New Record High For Home Prices Nationally Per Case-Shiller

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Home Price Index hit another new record in May, marking the sixth consecutive month. The National Index, which covers all nine U.S. census divisions, rose 5.6% on an annual basis, the same increase it posted in April. Of note, the index is now 3.2% higher than its previous peak in July 2006, and has risen by 42.2% since hitting bottom in February 2012.

Pending home sales recovered in June from a three-month decline, increasing 1.5% for the month according to the National Association of Realtors’ Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI). The index is a forward-looking indicator based on contracts for existing home purchases, which are generally expected to result in completed transactions in about two months. The index in the West grew 2.9% in June, but is still 1.1% below a year ago.

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Home Price Index hit another new record in May, marking the sixth consecutive month. The National Index, which covers all nine U.S. census divisions, rose 5.6% on an annual basis, the same increase it posted in April. Of note, the index is now 3.2% higher than its previous peak in July 2006, and has risen by 42.2% since hitting bottom in February 2012.

“Home prices continue to climb and outpace both inflation and wages,” says David M. Blitzer, Managing Director and Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “Housing is not repeating the bubble period of 2000- 2006; price increases vary across the country unlike the earlier period when rising prices were almost universal; the number of homes sold annually is 20% less today than in the earlier period and the months’ supply is declining, not surging.”

On the other side of the coin, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported that existing home sales fell in June as low inventory levels continue to be problematic. NAR said sales of existing single-family residences; townhomes, condos, and cooperative apartments were down 1.8% in June, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.52 million units, the second slowest performance of the year.

The number of available homes for sale fell again in June, down 0.5% from May to 1.96 million units. A year ago, the inventory was 2.11 million units and it has now fallen year-over-year for 25 straight months. Properties typically stayed on the market for 28 days in June, one day more than in May, but six days fewer than in June 2016. 54% of homes sold in June were on the market for less than a month. Existing home sales in the West declined 0.8% to an annual rate of 1.21 million, but remain 2.5% higher than last June. The median price in the West was $378,100, up 7.4% on an annual basis.

Finally, the U.S. homeownership rate rose by 0.1% in the second quarter of 2017, to 63.7% according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The rate has trended down since the Great Recession after peaking in 2004 at 69.2%. Homeownership is highest in the Midwest at 68% and lowest in the West at 58.9%.

The Market

$4,116,845,572 worth of real estate sold in South Bay in 2017 

The local real estate market has been rocking the past couple of years, and 2017 was no exception. Manhattan Beach continues to lead the charge and closed the year with a new record average sales price of $3,080,193. Manhattan Beach also had two record sales over $20 million, as 1000 The Strand broke the all-time high of $21,000,000. Interesting, of the (11) total closed sales over $10 million in the South Bay, Manhattan had (8) of them! (PVE & Hermosa Beach each had one.) Finally, there were (55) total closed sales over $5 million last year, and (114) at or above the $4 million mark!

Looking back, the ultra-high-end slowed a bit towards the middle of 2017 but regained steam to close the year strong. The lack of available inventory was, once again, the big story as buying demand was solid, especially in the under $2 million range. Check out the chart below to see how it looked per city.


Although it is often said that the year ahead will be “interesting,” 2018 might actually be. The outlook for the year is moderate growth in home prices as the economy continues to stay hot – but that could change with the proposed (3) interest rate hikes this year, tax regulation changes, and any stock market correction. And don’t forget the geo-political landscape, which could change at a moments notice.

Beyond what’s happening in the local real estate market, one thing is for sure, it’s sure hard to beat the lifestyle here in the South Bay.




New Median Home Price Record for L.A. – 71% of Homeowners Think It’s A Good Time To Sell

According to a recently released report by CoreLogic, the median home price in Los Angeles County rose 6.8% in May from a year earlier to reach $560,500 as sales jumped 4.8%. The median home price in L.A. has finally surpassed the previous record price of $550,000, which occurred in the summer of 2007 at the height of the housing bubble. Another major home price indicator, Black Knight Financials’ National Home Price Index (HPI), further shows that the rate of home price appreciation continues unbridled, as the index reading of $275,000 in April was the highest in the HPI’s history. On an annual basis, the index gained 6.0% in April, compared to 5.8% in March. The average year-over-year increase was 5.6% in the first quarter of 2017 and 5.4% for all of 2016.

