housing trends

Market Muse | June 9th, 2017

Market Muse with Warren Dow reports:

  • Home prices are on fire – and look to continue to stay hot through balance of 2017
  • The national housing report 63% of homeowners with mortgages have seen a rise equity since 2016
  • Millennials are the largest group of home buyers for the fourth consecutive year.
  • Fannie Mae has declared it’s a sellers market


What’s happening in the housing market

Home prices are on fire – and look to continue to stay hot through balance of 2017

According to its recently released Home Price Index (HPI,) CoreLogic reported that home prices are up both year over year and month over month. Nationwide, home prices increased year over year by 6.9% in April 2017 compared to April 2016 and increase month over month by 1.6% in April 2017 compared with March 2017. The CoreLogic HPI Forecast indicates that home prices will increase by 5.1% on a year over year basis from April 2017 to April 2018.

CoreLogic also reported that U.S. homeowners with mortgages (which is roughly 63% of all homeowners) have seen their equity increase by a total of $766.4 billion dollars since the 1st quarter of 2016 – an increase of 11.2%. Today, nearly 9 million borrowers have regained equity since the height of the housing crisis in 2011.

On the other hand, the total number of residential mortgages with negative equity decreased 3% from the 4th quarter of 2016 – to 3.1 million homes or 6.1% of all mortgaged properties. CoreLogic Chief Economist stated, “One million borrowers achieved positive equity over the last year, which means mortgage risk continues to steadily decline as a result of increasing home prices.”

And there’s more news on mortgages out today – Freddie Mac just released it Primary Mortgage Market Survey, showing the 30-year fixed mortgage dropping for the 4th consecutive week and hitting its lowest level in nearly seven months. 30-year fixed mortgages averaged 3.89% with an average .5-point for the week ending June 8, 2017, down from last week when it averaged 3.94%. For reference, a year ago at this time the 30-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 3.6%.

With the market so hot, one has to wonder what’s happening with home flipping – the practice of buying and then reselling the same property within a 12-month period. Well, ATTOM Data Solutions just released its Q1 2017 US Home Flipping Report, which showed that home flipping fell to the lowest level in two years during the 1st quarter of 2017. Interesting, at the same time, the share of those flips using mortgage financing rose to a 9-year high. The company reported that there were 43,615 single family homes and condos flipped during the 3-month period, down 8% from the previous quarter and 6% from a year ago. Flipping accounted for 6.7% of all single-family home and condo sales during the quarter, an increase from 5.8% in the fourth quarter, but unchanged from a year earlier.

So what’s up with the millennials?

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) just released it 2017 Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends study, which found that millennials were the largest group of home buyers (34%) for the fourth consecutive year. By comparison, baby boomers were 30% of buyers.

“Millennials have been fairly slow to get into the market, but we are seeing an uptick in millennial buyers this year – which is a good sign, because as home values rise, we want a wider number of people to participate in this housing recovery,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist at NAR. “There’s a pent-up demand and as the economy continues to improve, we expect to see more people in their early thirties, adults who are still living with their parents – clearly not their idea of the American dream – to begin to look for their own housing units.”

In other housing news, economists at Freddie Mac see the U.S. housing market “on track to eclipse last year as the best in over a decade.” The company’s May Outlook gives credits to the housing market’s strong start to 2017 in part to the surprising downward movement of interest rates since March. After rising to 4.3% in March, mortgage rates have dipped back down near the 4.0% range and have been holding pretty steady. The general sentiment is that the Fed will increase rates a few times before the end of 2017. All told, Freddie Mac thinks 2017 is shaping up to be the best year for housing in over a decade.

Finally, Fannie Mae has declared it’s a sellers market.

Based on Fannie Mae’s monthly National Housing Survey, the net share of Americans who said that now is a good time buy a home reached a record low of 27%, (a decrease of 8%,) while the net share who stated that it is a good time to sell a home reached a record high of 32%, a gain of 6% in May 2017.

Fannie Mae said it was only the 2nd time in the survey’s history that the net share of those saying it’s a good time sell surpassed the net share of those saying it’s a good time to buy. In fact, the “sell” component is 19 point higher that the same time in 2016. All of this makes perfect sense since the market has been on fire and continues to stay hot.

Look for more market muse episodes soon.

