Saturday, December 17, 2016  

Today's Best Mansion and Top  Luxury Estates in Los Angeles, Phoenix, 
San Diego, San Francisco and Seattle Listed For Sale.

The exact definition of the word "mansion" varies but in U.S. real estate terms, it generally defined as single family residence of more than 6,000 square feet. Mansion derives through Old French from the Latin word "mansio". The English word "manse" originally defined a property large enough for the parish priest to maintain himself. The word "manor" comes from the same root territorial holdings granted to a lord who would remain there. Therefore, it is easy to see how a "mansion" came to have its meaning.

Today's Best Celebrity Mansion

Inside Jennifer Lopez's Hamptons Mansion

Jenner Lopez's Hampton Estate has 8,500 square foot  on 3 acres of land and boasts eight bedrooms and seven and a half bathrooms.

Today's Best Mansion Listed For Sale

#1     135 Miners Trail Road, Aspen, CO 12345 with 5 bedrooms, 8 baths, and 
8,200 sq.ft. is listed for sale at $32,000,000

Brand new, custom residence with a timeless design and unbeatable location redefines luxury. This immaculate home, designed by Poss Architecture with interiors by Paige Larkin, is a masterpiece. Framed by pearl limestone walls and Hopes windows, with finishes including walnut, marble, and crystal white quartzite, each room is a sanctuary with no detail spared. South-facing living and dining areas provide front-row views from Independence Pass to Shadow Mountain, while five en-suite bedrooms offer natural light, views, and custom designed bed linens. Relax in the oversized, outdoor hot tub with a water feature and fireplace or enjoy the versatile open concept theater, which incorporates dining area/bar, and game room to satisfy all your entertaining needs. Steps from downtownAspen, this distinctive estate exudes serenity and inviting livability.  

Today's Top Real Estate News

Housing Starts Backtrack, Permitting Still Weak

By Jann Swanson
Mortgage News Daily

Dec 16 2016, 9:51

Housing starts retrenched in November, taking back much of their spectacular gains of October, while permits continued to display the general weakness that has prevailed since mid-summer.  The U.S. Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development said initial construction of privately funded residential properties in November were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,090,000 units, down 18.7 percent from the October rate of 1,340,000 and 6.9 percent lower than in November 2015.  Housing starts had jumped by 25.5 percent from September to October, and were up by 23.3 percent year over year.  That increase held up through this month's revision, rising from the original estimate of 1,323,000 units to 1,340,000. 

Some backsliding had been expected, but not one as severe.  Analysts surveyed by Econoday were looking for housing starts to be in a range of 1.125,000 to 1,290,000.  The consensus was 1,230,000,

Single-family housing starts were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 828,000, down 4.1 percent from the revised (from 869,000) October number of 863,000 and up 5.3 percent from a year earlier.  Most of the damage to the housing starts number was in the multi-family sector which was down 43.9 percent from a month earlier to an annual rate of 259,000 starts.  This could also be viewed righting the boat as multifamily starts rose nearly 75 percent from September to October even before this month's revision from 445,000 units to 462,000.

On a non-adjusted basis, Housing starts were estimated at 82,800 compared to 115,700 in October.  Single-family starts accounted for 60,700 of that number. Building permits also were down but not nearly as dramatically.  The seasonally adjusted annual number for November is estimated at 1,201,000, a decline of 4.7 percent from the revised October rate of 1,260,000.  That number was originally reported at 1,229,000.  The rate of permitting was 6.6 percent below that of the previous November.Analysts' expectations for permitting ranged from 1,130,000 to 1,260,000.  The consensus was 1,240,000.

Single family authorizations were at a rate of 778,000, an increase of 0.5 percent from October's upwardly revised 774,000 rate and 5.9 percent higher than the pace a year earlier.  Multifamily permits fell by 15.8 percent from the previous month to 384,000 units.
On a non-adjusted basis, there were 90,200 permits issued during the month compared to 100,700 a month earlier.  Single family permits numbered 55,800.

Housing completions at least were up, coming in 15.4 percent higher than in October at an annual rate of 1,216,000, up 25.0 percent from a year earlier.  October completions were at the rate of 1,054,000. Revised from 1,055,000. 

Single family homes were completed at a rate 3.3 percent above the previous month, 774,000 compared to 749,000, and 20.6 percent higher than the previous year.  The rate of completions for units in buildings with five or more was 442,000, up 44.5 percent from October and 36.3 percent from November 2015.

An estimated 100,300 units were completed during the month, 67,700 of which were single family.  There were 96,500 units completed in October. At the end of the reporting period there were 1,047,800 (unadjusted) units under construction, 446,100 single-family and 590,700 multifamily. Permits were outstanding for 129,700 units for which construction had not yet started.

