David Hasselhoff Puts Calabasas Mini-Mansion Up For Sale

SELLER: David Hasselhoff
LOCATION: Calabasas, CA
PRICE: $2,299,000
SIZE: 5,767 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms

We first heard earlier this week from the fine fellow at the San Fernando Valley Blog that former “Baywatch” hunk turned German pop star and international televised talent show regular David Hasselhoff has hoisted his mini-mansion in Calabasas, CA, on the market with an asking price of $2,299,000.

Property records show The Hoff, who was the first nixed in the 11th season of the still churning “Dancing With the Stars” program and is scheduled to star as a fictionalized version of himself in a British sitcom this year, only purchased the suburban estate in May of 2013 for $1.95 million. The seller was a former high-level executive at once behemoth now defunct and publicly shamed mortgage lender Countrywide and a deep dive into the property records shows the estate was once and briefly owned, in the early Aughts, by billionaire property developer David Murdock, the same fella who sold his 98% share of the Hawaiian island of Lana’i over the summer of 2012 for more than half a billion bucks to the even richer Larry Ellison. But we digress….

Listing details show The Hoff’s unquestionably luxurious if quintessentially quotidian mini-mansion, generously described in listing details as an “Absolutely Stunning Custom Mediterranean Showplace,” sits on 1.53 acres in the guard-gated Hidden Hills West Estates enclave and was originally built in 1990. The two-story residence spans 5,767 square feet of — let’s be honest, butter beans — monochromatically beige and just barely furnished interior space with five bedrooms and half a dozen bathrooms.

The house has a de-rigueur-for-the-locale double-height entry with travertine-tiled floors and a meant-to-impress curved staircase as well as a sunken formal living room with fireplace and an only partially double-height ceiling. The adjoining formal dining room has glass sliders that open to a small loggia that overlooks the backyard and the all-but-entirely tan and beige kitchen has a center work island with small snack bar, probably custom but woefully ordinary looking raised panel cabinetry, granite counter tops and a breakfast room that, like the formal dining room, opens through a multi-paned glass slider to the backyard. The main floor also includes, per listing details, an office and family room with wet bar.

Four family bedrooms, two of which open to private verandas, and a second family room are privately situated on the second floor while the main floor master suite has plenty of room for a sitting area, a walk-in closet, direct access to the outdoors via another multi-paned glass slider and what listing details describe as a “sexy bathroom.”

Lush and mature landscaping surrounds the house and the outdoor recreational amenities include brick-lined concrete patios, built-in grilling station, a grassy, tree-shaded play yard, a free-form swimming pool and spa and, set up the hillside away from the house, a half-court basketball court.

Until April 2013, when it was sold off for $3,549,000, Mister Hasselhoff owned a gated estate in Encino that he bought from actor John Goodman in the mid-1990s for $1.98 million and previous to that he owned a large house in Sherman Oaks he sold in 1996 for $1.1 million to Emmy and Golden Globe winning television star Michael Chiklis (“The Shield, American Horror Story”).

Foreclosures surge in Southern California, but for how long?

Foreclosures in Southern California hit their highest level in two years in January, according to new data out Thursday. But market-watchers say it’s more a matter of lenders clearing their books than a new wave of bad loans.

The number of homes repossessed by banks in Los Angeles County nearly tripled from December to the highest level since December 2012, according to data firm RealtyTrac. Similar patterns were seen in Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties.

Nationally, foreclosure activity grew 5% from December to January.

Banks are finally adjusting to California’s year-old Homeowners Bill of Rights, which offers new protections for mortgage holders and prolongs the foreclosure process, experts at RealtyTrac say. And that’s pushing a wave of repossessions through the pipeline right now. The number of notices of default – which start the foreclosure process – remains roughly at the level it’s been for the last six months.

Even this new quicker pace of repossessions remains well behind the levels seen at the height of the foreclosure crisis. There were 1,231 homes taken by banks in Los Angeles County in January, according to RealtyTrac. That number peaked in February 2009 at 4,154.


