Market is slowing, finally!

Image

Hi all, the fact that I am home writing instead of showing property today just strengthens my opinion that the market is slowing– finally! We have been at a non-stop sprint since the spring 2012, and it’s nice to feel the market drop down to…normal. Inventories are up, and price negotiation is possible.

What’s causing this? The drop off seemed to me rather abrupt this year, like someone pulled the emergency brake on a train. Here’s a couple of thoughts of why that might be:

  1. It’s the time of year. Conventional wisdom is that real estate traditionally gets a little slower at this time of year. Kids are in school, and the holidays are right around the corner. Notably, this did not occur last year, where last winter saw a huge run-up in prices due to non-existent inventories.
  2. The government shutdown. People don’t like uncertainty, and some buyers may be taking a wait-and-see attitude. Then there’s a fact that some government workers are just not being paid. Fortunately, I think our local area is not as directly affected by federal cuts as other areas of the country.
  3. Interest rates are up. There was a significant rate increase in the early summer this year– interest rates went from the mid-3% to mid-4% range on news from the Fed that they were considering discontinuing “quantitative easing.” This caused potential buyers’ payments to rise enough that they couldn’t afford to complete their purchases. So if you could afford a $600k house in May, you could only afford a $550k house in August. Deals in my office fell out immediately over affordability issues, but strangely, people re-adjusted and climbed right back on the bandwagon. In September, the Fed said nothing about phasing out QE, and interest rates went down again. But it didn’t seem to spur the buyer to buy, as I would have expected.
  4. Football season. And maybe the Dodgers being in the playoffs. I held open houses at one of my listings the past couple weekends, and because of the great price, I expected to be absolutely overrun. I got good turnouts, but not what I expected. Even the streets seemed empty!

What do you think?

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Concerns about affordability in Los Angeles

Image

 

There’s something really strange happening in LA– it has become impossible to find anywhere to live! I get calls daily about rentals. “I want a 1 bedroom in Studio City, close to the Trader Joe’s, with a balcony.” I don’t usually do rentals, but sometimes I like to point people in the right direction. “What’s your budget?” I’ll ask. “$1500 max.” I always shake my head and dread what I have to tell them– it is nearly impossible to find something for this price in this area. Let me qualify that– it’s impossible to find anything that isn’t HORRIBLE. Old carpets, stinky rooms, dilapidated buildings, in the 6400 block or higher– HORRIBLE.

The average price for a ROOM in a house is $700. It might include utilities. If you’re a young person making even $12 or $15 an hour, you are spending half your income on housing. And I don’t think they are making that much.

The bad news is that, with higher rents, landlords can afford to make improvements to apartments that are rundown or outdated. Why is that bad news? Because they charge even more, and the cycle continues.

I’m not a big fan of rent control or low income housing. But I have to wonder what kind of effect these high rents have on the future of Los Angeles. I love this city and want to see artists and actors and directors and musicians come here to make their fortune. It’ll be hard to do if the only affordable housing is in Downey.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

From Low to High in 2 years

 

Studio City Zillow Home Value Index

It’s hard to believe I haven’t written a post in 2 years! In that time, I left Prudential in Los Feliz to work at Keller Williams in Studio City, then just recently returned to Prudential in Studio City earlier this year.

The last time I made a post, there was a 3 bedroom/2 bath home in a good pocket of North Hollywood that sold for $260k. That house is probably worth over $400k. I had a client who bought a little rental in Lake Balboa at the very low point of the market — January 2012, and DOUBLED her investment.

Those days are past, unfortunately, so the question is– are we going to keep on going, or is this all just another bubble? I posted a similar graph earlier this year because I couldn’t believe how quickly the market increased. But it kept going. How long will it go? Not a rheotorical question! Somebody tell me!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

West Nile Hitting Sentinel Chickens in the Valley!

I apologize for making light of a serious situation, I just like the term “sentinel chicken.” Anyway, West Nile is back this year in our area, so please take care to rid your yards of standing water, and avoid the ‘squitos as much as possible. Here is a link to an article with the latest findings,  a link to the CDC website about what it is and its symptoms, and a 2008 LA Times article that chronicles the epidemic that year and in 2004.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Trader Joe’s expanding into old Blockbuster site

 

 

 

 

Curbed LA  reports work is being done for a Trader Joe’s expansion! I wonder what natural goodies they’ll be stocking there… Read the blurb by clicking here.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Coldwater Canyon road closures ’til next year!

Plan accordingly!