Housing starts were down significantly in all four regions.  Starts in the Northeast they were down 52.1 percent for the month and declined 31.7 percent year-over-year.  In the Midwest, the decrease was 14.2 percent from October but the region maintained a 3.6 percent edge over the previous year. Starts in the South were down 9.3 percent and 6.9 percent respectively, and the West dropped by 22.1 percent for the month but were unchanged from November 2015.  

Permits in the Northeast increased by 2.8 percent compared to November but were running 11.3 percent behind authorizations a year earlier.  The rate of completion was 53.8 percent higher than in October and up 16.0 percent year-over-year

In the Midwest permits were down 8.3 percent for the month and 9.6 percent for the year. Units were completed at a 1.6 percent higher rate than in October and 67.3 percent annually.

The South saw a drop in permitting of 4.0 from October and 9.0 percent from the previous November. Completions were up by 32.1 percent and 40.6 percent for the two periods.
Permitting was down in the West by 6.1 percent month-over-month but remained 1.9 percent higher on an annual basis.  Completions were down by 20.8 percent and 20.2 percent respectively.

Today's Top LA Luxury Estate

The median home value in Los Angeles County is $542,600. Los Angeles County home values have gone up 7.1% over the past year and Zillow predicts they will rise 1.8% within the next year.

The median home value in Brentwood, 90049 is $2,420,500. 90049 home values have gone up 8.4% over the past year and Zillow predicts they will rise 1.7% within the next year

The median home value in Malibu is $2,782,400. Malibu home values have gone up 3.5% over the past year and Zillow predicts they will rise 0.6% within the next year.

The median home value in Beverly Hills is $2,930,800. Beverly Hills home values have gone up 1.9% over the past year and Zillow predicts they will rise 0.4% within the next year.

The median home value in Bel Air is $3,258,800. Bel Air home values have gone up 4.1% over the past year and Zillow predicts they will rise 0.8% within the next year. 

#1       5787 Calpine Drive, Malibu, CA 90265 with 3 bedrooms, 3 baths, and 2,025 sq.ft. is listed for sale at $2,100,000.

A private road leads to the contemporary 3 bd / 3 bath home on 2 levels with wrap-around balconies on a 1.09 acre park-like setting. This lovely move-in ready home is filled with natural light throughout from sunrise to sunset and offers delightful views from every room to magical gardens and even an ocean view.The sound of surf and an ocean breeze fill the air. Great privacy and an awesome open space to enjoy. Gourmet kitchen w/granite counters, maple floors and living room w/fireplace upstairs. Marble bathrooms and berber carpet in bedrooms downstairs. Flagstone patio great for BBQ and entertaining. Saltwater Spa. 2-car garage and ample guest parking. Huge storage area below garage and downstairs level. New roof. Underground utilities. Room for pool, guesthouse, extension of residence. Close to Malibu Beaches, schools, shopping, hiking trails. Great value for this Malibu Park home.

Today's Top Phoenix Luxury Estate
Image result for phoenix skyline photos
The median home value in Scottsdale is $413,200. Scottsdale home values have gone up 4.3% over the past year and Zillow predicts they will rise 1.8% within the next year.

The median home value in Carefree is $729,500. Carefree home values have gone up 3.6% over the past year and Zillow predicts they will rise 1.7% within the next year.

The median home value in Paradise Valley is $1,590,000. Paradise Valley home values have gone up 1.8% over the past year and Zillow predicts they will rise 1.4% within the next year.

#1      7115 E Sunnyvale Road, Paradise Valley, AZ 85253 with 6 bedrooms, 6 baths, and 7,435 sq.ft. is listed for sale at 

A one of a kind custom built estate in Paradise Valley. The attention to detail and the architecture shows the elegance of this fine home. This estate features 6 Bedrooms, 5.5 Baths, Gourmet Kitchen, flex room, Guest Quarters, Theater, Wine Room, a Resort backyard with 2 pools, spa, Built-in Barbeque, fire pots, fire pit, large grass area, misting system and 5 car garage. The home is operated by an Elan Smart System and offers many security features and system controls throughout the property.


Today's Top Seattle Luxury Estate

Image result for seattle skyline photos

The median home value in Kirkland is $595,300. Kirkland home values have gone up 
15.6% over the past year and Zillow predicts they will rise 6.6% within the next year.

The median home value in Seattle is $611,500. Seattle home values have gone up 14.4% 

over the past year and Zillow predicts they will rise 6.3% within the next year.

The median home value in Bellevue is $743,500. Bellevue home values have gone up 13.9% over the past year and Zillow predicts they will rise 5.9% within the next year

The median home value in Mercer Island is $1,296,100. Mercer Island home values have 
gone up 13.9% over the past year and Zillow predicts they will rise 5.7% 

The median home value in Clyde Hill is $2,218,000. Clyde Hill home values have gone up 12.3% over the past year and Zillow predicts they will rise 6.0% within the next year.

