Real Estate News: No Relief In Sight For Southern California Apartment Rents

Real Estate News – “Sky-high apartment rents in Southern California are expected to climb further in coming years, as construction fails to keep up with population and job growth.”

Real Estate News:
No Relief In Sight For Southern California Apartment Rents

Southern California Apartment Rents | USC Casden Multifamily Report | BrionCosta.com | Steve Gaghagen | Brion Costa

San Gabriel Valley Apartments Are No Exception

The USC Casden Multifamily Report is out,  and it’s not good news for renters just yet. The report finds no relief in sight as far as Southern California apartment rents are concerned … in the near future. Of course, San Gabriel Valley apartments are not miraculously exempt from this trend as the underlying cause is simple: supply and demand. And the rules of Supply and Demand are in effect in all of Southern California.

Anyone who has tried to rent an apartment anywhere in Southern California will be aware that rents are high just about anywhere. The fact is that over the last decade there were a lot of folks who were homeowners who are not anymore. They lost their homes in foreclosure and began renting their home or became apartment dwellers. Financial conditions over the last few years, combined with the new, high prices to purchase a home have also contributed to the number of renters seeking dwellings for rent.

The result is that construction has not kept up with demand. When that happens … prices go up, and that’s what we have today with the cost of rentals in Southern California. And, we have no relief in sight for the near future.

There is, however, a hint of possible good news here, in that the economic experts who compile the USC Casden Multifamily Forecast believe that we may be seeing the “beginning of the end” of this trend. They’re not predicting a “rental turnaround” immediately, but are saying that there are factors in play that could foreshadow the end of this “bull market” in Southern California apartment rents.

Here’s a comprehensive article by Andrew Khouri from the L.A. Times. This article is based on the Casden report, but only mentions the fact that there is no relief in site immediately. It does not delve into the more complicated subject of just when this trend of really high cost for apartments in Southern California might come to an end … or at least slow down. The full report does address this, and it’s available for you to download at the bottom of this page.

Southern California Apartment Rents Are Expected To Continue Rising Through 2018 | L.A. Times

Los Angeles Times

“Sky-high apartment rents in Southern California are expected to climb further in coming years, as construction fails to keep up with population and job growth, according to a forecast released Tuesday. The average rent in Los Angeles County is expected to hit $1,416 a month in 2018, an 8.3% jump from last year, while in Orange County, average rents are likely to rise 9.4% to an average of $1,736, the USC Casden Multifamily Forecast said.”

Read More Here: http://www.latimes.com/business/realestate/la-fi-casden-forecast-20160412-story.html

The USC Casden Multifamily Report

The USC Casden Multifamily Report is a long standing and well-respected part of the Casden Real Estate Economics Forcast, which is part of the USC Lusk Center. It operates under the Casden Endowment, originally funded by Alan Casden, a major developer of Southern California multifamily housing.

If you would like to read this complete report, You can download the FULL REPORT here: https://lusk.usc.edu/casden/multifamily/report

Real Estate News

Real Estate News: San Gabriel Valley Development & Mansionization

Real Estate News – “As cities across Southern California grapple with how to best preserve historic structures and refine outdated development standards, the debate over “mansionization” continues to take center stage.”

San Gabriel Valley Development & Mansionization

Real Estate News | Mansionization | BrionCosta.com | Steve Gaghagen

A home in the 1600 block of Alta Oaks Drive is an example of some of the large homes built or being built in Arcadia Wednesday, May, 13, 2015. (Photo by Walt Mancini/Pasadena Star-News)

What’s Happening In Your Neighborhood?

The debate over the latest trend in real estate development, namely “mansionization”, continues to boil across the San Gabriel Valley. Year by year the character of neighborhoods is changing, in some places rapidly, and not everyone is elated.

The debate, of course, revolves around two points of view. One is that a property owner should be able to do what they want with their property as long as they remain within codes. The other is more concerned with neighborhood preservation and maintaining the original  “character” of an area.

