LAT: Massive Shortage of New Homes for Sale

NELAULogoSmallThe LA Times’ E. Scott Reckerd writes that “Southern California home building is stuck at historic lows, one of many factors conspiring against middle-class buyers in a recovery marked by high prices and low supply.” Is help on the way? Absolutely. In just a few short weeks, Tracy Do Real Estate will unveil the first available phase of NELA Union Modern Homes in Glassell Park. You can check out floor plans and sign up on our interest list. It’s the only way to get an invite to our Grand Opening — coming soon.

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A January Jump as Mortgage Rates Drop


From the LA Times’ Andrew Khouri: “More California homes went under contract last month, as buyers showed signs of life heading into the spring season” Things had been flat since October, but a nearly 23% surge in sales from December to January indicates growing “confidence in a market that cooled after a torrid rebound early last year.”


So things look pretty healthy right now, especially for sellers. Local inventory remains low, and while we’re seeing less in terms of all-out bidding wars, the homes that receive proper pricing and marketing sell quickly (usually with multiple offers). Not the best environment for buyers, maybe, but they get some good news too given that interest rates just ticked down again. In fact, in a bit of a surprise, mortgage interest rates are currently hovering near 4%, a really good deal for borrowers.


Is your home search stuck in neutral? Better get it moving — before those rates rise again as they’re predicted to. You might be relying on Zillow, Trulia or any number of web-based services to find your home. But those very handy tools can’t possibly compete with a locally knowledgable and massively connected team of realtors like us. For 2013 we ranked #1 at the John Aaroe Group in closed home sales. And our services for buyers won’t cost you a thing.*

Contact us anytime at Tracy Do Real Estate.

*Our compensation comes from the selling-side of the transaction, after the successful close of escrow.

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Live in LA’s 1st Bike-Friendly Business District


This is fantastic news, reported on the LA Department of Transportation Bike Blog. Elizabeth Gallardo writes: “A BFBD (Bicycle Friendly Business District) is a partnership between the City, neighborhood and business organizations, and local businesses that improves a business district’s Bicycle Friendliness through bicycle infrastructure and local business promotions to people travelling by bicycle. The district encourages and promotes short, local trips, especially for shopping, dining and recreation.”

At Tracy Do Real Estate we are particularly thrilled since the Bicycle District includes our new listing, NELA Union Modern Homes. Located on Eagle Rock Blvd. just a few blocks south of York, these brand-new and very earth-friendly homes in Glassell Park are an address that any home seeker should consider. We’re unveiling them in just a few short weeks, at a Grand Opening party that will include food from NELA’s own Lemon Poppy Kitchen. To get on the invite list, head here.

For further perspective on the BFBD, head to the EastsiderLA and Curbed.

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Mortgage Rates Drop (and Buyers are on it!)

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Mortgage rates ticked down a bit this week on average, which is great news for buyers who (predictably) applied for more loans, according to the LA Times’ Andrew Khouri. However the news comes with a mixed-bag of data overall; Khouri further reports that prices surged in December, “the first significant increase since June.” Research firm DataQuick attributes the rise to “fewer distressed sales and demand that has outstripped tight supply.”

“Pitifully low inventory is the main culprit,” says DataQuick President John Walsh. “The jump in home values over the last year suggests we’ll eventually see a lot more people interested in selling their homes, which would help ease the inventory crunch.”

We sure hope so. Another Khouri report points out that new housing starts are actually down as builders continue to wait on the sidelines (!) ‘“Construction remains the laggard of the recovery,” Trulia chief economist Jed Kolko said in a statement.’

Translation: If you’re able to find a home today and lock in these low interest rates, go for it. Inventory is likely to remain tight for the foreseeable future.

We’re here to help! We can find you the ideal home to fit your needs, budget and taste. It starts with a conversation; we’re great listeners with tremendous market knowledge and a style that sets us apart. Call, text, or email us anytime at Tracy Do Real EstateHope to hear from you soon.

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Hello 2014: A Glance Back + What’s Ahead


It’s a new year in the housing market, and for most home owners it begins quite nicely. After all, 2013 saw a record rebound in residential equity as net holdings “soared $2.2 trillion from the third quarter of 2012 to the third quarter of this year,” according to new data collected by the Federal Reserve and reported by the LA Times’ Kenneth R. Harney.


For those who don’t yet own their home, but are looking to buy, the picture is a bit more layered. 2014 starts with a piece of good news as the Federal Housing Finance Agency has decided to postpone a proposed hike in upfront fees that many people would pay for a home loan (per Les Christie of CNN Money). However, there is some not-so-great news in that interest rates have crept up, increasing the cost of borrowing (E. Scott Reckerd reports in the LA Times). Rates rise and fall, of course, so this shouldn’t worry anyone too much. The general consensus among economists is that, in this still-recovering economy, rates are likely to rise at least slightly in 2014 — but aren’t likely to shoot through the roof. Taken on balance, this would indicate that buyers should remain active, ie. you should be out looking for that home and lock in your mortgage rate sooner rather than later.’s Polyana da Costa has some excellent advice for 2014 mortgage borrowers, you can read it here.

Of course, there’s still the issue of inventory — or lack of it. According to the respected John Burns Real Estate Consulting, and reported by LA Curbed among others, the number of new homes put up for sale in Southern California is the lowest it’s been in 20 years (!)