Courtesy of: LA Times

‘Minecraft’ creator Markus Persson buys $70-million Beverly Hills mansion

The L.A. area’s unusually hot ultra-luxury real estate market ended 2014 with yet another mega-sale. Swedish video-game billionaire Markus Persson bought a Beverly Hills mansion built by handbag tycoon Bruce Makowsky for $70 million.

Although the transaction failed to eclipse last year’s high point for a Los Angeles home sale price — that was the $88.3 million recorded for the Westside Fleur de Lys estate — the deal surpassed the $55 million that Ellen DeGeneres received for the Midcentury Modern Brody House and the $40 million that Dr. Dre dropped on a Brentwood estate with a moat.

The 23,000-square-foot home Persson bought features an automated 54-foot curved glass door that opens the living room to an infinity pool with iPad-controlled fountains and panoramic views.

The newly built, 23,000-square-foot contemporary home originally debuted on the market at $85 million and drew interest from Jay Z and Beyoncé, among others.

The purchase included the contents used to stage the home — and not just the furnishings and electronics. Even cases of Dom Perignon in the 2,500-bottle wine room were part of the deal.

There are vodka and tequila bars, a candy room valued at $200,000, an 18-seat tiered screening room and an 18-foot onyx dining room table for 24 that features place settings by Roberto Cavalli at a cost of $3,700 each.

Artwork includes a replica of James Dean’s motorcycle and a chromed Ma Deuce machine gun. The home has eight bedrooms and 15 bathrooms.

A black-tile and mirrored garage has a lift to move cars down to the lower lounge level where they create a museum-like display behind glass on one side of the room.

Persson, 35, sold his company, Mojang, to Microsoft Corp. for $2.5 billion in September. “Notch,” as he is known in the gaming community, created “Minecraft,” which has a worldwide following.

Among those considering the home, which was listed at $85 million, were superstars Jay Z and Beyonce, who toured it multiple times.

Sale price holds significance

Dick Clark’s romantic getaway in Malibu has sold for $1,777,777.

No, that’s not a typo. Sevens held particular significance for the late Clark and his wife, Kari, who was the seller. They were married on 7/7/77. How’s that for a poetic ending to a long-running love story?

Designed by architect Phillip Jon Brown to blend in with the mountaintop, the custom-built home gives the appearance of having been carved out of stone. Free-form walls enclose windows that bring in ocean views.

The one-bedroom, two-bathroom house features vaulted ceilings in the living and dining rooms, a bar, a fireplace and a wine cellar.

Downtown Los Angeles (DTLA) skyline will be changing in the near future

If you ever looked at the Downtown LA skyline and really pay attention, you’ll notice that all the high rises have flat roofs. Well now look at all the skylines in major metropolitan cities; New York, Chicago, San Francisco etc… you will notice that there are designs on the rooftops. Well Los Angeles high rises have flat roofs for a reason. About 40 years rules passed that these properties will need to accommodate a helipad. This is mainly for emergency purposes if there is a fire so that a helicopter can land safely on the roof. According to the NY Times, this 40 year old rule is going to change.

In the past 40 years, only once has a helicopter been used to pluck people from the top of a building on fire, Los Angeles officials said: Five people were rescued from the top of the 62-story First Interstate Bank Building as it burned on May 4, 1988

There are modern advances that will help eliminate the need for helipads on rooftops. In addition the city is going to make other requirements such as an additional elevator for fire staff, or additional cameras and stairs. dtla

Overall it looks like in the next 10 years we will see some interesting spires or designs on our Downtown LA skyscrapers.

Southland Home Sales Fall Yr/Yr Again; Prices Rise at Slower Pace

Southern California home sales fell to a three-year low for the month of July as supply continued to fall short of demand, some buyers struggled with higher prices, and investor activity fell. Cash deals declined to the lowest level in more than four years, while the median sale price dipped from June and rose from a year ago at the slowest pace in more than two years, a real estate information service reported.

