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Los Angeles Mortgage Rates Report: July 25, 2008

Mortgage rates in Los Angeles for July 25, 2008.  Loan amounts up to $417,000:

3/1 ARM              5.625%

5/1 ARM              5.750%

7/1 ARM              6.125%

10/1 ARM            6.375%

30 Yr Fixed          6.375%

All rates offered to the borrower with 1 point cost.  Rate quotes assume a purchase transaction with a 20% down payment, 720 credit score, and full income qualification.  Rates are subject to fluctuation.  Custom rate quotes and rate lock advice are available by calling (858)-777-9751.


Next 7 days:       Slightly Lower

Next 30 days:     Slightly Lower

Next 3 months:   Neutral

Los Angeles River Expedition

On July 25, 2008, a group of hardy adventurers will embark on an extraordinary expedition of the Los Angeles River by kayak and canoe, to demonstrate to developers and the Army Corps of
Engineers that the LA RIVER is indeed a navigable waterway that should be protected and owned by the people of Los Angeles.

A mighty river in previous centuries, Los Angeles River is now one of the most hydraulically modified urban rivers in the world. Nearly seventy-five  percent of the fifty-two mile long river is enclosed in concrete. Channelization of the river  was initiated in 1938 by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as part of a massive flood control project  which continued until the late 1950s.  Interest in returning the river to a more natural state has developed in the last few decades.

Here is the proposed timetable for the expedition:

DAY 1 (Fri., July 25th)

o 3:00 pm. Kick-off ceremony/"launch" at the LA River Headwaters on overpass @ Owensmouth; Canoga Park. Supporters welcome.

o 4:00-5:30 pm. Our group explores the Sepulveda Basin. Supporters can park at the parking lot at Balboa Park soccer fields and look for us on river. {6000 Balboa Blvd, Encino, CA 91316. Thomas Guide pg. 531, D1}

o 5:30-7 pm. Our boats travel from beginning of Sepulveda Basin to take-out @ Burbank Blvd. x LA River (100' or so downriver). Supporters can try to find us along that route, or show support atop the banks @ that take-out. Woodley Ave. is the best place to park cars for take-out.

DAY 2 (Sat., July 26th)

o 9:00 am. Riverside talk with Dr. Jenny Price (cars @ Woodley Ave.; talk just downstream from river @ Burbank Ave.; east/Woodley side of river). Supporters welcome.

o 3:00 pm. Griffith Park / Bette Davis Picnic Area. Supporters welcome for riverside picnic @ park.

o 5:30 pm. Atwater Village / Yoga Park; Los Feliz Blvd. x LARiver (100' downriver from there on east side of river @ Dover St.). A speaker will address the crew and anyone else who wants to show up as supporters.

o 7:30 pm. Marsh Park. (end of Marsh Street, off Riverside Drive). Supporters welcome to riverside chat at the park. {2961 Marsh St., LA, CA 90039. Thomas Guide pg. 5944, F3.}

DAY 3 (Sun., July 26th)

o 11 am - 1 pm. Greetings from downtown bridges for anyone who cares to locate us.

o 1:30 pm. Maywood riverside park. Casual bring-your-own-food picnic lunch at their new park. Supporters welcome.

o 3:30 pm. Compton Creek. Explore Dominguez Gap/Slough. Supporters welcome.

o 5:00 pm. Willow Street Estuary {2500 block of De Forest Ave @ 25th Place, Long Beach, CA 90806; Thomas Guide pg. 795, C3.}. Supporters welcome.

o 7 pm. Final take-out at Shoreline Park in Long Beach. Supporters welcome. Celebrate. Plant the flag. Mingle. Closure.

The official expedition press release:

FOLAR:  Friends of L A River

And What Were They Filming?

For anyone who wondered just what was being filmed last week on the corner of Avenue 56 and North Figueroa

It was a new TV series for TNT ....

More here

The Figueroa Street Business District could become a "Living Backlot" ®   Read Robert Mendel's proposal.  Mendel proposes that creating a an organized, film-friendly corridor along North Figueroa would stimulate tourism to the area, create business for the local shop owners, and begin generating funds necessary to restore the building facades along the corridor.

