Saturday, October 28, 2017

Mortgage rates surge to highest level in 3 months

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage increased to its highest point in the past three months, nearly hitting the 4% mark, according to Freddie Mac’s latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey.

The 30-year fixed rate mortgage increased to 3.94% for the week ending October 26, 2017. This is up from 3.88% last week and 3.47% last year.

The 15-year FRM also increased, hitting 3.25%. This is up from 3.19% last week and 2.78% last year.

The five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage came in at 3.21%, up from 3.17% last week and 2.84% last year.

Source: Housing Wire

Forecast- California home prices will continue to rise in 2018

Home prices in California will continue to increase next year, but at a slower pace, said a forecast released by the California Association of Realtors. The median price of a home is expected to rise 4.2 percent in 2018 to $561,000, less than the expected 7.2 percent increase this year, according to California Association of Realtors chief economist Leslie Appleton-Young.

Affordability constraints stop the increases from rising higher because of the gap between income increases and home prices. Young also spoke about the impact of decreasing inventory and the impact of international buying with Chinese purchasing not having as drastic of an impact.

Check out the full article- California home prices will continue to rise in 2018

Neigbhorhood Spotlight- Manhattan Beach

Here is a quick blurb from the LA Times about the most sought after place to live in the South Bay. Extremely popular with pro athletes and young families who love the beach lifestyle and top-rated schools, Manhattan Beach is one of the most expensive and toughest places to find a home in So Cal.

Article- Neighborhood Spotlight- Manhattan Beach

How the Wine Country wild fires will affect its housing market

Even though this article has nothing to do with Westside real estate, we thought it would be good to share with you an economist outlook on the future of wine country after being devastated by one of the largest wildfires in California history,  destroying 5,700 structures, charring 245,000 acres and ultimately claiming 41 lives.

It is nice to see a positive outlook coming out of such a heartbreaking event. Article: How the Wine Country wild fires will affect its housing market


Friday, October 13, 2017

Skinny's notes on the market

*The current temperature of the market is warm and sunny with some areas/price points still experiencing the heat wave of this past spring while others are trending toward the cooler holiday weather earlier than expected. Anything below about $1.3M in proper Westside locations (both condo and house) is commanding quite a bit of attention. As you start to climb into the middle to high-end of a certain area, we have noticed the “pretenders/lookey-loos” aren’t bouncing around as much and buyers aren’t in as big of a rush to snap something up. The Silicon beach impact is keeping the heat index high in Venice, Mar Vista, South Santa Monica, Playa Vista, Marina Del Rey, Playa Del Rey and Westchester.

*We are noticing a fairly strong ceiling develop along most price points and areas when it comes to different types of inventory. Once you move away from the entry level price points, buyers across the board are much more hesitant to cross certain thresholds that were set earlier this summer. It will be interesting to see if this continues into 2018 or if we will break through thresholds like we did earlier this year. 

*Staging and first impressions is as important as ever with the new generation of millennial buyers. The extra expense the seller incurs with staging and prepping the unit is WORTH IT!

*According to a recent USC Economic forecast, renters in Los Angeles will pay roughly $136 more a month for housing in 2019. The increase is attributed to low housing availability and a roaring Los Angeles economy.

1525 San Vicente
*Some big deals went down in recent months in North Santa Monica. After Modern Family co-creator Steve Levitan sold his 43,379 sq. ft. mansion on Woodacres Road, which borders Riviera Country Club, for a record Santa Monica price of $41.08M in an off-market transaction, Colony Capital billionaire and President Trump’s right-hand man Tom Barrack Jr. sold 1525 San Vicente Blvd., a 23,500 sq. ft. home that sits on 1.35 acres overlooking Riviera, for $34M. This was also an off-market transaction. Barrack purchased the home in 2014 for $24.5M. Barrack did have the home listed last year for the absurd price of $46.5M. Interestingly, and under the radar, Barrack recently purchased 2219 La Mesa Drive for $13.1M. The 6,800 sq. ft. house was on the market last year for $14.775M.

*In honor of the late great Tom Petty, check out this cool LA Weekly article from 2008 that outlines Tom Petty’s LA

*Update- Judge clears way for SM Airport runway reduction after court order had delayed it

After an abrupt turn of events and then a reversal, the City is back on track with plans to shorten the runway at Santa Monica Airport from nearly 5,000 feet to 3,500. A last-minute attempt by two local pilots to stall the project only managed to delay plans for a week – the City says construction will begin this week.