A total of 20,369 new and resale houses and condos sold in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties last month. That was down 1.4 percent from 20,654 sales in June, and down 12.4 percent from 23,253 sales in July 2013, according to Irvine-based CoreLogic DataQuick.

On average, sales have declined 6.3 percent between June and July since 1988, when CoreLogic DataQuick statistics begin. Southland sales have fallen on a year-over-year basis for 10 consecutive months. Sales during the month of July have ranged from a low of 16,225 in July 1995 to a high of 38,996 in July 2003. Last month’s sales were 19.4 percent below the July average of 25,269 sales.

The median price paid for all new and resale houses and condos sold in the six-county region last month was $413,000, down 0.5 percent from $415,000 in June and up 7.3 percent from $385,000 in July 2013. The June 2014 median was the highest for any month since January 2008, when it was also $415,000. The median’s 7.3 percent year-over-year gain in July was the lowest since June 2012, when the $300,000 median rose 5.3 percent.

“Prices came a long way in a couple of years, and now a lot of would-be buyers just can’t stretch their finances enough to buy in today’s more conservative lending environment. That’s not the only reason price appreciation is easing, but it’s one of the main ones. July was the first month in two years in which all but one of the six Southland counties posted a single-digit year-over-year increase in its median sale price. The more spectacular annual price gains of a year ago – over 20 percent – seem far back in the rear view mirror now. Looking ahead, such double-digit price jumps seem unlikely unless there’s a burst of pent-up demand, perhaps triggered by more robust income growth, a loosening of mortgage credit or a significant move in interest rates,” said Andrew LePage, CoreLogic DataQuick analyst.

The Southland median has risen on a year-over-year basis for 28 straight months. In June, however, the median’s 22-month streak of double-digit year-over-year gains ended. The peak annual gain during that stretch was 28.3 percent in June 2013.

Last month five counties – San Diego, Los Angeles, Ventura and Riverside – logged single-digit, year-over-year gains in their median sale prices.

The Southland’s July median stood 18.2 percent below the peak $505,000 median in spring/summer 2007.

Home prices continued to rise at different rates depending on price segment. In July, the lowest-cost third of the region’s housing stock saw a 16.7 percent year-over-year increase in the median price paid per square foot for resale houses. The annual gain was 8.3 percent for the middle third of the market and 7.1 percent for the top, most-expensive third.

The number of homes that sold for $500,000 or more last month was almost even with a year earlier, declining 0.9 percent from July 2013. But sales below $500,000 fell 17.2 percent year-over-year. Sales below $200,000 plunged 37.1 percent. Sales in the lower price ranges are hampered by, among other things, the drop in affordability over the last year, a fussy mortgage market and a relatively thin inventory of homes for sale.

In July, 37.2 percent of all Southland home sales were for $500,000 or more, down a tad from a revised 38.0 percent in June, which had the highest level since $500,000-plus deals made up 38.3 percent of sales in December 2007. In July last year 33.2 percent of sales were above the $500,000 threshold.

Distressed property sales continued to recede last month.

Foreclosure resales – homes foreclosed on in the prior 12 months – accounted for 5.2 percent of the Southland resale market last month. That was down from a revised 5.3 percent the prior month and down from 7.7 percent a year earlier. In recent months the foreclosure resale rate has been the lowest since early 2007. In the current cycle, foreclosure resales hit a high of 56.7 percent in February 2009.

Short sales – transactions where the sale price fell short of what was owed on the property – made up an estimated 5.9 percent of Southland resales last month. That was down from a revised 6.0 percent the prior month and down from 12.7 percent a year earlier.

