Wednesday, March 15, 2017


Today's Best Mansion 


The definition of the word "mansion" varies but in U.S. real estate terms, it generally defined as single family residence of more than 8,000 square feet. Mega Mansion range from 20,000 sq,ft. and Super Mansions over 50,000 sq.ft. 
Until the mid 20th century most "mansions" would have a hall, two or three salons or drawing rooms, library, billiards room, ball room, dining room, breakfast room, morning room, study and numerous bedrooms but only 2-3 bathrooms

#1     800 S Pointe Drive, PH 2203, Miami Beach, Florida 33139 with 5 bedrooms, 
7 baths, and 21,420 sq.ft. is listed for sale at $65,000,000. 



Undoubtedly the best apartment South of New York City, and the best views and location Miami has to offer. 5 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms Tri-level Penthouse w/ over 8,200 sq ft/interior space and 13,000 sq ft /exterior including a 7,000 sq ft rooftop terrace with private pool, jacuzzi, cabana, outdoor kitchen, movie theatre and dining. Spanning the 22nd, 23rd and 24th floors of the most luxurious and private building in Miami, this incredible apartment was conceived and designed by award winning PH design group.














Today's Top Real Estate News

Multimillion-dollar mansions, once snapped up by wealthy Chinese buyers, are now sitting empty

By David Pierson 

Los Angeles Times

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Real estate agent Dee Chou shows a bedroom in a house that is selling for $9.8 million dollars in San Gabriel, Calif.

Cash buyers for luxury houses near L.A. have dwindled, giving seekers who use loans a chance to make a deal.   The above mansion on Fallen Leaf Road in a secluded section of the Los Angeles-area city of Arcadia has all the trappings a wealthy buyer from China could want: a crystal chandelier in the entryway, marble floors, a home theater outfitted with a dozen reclining leather chairs and, naturally, a fortuitous eight bedrooms and eight bathrooms.

At $9.8 million, the recently built property is a relative bargain. A similar-sized home in Beijing would cost twice as much.Yet two months after it was placed on the market, the house remains unsold. Not long ago, real estate like this would have been snapped up almost immediately."It would have been gone in two weeks with multiple offers," said Dee Chou, the property's listing agent.

Other real estate agents in the area report luxury homes geared toward Chinese buyers taking up to half a year to unload."All agents are crying that the money isn't coming," said Sanne Lee, an agent for A + Realty & Mortgage.


At the same time, high-end home seekers who plan to take out loans now have a fighting chance as they compete against a smaller pool of cash buyers.
The turnaround in activity, industry officials say, is directly linked to policies in China. The San Gabriel Valley region, long the destination of Chinese home buyers looking to provide their families a better living environment as well as safeguard their wealth in American assets, is feeling the effects of Beijing's crackdown on capital flight.

Chinese citizens, wary of a faltering economy, have been pouring money abroad, fueling a buying spree of overseas assets in recent years that has pumped up property values from London to Los Angeles. 
Though Chinese policymakers generally favor diversifying the country's wealth into foreign holdings, they were unprepared for the magnitude and speed of the outflows. In order to invest overseas, Chinese citizens must dip into the country's foreign exchange reserves. Those reserves peaked at $4 trillion in 2014 but have since dwindled by a staggering $1 trillion.

That has left the nation's cache of foreign currency at its lowest level in almost six years — troubling a government in Beijing that needs the money to stabilize its currency and maintain good standing with the International Monetary Fund.
To defend against capital flight, Chinese regulators allow citizens to take out only $50,000 a year. But that's been largely ignored and circumvented, often by asking dozens of friends and family to exercise their quota on someone else's behalf.

"It's like ants moving rice," said Helen Chen Martson, a San Gabriel Valley real estate agent for Keller Williams.

The deluge in Chinese money made it exceedingly hard for local buyers to compete.
It took Veling Tsai, a doctor with a private practice, three years to buy a house after looking all over the San Gabriel Valley. He and his wife grew deflated after attending crowded open houses, where Mandarin-speaking competition almost always made all-cash offers. The couple had five bids rejected.

"It was really frustrating," said Tsai, 44, a Taiwanese immigrant who ended up paying $200,000 over asking price for a $1.5 million home. "I think I make a good living. But even being a doctor, I couldn't afford some of these houses because people were buying them like Starbucks coffees."

But starting in 2015, Chinese banks began scrutinizing requests for foreign currency to ensure transactions were being used for legal business purposes. Regulators also increased their enforcement efforts given the creative ways money is siphoned out — by forging trade invoices, smuggling jewelry and luxury watches out or even faking legal disputes to get cash into the hands of overseas lawyers.

