Timely Real Estate News……………………………………………….. I May 2017
Pending homes sales in March stayed at high level
According to the National Association of Realtors, pending home sales in March maintained their recent high level, but momentum slackened slightly in most of the country as the dearth of supply weighed on activity, The NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator, based on contract signings, declined 0.8 percent to 111.4 in March from 112.3 in February. Despite last month’s decrease, the index is 0.8% above a year ago.
“Sparse inventory levels caused a pullback in pending sales in March, but activity was still strong enough to be the third best in the past year,” according to Lawrence Yun NAR’s chief economist. “Home shoppers are coming out in droves this spring and competing with each other for the meager number of listings in the affordable price range,” he said. “In most areas, the lower the price of a home for sale, the more competition there is for it. That’s the reason first-time buyers have yet to make up a larger share of the market this year, despite there being more sales overall.”
What’s more, Yun pointed out that sellers are in the driver’s seat. “There is intense competition for the few homes for sale forcing many buyers to be aggressive in their offers,” said Yun. “Buyers are showing resiliency given the challenging conditions. However, at some point — and the sooner the better — price growth must ease to a healthier rate. Otherwise sales could slow if affordability conditions worsen.”
“It all comes back to the Law of Supply and Demand…” Carole Schiffer stated.
There is strength in numbers…West Los Angeles sparkles
We all know that prices are rapidly moving upward, and yes, we read where inventory is abysmal — just about everywhere. Cheer up! According to Global Luxury, Coldwell Banker’s new luxury division, in judging from the same time last year, there have been 148 sales of $5 million-plus this year versus 149 in 2016, only down one from a year ago, but in the $10 million-plus category, there have been 52 sales this year vs. 44 at this time last year.
But what really jumps out is that in the $20 million-plus range, there have been 20 sales compared to only 5 a year ago. Of those sales, 9 were over $30 million and there were no $30 million sales a year ago. Also, there are 21 pending sales of $10 million-plus currently, and one in the $20 million-plus arena. And there are 67 pending sales of $5 million-plus.
“What this is telling us is that our real estate product on the Westside has performed remarkably well since the first of the year. We are still dealing with low inventory and are seeing multiple offers on properties that are priced competitively.,” Carole Schiffer said “. As I have said many times, it is very easy to see and quickly to note that if the price is wrong, as there are no showings, and thus the offers are simply just not there”. Buyers are very sophisticated and kmowledgable today. Sales are being made to a diverse group of buyers in the $20 million-plus category for example — 11 are American, 4 Chinese, 1 English, 1 Scottish, and 1 Indonesian. “Interestingly, of the 19 sales recorded, 10 were private sales!,” Carole stated.
Housing inventory is down everywhere…
While we are enjoying a small resurgence of sorts here in West Los Angeles, housing inventory is down 25% nationally from two years ago based on a report from real estate tracking company, ProTrack. The supply of homes for sale this spring is so depleted that one of the nation’s valuation firms predicts that the inventory drought will reduce total home sales this year as shortages drive up prices and buyers fail to find properties they can afford,
ProTrack’s Home Value Forecast looks at inventory through the lens of months remaining inventory (MRI), which is defined as the current number of active listings divided by the monthly sales rate. It combines both supply and demand into one number, giving a more holistic view of the state of the market. Traditionally, a balanced market would have an MRI between six and 10 months.
According to recent data, two years ago the weighted average for the more than 200 metros tracked by Home Value Forecast was 7.87. A year ago, that number was 6.89. Today it is 5.90 — a 14.4 percent drop in MRI from last year and a full 25 percent drop in the last two years.
Luxury real estate extends far beyond US borders
As you see in the above story about the diversity of buyers moving to our area, Coldwell Banker couldn’t have been timelier in recognizing the changes and changing its 85-year-old Previews International brand to Global Luxury. Appealing to an international group of families, who migrate in various ways to other non-native countries, it is a trend that is not going to be curtailed as the “world becomes smaller”.
For example, it was the second year in a row that Australia attracted more millionaires than any other country with a 38% increase over 2015. The United States was second over the past two years, followed by Canada, UAE, and New Zealand.
The report, conducted by Research and Markets, showed that more than 82,000 millionaires left their home countries in 2016. France had an estimated 12,000 millionaires depart followed by China’s 9,000. The report also shed light on why we all need to understand affluence globally because there are currently more than 13.6 million in the world with worldwide wealth of $69 trillion. And this expansion will continue in some surprising places.
Importantly, as the money gets younger, we can expect the real estate industry will be impacted because the affluent will have an increasing world view.
Many have left their home countries to attend college, build careers and accept multi-national assignments. They are comfortable in the global society and are not afraid to venture abroad as they discover emerging luxury markets.
Beware…it’s rattlesnake season.
It’s not their fault. They were here first. And after months of what is called “brumation” — a slowing down of their metabolism, the rattlesnakes have shed their skins and are moving about the countryside. They are all over the city, not just in the hills. Yes, we do have rattlesnakes, and lots of them.
The state receives about 300 calls a year reporting bites, most frequently between April and October. The highest number of bites frequently are reported in May. According to local park rangers, this winter’s rains have led to a lot of vegetation growth, which attracts rattlesnake prey such as mice and other rodents.