It’s a tough call and not an easy one to make. There are many pushing for restrictions on living space relative to lot size in different areas. There are also those concerned that placing such restrictions will have a negative effect on property values in the restricted area. And, there are those who fear that the very word “mansionization” is actually a kind of coded racism.

So, what is “mansionization”, and how is it impacting our area? Today we’ll be highlighting two articles, both by Courtney Thompkins of the San Gabriel Valley Tribune. One concerns the very nature of mansionization … what it is and how it can impact a neighborhood. The other is a report on current activities by the city council in Arcadia and the critical decision they may possibly be making as early as tomorrow night.

What Is Mansionization? Real Estate Trend Debated Across San Gabriel Valley | San Gabriel Valley Tribune

San Gabriel Valley Tribune

“They have been referred to as “starter castles,” a play on the term starter home, the type of development that sprouted many cities in the San Gabriel Valley.

“The desire to preserve neighborhoods’ classic look is one of the bigger concerns voiced by residents throughout the Southland, but some say the underlying concern is the changing demographics and differing cultural aesthetics.”

Read More Here: http://www.sgvtribune.com/government-and-politics/20160305/what-is-mansionization-real-estate-trend-debated-across-san-gabriel-valley

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Arcadia To Decide On Economic Impact Study For Proposed Zoning Changes | San Gabriel Valley Tribune

San Gabriel Valley Tribune

ARCADIA >> Officials on Tuesday will decide whether the city should pursue an economic impact study before adopting new residential zoning regulations. The City Council had intended to review the proposed zoning code recommendations this week, but a Planning Commission vote in late February altered the course.

Read More Here: http://www.sgvtribune.com/government-and-politics/20160314/arcadia-to-decide-on-economic-impact-study-for-proposed-zoning-changes

Real Estate News

Real Estate News: January Numbers Are In & They're Good

Real Estate News – “We’ve only just gotten the major data reports for January, and … things are looking good. …”

Real Estate News:
January Numbers Are In & They’re Good

Real Estate News | Home Sales Trends | January 2016 | BrionCosta.com | Steve Gaghagen | Brion Costa

The Numbers For Home Sales Trends In January Of 2016 Paint A Picture Of A Solid Market That’s Steadily Improving

Most analysts have been waiting with bated breath for the January numbers to come in concerning real estate trends. The fact is that in December, as reported in these pages, there were some influences that lengthened some closings and pushed them from November to December. There are probably some  that were pushed from December to January. At any rate, there was some shuffling around of sales and closings that made the “numbers crunching” rather murkey. All in all, most market watchers have been and ramained positive. But those murky areas in the numbers did cause some to be concerned that we could see a slow down in January.

Well, there needn’t have been concern in that area. The numbers are in for January and they are good. The economy in general is having a positive influence on everything here. The fact that 151,000 jobs were added last month is very supportive of demand, and indicates the 3% economic growth that most analysts have been predicting for 2016 will most probably be in the ball park. Other factors, too, contribute to what looks like a very healthy market report.

For a detailed look at all this, we’d like to direct your attention to a very recent article by Jonathan Smoke of Realtor.com News. He runs it all down there. Take a look at that, and we’ll continue our discussion after the break.

The Numbers Are In: Yup, 2016 Is Off to a Good Start in Home Sales | Realtor.com

Realtor.com News

Net-net, pent-up demand appears stronger than any weakness caused by the financial markets. And the lower rates are encouraging would-be buyers to act sooner rather than later. With this strong start, 2016 should indeed see growth, but the biggest constraint will be the tight supply.

Read More Here: http://www.realtor.com/news/trends/2016-off-to-good-start-home-sales/

Starting 2016 With A Healthy Home Sales Market

So, it appears we’re beginning 2016 with a fairly healthy home sales market. Most analysts were expecting a decline in home sales activity in January, but we found instead there had been an increase in activity of 0.4%. That’s not huge, but it happens at an unexpected time. All things considered, it appears that we have increasing demand in January.  That’s unusual. Most Realtors and market analysts don’t expect to see that. traditionally, until March or April.