Then on Dec. 31, China's State Administration of Foreign Exchange, which swaps Chinese yuan for dollars, issued some of its strictest guidelines yet. Customers now have to pledge not to invest in foreign property and provide a detailed account of how foreign funds will be used. The guidelines also prohibit customers from taking out foreign currency for someone else.

The rules could have broad implications for any city exposed to Chinese real estate investment such as Vancouver, Sydney and more recently, Seattle.
Few are as exposed as Southern California, where Chinese home buyers have expanded their reach beyond the San Gabriel Valley in the last decade to Orange and Riverside counties.

"Chinese policymakers realize that, without significant capital controls, the foreign reserves will continue depleting," said William Yu, an economist at UCLA. "But those controls mean the Southern California real estate market, especially for luxury homes, will be less active because that money is stuck in China."

Even before the new guidelines, signs were pointing to a slowdown in the kind of exuberant Chinese buying activity that sparked a frenzy in the San Gabriel Valley three years ago.
Cash purchases of homes — a loose proxy for wealthy Chinese buyers because they tend to pay in full — fell to 344 in Arcadia last year from 461 in 2014, according to real estate data firm CoreLogic.

In nearby San Marino, cash sales stood at 86 last year, down from 103 in 2014. And in Alhambra, cash purchases have fallen from their peak of 208 in 2015 to 130 in 2016.
All told, cash sales in the San Gabriel Valley declined 17 percent between 2014 and 2016. In LA County, cash sales fell 12 percent over the same period.

The declines come even though all home sales grew by 5.7 percent in the San Gabriel Valley and 6.9 percent in LA County during that time.  
Median home prices have dropped in Arcadia to $930,000 at the end of last year from about $1.1 million at the start of 2015. In San Marino, the median price for a home was $2.5 million as recently as the second quarter of last year before tapering to $2.2 million by the fourth quarter.

The slowdown isn't necessarily a bad thing, said Ann Sung, founder of Chateau Group, a luxury developer headquartered in Arcadia, who believes the pace of sales in 2014 was unsustainable.

"Cash sales in two weeks with 15-day escrows is abnormal," Sung said. "People were buying blindly. The market is now normalizing."

The drop in cash sales has also allowed more traditional home buyers with loans to crack into exclusive markets such as San Marino, agents say.

"Domestic buyers can now purchase here and not get blown out of the water" by Chinese money, said Brent Chang, who works alongside his mother, Linda Chang, a real estate agent in San Marino since the 1970s.

The duo say the slowdown in buyers from China began at the end of 2014. Houses that used to get 15 offers now get about half that. Prospective Chinese buyers have recently asked for six-month escrow periods rather than the usual 30 days to accumulate funds. The hope is that their all-cash offers are enough to entice sellers to wait.

Those long waits are also taking place in Arcadia, a city of 60,000 (60 percent of whom are Asian) that epitomizes the Chinese mansionization phenomenon.

Across the city, 1940s ranch-style homes were sold, torn down and replaced with multimillion-dollar European-style mansions designed by a handful of Chinese American firms. The emergence of the new properties became so divisive, the City Council introduced rules last year limiting the size of new homes.

"We ended up with a bunch of homes purchased with no one living in them," said former Arcadia Mayor Mickey Segal, echoing concerns that some of the properties were merely intended for investment to the detriment of the community.

Today, agents say the city is left with a surplus of luxury properties whose sellers could face pressure to reduce prices. One agent said her client had to drop his asking price for a property in Arcadia last summer to $8.3 million from $10 million because it drew no interest for three months.

Chou, the agent for the Fallen Leaf Road mansion, is more optimistic. It's only a matter of time, she said, before Chinese buyers overcome the new capital controls in the perpetual cat-and-mouse game with regulators. The desire to invest abroad is an unstoppable force as many Chinese with means worry about their country's slowing economy, weakening currency and oversaturated real estate market.

Moreover, her clients feel an obligation to relocate their spouses and children to the U.S. for better educational opportunities and to escape the pollution that envelopes much of China.
"Rich people," said Chou, an immigrant from Taiwan who has lived in Arcadia for more than 30 years, "will always find a way to get their money out."

