Dear Mountaingate Neighbor:
First of all, please accept my condolences for any loss you might have sustained in the horrible mudslides in Montecito earlier this month. I apologize for the tardiness of this report. Unfortunately, a myriad of events prohibited me from getting it to you earlier.
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.
The lack of inventory that most other areas of the city and county doesn’t pertain to Mountaingate. How does it stack up against the real estate activity in ’16? Currently there are 7 homes available for sale vs. 4 in’16. There is 1 home in escrow vs. none in ’16, and there were 2 closed escrow in ‘17, vs. 3 in ’16. At the moment there are 3 homes available for lease and 2 were leased the past quarter. In ’16 there was 1 each available for lease and 1 leased. 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 any items such as coats, sweaters, etc. that can be used by those in need, please contact me – Carole Schiffer, at 310-442-1384.
Please let me know how I might assist you with all your real estate needs.