Posts Tagged ‘Still’

Curbed – State O’ the Market: If You Can Still Afford to Buy a House in SoCal, You’re in Luck

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

dataquick.jpgYes, sales of single-family houses and condos in Southern California hit a five-year high in September, but barely, says stats firm DataQuick, which is pretty remarkable considering that prices keep shooting up too. There were 19,348 new and formerly-owned units sold in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino, and Orange Counties last month, which is a modest 2.9 percent increase from last month. The median price for all five counties, at $ 413,000, was down two percent from August, but is still higher than September of last year. In just Los Angeles, 6,717 units sold, up 3.4 percent from last September, and the median price was up a significant 7.2 percent, to $ 455,500.

Still, prices could be going up even higher, if anyone could afford them, according to Andrew LePage, an analyst for DataQuick, in a release of the numbers today: “Price appreciation has dipped into single-digit territory as more would-be buyers get priced out, investors back off and incomes rise modestly at best.” And that’s good news for anyone who can still afford to buy, he adds: “Today’s home shoppers are more likely to find a less-crowded market with fewer intense multiple-offer situations and more serious, realistic sellers.”

September was the first month since 2012 that none of the six counties saw double-digit increases in the median sale price over the same month in 2013. (They all had single-digit increases and Orange County came really close to two digits, with 9.3 percent increase over September 2013.)

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· Southland Home Sales Edge Higher; Price Growth Slows [DQ]
· DataQuick [Curbed LA]

Curbed LA

Curbed – The Air: Mapping Los Angeles’s Better But Still Terrible Air Quality

Monday, October 6th, 2014

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[Image via Mike / Curbed LA flickr pool]

Though the persistent brown halo around Downtown might suggest otherwise, the amount of cancer-causing toxins in the Los Angeles basin air has fallen 65 percent since 2005, says a new report out from the South Coast Air Quality Management District. Don’t breathe too deeply yet. Despite the improvement, “The levels still occurring here in Southern California are too high and need to be further reduced,” an executive officer of the SCAQMD tells the Daily News.

The existing levels of pollution increase the cancer risk for 418 out of every million people in the basin, but that’s a significant drop from 2005, when it threatened 1,194 out of every million people.

Ninety percent of the contaminants we breathe in the LA basin (a section of SoCal that includes Riverside, Orange, LA, and San Bernardino Counties) come from emissions from trucks, ships, trains, and planes; in fact, air quality improved a lot during the recession because there was a lot less transport and construction going on. Considering the sources, it makes sense that port-adjacent areas like Long Beach, San Pedro, and Wilmington would have the worst air, which they do. But there’s even a silver lining there: port areas also saw the greatest reductions, the LA Times points out, mostly because of state and local regulations specifically aimed at cleaning up the air, like forcing enormous ships to turn off their engines and “plug into shore power” instead of just running their engines and burping crap into the air.

This is the fourth study like this that the SCAQMD has done since 1987, when it began monitoring the LA basin’s air.


· New AQMD study finds much lower air pollution levels across Los Angeles County [LADN]
· Cancer risk from air pollution drops in Southern California [LAT]
· Multiple Air Toxics Exposure Study in the South Coast Air Basin [SCAQMD]
· Pollutant Study Shows Mar Vista’s Air Worse Than Downtown’s [Curbed LA]

