November 26, 2014

Sycamore Apts Trade for $8.8M

A charitable trust sold the 50-unit Sycamore Apartments at 875 Victor Ave. in Inglewood, CA to Universe Holdings Development Company for $8.8 million, or $176,000 per unit.

The 62,707-square-foot apartment community consists of a mix of one-, two-, and three-bedroom units in a single building. It was constructed in 1972 in the Inglewood multifamily submarket, and was 96 percent occupied at the time of sale.

Brice Head of Re/Max Commercial Investment Realty represented the seller and the buyer in the sale.

Please see CoStar COMPS #3154831 for more information on this transaction.

Article source:$88M/166366?ref=/News/Article/Sycamore-Apts-Trade-for-$88M/166366&src=rss

A Ski Lift in the Australian Alps

Australia’s Falls Creek ski resort in the Victorian Alps—the part of the Australian Alps called High Country and known for the variety of snow conditions there. (Australia’s ski season is roughly June through early October.) The resort is popular with families because of its intermediate ski slopes and ski-in, ski-out condos. The area’s most notable feature, however, may be its real-estate prices.

Melbourne real-estate executive Jeremy Fox had been coming to Dinner Plain, an alpine village near the Australian ski resort of Mount Hotham, for the past 15 years. Last year, Mr. Fox bought this two-bedroom, two-bathroom home for $700,200.

The home sold for $1.79 million when it was completed in 2007. In 2012, it resold for $780,400. ‘Many of the homes are seen as undervalued,’ says Doug McDougall, a real-estate agent in Dinner Plain. ‘They’re still the same properties from 2007; they’re just half the price now.’

The Fox home, called Under the Moonlight, has a cantilevered fireplace and a stone staircase.

The master bedroom.

Here is another view of the master bedroom.

Under the Moonlight features large windows, such as this one near the home’s main entrance.

An exterior view of Under the Moonlight.

Mark and Caroline Hubbard built a five-bedroom, $872,000 home in Dinner Plain that they call Moose Lodge. It was designed by Dale Hubbard of Boulder, Colo., Mark’s brother. The alpine village was developed in the 1980s as an Australian version of the Sun Valley ski resort in Idaho.

A bedroom in Moose Lodge. In addition to prices, Dinner Plain, about 7 miles from the slopes of Mount Hotham is drawing house-hunters because it is the only alpine village with freehold land in the Australian Alps, meaning buyers own the property outright.

Bunks in Moose Lodge.

After vacationing in Falls Creek with their four children, David and Juliette McFarlane bought a three-bedroom, three-bathroom condo with a wraparound balcony in this building for $872,000 at the end of 2010.

The McFarlane home is one of five boutique condos in a building called Fjall, which is planning a second-stage of development. It features oak-timber floors and wall paneling, Calcutta marble countertops and a heated terrace.

Mr. McFarlane says the home’s quality and views helped win over his wife. ‘There was a sense of freedom for my kids and a no-fuss component to the village,’ says Mr. McFarlane, a financial adviser in Melbourne. ‘You can catch the lift up and ski down to the back door.’

Two years ago, Marie-Laure Claisse, a marketing manager for Yves Saint Laurent and Giorgio Armani in Australia, and her husband, Michael, bought Shaley House in Dinner Plain for $283,400. It is a three-bedroom, two-bathroom cottage, with a large stone chimney, a sunken den and two lofts for their three children.

Mark Hubbard,

a Colorado native, grew up skiing in the Rocky Mountains. So when he got a job as the chief financial officer of an IT company in Melbourne—and moved his own growing family to the city—he found himself missing the slopes back home.

“I couldn’t ski as much living in Australia, and if we went back [to the States] during Christmas and New Year’s it was always more expensive,” Mr. Hubbard says.

So he opted for the next best thing: Dinner Plain, an alpine village near the Australian ski resort of Mount Hotham. With the help of his brother, Dale, a Boulder-based architect, Mr. Hubbard and his wife, Caroline, built a five-bedroom, five-bathroom, 8,000-square-foot home for $1 million Australian dollars, or about $872,000. Inside, they added Colorado ski-lodge touches: high ceilings with thick wooden beams, a great room, a bunk room for their two children, a wood-burning pizza oven and a built-in coffee maker.

