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Real-Time Market Update + Property Taxes Due by April 10th!

 Last week’s notes on the market were well received and we are going to keep this going whenever we have good information to pass along during this unprecedented time.  Most importantly, we hope you and those close to you are healthy and safe and are able to implement positive ways to stay connected with each other while practicing social distancing.

Property Taxes– Property taxes are still due by April 10th! Get your payment in if you haven’t done so! Due to state law, it cannot be extended and is a hugely important source of local government revenue. However, beginning on April 11, the day after property taxes are due, people unable to pay on time for direct reasons related to COVID-19 may submit a request for penalty cancellation online. The department has set up a special team to process these requests for those who demonstrate they were affected by the outbreak. Please note, this is just to delay the penalty cost but not the actual taxes due. Here is a link to the LA County Property Tax web-site.

Market Update- Overall, March sales volume for Compass in So Cal ended up on par with last year’s numbers. The first 2.5 weeks of March were on pace to be quite a bit stronger than March 2019 but the slowdown in the last 1.5 weeks of the month balanced it out.

However, April closings will be down at least 30% compared to last year and probably closer to 40% as we won’t see very many quick closings in this environment. Unless a deal is all cash, lenders are not guaranteeing anything quicker than a 35 day escrow with 21 day loan contingency and prefer a 45 day escrow.

New listings in our offices are down about 30% compared to last year which is actually better than anticipated with city of Los Angeles barring agents from showing property, despite the state calling real estate agents an “essential” service. We are expecting new inventory to stay very light until we have a definitive light at the end of the tunnel.   Thus, May closings will be lighter than April.

Once we see a light at the end of the tunnel, new listing inventory will pick up quite a bit with many people waiting out the pandemic combined with those who have withdrawn their home from the market.

Lending-Most banks are offering 90-day mortgage deferment programs. Apparently the process is fairly easy and efficient with most of the larger banks. You will still be on the hook for the mortgage payment at a later date but just gives you a three month reprieve to focus on other pressing issues in your life and it is not supposed to negatively impact your credit, but definitely confirm with your bank what program is available and the implications as they vary among banks.

The average U.S. rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage fell to 3.33% this week, according to Freddie Mac, as the Federal Reserve’s bond-buying program created demand for securities backed by home loans. It is a 17-basis point drop from last week. Mortgage applications dropped 24% last week, compared to year earlier. Rates are expected to fall further… More competitive Jumbo rates are being offered by the big banks when it comes to purchases. They are really the only players right now when it comes to jumbo loans.

As I described last week, the re-fi business is still pretty strong and they have enough of a backlog that the rates being offered are not as enticing as one would think…though this could easily change in the next month and something to keep an eye on.

Title- Sampling a few different title companies, new openings this week were off about 40-50% compared to normal levels.

Title companies can close escrows electronically but the grant deed and loan docs are still required to be notarized in person. Escrow companies and the California Association of Realtors are lobbying local country recorder offices to allow notaries to be done electronically by video, but thus far, it has not been considered.

Rental Market After checking in with multiple landlords and property management companies in terms of rent being paid at the first of the month, the average came to about 90% paying on time. They unanimously have concerns about what it will look like next month if things stay status quo.

Here are a few links to information/articles you may find useful-

Los Angeles sees rental prices fall for the first time in a decade

Los Angeles webpage explaining their eviction moratorium 

Mortgage lenders are tightening standards as coronavirus crisis worsens

From Manhattan Beach to Brentwood- catching up on some of our sales activity

3201 Pine Ave, Manhattan Beach (5+4, 3,260 sq. ft.- Selling Agents)- This outstanding property was acquired for $3.025M after being listed for $3.1M. It has been updated/upgraded with a contemporary coastal color palette and designer selections throughout. The curb appeal starts with the flagstone walk way, groomed gardens, and a charming Dutch door entryway. Soaring two-story ceilings draw in natural light and offer a dramatic setting in the formal areas. The dining room features crisp, white wainscoting and patterned floor inlay details. The custom kitchen centers around an over-sized Calacatta marble topped island. The kitchen is finished with a high end appliance package. A cheerful breakfast nook, a sun-filled family room and the kitchen all enjoy a seamless feel that opens direct to the private backyard retreat