April marks 60 consecutive months of annual national home price appreciation. The National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) quarterly Housing Opportunities and Market Experience (HOME) survey, found that 71% of homeowners think now is a good time to sell, which is up from last quarter (69%) and way up from a year ago (61%.) The report also showed existing housing inventory has declined year-over-year each month the past two years. Additionally, fewer renters think it’s a good time to buy a home, and survey respondents are less confident about the economy and their financial situation than earlier this year despite a healthy job market.

“There are just not enough homeowners deciding to sell because they’re either content where they are, holding off until they build more equity, or hesitant seeing as it will be difficult to find an affordable home to buy,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist at NAR. “As a result, inventory conditions have worsened and are restricting sales from breaking out while contributing to price appreciation that remains far above income growth.” Added Yun, “Perhaps this notable uptick in seller confidence will translate to more added inventory later this year. Low housing turnover is one of the roots of the onion supply and affordability problems plaguing many markets.”

Finally, a report released last week from Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies found that in 2015 nearly 36% of homeowners in Los Angeles and Orange counties spent more than 30% of their income on housing, the upper limit at which costs may become a burden. Interestingly, nearly 17% of homeowners spent more than 50% of their income. Comparatively, only 10.2% of owners spent half their income nationwide.

Heritage House

A historic home in Pacific Palisades reflects Spanish Colonial style

Written by Alisha Henson

The Bradbury Estate, built for the son of real estate tycoon Louis Bradbury, is an architectural embrace. Constructed in the 1920s by famed architect John W. Byers, this four-bedroom, four-bathroom dwelling pays homage to the El Greco Museum in Toledo Spain. Designed with intricate details that include hand-stenciled wood-beamed ceilings, custom tile floors, and self-sustainable adobe craftsmanship, it embodies the legacy of the Spanish Colonial Revival.

“The uniqueness of a two-story adobe is an early tribute to green architecture,” says, Rachelle Rosten, executive director, Master Trust & Probate Division of John Aaroe Group. “Since the adobe absorbs heat during the day and redistributes it at night, it creates an even temperature. Plus there are vents built into the living room to allow for fresh ocean air at all times.” With a style that’s timeless and sophisticated, this home is an inviting cultural monument, providing its newest owner a chance to be a part of residential history











Dynamic Duo

A new pair of townhomes in Hermosa Beach showcase South Bay’s diversity

Written by Alisha Henson

Developed by Beach City Capital in conjuction with Strand Strategic Group, and designed by architect Douglas Leach, a new pair of Hermosa Beach luxury townhomes presents a fresh multi-family dynamic, adding to the diversity of homes in the South Bay.

Located at 935 & 937 15th Street is two contemporary units and two plantation-style units. The contemporary units include a modern and sleek design, while the plantation-style homes nod towards East Coast traditional. Both include approximately 3,300 square feet of living space with four bedrooms and four bathrooms.

“This project was meant to showcase and celebrate different families, different styles, and cater to everyone from different demographics,” said Jason Muller, managing principal of Beach City Capital.

With inverse floor-plans, including expansive contemporary finishes, green technologies, roof-top decks, ocean views and lush landscapes, these units intend to reflect the natural ambiance of the neighborhood. Construction is scheduled for completion summer of 2018.



Beach City Capital

1240 Rosecrans Ave.. Manhattan Beach, CA 90266



Private Paradise

Written by Wendy Bowman

Hollywood producer/director Andy Tennant—known for Sweet Home Alabama, Hitch and Ever After: A Cinderella Story—has listed his 1928 classic Spanish-style home for $6.995 million. Found at 12730 W. Sunset Blvd. in Brentwood Park, the gated, five-bedroom residence features 5,540 square feet of updated space rife with authentic finishes, including a grand living room with original ceiling details and an oversized fireplace that opens to a solarium overlooking the backyard. Outdoors, the spacious lawn boasts a manicured rose garden and paddle tennis court.

