Timely Real Estate News……………………………………………….. I February 2017
Noah’s Ark would have sold quickly…. when it rained, it poured and poured
January went a long way in easing Southern California’s drought…we had 216% of the average rainfall for Los Angeles in January. Reservoirs are filling back up, the snowpack is 200% of its average for this time of year, and flooding and mudslides came as expected after last summer’s terrible fires. But for all the rain, it didn’t dampen buyers from ‘flooding’ the market, looking for mid-Winter bargains. We all hear about Spring being prime “selling season”, but that appears to be “somewhat old tapes”, in that listing your home for sale this time of year is better for both buyers & sellers and there is not that much competition out there”.
“A week ago, in the middle of a bad rain storm,” Carole Schiffer noted, “more than 40 groups visited an open house in Bel-Air. Forty is a very high number for open houses any time of year, even in this tight market,” she said, “but rain or not, they just kept coming and coming.” It shows how much demand there is in our market. Rain or shine!” “We also had a very large turnout for a condo in Santa Monica on the same day, so as much as some of us, myself included love to snuggle up to the fireplace with a good book on these types of days, the “real” buyers are out there trudging in the rain.”
From time to time, I have shared some home maintenance tips with you. Now is the time to follow through on some of them if you have not already done so: 1) Have your roof checked – I don’t know about you, but I am seeing a few tarps on the roofs of homes in my neighborhood, 2) Check and clean out your drains, 3) Clean out your gutters, and install some type of cover over them to keep the leaves and debris out, but will allow the water to flow through, 4) If you have a skylight, get those seals checked as well, and 5) have the weather proofing and seals around all of your windows and doors checked to avoid any water penetration.
Strong demand for $5 million to $10 million homes
What we’re seeing is rising prices and still-low inventory, of course, and it’s happening across the nation. But in Los Angeles, 2016 ended up with the best year ever in sales of homes price in the $5 million to $10 million range. There were 503 sales in the $5 million-plus category versus 485 in 2015. And there were 150 sales of the $10 million-plus versus 140 in 2015. 2017 appears to be off to somewhat of a slow start in this segment of the market, but it is early days yet.
We aren’t doing as well in the $20 million range, however. There were 32 closed transactions last year in the $20 million-plus range versus 37 the year before. There were 14 sales of the $30 million-plus versus 15 in 2015. Four sales were $40 million plus versus 6 in 2015.
In the $20 million-plus range, the majority of buyers were American followed by Switzerland, Hungary, Indonesia, UK, Russia, and Qatar.
Chargers are a part of a game-changer in Inglewood
If one is good, two is better, right? Well, Inglewood thinks so. Changes had already begun in Inglewood when word got out that the Rams were coming to Los Angeles and would be building their stadium in Inglewood. With the Chargers exiting San Diego rather hastily to join the Los Angeles Rams in the new $2.7 billion NFL stadium, the once-described sleepy Inglewood is waking up to be the envy of many for its neighbors. Property values have already shot up in the city, the newly re-minted Forum is drawing sold-out crowds…but the star of the show is the new Stadium which will be completed in 2019, and its surrounding retail and dining compound.
As plans firm up for the Chargers and the Rams to start playing in 2019, the city of 109,000 residents is stealing downtown L.A.’s thunder according to a recent article in the Los Angeles Times. Inglewood’s development boom and rising real-estate prices are part of a reincarnation of a town once known more for violence and graft, especially after a former mayor pleaded guilty to a corruption charge in 2010 after a decade in power. According to the 1996 hit song “California Love” by the late rapper Tupac, featuring Dr. Dre, Inglewood was “always up to no good.”
The new stadium and sports facility will feature retail stores, offices, hotel rooms, residential space, restaurants, lakes, 25 acres of Public Park and a 6,000-seat performance venue slated to flank the field. The rehabilitated Forum already has become one the highest-grossing concert venues in the U.S., with $32 million in revenue in 2016. So, come 2019, Inglewood will indeed witness a transformation, and Los Angeles will have its own, top-of-the-world sports stadium, unequaled anywhere…well, until another Inglewood comes along.
First-time buyers struggle…more entry-level housing needed
Per the National Association of Realtors, for first-time buyers, their struggle is real. “There simply isn’t enough entry-level housing available,” stated NAR’s economist Lawrence Yun. “Constrained inventory in many areas and climbing rents, home prices and mortgage rates means it’s not getting any easier to be a first-time buyer,” said Yun. “It’ll take more entry-level supply; continued job gains and even stronger wage growth for first-timers to make up a greater share of the market.”
First-time buyers were 32% of sales in December 2016, which is unchanged both from November and a year ago. First-time buyers also represented 32% of sales in all of 2016. NAR’s 2016 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, which was released in late 2016 shows that the annual share of first-time buyers was 35%.
Watching the Dow Jones and what does it really mean?
I must admit as a stock holder, that even though the majority of the stocks I own are not on the “big board”, I get my daily “fix from just looking at those numbers rather than all of the other indices’ to get the “true gauge” as to how the market really is. So, when the Dow Jones made history the other day in reaching 2000, I decided to really learn what all the numbers mean. I went on line and found http://www.investopedia.com and that helped me understand the importance of the Dow as well as the other indices.
The DJIA is one of the oldest, single most-watched indices in the world and includes such diverse companies as General Electric, Disney, Exxon Mobile, Microsoft, and Apple. However, as I am learning, it is not end all and be all of what the value of the market is.
