– Mortgage Rates: The typical rate being offered this week for a 30-year fixed-rate home loan was unchanged at 5.07%, with borrowers paying 0.6% of the loan balance in upfront lender fees, Freddie Mac said Thursday.

– Existing-home sales (National), which are completed transactions that include single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, rose 6.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.35 million units in March from 5.01 million in February, and are 16.1 percent above the 4.61 million-unit level in March 2009.Total housing inventory at the end of March rose 1.5 percent to 3.58 million existing homes available for sale, which represents an 8.0-month supply at the current sales pace, down from an 8.5-month supply in February. A normal market has under 6 months of supply and excludes some substantial shadow inventory.

– Playa Vista: Steve Soboroff is stepping as chairman and chief executive of Playa Capital Co. LLC, the developer of the 1,000-acre Playa Vista community near Marina del Rey.

Management responsibilities now fall in the hands of Patti Sinclair and Randy Johnson. His decision follows the Los Angeles City Council’s April 6 approval of the second and final phase of the development. A legal challenge from project opponents is expected.

Sinclair and Johnson both said their focus will be on selling the land for the final phase to developers. The 111-acre site is entitled for 2,800 homes, a shopping center and office buildings.

Playa Capital is in talks with potential developers of the property, including Rick Caruso, developer of the Grove and other Los Angeles-area retail centers. Caruso was slated to build a shopping center at the site before a delay in the entitlement process killed the deal.

– Commercial Note: As expected, Westside vacancies are up and Class A asking rents are down to $3.81, off from $4.21 from a year ago. Rates for Class B space actually increased six cents to $3.06, but were off more than 15 percent from 2009’s first quarter. The bright spot is that at a 10.5% vacancy rate, West Los Angeles has the lowest vacancy rate in the country.
In comparison, Downtown’s Class A asking rent is about $3.27.

– SM Foreclosures: According to Foreclosure Radar, there are 211 properties in some stage of foreclosure in Santa Monica. The breakdown by zip code is as follows: 90401 (8), 90402 (26),90403 (52),90404 (61), 90405 (64)
**For the foreclosure numbers for your specific area, please e-mail us.

– A measure (SB 401) signed last week by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger waives state taxes on mortgage debt forgiven in a foreclosure or short sale

Borrowers are required to be owner-occupants of the principal residence, show financial hardship and have a first lien mortgage originated on or before Jan. 1, 2009 with a principal balance that does not exceed $729,750. In addition, the borrower’s total monthly mortgage payment must be greater than 31% of his or her monthly gross income.

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