Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

Open Houses and Local Real Estate Buzz

Click on our Buzz Open House Calendar to see all the listings that are open today.

We were wondering if the recent failure of Silicon Valley Bank, the bailout of First Republic Bank, and the resulting jitters about the health of the U.S. banking system are affecting local real estate transactions.

“This is not 2008,” Anne Loveland of Loveland Carr told the Buzz. “The majority of homeowners either own their homes out right or enjoy interest rates under 4% and the supply of homes in our area is still very restricted and will remain so.” Loveland’s advice is to try to lock down the lowest rate you can with a trusted lender. But, in the long run, she thinks we can all expect to pay higher fees for mortgages and deposits at banks to pay for FDIC bail outs.

The failure of Silicon Valley Bank other banks has directly impacted our local market, local realtor Diana Knox told the Buzz. “One  example is First Republic Bank,” said Knox, “this bank offered incredible loan opportunities and was a very good mid-level bank.

“I am seeing a higher down payments being required for commercial properties, like apartment buildings, and retail store fronts, ” John Duerler, of Hancock Homes told the Buzz. “Some as high as 40%-50%.”

But that’s not all that weighing on the local market.

“Our market is directly tied to inflation which has pushed up and doubled our interest rates,” Knox added. “Since our rates doubled; our market has not only slowed down but prices have fallen.”  

Knox said the new mansionization tax (Measure ULA) which increases the taxes on residential and commercial properties selling over $5 million effective April 1, 2023 is also affecting sales.

Higher interests rates and low inventory are keeping prices in the $1-3 million range strong, observed Duerler. At the upper end of the market, homes selling between $10-15 million appear to be sitting for a while, and some listings have even expired and those homes where prices have adjusted down under $10 million seem to selling though it’s hard to draw any firm conclusions since each property is different but it’s clear for now that the luxury market is taking a while to sell, explained Duerler.

There’s also something affecting the real estate market which is why local realtor Clint Lohr always advises clients to buy or sell property according to their own individual situation.

“Nobody should try to time the market,” said Lohr. Further he recommends clients check with their individual lenders or banks to see if their loans could be affected by the Silicon Valley Bank issue, and if they get a loan with a higher interest rate now, can they refinance the loan to a lower rate later.

“Interest rates will continue to fluctuate and home values will continue to fluctuate,” said Loveland. “Markets march onward. There’s likely more uncertainty ahead in tech sector and in crypto. Everyone has a choice of being fearful, or still taking action when it makes most sense for them.”

Generally, most people benefit from homeownership, explained Loveland. It’s really a long-term play, so you should consider staying in the market for at least seven years to make economic sense, she advises. And she sees the upside in a turbulent time, adding, “those who bought when everyone was scared in the early days of the pandemic are sure happy today that they did!”

To see what’s available locally, click on our Buzz Open House Calendar to see all the listings that are open today.  We update the calendar almost every day so you have one convenient place to look for your next home in the neighborhood…or just browse online, like we do.

Realtor readers are welcome to list your open houses for everyone to see – it’s free! Just click the green “Submit Event” button on our Open House calendar page to get started or – even easier – just click here.  The calendar is available all week – so be sure to add your Tuesday and Saturday open houses, too!

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