Luxury Home Owners: Time to Slow Your Roll?

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Homes considered part of the high-end market across the country are taking longer to sell, according to a report out this week by Concierge Auctions. A whopping 72% of luxury homes in the U.S. languished more than 180 days on the market in 2017, up from 59% over 2015’s days on market. And for those who don’t believe pricing correctly is a factor, homes that spent more than 180 days on the market sold for an average of 62% of the original asking price (even after a few reductions).

One of the slowest list-to-close luxury markets in the U.S. last year was Westchester County, N.Y., where luxury homes spent 798 days on the market on average, a total only surpassed by Nashville, Cape Cod, and Atlanta. According to the report, one key factor to the tortoise-like pace in these areas were high property tax rates (Westchester ranked highest in the land).

The research said Beverly Hills high-end homes averaged 347 days on the market. However, it took L.A. Luxe Group only 8 days in 2017 to sell a Beverly Hills listing at 718 N. Alpine Drive (pictured) for over $8 million. Miami’s luxe digs took 608 days to sell in 2017, while expensive properties in San Francisco blew-off the market in 55 days. Pricey properties in Palm Beach averaged 476 days, and Manhattan’s $4 million-and-up residences spent an average of 359 days on the market prior to selling.


L.A.’s Hottest Zip Codes

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A study out this week ranked Los Angeles’s hottest zip codes. The online real estate news site, Curbed, compiled information regarding rising prices, sales volume, and population growth over the last year. Curbed said #1 is 90012, which is the 2nd fastest growing area in the nation, behind only Gilbert, AZ. 90012 includes Chinatown, the Civic Center, Elysian Park, Victor Heights, parts of the Arts District and Bunker Hill, and most of Little Tokyo. Here are the rest of L.A.’s top 10:

2. 90402, Santa Monica (average home price: $3,237,500), where we are launching a new listing today (pictured and hot-linked here).

3. 90025, Hermosa Beach (average home price: $1,693,500)

4. 90013, Lincoln Heights/Montecito (average home price: $458,500, up 14.6%)

5. 90063, City Terrace (average home price: $320,000)

6. 90292, Marina Del Rey (average home price: $2,157,500)

7. 90266, Manhattan Beach (average home price: $2,100,000, up 10%), where we have an excellent development opportunity for sale (hot-linked here).

8. 90220, Compton (average home price: $285,000)

9. 90293, Playa Del Rey (average home price: $1,517,500, up 26.5%)

10. 91602, Toluca Lake/Studio City (average home price: $1,022,500)

Making America Expensive Again

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The nation’s housing market stayed strong last month, with the only thing holding back sales being a lack of supply, according to a report out this week by the National Association of Realtors. The market for homes above $750,000 was especially strong, with sales up 19% in February compared to a year ago. That comes amid new tax laws that cap mortgage tax deductions above $750,000, instead of the previous $1mil.

Neither the lower cap, nor rising mortgage rates stopped customers from signing on the dotted line, according to N.A.R., which examined contracts signed between November and February, around and following the time that Congress debated and passed the tax bill championed by the White House.

The western U.S. saw sales jump 11% in February, compared to the same time in 2017. That’s despite the fact that we are the most expensive market the country—and only getting more so. The median home price across 6 counties in Southern California rose 10.2% last month year-over-year to $506,750, according to the report. One of our latest SOLDS, a condo in Sherman Oaks (pictured here), closed this week just above that median price at $575,000—$26,000 over its asking price.

Do you treat Fido like family?

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I’ve written before about how animal companions figure into home purchases and sales. A number of you reading this have spoken to me in the past about physical concerns for your furry brood’s safety and enjoyment. It is sometimes a part of the home buying or selling decision-making process; much like bedroom count or lot size.

Despite people rolling their eyes at your “obsession,” you are not alone. In a study out this week specifically about dog ownership, 75% of the 89.7 million dogs in the U.S. are considered “family” by their human caretakers. More than half of us lie down with dogs (meaning 45 million pooches are sharing pillows with us on any given night). 67% of dog owners say their dog relieves their stress, 50% of dogs receive holiday gifts (11% get birthday parties), 40% go on vacations with their owners, 31% own clothes, 1 in 6 have social media accounts, and 44% of owners have made provisions for their fur babies in their will.

$70 billion was spent by Americans on animal companions in 2017 (see the $3,500 dog house pictured here from Etsy), a 70% increase over 2007. So what are we getting out of sharing our real estate with four-legged roommates? The study cites the science behind the relationship: When you pet a dog, your body produces oxytocin (and other endorphins), which lifts your mood and strengthens the connection between you and your fur kid. Oxytocin is the hormone that bonds a mother to a child and one lover to another. And in 2018, who doesn’t need more good chemicals in their brain?

Prices Down, Supply Low in January

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Buying a house in Los Angeles County got ever-so-slightly cheaper in January, according to a new report out this week from real estate analyst CoreLogic. The median sale price for the month dropped from $570,000 in December to $565,000—a reduction of almost 1%. Median prices are still $40,000 higher than they were a year ago, suggesting that the area’s housing market is still on the upswing. One of our listings (pictured here) near the county’s median price point went into a fast-and-furious multiple offering this week and settled-out around 5% over asking price due to buyer demand.

Across all of Southern California, January’s median price of $507,000 was 0.5% lower than the December median of $509,500—an all-time high for the region. The slight dip in value isn’t unexpected; prices typically drop by about 2.8% between December and January.

More data from the report: In January, 4,847 homes changed hands in L.A. County, down from 6,613 in December and 5,188 in January of 2017. CoreLogic predicts low supply will continue to keep prices high, “barring an economic downturn.”