Today's Mortgage Rates                                                                            
 52 Week
ProductTodayYesterdayChangeLowHigh
30 Yr FRM4.39%4.39%--3.34%4.39%
15 Yr FRM3.61%3.60%+0.012.69%3.61%
FHA 30 Year Fixed4.05%4.05%--3.15%4.10%
Jumbo 30 Year Fixed4.60%4.59%+0.013.42%4.60%
5/1 Yr ARM3.14%3.15%-0.012.80%3.25%




Updated: 3/14/17 2:51 PM
Mortgage Rates on Edge Ahead of Fed
Mar 14 2017, 5:10PM

Mortgage rates held steady today, on average, despite moderate improvements in underlying bond markets.  Typically, bond market improvement results in comparable improvement for mortgage rates.  The groundholding is the latest evidence of massive anxiety on the part of lenders ahead of tomorrow's big Fed announcement.  Lenders don't want to be on the hook for low rates if the Fed happens to send rates screaming higher tomorrow.

To reiterate yesterday's point, we already know the Fed will hike.  Markets are also expecting the Fed to accelerate its forecasts for future rate hikes (this is what pushed rates higher in December, by the way--not the rate hike itself).  Unfortunately, we can't pinpoint exactly how well-prepared markets are for such an acceleration.  

We won't know if the Fed's actual forecasts are faster or slower than expected until we see how markets react tomorrow at 2pm ET.  If the Fed accelerates less than expected, there is still a chance for mortgage rates to hold the line at the current ceiling (4.375% for top tier 30yr fixed scenarios for the average lender).  If forecasts outpace expectations, rates could move higher quickly.  

Loan Originator Perspectives

Many clients are calling wanting to lock in before tomorrow’s Fed hike.   I have advised clients, a rate increase is already priced in.  Tomorrow’s movement in rates will be based on the Fed members outlook on future rate hikes.  If Fed members are perceived as more bullish, the trend of rates moving higher will continue.  If they are dovish, then rates should rally back some, but don’t expect huge gains.   At this point, more risk than to gain by floating.  So my advice is to go ahead and lock in today. -Victor Burek, Churchill Mortgage

Bonds bounced back, slightly, today, as investors awaited tomorrow's Fed announcement. It's a virtual certainty they will raise the overnight rate; the bigger questions are the projected path for future increases and economic growth estimates.  With rates losing ground steadily for several weeks, it's tough for me to get excited about floating here.  Yes, we may be nearing the top of our new rate range, but until I see more evidence of that, I'll continue to recommend locking early. -Ted Rood, Senior Originator

Today's Best-Execution Rates

  • 30YR FIXED - 4.375%
  • FHA/VA - 4.0-4.25%
  • 15 YEAR FIXED - 3.5-3.625%
  • 5 YEAR ARMS -  2.75 - 3.25% 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 return to pre-election levels until well after Trump takes office.  Rates can move for other reasons, but it would take something big and unexpected for rates to get back to pre-election levels.
     
  • 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)
 30 Year Fixed Rate Mortgage History

                                                                                                                  
Today's Top LA Luxury Estate Listed For Sale

The median home value in Los Angeles County is $552,600. Los Angeles County home values have gone up 7.1% over the past year, Zillow predicts they will rise 1.1% within the next year.

The median home value in Brentwood, 90049 is $2,534,200. Brentwood home values have gone up 9.8% over the past year.  Zillow predicts they will rise 1.8% with the next year.

The median home value in Malibu  is $2,893,700.  Malibu home values have gone up 6.6% 
over the past year.  Zillow predicts they will rise 2.0 % with the year.

The median home value in Beverly Hills is $3,121,700.  Beverly Hills home values have gone up 4.2% over the past year.  Zillow predicts they will rise 1.1% with the next year.

The median home value in Bel Air is $3,299,900. Bel  Air home values have gone up 4.7% over the past year.  Zillow predicts they will rise 0.5% within the next year. 

#1     145 N Mapleton Drive, Bel Air, CA 90077 with 5 bedrooms, 7 baths, and 5,962 sq.ft.   is listed for sale at $11,995,000



Gated, one-level low profile Holmby Hills manse cared for with no expense spared. 5,962 SF of living space on .83 FLAT AC - Master suite and sitting area with his/hers bathrooms. French doors to W facing rooms open out with axial views to manicured lawns, shade/palm trees, formal rose garden, hedges and gravel paths to the pool. Centering the kitchen is a furniture style French limestone island complemented by a decadent Tray ceiling. Integrated Sub Zero refrigeration/freezing system, Wolf stove w/ custom stone hood utilizes both tumbled marble and limestone moldings. Decorative hand painted marble backsplash. Kitchen Herbeau Fireclay Sink from France. Perimeter kitchen countertops w/ Costa Esmeralda Quartzite. Throughout the house - antique chandeliers and light fixtures, herringbone and parquet flooring, crown molding & faux painted walls. Walk-in wet bar in the family room and the five European fireplace mantles have been designed to the scale of the rooms.











