Posted on October 21st, 2015 No comments
If you ask agents in the South Bay what’s going on with the market, you get some puzzled looks.
The market that was red hot, all of a sudden is not. And it’s hard to put a finger on what is happening, whether it’s an anomaly or a sign of a downtrend or if we’re just plateauing.
I personally think we’re stuttering, but it may be indicative of a few environmental and economic conditions that may be temporary.
1. The volatility of the stock market was undeniably sobering. Whether people lost money or were just fearful that they were going to lose money, it put a damper on buyer mentality. Buyers may have pulled back, as they do, when they don’t feel flush with cash. As the market settles down, this feeling goes away and buyers may resume their hunger for purchasing real estate.
2. We all know that a great part of the southern California market has been propelled by Chinese money. And as of late, the exchange rate has shifted in favor of the USD. Costing them 10% more, the Chinese buyers seem to have pulled off from their purchasing frenzy… for now. On top of this, and maybe more importantly, the Chinese government has put new caps on the amount of yuan that can be withdrawn outside their country.
3. And finally, it’s hot. I mean it’s really hot. I go so far as saying, it’s “Africa hot”. I believe that the heat wave that has hit Los Angeles and the Beach Cities has an impact on real estate. And why not? We know that horrific winters on the east coast put a halt to the market there. It’s been so hot here in the South Bay… Hermosa, Redondo and Manhattan Beach have been experiencing weather in the high 80s which is normally unheard of at the beach. And people don’t know how to cope with it. There’s very little A/C, very little reprieve. I think to some extent people have actually been beaten by the heat. So there’s little motivation to go shopping for a home when all you want to do is stick your head under the faucet… which is not even kosher in the drought that we’re having.
So we’ll see in the coming months which direction the stock market and the temperature take. And we’ll see if this is just a hiccup or a sign of a slowdown to come.
Posted on January 16th, 2014 No comments
If you’re interested in seeing the general trend in prices, here’s the latest from DQ News, comparing prices from October 2013 to October 2012 in the South Bay:
Average Sales Price
City October 2013 October 2012 Increase
Hermosa Beach $1,399,000 $835,000 67.54%
Manhattan Beach $1,386,000 $1,137,500 21.85%
Redondo Beach $747,500 $700,000 6.79%
Redondo Beach had 70 transactions in October, the highest number of the three Beach Cities. Manhattan Beach had 40 and Hermosa had 24.
The trend appears to still be going up. Inventory is still low, and there’s enough demand to continue to push prices up. I don’t think we’re going to see the frenzied pace that we saw in the beginning of 2013, but there will be plenty of activity.
The real estate industry could be tapered by the new Qualified Mortgage standards (effective as of January 10th) which require a borrower’s debt to income ratio to be no more than 43%. Of course, this could just mean that the big lenders are going to continue to grab the lion share of the business since they are less impacted by the QM guidelines; they can hold on to their loans rather than selling them on the secondary market which is dictated by Fannie and Freddie.
Posted on January 16th, 2014 No comments
Last night the Manhattan Beach City Council voted to approve a revamp of the Manhattan Village Mall which is located at the corner of Sepulveda Blvd and Rosecrans Avenue. The plans call for a $110 million renovation including 60,000 sq feet of pedestrian friendly space and open air shops near the CPK. The plan also calls for additional parking structures, a consolidation of the Macys space which currently anchors both sides of the mall, and an addition near the standalone electronics store, Frys.
The plan exists in a few phases and it’s far from ironed out yet, but it’s a good first step to improving this extremely valuable real estate. I would think that with El Segundo’s shopping development across the way, the Manhattan Village Mall has lost some business over the past few years. It’s a small mall with a limited number of shops and restaurants. The expansion could prove to make it more of a destination site and continue to drive revenue to the city.
Posted on December 9th, 2013 No comments
The Manhattan Beach Fireworks were last night on the Manhattan Beach Pier. It was tons of fun like always. Lots of friends and families camped out on the street singing Christmas carols, playing in the snow park, drinking hot chocolate, and having a blast. The fireworks show is always choreographed to Christmas music. It’s one of my favorite days of the year and it’s one of the reasons why I love where I live! #ManhattanBeachFireworks
Posted on August 21st, 2013 No comments
When you buy a home, your lender requires a copy of the purchase contract. They want to make sure that all the terms are met and their investment is protected. One of the sticking points is often the termite work. Once you include the Wood Destroying Pest Addendum in your contract, the lender requires that the work is done prior to close, and in some cases, prior to funding the loan. Without the termite clearance – proof that the property is clean – the lender will not approve your loan.
Typically, in southern California, the seller agrees to pay Section 1 items and the Buyer will be responsible for Section 2 items. Section 1 items are those that must be fixed, i.e., dry rot, termite infestation, etc. Section 2 items are things that are not a problem now, but may lead to a problem later. These are preventative measures. The lender normally is not concerned with Section 2 items, however I have heard of some lenders requiring Section 2 items to be repaired as well. Consequently, I advise my buyers not to agree to Section 2 items so that the lender doesn’t require they be completed. This is as simple as not checking the Section 2 box on the WPA form.
South Bay – Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach
In the South Bay, we do come across some challenges from time to time. Due to the fact that we have many properties that have 2 or 3 attached town homes, but no active HOA, a problem arises when the seller of one of the units has termites and needs to tent for fumigation. In order to tent, they have to tent the whole structure which includes his attached neighbor(s). But what if the neighbor doesn’t agree to tenting? You are forced to do secondary local treatment to eradicate the termites, but the lender might not accept this alternative treatment and the loan, and ultimately the deal, could be in jeopardy.