Mark and Caroline Hubbard’s $872,000 home, called Moose Lodge, in Dinner Plain resort.

An added perk: When the Hubbards bought the land for $218,000, the deal came with two lifetime season passes to Mount Hotham, one of the area’s highest peaks. (Ski season in Australia is roughly June to early October.) “It was a great incentive,” says Mr. Hubbard, 56 years old.

The Victorian Alps, part of the Australian Alps in the southeast part of the country that are in the state of Victoria, offer a variety of ski terrain. Their ski resorts are nestled in local parks, and offer views of snow-capped peaks above vast alpine shires.

The area’s most notable feature may be its real-estate prices. The average cost of ski homes at Victoria’s resorts—Falls Creek, Mount Buller and Mount Hotham—have fallen about 25% to 30% since their peak in 2007, and are just beginning to rebound.

Buyers are arriving in the hopes of finding deals. Melbourne real-estate executive

Jeremy Fox

has been coming to Dinner Plain with his family for the past 15 years. He had admired a two-bedroom, two-bathroom home with a cantilevered fireplace, stone staircase and large, slanted windows, which sold for $1.79 million when it was completed in 2007. In 2012, it resold for $780,400. Last year, Mr. Fox bought the home for $700,200.

David and Juliette McFarlane bought a three-bedroom, $872,000 condo in Falls Creek with their four children.

“Many of the homes are seen as undervalued,” says

Doug McDougall,

a real-estate agent in Dinner Plain. “They’re still the same properties from 2007; they’re just half the price now.”

While lifestyle properties typically take hits during downturns, the Victoria resorts suffered another blow when Melbourne developer and publisher

Morry Schwartz,

who built several developments in Falls Creek, held a helmsman auction—a method typically used for selling cattle—to unload 77 new condos and suites in August 2011. The sale, which took less than an hour and had no minimum reserves, caused prices for newly built properties to fall by more than half. “It annihilated the market, which was already small and fragile,” says

Christa Zirknitzer,

a local real-estate agent who grew up in Mount Hotham.

This Falls Creek building has five boutique ski condos.

Mr. Schwartz says he decided to unload the properties because it otherwise would have taken longer than a decade to sell the homes at that year’s pace. “I wanted to nip it in the bud,” he says. “We knew it would cause a feeding frenzy.”

The auction resulted in a two-tier real-estate market in Falls Creek that spread to other Victoria resorts: older homes held their values better, while newer stock fell dramatically.

One of the draws of Falls Creek is the intermediate ski slopes that cater to families. Almost all the available properties are ski-in, ski-out condos and have a leasehold ownership structure, in which the owner signs a lease for up to 50 years. The village also is nearly car-free, with most people parking their cars in large lots and getting around by skis, foot or town shuttles.

After vacationing in Falls Creek with their four children, David and Juliette McFarlane bought a three-bedroom, three-bathroom condo with a wraparound balcony for $872,000 in 2010. “There was a sense of freedom for my kids and a no-fuss component to the village,” says Mr. McFarlane, a financial adviser in Melbourne. “You can catch the lift up and ski down to the back door.”

Their home is one of five boutique condos in a building called Fjall, which is planning a second-stage of development. It features oak-timber floors and wall paneling, Calcutta marble countertops and a heated terrace.

Jeremy Fox picked up this two-bedroom home for $700,200 in Dinner Plain resort in 2013. When it was completed in 2007, it sold for $1.79 million.

Prices haven’t fallen as much at Mount Buller, which at about 150 miles from Melbourne is the closest of the Victoria resorts to the state capital. Still,

Mark Adams,

a real-estate agent in the area, says he has sold 18 homes so far this year—more than double his sales last year; two of the homes went for more than $870,000.

