Wednesday, November 27, 2013

U.S. Average on 30-Year Mortgage Rises to 4.29%

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Mortgages rates are creeping up again but they are still at historically low rates.

Mortgage Rates (In this Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013,  photo, an existing home is listed as sold,  in Gilbert, Ariz. Freddie Mac Thur
Nov 27, 12:11 PM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Average U.S. mortgage rates rose modestly this week, a move that makes home-buying a bit less affordable. Still, rates remain near historically low levels.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Wednesday that the average rate on the 30-year loan increased to 4.29 percent from 4.22 percent last week. The average on the 15-year fixed ticked up to 3.3 percent from 3.27 percent.

Rates have risen nearly a full percentage point since May after the Federal Reserve signaled it might slow its bond purchases by the end of the year. Rates peaked at nearly 4.6 percent in August. But the Fed held off in September and most analysts expect it won't move until next year.

The increase in mortgage rates has contributed to a slowdown in home sales over the past two months.

To calculate average mortgage rates, Freddie Mac surveys lenders across the country at the beginning of each week. The average doesn't include extra fees, known as points, which most borrowers must pay to get the lowest rates. One point equals 1 percent of the loan amount.

The average fee for a 30-year mortgage was unchanged at 0.7 point. The fee for a 15-year loan also was unchanged at 0.7 point.

The average rate on a one-year adjustable-rate mortgage edged down to 2.60 percent, from 2.61 percent last week. The fee was unchanged at 0.4 point.

The average rate on a five-year adjustable mortgage edged down to 2.94 percent this week, from 2.95 percent last week. The fee was unchanged at 0.5 point.

Friday, November 15, 2013

‘Runway’ at Playa Vista Takes off with Six New Restaurant and Store Lease Announcements

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Great news for our local area... the new "Runway" project is to be completed by the holiday season 2014 in Playa Vista in an area dubbed the "lower Westside" or  "Silicon Beach 2.0". Many new tenants which include Whole Foods, CVS Pharmacy, Veggie Grill, Chase and Wells Fargo Bank, Lyfe Kitchen, Panini Cafe, Hopdoddy Burger Bar and Sol Cocina. More than 50% of the space has already been leased. In addition, a Cinemark multiplex with nine screens with an open plaza as well as a cocktail lounge will complete the center. Looks like a nice upscale, unique shopping and dining experience which will fit our areas needs well. It will also serve the new tech companies which have also located there which include Facebook, YouTube, Konami, Electronic Arts, Microsoft, Fox Sports, Belkin and TMZ.

November 12, 2013 11:00 AM Eastern Standard TimePLAYA VISTA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--With construction of Runway at Playa Vista well underway, developers Lincoln Property Company, Phoenix Property Company and Paragon Commercial Group announced today the addition of six new tenants to the mixed-use center that will soon offer unique shopping, dining, entertainment and living space in Playa Vista. Chase Bank and Wells Fargo Bank will open their doors at Runway, along with several new restaurants, including Lyfe Kitchen, Panini Café, Hopdoddy Burger Bar and Sol Cocina. In all, these deals comprise nearly 25,000 square feet of additional leased space at Runway.
“With more than 50% of the retail space at Runway currently leased, we are pleased to see that the original vision for Runway at Playa Vista is becoming a reality”
These new tenants will join several additional top brands that have already signed on to be a part of the action at Runway, including upscale grocer Whole Foods, CVS Pharmacy and Veggie Grill. Cinemark will also open a multiplex at Runway with nine screens and the company’s NextGen design concept with RealD 3D capability, self-serve concession stands and an open plaza with a cocktail lounge.

“With more than 50% of the retail space at Runway currently leased, we are pleased to see that the original vision for Runway at Playa Vista is becoming a reality,” said David Binswanger, Executive Vice President of Lincoln Property Company. “This group of newly announced retailers will ensure Runway is a real gathering spot in the community. We look forward to sharing more exciting news about additional tenants in the months ahead.”

Hopdoddy Burger Bar at Runway will offer a large variety of beers from local, small batch and artisan brewers as well as handcrafted burgers made from extremely fresh ingredients, including fresh-baked buns, fries cut in-house and humanely raised beef. The Playa Vista location will be the first California restaurant for Hopdoddy, which has four other locations across Texas and Arizona.

Also coming to Runway is Lyfe Kitchen, a new fast casual restaurant concept spreading across the country that features healthy food and a focus on sustainability, with all dishes containing less than 600 calories along with locally and sustainably sourced ingredients. SOL Cocina at Runway will specialize in fresh, seasonal dishes and authentic Mexican flavors, and feature a bar that honors the flavors of the Baja region with more than 60 artisan tequilas.

Panini Café, a popular Italian and Mediterranean concept with restaurants across Southern California, will offer an incredible variety of healthy, fresh foods for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The restaurant is known for using the finest quality ingredients, including the best imported olive oil and low fat cheeses, with all produce and breads delivered fresh daily.