Maybe that’s why folks are simply purchasing homes and leveling them, leading to a mini construction-boom in some LA neighborhoods as buyers tear down modest-sized houses to make way for bigger ones, as reported by Andrew Khouri in the LA Times.

TDRE_NelaUnion_ESLA_3That might sound extreme, but it’s hardly surprising. Low inventory is one thing; what this market really lacks are options, given that too few existing homes are designed for how today’s buyers want to live. That’s why we’re so excited to present a great opportunity for home ownership that will be available very soon: NELA Union modern homes in Glassell Park. Set within beautifully landscaped grounds that include a community garden and dog run, these residences are being built with open floor plans that can be fully customized in the onsite design lab. With private two-car garages and sustainable elements like tankless water heaters, high efficiency furnaces and radiant roof barriers, NELA Union will not only meet but exceed Title 24 and California green building guidelines. Best of all these stylish, energy-smart homes will be offered at a cost comparable to paying rent. Learn more and sign up on our interest list at

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Harvard Economist Spells it Out: Buying a Home Makes Financial Sense

UnknownAny time there’s a story involving the high cost of real estate, we hear a mob of angry (often anonymous) voices scream, “See?! It makes more sense to rent!” We humbly disagree — but don’t take our word for it. Eric Belsky is Managing Director of the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard. His research proves there’s a whole bunch of reasons why it makes financial sense to own your home. Five of them have been nicely summarized on the blog of real estate news source Keeping Current Matters (see below).

Quick side note: The timing is interesting, given that HJCHS has also just released a report that names Los Angeles as having the highest percentage of renters of any major US metro area last year — a whopping 52%! Read Curbed LA’s take on the story here. And to start living the financially sound life that you have worked so hard to achieve, get in business with housing experts who will put your needs first. We’re here to help you find a home that you can afford and will love. Contact us anytime at Tracy Do Real Estate.


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Condos Gain Traction with New Buyers


A recent LA Times article discusses the sea change taking place, as increasing numbers of first-time buyers purchase condominiums instead of detached homes. It’s all about the numbers, and the Times’ Andrew Khouri spells it out plainly: “For many, condos are the only affordable path to homeownership in urban areas near jobs, cafes and boutiques.”

Richard Green, director of USC’s Lusk Center for Real Estate puts it this way: “People who a year ago could afford houses can’t. But they can afford condos.”

To us this represents a very positive trend, proof that a new generation of home buyers understands the benefits of ownership over paying rent. Condos don’t have to mean compromise, in fact for some people the “lock the door and leave” lifestyle is an ideal fit. There’s less to worry about, less maintenance, and the density of condo communities makes them more earth-friendly than a typical suburban house.

Proudly, we are representing 52 beautiful, modern condominiums that will soon be for sale in the fast-rising Eastside enclave of Glassell Park. NELA Union homes have so much to offer, with versatile 3-level floor plans, attached 2-car garages and energy efficient building elements and appliances. Bright, spacious and contemporary, these homes look absolutely great. And they’re priced in a range that many people will be able to afford, starting in the mid/high $400,000’s, up to the low $600,000’s for a prime-located 4-bedroom home.


Head to to see what this new community of townhome-style condominiums is all about. While you’re at it, check us out on Facebook and Instagram, too. If you have any questions, be sure to get in touch with us at Tracy Do Real Estate, or send an email to

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This entry was posted in: Deals

Mortgage Rates Drop Again


It’s good news for home buyers, who might have been jittery a few weeks back when interest rates spiked upward (though they were still pretty low!) E. Scott Reckard of the LA Times writes, “Here’s one clear effect of the  government shutdown: Mortgage rates have tumbled to their lowest level since spring. Freddie Mac said Thursday that lenders were offering the 30-year loan early this week at an average 4.13%, down from 4.28% last week.” Read Reckard’s full story, here.

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Graphic courtesy of Freddie Mac. 

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Mortgage Rates Plummet While Rents Continue to Rise

Christina Mlysnki at HousingWire reports that “fixed mortgage rates fell to a nine-week low this past week, following the Federal Reserve’s announcement that it will maintain its bond-buying program to keep homebuyer affordability elevated.” That rate is currently 4.37% on a 30-year fixed, a favorable borrowing opportunity that stands in stark contrast to the scenario faced by renters. Roger Vincent of the LA Times paints the grim picture: “Rents will continue to rise for the next two years, according to (the) 2013 USC Casden Multifamily Forecast, as the region’s rental housing market continues to absorb units faster than they are being completed.”

For anyone who has put off buying a home, this is news you’ll want to think about. Real estate remains in high demand in the LA region, and prices are rising. But there are still options for you, including financing opportunities that can make ownership far more affordable than you might think.

Get expert guidance that considers your personal and financial needs. Contact Tracy Do Real Estate.

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7 Reasons to Buy a House Before 2014


From Sabah Karimi at the US News & World Report: “If you’ve been thinking about taking the plunge and buying a home, the last quarter of 2013 might just be the time to do it.” To learn why, click here.

And click here to connect to Tracy Do Real Estate; expert guidance for your home search or sale.

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This entry was posted in: Deals