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 On top of this, and maybe more importantly, the Chinese government has put new caps on the amount of yuan that can be withdrawn outside their country.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 October 9th, 2015 No comments
What to do on Friday night in Redondo Beach?
There’s still time to head over to Lincoln Elementary in North Redondo Beach and enjoy a family movie night on the baseball field. Food trucks, friends & fun!!
Posted on July 17th, 2014 No comments
2117 Huntington Lane, #A
My favorite new listing this week is 2117 Huntington Lane, #A. It’s an attached, front unit townhome. It was built in 2007 and has a refreshing floor plan. It gets great light and has a lot of living space. And it should at over 2700 sq feet. It shows beautifully and has been well maintained by the original owner.
For those of you who are cost per square foot conscious, it’s less than $400 per square foot which is great in this market. (Although I would argue that this measurement is not a reliable benchmark when buying a home.)
It’s priced well at $1,079,000.
Posted on March 20th, 2014 No comments
A couple of new listings that came on the market this week in North Redondo Beach have set price tags that are pushing the envelope. It will be a great litmus test to see if the market is in deed still climbing at a steady pace as we move into the heart of 2014.
2022 Warfield Ave, #1 is a corner, detached townhome. These corner units are extremely popular because they feel like single families with their own, private driveway and what feels like a defined space, separate from your neighbor who shares the lot with you. The townhome on Warfield has a lot of space. The floor plan is not cookie cutter, and the kitchen has been updated. On the other hand, there is carpet throughout instead of hardwood (albeit, new carpet), and the bathrooms are original. This is a 1990 build. No other corner townhomes, built from 1988-1995 with less than 2600 sq feet have sold for more than $836,000, according to the MLS. This was the sales price for 2509 Phelan Lane which sold in October 2013. However, 2023 Nelson Ave, also a corner 1990 build, went into escrow after 12 Days on Market with an asking price of $899,000. This townhome also has an updated kitchen, but bathrooms.
Then we have 2114 Huntington Lane, #A. This is a detached front townhome that was built in 1990 as well. It has the older floor plan with the living room, family room, formal dining room and breakfast nook. The bathrooms haven’t been updated in this one either. The kitchen has granite counters, and laminate floors were installed throughout the downstairs. The home does have a nice feel. It gets good light. The seller is asking $849,000. The last attached townhome that sold with similar condition and square footage was 1908 Havemeyer Lane, #A which sold for $830,000 in June 2013.
The trend is becoming clear. Buyers are spending more money and getting less. If you want to buy a newer townhome or one with an upgraded kitchen and bathrooms, you will be easily pushing $900,000. Case in point, 2517 Huntington Lane, #A is a 2005 built, detached townhome. It shows very well with some nice upgrades. However, it’s only two blocks from Inglewood Avenue. This property still got 7 offers, at least a few of them were over the asking price of $899,000.
If inventory stays as tight as it has been, prices will continue to rise. What you could buy for $905,000 today could be $935,000 a few months down the road.
Once this listings close, I will circle back around to this analysis and confirm if the trend is still moving on up.
Posted on March 14th, 2014 No comments
Brokers Open today in Hermosa Beach had a strong showing. There were a handful of great properties that just hit the market and are sure to fly off the shelf. My favorite was 1018 17th Street in the Hermosa Hills. It’s a townhome built in 2005. I’m dying to know who the builder is because it has a unique look and feel rather than the typical cookie cutter floor plans and generic finishings. There is a master bedroom and 2nd large bedroom on the entry level. Two more bedrooms and bathroom and are located on the lower level. Then on the top floor you have the Great Room. It’s all open but you feel like each area gets its own space rather than all being jam packed next to each other. Well placed skylights keep the room light and airy. The balcony offers an intimate setting for outdoor entertaining with new ocean views.
Posted on March 14th, 2014 No comments
405 S Gertruda Avenue in South Redondo Beach has been on and off the market over the past few years. It’s a lovely home with a lot to offer. And yet it hasn’t had an offer that has sealed the deal. This gives us an opportunity to look at one property over 3 distinct time periods in the South Redondo Beach real estate market.
Here’s the history: The home was purchased in September 2005 for $1,480,000. As we all know, this was a market on an upswing. Sellers could do no wrong. Homes sold themselves and prices climbed quickly. Then in January 2010, the homeowner put the home on the market for $1,765,000. It was on the market for approximately 3 months. It didn’t sell, and not surprisingly. The market had pretty much come to a stand still, and in many cases prices had dropped back down to 2005 levels. There was no way this home would sell for $300,000 more than what it sold for in 2005 – not in this market. And it wasn’t going to sell at $1,685,000 later in the year when it was put back on the market again.