Bottom line here: Increased activity maintains pressure upwards on prices as inventories remain low. If you’re a potential buyer in 2016, you might want to get moving now instead of wating for the traditional “Spring / Summer Selling Season”. We could see prices rising in the summer, so now may be a better time to buy if you’re able. Additionally, mortgage rates are incredibly low right now, and that can’t last forever. There are multiple forces and incators telling buyers to move now if they can.

Real Estate News

Meet Steve Gaghagen, Our New Managing Editor

Steve Gaghagen | Managing Editor & Market Analyst | BrionCosta.comMeet Our New Managing Editor & Market Analyst – “BrionCosta.com welcomes Steve Gaghagen to the website!”

Meet Our New
Managing Editor & Market Analyst

Steve Gaghagen | BrionCosta.com

Steve Gaghagen
Managing Editor & Market Analyst
BrionCosta.com

BrionCosta.com Welcomes Steve Gaghagen To The Website

To start the year off right, we are going to put into practice something I’ve been discussing with other folks for a while now. As of today, my good friend Steve Gaghagen will be taking over operations here at BrionCosta.com as Managing Editor and Market Analyst.

I’ve known Steve for over 40 years and, as I say, we have been discussing this move for some time. Steve has been active in the creation of this website, but now I’ve asked him to come in as our blog and website manager, and he’s agreed.

I first met Steve in the 1970’s through music. He was the vocalist in a great band I was in called “The Cyclones”. If you were around the Arcadia / Pasadena or the Hollywood areas in 1975 to about 1979 you might have heard us at places like The Starwood or Gazzarris. At that time, Steve was concentrating on being an accomplished vocalist, actor, and director. He spent a couple of decades pursuing those endeavors, but eventually branched out.

In the late 1980’s, Steve moved to Big Bear Lake, California, and became a Realtor. He also became an accomplished market analyst and futures trader, as well as branching out into Internet Marketing and blogging. In 2006, Steve left the active practice of real estate itself to focus on blogging, and teaching othrs to use a blog to build their reputations online. He now teaches Content Curation to bloggers at his “Curation-Works” program.

All of these things, along with the fact that I’ve known him forever and trust him like you trust an old, old friend, makes Steve the perfect person to take over daily operations here at BrionCosta.com. Don’t worry … you’ll still be hearing from me. It’s just that I won’t have to do everythinng around here anymore.

That’s it! A new year and a new face to add to the roster! I’m very excited about welcoming my old friend on board, and I know you’ll enjoy the fresh new energy around here.

Welcome to the website, Steve! Glad to have you here!

Real Estate News: Millennials Should Consider Leaving The Nest… Now

Real Estate News – “Millennials appear to be in no rush to ditch their parents’ homes. Perhaps they should be. …”

Millennials Should Consider Leaving The Nest
… Now

Real Estate News | Brion CostaMarket Conditions May Be As Good As They’ll Get For Millennials Wondering When To Jump In

As we begin the new year, one of the things we need to be aware of is the fact that there are many potential real estate owners still sitting on the sidelines in our current market. A great many of those folks are members of the generation known as “Millennials”. Just as this generation hit the age where most people are beginning to buy homes and real estate, the real estate news all turned sour and the market crashed. Everyone was scared off except for the most savvy and liquid investors. All the real estate news was about foreclosures and most traditional buyers were simply firghtened away.

Many millennials are still living with parents or have taken to renting while they watch the real estate news and market conditions, trying to decide when is the best time to enter the market. Well, the truth is … that time is most probably right now. No timing is perfect, and no market is ever perfect. The fact is there are always ways in which conditions could be better. But the cold , hard fact is that they may not be better in the foreseeable future than they are right now.

The housing market has rebounded over the last few years. Yes, prices are rising. However, interest rates are still relatively low. The Federal Reserve has just instituted a 1/4 percent rate hike for the first time in years, and we expect it to continue this type of small periodical interest hike over the coming year. This action will eventually be felt in mortgage interest rates. 

A condition of steadily rising prices … and steadily rising interest rates … clearly indicates that right now is probably the best time for anyone considering entering the real estate market as a homebuyer for the first time to get down to it and take action.