Absentee buyers – mostly investors and some second-home purchasers – bought 23.6 percent of the Southland homes sold last month. That was the lowest share since December 2010, when 23.4 percent of homes sold to absentee buyers. Last month’s 23.6 percent absentee share was down from a revised 23.9 percent in June and down from 27.4 percent a year earlier. The peak was 32.4 percent in January 2013, while the monthly average since 2000, when the CoreLogic DataQuick absentee data begin, is about 19 percent.

Cash purchases dropped to the lowest level in more than four years last month. Buyers paying cash accounted for 24.5 percent of July home sales, down from a revised 25.6 percent the month before and down from 30.0 percent in July last year. The last time cash purchases were lower than last month was in June 2010, when 24.2 percent of Southland homes were bought with cash. The peak was 36.9 percent in February 2013, and since 1988 the monthly average is 16.6 percent.

In July, Southern California home buyers forked over a total of $4.51 billion of their own money in the form of down payments or cash purchases. That was down from a revised $4.77 billion in June. The out-of-pocket total peaked in May 2013 at $5.41 billion.

Although credit conditions overall remain relatively tight, the use of larger “jumbo” home loans and adjustable-rate mortgages has trended higher this year, toward more normal levels.

Jumbo loans, mortgages above the old conforming limit of $417,000, accounted for 32.3 percent of last month’s Southland purchase lending – the highest jumbo level for any month since the credit crunch struck in August 2007. Last month’s figure was up a hair from 32.2 percent in June and up from 27.9 percent a year earlier. Prior to August 2007 jumbos accounted for around 40 percent of the home loan market. The jumbo level dropped to as low as 9.3 percent in January 2009.

In July, 13.6 percent of Southland home purchase loans were adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs), down slightly from 13.9 percent in June and up from 10.9 percent a year ago. ARM use dropped to as low as 1.9 percent of all purchase loans in May 2009. Since 2000, a monthly average of about 31 percent of Southland purchase loans have been ARMs.

All lenders combined provided a total of $6.44 billion in mortgage money to Southern California home buyers in July, up from a revised $6.35 billion in June and down from $6.54 billion in July last year.

The most active lenders to Southern California home buyers last month were Wells Fargo with 6.9 percent of the total home purchase loan market, Bank of America with 2.8 percent and New American Funding with 2.5 percent.

Government-insured FHA loans, a popular low-down-payment choice among first-time buyers, accounted for 18.8 percent of all purchase mortgages last month. That was the same as the month before and down from 19.0 percent a year earlier. In recent months the FHA share has been the lowest since early 2008, mainly because of tighter FHA qualifying standards and the difficulties first-time buyers have competing with investors and cash buyers.

The typical monthly mortgage payment Southland buyers committed themselves to paying last month was $1,602, down from a revised $1,616 the month before and up from $1,537 a year earlier. Adjusted for inflation, last month’s typical payment was 34.4 percent below the typical payment in the spring of 1989, the peak of the prior real estate cycle. It was 46.3 percent below the current cycle’s peak in July 2007. For help with real estate studio city, sherman oaks or toluca lake. Contact


courtesy of

Warner Center Marriott Acquired by Century City Based Laurus Corp.

The Marriot Warner Center has sold to Laurus Corp., a Century City based real estate investment and development company. This particular Marriott is one of the largest hotels in the San Fernando Valley – the building provides 474 rooms of corporate lodging space for guests.

While the sale price was undisclosed, it is estimated that the hotel changed hands for upwards of $100 million. The seller, Teachers Retirement Fund of Illinois, purchased the hotel in 2003 for $85.3 million. Laurus has been aggressively acquiring hotel properties nationwide over the past 18 months. In total, the company has added 10 hotels under Ethika Investments LLC. The company has allocated $11 million in funds to renovate the rooms and exterior public areas of the hotel.

The Marriot Warner Center is a timely acquisition for the company because of rapid new construction and renewed interest in the area. The hotel is situated close to the Westfield Promenade and Westfield Topanga – which will soon be joined by the Westfield Group’s new Village at Westfield Topanga. The Village will feature a Costco (its anchor tenant), new shops and restaurants, and office buildings.  


