Dear Westwood Hills Neighbor:
What a strange year we are having! With Covid-19, the horrible fire season we continue to experience, and the climate changes, it makes for challenges for all of us to experience. The calendar says Fall, but as usual we are experiencing an Indian Summer. Leaves are turning to autumn hues. All these changes are causing us to reshape our lives in so many ways.
As Fall descends, we are also seeing a home-buying frenzy in full swing. With mortgage rates near historic lows, the buying season has moved beyond traditional patterns. Mortgage applications in the US are now 25% higher than a year ago and homes selling for more than $1 million are up 44%. For Westside’s high-end market, we had 464 closed sales of $5 million-plus homes — up 12% from last year. Of those sales, 142 were $10 million-plus, up 26% over 2019….42 were $20 million-plus, up 50%….and 14 were $30 million-plus, up 27%. There were 6 sales of $40 million-plus, the same for both years. There are 92 pending sales of $5 million-plus, of which 20 are $10 million-plus and two are $20 million-plus.
One of the conversations I have with many of you is what is the impact on real estate activity from the upcoming national elections? According to Money Matters, historically, there is a minus of 15% of real estate activity at the time of a national election vs. minus 9% for non-election years at this time of year.. However also historically activity picks up right after the election is held. Given all that is going on today, it will be interesting to see what the results are this year. I will be sharing that information with you in my year-end report.
The controversy dealing with the plans to have a rapid transit system from the San Fernando Valley to LAX is ongoing, and I once again invite you to follow this ever-evolving situation. Also, with the horrible fires we are experiencing up and down the West Coast, please make sure you and your property are fire safe.
I have been cleaning up my data base and noticed several of you receive my mailings both electronically and via “snail” mail. In that case, I have deleted the “snail” mail component. If you wish to still receive them via the mail, please let me know and I will be more than happy to put it back.
You will please note that my traditional quarterly report is longer than usual this time as I was not able to send one out for both the second and third quarters of the year. The year-end report will most likely also be a little longer when I send it out right after the first of the year, as it will be a recap for the entire year.
From a real estate perspective what happened in Westwood Hills for the past 3 quarters, vs. ’19. Currently there are 3 homes for sale, vs. 7 last year. In escrow, there are 4, vs. 1 last year. As for closed escrows, there were an eye popping 16 against 4 last year. With regard to leases, we are looking at 6 currently, vs. 1 last year, and 7 homes were leased this year, vs. 1 last year.
Please know I am here for the long term, and here to assist you with any and all your real estate needs. Please reach out to me.