Curbed LA

The Real Estalker – Dame Helen Mirren’s Hollywood Pied-a-Terre Still for Lease

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

OWNERS: Dame Helen Mirren and Taylor Hackford

LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $ 40,000/month
SIZE: 6,699 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: One of the things that often flabbergasts celebrity real estate newbies is that scads of top-level stars who own multiple, multi-million dollar residences often lease them out, presumably to off-set the enormous costs of owning several high-maintenance homes or some other such unfathomable reason. Sacha Baron Cohen has his compound above Laurel Canyon quietly available for $ 85,000 per month; Dan Aykroyd recently put his picturesque spread in Pacific Palisades up for rent at $ 45,000 per month; Steven Spielberg has his ocean front compound in Malibu up for grabs at a $ 150,000 a month.
Another of the A-grade celebs who regularly leases out her Los Angeles pied-a-terre is the utterly sublime and sexy Oscar-, Emmy-, BAFTA- and Golden Globe-winning—not to mention Tony nominated—British actress Dame Helen Mirren (The Queen) and her equally accomplished Oscar-winning film director husband Taylor Hackford (Teenage Father, Ray, Proof of Life, An Officer and a Gentleman).
Property records suggest the two-parcel property was purchased by Mister Hackford back in 1986, a few years after he divorced his second wife and a decade before he and Miz Mirron were married. The double-gated and privately situated, Runyon Canyon adjacent estate sprawls across more than 6.6 acres directly above an aggressively lackluster if centrally located cluster of apartment complexes at the eastern edge of Hollywood. The hillside estate was once the home of silent film star Dustin Farnum, one of Cecil B. DeMille’s first and greatest discoveries and the hastily chosen namesake of two-time Oscar-winning actor Dustin Hoffman.
A long gated driveway decadently zig-zags up the lushly planted hillside and sweeps around to the front of the house where there’s a motor court able to accommodate parking for 10 or 12 cars. Listing details (and other online resources) indicate the main house, a Colonial-kissed Mediterranean villa originally built in 1911, spans a comfortably spacious 6,699 square feet with four bedrooms and seven bathrooms. A separate, house-sized guest cottage of 2,740 square feet has another four bedrooms and three bathrooms, as per the L.A. County Tax Man. (There are also at least two additional structures of unknown utility tucked discretely behind a high-hedge and a dense and mature copse.)
A double height, center hall entry with wood floors and impressive staircase connects to a lengthy and elegantly casual formal living room where there are a hefty handful of antique looking tables and sideboards and a pair of matching, roll-armed sofas that square face off against each other in front of a wood-burning fireplace surmounted by a swirly, gilt-trimmed mirror. Multiple sets of French doors open to stone terrace that runs the full width of the rear of the residence. Beyond the living room a less-formal library/den has another fireplace, at least one more set of French doors and built-in book shelves.
The roomy formal dining room has more French doors, more antique (looking) sideboards and a highly-polished, double-pedestal table surrounded by seven or eight rivet accented light caramel-colored leather wing back chairs that any fool can see were an effectively idiosyncratic choice by Miz Mirren and/or Mister Hackford and/or, possibly, their lady and/or nice-gay decorator.
The commodious if outdated eat-in center island kitchen has Mexican paver tiles on the floor, ordinary white cabinetry topped with thin slabs of specked gray granite, and a mixy-matchy suite of appliances that include a super-sized commercial grade range. (The children will note the original, wood-faced ice boxes in the back wall.) The mini-manse’s service areas also include a secondary stair hall and a butler’s pantry enviably larger than most suburban kitchens.
At least two of the upper level bedrooms open to a house-wide veranda with an over-the-tree-tops view across Los Angeles. Lower level rooms open to a deep terrace and wide, red brick stairway that leads down to a large, terrace-encircled rectangular swimming pool that still has, according to listing photos, a diving board. 
Some of the Mirren-Hackfords nearest neighbors include German-born producer Roland Emmerich, contemporary art world mover and shaker Margo Leavin, four-time Emmy-nominated producer-director Tony Krantz, boho-glam American oil heiress and yoga instructor Normandie Keith, and television writer/producer Anna Fricke and writer/producer Jeremy Carver who only a month or two ago shelled out a bit more than $ 3.4 million for an updated and upgraded turn of the (20th) century cottage.
This is hardly the first time Dame Mirren and Mister Hackford have put their Tinseltown pied-a-terre up for rent. It was set out for let in 2007 at $ 40,000 per month and again in 2011 at $ 40,000 per month and yet again in 2013 for—You got it, brainiacs!—forty grand a month. Fun tidbit: A card carrying member of the (totally fictitious) Lavender Real Estate Club once told Your Mama that Tinseltown cashmere queens Max Mutchnick and his legal eagle husband Erik Hyman lived here before they bought their English Manor in Bev Hills in 2007 for almost $ 17 million. 
Until last August (2013), when property records show they sold it for $ 960,000 the Mirren-Hackfords owned a high-hedged and gated Craftsman style triplex property in a downtown adjacent neighborhood Santa Barbara, CA. In fall of 2006T, the couple have were reported by no less than The New Yorker (October 2 issue) to also keeps homes in London, Provence (France), and New York. Sorry, Charlies, but Your Mama doesn’t have many specifics on these homes but their 19th century London townhouse, a “former customs house, near Tower Bridge, on the cobbled backstreets of East London,” according to The New Yorker, stands four stories and backs up to communal gardens. However and for the record, Your Mama can’t confirm or deny that the Mirren-Hackfords still own homes in London, Provence and/or New York.