Here is an article by Steven Russolillo of the Wall Street Journal about this very concept. The WSJ requires registration for you to view the articles, so we’ll share it with you as it appeared in the Real Estate News section of Realtor.com.

Time for Millennials to Leave the Nest | Realtor.com

Realtor.com

“If, for instance, 30-year mortgage rates rise by one percentage point a year from now and home prices rise by another 5%, a monthly mortgage payment could jump by around 18%. Rising prices and interest rates may please the older generation, but not the one that hasn’t yet begun climbing the property ladder. The fear of missing out—or FOMO, as the kids say these days—should prompt millennials to act now.”

Read More Here: http://www.realtor.com/news/real-estate-news/housing-rebound-time-for-millennials-to-leave-the-nest/

Any Real Estate Market Is A Double-Edged Sword

As usual, there are two sides to every story. In real estate there is the Buyer’s side and the Seller’s side. They are not always in alignment. Right now, Sellers are enjoying rising prices. Those rising prices can be intimidating to Millennials thinking of entering the market. The fact is, however, that they will probably only get higher over the next few years. The same is true of interest rates. On the other hand, many millenials are also made “gun shy” by student loan debt.

The bottom line here is this: trying to perfectly “time” a market is a receipe for getting left behind. Real estate markets and cycles take time to develop, and millennials who could dive in now but who sit out our current market waiting for “better conditions” could very well find themselves waiting a decade or so for things to turn more favorable than they are now.

Real Estate News.

Southern California Home Sales: Luxury Home Prices Fall Nationwide

Southern California Home Sales – “The luxury market was the first to recover from the housing downturn, and now it’s a bellwether of slowing price growth for the rest of the market. Sales at the top end of the market continue to soar, but prices are downshifting …”

Southern California Home Sales:
Luxury Home Prices Fall Nationwide

Southern California Home Sales

According to Redfin, Los Angeles is among the hardest hit areas in terms of the decline in prices of Luxury Home Sales, dropping 10% from 2014 levels.

Southern California Home Sales Are Among Most Drastically Effected

This week we’ve been taking a look at California home sales in 2015 and 2016. We’ve been highlighting how Southern California home sales have performed this year and what to expect from the California real estate market in the coming year. In general, we’re looking at a housing market that is growing in sales and value, but at a slower rate than before. In short, we appear to be experiencing a “rest” in the market. All in all, that’s a good thing.

There is one section of the California Homes for Sale market, however, that is not performing like the rest. Prices of Luxury homes fell during the 2nd half of 2015 for the first time since 2012. Over at Redfin, they have been analyzing this and have come up with some very interesting numbers. As you can see from the chart above, Los Angeles is among the hardest hit areas as far as falling prices of luxury homes.

There are several causes for this, and one is the slowdown of activity from foreign investors. Here in the San Gabriel Valley we’ve noticed a distinct pull-back of activity since the fall of the Chinese stock market and the crackdown of the Chinese government on money being invested overseas. With that slowdown, prices began to pull back in an effort to attract buyers.

Check out this detailed article by Alina Ptaszynski over at Redfin. We’ll conclude our analysis after the jump.

Luxury Home Prices Fell This Summer for the First Time Since 2012 | Redfin

Redfin Blog

“Home prices in the luxury market fell 2.2 percent in the third quarter compared to last year, the first time prices for the nation’s most expensive homes have fallen since the first quarter of 2012. The luxury market, which we identify as the priciest 5 percent, was shown up by the bottom 95 percent, where prices grew 3.8 percent over the same period. The bottom 95 percent of the market has seen consistent price growth of around 4 percent in each of the past four quarters.”

Read More Here: https://www.redfin.com/blog/2015/12/home-prices-in-the-luxury-market-fell-this-summer-for-the-first-time-since-2012.html

Southern California Home Sales: Is Luxury Real Estate A Leading Indicator?