Dinner Plain, close to the slopes of Mount Hotham—some 230 miles from Melbourne—is appealing as the only alpine village with freehold land in the Australian Alps, meaning buyers own the property outright. The resort also is near an airport and has year-round activities like biking and trout fishing.

The village’s nearly 400 homes are made of local stone and timber and have corrugated iron roofs, suggesting the cattlemen’s huts originally on the land. “The design of the community is really unique,” says

Marie-Laure Claisse,

a marketing manager for Yves Saint Laurent and Giorgio Armani in Australia, who bought a three-bedroom cottage for $283,400 with her husband and three children. “There’s always a good party to go to and my kids can run around and be safe.”

Article source:

Fannie, Freddie Give Some Relief to Foreclosed Homeowners

Mortgage-finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will allow homeowners who have been foreclosed upon to repurchase their homes at market value even if they owe more, reversing a policy that prohibited such transactions.

The change comes as Melvin Watt, the director of Fannie and Freddie’s regulator, has come under increasing pressure from some groups to use the companies to provide more relief to struggling homeowners.


Article source:

In Kansas City, It’s the Rise of the Underground

SubTropolis, in Kansas City, Mo., is the largest underground industrial space in the U.S. at more than 21.8 million square feet.

It is easy to underestimate the size of the Kansas City, Mo., industrial real-estate market. That’s because a big chunk of it is hidden from sight—underground.

Occupying more than 21.8 million square feet, Kansas City’s industrial underground space—80 to 150 feet deep, in former limestone mines—is the largest in the U.S., comprising more than 7% of the metropolitan area’s total industrial area.

And demand for the space is growing, buoyed by resurgent manufacturing and expanding distribution centers seeking low-cost real estate requiring less energy to operate.

Next week,, a restaurant-equipment supply company, will be moving into 475,000 square feet of space that sits more than 100 feet below the surface in a facility called SubTropolis, the largest underground industrial space in the U.S. Signed in May, FoodServiceWarehouse’s lease was the largest by square feet—above or below ground—in all of Kansas City last quarter and the second-largest this year, according to real-estate data firm

CoStar Group

“It’s kind of what we call an underground city,” says

Ora Reynolds,

president of SubTropolis owner Hunt Midwest Real Estate Development. SubTropolis has 8.2 miles of paved roads, 2.1 miles of railroad tracks, more than 500 truck docks, 1,600 parking spaces and 50 million square feet of space below ground. Its 6 million square feet of leasable space is fully occupied by 55 companies and their 1,600 employees.

Kansas City’s conversion of old mines in the 1960s into usable industrial space represents the commercial-real-estate version of turning lemons into lemonade. Mining companies in the earlier part of the 20th century dug under layers of soil and shale for its abundant, 270-million-year-old deposits of limestone, leaving behind about 80 million square feet of space.

While the area experiences as much as 100-degree fluctuations between summer and winter, the underground offers a near-constant 65 degrees all year, according to broker Cassidy Turley’s

Whitney Kerr.

The government was among the first and largest tenants, with those cool, dry conditions helping keep food from rotting and paper records from being damaged.

Constant temperatures means little need for heating and air conditioning. Those factors and lower tax rates have meant lower operating costs and lower rents. That has offered Kansas City’s considerable industrial base, which includes large agricultural companies and two automobile factories—operated by

General Motors


Ford Motor

—an alternative, low-cost storage space, according to Mr. Kerr.

While the cost of leasing underground space has long been lower than aboveground space, the gap is narrowing. According to CoStar, the cost of aboveground industrial space in metropolitan Kansas City fell 1.7%, to an average of $3.99 a square foot in the 12-month period that ended in September. Underground space, meanwhile, rose 5% to $3.43. CoStar notes that underground vacancy rates have fallen three times faster than aboveground during the same time period.

“You’d think it was a kind of primitive operation down underground, but it’s proven quite resilient and adaptable to changing times,” says Mr. Kerr of Cassidy Turley. According to Ms. Kerr, owners of underground space have begun upgrading their properties with more lights, modern ventilation and, increasingly, amenities geared toward luring technology-focused companies in need of computer storage and distribution space.

