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September 2007

Los Angeles Mortgage Rates Report- August 28, 2007- Lock All Loans

Our Los Angeles Mortgage Rates Report from last week advised clients to float their loans.  We still maintained a lock-in stance for all non-conforming and jumbo loans as that market is changing daily.  Until Wall Street investors set the market for jumbo loans, we maintain that stance.

Los Angeles home buyers saved money by listening to that advice.  Rates decreased an average of .125% this past week.  Now, we think it's time to reap that reward and lock-in interest rates for all loans at application.  Mortgage bonds are trading near their 200-day moving average which means that the next 2-3 days may show the absolute best rates in 6 months on the fixed-rate mortgage side.  We think there is more risk to rates rising before the Fed meeting in September than there is opportunity for lower rates during that period.

One of our portfolio lenders is offering an annual ARM, interest only,  at 5.5% with an APR of 6.44%.  This means that the first year is locked in at 5.5%, the second year at 6.44%, and then the loan becomes a LIBOR-based ARM.  There is no pre-payment penalty associated with this loan.  We particularly like this loan product because we believe that interest rates are in a 12-24 month downward trend; we think there will be some opportunities to refinance to a fixed rate loan as low as 5.5% in the next two years.  Borrowers with a short-term horizon (meaning they may consider a move in 12-24 months) should ask for more information.  Admittedly, this is a teaser rate but sometimes teaser rates have the right application when the hold timeframe matches up to the interest rate term.

Mortgage Interest Rates*
Rates as of 08/27/2007:
Conforming APR Payment per
Jumbo APR Payment per
5-Yr. Interest Only 6.5% 6.572% $5.42 7.25% 7.350% $6.04
10 Yr Interest Only 6.625% 6.744% $5.52 7.25% 7.411% $6.04
7/! ARM 6.625% 6.697% $5.52 7.25% 7.350% $6.04
30 Year Fixed 6.125% 6.195% $6.08 7.5% 7.602% $6.99
Annual ARM 5.75% 5.819% $5.84 6.125% 6.219% $6.08
HELOC 8.25% 8.330% $6.88 8.25% 8.357% $6.88
5 Yr ARM- Amo 6.375% 6.446% $6.24 7.125% 7.225% $6.74
*Rates are subject to change due to market fluctuations and borrower's eligibility.

Old L.A. (HP) Farmer's Market Report

Whoever came up with the phrase “eat your colors” must have been a farmers market devotee. It’s a good way to eat and a fun way to shop, especially in the middle of summer when the riot of colors at the market is at its peak.

This week I was enthralled with all things purple, especially gorgeous purple potatoes. With these beauties, I made a delicious, warm potato salad, including red onions, dark ruby red heirloom tomatoes and bright, fresh basil – each item procured at the market. Topped off with a little smoked salmon for protein and flavor and it was an entirely satisfying meal.

My latest obsession is a book I just got my hands on called “12 Best Foods Cookbook” with over 200 recipes for using them in every day meals. Of the “12 Best”, over half of them can easily be gotten from the farmers market, including: blueberries (when in season), sweet potatoes, spinach (nearly always available), broccoli (plenty of good looking heads at the market last week), tomatoes (of all shapes, sizes and colors!), walnuts (also at the market) and onions (like the tomatoes, available in stunning variety). Throughout the book, the recipes incorporate many other “super-healthy” fruits, veggies and nuts easily picked up at the market: strawberries, avocados, grapes, greens of all kinds, red and yellow peppers, corn, melon and various squash. OK – typing that list made me hungry, so I’m headed off to the kitchen to put together my next meal.

I am away next week, so you won’t see a report from me for the August 28 market, but I will be back to see you all at the market in it’s new location on Avenue 58 on September 4th. Until then, stay healthy and enjoy the remains of the summer.


40th Anniversary - Summer of Love Celebration at Heritage Square

Heritage Square Museum remembers a watershed year in recent history when Flower Power was in full  bloom, hippies hung out on the Sunset Strip, and there was a Love-In in Griffith Park. The "happening" is Saturday August 25th from 4:00 until 7:00 PM.

Tickets for this fundraising event are $25 per person. There will be food, face painting, dance contests, hippie "costume" contests, give-aways, and of course, music. K-EARTH-101 radio will be there,  broadcasting all the "oldies", while special musical guest "The Ravelers" put their own spin on the 60s.

40 years ago, young people converged on Los Angeles and San Francisco in a social experiment that  changed society. Victorian houses were a backdrop for the activities and events of that era. At that time, no one was interested in Victorian architecture--it was not considered chic or desirable, but it provided cheap housing for the hippies, who embraced its uniqueness as part of their counterculture ideals.

From the Monterey Pop Festival, the publication of Rolling Stone Magazine, the first airing of Laugh-In, to the Vietnam and 6-Day Wars, 1967 was a year that saw strangely diverse events. Against a backdrop of war protests and rock and roll music, the youth of America tried to maintain a vision of free-spirited idealism. Although the Summer of Love marked both a beginning and an end, it is remembered as a milestone of hippie culture. Forty years later, the hippies have become the "Establishment" and the Summer of Love a distant memory of youthful idealism. There are many parallels between then and now. Get out your love beads and be sure to wear some flowers in your hair!

