July 8, 2013 |
Be it ever so humble, the warming drawer came out on top as the most desired feature in an upscale new home, according to a recent survey by the National Assn. of Home Builders. Some 42% of respondents in the national study , who expected to pay $500,000 and up for a newly built house, considered the kitchen appliance either essential or desirable. Coming in second was a two-story family room, followed by a wine cooler, an outdoor kitchen and a two-story foyer. The surprise on the list for Californians is the outdoor kitchen, which seems so 2009 but apparently is just now reaching the remote inner regions of the country.
July 2, 2013 |
Rising consumer confidence combined with a rebounding construction industry pushed auto sales to near pre-recession levels in June. Automakers sold about 1.4 million vehicles last month, a 9% gain from the same period a year earlier. The brisk sales amounted to an annualized pace of about 16 million, a threshold not seen since 2007. “America's families are better off than they were at the beginning of the year and they believe -- with good justification -- that the economic expansion is going to continue,” said Mustafa Mohatarem, General Motors Co.'s chief economist.
June 26, 2013 |
DETROIT - At some point before the July 31 trade deadline, the Angels will have to assess their record and division deficit and determine whether to add a piece or two for a playoff push or pull the plug on the season and look to trade assets to contenders for prospects who could bolster their weak farm system. General Manager Jerry Dipoto said he does not have a date or ballpark figure of a deficit in mind to make such a determination. Nor is he sure he ever will, which is not surprising considering his struggling team, which enters Wednesday night's game against the Detroit Tigers with a 34-43 record and 10-game deficit in the American League West, has been a tough read at times, showing flashes of promise but an inability to sustain much momentum.
June 22, 2013 |
Ryan Mathys spent weeks prospecting. He drove up and down the little avenue in Solana Beach, taking notes and knocking on doors. He scoured public records. He blanketed the seaside neighborhood in northern San Diego County with inquiries. All the detective work had a dollars-and-cents purpose: to find homes the owners would be willing to sell. Southern California housing prices are rising sharply, and there's a shortage of houses available for sale. So agents like Mathys are resorting to reconnaissance and back-channel networks to find homes that haven't yet hit the market.
June 21, 2013 |
Hoping to make contact with a buyer Academy Award-winning actress Jodie Foster has listed a home in Hollywood Hills West for $6.399 million. The Spanish-style house, built in 1935, features a step-down living room with a cathedral ceiling, a screening room, a study, a courtyard swimming pool, five bedrooms, six bathrooms and 6,060 square feet of living space. Foster, 50, gained recognition for her starring role in "Taxi Driver" (1978) at age 13. She won Oscars for "The Accused" (1989)
June 17, 2013 |
Santa Monica shooter John Zawahri was prevented some years ago from buying a firearm, but that didn't stop the gunman with a history of mental illness from killing five people this month in a 10-minute shooting rampage. In his column today, The Times' George Skelton notes that the shooter sprayed 100 rounds of ammunition from his home-assembled weapons and had access to 1,200 more. So where gun control failed to stop a troubled man from using a deadly weapon, Skelton wrote, bullet control could have.
June 13, 2013 |
It's the battle of the big-bucks beaches. Malibu's celebrity-studded Broad Beach appears to be engaged in a throw down of sorts with billionaire bastion Carbon Beach to the east. Several properties have come on the market within the last month that will require diamond-encrusted pocketbooks to purchase. At $57.5 million, the most expensive Malibu listing now in the Multiple Listing Service is the Frank Gehry-designed Borman estate set on more than an acre. The site has 160 feet of Broad Beach frontage, an ocean-view tennis court, a lap pool and a spa. A steppingstone path through lawn leads to the sand.
June 7, 2013 |
Are you ready to bet that the great housing recession is finally over and that values are rising again? If so, some of the nation's largest institutional investors are ready to roll the dice with you. Pension funds, endowment portfolios and the like don't typically invest in residential real estate, which is the world's largest asset class. But given their long-term horizons, housing is considered a natural fit. And now there's a new investment vehicle that aligns their stash of cash with creditworthy home buyers.
June 6, 2013 |
ATLANTA -- The U.S. luxury home market is being driven to new heights by relatively low prices, low interest rates and a more stable economy than in many countries, experts say. Buyer interest is recovering quickly, said Kofi Nartey of the Agency in Beverly Hills, who was part of a panel of real estate agents speaking at the National Assn. of Real Estate Editors conference in Atlanta. "That tends to be the trend with the generation now. We get a lot of immediate gratification and bounce back.
June 5, 2013 |
ATLANTA -- Would-be home buyers who are frustrated by rising home prices and low inventory may have to wait a few years for relief, real estate experts told a conference on Wednesday. Institutional investors, who have been driving the market with their all-cash purchases and buying houses for rental income, need to be in and out in two to three years, Bill Rayburn, chair of mortgage technology company FNC, told a gathering of the National Assn. of Real Estate Editors. "Otherwise they can't make their numbers to get their 20 percent upside," he said during a panel talk titled "Home Price Progression: What's Next?"