Tag Archives: Westside

Beverly Hills Courts Self-Driving Cars (Which Will Ruin Everything)

Beverly Hills Sign

A recent article in the Hollywood Reporter reported that Beverly Hills is courting the manufacturers of self-driving autonomous vehicles as a way to reduce traffic congestion and to be a beacon of modernity to the nation… And I just don’t trust it. I don’t trust it at all.

Here’s the thing: People in LA are called “Angelenos,” those residing in Santa Monica are “Santa Monicans,” but people living in Beverly Hills are… “people living in Beverly Hills” which makes me wary of this whole “self-driving car” thing. Continue reading

Cheviot Hills 1st Quarter Prices Kick Serious A$$!

Yes, that’s an unprofessional headline, but I’m quite enthusiastic about the direction of Cheviot prices (and other stats) for the first quarter of 2013 (that’s January through March for those of you who prefer to measure markets using pennies, nickels or dimes).

The big news is that the Sold Price Per Square Foot is up close to 23% over the average for 2012, going from $531.79 up to $652.63!  Really.  Check it out:

Cheviot by the numbers

Now, I don’t like to pop balloons, so let me let the air out of this slowly — there have only been 10 sales so far this year in Cheviot Hills, with 5 of the ten sales above $1,600,000 (and three of those were above $2 million).  Here’s the list:

Image

Because so few homes were sold, the $Sold/SF numbers are easily skewed, but the news is still really good, because it shows that we are still in a seller’s market.  There are currently only 5 homes for sale in Cheviot, from $1,250,000 up to $3,795,000.  Of the 5 homes, four of them are priced above $1,750,000. (We’ll be doing a video review of the homes at the end of the week.)

Here’s what I’m thinking that you should be thinking: If you are thinking of selling your home, we have a great selling climate — low interest rates are mixing with low inventory, and very high buyer demand.  Homes are selling in multiple offers, and even off market sales are selling at very high prices.

Yes, it is possible that the market can keep going up, but if the number of homes for sales increases, the market momentum could stall.  Plus, with so few homes on the market, it’s easy to make your home stand out (especially if it’s priced below $1,750,000).

Okay, you know the drill.  If you are thinking of selling, give Chad and me a call.  We’ll give you a free evaluation of your home (and a free notepad… maybe even two notepads).

Look back at the end of the week to see our video update on the market.

What’s happening with housing prices? They are going up, that’s what.

CNN Money reported that we are seeing the biggest spike in home prices since the bubble (here’s the article: http://money.cnn.com/2013/03/26/news/economy/housing-recovery/index.html?section=money_realestate).

To be fair, CNN calls it the “Biggest home price rise,” but if you’ve read anything that I’ve written of late, I prefer to call it a spike because I think it’s a situational rise brought on by two things: low (or no) inventory and low interest rates.

If you are looking for a home on LA’s westside you are experiencing this phenomenon first hand (and either you are celebrating a victory of finally getting a home in this market, or nursing the wounds of yet another crushing defeat in the multiple offer atmosphere). I’ll be posting how I help my buyer clients win at multiple offers (and how I suggest sellers should evaluate offers that they receive) later this week, but here’s what I’d like you take away for now:

If you are thinking of selling, stop thinking and just do it!*
Yes it is possible that the market may go up more in the near future, but it’s also possible it won’t. As sellers “catch on” and more inventory comes on the market, buyers will feel that they have more choices, demand will decrease and prices will begin to settle (or even, gasp, retreat).

Buyer, seller, economist or palm reading psychic, call me and let’s talk!

*Apologies to Nike.

Westside Prices Are Rising. Here’s the Why as well as the How they might not be as high as we think they are.

If you’ve been looking for a house on the Westside any time over the past 6 months, you know that prices keep going up. The California Association of Realtors figures show that over 60% of all sales are coming out of multiple offers, which means that people are competing for homes.

“What happened to the crash in home prices that now seems like a distant memory?” you may ask.  Well, it seems like buyers and sellers have fallen into the perfect conditions for a Seller’s Market: Inventory (homes for sale) has been at an incredible low level for roughly the past 6 months. As more buyers come off the sidelines with greater confidence in the market, they are willing to pay more — which they can do because of the (still) historically low interest rates.

The result is an “auction atmosphere” similar to what we had going on in 2007, and prices are going up at a steep climb.

All of that said, you may be wondering what I mean when I say “prices might not be as high as we think they are.” Here’s the deal — because of the very low number of homes, we are dealing with significantly small samples. And with a small sample, one or two big sales can skew the average prices upwards quite dramatically.  This is why it is important to segment price-points when you are looking at areas; instead of taking an average of all the homes in Cheviot Hills or Mar Vista, we need to look at “3 bed, 1 bath” homes as a group, or “1,700-1,900 square foot” homes as another striation.  In some markets, the price increases will be dramatic no matter what (e.g.: Santa Monica’s Sunset Park), but in other areas, like Rancho Park and Southern Westwood, the increases are more modest when comparing similarly situated homes.

The Take-Away:

If you’re a Seller, I don’t know when market conditions could get any better to be a seller to get the price you are looking for.

If you’re a Buyer, current interest rates bring the price of the purchase down to a tame monthly cost.

Whether it’s a good time for you to be a buyer or a seller will be dependent on your individual situation. Give me a call if you’d like to see how you fit into the current market place.

Cheviot Hills Report – April 20, 2012

The first quarter numbers are in, and Cheviot Hills is holding its own compared to the same quarter in 2011.  If you don’t believe me, watch the exciting and action packed video and learn all about average days on market, average prices, and the average $/Square Foot.  Plus, if you act now, you’ll learn my secrets of winning the lottery.