Today's Top Phoenix Luxury Estate Listed For Sale 

A photo showing the skyline of Phoenix, looking north.  It shows the various buildings of the downtown area, as well as Sunnyslope Mountain in the background

The median home value in Scottsdale is $416,900. Scottsdale home values have gone up 3.5% over the past year. Zillow predicts they will rise 1.5% withiin the next year.

The median home value in Carefree is $758,400. Carefree home values have gone up 5.6% over the past year.  Zillow predicts they will rise 2.6% within the next year.

The median home value in Paradise Valley is $1,611,200. Paradise Valley home values have gone up 2.8% over the past year. Zillow predicts they will 1.6% with the next year

#1     8316 N 53rd Street, Paradise Valley, AZ 85253 with 5 bedrooms, 7 baths, and 8,310 sq.ft. is listed for sale at $4,995,000.

8316 N 53RD Street, Paradise Valley, AZ

Simply Astonishing, this is a must see. Gated estate home on a large 1.25 acre lot with sprawling views of mummy mountain nestled on a quiet street. Open floor plan with breathtaking designer finishes seen throughout, nothing of its kind on the market. Main home has a large 5 car garage and guest home has its own single car garage. Guest home is hands down one of the best you will see. No expenses spared on landscaping the grounds with a resort pool and ramada. Pool features a shaded swim up bar. The main home features a large game room with a wet bar, large kitchen which accommodates 2-36'' fridges and 3 ovens, 2 powder bathrooms, detailed trim work seen throughout, 10' tall french doors one of which is a bifold door opening to the mountain views and resort style backyard.

8316 N 53RD Street, Paradise Valley, AZ

8316 N 53RD Street, Paradise Valley, AZ

8316 N 53RD Street, Paradise Valley, AZ

8316 N 53RD Street, Paradise Valley, AZ

8316 N 53RD Street, Paradise Valley, AZ

8316 N 53RD Street, Paradise Valley, AZ

8316 N 53RD Street, Paradise Valley, AZ

8316 N 53RD Street, Paradise Valley, AZ

8316 N 53RD Street, Paradise Valley, AZ

Today's Top San Diego Luxury Estate Listed For Sale


The median home value in San Diego County is $530,900. San Diego County home values have gone up 6.3% over the past year. Zillow predicts they will rise 2.4% within the next year.

The median home value in La Jolla, 92037 is $1,497,500. La Jolla, 92037 home values have gone up 6.2% over the past year.  Zillow predicts they will rise 1.5% within the next year. 

The median home value in Solana Beach 92075 is $1,265,000. Solana Beach 92075 home values have gone up 4.8% over the past year.  Zillow predicts they will rise 1.6% within the next year.

The median home value in Del Mar 92014 is $1,687,600 Del Mar home values have gone up 10.1% over the past year.  Zillow predicts they will rise 2.9% with then next year.

The median home value in Rancho Santa Fe is $2,601,300. Rancho Santa Fe home values have declined -3.7% over the past year and Zillow predicts they will fall -1.6% within the next year.

#1      6910 Fairway, La Jolla, CA 92037 with 6 bedrooms, 5 baths, and 5,691 sq.ft. is listed for sale at $4,788,000.

https://cdn.cbhomes.com/s3/mediasvc-prd/properties/674Ad1Cb587D4e2-170009600.jpg?preset=trim

Newly upgraded and modern residence with panoramic views of the golf course and ocean. Situated on a quiet cul-de-sac giving off a high level of privacy The residence functions as
one-story plan except for the master bedroom that has incredible views of the ocean from atop.The beautifully appointed interior boasts 5 bedrooms with the possibility of a 6th and 5 full baths. Amazing living room windows from top to bottom that let in plenty of natural light. Brand new Italian kitchen from Mia Cucina

Property Image Of 6910  Fairway In La Jolla, Ca

Property Image Of 6910  Fairway In La Jolla, Ca

Property Image Of 6910  Fairway In La Jolla, Ca

Property Image Of 6910  Fairway In La Jolla, Ca

Property Image Of 6910  Fairway In La Jolla, Ca

Property Image Of 6910  Fairway In La Jolla, Ca

Property Image Of 6910  Fairway In La Jolla, Ca

Today's Top San Francisco Luxury Estate Listed For Sale

Image result for San Francisco skyline pictures

The median home value in San Francisco is $1,148,700. San Francisco home values have gone up 1.0% over the past year.  Zillow predicts they will rise 0.4% within the next year.


