Welcome to the real estate newsletter. This week’s stories showcased the vast range of properties in Southern California, from a tiny 64 square foot home to a 1.5 million square foot shopping mall.
But first, let’s start with the market itself, which continued to cool for the fourth consecutive month. August home sales in Southern California were down 28.3% from a year earlier, and the median price held steady at $740,000 – the same mark as July and 10,000 $ less than the median in June.
The main culprit for the slowdown is mortgage rates, which topped 6% last week, the highest average since, you guessed it, 2008. Rates are pushing the market completely out of the way for many Angelenos, leaving buyers and sellers frustrated in the wake. of the record pandemic market.
The biggest story of the week – in terms of square footage, at least – comes from Arcadia, where we revealed the new owner of Westfield Santa Anita mall: Wen Shan Chang.
Chang is a Bradbury property investor, and he spent $537.5 million on the 1.5 million square foot complex in August. The blockbuster deal was struck just months after the owner of Westfield announced it would sell its 24 US shopping centers to focus on the European market.
At Benedict Canyon, we got the inside scoop on a brewing battle between famous residents over a proposal for a luxury hotel smack in the middle of a residential neighborhood.
The developer, Gary Safady, is trying to erect a hotel on a 33-acre site with 58 rooms and eight private residences. He has a few stars by his side, including Mark Wahlberg, Ashton Kutcher and Orlando Bloom.
The opposition also has a few stars, including Dr. Phil, actress Jacqueline Bisset and Doors guitarist Robby Krieger. They are three of hundreds of neighbors who have signed testimonials denouncing the project, saying it will bring traffic and noise to the generally quiet community.
Get your popcorn ready, because the fight is far from over.
Our biggest list of the week took us to San Diego County, where Sandra Bullock shops around her 91-acre ranch for $6 million. Nicknamed the farm, the complex includes two houses, a workshop, a chicken coop and a breathtaking view of the surrounding canyons.
The Oscar-winning actor has been on a selling spree over the past two years, unloading two homes in the Los Angeles area and renting out a beach house in Malibu.
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Market cools as mortgage rates soar
Median home prices in Southern California were unchanged in August from the previous month as rising mortgage rates made homes even less affordable for many people, writes Andrew Khouri.
The median for the six-county area held steady at $740,000, the fourth consecutive month that prices did not rise, according to data released Tuesday by real estate firm DQNews. Sales of new and existing homes, condominiums and townhouses fell 28.3% from a year earlier.
The housing market has slowed sharply in recent months as rising mortgage rates have squeezed many potential buyers out of the market.
Rates have more than doubled over the past year and topped 6% last week for the first time since 2008. Soaring borrowing costs are adding more than $1,000 to the monthly payment for a priced home median of $740,000 — a cost that many can’t afford.
Buyer revealed for Santa Anita shopping center
French commercial real estate giant Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield announced last month that it had sold the former Westfield Santa Anita shopping center to Arcadia for $537.5 million in one of the largest shopping center sales. most expensive in the United States for years. The property was renamed Shops at Santa Anita.
But who bought it was a mystery.
Unibail-Rodamco declined to identify the buyer, a rarity in large-scale real estate transactions, saying only that the person “is an established commercial real estate investor who owns other business assets in Southern California.”
Property records now list Chang’s company, Riderwood USA, as the owner of the mall located near the famous Santa Anita Park horse racing venue. The property investor from nearby Bradbury apparently wants to keep a low profile as the former owner continues to manage the property for him, writes Roger Vincent.
Celebrities clash over hotel proposal in Benedict Canyon
A proposal to build a luxury hotel in a posh, wooded enclave in Benedict Canyon has pitted some of LA’s top policymakers, filmmakers and celebrities in a pitched battle over the future of one of LA’s hottest neighborhoods. dear ones from LA, writes Hugo Martín.
The Beverly Hills-adjacent site of the upscale hotel project — in a neighborhood where home prices range from $3 million to $100 million — is the 33-acre former home of billionaire businessman Kirk Kerkorian. The property was sold in 2015 for $19 million.
A meeting of the planning committee was scheduled to make a preliminary decision on the zoning change necessary for the construction of a commercial project in the residential sector. If it clears that hurdle, final approval would be required from the Los Angeles City Council within the next few months.
On one side of the feud is Safady, a property developer and film producer, who is proposing a hotel project with 58 rooms and suites, plus eight private residences, a 10,000 square foot spa, gym, theater private and an eight-seat sushi bar, with a restaurant. Supporters of the project, according to letters written on behalf of the project, besides Wahlberg, Kutcher and Bloom include Mila Kunis, Gerard Butler, Adrien Brody and Jon Lovitz, as well as rock musician Gene Simmons.
Several hundred neighbors have signed testimonies opposing the project. The area, shaded by oaks, sycamores and willows, is dotted with signs decrying the hotel project.
The actress treats herself to a compound in the canyons
Sandra Bullock has amassed a nationwide collection of real estate over the years. Now she is starting to sell.
The actress unloaded a Hollywood Hills home in 2018 and a condo in West Hollywood earlier this year, and in Malibu she’s rented out a beach house for $30,000 a month. Her latest listing is at Valley Center in the rugged hills of northern San Diego County, where she shops on a 91-acre ranch for $6 million.
Dubbed the Farm, the resort combines three different lots near the foothills of Palomar Mountain. It is accessed by a long, gated driveway that winds through eucalyptus trees, avocado groves, and rose gardens, eventually arriving at a single-story ranch shrouded in adobe walls and flower-filled verandas.
Mixed reviews for Tiny House Villages
When columnist Steve Lopez asked LA Councilman Kevin de León how things were going at the tiny village of Eagle Rock, which opened in March, he got good news and bad news.
Many encampments have disappeared and those who used to live in tents are now in safe and clean quarters with access to food and toilets. The councilman pulled out his camera to show Lopez “before” photos of people living in squalor, sheltering under freeway overpasses and fending off rodents.
But the Tiny Houses’ track record has been mixed so far, as reorienting the lives of people facing serious problems is complicated by a lack of desperately needed services.
“My staff and I, along with salt of the earth social workers, are doing our job of getting people off the streets and putting a roof over their heads,” De León said. “We need the county to do what it is tasked to do and provide the mental health services and addiction treatment services that our homeless neighbors are crying out for.”
What we read
If you thought 64 square feet was the smallest we were going in this bulletin, think again. In Eagle Rock, the fate of a 14-square-foot gas station is up in the air as the owner wants to demolish it, but conservatives are filing a historic landmark application to save it, saying it’s the oldest remaining gas station in town. , according to the Eastsider. I’ll admit the photos make it look rather shabby, but that’s nothing a little remodeling can’t fix…is it?
Real estate gymnastics has become an art. Whether it’s a celebrity buying a house through a secret limited liability company or a developer trying to get a house appraised to save on taxes, homeowners are always looking to outsmart the system. This week, following the New York State Attorney General’s prosecution of former President Trump, alleging fraud, Slate leaned on Trump’s real estate shenanigans, including schemes to increase the value of his properties in hopes of securing loans and lower interest rates.