LA County home prices reach highest level in almost 10 years

The median sale price of $549,000 is nearly equal to the pre-recession peak

by Elijah Chiland Apr 25, 2017, 12:34pm PDT

Photo by David McNew/Getty Images

Photo by David McNew/Getty Images

Feeling nostalgic for 2007? Well, if you’re a homebuyer, it will be easy to recreate the magic, with median home prices in Los Angeles County jumping to $549,000 in March, according to a new report from CoreLogic.

That’s an impressive 5 percent leap from the $525,000 median price in February and the highest median sale price since the county’s pre-recession peak of $550,000 in August of 2007.

The bump isn’t specific to LA. Prices have risen to pre-crash levels across all of Southern California, with a median sale price of $480,000 for the whole region (up from $460,000 in February).

Prices aren’t the only thing on the rise. The total number of sales countywide—7,266—jumped nearly 50 percent from February, when just 4,866 homes sold. March typically sees more sales than February, but the number of homes sold this past month was also 9.7 percent higher than the amount sold in March of 2016. Across Southern California, the February-to-March bump in sales was the highest in 12 years, according to CoreLogic.

Does all this mean we’re on the verge of another calamitous real estate collapse?

Not necessarily. According to CoreLogic research analyst Andrew LePage, a variety of factors may be contributing to the red-hot market conditions, including a booming economy, consumer fears of further interest rate hikes, and even the weather (buyers may be getting to more open houses now that the rains have subsided).

Of course, while all this growth is great for homeowners, it’s not such great news for prospective buyers, who already face some of the highest prices in the nation.

“Looking ahead, affordability will be a major hurdle for many home shoppers,” LePage says. “If current trends hold, the region's median sale price could set a record this year, at least in nominal terms.”

http://la.curbed.com/2017/4/25/15423826/la-county-home-prices-recession-sales-increase

LA homes are selling in 30 days or less

And the number of homes sold is way up

Here is a current listing of Antola Properties co-listed with Jody Fine Estates that had an accepted offer with multiples in less than a week. - Photo credit: Lee Manning

Here is a current listing of Antola Properties co-listed with Jody Fine Estates that had an accepted offer with multiples in less than a week. - Photo credit: Lee Manning

by Elijah Chiland Apr 18, 2017, 2:58pm PDT

Sales of Los Angeles homes surged in March, according to a new report from the California Association of Realtors, while sale prices dropped off about 1 percent from February numbers.

The median sale price in Los Angeles County was $465,810 in March, down from $470,200 in February but well above the $441,700 price that median single family homes were selling for one year ago.

If those prices seem low, that’s probably because the association does not factor newly constructed homes into its calculations, which are typically more expensive. For comparison, a recent report from CoreLogic, which does include new houses in its analyses, found the county’s median sale price in February was $525,000.

The association’s data suggests that, even while statewide prices rose 4 percent since February, LA County isn’t quite seeing the same bump in cost for homebuyers. That trend may not last long, though, with the number of sales rising and homes spending less time on the market.

According to the report, total sales were up an impressive 45 percent since last month and 8 percent over March of last year.

Meanwhile, the median amount of time homes spent on the market before finding a buyer dropped below 30 days—from 38.8 in February and 43.2 last March. That’s the shortest amount of time on the market in at least more than a year, according to the association’s available data.

The group’s president, Geoff McIntosh, suggested that strong sale numbers statewide may be the result of rising interest rates and persistent warnings of future hikes that have inspired homebuyers to make purchases sooner rather than later.

Whatever the reason, the uptick in sales has cut into the total supply of homes available for purchase—which could in turn lead to higher prices down the road.

http://la.curbed.com/2017/4/18/15343456/los-angeles-county-home-prices-down

Fed raises rates by 1/4 point at March meeting

Jeff Cox@JeffCoxCNBCcom

2 Hours Ago

For the second time in three months, the Federal Reserve increased its benchmark interest rate a quarter point amid rising confidence that the economy is poised for more robust growth.

The move, widely anticipated by financial markets, takes the overnight funds rate to a target range of 0.75 percent to 1 percent and sets the Fed on a likely path of regular hikes ahead. Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari was the sole "no" vote.

Despite a well-telegraphed move, news of the rate hike pushed government bond yields lower while major averages in the stock market moved higher.

"The market was bracing for a much more hawkish tone from the Fed. The early reaction looks to be one of relief, that the market's worst fears were averted," said Michael Arone, chief investment strategist at State Street Global Advisors.

Some market participants had feared that the statement and accompanying economic projections Wednesday would point to a more hawkish Fed, with a faster pace of rate hikes ahead. However, the closely watched "dot plot" that shows each member's expectations for where rates will be in coming years changed little from the last meeting.