As I mentioned in earlier posts this week, there are a few … not many, but a few … analysts of the real estate market who are convinced that we are currently experiencing another “real estate bubble”, and that prices and activity are both about to fall. One of the things that they point to is the recent decline in prices in the area of Luxury homes. The upper end of the market has long been considered a “leading indicator” for the rest of the market. The top 5% market area was among the first to recover. Could this recent drop in prices among luxury homes signify a coming downturn in the rest of the market as well?

Personally, I don’t subscribe to the extremely pessimistic view of some. All markets adjust. No market simply moves upwards in a straight line. No market moves downwards in a straight line. Whichever way the market trend is going, there will be “retracements” and “market adjustments” along the way. What’s more important than these adjustments, is the trend itself. This market action among Luxury Homes is certainly a heavy adjustment, but it falls far short of signifying a trend reversal.

The Southern California Home Sales market … along with real estate in the rest of the nation … is on an upward trend. The fact is that Luxury Home prices had become very inflated and overblown by last June, and they have adjusted over the last few months. The rest of the market may be a bit overpriced, but not to that degree. Yes, we may see some adjustment in prices throughout the rest of the market over the next few months, but it’s not the bursting of a “bubble”. It’s not the reversal of the current trend. It’s the normal activity of a healthy market making needed adjustments, and after a brief pull-back the upward trend should continue.

Southern California Home Sales.

Southern California Home Sales in 2016: Five Predictions From Redfin

Southern California Home Sales in 2016 – “Most economists agree that housing prices and sales will continue to grow in 2016, just at a slower pace. Call it a slowdown, but not bad news. …”

Southern California Home Sales in 2016:
Five Predictions From Redfin

Southern California Home Sales in 2016 | Brion CostaOnline Real Estate Giant’s Predictions Are A Mixed Bag

As we did in Monday’s post, today we’re presenting another set of predictions regarding Southern California Home Sales in 2016. These are a bit less specific to our own area here in the San Gabriel Valley. They come from the online real estate brokerage and analyst house, Redfin, and they are nationwide predictions. Even so, this 2016 Home Sales Forecast is likely what you’ll see in the Southern California home sales market next year, and it’s a mixed bag of news.

As with most analysts, the Redfin predictions do not forsee any “booming” going on. They are focused on the moderation of things in general. They find that the housing market, in general, will continue to grow, but at a slower pace than we’ve seen. This is actually better news for buyers. If the market maintains growth while moderating the rate of exchanges and the rise in prices, that’s good news for buyers, and indicates a healthy market long term.

Redfin’s 5 Predictions are:

1) Prices and Sales Will Grow 1/2 As Fast

2) Credit Will Ease A Bit

3) There Will Be More (and older) First Time Buyers

4) The Market Will Slow & We Will See Slower Closings As Well

5) Inventory Shortage Will Continue

The specifics of why Redfin is predicting each of these and just what effect the item will have on the market can all be found on the Redfin Blog post itself. This particular post was written by Nela Richardson, and she does a fine job of illustrating the “why’s and wherefore’s” of her 2016 housing market predictions.

Five 2016 Housing Market Predictions from Redfin | Redfin Blog

Redfin Blog

“Next year holds a few interesting developments, some good for housing, some bad. Easier credit will bring in more buyers, but higher mortgage rates, continued low inventory and the wildcard of a presidential election will weigh down growth. All things considered, we see a fairly uneventful housing market next year.”

Read More Here: https://www.redfin.com/blog/2015/12/five-2016-housing-market-predictions-redfin.html

Southern California Home Sales in 2016: Slow and Steady

Our national and regional real estate markets have made a really dramatic recovery over the last few years. Dramatic recoveries create stress. As in any market, a “resting” period or a “retracement” becomes necessary. Buyers and Sellers look for a little “breathing room” where they can take a step back and not feel so rushed to get their timing right. This is the consensus of what we should expect for 2016. And it’s not completely unwelcome news. A “resting” market is usually a good indication of market health, and in the long run that’s good news for both sellers and buyers

It should be noted that not all sectors of the housing market perform the same. On Friday we’ll look at a sector of housing that’s not “hitting the marks” as well as the others. Since this sector is somewhat of a “leading indicator” of future general market performance, it bears looking into the reasons for its current under-performance. Join us for our next post where we’ll discuss the difficulties being experienced by the Luxury Home market these days.