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) will be constructing the City Trunk Line South Unit 5 Project. The project consists of 6,600 feet (1.25 miles) of 60 inch diameter welded steel water pipe that will improve the water quality and reliability in the San Fernando Valley area, as well as other surrounding communities serve by the City of Los Angeles. The construction of the entire trunk lineas shown on the attached map will be completed by approximately 2015.

LADWP will begin construction on Coldwater Canyon Ave between Dickens St and Van Noord Ave. Construction work in this work zone will start approximately the week of May 23, 2011 and will be completed by the end of December 2011. Construction work will occur Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. with the possibility of occasional work on Saturdays.

One traffic lane will remain open in each direction north and southbound on Coldwater Canyon Ave. Halkirk Street on the east side of Coldwater Canyon Ave will be closed to thru traffic.

If you need any further information in regards to this project at this time, please contact the Construction Engineer, Mr. John Hinton, at (213) 367-1189. After the start of construction, if you have any construction related issues, please contact the Construction Superintendent, Mr. Robert Smith, at (213) 798-5704.

Info courtesy:

Mary Calilan

Property Manager

12711 Ventura Boulevard, Suite 100

Studio City, CA. 91604

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

NoHo Arts Real Estate Market Report – May 2011

Brought to you by:

Shortly after my last report at the beginning of March, real estate activity boomed! Suddenly, properties that seemed expensive a few months earlier were getting scooped up off the market. It’s funny how people seem to “get the memo” at the same time and buy everything in sight. The flurry of activity caused an uptick in prices, so we are seeing a bit of a recovery at this time.

Will it last? Hard to say. Lending just got more difficult as FHA loans now charge a quarter percent more in mortgage insurance. While 0.25% doesn’t seem like very much, it can make a big difference for buyers at the low end of the price spectrum.

Inventory in our neighborhood has risen lately, with quite a few new listings. That said, most of the properties that had been languishing on the market through the winter have sold or are pending at this time.

For a full list of everything available, please click here, and type “Active Listings in NoHo” in the comment box. Or search for yourself at www.CricketTheRealtor.com.

If you would like a copy of this market report emailed directly to you every month, please e-mail to Cricket@CricketTheRealtor.com and put “Market Report” in the subject line. 

FOR SALE:

5719 Beck Ave - 2 bed/2 bath – 1440 sq ft - Offered at $489,900. Do not curb appraise! Tidy, well maintained home on great street.

.

.

5845 Lemp Ave – 4 bed/3 bath – 1910 sq ft - Offered at $479,000 - Suburban home with large grassy yard and pool! Great street, and how beautiful is this? It’s a regular sale.

.

.

5859 Bucknell Ave – 4 bed/3 bath – 2016 sq ft - Offered at $575,000 - Remodeled home on fantastic street.

.

.

.

IN ESCROW:

5643 Irvine Ave - 2 bed/1 bath – 1195 sq ft -Offered at $349,000. Cute curb appeal in fairly good shape. Fannie Mae foreclosure.

.

.

.

11477 Killion St - 2 bed/1 bath – 848 sq ft – Offered at $235,000 – Small cottage home with bonus studio unit in the back. Open to back up offers.

.

.

5722 Bucknell Ave - 3 bed/2 bath – 1341 sq ft - Offered at $408,500. Is it me or was the entire street of Bucknell on sale this year? Foreclosed home in decent condition.

.

.

.

SOLD:

11717 Collins St - 3 bed/2 bath – 1418 sq ft - Sold for $500,000. Nicely remodeled home with open floor plan and large master bedroom that opens onto backyard. 2 car detached garage and California basement. Beautiful home and I hope that the new owners enjoy it for years to come…

.

.

11607 Killion St - 2 bed/1 ba – 1147 sq ft -Sold for $307,000. Needed updating but has great curb appeal on tree-lined cul-de-sac.

.

5751 Bucknell Ave - 3 bed/2 bath – 1261 sq ft - Sold for $460,000! Huge price reduction. Needs upgrading, but does have sparkling pool plus  large grassy yard. Neighborhood is great– needs a family to fill the spot.

.

.

11269 La Maida St - 3 bed/1 bath – 993 sq ft - Sold for $325,000. Adorable curb appeal on good street. Was listed at $269,000.

.

.

.

If you are looking to sell your home in the near future, do not hesitate to contact me with any of your questions. I can answer your questions regarding short sales and foreclosure alternatives, too.

The properties featured in this report may or may not be represented by Keller William Realty or its agents. This report is not meant to be a solicitation if your home is currently represented by another brokerage.


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment