First Quarter Housing Market Update – 2015

 

R.E. Market Update – March 2015

Late 2014 and early 2015 saw some slowdown in the housing market, but it looks like hope springs eternal. April and May could bring much needed relief. Spring is typically a busy time anyway for home buying but we aren’t quite there yet, numbers-wise. In any event, as I have reported for the past few years, here is my housing market update for the first quarter of 2015.

The first quarter report, according to DataQuick saw a marginal improvement month to month –  “an estimated 25,585 new and existing houses and condos sold in California in February 2015, a one percent increase from January 2015.”  Although this percentage is not up or even close to the numbers from 2014, California Association of Realtors (C.A.R) President Chris Kutzkey, says there are encouraging signs. Krutzkey seems to be of the motto, improvement is improvement regardless if it’s year to year or a simple incline from a dip the previous month. He says:

While February’s statewide improvement in the housing market was moderate, it’s an encouraging sign, nevertheless, as we head into the spring home-buying season. On the supply side, housing inventory improved overall with active listings growing at a faster pace of 5.3 percent when compared to last February.  Regionally, both active listings in Southern California and Central Valley increased moderately from last year.

Home Sales in Ventura County

Regionally, in Ventura County the median sold price of existing single-family homes is up for the most part. While the number is not up from February in a month to month comparison, it’s up since last year and compares favorably to most of the counties in Southern California. See the numbers chart from C.A.R.

Los Angeles

$419,260

$441,610

$389,080

-5.1%

7.8%

-0.3%

-3.2%

Orange County

$680,290

$674,340

$677,700

0.9%

0.4%

10.9%

6.3%

Riverside County

$323,220

$306,060

$302,370

5.6%

6.9%

4.3%

-7.7%

San Bernardino

$213,930

$206,660

$186,440

r

3.5%

14.7%

-7.8%

-0.6%

San Diego

$499,000

$496,380

$476,780

0.5%

4.7%

14.8%

5.7%

Ventura

$568,840

$582,630

$558,490

-2.4%

1.9%

-1.7%

6.4%

CoreLogic analyst Andrew LePage told the Los Angeles Times last week in an article titled, Southern California home prices rise, sales fall in February, that Spring has not quite sprung yet for the housing market – the true tale will be in the inventory numbers. Said LePage:

This feels a lot like early 2014, with home sales off to a slow start. And just like a year ago, one of the big questions hanging over the market is whether we’ll see a sizable jump in inventory this spring and summer.

Says the Times, however, not to fret, C.A.R. reports that there is some good signs on the inventory front. On Monday, C.A.R. reported 5.8 months worth of homes unsold on the market in Southern California, just shy of the six months that economists consider “normal” supply.

The Times also reports the strongest growth is in Riverside County, not surprising since the Millennials have a great impact there and have started buying as I reported in an earlier article from my blog. Also, San Bernardino County hit yearly highs, as did Ventura County where sales grew by 9.8%. Yay us…

Spring Home Buying…

In Westlake Village, Agoura Hills and Thousand Oaks, there has definitely been a surge of activity in the housing market especially as spring approached. As early as March, we started experiencing multiple offers on well-priced updated homes.  Inventory is still low, but it is starting to increase slowly.  The interest rates are low – good homes are definitely moving quickly!

Spring has sprung! Typically a busy season, if you’re ready to buy or sell, there is no time like the present. Don’t wait for an analyst to say it’s time, jump in now. You could be in your dream house by summer! And no matter what the “numbers” say, there is no better feeling than coming home.

Lydia Gable is a 2015 Quality Service Certified® Platinum Realtor in Westlake Village. Her proven track record and satisfied clients make her Ventura County’s top ranked real estate agent. If you are interested in viewing properties or listing your home, contact Lydia Gable today for an appointment.

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Quality Service Certified® Platinum 2015  

Quality Service Certified® Platinum

Typically not one to toot my own horn, I do like to celebrate good news – As such I’m honored to share with you the latest which is that I have been granted the highest level of service achievement in real estate, Quality Service Certified® Platinum. The award is given in recognition to those who receive 100% client service satisfaction according to the Leading Research Corporation. So I am proud to say that 2014 for me, did indeed garner 100% client satisfaction. But I won’t take all the credit – I have the best clients in the world.

