A lot is happening across Los Angeles with new construction going up all over town and talk of a recession on the horizon. We were wondering what it all means for Los Angeles homeowners? And how a rise in interest rates will affect home sales? And what’s with all of the rumors about the new Google complex? For an answer to these and other questions, we asked Heyler’s own Sean McMillan.
It seems like every time we sit down to chat there’s another thing happening with the housing market. What’s going on?
Sean: I enjoy these interviews, it gives me a moment to pause and reflect on what is happening now…cause as I am sure many readers can relate, there is a ton of dynamic change taking place in about every facet of life these days.
What does the Fed’s increase in interest rates mean for home buyers?
What’s interesting is that even with the Federal Reserve’s latest action that took place the other day, interest rates are actually down from where they were 30 days ago.
A recent Los Angeles Times article talked about how the housing market is cooling and said sales prices in June were lower than the month before. Is that what you’re seeing in our little corner of SoCal?
Sean: An interesting question and article, and although I see the same data, my observations aren’t quite aligned…well at least for our corner of the city. While we are all feeling the effects of inflationary pressure coupled with a rising interest rate climate change, one would think it is totally cooling down, and that isn’t necessarily totally true. Because our market is in the confluence of such major employment hubs (UCLA, FOX, SONY, GOOGLE, CENTURY CITY, ETC..), we have an established basis for buyers that can “afford” the adversity of today’s economic climate. Houses that are “done” still have strong bidding. However, initial pricing and home features and quality of improvements are more critical components for selling the home. It is no longer an automatic “bidding war”, rather it is a more methodical and disciplined process.
Are homes sitting on the market longer?
Sean: Yes and No, it depends on the type of property and the price strategy that is employed. That being said, marginalized or incomplete project homes (fixers) are taking longer. It is usually a function of pricing the home competitively and bringing it to market with its best foot forward, first impressions ARE more critical these days than in the past few years. There are “fringe” properties, perhaps once competitively bid upward, that nowadays take more time to percolate into the buying pool. When we initially consult about bringing a property to market, we assess the current state and conditions as well as what could be improved in a cost efficient manner, and YIELD on the investment..time after time we see the “before and after ” process and results. If possible for a seller to do so, it behooves them to spend a bit of money and maximizing the sales price, buyers are a bit more discerning these days.
If a recession is truly looming, what will that do for homeowners looking to sell?
Well, it could/should ultimately impact the prices sellers will get for the home. I think managing a seller’s expectation about sales price (discouraging relying on the Zillow findings), as well as timing and possible negotiation outcomes of inspections, appraisals, etc..It may really behoove sellers to consider conducting presale physical inspections (general, plumbing, electrical, sewer, chimney, termite), that way the process is both transparent AND buyers can make their offers with those conditions and understandings up front. Lastly, almost always consider the PLS process – Painting, Floors and staging are critical to both photography, online marketing and first impressions.
On another note, what’s up with the new Google complex?
So much misinformation out there about their campus here at Pico and Westwood. I am very connected with both the executives of both the property owners AND with Google. We’ve been able to help 3 major Google execs buy their homes, all three heading to work in that space. Bottom line, with the exception of a catastrophic event, they will be occupying the campus Fall 2023. I mean can you even imagine how much wire they have to pull through that facility?
Any news about what will happen to the space formerly known as The Landmark Theater?
Sadly I have no new news about the Landmark space, other than I simply mourn the loss of such a significant neighborhood resource.
There is news on the local commercial real estate in our area. Many of our readers will note the construction all along Westwood Blvd going north all the way to Wilshire. They will also note that many of them are multistoried with a lot of units. This is all based upon both TOC designation (Transit Oriented Center – proximity to EXPO and the coming Subway), as well as Measure J Affordable Housing Program. Expect more of these projects to be approved up and down Pico as well as continued development on Westwood Blvd.
Please share some good news? What are you feeling happy about?
Feeling happy these days? Of course I am! Life is indeed beautiful and I am a firm believer that change is good, it is healthy and it causes growth. So despite all the overwhelm of the day, I find great joy in the simple things. One of my very favorite things is my hummingbird fountain! HOWEVER what I am most excited about these days is the great growth that Heyler Realty is experiencing! We have added several remarkable people and agents to our team and the list keeps growing. Each and every person brings their unique life experiences and perspectives. I am really thrilled to be alongside each one of them as they develop and grow their businesses within the community oriented Heyler Realty brand.
Recently we’ve welcomed Aileen Smollins, Maricar Davis, Betty Tong, Riv Haltom, Courtenay Pollard, Kelly Kovacs, and Willem Kiperman to the Heyler family. These people motivate us to always work on our craft so as to offer them the best of all resources to serve our real estate and community. If you’re ever in the neighborhood, please feel free to stop in and say hi!