Happy New Year!
Believe it or not, it is a year since our scare of the Skirball Fire in the neighborhood. During this past year, I have shared a number of suggestions for things we all can do to try and keep ourselves and homes safe. I hope you have been able to institute some of them.
Where ever you look, it has been a roller-coaster year; the stock market, the housing market, politics, the government shut down and Mother Nature. As we enter 2019, we find things in a state of flux with continued rising home prices throughout the State, inventory improving, but still less than needed, and higher or lower interest rates (depending on the day!), all of which is affects everyone. On top of this, we have experienced the deadly Woolsey Fire in Malibu, and the Camp Fire in Northern California. There is an interesting graphic in the Los Angeles Times from 27th of December showing the Century of Malibu wildfires. It is truly eye opening and quite concerning.
In California especially, we are still dealing with lower than desired & needed inventory, our median sales prices up and down the state remains the highest in the U.S. The median sales prices in Los Angeles for single-family residences is $616,000. The impact of the tax bill will reveal just how much it impacts individuals when the IRS starts processing tax returns. On the one hand, we have a volatile stock market, but economists still maintain the economy is strong: Consumer confidence is high as retail sales over the holidays was up 5.1% to over $850 billion, the best sales in over six years, making retailers very happy.
On the Westside, I have seen sales volumes hovering 5% below 2017, as median sales prices continue to rise over the previous years. On the other hand, I have had an excellent year and am once again optimistic about the coming year. The good news — we live in one of the world’s most attractive real estate markets, and despite ups/downs we are very lucky to live where we do.