Truly, what I really like about the consumer feedback from QSC is that it’s reliable, a real gauge for me that I’m doing my best work. QSC uses a “closed” survey approach which means that consumers can be assured of the legitimacy of the reviews; they are collected from real life home buyers and sellers on their past customer experience. Larry D. Romito, President and CEO of QSC added:

Nothing is more important to a prospective client in selecting a professional than the service results achieved with past clients. Consumers have greater confidence in service reliability, results and satisfaction with a Quality Service Certified real estate professional because they know that the agent’s service record has been validated by an independent third party.  100% service satisfaction record like Lydia Gable has achieved is just awesome.

Living and Working Where I Love…The Best Reward

Larry’s comments are lovely, but my real estate clients are simply awesome. What a privilege to work with home buyers and sellers in the beautiful Conejo Valley. I’m so lucky to be able to work with terrific peers at Keller Williams in the real estate industry and to live, work, and play in the best community in America.  It doesn’t feel like work when you do what you love. Moreover, when you love where you live – helping people buy and sell homes in the very same community I call home – well it’s more like a passion than a job.

If you want to view homes in the Conejo Valley or you are ready to sell, contact Lydia Gable today for an appointment.

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Turnkey Homes: ‘Turning’ Up the Dial on Conejo Valley Home Sales

“Turnkey” home listings have experienced a recent jump in popularity specifically on the West Coast. The term “turnkey” refers to those properties which require no renovations or repairs. The house is ready to move in – everything inside it is part of the asking price. West Coast realtors, including yours truly, have found when it comes to home sales, these types of homes are ‘turning’ home listings into fast closings. As a realtor, I thought you’d find it interesting to hear my unique perspective on turnkey homes. While in years past, the trend leaned more toward building a home to exact specifications, now as the market finds a new resurgence, turnkey homes are indeed ‘in’ again.

What Realtors Say About Buying Turnkey

Although turnkey listings tend to be a bit more expensive than traditional home listings, buyers like this option because once you close on the home your expenses are essentially complete. A recent article on MSNBC says that there has been an increase in popularity—mainly on the West Coast and in vacation communities—for turnkey properties. In the article titled, Where to Find Turnkey Homes, Susie Nancarrow, broker and owner of Nancarrow Realty Group in San Diego County is quick to point out though that turnkey “isn’t necessarily synonymous with move-in ready.” She says:

… a 1970s-style house in great condition isn’t turnkey because it’s dated. I usually use ‘turnkey’ when the house is up-to-date with today’s buyers’ expectations.

At the end of the day, the process is much simpler. There’s no need to imagine where the children’s room will go, how you will renovate. View real estate listings, choose the home you fall in love with, make an offer, close and the best part awaits. Put the key in the lock, turn it and voila, you are home.

The Benefits of Buying Turnkey Real Estate

The real reason a buyer wants turnkey-ready is two-fold. The buyer may be a very busy executive with very little time to remodel. With interest rates at an all-time low– the prices while a little higher than traditional home sales are still very low. The buyer is then more willing to pay a premium for this type of home.

Home buyers understand that to remodel a home they will need a minimum of 20 percent down to purchase it in addition to the money it will cost to then do the remodel. So the idea of only paying for the home with no additional costs can be attractive. If a kitchen needs a remodel for example, this could cost the home owner another $50,000 to $75,000.00. To redo windows for example, it could cost $20,000. To upgrade to central heating/air, it could be another $15,000.00. If a buyer only remodels the bathroom, it could cost upwards of $10,000 and $25,000.00 just to remodel the master bedroom. These are estimates of course, depending on the size of the home, but one can clearly see the benefit and savings based on these examples, in choosing a turnkey home.

Is there a down-side to buying a turnkey home? Not really – if there is, maybe one could say “it doesn’t have my personality stamp”. But the truth is, if you fell in love with the home in the first place, it does – it must speak to some aspect of your personality and personal taste! And there is no saying down the line, you can’t make changes or add special touches. But truly, if you’re buying a vacation or a holiday home or even buying your first home, this is a good move. I think especially if you must move in a hurry for a job change, a turnkey home can be the perfect alternative to a traditional option. So there you have it –just one realtors perspective. Good luck on your home search whether it’s for a turnkey home in Westlake Village, a mansion in Calabasas or a condo in Thousand Oaks, your home is wherever your heart is!

For more on “turnkey homes” or to view property listings in the Conejo Valley, contact Lydia Gable today.