“This is an extraordinary opportunity to be in a classic ’20s home that has been lovingly maintained and updated without compromising its original integrity and heart,” says Susan Newirth, who is co-listing the home with Richard Stearns, both of Partners Trust. “The property’s size, scope and foliage are so unusual on the Westside, and when you are in the backyard, it feels as though you are in your own private park.”





Beach Dream

Written by Wendy Bowman

Unrivaled design and location are just two of the many hallmarks of this newly built compound now on the market for $12.495 million. “Besides the cool architecture, one of the highlights of this house is the indoor/outdoor feel,” says Alphonso Lascano, who is co-listing the property with Bjorn Farrugia, both of Hilton & Hyland.

“Off the family room is a glass wall that vanishes and opens to an amazing outdoor living area and pool. The home also is on one of the premier streets in Santa Monica, just a short walk to the beach and shops.”

Situated at 621 Marguerita Drive—north of Montana Avenue—the estate offers more than 6,500 square feet of lavish living space, including six bedrooms (most notably, an elegant master suite sporting a sitting area, fireplace, walk-in closet, large deck overlooking the lush grounds, and a luxurious bath with dual sinks, a glass steam shower and free-standing soaking tub); a professional chef’s kitchen with a massive Carrera marble center island; and a separate two-story guest retreat.

Beach Cities Cosmopolitan

A duo of downtown Hermosa Beach homes showcases the best of today’s South Bay Modernism

Written by Constance Dunn | Photography by Paul Jonason | Presented by Brett Zebrowski, Palm Realty Boutique

When Pat Killen set up shop in the South Bay in the 1980s, he was one of a handful of architects designing serious Modernist homes in the Beach Cities. Though this pivotal figure in local architecture has passed, the firm he founded, Studio 9one2 lived on in the trusted hands of architect Howard Crabtree, with whom Killen worked for decades.

It’s a smart new contemporary residence, a pair of them, actually, that Crabtree has designed along Hermosa Avenue (with the second home located immediately behind the first on Palm Avenue). Both, approximately 3,100 square feet, are situated ideally for those who love having proximity to both sand and show—a couple of blocks from the hub of restaurants, nightspots and boutiques along Pier Avenue, and steps from a pleasant beach walk street that leads to the sand.

“This home was one of the last buildings to be designed by the Studio 9one2 architectural firm,” notes Crabtree, who has since formed his solo firm, 912 Architecture. The residence that faces Hermosa Avenue (four bedrooms, three and a half bathrooms) is a study in current-day Beach Modernism—from its strikingly angular silhouette, where a mingling of blue glass, steel and slatted wood create an eye-catching juxtaposition of form, space and light.

The upward slope of the lot has been maximized to achieve two distinct panoramas: one of a charmed beach town, with homes and palm trees and passersby; the other a commanding, wide-angle view of the Pacific Ocean. In order to capture the best views, the floor plan is like many in the South Bay; inverted, with open-plan everyday living spaces—kitchen, living and dining room—on the top level.


It’s here that the architect has used the home’s natural flow of light to achieve a place of sanctuary no matter the hour. The flat roofline has a modest overhang to mellow the sunlight that pours into the ocean-facing interior lounge, a contemplative space with floor-to-ceiling windows and, on one side, sliding glass panels. Located off this lounge is a fresh-air patio with great downtown and beach views, which can be instantly conjoined with the interior space or left on its own.

“In an area with such beautiful views, either of the ocean or the tremendous cityscape, capturing those vistas is extremely important,” remarks Crabtree. “Large open plans with walls of operable glass partitions aid in ensuring that the view can be seen from deep within the building, not just standing at a window. Modern design is best suited to provide for this desire while maintaining the beauty of proportion and material variation.”

After optimizing the space for the dynamic California views, the central focus of the open floor is the kitchen. It’s a chic, contemporary space made up of contrasts in wood, steel and marble, which, like the rest of the home, is almost sculptural in its simplicity, while still offering the everyday comforts of living.