Los Angeles Mortgage Rates Report: July 22, 2008

Mortgage rates in Los Angeles for July 22, 2008.  Loan amounts up to $417,000:

3/1 ARM              5.750%

5/1 ARM              5.875%

7/1 ARM              6.250%

10/1 ARM            6.625%

30 Yr Fixed          6.500%

All rates offered to the borrower with 1 point cost.  Rate quotes assume a purchase transaction with a 20% down payment, 720 credit score, and full income qualification.  Rates are subject to fluctuation.  Custom rate quotes and rate lock advice are available by calling (858)-777-9751.


Next 7 days:      Slightly Lower

Next 30 days:     Lower

Next 3 months:   Neutral

What a difference a week makes, huh?  Last Tuesday, I signaled that a short-term increase in rates was likely when I changed the 7-day outlook to "slightly higher" from neutral.  I felt that the rally in mortgage bonds was overdone and that traders would sell off a bit; I had no idea it would be this drastic.

If you click the link, you'll see that I offered a 30-year fixed at 6.0%. last Tuesday- today, the 30-year fixed rate loan is a full .5% higher.  In fact, almost every loan program is .5% higher than it was last week.  The problem?  Wall Street thinks the worst is over for banks and that inflation is going to be the #1 target for the Fed in the next few months.  ' Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson is certainly telling the markets that the banking crisis should be averted by Christmas.

So will the Fed raise interest rates in 2008?  I'm not so certain that they will.  The housing decline has been the worst since The Great Depression.  Fed Chairman, Ben Bernanke, is an expert on monetary policy in the Depression.  He subscribes to the Milton Friedman theory that monetary policy must accommodate a healthy banking system. His 2004 speech signaled two things two us:

(1)- Bernanke believes that tightening during a slowdown could cause further economic declines:


According to Friedman and Schwartz, the Fed's tight-money policies led to the onset of a recession in August 1929, according to the official dating by the National Bureau of Economic Research. The slowdown in economic activity, together with high interest rates, was in all likelihood the most important source of the stock market crash that followed in October. In other words, the market crash, rather than being the cause of the Depression, as popular legend has it, was in fact largely the result of an economic slowdown and the inappropriate monetary policies that preceded it. Of course, the stock market crash only worsened the economic situation, hurting consumer and business confidence and contributing to a still deeper downturn in 1930.

(2) Bernanke believes that a contracting banking sector withdraws a HUGE amount of money out of the economy:


The banking crisis had highly detrimental effects on the broader economy. Friedman and Schwartz emphasized the effects of bank failures on the money supply. Because bank deposits are a form of money, the closing of many banks greatly exacerbated the decline in the money supply. Moreover, afraid to leave their funds in banks, people hoarded cash, for example by burying their savings in coffee cans in the back yard. Hoarding effectively removed money from circulation, adding further to the deflationary pressures. Moreover, as I emphasized in early research of my own (Bernanke, 1983), the virtual shutting down of the U.S. banking system also deprived the economy of an important source of credit and other services normally provided by banks

His conclusion is foreshadowing:


Some important lessons emerge from the story. One lesson is that ideas are critical. The gold standard orthodoxy, the adherence of some Federal Reserve policymakers to the liquidationist thesis, and the incorrect view that low nominal interest rates necessarily signaled monetary ease, all led policymakers astray, with disastrous consequences. We should not underestimate the need for careful research and analysis in guiding policy. Another lesson is that central banks and other governmental agencies have an important responsibility to maintain financial stability. The banking crises of the 1930s, both in the United States and abroad, were a significant source of output declines, both through their effects on money supplies and on credit supplies. Finally, perhaps the most important lesson of all is that price stability should be a key objective of monetary policy. By allowing persistent declines in the money supply and in the price level, the Federal Reserve of the late 1920s and 1930s greatly destabilized the U.S. economy and, through the workings of the gold standard, the economies of many other nations as well.

I don't see the Fed aggressively raising interest rates to prop up the dollar. I think reduced demand will bring oil prices below the $100/barrel mark which will strengthen the dollar.  The Fed's focus should have been (in the 1930s) and will be (this decade) to promote a healthy banking system.    While the banks are reporting lower losses, they still aren't healthy. The recent good news from the banking sector needs to be sustainable.  Look for the Fed to restrain itself from raising rates until 2009.

Are higher mortgage rates on the horizon?  Sure, in 2009.  The run up in mortgage rates I predicted, two weeks ago, has already happened.  I don't think mortgage rates go much higher in 2008.