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Keep Your Home Cool in the Summer Heat

We are already starting to see glimmers of Southern California summer heat especially in Ventura County. The temperatures reached blistering temps twice already last week and it’s only May. Pretty soon we’ll be taking lazy weekend trips to the many lakes, long stretches of beaches, and hiking trails that Southern California residents boasts about. So start preparing your home now for the hot season. Then all you have to do is sit back and enjoy your beautiful chilled home as the dry West Coast desert temps hit their high marks.

Following are easy steps to use as a check list when preparing your home for summer.

First Things First: AC

Check and change the filters in your heating/cooling systems. Change them as often as is recommended by the manufacturer. Also, make sure to double-check that the thermostat is working correctly. Don’t wait until it’s already too hot to do the maintenance because if you do, you run the risk of trying to get an HVAC repair man to come out during the busiest season in town. For more tips on checking air conditioning, read my article titled It’s Summer: Check Your Air Conditioning Units in which I said in part:

If you have lived through even one summer season in Los Angeles and especially in the San Fernando Valley area, you already know that the air conditioning unit in your home is your best friend. And conversely if your AC is on the fritz, it can become your biggest head ache.

Up on the Roof

Now is a good time to inspect both your roof shingles and your attic insulation. An MSN real estate article recently offered some great suggestions to keep your home cool. And many of the answers are up on the roof. The piece suggests:

  • Using light shingles on a new roof can cut the amount of heat the house absorbs. Repainting in a light color, especially south- and west-facing exterior areas, helps as well.
  • Upgraded insulation in the attic and double-paned windows all around, complete with tinting to reflect sunlight, are good ideas, too.

Cut Your Costs While You Cool Your Home

If you want quick ways to weatherize your home with spending as much on the cooling as you spent to buy the house, a Networx article Simple Weatherizing for Summer, offer a few greats tips to keep the costs and the temperatures down without breaking the bank. The author suggests that a cost saving tip:

Caulking doors and windows: Air leakage is a serious problem. Running a bead of caulking around interior and exterior doors and windows will create a seal to minimize air flow, keeping cool air in and hot air out.

Soak Up the Fun in the Sun! Then Come Home to COOL!

Now you are prepared – stay cool inside while after enjoyed the outdoors in the beautiful Southern California sun . And on that note, if you need ideas for things to do this summer in and around Conejo Valley, read my recent blog, Spring & Summer Fun in Conejo Valley. Summer’s almost here, go have a mint julep, enjoy your dream home and beautiful backyard and reflect on how blessed we are to have this weather. Oh…and remember this when the temps shoot up to triple digits!

Lydia Gable is an experienced and respected Realtor® who has helped countless clients in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties find new homes. For more information on any topics covered in this article or to view home listings or meet about homes sales, contact Lydia Gable today for an appointment.

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Conejo Valley Real Estate Updates from Lydia Gable

5/16 – This information has recently been updated:

As somebody who likes to keep a pulse on what is going on in our lovely community, I wanted to share some exciting news about upcoming developments I recently received from my friend and trusted commercial Broker, David Massie, with DJM Commercial Real Estate.

Here is the update:

  • The Old Plug Nickel location (now a wine tasting bar called Cuvee Terrace) in Westlake Village is being sold and leased to a couple of very high-end successful Italian restaurants in other cities.
  • The vacant space in the same center as Lure Seafood just past The Counter location has signed a lease for a New Zeland Pacific Rim type restaurant called Aroha. In the old 9021Pho location in this center to the left of The Counter, a new restaurant called Kaze—which somehow fuses Japanese and Italian foods together—signed a lease.
  • In Agoura Hills, Vincitori Italian (owns Spumoni in NP also and replaced China Star here) just opened up recently in the Agoura Hills City Mall where the Agoura’s Famous Deli is and there will also be a new Kosher Israeli restaurant opening in the next couple of months just to the left of this Deli.
  • Padri’s will be opening up a high end Mexican restaurant in the Whizzins Center where Latigo Kid used to be in the next couple of months. Latigo relocated to the old Alamo location in the Vons anchored center at Kanan and Thousand Oaks Blvd. in Agoura Hills.
  • The old Red Robin in Calabasas is being leased by the Agoura Famous Deli owner and it’s yet to been seen what it will become.
  • The Gelsons/Sprouts/Vons center in WLV (all owned by one owner) is performing a 25 million dollar renovation and is going to not only remodel but also build new buildings in some of the parking areas as well as try to connect all 3 different plazas into one. New restaurants/food uses coming here are: Leilas (rumor only, not confirmed), Mendocino Farms, Pitfire Artisan Pizza, Le pain Quotidien, Pressed Juicery and Firefly. Target is under construction with a July 25, 2014, grand opening date and they own their land. The goal is to get all other Tenants open on or around this date, with the exception of buildings B and E, which will be later phases delivered in September. Here is a website link that will show you a site plan for each building so you can see where each tenant is going in this new center:http://www.shoppesatwestlakevillage.com/.

