Updated 5/23/11: The 12 units sold out at $665,000 to $815,000 at an average of $370/sq ft. These distressed prices are lower than any $/sq ft of comparable projects in West Hollywood.
Updated 4/19/10: Prices have been lowered to $679,000 - $749,000 for these twelve, new townhouse-style loft units at 1220 N Orange Grove Avenue in West Hollywood, one block east of Fairfax, between Santa Monica Boulevard and Fountain Avenue. Fans of big units, industrial design, and Whole Foods (just around the corner), should consider the Art Lofts complex.
Updated 6/1/10: 6 units are in contract. 6 units are still available priced: $679K, $699K, $699K, $719K, $739K, $749K. At $363/sq ft - $378/sq ft list price, these are the best priced units in the area.
The twelve townhouses are accessed off a central courtyard area. The 4-story mega-residences, with 2 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, and a mezzanine "loft" floor, range in size from 1,872 - 2,191 sq ft.
Enter on the ground floor to the open kitchen-living area, with double-height ceilings above the living area. Over-sized glass sliders lead to a small balcony. Kitchen appliances are stainless steel, including a very high-tech Bertazzoni range. By the front entrance is a half-bath. Floors are concrete.
Up a flight of stairs is the mezzanine "loft" level with plenty of room for lounging, watching TV, or running a home-office. Flooring on stairs and on upper levels is bamboo.
Up another flight is one bedroom and a full bath, separated by a jumbo-sized closet.
Bathroom counter tops are marble. Cabinetry is sleek wood laminate with metal handles.
The unit gets plenty of light, including from a large window above the stairway on the top floor.
The master bedroom also has a bathroom en suite.
A balcony off the master bedroom provides additional living space and some nice views of the surrounding hills.
The neighborhood includes a mix of small- to medium-sized apartment buildings. The location is midway between the west side and east side of West Hollywood. The North building has seven units and balconies face north. The South building has five units and the balconies face south.
1220 Art Lofts
1220 N Orange Grove Avenue
West Hollywood, California 90046
Sold by Keller Williams - Westside
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Updated 5/23/11: The 12 units sold out at $665,000 to $815,000 at an average of $370/sq ft. These distressed prices are lower than any $/sq ft of comparable projects in West Hollywood.
Friday, September 25, 2009
New WeHo Condo Sales in the Past Two Months
What is selling in the West Hollywood new construction market?
A calvacade of truly excellent modern, well-designed condo projects has come to market, but it seems the same units are for sale week after week. What has actually gone into escrow?
The units that offer value. Developers who adjust their prices and signal to buyers they're getting a "deal" sell units. Some developers have slashed prices and offered units at deeply discounted levels.
8703 West Knoll Drive presented an excellent value to buyers. Unit #201, with 1 br, 1.5 bath and 1,757 sq ft of living area, sold for $740,000 ($421/sq ft). Unit #103, with 2 br, 2.5 ba and 1,636 sq ft of living area, sold for its $699,000 asking price ($427/sq ft).
Three units sold at 841 Westmount Drive, a sixteen-unit project on sale for more than a year. The townhome style units have 2 br, 2.5 ba and 1,504 sq ft of living area. Two sold for $800,000 ($532/sq ft) and one sold for $775,000 ($515/sq ft). 841 Westmount and the Hancock Lofts are the only new construction projects with a pool.
Three units sold at 1248 Laurel Avenue, The Milano. Penthouse #1 sold for $875,000 (1,740 sq ft, $503/sq ft), #102 sold for $669,000 (1,620 sq ft, $413/sq ft) and #204 sold for $640,000 (1,700 sq ft, $376/sq ft). These units have been marketed since mid-2007 and after many price cuts are now closing at deeply reduced levels from the original pricing.
Two units sold at 1351 Havenhurst Drive ("Habitat in the Park.") Unit #103, with 1 br, 1.5 ba, and 1,254 sq ft of living area, sold for $565,000 ($451/sq ft). Unit #102, with 3 br, 2 ba and 1,968 sq ft of living area, sold for $765,000. ($389/sq ft).
One unit sold at Lorcan O'herlihy's 7917 Willoughby Avenue. Unit #2, with 2 br, 2.5 ba and 1,655 sq ft of living area sold for $790,000 ($477/sq ft.)