With a higher rate already baked into the market, investors were looking for clues about just how aggressive the central bank will be down the road. The market currently expects the Fed to hike two more times this year, which was in line with the bank's projections from December 2016.

"They met expectations perfectly," said J.J. Kinahan, chief market strategist at TD Ameritrade. "They stayed to the script that Wall Street wanted to hear."

The Fed on Wednesday indicated that it still expects three moves. In its statement, the central bank noted that business investment has "firmed somewhat," a slight upgrade from the characterization of "soft" after the Jan. 31-Feb. 1 meeting.

The market expects the next hike to come in June and another in December. Those probabilities increased a bit following Wednesday's decision.

More broadly, though, officials left expectations for economic growth little changed. The forecast for GDP gains in 2017 remains 2.1 percent, while 2018 was pushed up one-tenth to 2.1 percent. Longer-run growth estimates remained at 1.8 percent.

Inflation expectations remained in check as well, as the Federal Open Market Committee — the central bank's policy-setting group — sees a slight uptick in 2017 from 1.8 percent to 1.9 percent but the longer-run tending toward 2 percent.

"It is important for the public to understand that we're getting closer to reaching our objectives," Fed Chair Janet Yellen said during a post-meeting news conference.

During her session with reporters, Yellen walked a balance between bracing the market for additional hikes but stressing that the Fed remains data-dependent and not interested in aggressive tightening.

"It was pretty balanced. There was something in this press conference for everyone," said Scott Clemons, chief investment strategist at Brown Brothers Harriman. "Hawks will welcome the acknowledgement ... that waiting too long to scale back the accommodation would require the Fed to raise rates more rapidly than it wanted to. At the same time, I think doves were welcoming that the fed funds rate doesn't have to rise too much to get to a neutral policy stance."

The statement also reaffirmed the previous meeting's language stating that risks to the FOMC forecasts are "roughly balanced."

The FOMC took the target rate to near-zero during the financial crisis and left it there until beginning a path toward a more normalized level in December 2015.

This week's hike comes amid hopes that more aggressive fiscal policy under President Donald Trump will allow the Fed to cede its economic stimulus role to Congress and the White House.

While hard economic data have been mixed, sentiment surveys are running high that the economy is poised to grow more than the lackluster post-crisis level. Businesses, consumers and professional investors all have indicated they believe better times are ahead.

According to reports released just before the Fed decision, home builder confidence is at a 10-year high, and manufacturing in New York is surging due to a multi-year high in orders and a decade-high in unfilled orders.

However, the confidence has been slow to transfer to actual growth.

The Atlanta Fed on Wednesday cut its view for first-quarter GDP to a 0.9 gain – coincidentally, the same level of fourth-quarter growth when the FOMC approved the December 2015 rate hike.

Yellen said Wednesday that GDP is a "noisy" indicator from quarter to quarter and believes the economy over the long run is running at about a 2 percent pace.

http://www.cnbc.com/2017/03/15/fed-raises-rates-at-march-meeting.html

Palm Springs midcentury stunner with ties to Hollywood asks $3.7M

Obsessed with this stunning mid century home in Palm Springs, CA.  The lines are so classic and the home is beautifully restored with a modern flair.  The expansive space is perfect for anyone who loves to entertain and it is such an easy desert getaway.  Would love to sell this beauty.  Interested... give me a call or send me an email and we can arrange a showing

 

Built in 1956 by John Porter Clark, the home was once owned by Bill Holden and Tippi Hedren

by Lauren Ro@blauring Feb 22, 2017, 12:00pm EST

The epitome of the glamorous Palm Springs lifestyle, this beauty by renowned desert modernist John Porter Clark also happened to be home to Hollywood legends including Tippi Hedren and William Holden and Stefanie Powers.

Built in 1956, the sprawling 4,449-square-foot abode has since been dazzlingly renovated—as can be peeped in a few before photos—and “returned to its original footprint,” spotlighting its pure, minimalist lines as exemplified in its flat, cantilevering roof, planar surfaces, and gigantic pivoting glass walls that thrust open the five-bedroom to an expansive lawn and pool.

Now finished in all-white when it was previously tan and brown, with custom marble stonework found throughout, the property practically gleams. The generous desert sun floods the home with natural light thanks to all that glazing, and the original post-and-beam construction and tongue-and-groove ceiling aid in projecting the house even further outward to establish seamless indoor-outdoor living.

Set on nearly an acre of land with stunning views of the San Jacinto mountains, the residence offers up incredible entertaining options, too, from the huge kitchen, to the formal sitting area with open fireplace, the multiple patios, and, of course, the pool. You’re going to have to shell out a pretty penny—$3,700,000, to be exact—for your chance to own this special property located at 1323 South Driftwood Drive.

http://www.curbed.com/2017/2/22/14697520/palm-springs-midcentury-modern-homes-for-sale-john-porter-clark