Real Estate Market activity in zip codes 90031, 90032, 90041, 90042, 90065 for the previous week as reported in I-Tech MLS:

New listings entered

Price reductions

Reported pending

No closings reported

These zip codes include the Los Angeles communities of Eagle Rock, Highland Park, Mount Washington, Glassell Park, Sycamore Grove, Garvanza, Montecito Heights, Cypress Park, Lincoln Heights, El Sereno, Monterey Hills, and Hermon.   

Apartment Owner/Manager Mgr. Training, 7/30

You are invited to an Apartment Owner and Manager Training on July 30, 2008, 6pm, at the Glassell Park Community and Senior Center (in back of Public Storage) located at 3750 Verdugo Road, Parking available at first come first serve basis.

The event is free and open to the public. Speakers will include the City Attorney's Office, LAPD, the Apartment Association of Greater LA, and Council District 13. Hear about how to work with LAPD, access City resources, and prevent crime through environmental design.

Please direct reservations and questions to Armida Bayliff at 310-575-8548.

Donna Wong
Deputy City Attorney
Northeast Area Neighborhood Prosecutor

Northeast Los Angeles: A Living Backlot®

A long time resident of NELA (Northeast LA) and a highly regarded Location Manager, Robert Mendel once called the streets of Northeast Los Angeles a "living backlot®".  Here's a link to Robert's original "Living Backlot®" proposal.

(In the lingo of the film industry, a backlot is an area behind or adjoining a movie studio with space to build or with permanent exterior sets for outdoor scenes in motion picture and/or television productions.)

Northeast Los Angeles is located only minutes from the media centers of Hollywood, Burbank and Downtown Los Angeles; its wealth of historic architecture, its terrain of hillsides, valleys and sycamore groves, and its eclectic and diverse atmosphere make it a go-to location for film shoots.

The old Security Trust and Savings Bank building on the corner of North Figueroa and Avenue 56 in Highland Park, declared as Los Angeles Historic - Cultural Monument #575 in 1993,  is a popular filming location.

This week, Leverage Productions is hard at work:

The required neighborhood notifications for the current project state:

Leverage Prod


5601 N. Figueroa St

FILM DATES & HOURS: 7/14/08 - 7/16/08 & 7/21/08 - 7/22/08, 5:00 A.M.
- 10:00 P.M.; 7/17/08 - 7/18/08, 5:00 A.M. - 12:00 A.M.


COMMUNITY SURVEY*** Occasional traffic and pedestrian control.
Atmospheric smoke effects. Brandishing weapons. Driving scenes.
Equipment on sidewalk and in curb lane across the street. Interior
and exterior dialogue. Wetting of the streets. Hostage scene. 1
condor, 1 crane, & 1 generator.

*7/14 - 7/18 & 7/21- 7/22, No Parking Anytime Both sides of Ave 56
from Figueroa St - Marmion WY. Crew parking at City Lots 635 - 636 on
7/12 - 7/13 & 635 on 7/14 - 7/18. Trucks parked over night.

*7/14 - 7/18 & 7/21 - 7/22, 6:00 A.M. - 10:00 P.M. Full closure of
Ave 56 from Figueroa St - Marmion Wy.

Matt Cassel
Location Manager
office 323- 928-7000
mobile 310- 702- 6441

Although the street closures can be an inconvenience, the locals love to come out and watch the Hollywood mavens at work.

Some of our clients occasionally make their properties available for filming.  If you are scouting for film locations in the Northeast Los Angeles area, please don't hesitate give us a call!

Los Angeles Mortgage Rates Report: July 17, 2008

Mortgage rates in Los Angeles for July 17, 2008.  Loan amounts up to $417,000:

3/1 ARM              5.250%

5/1 ARM              5.625%

7/1 ARM              6.000%

10/1 ARM            6.125%

30 Yr Fixed          6.375%

All rates offered to the borrower with 1 point cost.  Rate quotes assume a purchase transaction with a 20% down payment, 720 credit score, and full income qualification.  Rates are subject to fluctuation.  Custom rate quotes and rate lock advice are available by calling at the number below..


Next 7 days:       Neutral 

Next 30 days:      Neutral 

Next 3 months:    Slightly Higher