Longtime tenants such as government agencies and agricultural and pharmaceutical firms have found the cool, constant temperatures help provide useful places to store files, surplus crops and vaccines. But underground tenants increasingly include light manufacturers and e-commerce companies.

Demand has been so strong that both SubTropolis and competitor Meritex Enterprises Inc. are building additional space. After adding 1 million square feet of new space in the past year, SubTropolis plans to build another 750,000 square feet in the coming year. Meritex plans to add 80,000 square feet of speculative space by early next year. The company already has 2.4 million square feet of underground space.

Among Meritex’s underground tenants is Priority Envelope, which employs 35 workers who print and manufacture envelopes. The company, which moved there in 2006, has no plans to move above the surface anytime soon. “We’ll expand next year,” says that company’s president,

Ryan Wenning.

“It’s just a matter of pouring concrete and building a wall. They paint the exposed rock white. It’s a very fast process.”

Write to us at

Article source:

Servicing Continues to Hit the Market; Upcoming Events; Credit Union Lending Laws

next story reminds me of the husband who was asked by his wife (who
invited the guests, cleaned the house, did the shopping, made the
stuffing and all the side dishes, set the table, and cooked Thanksgiving
dinner) to carve the turkey, replied, “Do I have to do everything?!?” I
wonder if folks at the FHFA feel the same way – so much of what they do
impacts residential lending. “Yay, the new loan limits are here! The new loan limits are here!”
Well, actually, they’re the old loan limits – which are certainly
better than lower limits. Freddie, for example, sent, “In line with
today’s Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announcement on the 2015
loan limits, we are maintaining our base conforming loan limits at the
existing 2014 levels through December 31, 2015, and increasing the
high-cost areas loan limits in certain counties. FHFA has identified 46
counties in designated high-cost areas where the high-cost area loan
limits will increase. All other high-cost area loan limits will remain
unchanged from the 2014 levels. Please review FHFA’s website for the 2015 loan limits permitted for individual counties in high cost areas.”

Servicing is an asset, as is the actual underlying security, so this headline caught my eye: “MBA Releases White Paper on the Market for Mortgage Assets“.  Economist
Mike Fratantoni was quoted saying, “We are approaching an important
turning point with respect to the mortgage market. The Federal Reserve
will soon no longer be the dominant purchaser of agency mortgage backed
securities (MBS) and unlike the case prior to the financial crisis,
there is no single player waiting in the wings to be the dominant buyer
day in and day out going forward. However, many of the potential private
investors face significant constraints that would prevent them from
increasing their share of the MBS market. Identifying the barriers to
private capital increasing its ownership of mortgage assets, and moving
to reduce those barriers where feasible, should be part of the ongoing
conversation and debate.”

these securities will be filled with…what? Remember that last month
HUD’s secretary Julian Castro stated that the housing finance reform
remains a top priority for the Obama administration.
Castro advised the next Congress to consider legislation that would
wind down and ultimately eliminate, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, as part
of the effort to increase the housing market’s recovery.  Castro said,
Introducing more private capital into the market and taking the
taxpayers off the hook if we do ever experience what we just went though
as part of the housing crisis in 2007, 2008, 2009, this is a priority
for this administration and for HUD.” Castro also mentioned the
difficulty current potential home buyers have to qualify for a mortgage
and questions where the pendulum is best placed when it comes to
qualifying buyers. He also noted that FHA’s insurance fund should reach
the mandated 2% capital requirement in 2016.

The Obama administration will not end government control of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac without legislation,
a Treasury Department spokesman said. This may have been in response
made to a comment from South Dakota Senator Tim Johnson that housing
regulators and Treasury should end the conservatorship of Fannie and
Freddie even if Congress doesn’t enact legislative changes.