13041 South Icon Circle, Playa Vista (4+5, 3178 sq. ft.- Selling Agents)- Encapsulated by lush landscaping this enchanting Playa Vista home sold $2.575M after originally being listed for $2.8M. The seller, Jeanie Buss (see LA Times article) outfitted the home with top of the line audio/video equipment and other fine details that were included in the sales price. The home features a chef’s kitchen w/expansive center island, wine fridge, compacter, wet bar, large pantry, stylish chandelier & breakfast nook. Relish indoor/outdoor living in the dining space that flows to the deck w/heaters, chic light fixtures & warm fireplace. Relax in the sumptuous master suite w/high ceilings, expansive windows welcoming floods of light & hotel-like bathroom w/dual sink vanity, exquisite glass shower, soaker tub & grand walk-in closet w/endless built-ins. Jeanie Buss article- https://www.latimes.com/business/realestate/hot-property/la-fi-hotprop-jeanie-buss-playa-vista-20190524-story.html

11921 Dorothy Street #204, Brentwood (3+3, 1,760 sq. ft. –Listing Agents)- This spacious 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath unit sold for $1.2M after being listed for $1.250M. The property sold for a similar price of a third floor unit with a few more upgrades. Located in one of the premier buildings in the heart of Brentwood, the open floor plan features a kitchen with granite counter-tops, stainless steel appliances and ample cabinet space while opening to a light and bright entertainer’s living room with maple hardwood floors, fireplace and access to a balcony. The spacious master suite has a fantastic walk-in closet with custom built-ins and en-suite bathroom with dual sinks. A few blocks from elite Brentwood restaurants, shops, boutiques, Whole Foods, and convenient access to all the Westside has to offer.

3910 Spad Place, Culver City (2+2, 996 sw. ft.- Listing Agents)- Beautifully remodeled home by celebrity designers Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent in the heart of Culver City near the amazing restaurants and shopping that electrify downtown. This global coastal style home sold for $1.160M, ($1,164 per sq. ft.) with a list price of $1.190M. The home features white oak floors, quartz counter tops, stainless steel appliances, and tons of gorgeous designer finishes throughout. The spacious master bathroom has a custom carrara marble tiled soaking tub, and dual sinks. While the master bedroom features dual closets with ample storage. The open floor plan and off kitchen half bath make for easy guest hosting. No detail was left untouched in the remodel. **Alexis Antin did a great job navigating this sale that brought multiple offers after being on the market for about a month

4200 Via Dolce #129, Marina Del Rey- (2+2, 1,532 sq. ft. –Listing Agents)– Situated a few short blocks from the beach, the famous Venice Canals, world-class restaurants and shops on Abbot Kinney, this large 2 Bed +2 Bath sold for the asking price of $925K within two weeks of being on the market. The home features hardwood floors, upgraded LED recessed lighting, custom designer finishes throughout and no detail left untouched or expense spared! The living room features a custom finished fireplace, wet bar, and adjacent private patio. The Kitchen boasts quartz countertops, stainless steel appliances, apron sink, water filtration system, adjacent space for a home office, and a custom finished wood bar top that flows into the dining room. **Alexis Antin did a fantastic job with her designer eye to help showcase the property so the client could acquire a higher price per sq. ft. then a comparable property on the same floor that sold at the same time.

7924 El Manor Ave, Westchester (4+2, 1,600 sq. ft. –Selling Agents)- Beautiful Kentwood home acquired for $1.230M with a list price of $1.250M. Located on one of the nicest streets in Westchester, bright sunshine welcomes you into the living room courtesy of oversized bay windows with views to the tree-lined street. Crown moldings, recessed ceilings, and a stately fireplace create an elegant first impression for guests. The kitchen is the heart of the home, and offers stainless appliances, granite counters, custom cabinetry, and innovative storage. Down the hall, two comfortably sized bedrooms are perfectly situated for privacy. The master suite is a brightly-lit sanctuary boasting a charming en suite and French doors to a romantic covered patio.  A detached bonus living space sits at the back of the lot and creates a lovely option for guest accommodations.

30010 Via Borica, Rancho Palos Verdes (4+3, 2,808 sq. ft.-Listing Agents)– Located on a picturesque cul-de-sac, this beautiful home sold within three days of hitting the market at $1.580M, just off the $1.599M list price. Spacious rooms, plenty of natural light and both ocean and hillside views highlight the property. Generous living room complete with modern fireplace. Sunlit dining room adjacent to the beautifully-appointed remodeled kitchen. Upstairs you’ll find four airy bedrooms with wonderful light, charming built-ins and walk-in closets. The master suite features a luxurious remodeled en-suite bath and tranquil fireplace as well as a private balcony **Co-listed with Caskey&Caskey – Kurt Allen

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