In the past two months, the highest $/sq ft for new construction is a resale unit at 825 Kings Road. #11, with 2 br, 2 ba, 1,357 sq ft of living area sold for $880,000 ($648/sq ft). The resale of the unit in this trophy building (designed by Lorcan O'herlihy) adjacent to the Schindler House shows there's still strong demand in a top building.
In the realm of resales, we also see that in spite of the challenging real estate market, condos in West Hollywood are not being given away. Four units units sold at 1131 Alta Loma Road, the Park Wellington. Ranging in size from 740 - 1,171 sq ft, the units sold on average for $510/sq ft.
What makes a "perfect storm" for first-time buyers seeking to enter the still-difficult-to-penetrate Los Angeles home market?
Deeply discounted home prices. Check.
Government support. Check (although the $8,000 first-time buyer credit is set to expire November 30.)
And, finally, low mortgage interest rates. Check.
Buyers, prick up your ears. Interest rates for 30-year fixed mortgages have crept below 5% and are again are at generational lows.
The home mortgage market, propped up by more than $1 trillion in government money, is flashing a strong "buy" sign to house hunters.Mortgage rates fluctuate -- as does the government's commitment to cram down interest rates to promote home-buying. Benefit from these ultra-low interest rates while they are in effect.
Extending a summer-long slide, the average interest rate on new 30-year fixed-rate loans nationwide has broken through the 5% barrier to 4.97%, nearing the lowest level in decades, the Mortgage Bankers Assn. reported this week...
Several factors are fueling the trend, including growing confidence that the economy is recovering, an emerging consensus that housing prices are at or near a bottom, and the federal government's push to keep mortgage rates low. [Los Angeles Times]
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Concerto Hits Headwinds
Another tsunami of financial malaise welled through Downtown Los Angeles with the news that Sonny Astani has filed Chapter 11 and everything having to do with his mega-project Concerto is up in the air. (Read excellent coverage in Curbed LA.)
For a high-rise of this stature, the project is seriously underwater. This bold, three-tower complex was conceived at the top of the market and was delivered this spring in the worst real estate climate in decades.
Corus Bank, the lender for the Concerto project, was heavily exposed to condominium developments in some of the country’s worst-hit housing markets and was shut down by federal regulators two weeks ago. Not a single unit at Concerto has sold.
That Downtown LA’s marquee, residential development is in disarray is important because of the project’s size -- 77 loft units (sold at auction August 29), a semi-completed 271-unit glass Tower, and an as-yet-unbuilt third tower (currently a deep hole on the site).
Many questions remain unanswered, including the fate of the 77 Concerto Loft units, which, after a month-long marketing blitz, were “sold” to buyers at low prices at the August 29 sale event.
More Housing Units Come to Market
And the projects keep coming online. Here are more than 200 new units that will hit the Downtown market in the next six months:
- 655 Hope – To open mid-October. 80 units, from 600 – 1,268 sq ft, priced $349,000 - $920,000. 17 story adaptive reuse project.
- Barn Lofts – this adaptive-reuse project in the Arts District will be finished by the end of the year with 38 two-bedroom, two-bath townhouses.
- El Dorado – a 12-story building at 416 S Spring Street will open in the first quarter of 2010 with 65 units starting in the low $400,000s.
- Hewitt First – Final construction details are being completed on the 33 units at 130 Hewitt Street in the Arts District.
With Concerto’s 348 units, more than two hundred new units, and existing inventory at EVO South, Rowan Lofts, Barker Block and a handful of other projects, there are 800 - 1,000 units that need to be absorbed just to keep pace with current development.
And there is plenty of housing competition from the superabundance of rental buildings on the market.
Prospects for the Downtown Market
How will the current scenario impact the Downtown residential housing market? The failure of a project of Concerto’s size is stunning and bewildering. Like AIG, we thought Concerto was too big to face such an uncertain future.
Sale of Downtown units depends on pricing. The developers who acknowledge the current sorry state of affairs and price their units well will quickly shed inventory and at least cut their losses and move onto other projects.
Buyers are looking for value and quality – and the projects that offer the best combination of these two will be the winner in sales (EVO South succeeds in this area.)
Price point is also critical. Units that need to be financed with jumbo loans (over $729,500 in Los Angeles) face major hurdles. Units that can be financed with conforming loans ($417,000 or less) face the best prospects.
Pent-up buyer demand should keep the Downtown Los Angeles market slogging along with stable, low prices that were unthinkable just a few years ago.
