MORE CHANGE COMES TO CENTURY CITY AS CENTURY PLAZA REDEVELOPMENT IS SET TO KICK OFF IN EARLY 2016

LOS ANGELES--()--The Century Plaza Hotel development project featuring two 46-story luxury residential towers, restaurants, retail shops and a newly designed 400 room 5-star hotel will get underway in March 2016, according to Michael Rosenfeld, CEO of Woodridge Capital Partners who is leading the $2.5 billion project. The historic hotel will close its doors on March 1, 2016 and is expected to re-open in early 2018. Situated in the heart of Century City at the intersection of Avenue of the Stars and Constellation Boulevard, the 1.5 million square foot hotel and mixed use development will be the centerpiece of a vibrant renaissance occurring in Century City including the $800 million expansion of the Westfield Century City Mall and over 10 million square feet of offices, residences, restaurants, retail and entertainment venues. Click here to read more.          Continue reading

WHAT DO INTEREST RATE INCREASES MEAN FOR YOU?

EVEN IF THE FED RAISES SHORT TERM INTEREST RATES THIS MONTH, MANY EXPERTS AGREE THAT IMPROVEMENTS IN THE DOMESTIC ECONOMY WILL OUTSTRIP ANY NEGATIVE IMPACT ON THE REAL ESTATE MARKET FROM A 25 BASIS POINT INCREASE IN MORTGAGE RATES. Click here to read more.        Continue reading

SHOPPING FOR A NEW HOME? BE CAREFUL NOT TO LET HOLIDAY GIFT GIVING THAKE THE WRAPPING OFF OF YOUR LOAN APPROVAL

After receiving the preapproval on your home loan -- the anxiously awaited first big step toward homeownership -- you likely breathed a sigh of relief that the official "proving yourself" part of the process was over. Not so fast, if you're searching for a home during the holidays. Before you get swept up in the tide of frantic holiday shopping, it's important to know that going overboard on gifts for friends and family can impact the total loan amount you're ultimately approved for, and it could even kill the approval entirely. Here are a few ways you can ensure you make it all the way from preapproval to purchase with no hiccups en route. Click here to read more.        Continue reading

MORE GOOD NEWS FOR REAL ESTATE MARKETS: NEGATIVE EQUITY RATES CONTINUE THEIR DECLINE

NEGATIVE EQUITY RATES, OR OWING MORE ON YOUR HOME THAN IT IS WORTH, ARE DECLINING ACROSS THE COUNTRY GIVING OVER A MILLION HOME OWNERS NEW OPTIONS FOR SELLING OR REFINANCING THEIR HOMES. Interest rates on home loans moved lower for the third week in a row in the latest weekly survey of lenders. Meanwhile, nearly 1 million more homeowners may now be able to sell or refinance their homes before mortgage rates begin to move higher, according to a new industry study. Freddie Mac’s just-released weekly survey of lenders shows the following average rates for the most popular home loan terms: 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 3.93% with an average 0.6 point for the week ending Dec. 3, 2015.  A year ago, the rate averaged 3.89%. 15-year fixed rates averaged 3.16% with an average 0.5 point. The same term priced at 3.10% a year ago. 5-year adjustable-rate mortgages priced at 2.99% with an average 0.5 point. Last year at this time, the same ARM averaged 2.94%. Click here to read more.        Continue reading

REAL ESTATE TRENDS: WHAT’S HOT, WHAT’S NOT FOR 2016?

AS 2015 COMES TO AN END WHO WILL BE BUYING AND WHERE WILL THE HOT MARKETS BE FOR 2016? In the yearend of last year, the U.S. Federal Reserve was predicted to raise interest rates for this year which propelled prospective homebuyers to take action, however, 2015 proved that prediction wrong. This time, that pattern may no longer come to be. "Buyers now don't seem to be all that spurred or driven by a rate increase," says Nela Richardson, chief economist of Redfin. "That lack of urgency will translate into next year's housing market. There's interest, but there's not a lot of inventory to buy."  With 2015 nearing its end, here are some of the real estate trends that are expected to come with the New Year, U.S. News reports: Click here to read more.        Continue reading