The median home value in Sausalito is $1,268,200. Sausalito home values have gone up 4.2% over the past year. Zillow predicts they will rise 0.4% within the next year. 

The median home value in Tiburon is $2,499,000. Tiburon home values have gone up 2.1% over the past year.   Zillow predicts they will rise 0.5% within the next year. 

The median home value in Saratoga is $2,388,3200. Saratoga home values have gone up 1.0% over the past year.  Zillow predicts they will fall -0.2% within the next year.

#1     2572 Greenwich Street, San Francisco-Cow Hollow, CA 94123 with 4 bedrooms, 4 baths, and 4,221 sq.ft. is listed for sale at $5,895,000. 

2572 Greenwich St, San Francisco, CA 94123 

Fabulous home newly built in 1998 with incredible VIEWS showcasing the Golden Gate Bridge, the Palace & Alcatraz. 4 bedrooms, 3 full and 2 half bathrooms. Beautifully designed thruout, living room w/fireplace, gourmet eat- in kitchen with all the bells & whistles, counter seating on island & walk out terrace. Master suite also has a fireplace & incredible VIEWS. Garden level has a one-of-a-kind family/great room with soaring ceilings, mini-kitchen & direct access to landscaped rear patio/garden, all perfectly suited for entertaining. 2 laundry rooms, 2 car parking & many more amenities in this very special home! Located on the tree-lined street in Cow Hollow, close to shopping, dining, The Presidio, The Palace of Fine Arts + more.

2572 Greenwich St, San Francisco, CA 94123

2572 Greenwich St, San Francisco, CA 94123

2572 Greenwich St, San Francisco, CA 94123

2572 Greenwich St, San Francisco, CA 94123

2572 Greenwich St, San Francisco, CA 94123

2572 Greenwich St, San Francisco, CA 94123

2572 Greenwich St, San Francisco, CA 94123

2572 Greenwich St, San Francisco, CA 94123

2572 Greenwich St, San Francisco, CA 94123

2572 Greenwich St, San Francisco, CA 94123

Today's Top Seattle Luxury Estate Listed For Sale

Image result for Seattle

The median home value in Kirkland is $592,100.  Kirkland home values have gone up 11.5% over the past year.  Zillow predicts they will rise 3.2% within the next year.

The median home value in Seattle is $604,300. Seattle home values have gone up 8.9% over the past year. Zillow predicts they will rise 2.8% within the next year.

The median home value in Bellevue is $752,800. Bellevue home values have gone up 12.7% over the past year. Zillow predicts they will rise 3.4% within the next year. 

The median home value in Clyde Hill is $2,098,300. Clyde Hill home values have gone up 3.4% over the past year. Zillow predicts they will rise 1.4% within the next year.

The median home value in Medina is $2,311,200. Medina home values have gone up 8.0% over the past year and Zillow predicts they will rise 2.2% within the next year.

#1     5227 55th Avenue NE, Seattle-University District, WA 98105 with 4 bedrooms, 6 baths, and 7,383 sq.ft. is listed for sale at $4,300,000.

5227 55th Ave NE, Seattle, WA

Built in 2008, this stately home combines timeless traditional detailing with a floorplan that lives for today. Deep mouldings, high ceilings, cypress paneled library, fantastic kitchen w/butlers pantry, breakfast & family room. Did I forget to mention the backyard? French doors lead to a covered patio with a fireplace, outdoor saltwater pool and lavish, private garden. Four bedrooms up plus bonus & laundry. Nothing like this currently available in Seattle. Relaxed & refined luxury living..

5227 55th Ave NE, Seattle, WA
5227 55th Ave NE, Seattle, WA

5227 55th Ave NE, Seattle, WA

5227 55th Ave NE, Seattle, WA
























5227 55th Ave NE, Seattle, WA

5227 55th Ave NE, Seattle, WA

5227 55th Ave NE, Seattle, WA

5227 55th Ave NE, Seattle, WA

Thanks for reading today's Blog.  Looking for more information?  Have a comment?  Please call, text or email me at 619-944-8749 or furtree@msn.com. Most importantly, have a great day!

Cordially,

Tom Furino

PS.     Check out all the featured Best Mansions and Top Luxury Estates in Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Diego, San Francisco and Seattle Listed For Sale anytime at:.
www.todaysbestmansionsforsale.com
www.laluxuryrealestateupdates.com
www.phoenixluxuryrealestateupdates.com
www.seattlerealestateluxuryhomesupdates.com
www.sandiegorealestateflashreport.com
www.sfluxuryrealestateupdates.com