North Hollywood Home Sales Activity for May

A total of 81 homes sold in North Hollywood for the month of May. The median price for a home sold was $429,000. Compared to the median sale price figures of May of last year, $420,000, this new number represents a 2.14 percent year-to-year increase in sales activity for the city.

There is an increase in homes selling in North Hollywood possibly due to low inventory and high demand. Another contributing is interest rates for home mortgages (current 30-year fixed rates are at 4.25%), and first-time homebuyers entering the market.

Los Angeles County had a total of 6,466 homes sold in the month of May. The median price for a home sold in the county was $450,000. This represents a 7.66 percent year-to-year increase in sales over last year’s May median sale price of $418,000.

A total of 1,010 homes were sold in the San Fernando Valley for the month of May. The median price for a home sold in the San Fernando Valley was $445,000. Compared to the median sale price figures of May of last year, $420,000, this new number represents a 5.95 percent year-to-year increase in sales activity for the region.


Southern California Stays on Track to Maintain More Normal Market

The latest June foreclosure numbers show lower numbers than the same month last year.

RealtyTrac reports that the six counties of Southern California had 7,528 foreclosures, an eight percent decrease from foreclosure numbers during the same month last year.

Year-to-year foreclosure figures continue to dip for the region, but month-to-month numbers have risen three percent since this past May. Housing professionals have suggested that this increase is due to banks being more stringent on homeowners behind on mortgage payments. Banks want more homes on the market to take advantage of market price increases.

For Los Angeles County, one in every 3,026 homes entered foreclosure in June. Palmdale remains as the leading foreclosure area in the Valley, with a one in every 398 homes ratio. The Antelope Valley city of Lancaster held a similar high rate – one in every 403 homes. High foreclosure rates were also seen in Pacoima (one in every 528 homes), West Hills (one in every 576 homes), and Santa Clarita (one in every 585 homes).

Valley communities with the fewest foreclosures include Burbank (one in every 3,171 homes), Sherman Oaks (one in every 2,779 homes), and Studio City (one in every 1,394 homes).


Southern California Foreclosures Fall, Bank Repossessions Increase

May saw home foreclosures decrease in Southern California. The region consists of six counties, with last month seeing 7,363 foreclosures. This foreclosure rate is 23 percent lower than May of last year. Los Angeles County alone saw one out of every 1,107 homes enter foreclosure.

The highest foreclosure rates in the Southern California region were seen in the Antelope Valley. Historically, this lower income area has seen high foreclosure rates. This past month, Palmdale saw one out of every 398 enter foreclosure. Lancaster also experienced a poor ratio, with one out of every 398 homes entering foreclosure.

Bank repossessions across all states have increased, as well. California’s rate increased 26 percent over the same period last year, with 12,681 repossessions.

Valley communities that experienced low foreclosure numbers for May include North Hollywood (one in every 1,801 homes), La Canada-Flintridge (one in every 1,813 homes), and Newbury Park (one in every 2,217 homes).


Universal Music Group Signs New Warner Center Lease, Combines San Fernando Valley Offices  

CBRE announced that Universal Music Group has signed a new 146,636 square foot lease at the Warner Center in Woodland Hills. While UMG’s main headquarters are in Santa Monica, they have operated in two Woodland Hills offices for some time. Beginning on Feb. 1, 2015, the company’s two San Fernando Valley offices will be combined into a bigger creative space.

This combination creates the largest relocation lease by square feet in the San Fernando Valley this year, with UMG occupying the top four floors of the office building located at 21301 Burbank Blvd. The building’s owner, Hines, owns five of the seven buildings at the LNR Warner Center. UMG’s executive vice president and CFO Boyd Muir described the strategy as an effort to house all of their San Fernando Valley employees in a building operated by a “long-term institutional landlord.” The office merger allows one of the largest and most prestigious music companies in the world to remain in Los Angeles and maintain jobs in the West Valley.