Dear Bel Air Park Neighbor:
First of all, my heart goes out to all of you whose homes and property were damaged in the recent Skirball fire. It was a scary situation for all of us. My heart goes out to all how were also impacted by the horrible events in Montecito. I also want to apologize for the tardiness of this report, unfortunately a myriad of issues caused this delay.
A whirlwind of December real estate and tax news swept us into the new year as we continue to face some of the same challenges we started with 12 months ago — rising home prices, low inventories, and a market that is woefully in need of housing — at all levels. Added to all of this, of course, is the impact of the new tax bill and its effect on real estate.
Let me first recap the year in simpler terms — it was a banner year for home value appreciation as median sales prices in Los Angeles area finally exceeded pre-2007 price levels, although when inflation is considered, we’re still down about 11% in real value. Median sales prices in all of the areas I report were up through the end of November, another positive sign and total sales through first 11 months were up over 10%. Inventories slightly improved, but not near enough.
The vote is out as to how the just passed tax bill will impact our real estate values. We do know that for any home purchased after 15 December, 2017 the maximum amount of the mortgage is $750,000. For all others there will be no change. This most likely could impact the market as pertains to new purchases. The change in the state, city, and local taxes deductions could also impact the market. As always there are two sides to each story, and some seem to feel that with the increase income the deduction we will not feel the impact that much. Obviously, we will need to see what the future brings. Prices are predicted to continue their upward climb.
High-end sales on the Westside had its best record home sales were sent to their highest level in 11 years. All in all, the real estate market is positioned to remain healthy from a seller’s point of view — buyers will continue to scramble for homes, not only here, but everywhere.
We dodged the bullet with regards to the Skirball Fire in December. If the winds had gone in another direction, we would have had major problems. The first responders did an amazing job in protecting us all. Will the Skirball Fire impact real estate values in our community moving forward, that is yet to be seen. Overall how did the last quarter of 2017 do vs. 2016? There were 2 homes available for sale the last quarter of ’17 vs 1 in ’16. No homes were in escrow either quarter, and there was 1 closed escrow in ’17, vs. none in’16. No homes were available for lease, but 1 was leased in ’16. I want to thank Linda G and Vivian D for their contributions to my One Warm Coat Campaign, they both have been most generous. It definitely is not too late for me to come and collect any items you might have, so if you have coats, sweaters, etc. that can be used by those in need, please contact me, Carole Schiffer, at 310.442.1384.
Thank you for the business in 2017, and I look forward to serving all of your real estate needs in 2018. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with me.