, dropping to 3.08%, down from 3.12% last week. This is still up from last year’s 2.76%.

However, the five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage increased slightly from last week’s 3.14% to 3.15% this week. This is up from 2.81% last year.

Freddie Mac stated the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage followed in the steps of the 10-year Treasury yield, hitting yet another new low for 2017.
click to enlarge

Source: Housing Wire& Freddie Mac


If you live in the city of Los Angeles, community policing and keeping a watchful eye out on your neighborhood is as important as ever. According to a Sergeant in the Los Angeles Police Department, the LAPD has a less officers patrolling the street then they did in 1982. The Los Angeles population has exploded since that time yet the police force is smaller. You would be shocked to know how few squad cars are available to patrol Venice, West LA and Mar Vista. If you speak to any LAPD representative, they talk of how important it is for neighbors to know each other and keep a vigilant eye on the neighborhood. A neighborhood watch is a great start to making the neighborhood less desirable to thieves. 

A few other tips the sergeant wanted to pass along-

*Top burglary/theft deterrent- Dogs: Homes with dogs that are visible and/or easily heard is typically something a thief does not want to deal with.

*Visible cameras/ring system- Not as effective as a dog but still a deterrent and coupled with a dog, it creates a great makeshift security system. 

*Be prepared for an emergency- City services are not equipped to serve all of Los Angeles should a major earthquake hit or an event happens in which we lose utilities for an extended period of time. Every home should have reserves they can tap into when it comes to water/food and some type of power source.