This combination, of efficiency and aesthetics, is reflected not just in the well-organized floor plan, but in the materials used throughout the home too. Clean white walls meet earthy wood floors and stone wall details throughout. Minimalist metal touches and sculptural light features are used to amplify the home’s sophisticated atmosphere, formed by Crabtree’s Modernist design strokes, from the its geometric shape, unadorned by decorative detailing, to a generous use of glass, untraditional-but-pragmatic window shapes and exposed supporting beams.


Notable is the home’s central staircase. Given the practical need to use the stair system often, to reach the uppermost floor with the kitchen and everyday living spaces, it’s a space that’s been smartly designed as the spine of the home. Staircases are also a hallmark of Studio 9one2 homes, and in this case, a series of floating stairs, airy floor landings and striking lighting fixtures serve to unify the home’s three floors. The stair system has also been carefully built around managing natural light, with windows strategically placed to shuttle light into the lower levels.

Note that from the top floor, one can also find a discreet staircase that leads from the kitchen area to a residential gem in the Beach Cities: a spacious rooftop deck, where sunbathing or sunset cocktail hours can be spent over views of the ocean and, in the foreground, the bustle of the surrounding beach town.

The middle floor hosts three of the home’s bedrooms. The master suite offers charmed beach and street views, along with a marble-trimmed bathroom, and keen sliding doors to separate the two. Two additional bedrooms are joined by a bathroom, making the floor ideal for a family with children, or for a homeowner wishing for more studio space or guest quarters. Speaking of, the ground-level floor has a bathroom suite that can neatly serve as a guest bedroom, office or nanny’s quarters.


As mentioned, a second property is located directly behind this home, with its main entrance found along Palm Avenue, a quiet Hermosa backstreet. Neatly separated by a peaceful garden, adorned with greenery and a stone water feature, the homes are aesthetic twins, down to their finish materials. “With the help of Talia Frederick, of Talia Interior Design,” says Crabtree, “We were able to marry a beautiful palette of richly colored wood, concrete, bronze anodized aluminum, tinted glass and porcelain tile to create a pair of buildings that while visually similar, offer enough differences to feel as two distinct and separate homes.”

Where the two deviate is the floor plan. The Palm Avenue home, also four bedrooms and three and a half bathrooms, has 60 feet of ocean-facing frontage. It’s a feature that Crabtree exploits with an east-west orientation that includes a top floor of panoramic views that stretch across the kitchen and bar area to the dining room and lounge areas. In the midst of this space is a leisured, open-air lounge where Crabtree has used sliding glass panels to cleverly merge it with the indoors.

“We have long sought to take the maximum advantage of the incredible climate of the area we are so fortunate to call home. On any given day, and for most of the year, the weather outside is so desirable that it makes us want to be outdoors,” notes Crabtree. For this desire, Modernist design is ideal for creating a home that allows one to soak up the landscape and weather from the moment one wakes up, and within the ease of home. “By creating homes that communicate both visually and climactically with the outside, it is possible to be outside without leaving the comforts of the living room.”

Having it all

New Mr. C Residences pair homeownership with luxe five-star hotel amenities and services

Written by Wendy Bowman | Photography Courtesy of Mr. C Beverly Hills

Spa tune-ups and authentic Italian cuisine are just some of the many perks that owners of the new Mr. C Residences can expect to enjoy upon claiming a key to their glamorous new abodes. Set to debut this spring alongside the luxurious, Venetian-inspired Mr. C Beverly Hills hotel, the jewel box-like collection of five modern townhomes will be the first West Coast dwellings created by the Cipriani family, with architecture and interior design carried out by the renowned California-Italian duo of Ray Kappe and Marcello Pozzi—complete with glass facades, high-end furnishings and appliances, and stellar views of the city.