As much as we watch for the Dow averages that are reported every day, there are other indexes that are just as important and are critical to tracking our economy, especially to serious investors…. the Nasdaq, S&P 500, and the Russell 2000. And let’s not overlook foreign indexes that all play in our Wall Street ball park — the Global Dow, Japan’s Nikkei 225. Stoics Europe 600, and UK’s FYSE 100
The entire real estate industry is intimately involved in Wall Street, and the market plays an important role in housing, from mortgage rates to development to credit and financing. So, while I now have a slightly better understanding of what I need to look for in getting my “daily stock market fix”, I know that I have a long way to go in learning how to calculate and understand what I am seeing.
No wonder Asians love American real estate
There’s no question that Asians love American real estate — one only has to look at their market penetration in Southern California, San Francisco, Chicago, and New York. The lure of American real estate goes beyond “safe investments”, it goes to the heart of the Asians’ existing residential values and their own home environments. In a recent Inman article, it was pointed out that:
In Hong Kong, floor plans are based on the number of bedrooms, not square footage….
You’ll never see a bathtub in Singapore, as it wastes space…. You’d think every apartment in these major U.S. cities was a McMansion of over-sized proportions. Space is always a premium in major Asian cities, so when Asians come to the U.S., they first appear overwhelmed at the size of the homes, condominiums, and apartments. There are few comparisons back in Asia to the luxury units so commonplace here. There are four takeaways: 1) Bedrooms over floor plans. Bedrooms drive the design and take the priority, not overall square footage. You don’t see grand scale kitchens or loving rooms there; 2) Spaces are small. Apartments are ultra-small, tiny even.3) Luxury is scare in Tokyo housing. The Japanese maximize every square inch in their country. You will not see sprawling, palatial homes; and 4) American apartments are huge by comparison. Because space is at a premium in Asia. residents are very conscious of their close quarters with others and are very respectful of them. They understand how to behave in tight quarters. Thus, an American luxury apartment or condominium is beyond their normal experience.
If you love New Year’s…. you’ll really love Chinese New Years
The Chinese do it up right. Every year they have their traditional multi-day New Year’s celebration or Spring Festival even though it takes place in mid-Winter. Celebrations began on January 27, New Year’s Eve, and typically last around two weeks, making this the longest holiday in the Chinese calendar. This year the festivities are set to end on February 2.
Chinese New Year takes place on a different date every year, because it is based on the lunar calendar. In this calendar a month is two days shorter than in the solar calendar so to make up for it an extra month is added every few years. The lunar calendar means the celebration always falls on a different date – unlike the January 1 New Year we are used to, which is based on the Gregorian calendar. But Chinese New Year always falls between the end of January and mid-February.
Each year is denoted by a different symbol from the Chinese 12-year animal zodiac, with this year being matched to the tenth sign, which is the Year of the Rooster. Roosters are seen as confident, honest, and hardworking. They also enjoy being around people but can be seen as attention seekers.
Chinese New Year is celebrated with the ringing of bells, the lighting of firecrackers and watching traditional lion dances. In China, New Year’s Eve is seen as an important date, with families gathering together for a reunion dinner. Firecrackers are then let off to signal the end of last year and the beginning of next. On New Year’s Day, families gather, clean their houses, and sweep away bad-fortune.
Red envelopes stuffed with “lucky money” are given to children, along with written wishes for their kids to grow up healthy. As a part of the celebration there are specific foods one eats such as fish, long life noodles, and dumplings. Each of these foods have special symbolism.
Started long ago. Emperor Wu of the Han Dynasty had no idea that his creation of the Chinese New Year, or Spring Festival as it called, would some 2100 years later be so global, with over one-fifth of the world’s population celebrating this festival — some 1.3 billion Chinese, 250 million Indonesians, 100 million in the Philippines, and millions more from Vietnam, South Korea, Malaysia, and Singapore, Hong Kong and Macau. Outside of Hong Kong, the largest celebration outside of China is in London and New York City and San Francisco. So, on behalf of the billions who celebrate Chinese New Year — Gong Xi Fa Cai – Happy New Year in Mandarin from Carole Schiffer.
Carole’s world of real estate
Be sure to check out my wonderful lease on north Thurston in Brentwood. It is a great home, freshly painted and staged featuring 5 bedrooms, 4/1/2 baths (one of the bedrooms has been converted to a walk-in closet), huge living and family rooms with a kitchen any gourmet kit would kill for, plus an outstanding back yard area, including a pool. We are asking $12,500 a month. Also, I am looking for homes for a number of clients, including a Canyon home in Bel Air Crest, another one with a strong golf course view in Mountaingate, a sexy condo or town house in the Bel Air, Brentwood, Westwood area that feels like a home, plus a whole lot more for other clients. If you own a property that you think might work and are thinking of selling please let me know. Or just let me know if you are thinking of selling and/or buying.
I am honored as I will be featured along with 23 other lucky individuals on the cover and inside story of the March issue of Angeleno Magazine. They are calling us “living legacies” because of our involvement with various types of philanthropic issues, including volunteering.
Please do not forget to visit my web site, Caroleschiffer.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, CaroleSchifferRealtor, www.linkedin.com/incaroleschiffer and @caroleschifferrealtor on your mobile.
COUNT ON CAROLE
Marketing Skills Count
Being one of Coldwell Banker’s top agents on the Westside is testimony to my marketing skills. As your Realtor, I use every effective and efficient marketing tool to insure success for your transaction, either as a buyer or seller. From an intensive e-marketing campaign to direct mail to advanced communications strategies, my marketing skills count!
Carole Schiffer. The Westside Expert