Check out the Santa Monica Daily Press article here- Judge clears way for runway reduction

Earlier this month-

For those South Santa Monica and north Mar Vista residents that were eagerly anticipating the runway reduction at the Santa Monica Airport, you are going to have to wait a little bit longer.  A federal court has issued a temporary restraining order preventing the City of Santa Monica from pursuing the project. City Hall plans to remove 1,500 feet of runway in an attempt to discourage jet flights and the first phase of the project was set to begin on October 18th.

Check out the Santa Monica Daily Press article here- Court order delays runway reduction

Mortgage rates increase for the second week in a row

Mortgage rates increased once again, edging closer to the psychologically important 4% mark, according to Freddie Mac’s latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage increased to an average 3.91% for the week ending October 12, 2017. This is up from last week’s 3.85%. Last year at this time, the 30-year mortgage interest rate was 3.47%.

The 15-year FRM increased to 3.21% this week, up from 3.15% last week and from 2.76% last year.

The five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage, however, decreased to 3.16%. This is down from 3.18% last week but up from 2.82% last year.

Source- Freddie Mac and Housingwire

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Preparing your home for an earthquake - Get it done!

If you find yourself feeling tense about California’s San Andreas Fault, you’re not alone. The 3.6 magnitude earthquake that struck near Westwood Village earlier this month, followed by the devastating 7.1 earthquake in Mexico, has brought the issue of natural disasters closer to home for all of us. In a matter of seconds, one’s entire world can be turned upside-down, yet in just a matter of minutes, one can also take thoughtful actions to becoming the most quake-ready household on the block. Here are steps that you can take before an earthquake strikes.

One piece of uplifting information is that in recent years, Los Angeles and several other cities have required retrofitting of buildings that experts say are most vulnerable to collapsing in a major quake. It would be wise to take the same precautions by inquiring whether your home needs a retrofit—i.e. being bolted to the foundation so that it doesn’t slide off in an earthquake.

You can also consider earthquake insurance, which can give homeowners (and renters) the ability to have funds to repair their homes quickly after a massive disaster.

A simple action that you can do right now is go to your nearest hardware store and find the tools you need to strap or secure objects to the walls or floors that they rest on. Securing objects in and around the house will help limit property damage and reduce the risk of injury to you and your family. That means strapping bookshelves to the wall, televisions to their stands, and even microwaves onto the countertops. Don’t forget about your gas heater! You can also install safety latches on kitchen cabinets to keep blenders and plates from toppling on you during a quake.

Preventative Measures that can Save your Life
*Keep stored wine low to the ground—or in wooden boxes—as opposed to displayed up high.
*Affix a safety film to windows that will leave shattered glass in its place.
*Have a fire extinguisher (or two) on hand and keep them far away from the stove.
*Portable battery packs and emergency plug-in lights are extremely useful in an extended power outage.
*Keep the tank in your car three-quarters full as gas stations require power to pump gasoline.
*Don’t rely on data to navigate you around town post-quake…download maps of your city for reference now.
*Have cash on hand—ATMs won’t work without electricity.
*Tie a pair of sneakers together and store underneath your bed so that you can walk to safety after the earthquake.

Earthquake Kit
Lastly, experts highly suggest that each household prepare an earthquake kit. You can also make an additional kit to keep in your car and at your place of work for extra peace of mind. Place your stash on a shelf that’s easily accessible, and don’t forget about your pets! Pack food, water, medicine and anything else you’d need for at least 72 hours, but several weeks is a better bet. Key things to buy: canned proteins like fish (don’t forget the can opener), chicken or beans; canned fruit (which has sugar); and peanut butter. Don’t forget about replacing water jugs; they can degrade over time and leak.

During an Earthquake
If you find yourself experiencing an earthquake, take heed of this expert advice: Drop, Cover, and Hold On—always. Cover your head and neck with your hands and try to position yourself underneath a table to avoid being in a vulnerable position where something could fall and injure you. If you live near the shore, and severe shaking lasts 20 seconds or more, head to high ground in case a tsunami has been generated. Move inland two miles or to land that is 100 feet above sea level and don’t get in your car—start walking.

Source: Partners Trust Blog

Mortgage rates continue upward trend

The 30-year fixed rate mortgage increased to 3.85% for the week ending October 5, 2017. This is up from last week when mortgage rates held steady at 3.83%, and from last year’s 3.42%.

The 15-year FRM also increase two percentage points from 3.13% last week to 3.15%. This is up from 3.72% last year.

However, the five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage decreased slightly to 3.18%, down from 3.2% last week but up from 2.8% last year.

Source: Housing Wire