“The site of the residences has always been on our radar because it made a lot of sense,” says Bob Ghassemieh, a real estate investor who developed the hotel and residences with Cipriani brothers Ignazio and Maggio (whose family hospitality lineage dates back to the founding of Harry’s Bar in Venice in 1931). “When we originally acquired what formerly was the Loews Beverly Hills Hotel in 2006 and redeveloped it into the Mr. C luxury brand, the adjacent site was occupied by a six-unit apartment building. We saw the potential to acquire that site and build separate, detached residences there so people could enjoy all of the five-star amenities that the hotel offers; it seemed like a natural fit.”

Situated on Edris Drive—just minutes away from Rodeo Drive, Century City, the Sunset Strip, Downtown L.A. and the beaches of Santa Monica and Malibu—the Residences will feature a quintet of four-story townhomes, ranging from 1,900 square feet to 3,358 square feet, with pricing available upon request. The Agency will handle sales, with buyers given the option to rent their unit back to the hotel subject to a revenue share agreement.

Expect move-in ready dwellings with open floorplans boasting custom touches such as glass walls and staircases; floors, walls and ceilings of teak and redwood; elevators; seamless indoor-outdoor spaces; panoramic views of the city; and access to a full level of subterranean parking. Among the highlights: professional Bulthaup kitchens with stainless-steel countertops and Miele appliances; formal living rooms; dining rooms; media rooms; top-floor master bedrooms; and outdoor areas replete with terraces ideal for lounging and dining, heated spas and gardens.

Residents also will be privy to the hotel’s personalized amenities and services—including a 24-hour concierge and housekeeping, along with The Restaurant at Mr. C, a 4,500-square-foot pool area, massage and beauty treatment rooms at Mr. C Spa & Beauty, and a fully equipped fitness center.

“With all of the services you can have at your fingertips—from the hotel’s food and beverage to the spa and fitness center—you really have a one-stop shop for all of your needs,” says Ghassemieh. “The exterior architecture also is pretty astonishing. I haven’t seen anything quite like it in L.A.” Talk about having it all…in the comfort of your own home.


1251-1259 EDRIS DRIVE, LOS ANGELES, CA 90035

424.344.8937 | MRCRESIDENCES.COM

Feel-Good ‘Hood

One of DTLA’s most anticipated developments melds high-end luxury with down-to-earth amenities

Written by Alexandria Abramain | Photography Courtesy of WREN

South Park is one of Downtown L.A.’s hottest ‘hoods, and the first phase of one of the area’s most anticipated—and largest—projects is now open for leasing.

WREN—a $144 million, joint venture between Mack Urban, AECOM Capital and Capri Capital Partners—will unveil its seven-story luxury building, which offers 362 move-in ready, for-lease residences, by February of 2017. Setting the development apart from many other projects in Downtown L.A.’s booming South Park area is the fact that this new community is tailor-made to appeal to a new breed of environmentally-conscious, design-savvy renter looking to be within walking distance of pretty much everything.  Call it a case of prime location. The community offers exceptionally easy access to public transportation and entertainment complex L.A. Live, as well as one of the key components for people looking to live in DTLA: a nearby Whole Foods.

Designed by Togawa Smith Martin architects and Mercedes Fernandez Interior Design, units at WREN range from 487-square-foot studios to 1,750-square-foot three-bedroom apartments. Rents span from $1,850 to $6,200 per month. The development also includes 22 two-story townhomes fronting Hill and Olive Streets. Floor-to-ceiling windows, wide-plank floors, stainless-steel appliances and fully tiled bathrooms are available in all residences, reflecting Urban’s vision to extend comfort, functionality and thoughtful living into every area of the community. Residents of WREN also have access to onsite indoor/outdoor lounges with communal kitchens, as well as rooftop decks and a pool deck that includes cabanas, lounge areas and barbecue pits. Also part of the package is a 4,000-square-foot restaurant as well as a private outdoor park.

A true architectural wonder in the heart of DTLA’s thriving city scene,

WREN is the perfect locale for those looking to experience all that

Los Angeles has to offer right at their doorstep.

WREN has less expected amenities, too, with specific features that are geared towards sustainable living. Two levels of subterranean parking will cater to eco-minded residents with 40 charging stations for electric vehicles. The large bicycle room and maintenance area, meanwhile, houses up to 400 bikes, among the largest in such private facilities in Los Angeles. For dog owners, WREN holds a particular appeal: Two outdoor dog runs are available to residents, along with a full-service dog-wash station, reflecting an overall trend in Los Angeles toward pet-friendly amenities for renters. 