And we can’t really talk about lending without talking about credit unions.
The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) believes three senate
bills could strengthen credit union mortgage lending and remove some
barriers credit unions face. CUNA is urging action on all three bills.
The first bill is S.1806,
the Capital Access for Small Community Financial Institutions Act. This
legislation would allow privately insured credit unions to join the
Federal Home Loan Bank System and strengthen safety and soundness of the
130 privately insured credit unions by opening access to additional
liquidity. The second bill is S.635,
the Privacy Notice Modernization Act. This act would amend the
Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act to require credit unions to send privacy notices
to existing members only when credit unions change their privacy policy.
The final bill is S.1577,
the Mortgage Choice Act. This bill would exclude the points and fees
associated with affiliated companies for purposes of determining whether
or not a mortgage meets the CFPB’s QM definition. Companion bills for
all three bills passed the House of Representatives.



Radian will have NAR present the 2014 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers
annual survey for its customers. “Please join Jessica Lautz, Director
of Member and Consumer Survey Research, on December 10th at 2PM EST and
learn the latest industry trends, data on home buyers and sellers, and
see why consumers are making the choices they are making.” “The core of
her research focuses on demographic trends for both NAR members and
housing consumers, and issues such as: how housing preferences shift in
an ever changing market place, the consistent trends of consumers for
the desire to own a home, consumers search to find a real estate agent,
and buyer psychology.”

AllRegs is providing a webinar
regarding CFPB issued Bulletin 2014-01. This webinar will provide
compliance and policy guidance to residential mortgage servicers and
subservicers to address “potential risks to consumers” that may arise in
connection with transfers of servicing and what to expect from CFPB
examinations of servicing transfers.

The Silicon Valley CAMP holiday luncheon
will be held on 12/4 at Maggiano’s. David Luna is the featured speaker
who will talk about 2015 outlook and marketing ideas. Lots of raffle
prizes including mini iPad. No walk in. Pre-registration is required here.

Ellie Mae’s Encompass Experience is a leading user conference for mortgage professionals with a projected 2,000 attendees.
“It has become a must-attend event for Ellie Mae clients and partners
offering an unprecedented opportunity to hear from industry leaders,
network with the best and brightest, learn about compliance changes and
best practices. The conference promises to be jam-packed with visionary
keynotes, such as Dave Stevens, President CEO of the MBA, leaders
from the CFPB and GSEs as well as Ellie Mae’s own clients sharing their
knowledge, insight and best practices.  Thought-provoking breakout
sessions with tracks that range include compliance, executive
level topics (including a session that I’ll participate in with Garth
Graham from the STRATMOR Group focusing on driving business through
niche markets), day to day operations sessions, technology trends and innovation, and Sales and Marketing techniques and tools. And don’t forget the Disney venue in Orlando.

Everyone is talking about the RESPA-TILA Integrated Mortgage Disclosure rule. The AllRegs Education Package
now includes an audio-on-demand educational course designed
specifically to address and educate the mortgage industry on this topic.

CFPB released its First Enforcement Action under the CFPB’s Mortgage Servicing Rules: What to Expect in 2015? American Banker
is hosting a paid webinar on December 10th featuring servicing industry
experts providing critical information. Click the link to register.

BuckleySandler LLP
is offering a complimentary webinar on the topic of cyber and data
risk. If you are interested in registering for the December 10th
webinar, click here.

If you are planning to be in Arizona in early December, MBA Education
is conducting an underwriting workshop. If you would like to register
for Risk Analysis Manual Underwriting for Pros, click here.

Morrison Foerster is conducting a Teleconference December 2nd on the topic of Financing in Close Proximity to an Acquisition. To register email: hlawrence@mofo. com and reference “Register for Dec 2 Financing in Close Proximity to an Acquisition Teleconference” in the subject line.

The Texas Mortgage Bankers Association
is gearing up for its annual 2015 Southern Secondary Market Conference
on February 2 3 at the Gaylord Texan Resort in Grapevine, Texas.
Sponsorship, exhibit, and attendee registration information can be found
on its website click here for information.

MGIC is conducting a free 30-minute webinar on December 2nd, created for loan officers and managers, to present ideas on where to look for refi opportunity.