This can also be the case with two detached units that share the same gas line. Because you have to shut off the gas during fumigation, the neighboring unit must agree to this. It can make for a very sticky situation.
If there is no way to convince the neighbor to cooperate with the fumigation, the other option is to remove the WPA from the contract. Once the WPA is not part of the contract, the lender will not require the work. However, as a buyer, you must be comfortable with he fact that the termite work will not be completed and you may need to tent in the future if and when your neighbor is cooperative. You may want to negotiate a credit from the seller for the cost of the fumigation in exchange for removing it from the contract in order to close the deal.
Posted on July 20th, 2013 No comments
The Obama administration has extended the Making Home Affordable Program until December 2015 in an effort to still help homeowners who are in danger of losing their homes to foreclosure. This also includes the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) and Home Affordable Foreclosures Alternative program (HAFA). The former handles loan mods and the latter is for short sales.
In the South Bay, we have seen far less REOs and short sales this year. However, there are still a number of homes in pre-foreclosure. Here are some current stats as of July 20, 2013:
Redondo Beach: 34 homes in pre-foreclosure, 30 homes are bank owned
Manhattan Beach: 7 homes in pre-foreclosure, 7 homes are bank owned
Hermosa Beach: 14 homes in pre-foreclosure, 8 homes are bank owned
Torrance: 24 homes in pre-foreclosure, 30 homes are bank owned
Posted on June 15th, 2013 No comments
Here are some recent facts pertaining to the real estate market:
1. In May, 40% of Americans said it was a good time to sell a home, up from 30% in April and 16% a year before, according to a survey from mortgage giant Fannie Mae.
2. U.S. home prices jumped 12.1% in April year-over-year, marking the 14th consecutive month of gains, market researcher CoreLogic says.
3. Nationwide, the supply of homes for sale in April was up 4% from January, when adjusted for seasonal patterns, says Jed Kolko, chief economist for real estate website Trulia.
To see the full article go to http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2013/06/10/americans-home-selling-fannie-mae-survey/2409835/.
Because prices have started to rise, and in some cities at a quick pace, sellers are starting to feel that this is a good time to sell. If we start to get more inventory, we may see a more balanced market and prices could slow down. Until then buyers will continue to push prices up as they compete for properties.
In Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach and Redondo Beach, we can see prices increase from one week to the next. As each property is sold, a new bottom is set. Buyers who consistently miss out on properties to stronger bidders learn that they have to be overly aggressive in order to get their offer accepted. Buyers are coming in with all cash, large down payments, and they are offering well over the asking price. Appraisals are being waived. Contingency periods are being shortened. The one thing that can slow this down right now (all things being equal) is an increase in inventory.
Posted on May 25th, 2013 No comments
I will be holding open 1026 1st Street in Manhattan Beach on Saturday, May 25th from 2-5 pm. Come see this fabulous new construction in the Hill Section with a spectacular ocean view and open floor plan. It’s a 4 bedroom, 4.5 bath home for $3,495,122.
Posted on November 8th, 2012 No comments
Mark Your Calendars for Manhattan Beach’s 18th Holiday Open House and 23rd Annual Pier Lighting, 26th Annual Family Holiday Crafts Night, and the Holiday Fireworks Festival. See details below:
Nov. 14th: 18th Holiday Open House and 23rd Annual Pier Lighting
The Holiday Open House is your downtown local restaurants’, retail stores’ and businesses’ way of saying thank you to customers and community for their support and patronage throughout the year. Come celebrate the annual Holiday Open House together with the City of Manhattan Beach Pier Lighting Ceremony. Downtown merchants will be open until 9:00 PM and are sure to offer some distinctive gifts and intriguing offers this holiday season. Restaurants will be serving their original menus and some sampling is sure to get your palette started for an evening of wonderful food.
The evening includes:
- 6:00 PM Pier Lighting Ceremony with live entertainment
- Mayor will flip the switch at 7:00 PM and illuminate the Pier with holiday lights
- Carolers and strolling musicians throughout the entire downtown
- Santa and his helpers
Bring your kids and don’t forget your shopping list.
Enjoy an evening of holiday music, shopping and dining all at one great location, Downtown Manhattan Beach.
Dec 2nd: 26th Annual Family Holiday Crafts Night
The Afterschool REC program would like to invite you to attend the 26th Annual Family Holiday Crafts Night and Open House. This event will be a showcase of the Afterschool REC Program. Play, Nature, Exercise, Positive Spaces, Gathering Places, and Forever are the themes of the night. Come and celebrate family fun times, feed off of the positive energy and exercise your mind as you paint or glue. This is a gathering space for you and your family to play and have some good old fashion fun. There will also be some holiday goodies and hot cocoa!
For more information contact:
Dec 9th: Manhattan Beach Holiday Fireworks Festival
The Manhattan Beach Holiday Fireworks Festival is held at the Pier every year in December. This year’s Fireworks Festival will take place on December 9, 2012 and will include the following events:
- 4:00 PM – Skechers Snow Park opens
- 4:00 PM – Michael Stars Bounce Park opens
- 4:00 PM – Chamber’s Santa arrives and greets kids
- 5:00 PM to 6:30 PM – Local Bands lead holiday sing-a-long
- 7:00 PM – Fireworks Show choreographed to seasonal music
Bring blankets, beach chairs and coolers to pick a spot for the spectacular show.
The Holiday Fireworks are expected to go forward, rain or shine, on Sunday.