First-time buyers are out in force, as evidenced by number of buyers who lined up for their shot at a discounted Concerto unit. This perennial wave of buyers seeking to put their rent days behind will provide the steam to keep Downtown Los Angeles afloat through these turbulent tides.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Just a few blocks from some of the most august homes of Windsor Square is Gramercy Row, a new seven-unit condominium building with townhouse-style residences. A lot of living is packed into these 3-story homes -- 2 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, walk-in closets and roof decks.
Units are priced $699,000 - $809,000, and range from 1,250 sq ft - 1,760 sq ft. HOA is $391 for all units.
On the ground floor is living-kitchen area with double-height ceilings. Floors are polished concrete. Appliances are Frigidaire. Cabinetry is walnut.
Units get lots of natural light from the over-sized floor-to-ceiling windows. All units are accessed from the passageway visible here, which is controlled by a security gate.
Bathrooms feature double basin sinks, and separate tube and showers.
Like many townhome-style residences, this is vertical living. The upper levels have bamboo flooring.
One bedroom is on the mezzanine level.
The master bedroom is on the 3rd floor. Views clear the nearby buildings.
The roof deck is accessed from a spiral staircase located in the corner of the master bedroom.
Those looking to live close to Larchmont Village should consider Gramercy Row. This enclave stands out for its design and bedroom and bath count.
Sold by Prudential California Realty
Monday, September 21, 2009
Updated 3/11/2010: EVO is now 75% sold and 70% occupied. Pull up a chair by the pool, this is one of the hottest spots in Downtown Los Angeles. Many of the unique 51 (count them!) floorplans are sold out, but excellent units remain (of 310 total units on 23 floors), including one bedrooms. Serious buyers should investigate the building now.
EVO -- prices of 1 br, 1 ba units available 3/11/10:
#610 -- $520,000 -- 858 sq ft -- West Facing Terrace
#1314 -- $485,000 -- 858 sq ft -- West Facing
#1106 -- $460,000 -- 890 sq ft -- West Facing
#1405 -- $430,000 -- 914 sq ft -- East View
#1207 -- $420,000 -- 954 sq ft -- East View
EVO -- prices of "Featured 2 Bedroom Homes" available 3/11/10:
#1702 -- $1,475,000 -- 2,346 sq ft -- SW Corner unit
#1906 -- $810,000 -- 1,177 sq ft -- West Balcony
#1910 -- $775,000 -- 1,160 sq ft -- West Balcony
#1108 -- $730,000 -- 1,177 sq ft -- West Balcony
(Above) Views from the two, large 23rd Floor EVO South Penthouses, listed for over $3 million each. Downtown at your footsteps.
Northeast view from a 12th Floor one-bedroom unit. Eastern Columbia Building in the distance.
West view from a 6th floor one bedroom unit. LA Live, Staples, Ritz Carlton Tower surround you.
EVO South in the South Park neighborhood of Downtown Los Angeles is a plush, "green", super high-quality product. The location, construction, amenities, and $/sq value are excellent.
We (still) think EVO South is one of the best projects in Downtown. If you have any questions about EVO, you can contact us by clicking here.
Sold by The Mark Company.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
On Tuesday, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke proclaimed, at long last, that the recession is "very likely" over.
What impact will the end of the “great recession” have on real estate investors?
It will largely depend on the asset class, region and investment objectives, but the general consensus is that the big, gut-wrenching price drops have already been factored in, and that, although prices continue to decline, the rate of decline has ebbed.
And what might some investors be waiting for? Blood in the streets, or in common parlance, distress, defaults, and foreclosures.
According to the third quarter 2009 PricewaterhouseCooper Korpacz Real Estate Investor Survey, released on Wednesday, most equity investors have remained on the sidelines waiting to capitalize on forced sales and more motivated selling on the part of distressed owners…So, what is an investor to do today? Circle patiently and swoop in when the best assets hit the auction block? Or, keep a canny eye on the market, and, knowing that competition is in retreat, “cherry pick” the best deals?
"Investors are mostly waiting because of a lack of motivated and forced selling on the part of distressed lenders and property owners," Susan Smith, director of PricewaterhouseCooper’s real estate advisory practice… "Although most investors feel that market conditions will continue to deteriorate over the next several months, the extent of the further deterioration is not so great that they believe that buying now is considered 'bad.'" [Commercial Property Executive]
Both are viable strategies. There is no harm in waiting, especially in these uncertain times. But excellent, unique opportunities surface at unpredictable times, and investors should not turn a blind eye to these “deals” when they present themselves.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Habitat 15 at 1322 Detroit Avenue is an excellent addition to the east part of the West Hollywood area. What's great about this neighborhood is you can walk to stores (Target) and some of the best restaurants and bars old (Formosa Cafe), classic (Jones) and new (Crown Bar). And all the action of Hollywood is only steps away.
