Archives for category: Los Angeles Real Estate

Great news, I just heard from a fellow agent that an open house he held last weekend in Westwood was attended by 140 people and the house had not even hit the MLS yet.  This is amazing news.  Open house activity has quadrupled.  Buyers are tired of waiting, and sellers are still at the sideline putting their properties on the market very slowing and cautiously.  Inventory is very, very low and buyers are frustrated that there is nothing to look at.  This is all a good sign for the market place.

I expect in the next several months that sellers will start putting their homes on the market and buyers will step up to the plate .  Buyers will start making realistic offers, recognizing that there is a lot of competition in the market.  There are a lot of multiple offers going on right now.  Even though I will not be so bold as to say that prices are going up, the market has definitely leveled and there is definitely more demand then there is available inventory.

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The $40-million sale is one of the highest this year in L.A. County.

La Belle Vie, the mammoth Bel-Air residence built in 1993 for philanthropist Iris Cantor by her husband, Bernard Gerald Cantor, has sold for $40 million, public records show. The sale is one of the highest this year in Los Angeles County.

The mansion had been marketed at $53 million since 2009. It was designed to house the Cantors’ extensive art collections.

The 35,000 square feet of living space include a three-story entry hall, a formal library, a media room, a gym, a billiards room, a beauty salon, three kitchens, 12 fireplaces, nine bedrooms, 21 bathrooms and a staff wing. The property includes a pool, a tennis court and a 10-car garage.

Iris Cantor is chairwoman and president of the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Foundation, which supports the visual arts and medical, educational and cultural institutions. B. Gerald Cantor, who died in 1996 at 79, cofounded the securities firm Cantor Fitzgerald.

WASHINGTON— Fewer people purchased previously occupied homes in May, lowering sales to their weakest point of the year.

Home sales sank 3.8% last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.81 million homes, the National Association of Realtors said Tuesday. Economists say that’s far below the 6 million homes per year sold in healthy housing markets.

Since the housing boom went bust in 2006, sales have fallen in four of the past five years. Analysts said they expect sales to level off at about 5 million per year. That’s not much better than the 4.91 million homes sold last year, the worst showing in 13 years.

The depressed housing market has weighed on the broader economy. Declining home prices have kept people from selling their houses and moving to find jobs in growing areas. They have also made people feel less wealthy. That has reduced consumer spending, which drives 70% of economic activity.

The housing market has struggled because fewer first-time buyers are entering the market. The number of first-timers ticked down to 35% of sales last month. Typically, they drive half of sales in healthy markets.

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By Alejandro Lazo Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

An index of home prices in the nation’s largest American cities plumbed new depths in March, pushing past a low set during the worst of the Great Recession.

The ominous new drop for the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller index of 20 cities, a key measure that is closely watched by economists, casts further doubt about the future of the housing market’s recovery. The index pushed below its previous bottom hit in April 2009, confirming a much-feared double-dip in home prices.

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Will the move to dismantle Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mean the end of the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage as we have come to know it?

Many housing proponents say that it will. Without the government’s backing, they contend that the 30-year mortgage will become a relic of a bygone era when mortgage money was cheap and easy to come by. But others say America’s most popular home loan will still be available — if you can afford it.

Before digging deeper into the debate, a short primer: Although the long-term fixed-rate mortgage was born with the Federal Housing Administration — the government agency established in 1934 to help stabilize the then-shaky housing market — it was taken to its greatest heights by Fannie and Freddie, the two government-chartered institutions that were created years later to keep the money flowing for home loans.

These government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) live and work in the secondary mortgage market, where they keep primary lenders flush with cash by buying their loans and packaging them into securities for sale to investors worldwide.

With their implicit government guarantee and their corresponding ability to attract cash even though they were offering a lower return than investors could earn elsewhere, the GSEs were, in effect, able to subsidize the 30-year mortgage, making it less expensive than it would have been otherwise.

That such government-backed loans are cheaper is evidenced by the difference in rates charged in the so-called jumbo sector, where mortgages in amounts above the legislated ceiling are off-limits to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. (The limit is as high as $729,750 in some markets. It is due to fall back to $625,500 on Oct. 1.) (LA Times)

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We hope everyone enjoyes our video on the Santa Monica community.

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