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Cozy Elegance

A dreamy Lake Arrowhead estate combines unrivaled style with an air of welcomeness

Written by Wendy Bowman | Photography by Dacy Nottingham & Bowman Group

Presented by Jane Angel, Coldwell Banker Palos Verdes/Beach Cities & Shirley Walters, Coldwell Banker Town & Country
List price $4,925,000

Much like those romantic, chateau-style retreats dotting the rural countryside throughout the Normandy region of France, this charming, two-level manor combines traditional French architectural hallmarks with a homey feel and an amazing property—from its elaborate brick, stone, stucco and ivy-lined façade to its grand rooms and setting amid the natural beauty of Lake Arrowhead.

“This home exudes a warmth that is evident as soon as you walk in the door,” say listing agents Jane Angel and Shirley Walters of Coldwell Banker. “It’s a large estate, but it manages to feel like a family home. It’s also exceedingly private, surrounded by beautiful nature. It feels like you are in a different world, with clear, crisp air, star-filled nights and deer occasionally congregating in your yard.”

Situated on almost three cedar- and pine-laced acres at 160 Cedar Ridge Drive—within Cedar Ridge Estates, a 226-acre private gated enclave of multimillion-dollar custom homes overlooking the eastern shore of Lake Arrowhead—this spectacular estate features a main residence, along with a separate two-bedroom apartment and guesthouse with its own two-car garage, all punctuated by quality finishes and touches, inside and out, that include brilliant stonework, travertine flooring and even concrete pavers culled from a Rumanian street.

The beloved vacation home of software company owners, the home was built in 1996 and recently remodeled. It offers more than 16,000 square feet of living space, including nine bedroom suites; 11 baths; a spacious chef’s kitchen with banquette, professional-grade stainless-steel appliances and a butler’s pantry; a gym with hot tub and sauna; nine fireplaces; and an elevator. Outdoors is a covered kitchen area with seating, children’s playground and ample sitting areas for relaxing and enjoying the views, with lake and beach privileges included.

Among the show-stopping features is a magnificent great room boasting 25-foot ceilings, a similarly majestic fireplace and a gorgeous hand-painted mural; a beautifully detailed wine cellar; a magical, dorm-like children’s bedroom that sleeps 12 with built-in bunk beds; and a Ralph Lauren-esque “Gentleman’s Den,” complete with bar and spiral staircase leading to a second-floor library.

But that’s not all. Lake Arrowhead Village provides city-worthy amenities aplenty, including more than 50 waterfront shops and restaurants, as well as the Lake Arrowhead Resort and Spa, offering fine dining at the highly acclaimed BIN 189 restaurant, and, of course, the lake itself, where the private Beach Club is a great place to spend the day on the sand with kids or take out the boat. Also close are the towns of Cedar Glen, with the popular Timberline in the Glen antique store and Malt Shop, and Blue Jay, offering a cinema and numerous shops and restaurants.

It’s one’s personal castle in the forest—safe and sound from the outside world, yet convenient to the best of Lake Arrowhead living.


A Peek Behind The Curtain

Annual upscale home tour benets local students, while bringing the community together

Written by Michelle Lyn | Photos Courtesy Liz Chalmers

Have you ever passed by a home so grand and utterly captivating that you couldn’t help but wonder what life inside these dwellings was like? Now is your chance to peruse these homes, catching a close glimpse at the beauty that lies within. Next weekend, May 13-15, American Martyrs Parent Association is holding its 43rd Annual Home Tour, aptly titled Sophisticated Snoop 2016. For $30 (if you buy tickets in advance), you can meander through five unique homes in Manhattan and Hermosa Beach, taking notes and comparing styles or simply satisfying your curiosity.

More than 40 years ago, Debbie Walmer conceived the idea as a way to raise money to maintain quality education for the students at American Martyrs, and the event’s success has demonstrated that the novelty continues to astound all those in attendance.

Here, a sneak peek at the homes available for snooping.

urbancontemporaryUrban Contemporary – The Horan Home
1149 Pine Avenue, Manhattan Beach

This Tree Section stunner is more modern than most homes in this neighborhood. The vision of both an architect and builder with a commercial background, this home blurs the lines between indoor and outdoor living.

Three large doors roll open, allowing the walls to disappear completely, welcoming the outdoors in. A bamboo-lined backyard serves as a serene retreat, while a metaphorical “spine” of bookcases runs through the center of the house, connecting the first, mezzanine and top levels of the home.

Beach Chic –The Hasso Home
Morningside Drive, Manhattan Beachbeachchic

A breezy coastal palette of coral and gray set the tone for this 5,000-square-foot beach home, a space so grand that it can hardly be considered a cottage. Show-stopping tiles, one-of-a kind light fixtures and vibrant fabrics blend seamlessly to deliver beach chic living at its finest.