“We are continuing to see a tremendous amount of interest from both nationally recognized and regional retailers, who are excited by the opportunity to be located in the heart of Playa Vista,” said Mark Harrigian, Principal of Paragon Commercial Group. “We anticipate our next wave of tenants at Runway will be focused in the fashion, speciality retail and fitness space.”

“These six new tenants will be a fantastic addition to Playa Vista and will help ensure that Runway becomes the true heart of our community, as it was originally envisioned,” said Randy Johnson, Executive Vice President at Brookfield Residential, the community developer of Playa Vista. “Residents, potential new homeowners and our neighbors are extremely enthusiastic about the expanding tenant line-up at Runway, and are looking forward to having such unique shopping, dining and entertainment options at their fingertips in just over a year.”

Construction is anticipated to be completed next year,with tenants opening their doors before the holiday shopping season in 2014. When complete, Runway at Playa Vista will include approximately 220,000 square feet of retail, 420 apartments and 35,000 square feet of office space spread across three separate buildings. The architectural design will play a large role in the vibrant, yet relaxing atmosphere at Runway. The retail complex, designed by Johnson Fain, will feature wide sidewalks for outdoor dining, soothing water features, communal seating areas, firepits and a direct connection Playa Vista’s Linear Park. A lantern-shaped tower with a steel mesh exterior and dramatic lighting will house a central lanai lounge that anchors the center and serves as Runway’s central meeting place.

In addition to Runway, the final development area in Playa Vista’s build-out will include 2,600 for-sale and apartment homes, 200 independent/assisted living homes, additional office space, a second resident activity club and new parks and open space.

Playa Vista, recently dubbed the “lower Westside” and “Silicon Beach 2.0,” and nearby areas are home to growing technology, internet and entertainment companies, including Facebook, YouTube, Konami, Electronic Arts, Microsoft, Fox Sports, Belkin and TMZ as well as leading ad agencies 72andSunny, Chiat/Day and Deutsch, socially conscious manufacturers like Tom’s Shoes, and legendary Hercules Studio — the film stage for Avatar and Iron Man 3.



Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Banks offering mortgages with only 5% down payments

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Market opportunity is allowing some banks to allow low 5% down payments with an allowable 2% of the sale price to be a gift, so borrower may really only need 3% down. Banks think they can offer a better deal than the FHA (Federal Housing Administration) loan which requires only 3.5% down.  Private lenders are offering to require PMA (private mortgage insurance) for only up to 20% equity in the home while FHA this year began requiring it for life of the loan. While the loans were far too risky for private lenders to take on before, rising home prices have made them less of a gamble. Plus, the banks think they can offer a better deal than FHA. This is just another option available for potential homeowners who cannot come up with the traditional 20% down.

Banks offering mortgages with only 5% down payments

  @CNNMoney November 5, 2013: 11:30 AM ET

mortgage payment calculator


Good news for homebuyers who don't have a lot of cash on hand: Banks are offering loans with down payments of just 5%.

After the housing bubble burst, buyers needed to come to the table with as much as 20% down or they had to turn to the Federal Housing Administration for a low down-payment loan.

But now banks like TD Bank, Bank of America (BAC, Fortune 500), and Wells Fargo (WFC, Fortune 500) are loosening the purse strings, offering loans with down payments that are as low as 5%.

TD Bank's "Right Step" mortgage, for example, allows borrowers to secure a loan with a 5% down payment. It also allows them to receive as much as 2% of the sale price as a gift from a relative or other third party, so they would really only need 3% down.

Why the change of heart? Market opportunity for one thing.

FHA dominated the market for low down payment loans during the housing bust. Taking on all those risky loans, however, depleted the agency's reserves and has forced it to increase costs.

Over the past couple of years, the FHA has been raising premiums. And this year, it started requiring borrowers to buy private mortgage insurance for the life of the loan -- an expensive proposition that has sent many prospective borrowers looking elsewhere.

While the loans were far too risky for private lenders to take on before, rising home prices have made them less of a gamble. Plus, the banks think they can offer a better deal than FHA.

"As the FHA selectively reduced market share by increasing premiums, we introduced a substitute for FHA loans," said Malcom Hollensteiner, the director of retail lending sales for TD Bank.

While the private lenders that are offering the 5%-down loans are also requiring borrowers to buy private mortgage insurance, they are only requiring them to do so until they build up 20% equity in the home.

The difference can really add up. Paying an insurance premium over the life of a $200,000, 30-year fixed-rate loan from FHA that carries an effective mortgage rate of 4.4% (5.75% when you tack on the insurance premium), can add up to nearly $60,000 over the life of the loan.

Of course, homeowners can always refinance to end their FHA insurance, but rates are so low that by the time an FHA borrower is able to refinance to a lower rate, it may not be worth it. To top of page


Friday, November 1, 2013

Home prices continue to climb

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The housing recovery continues to be strong. There are many factors making positive contributions like low mortgage rates, an improving economy, and a drop in foreclosures. The slow down we are now experiencing is a good thing to help reduce the chance of another housing bubble.