Word to the wise (and unwise) — almost all snake bites are on the hand by people who wish to pick up snakes. Don’t disturb rattlesnakes they rest in a coiled-up position, and if you see one stretched out, that is when they are ready to strike— call the Animal Control department immediately. Rattlesnakes really don’t want to bite you — only for defensive purposes…they wish to save their venom for a kill. Also, please check with your vet, there is a shot that your lovable pouch can get which will help keep them alive if they are bitten by a snake.
Older clients still want their space and luxury
My fellow agents and I are discovering many older, well-to-do clients are not satisfied with shared garages and elevators, remote storage lockers, and sardine-like patios that overlook other sardine patios.
That’s why developers are offering luxury town-home developments that have individual feature 4,000 square feet, as many as four bedrooms, and 3.5 bathrooms. With private garages, elevators, screening rooms, tall ceilings, formal dining rooms, large open kitchens and family rooms, pre-wired security systems and automated lights, these are what can be described as ‘mini-estates’ just without the garden and pool.
“In my opinion, this is not a fad Carole Schiffer said. “My clients who may be older are not looking to forgo the “finer things in life/ They are simply looking for an easier, maintenance free life style where they can pick up and go”. They’re simply not willing to give up what they have worked so hard for all these years.”
Coldwell Banker Offers Scholarships!
Whether it’s around the world, across the country or just down the street, moving to a new home can have a big impact on the lives of the company’s customers, particularly adolescents. To support high school students and their families who have experienced a move, Coldwell Banker and its parent company NRT is proud to launch the 2017 NRT “Share Your Moving Story” Scholarship Program, through which the company will issue a total of $20,000 in college scholarships to 10 worthy applicants across the country.
The Share Your Moving Story Scholarship Program gives high school juniors and seniors the opportunity to tell us how their personal moving experience or that of a loved one has affected them. The applicants who visit ShareYourMovingStory.com and submit the top-10 stories will each earn a $2,000 scholarship to the college of their choice. The deadline to submit an essay is June 15, 2017, so now is the perfect time to spread the word! Please let me know if you know someone whose story you feel would qualify them for consideration so that I can enter their story, email@example.com
5 Steps in Protecting Your Smart Home
Just how ‘smart’ is your home? That’s a good question as more technologies are flooding the home market, inviting homeowners to open their wallets to finance all the latest bells and whistles for having state-of-the-art technology (did you see the new one where you have them look at your outfit before you leave the house and tell you if it looks good on you?!?). However, it’s also opening the opportunities for intruders and hackers, too. Yes, once a smart home is hacked, it’s “open sesame!” with some consequences. So, here are few items for your consideration:
1. Use strong passwords — having a strong password really is the first step against hackers and is enough to keep most hackers out of your devices. However, many people prioritize creating passwords that are easy to remember (or that don’t change) over their home’s security. The best passwords are a combination of capital and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. 2. Be selective with your devices. Grow your system carefully and cautiously. Buy brands and products that you trust and are proven in practice. 3. Update your apps and firmware — Always update your software on all devices, just like you do your smartphone or computer. it’s a way to stay ahead of hackers….4. Watch your Wi-fi network. Only use private security networks — never public, and experts recommend you not use the same server as your computer because computers are easier to hack and 5. Always turn off devices. Don’t give hackers a chance to play around with your turned on-but not used devices. They have free reign over your devices when they are on and you’re not around. Also, you’ll save energy by turning them off or unplugging them.
One of my Bel Air Crest neighbors recently contacted me about an organization she & her late husband established a number of years ago to support the musical arts, so in the mode
of cross marketing that I discussed in the last Schiffer Line, I want to share some information about the L’Ermitage Foundation with you. Established in 1983, L’Ermitage Foundation has supported many charities such as the Children’s Hospital through donors’ contributions. Membership gifts are tax-deductible. The Foundation was established with two goals in mind: promote the performing and musical arts and provide funding to various charities. For over 30 years L’Ermitage Foundation has donated thousands of dollars to selected charities and has produced hundreds of concerts.
Members enjoy monthly concert events knowing that a portion of their donation helps support various charities. For more information please visit. www.http://lermitagefoundation.org.
Many of you have met my Mom, Kelly as she has accompanied me to showings, open houses, visits to the office, etc. She turns 95 on the 23rd of May, so once again me and the Canadian branch of my family is busy planning a birthday surprise. I will share the festivities as well as some photos. Stay tuned
Searching for property to sell and finding tenants
I have a beautiful new lease listing of a Canyon home in Bel Air Crest and we are looking for a tenant to come and enjoy this lovely home. It is 4/3.5, 3 levels with an elevator, 3 cargarage, finished basement, office and den and has been updated and upgraded with new wood floors in the kitchen and den and a fresh coat of paint. The Lessor’s would like to be in their new home sometime in June so please give a call so that you or someone you know can move in quickly. I am still on the hunt for properties for my clients in Bel Air Crest, Mountaingate, and Westwod Hills, (basically all over West Los Angeles), so please reach out to me if you are considering selling.
Please visit my web site: www.caroleschiffer.com my Facebook page: www.facebook.com/CaroleSchifferRealtor, my Lindekin page: www.linkedin.com/incaroleschiffer and my Instagram page @caroleschifferrealtor.
COUNT ON CAROLE
Many sellers overlook the power and importance of presentation when listing their homes. Carole doesn’t. She knows what works best to achieve the maximum price for your home. Remember, 50 percent of buyers make their decisions before they get out of the car. Presentation counts….Carole Schiffer. The Westside Expert
Happy Mother’s Day