Ellie Mae
is accepting registrations for its December 10th complimentary Webinar,
RESPA-TILA: The Closing Disclosure part 2. To enroll in its webinar,
click here.

Ellie Mae came out with a webinar entitled, “New Best Practices in Online Lending.”
The presentation covered market trends and an overview of the Encompass
Consumer Direction solution. The presentation indicated that
originations costs are now at $8,025 per loan, up from $3,500 per loan
in 2009. The purchase share for 2015 is predicted to be 65%, whereas the
purchase share in the 2nd
quarter of 2014 was 59.2%. Total mortgage originations are projected to
fall to $1.046 trillion by the end of the year, down from $1.755 a year
earlier. Current demographics of recent borrowers are younger (18-34
years old), more educated (48% are college graduates) and earn higher
incomes than prior borrowers. They are also more technologically savvy
and use the Internet when shopping for a mortgage. Almost two-thirds of
borrowers making more than $100,000 use the internet to obtain mortgage
quotes, search for lenders and utilize mortgage calculators.

short term rates, which are greatly influenced by the actions of the
Federal Reserve, long term rates (including MBS) are the spawn of supply
and demand. Monday Thomson Reuters stated that “mortgage bankers had
only half a billion by late morning and barely surpassed $1 billion area
as prices moved begrudgingly with few sparks to the pipeline.” And the
demand was good, so prices moved up slightly and rates moved down a
little with the 10-yr T-note ending at 2.30%.

yesterday with no scheduled news, this morning we’ve had the
preliminary Q314 Real GDP, seen lower from the prior headline print
(+4.6%) it was +3.9% – higher than expected, as well as deflator results
(+2.1%, it was +2.2%). Up ahead is the September FHFA house price
indexes (+0.5% last), SP/Case Shiller reporting as well with their
two month lag, and November’s Consumer Confidence (94.5 prior) and
Richmond Fed PMI (+20 previously). In the early going the 10-yr is at 2.31% and agency MBS prices are worse a few ticks.


Jobs and Announcements

For correspondent business, AmeriHome Mortgage Correspondent continues
to make inroads in the correspondent space. I just heard October was a
record month for locks, fundings and new client activations. “It’s
recipe for success is pretty straightforward: deliver
consistent and competitive pricing, continually expand
product offerings to meet the needs of the market (both agency
and non-agency) and establish a culture of outstanding client service;
committing to industry leading operations, turn times and ease of doing
business. Additionally, with AmeriHome there is no risk of channel
conflict or blurred priorities as management is singularly focused on
the correspondent side of the business. If you are looking to expand
your sales team’s product offerings and/or desire improved speed and
ease of operations for your back office, you may want to reach out to
AmeriHome’s sales executives at sales@amerihomemortgage. com.

Who says the week leading up to Thanksgiving is slow in MSR land? MountainView Servicing
has two deals I have seen. The first is a $246 Million FNMA Bulk
Servicing Offering with 99.8% FRM and 100% 1st lien product, WaFICO of
732, WaLTV of 77%, WAC of 4.49%, low delinquencies, average loan amount
of $217k, with top states: Florida (17.4%), California (15.9%), Kansas
(10.8%), and New Jersey (9.7%). (Bids are due today noon EST on that
one.) MountainView is also offering up a $1.2 billion FHLMC/FNMA
non-recourse servicing portfolio, quality features of this portfolio
include: 100% FRM 1st lien product, WaFICO of 752, WaLTV of 74% , WAC of
4.24%, average loan amount of $267k, no delinquencies, with top states
of: California (44.2%), New York (9%), Hawaii (5.6%), and Oregon (5.2%).

Myrtle the cat gives a “claws up” to MIAC’s
is offering of a $908 Million FNMA/FHLMC mortgage servicing portfolio.
The portfolio is being offered by a mortgage company that originates
loans with a geographic concentration in California. The Seller will be
providing full representations and warranties for the loans included in
this offering. The portfolio has a $268k Average Loan Size, 98.73% Fixed
loans, WAC of 4.489%, Weighted average loan Age of 3 months, is 100%
Retail, with a geographic concentration in California.