Southern California Home Sales in 2016.

Real Estate News: Yes, The Market Is In A Recovery

Real Estate News – If you look solely at good old-fashioned, non-distressed sales, October was up over September and last year: It’s beginning to look a lot like a recovery…

Real Estate News:
Yes, The Market Is In A Recovery

Real Estate News | Brion Costa

In Spite Of Some “Resting” Signals, The Market Is Definitely In Recovery Mode

In spite of some recent news … some appearing in these pages … that might be construed as “negative” as far as the current real estate market is concerned, things are still in a “recovery” and “uptrend” mode.

In recent weeks we’ve seen prices in many areas … such as Southern California … rise to rates that have slowed buyer activity in many ranges. We’ve heard how many Middle Class buyers are being priced out of neighborhoods that they would traditionally have been comfortable purchase locations. We’ve heard how, here in Southern California much of the “investor driven” market has cooled. These things are all true.

However, what is also true is that these appear to be “short term” adjustment behaviors, and not indicators of a change in long term market trends. If we back up and take a “longer” view of the market, looking nationwide and not at any one particular area, we are still in an “uptrend” and definitely in “recovery mode”.

Here’s a report from Jonathan Smoke that appeared in today’s Realtor.com/news:

Market Update: It’s Beginning to Look Like a Recovery | Realtor.com

Realtor.com/news Nov 21, 2014

” The new home market is finally improving, as demonstrated by single-family housing starts—the number of privately owned housing units on which construction has begun. Single-family starts in October were at the second-highest level in more than six years. Homebuilders are encouraged by this increase in activity, as builder confidence also improved this month.” …

Read More Here: http://www.realtor.com/news/market-update-beginning-recovery/

All Markets Advance In Fits And Starts … A Rest Builds A Solid Foundation

No market builds from the sub-basement to the clouds in a uniform, ever-advancing manner. There are always market “retracements”, “pull backs”, and “adjustments”. Multiple and complex “fundamentals” underlie the real estate market and combine to create complicated “technicals” which all translates in common market movement. The real estate market we’re experiencing now is solid, on the upswing in the long term, and currently taking a slight rest to build a better, more solid foundation.

Next year should see some nice sales numbers in both activity and prices.

Mortgage Rates: Middle Class Suffers In Loan Market

Mortgage Rates – “For three decades, the U.S. middle class enjoyed a rare financial advantage over the wealthy: lower mortgage rates … Now, even that perk is fading away …

Mortgage Rates:
Middle Class Suffers In Loan Market

Mortgage Rates | Brion Costa

Aniqa Jaswal, seen with daughters Arissa, right, and Jayda on the front stoop of their home in La Jolla, bought this four-bedroom house with her husband in February after his management consulting business began flourishing. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)

Current Mortgage Rates & Lending Conditions Favor Wealthy Over Middle Class 

When we look at today’s real estate market we see some very clear indications that the market is very good for some, but not so wonderful for most. The Middle Class is getting “priced out” of the market in many areas by high prices and high interest rates.

For many years the Middle Class was being encouraged by lenders to become home owners. They could count on paying a lower interest rate on a “normal” loan than someone financing using a “Jumbo” loan. Now that’s no longer possible. A conventional loan and a “Jumbo” are demanding interest rates that are basically the same.

Additionally, the price of housing these days, in many areas, has made the use of “Jumbo” loans a requirement. In many areas there are no homes available below the “Jumbo” loan range. This has simply knocked many potential homeowners right out of the market completely, or at least forced them to look elsewhere if that’s possible for them.

For a detailed explanation of the numbers, the facts on the ground, and how they all work together to create a situation that … like so much else these days … is favorable for the wealthy, but puts most everyone else at a disadvantage, let’s look at an article by Josh Boak, the Economic Writer for the Associated Press, as it appeared just the other day in The Pasadena Star-News.