The median home value in Medina is $2,311,900. Medina home values have gone up 10.4% over the past year and Zillow predicts they will rise 4.8% within the next year.

#1    5 Diamond S Ranch, Bellevue, WA 98004 with 4 bedrooms, 4 baths,
 and 3,480 sq.ft. is listed for sale at $2,600,000

Magical Diamond S Ranch. Imagine being minutes from downtown Bellevue on 1.5+acres! Exceptional mid-century home has been lovingly updated yet opportunity abounds to personalize and take it to the next level. Wonderful floorpan with open spaces and generous rooms. Upper level master suite. Beautiful craftsmanship and millwork, tall ceilings. Radiant floors throughout the main level. White fencing and darling barn/playhouse are the cherry on top. Premier location among magnificent estate homes.

Today's Mortgage Rates                                                            52 Week
30 Yr FRM4.38%4.38%--3.34%4.38%
15 Yr FRM3.57%3.58%-0.012.69%3.58%
FHA 30 Year Fixed4.10%4.10%--3.15%4.10%
Jumbo 30 Year Fixed4.40%4.40%--3.41%4.40%
5/1 Yr ARM3.25%3.25%--2.80%3.25%

Mortgage Rates Unchanged at Multi-Year Highs
Dec 16 2016, 4:40PM

Mortgage rates stayed steady today, on average, though any given lender could be slightly better or worse compared to yesterday.  Bond markets (which underlie rate movement) are beginning the process of winding down for the holiday season.  That doesn't mean that rates won't move for the rest of the year--simply that the intraday rate movement will be more random.  This can be frustrating in the coming weeks because it can result in big changes without any warning based on the slate of events on the calendar (typically, we know which events run the risk of causing big moves ahead of time).

That's just as well considering the prevailing strategy for more than a month has been to expect higher rates until we see a meaningful move back toward lower rates.  In this context, the minimum requirement to achieve "meaningful" status would be three consecutive days of improvements with the third day bringing rates to 2-week lows or better.

Granted, with each new step toward higher rates, additional weakness becomes less and less likely, but attempts to catch this falling knife (i.e. trying to predict when rising rates will take a break) have been ill-advised so far.  

Conventional 30yr fixed quotes are running between 4.375% and 4.5% on top tier scenarios for most lenders.  A few are higher (4.625%) and lower (4.25%).  On average, today's rates are the highest since April 2014.

Loan Originator Perspective

Trend is not our friend.  In this market, you have to lock as soon as possible.  Even if we get a small rally, lenders will be hesitant to pass along improvements.   Way too much volatility. -Victor Burek, Churchill Mortgage

Last couple of days have beaten us to the ground, following the last few weeks that also beat us to the ground.  It makes a limited amount of sense to float in these times, locking for the appropriate time is required as soon as possible to avoid any further volatility.  I think right now guessing when/if a reversal happens is a losers game, defense is the only strategy.  -Gus Floropoulos, VP, The Federal Savings Bank

What a week/month it's been!  My rate sheets now feature rates in the 5's for the first time since early 2013.  Guessing clients who were quoted rates in the 3's in October may require EMT services when they hear current pricing.  Life will go on, but borrowers will take a while  to adjust after multiple years of "all time low" rates.  My entire pipeline is locked, and new loans will be as well, as soon as feasible.  Floating now is foolhardy. -Ted Rood, Senior Originator

Today's Best-Execution Rates

  • 30YR FIXED - 4.375-4.5%
  • FHA/VA - 4.0%
  • 15 YEAR FIXED - 3.375-3.5%
  • 5 YEAR ARMS -  3.0 - 3.5% depending on the lender

Ongoing Lock/Float Considerations

  • Rates had been trending higher since hitting all-time lows in early July, and exploded higher following the presidential election
  • Some investors are increasingly worried/convinced that the decades-long trend toward lower rates has been permanently reversed, but such a conclusion would require YEARS to truly confirm
  • With the incoming administration's policies driving a large portion of upward rate momentum, mortgage rates will be hard-pressed to make significant improvements until after Trump takes office.  Rates can move for other reasons, but it would take something big and unexpected for rates to move appreciably lower.
  • We'd need to see a sustained push back toward lower rates (something that lasts more than 3 days) before anything less than a cautious, lock-biased approach makes sense for all but the most risk-tolerant borrowers.
  • As always, please keep in mind that the rates discussed generally refer to what we've termed 'best-execution(that is, the most frequently quoted, conforming, conventional 30yr fixed rate for top tier borrowers, based not only on the outright price, but also 'bang-for-the-buck.'  Generally speaking, our best-execution rate tends to connote no origination or discount points--though this can vary--and tends to predict Freddie Mac's weekly survey with high accuracy.  It's safe to assume that our best-ex rate is the more timely and accurate of the two due to Freddie's once-a-week polling method). 
Today's Best Real Estate Humor

                                Image result for real estate cartoons

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Tom Furino