Fast forward three years, and the home was listed for sale in July 2013 for $1,875,000. This was in the middle of a very hot market. But it’s also been a fickle market. Buyers have gone gangbusters on many properties and activity is rather subdued on others. And South Redondo seemed to languish behind North Redondo, Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach. After four months the listing was canceled. And now, in March 2014, it’s back on the market for the same price.
Is there going to be anything different this time? One of its neighbors, 413 S Gertruda, sold in October 2013 for $1,700,000. It’s newer but smaller by about 500 sq feet. If 405 S Gertruda ultimately sells close to its asking price, then we are still in a very upward mobile market. But based on this recent comp, I would deduce that the value is below the $1.8 mark and not above it.
405 S Gertruda shows very well. The views are gorgeous and the roof top deck is extremely usable. I’m not a fan of all the spiral staircases. (Loved them when I was a kid… could run up and down them all day long. But now I just get an awesome case of vertigo.) The neighborhood views are also picturesque. The kitchen is beautifully updated. The master bathroom is lovely. This house gives you a lot of space on a great street with great views. But it’s my feeling that it’s going to need to come down in price before someone is ready to step up to the plate. With that being said, there have been plenty of people stepping up this past year, setting new benchmarks. Only time will tell.
Posted on January 31st, 2014 No comments
On Brokers this week (listed by South Bay Brokers) was a 849 Avenue C. Completed a few months ago, this 4000 sq foot home is a work of art. Designed by Michael Lee, a local Manhattan Beach architect who is deft in modern/contemporary architecture, this home has beautiful indoor/outdoor space. The photos I’ve posted are taken from outside by the pool which does or does not have to be separated from the living area by fully retractable floor to ceiling sliding glass doors. There is a dedicated viewing room downstairs with large theater style seating. The home is stunning.
Posted on January 29th, 2014 No comments
2013 proved to be a good year for real estate. Listings received multiple offers, prices increased rapidly, buyers got historically low interest rates.
Here are some specifics for the North Redondo Beach Area 151:
A total of 184 homes sold this year.
176 of the sales were on the MLS.
8 of the sales were off market and/or pocket listings.
The average Days on Market was 51.
The average List Price was $725,000.
The average Sold Price was $722,150.
There were a total of 14 short sales and 2 REOs.
2013 was a strong market. Many homeowners gained equity in their homes due to rising prices. The number of distressed sales decreased immensely from the two years prior when they represented approximately 15% of the market. Prices continued to climb and buyers continued to pay those prices.
Highest Priced Single Family Residence
2210 Robinson Street: 5 bedroom new construction with 3,078 sq. feet.
The record is still held by 2615 160th Street which sold for $1,500,000 in 2011. This was an off-market sale which may not accurately represent market value at that time. The next highest sale was 2110 Ruhland Ave which sold for $1,450,000 in 2008.
Highest Priced Townhome
1931 Nelson Ave, #B: 4 bedroom with 3,580 sq. feet. Built in 2005.
The record is held by 2023 Dufour Ave which sold for $1,275,000 in 2007.
The pace at which prices are climbing has slowed down, but inventory is still low. For the most part, sellers are getting their asking prices and a little more. As homeowners gain equity, we may see more inventory hit the market in 2014. But until then, there’s enough demand to continue to bolster prices.
If you’re a seller, the lack of competition makes this a great time to sell. With few choices, you can garner more money for your property.
As a buyer, you should be as aggressive as possible. Buyers are competing with each other because inventory is low, making it very easy to chase the market up. For example, if you were buying a 4 bedroom town home built in the 90s in North Redondo in the beginning of 2013, you would pay approximately $775,000. Now, a similar town home would sell in the mid $800s. A newer townhome typically sold for mid to high $800s a year ago. Now, they are selling for low to mid $900s and closer to $1,oo0,000 for the larger ones.
Posted on January 16th, 2014 No comments
There’s not much inventory in the high end of North Redondo Beach right now. But two listings are coming back on the market for a second chance. 2211 Warfield Ave, #B is a 4 bedroom townhome built in 2005 by E&S Builders. It will be priced in the mid $800s and is a great value. Then there is 2215 Ruhland Ave, #A. It’s a 5 bedroom townhome priced at $899,000 and built by Rich VR.
Both town homes have high end finishes. Warfield offers an upstairs loft/family room and Ruhland has a 5th bedroom which is unusual for the area. Let me know if you would like to see either of these properties before they are snapped up.
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.