Last Week In Los Angeles Real Estate. 6/15/2015

The battle over restricting short-term rentals in Los Angeles continues to wage. While Santa Monica has passed an ordinance banning the rental of a home for less than 30 days unless the owner is in residence, other neighborhoods are fighting the policy. This action was shut down in Silver Lake and Venice, but the City of West Hollywood is next to watch.

Malibu is allowing short-term rentals to continue, but the Mayor is authorized to issue subpoenas to companies to ensure that the property owners comply with the mandatory Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) of 12%. Presently only a tiny percentage of homeowners are complying.

Proponents of this policy are the hospitality industry workers, afraid of losing revenue, the regular renter population who are seeing rents rise and properties become scarce, and residents of tight-knit areas who don’t want to see a transient population in their community.

Opponents are the owners themselves who will not be able to hold onto their homes without this added income, and of course companies such as Airbnb, HomeAway, and YBYC.

Something has to give, and municipalities should think about the added tax income they can bring in from this “business” by enforcing the TOT rather than shutting it down.

The Federal Reserve interest rate is almost certain to rise which will mean higher mortgage rates, so if you are planning on buying a home, now would be a good time to look.

Among TV shows relocating back to Los Angeles are American Horror Story and Veep, lured back by the State’s film and TV tax credit program, after a large drop in local filming in 2012. Hopefully more shows will follow suit.

Century City.  Plans to develop an office building in Century City on Avenue of the Stars, near the Hyatt Regency, have been scrapped, and the land is up for sale. The developer, JMB Realty originally intended to build condos but switched to an office complex after the housing crash. Now with the market coming back new owners could decide to resurrect the existing plans for 483 residential units. Bidding on the lot will start on July 10th.

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