BIG BUCKS: THE PRICIEST RESIDENTIAL SALES IN LOS ANGELES LAST WEEK

The Malibu estate of an actor/comedian, a Los Feliz home built for a silent-film pioneer and newly built residences in Arcadia and Brentwood were among the priciest residential real estate sales in greater Los Angeles last week. $12.94 million — Malibu The onetime marital home of Kelsey and Camille Grammer sold in the 3200 block of Serra Road. Off and on the market several times over the last decade, the 4.75-acre estate in the gated Serra Retreat community had been listed in 2004 for nearly $20 million and in 2012 at about $17 million. The Grammers, who divorced four years ago, bought the property in 1998 -- a year after they were married -- for $4.5 million. Click here to read more.        Continue reading

WHAT ARE THE REAL REASONS PEOPLE AREN’T BUYING?

If you follow the Motley Fool you know, this guy makes sense!  And few can spell things out so clearly….. Mortgage rates remain near all-time lows, job prospects are getting better for educated individuals, and ever-increasing rent make buying a house a financially practical choice. So, why is the homeownership rate at its lowest level in 48 years despite these compelling reasons to buy? The first-time buyer segment can make or break the housing market  Just 63.4% of U.S. households own their homes, down from a peak of 69.2% in 2004. During the past year, 123,000 new homeowner-based households were created, a stark contrast to the 1.3 million renter-based households that have formed.One of the biggest reasons for the low homeownership rate is the lack of first-time homebuyers in the market. In fact, the most recent data shows that only 32% of 2015 purchase transactions come from first-timers, the lowest level in nearly 30 years. Click here to read more.      Continue reading

THE LONGER TERM VIEW: WHY REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT MAKES SENSE

Those that are currently investing in US housing should feel confident. There are four reasons why this is a good decision despite the ups and downs on market prices. Strong job growth The US economy has paved the way for around 3 million private sector jobs over the past year alone. This could only mean that there could be more than 750,000 new jobs in the 25- to 34-year old-age group which is the segment for first-time homeowners. This is the highest in about 15 years. More jobs mean higher incomes leading to an increase in consumer confidence and more demand for homes Decrease in inventories and an increase in pent-up demands The level of inventories for new and existing homes and the percentage of households are at or near-15-year lows. Around 1.5 million new households have been formed in the past year. More than 30 percent of 18- to 34-year-olds live at home which means there is an increase in pent-up demands. Housing demands will surely increase towards 1.5 million units two or three years from now Click here to read more.      Continue reading

INVESTING IN UPGRADES: 2016 TRENDS IN BATHROOM DESIGN

On average,  the return on investment for mid-range bathroom remodels is 81 – 102%, upscale bath remodels return 69 – 85% When it comes to home remodeling projects, bath upgrades continue to dominate, even over kitchen renovations. With so many resources and choices out there, it can be overwhelming to sort through the different options and styles on your own, so I’ve researched the topic for you. Transitional and contemporary style bathrooms are gaining steam over traditional designs. Modern style baths tend to be popular among homeowners who are remodeling because they offer eye-catching features that are sure to impress. See what’s trending in 2016 so you’re prepared the next time you want to buy a home or update your bathroom. Click here to read more.      Continue reading

WHAT’S HAPPENING WITH LUXURY HOME SALES IN LOS ANGELES?

LOS ANGELES—Luxury single-family home sales are spiking in Los Angeles. According to a report from Sotheby’s International Realty, home sales in the Pacific Palisades were up 94% from October 2014 to October 2015. Home sales also spiked in other Los Angeles luxury markets, up 46% in the Beverly Hills Post Office market, 50% in Westwood, 40% in Venice and 50% in Cheviot Hills. “We are seeing recovery in all price ranges in the market, and most markets are fairly robust. In the luxury market, we are also seeing a robust market as well,” Frank Symons, EVP and COO at Sotheby’s International Realty, tells GlobeSt.com. “In the over the $3 million market, if you look at the quarterly results year-over-year, you can see that the numbers indicate how robust that market is. We work within pretty broad price ranges, and in those price ranges, we are seeing that all sectors are doing well.” Click here to read more.      Continue reading