Heritage Square Museum
3800 Homer Street , Los Angeles,90031

Admission: $25.00
For more information call: 323-225-2700 ext. 224

Los Angeles Mortgage Rates Report- August 21, 2007

Los Angeles home buyers can take a breather.  Our advice to lock rates at application these past two weeks was sound.  Although treasury bond yields dropped, mortgage-backed securities yields rose in fear of more defaults.    It was understanding this conundrum that prompted our lock advice.

Today, we think it is safe for a Los Angeles mortgage applicant to float their mortgage rate; there may be some room for improvement this week.

The liquidity crisis extends past our borders:  A large British insurance company may have been forced to borrow from the Bank of England and a potential German banking crisis abounds.

Senator Dodd just met with Fed Chairman Bernanke.  He queried whether the Fed was willing to use any and all available resources to avert a mortgage liquidity crisis and seemed satisfied with the Fed Chairman's response.  That may have averted Congressional interference (we hope).  Senator Dodd is continuing to petition the President to raise the statutory limits of conforming loans ($417,000) as an emergency measure.  Californians would benefit from this prospect because conforming loans offer lower rates and more loan options than jumbo loans.

Rates as of 08/21/2007:
  Conforming APR Payment per
Jumbo APR Payment per
5-Yr. Interest Only 6.625% 6.697% $5.52 7.25% 7.350% $6.04
10 Yr Interest Only 6.75% 6.869% $5.63 7.25% 7.411% $6.04
7/! ARM 6.625% 6.697% $5.52 7.25% 7.350% $6.04
30 Year Fixed 6.25% 6.321% $6.16 7.5% 7.602% $6.99
Annual ARM 5.75% 5.819% $5.84 6.125% 6.219% $6.08
HELOC 8.25% 8.330% $6.88 8.25% 8.357% $6.88
5 Yr ARM- Amo 6.5% 6.572% $6.32 7.125% 7.225% $6.74
*Rates are subject to change due to market fluctuations and borrower's eligibility

Old L.A. (HP) Farmer's Market Report

Big news at the market! It’s going to be moving, just slightly, over to Avenue 58, between Marmion Way and Figueroa, where it will be visible from both the Gold Line and passing traffic on Figueroa. Hopefully, this will bring new shoppers and vendors to the market, so this local institution will continue to grow and thrive. As an added bonus, parking will be available in the lot where the market has been set up. All of this takes place as of September 4, so come check it out at the grand re-opening.

My big score at the market this week was a basket of fresh, black Mission figs. Delicious! You can eat them by themselves, chopped up in a salad or on ice cream; or make them into an elegant appetizer......Who needs a fancy Westside restaurant when you can doctor up these jewels at home? Try this classic, which is served all over town at high-end hot spots, but is simple to make:

Bacon wrapped figs stuffed with goat cheese:

You can even find the goat cheese, the lemons, the mesclun salad and the olive oil needed for this recipe at the market!

We are continuing to enjoy the usual summer bounty, tree-ripened stone fruits, fresh sweet corn, plump and juicy tomatoes…..Summer never lasts long enough and my plan is to eat as much as possible of these healthy and tasty treats while they are still here in abundance.

The market will be found this Tuesday from 3- 8 p.m. near the Highland Park Gold Line station at Marmion Way, between Avenues 57 & 58 (one block west of Figueroa). In Seth’s words: “Please stop by the market for fresh, field-ripened, high quality produce from local farmers and spend time with your friends, neighbors and other community members.”

See you there. ML


CASE NO. CPC 2007-3447-ICO

On August 23, 2007, the City Planning Commission will conduct a Public Hearing regarding the proposed Garvanza Interim Control Ordinance (ICO).

Date: Thursday, August 23, 2007
Time: after 1:00 p.m.
Place: Van Nuys City Hall
Council Chambers, 2nd Floor
14410 Sylvan Street
Los Angeles, CA 91401

The proposed Garvanza ICO is generally bounded by Pasadena City limits to the north; Metro right-of-way bridge to the south; Eastside of Avenue 66 to the east; and Eastside of Figueroa proceeding to the  Westside of Avenue 63 at York to the west.

The establishment of an Interim Control Ordinance (ICO) to temporarily prohibit the issuance of building and demolition permits for the erection, construction, demolition, addition to or alteration of any  building or structure located in the Garvanza neighborhood. The ICO shall include an Urgency Clause  making it effective upon publication and shall run for one year with two six month extensions by Council Resolution or until the adoption of appropriate land use regulatory controls.

Rogelio Rodriguez
Field Deputy

First Council District
Office of Councilmember Ed P. Reyes
163 South Avenue 24, 202
Los Angeles, CA 90031

213 485 0763 Of
213 485 8908 Fx

Los Angeles Mortgage Rates Report: August 15, 2007

Good news for interest rates was released today.  The Consumer Price Index, which is a measure of the prices for goods and services people buy, was moderate and in line with Wall Street's expectations. 

Los Angeles home buyers should be cautiously optimistic about the possibility of lower rates in the near future.  Optimistic because inflation appears to be tempering.  Cautious because the extent of mortgage delinquencies is still unknown.

It is because of that great unknown that we still advise Los Angeles home buyers to lock their interest rates at application.