Nestled between the chip trail and the Strand, this family-friendly home has a huge ocean view rooftop deck that’s perfect for enjoying sunset cocktails while the kids play in the playroom on the other end of the top floor.

Don’t miss the ground-level sports viewing room, which will likely have you wishing you could come back for the next big game.

Spa Retreat – The Harris Home
659 30th Street, Hermosa Beach

harrishomeA Zen oasis high in the Hermosa Hills, this home was dubbed “Hermosa Hills Resort and Spa” by the owners, and rightly so.

Reminiscent of the South Pacific, the spacious home (5 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms, an office and a home gym converted from a 7-car garage) has teak finishes and hanging water features that incite relaxation upon arrival.

A rooftop deck with a sunken hot tub boasts views from Malibu to Palos Verdes, allowing visitors to bask in the daydream that they might be able to stay indefinitely, without the owners noticing.

Spanish Revival – The Traylor Home
2920 Agnes Street, Manhattan Beachspanishrevival

Think Santa Barbara in the 1920s. A large Spanish style front door welcomes guests into a spacious foyer with a unique circular stairway. Reclaimed beams, plaster walls and painted ceilings add character and charm, while mod cons like a movie room, wine cellar, bar and fire pit add five-star luxury.

Foldaway doors open to a covered patio with a pool, hot tub, sports court and outdoor kitchen perfect for entertaining.

oldworldOld World Appeal – The Coppersmith Home
13216 Hermosa Avenue, Hermosa Beach

Mi casa es su casa. In this case, it’s called “Casa Hermosa,” a four-story charmer built by empty nesters. A mere hop, skip and jump from the beach, this home thoughtfully displays curated treasures collected over the years by the jet setting couple.

A powder room sink is an antique, reclaimed from a hotel in Marseille, France, while other decor elements might transport visitors to Italy or Mexico.

Timeless and elegant, this European-inspired gem is not to be missed.


Tickets are now available at locations including: American Martyrs School, Grow–e Produce Shop, Patterson Cleaners, Tabula Rasa, Bristol Farms (Manhattan Beach and Rolling Hills locations), Aaron Brothers (Hermosa Beach, Pages, Card de A (Redondo Beach) and Banner Stationers in El Segundo. Proceeds support education for the children of American Martyrs School.

American Martyrs Parent Association
43rd Annual Home Tour

Friday, Saturday, Sunday May 13, 14 & 15, 10am–4pm

Donation $35 Pre-sale $30

424.327.9572 | AmericanMartyrs.org

All Grown Up

Smartened-up kids’ spaces give rise to family-home values

Written by Jenn Thornton | Photo Courtesy of Eric Poe Miller

“An innovational space crafted with ‘Rubik’s Cube’ mix-and-match capable components that swivel and morph into other functionalities”— that’s what the kids want today, says Alison Clay-Duboff of RE/MAX Estate Properties Manhattan Beach of the trend toward savvier kids’ spaces. “By adopting the emergence and morphology of an updated children’s live/ work space, sellers will potentially attain a higher sales price that comes with a more sophisticated buyer.”

Integral to the state-of-the-art kid’s space is technology, with rooms in this sphere just shy of a high-wired act. Given that a child’s world is an increasingly virtual place, it makes fiscal and practical sense to create kid-friendly rooms that evolve in tandem with technology, notes Clay-Duboff. “High-tech visual stimulation,” she adds, “is moving off the tablet and into their physical spaces, and homes need to adopt these memes.” Those that have boast kids’ rooms with a strong utility quotient via high-tech amusements ranging from dualfunction computer stations and retractable bunk beds to electrical storage spaces and mini DJ stations. “The sky’s the limit!” claims Clay-Duboff.

Although teching-up a kid’s space is an attractive prospect, the technology itself is not always thus. To this end, interior designer Lara Fishman of LAbased Storm Interiors, currently at work on a Beverly Hills estate and a Cape Cod home in Brentwood, keeps kids in mind. These days, it’s about “Figuring out cool ways to hide outlets [and] cords, a la James Bond,” finds Fishman, who also incorporates workspaces into her designs (a component parents desire) and involves kids in the process to collaborate on solutions and aesthetic.

Further adding value are made-to-age spaces, transitional areas that give way as children grow. Enter the kids’ zone—a hangout wing, essentially, within the privacy of the family home. Safety is, notes Clay-Duboff, particularly important to today’s parents, which these souped-up spaces accommodate with both protection and expanse. Adds Fishman, “Many clients want the longevity of the space, so creating the room for the child to grow into is definitely a requirement, as most clients do not wish to redo the room a few years later.”

Thankfully, as kids mature, so does a home’s bottom line.