And Interactive Mortgage Advisors (IMA)
is offering a $3.2B package of FNMA/FHLMC; average loan size of $211k,
WAC of 3.984%, zero Delinquencies with 17 months of seasoning, WaFICO
greater than 750, currently sub-serviced by Cenlar.

Article source:

Further Deterioration in Home Price Gains -Case-Shiller

Is the party officially over? 

SP Dow Jones Indices said today that
the increase in home prices, which has shown diminishing energy for months,
experienced a broad-based slowdown in September.  The company’s Case-Shiller Home Price Indices
continued to show gains over the levels of a year earlier, but the size of
those gains continued to contract.

The Case-Shiller National Index rose 4.8
percent from September 2013 to September 2014 while the 10-City Composite
posted a 4.8 percent increase compared to September 2013 and the 20-City was up
4.9 percent.  The respective year-over-year
gains for the two Composites in August were 5.5 and 5.6 percent.  Charlotte and Dallas were the only cities to
see stronger annual gains in September than in August while Cleveland was



Both city indexes declined marginally from
their August levels while the National Index was down 0.1 percent compared to the
previous month.  Nine cities posted
monthly increases, nine saw their price levels fall and two were
unchanged.  The largest month-over-month
change was in Washington, D.C. with a drop of 0.4 percent.

David M. Blitzer, Managing Director and Chairman of the
Index Committee at SP Dow Jones Indies said that overall trend in home
prices continues lower
.   “The National Index reported a month-over-month decrease for the first time
since November 2013. The Northeast region
reported its first negative monthly returns since December 2013 and its worst
annual returns since December 2012
due to weaknesses in Washington D.C. and Boston. The West and Southwest, previously strong
regions, are seeing price gains fade. The only region showing
any sustained strength is the Southeast led by Florida;
price gains are also evident in Atlanta and

Among individual cities Blitzer said
that Las Vegas, which has shown double-
digit annual gains, posted an annual return of 9.1%, its first time below 10%
since October 2012 but Miami “continues
to impress with another double digit annual gain of 10.3%. It is the only city
that currently has a year-over-year double digit gain. Charlotte was the only
in September to show an annual
increase relative to last month. Eighteen of the 20 cities reported slower
annual gains compared to last month.

“Other housing statistics paint a mixed
to slightly positive picture. Housing starts held above one million at annual rates on gains in single family homes,
sales of existing homes are gaining, builders’
sentiment is improving, foreclosures continue to be worked off and mortgage
default rates are at pre- crisis
levels. With the economy looking better than a year ago, the housing outlook
for 2015 is stable to slightly better.”



As of September average home prices
across the U.S. are back to the levels of the spring of 2005.  Average home prices for the metropolitan statistical
areas (MSAs) in the 10-City and 20-City Composites are back to their levels in
the autumn of 2004.  Measured from their
June/July 2006 peaks, the decline for the two Composites is about 15-17 percent.  The 10-City has recovered from the March 2012
trough by 28.8 percent and the 20-City by 29.6 percent.

The Case-Shiller indices are
constructed to track the price path of typical single-family homes located in
the identified MSAs.  Each index combines
matched price pairs for thousands of individual homes from arms-length sales
data.  The National Index tracks the
value of single-family housing within the U.S. and is a composite of home price
indices for the nine U.S. Census divisions. 
The indices have a base value of 100 in January 2000, thus a current
index of 150 indicates appreciation of 50 percent since that date for a typical
home within the subject market.  The only
city remaining below the base value is Detroit with a current value of 98.6.

Article source:

Loan Limits Unchanged in Most of U.S.