Building J – In N Out

Building G

– Suite A: Hook Burger

– Suite B: Negotiating with several food users

– Suite C: In Leases with a sit-down seafood restaurant

– Suite D: In Leases with a dessert tenant

Building F

– Suite A: In Leases with a sub sandwich tenant

– Suite B: Greens Up!

– Suite C: Olio E Limone Ristorante

– Suite D: Olio E Limone Pizzeria & Enoteca

Building C

– Suite G: Los Agaves

– Suite F: All Tressed Up (blow dry bar, also offers make-up application)

– Suite E: In Leases with a wireless tenant

– Suite D: Endless Beauty (high end beauty supply)

– Suite B & C: Salon suites tenant (haircut and color services)

– Suite A: BCBC Nail Salon

Building D

– Suite A: Negotiating with sushi concept

– Suite B: Negotiating with women’s apparel

– Suite C: Negotiating with a jewelry store

– Suite D: Negotiating with a home goods boutique

– Suite E & F: In leases with a men’s clothing store and children’s concept, but may relocate both users to accommodate a microbrewery we are negotiating with

– Suite G: Jeannine’s Marketplace

Building B (this is a second phase of the project, which will be delivered in September)

– Suite H: Tilly’s

– Suites A, B and a portion of C: Medical Use

Building E (this is a second phase of the project, which will be delivered in September)

– We have a lease out for signature with a 1,000 SF user, however. Will have several food and retail tenants.

Isn’t that exciting? These new developments will do wonderful things for Westlake Village Real Estate values and will certainly keep all of us entertained!

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First-Quarter SoCal Real Estate Market Update

While I am immersed in the busiest spring season for this realtor’s real estate career in years, I thought it pertinent to share with you a 1st quarter housing market update for Southern California. It’s good news indeed for you vigilant housing market watchers especially in the Ventura County area. Real estate numbers are on the up-tick and apparently not just for yours truly! Profit margins, new development, buying and selling— a majority of analysts report—is all on the incline. And although many naysayers feared another “housing bubble” debacle, the numbers remain consistently positive as does the future forecast.

Following are just a few analysts’ findings as they pertain to, specifically Southern California and Ventura County housing market numbers for this, the first quarter of 2014.

Positive Real Estate Market Numbers in SoCal

According to The Press Enterprise, KB Home, an LA based home builder discussed first quarter market results for 2014. KB Home President and CEO Jeffrey Mezger said in a conference call with analysts, “There is a strong indication that new home development in California will rise – and coastal communities will dominate the sales scene.” KB’s profits are at $10.6 million profit for the period ending Feb. 28. And he stressed that this is a profit margin milestone that hasn’t been achieved in the first quarter since back in 2007. Metzger went on to say:

Total revenues grew 11 percent to $405.2 million from the company’s delivery of 1,442 homes compared to 1,485 in the first quarter of 2013… California has some of the most dramatic examples of reposition strategy. We expect positive cross-over to positive unit sales in California at some point in the same year.

Thousand Oaks, Westlake Village Home Sales – HOT!

A February 2014 article in Ventura County Star said while some of Ventura County and parts of Southern California are experiencing a slump, the numbers emerging from the end of 2013 and now in this first quarter, indicate that luxury property sales are doing remarkably well. The Starsays some the best reports are coming from my “neck-of-the-woods” and I can vouch for that. The report says:

Homes selling in 2013 for at least $1 million in the county leapt nearly 43 percent to 780 sales up from 547 in 2012, according to San Diego-based DataQuick. Hot areas were the Thousand Oaks-Westlake Village area.

