California Home Prices Increase in March


In March, California median home prices post first year-to-year increase in 16 months, per California Association of Realtors.

The statewide median price of an existing, single-family detached home jumped 9.2 percent to $291,080 in March from February’s $266,660 median price and was up 1.6 percent from a revised $286,550 recorded in March 2011. The month-to-month increase was the largest since March 2004.

“Housing inventory remains extremely tight throughout the state and at levels severely under normal market conditions,” said C.A.R. Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young. “In areas, such as Los Angeles and Riverside counties, where the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) wants to implement the REO bulk sale pilot program, inventory is running at levels well below the long-run average. These low inventory levels demonstrate that the pilot program is not necessary in California.”

The pilot program calls for the sale of more than 600 Fannie Mae-owned foreclosed homes in Los Angeles and Riverside counties to institutional investors.

For Los Angeles County, however, year-to-year median housing price is a -3.3%.

Click here to read the entire C.A.R. article.

Del Amo Fashion Center to be Renovated

Del Amo MallAs a follow up to a previous post, I’d like to share, per the Daily Breeze, that Simon Property Group, the largest real estate company in the US, announced their plan to renovate and rebrand Del Amo Fashion Center in Torrance.

The work will begin early 2013 with the north end of the mall and include a new food pavilion and for as many as 3 additional unnamed anchor tenants. Phase 1 will likely not be finished until mid to late 2014.

“It’s going to be a very clean, very modern look,” said Tom Schneider, executive vice president of development for the company. “We think we can make an incredible fashion statement.”

  • New terrazzo flooring, twinkling chandelier-like lighting handing from skylights, updated mall furniture and “sleek” storefronts
  • Different parts of the mall will be given distinct architectural looks
  • The new food pavilion – about the same size as the existing food court – will be built over Carson Street with a bank of highly visible exterior lights
  • New stores will be built closer to Hawthorne Blvd. north of the existing Crate & Barrel

This project will likely have positive results for the city from a revenue standpoint, and for the neighboring homeowners – potentially raising their home values.

The mall had been starved of capital investment by a succession of owners, and the recession exacerbated that trend, with the mall occupancy falling to 78% in 2008. Today, the occupancy has climbed to 90.6%. Del Amo Fashion Center remains a huge sales tax generator for the city of Torrance and is one of the most visited malls in the nation on one of the most profitable retail corridors (Hawthorne Blvd.) in southern California.

Potential shoppers will have an opportunity to review current plans in a series of community meetings that are tentatively set for early spring. Schneider indicated that any ideas received could be incorporated into the design.

Reference Source: Daily Breeze, Nick Green Staff Writer

Are Your Property Taxes Too High?

Property TaxDecline-in-Value application deadline is November 30th

Here’s something helpful for this tax year.

If you think your property tax may be too high, here is the Assessor’s link to see if your property has automatically qualified for a decline-in-value reduction. This FREE service eliminates the need to go through the application process, and hopefully will curtail the scam mailers from offering to submit your review application for a fee.

If your property has not already been reviewed, you may file a decline-in-value application here. But do it quickly. The deadline for filing a Decline-in-Value application is November 30th.

Recently a client of mine decided to fight for a reduction in her property taxes. She has a lovely new patio home in Lomita 90717. I say “fight for a reduction” because it took her three attempts to get it through. She now pays $100 less a month in property tax, which is helping her pay for her new gorgeous convertible. Why not try?

Visit this Los Angeles County Decline-in-Value Reassessment web page for more details.

Your friend in the business,
Lucy Garber
(310) 293-4866