These residences have many upgrades -- Milgard dual pane windows, washer/dryer hook-ups, central AC and heat. All residences are pre-wired for cable, satellite, internet, and for flat-screen TVs. Buyers have many customizable options.
HOA for two units advertised is a low $299. Parking is side-by-side. This is an impressive project that offers quality and value and some really cool design.
1322 Detroit Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90046
Sold by Deasy/Penner & Partners
The median sale price for Southern California homes also increased for the fourth straight month, rising to $275,000 from an April 2009 low of $247,000.
Comerica Bank economist Dana Johnson reported, "The housing sector seems to have made the huge adjustment it needed to make. It doesn't look like there's terrible further adjustments to follow."
Monday, September 14, 2009
This Guide is a coordinated, multi-departmental effort intended to promote "walkability, sustainability and transit options" and to reinforce the character of each of Downtown LA's many different neighborhoods.
Some of the points emphasized in the Guide are:
- creating wide sidewalks
- establishing wide setbacks
- building sustainably and "green"
- instituting abundant landscaping
- integrating parking into building structures
- promoting open space
- varying horizontal and vertical building details
- regulating signage
- incorporating public art
The City, wisely, in the 21st century has taken the early 20th century Downtown and imposed a strict vision which will transform the urban core into a distinctive, vibrant, sustainable, livable environment.
The snowballing momentum in Downtown building should be invigorated by this imaginative and useful plan to create one of the great metropolises of this new millenium.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
1. CLTA Title Wizard – The California Land Title Association (CLTA) has a website where you can compare rates for different title insurers. In the example of a $1 million Los Feliz house, title insurance rates for the Seller vary from $2,319 to $3,085 among the major insurers. Whether you’re a buyer, a seller or are refinancing, title insurance is always part of the transaction. Compare rates to save money.
2. Supplemental Tax Estimator - When you purchase a property in Los Angeles County, you may owe Supplemental Property Tax that will be payable during the following year above and beyond your regular Los Angeles County property tax bill. This website calculates the Supplemental Property Tax -- the difference between the tax basis of the seller and the buyer during the period in which the seller paid property taxes and the buyer owned the property. If the property sold for less than previous assessed value, the “Supplemental” Property Tax might even be a refund.
3. ZIMAS - Want to find a map and parcel information for any property in the City of Los Angeles? Go to ZIMAS (Zone Information and Map Access System) to find maps (including a cool utility that allows you to measure distances), Plat Maps (copies of the City’s surveyors maps) and planning and zoning information. Zimas is particularly useful when trying to identify property boundaries.
4. NavigateLA - NavigateLA allows you to find public works information on any parcel in the City of Los Angeles. Layered maps include information on everything from utility easements to location of manholes to red-flag parking restricted areas. NavigateLA has settled many a dispute on sewerlines – whether the property is connected to the city sewer system, and where the sewerline is located.
5. ZIP Code Boundary Map – An outstanding, Google Maps driven utility that identifies location and boundaries for ZIP Codes across the US.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Los Angeles Multifamily Has Robust Future: Low Homeownership Will Drive Down Vacancies; Echo Boom Generation (25 - 34) Will Drive Revenue
Although the U.S. commercial real estate market may be bleak, the Los Angeles multifamily market offers opportunities for investors, some of which are highlighted in the August 2009 Deutsche Bank Group RREEFF Research “US Property Cycle Monitor”:
Apartment building prices are down:
“…the US apartment market has finally begun to decline in earnest”Multifamily will be at the forefront of the commercial real estate recovery:
“Short lease terms in the multifamily sector enable performance to reflect economic upticks quickly”The ‘echo boom’ generation will drive rental demand:
“In the next 10 years, echo boomers will cause roughly two million household increases among the 25 – 34 year olds, traditionally a vital renter cohort”Other forces favoring the Los Angeles multifamily market:
- Traditional low vacancy rates
- Low homeownership rate going forward
- Low permit activity for multifamily in Los Angeles County
- “Floor” established in residential market
- Hedge against possible future inflationary environment
Posted by Jamie Adner at 4:43 PM
Sold by Platinum Realtors