Additionally, at least according to the forecast for Ventura County as projected by Zillow, these numbers over the next year are likely to continue a steady incline. Says the Zillow forecast of current home values, expected home prices, and the Ventura County housing market overview, it’s all moving upwards:

Ventura County home values have gone up 15.3% over the past year and Zillow predicts they will rise 4.9% within the next year.

Ventura County Market Overview
(Data through Feb 28, 2014)

  • $474,700 ZHVI
  • 4.9% 1-yr forecast (Feb 28, 2015)
  • $559,000 Median listing price
  • $454,000 Median sale price

Where Luxury Steps Up to Greet You

Where luxury steps up to greet you – this is the focus for Westlake Village Realty. Beautiful homes are listed for sale now in the exquisite communities of Westlake Village, Lake Sherwood, and Thousand Oaks and Agoura Hills. If you are a potential home buyer or seller, I can help you find the perfect fit for your luxury lifestyle. For questions on any topic covered on this article or to set up a consultation to view or sell fine homes in the Conejo Valley, contact Lydia Gable today.

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Spring & Summer Fun in Conejo Valley

If you live in the Conejo Valley or you are planning on buying a home in Thousand Oaks, Westlake Village or the surrounding communities, now’s the time to explore all the summer recreation available. There are a myriad of activities here for children, adults and entire families. While the wonderful Southern California climate contributes to year-round outdoor fun, the community particularly comes alive in Thousand Oaks, Westlake Village and the vicinity during the spring and summer months. So don’t miss out! Some of these events have already started registration. Take a look at just a few of the ‘best’ summer activities that Conejo Valley has to offer.

Conejo Spring Fest & More at the Park!

Registration has begun already for the Conejo Recreation Park District – there are programs for adults and kids alike. The Recreation Program Guides are published five times a year. The guides include detailed information about various classes, programs and special sponsored events happening at the Conejo Recreation & Park District. While priority is given to district residents, programs and classes are open to non-residents as well. They have so many classes and programs for the whole family including dance, camp, arts & crafts, dog training and more. So take advantage! And don’t miss the Conejo Spring Fest on Saturday April 12th from noon-3PM at the park at Conejo Creek South Playfield. The event is for children ages 2-12 and includes egg hunts, face painting, entertainment, food and beverages.

Signed Up for Summer Camp?

Camp registration has already begun among the many camps in the area. Camp Keystone is a popular choice among residents. Keystone offers a variety of activities for campers of all ages. The Agoura Hills summer camp offers programs in water sports, leadership training, junior counselor programs and more. The camp also offers flexible scheduling and flexible transportation options to accommodate parents’ needs. Additionally, the Agoura Hills day camp location is about 25 minutes north of Los Angeles and offers transportation for campers who live between Toluca Lake and Camarillo. This is a great choice for your child especially if you are planning a move to the area or buying a summer home in the Conejo Valley any time in the near future. Open house has already begun. See more information below.

Camp Keystone 2014 Open House Dates

Sundays from 11:30am-3:30pm:
April 6th, 13th, and 27th

The Benefits of Living in Lake Sherwood

If you have just moved to Lake Sherwood, CA or are planning on buying home there, you will discover rather quickly that the area is surrounded by beauty and has so much to offer in terms of family activity. Particularly, Sherwood Lake Club offers a terrific country club environment for the entire family as well as its guests. The club offers members golf, tennis, swimming, dining and entertaining – plus a variety of daily activities – all set among the beautiful post-card setting of Lake Sherwood. As stated on its website, the Sherwood Lake Club is an “elegant clubhouse, spanning 14,000 square feet and a distinguished playground for those who appreciate the rewards that come with exclusivity.

Sherwood Lake Club
341 Williamsburg Way
Thousand Oaks, CA 91361
(805) 497-3037
jdimino@sherwooddc.com

Find Your Home in Conejo Valley

If you have ever considered buying a home in or around Sherwood Lake, Agoura Hills or Thousand Oaks, think of all the great perks you’ll enjoy. In addition to the aforementioned, there’s the Agoura Hills Summer Concert Series, top horseback riding and running trails, local road races and events for the whole family, close proximity to Malibu Beach and the mountains, and just a short commute to Los Angeles museums and Hollywood movie events.

For more information on any events listed in this blog or to view home listings in Ventura or Los Angeles County, contact Lydia Gable today at Westlake Village Realty.

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