listing photos: Coldwell Banker

The Real Estalker

Curbed – Ride to the Airport: There’s still a whole lot…

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

2014_01_ontario.jpg There’s still a whole lot of rancor over a possible Gold Line extension to struggling Ontario Airport: an assembly bill would allow the Gold Line Foothill Construction Authority—currently building out the line from Pasadena to Azusa—to start working on an extension to Ontario, even though it’s in San Bernardino County, which is outside their jurisdiction. But the San Bernardino Associated Governments is opposing the bill, saying it’s putting the cart before the horse by cementing a rail option to the airport before all alternatives have been reviewed. [LADN, previously]

Curbed LA

Curbed – Weekend Linkage: Pasadena Still Fighting NFL, Paying More For Dodgers Parking

Sunday, February 16th, 2014

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[Dodgthis on York Boulevard by Joey Z1/Curbed LA flickr pool]

· Jamzilla has reached its half-way point; traffic delays at 20 minutes [DB]
· Spotting Orange County’s top ten busiest In n’ Outs [OC Weekly]
· Obama visited house of Palm Springs interior designer [mydesert]
· Costa Mesa neighbors unhappy with soccer field “overuse” [DP]
· Legal squabble over High Speed Rail bond sale continues [LAT]
· Buy ahead: Dodgers parking fees go up at the gate [SCPR]
· Pasadena City Council plots against the NFL’s return to the Rose Bowl [PW]

Curbed LA

Curbed – Weekend Linkage: Malibu Still Anti-Chain, Newport Beach’s Tasteless LAX Tweet

Sunday, November 3rd, 2013

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[Crossing with pets by howard-f /Curbed LA flickr pool]

· The Pacific Ocean is sucking up a lot of heat, keeping us cool [Bee]
· Doh! Newport Beach’s tweet re LAX shooting in poor taste [OC Weekly]
· SaMo’s Planning Commission takes forever, can’t make decisions [Lookout]
· Twentynine Palms’ annual weed show — actual weeds featured [mydesert]
· Photos: When trains regularly ran down the Orange Line right-of-way [KCET]
· The baby boom generation returning to mixed-use living [globest]
· Malibu will reconsider anti-chain ordinance in January 2014 [MT]
· Beachwood neighbors unhappy with H’wood Sign shuttle van idea [Ledger]

Curbed LA

Curbed – As the Dirt Turns: It’s still a bit of…

Sunday, October 20th, 2013

2010-10-majestic_la_nfl.jpg It’s still a bit of a shock to hear any news about the proposed NFL stadium in the City of Industry, but reports say that dirt may be moved around on the site in anticipation of development very shortly. Per a report by Jason Henry in the Pasadena Star-News, rough grading of the project site to create a flat pad for construction is scheduled to begin in January 2014. However, developer Majestic Realty Co. still has two options for developing the site, one being the aforementioned NFL-ready stadium complex and the other being a boring industrial-commercial center. The decision on what to build probably won’t come until the NFL finally commits to a location for their new or relocated franchise. [Star-News]

Curbed LA