A Fading Middle-Class Perk: Lower Mortgage Rates | Pasadena Star News

http://www.pasadenastarnews.com Friday, April 25, 2014 9:56:09 AM

WASHINGTON — For three decades, the U.S. middle class enjoyed a rare financial advantage over the wealthy: lower mortgage rates … Now, even that perk is fading away … This trend reflects the widening wealth gap between the richest Americans and everyone else. Bankers now view jumbo borrowers as safer and shrewder bets even though conventional borrowers put less capital at risk.

Read More At: http://www.pasadenastarnews.com/business/20140425/a-fading-middle-class-perk-lower-mortgage-rates

Lending Conditions Reflect Greater Economic Realities

When reading Mr. Boak’s article, it doesn’t take much perception to see that the mortgage market and the real estate market are both reflecting realities that exist in the economy on a wider scale. From employment to wages and all manner of measurements, the economic recovery we’re experiencing as a nation, though undeniable, has been quick to accrue to the benefit of the wealthy, while it tends to leave behind the middle class behind and anyone not in the top percentages of earners.

The real estate market is generally considered “good” right now.  Good for whom is an interesting question, and one we’ll need to discuss more in the coming days.

Real Estate News: Zillow To Market Southland Homes Directly To Chinese Market

Real Estate News:
Zillow To Market Southland Homes Directly To Chinese Market!

Southern California Real Estate | Brion Costa

Homebuilder Lennar has attracted Chinese and Chinese American buyers in Chino, Calif., such as Rebecca Chow and her family, from left, Ryan, Tiffany, and Tommy, with a home-within-a-home concept with a second living room and “wok” kitchen designed to accommodate Chinese cooking (LA Times /Cheryl A. Guerrero / MCT / September 7, 2013)

Zillow Announces Partnership & Will Provide SoCal Listings Through Chinese Online Portal 

We’ve written in these pages recently about the current influx of Southern California real estate buyers that are Chinese nationals. There is a great deal of money being invested in California real estate that is coming from China these days. In fact, wealthy Chinese buyers are driving the market in certain areas. The San Gabriel Valley is certainly one of the most prominent of those.

As if to offer verification of these contentions, the Seattle-based real estate website company, Zillow, Inc., has just announced that it will partner with Beijing-based Leju, an affiliate of E-House China Holdings, Ltd. Together the two companies will construct a co-branded website to offer Zillow’s US online listing data to Chinese buyers in China.

Here’s an article from Andrew Khouri with all the details as it appeared in the Los Angeles Times:

Zillow To Partner With Beijing Firm To Market U.S. Homes Abroad – Los Angeles Times

http://www.latimes.com/ Wed, 4 Apr 2014

Many see U.S. real estate as a cheaper and more stable investment as fears over a Chinese property bubble grow amid other political and economic concerns. … Chinese buyers bought 12% of all U.S. homes purchased by foreign citizens last year, up from 5% in 2007, according to the National Assn. of Realtors. More than half their home purchases were in California. And more than two-thirds of them paid cash…

Read More Here: http://www.latimes.com/business/money/la-fi-mo-zillow-chinese-20140402,0,4820992.story#axzz2xwqk5gDT

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UPDATE: Read Zillow’s Own Announcement To Real Estate Pro’s

Zillow to Power U.S. Real Estate Listings For Leju, China’s Second Largest Real Estate Website – Zillow For Pro’s Blog

http://www.zillow.com/blog/pro/ 2 Apr 2014

Beginning in early summer 2014, Leju visitors who search for U.S. properties will be brought to a Zillow-Leju co-branded website whereby they will have access to Zillow’s robust home search experience, rich data on homes, millions of for-sale listings, and unique pre-market inventory … The co-branded site will be translated into Chinese….

Read More Here: http://www.zillow.com/blog/pro/zillow-leju-cobranded-website-111002/

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Savvy Brokers and Agents Can Capitalize

With the coming of this new and very direct informational link with the huge potential market of Chinese buyers, savvy real estate brokers and agents can make good use of this new opportunity. With so much of the California market being driven by this type of investor, those real estate practioners who have their listings displayed on Zillow will have a huge new market … that of the Chinese investor … directly viewing the properties they have available.