The maximum conforming loan limit will
remain at $417,000 for most of the U.S. in 2015.  FHFA announced the limits, which define the
size of loans eligible to be acquired by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, on Monday.  The limits are established under the terms of
the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA) and recalculated each

The limits were unchanged despite
substantial increases in most indexes that measure home prices on national and
local levels.  FHFA explained that HERA
requires that while the baseline loan limit be adjusted each year to reflect
changes in the national average home price, after a period of declining prices
any prior declines must be fully offset before a loan limit increase can

During the financial crisis the FHFA home
price index declined by close to 20 percent through 2011.  Increases since then have not been sufficient
to offset those loses.  FHFA said that
while its own index has been used for the calculation, the results would have
been the same
if several other commonly cited indexes had instead been

The $417,500 baseline limit is not
universal however.  Where 115 percent of
the median home value in a given area exceeds that limit higher loans are
permitted although a local limit cannot be more than 50 percent above that
baseline.  The highest possible local
area loan limit for a single family property is $625,500 – 150 percent of the
baseline.  Additional exceptions exist
for Alaska, Hawaii, and the District of Columbia.

FHFA announced that local loan limits are
being raised in 46 counties (full list) although in actuality only a few metropolitan
statistical areas (SMSAs) are affected and most of the increases will be small.  The largest increase will be in the seven
counties in eastern Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire that comprise the
Boston-Cambridge-Newton-NH SMSA.  These
counties will see an increase of $47,150 to a new limit of $517,500.  Seven counties comprising the -Baltimore-Columbia-Towson,
Maryland SMSA also got a new limit of $517,500 although for that area this was
an increase of only $23,000.

Fourteen counties making up the Nashville
metropolis will be boosted from the national baseline limit to $425,500
and the three counties in the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue area will go from
$506,000 to $517,500.  Four widely dispersed
counties in California will get increases as well, Monterey (+$9,550) Napa
(+$23,000), San Diego (+$16,100), and Ventura (+$5,750).

Ten counties in the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood
will be boosted off of the baseline to $424,350, but an 11th Colorado
county, Boulder, will increase by $39,550 to $456,550.

said that although other counties experienced home value increases in
2014, after other elements of the HERA formula were accounted for the
local-area limits were left unchanged.

Article source:

LA Office Sold for $3.5M

InterGroup Corporation sold the office building at 600 N. Sepulveda Blvd. in Los Angeles, CA to Evolve Commercial I LLC for $3.45 million, or about $586 per square foot.

Built in 1951 and renovated in 1993, the two-story, 5,886-square-foot office building sits on the northeast corner of Ovada Place in Los Angeles County.

Willa McNamarra Fields and Suzanne Laff of Beitler Commercial Realty Services represented the seller. Trevor Nelson and Jeremy Benloulou represented the buyer.

Please refer to CoStar COMPS #3162518 for further information regarding this transaction.

Article source:$35M/166393?ref=/News/Article/LA-Office-Sold-for-$35M/166393&src=rss

Bobrick Washroom Equipment Sells 83,000-SF Facility in North Hollywood

Selective Real Estate Investments purchased the industrial buildings at 11605 – 11611 Hart St. in North Hollywood, CA from Bobrick Washroom Equipment, Inc.

The three-building industrial complex totals 82,660 square feet on a 3.3-acre parcel in Los Angeles County.

David Young and Chad Gahr of NAI Capital, Inc. in Encino teamed up with David Harding and Greg Geraci at CBRE in representing the buyer.

For more information on this transaction, please see CoStar COMPS #3147529.

Article source:

Los Angeles Warehouse Sells for $4M

Diecraft Corporation sold the industrial building at 5330-5332 Harbor St. in Commerce, CA for $4.04 million, or about $89 per square foot, to MLR Investments LLC.

The 45,400-square-foot warehouse delivered in 1953 on 22.5 acres in the Commerce Industrial submarket of Los Angeles County. Previously housing multiple tenants, the new owner/user will occupy the entire property to operate its garment distribution business.

Ed Palmer and Richard Abdulian of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank represented both the buyer and the seller.

Please see CoStar COMPS #3158851 for more information on this transaction.

Article source:$4M/166413?ref=/News/Article/Los-Angeles-Warehouse-Sells-for-$4M/166413&src=rss