However, WREN is just one component of the larger project. .e second phase, developed by Urban and AECOM, broke ground this year and will be a 38-story tower with 536 units and 13,000 square feet of retail space, located at the corner of Grand Avenue and 12th Street.

“Residences are walkably close to public transportation such as the Blue Line/Expo light rail, as well as some of the most desirable shopping and entertainment in all of Los Angeles,” says Dori Nolan of Capri Capital Partners. “At the same time, it’s far enough away from the Central Business District to enjoy a true, comfortable neighborhood.”

A true architectural wonder in the heart of DTLA’s thriving city scene, WREN is the perfect locale for those looking to experience all that Los Angeles has to offer right at their doorstep.

Intelligent Design

With its sustainable, mixed-use community in Santa Monica, Cuningham Group Architecture is holding sway

Written by Jenn Thornton | Photos Courtesy of Cunningham Group

Fittingly, Santa Monica’s multi-family community, Sway, is exerting plenty of influence. Targeting LEED Certified Silver status, the project at 525 Broadway arrives on the Westside with bragging rights that start with prime proximity to the Pacific Ocean, Santa Monica Pier and the Expo Rail station; continue with 122 designer apartments; and conclude with SoCal’s tallest living green wall, ascending five stories. The place is flourishing.

Taking indoor/outdoor living to the nth degree, Sway is orientated around two lush exterior courtyards—one an oasis of calm, with a fireplace and a soaking tub; the other a community-centric social space including a zero-edge saltwater swimming pool and other enticements. Interior environments are just as alluring, with coastal modern apartments from 558 to 1,382 square feet, styled by Studio Collective, and packed stem to stern with the latest in luxury appointments. Included are six townhomes with Sixth Street entrances. Throw in 4,500 square feet of retail to share the address, and Sway is a case study in local urbanization— and a vibrant addition to the resuscitated scene on Broadway.

Developed by Alliance Residential, Sway is a product of its designer, Cuningham Group Architecture, a firm that began in Minneapolis before heading west (and East, launching offices in China and Seoul). At practice in Los Angeles since 1984, Cuningham Group is both consistent and prolific, approaching projects reaching into the realms of healthcare, hospitality, education and entertainment with a collaborative, sustainable approach that started with the foresight of the firm’s founder.

“Before it was popular—50 years ago, when John Cuningham founded the firm—Cuningham Group integrated sustainable principles into all its designs,” says Cuningham Group Principal Amelia D. Feichtner, AIA, LEED® AP BD+C. “We believe the success of every project must be evaluated at an environmental level. At the same time, we understand that any sustainable project must also do good business.”

Another of Cuningham Group’s rigorously\ architected triumphs is its base of operations, Hayden Place. Aiming for LEED Gold Certification, the thoughtfully concepted office is a tribute to the Cuningham Group culture, comingling an open floor plan, voluminous spaces with loads of natural light and smart technology. “The headquarters are set in the Hayden Tract of Culver City, which, block-for-block, holds probably more architectural landmarks than any other Southern California neighborhood (excluding Downtown L.A.),” offers Feichtner.

It is one thing to call Hayden Place, a “model of innovation,” which she confidently does, and another to actually qualify it as such. To this end, Feichtner adds, “Its lovely indoor garden and the repurposed shipping containers have appeared in design publications worldwide.”

Sway is garnering its own share of attention, setting the tone with the cultured yet environmentally concerned modern urbanism spreading like wildfire across the Westside. Cuningham Group’s proven aptitude for creating innovative, aesthetically rich and environmentally sound architecture is ideal for a Los Angeles in the midst of an artistic and innovative surge. “This is an incredibly exciting time to work in Los Angeles,” Feichtner says. “The city is quickly maturing, and offering adventurous new modes of living and transportation. It’s wonderful to be a part of it.”

And equally wonderful, one assumes, to help create it.