Foreign Buyers Help California Hit Record $1Million-Plus Sales

Pier-pic-CaliforniaLos Angeles is the number one target for overseas buyers in the US and record numbers of prime US$1million-plus homes are being sold in California.

Los Angeles is the top destination for US foreign property buyers who are snapping up prime US$1million homes, according the latest figures.

Sales of prime property priced at more than US$1million in California hit a seven-year high from April-June at 12,826, which is up 9% from the 11,758 of a year ago and 60% up from the first quarter, according to  CoreLogic DataQuick.

Four record totals for the period were included among the figures:

  • 265 homes sold for more than US$5million last quarter
  • 213 homes sold for US$4-$5million
  • 469 homes sold for US$3-$4million
  • 1,595 homes sold for US$2-$3million.

Manhattan Beach had the most US$1million sales. Rising prices particularly in South California meant that homes on the market for around US$900,000 a year ago, were now fetching US$1million, with foreign interest also helping to push up prices, says CoreLogic DataQuick Analyst Andrew LePage.

“Luxury-home buyers have substantial assets, and they’re constantly evaluating where to park those assets. While we can only speculate, it seems self-evident that luxury home buyers have substantial assets, and they’re constantly evaluating where to park those assets. Right now it’s interesting that there appears to be enough inventory to meet the demand for luxury homes. That’s not always the case in many mid-priced and lower-cost housing markets, where demand continues to outweigh supply.”

An unnamed overseas buyer bought the most expensive property, a US$45million 11,637 square foot, four-bedroom six-bathroom mansion sold in May, which was bought in cash as a holiday property, say agents.

Read the rest of the story at OPP Connect.

Weekend Planner: 23 Things To Do in Los Angeles

Dot-Dot-Dot-373x370LAist gets a lot of event announcements, and we comb through them all to bring you a curated list of what’s happening in LA this weekend, featuring these 23 events (and not even includingSundance’s Next Fest.)
There’s a pop-up street art gallery at the Hotel Sofitel on Friday night.

FRIDAY, AUG. 8

ART: On Friday for one night only, Black Apple Gallery transforms the Sofitel Hotel’s lobby and Riviera 31 Lounge into a gallery space to premiere street/urban art from London, Paris, Norway and Japan. Featured artists in the Contraband 2 show: Ben Naz, Pobel, Snik, Ernst Zacharevic, Dot Dot Dot, John Doe, Seizer One, Harland Miller, Martin Whatson, Sandra Chevrier, Otto Schade and Mason Storm. 7 pm-2 am. RSVP needed.

MUSIC + DANCE: Levitt Pavilion presents KTOWN Night in MacArthur Park with a festival and dance party. The night features an array of food trucks, DJs Terry ‘krNfx’ Im, Mike B.,DJ Zo and a live guest performance by Ashley Yoon. Take Metro to the park and get 10% off Kogi BBQ truck. Festival is free. 6-10 pm.

FILMUS and the Game Industry is a new documentary that takes viewers into the inner workings of the game design industry. The film plays exclusively at Arena Cinema in Hollywood, opening Friday with a 7 pm screening and a Q&A with filmmakers. It’s followed by an opening night party at Sadie (across the street). Tickets: $12.

ART + PERFORMANCE: It’s the last event of the Friday Flights art and performance series at the Getty from 6-9 pm on Friday. Hosted by Mikael Jorgensen of Wilco and new media artist Cassandra C. Jones, they bring together friends to present four electronic music projects, an artist’s lecture, a video performance piece and operatic tour of the Getty galleries. Free. Park for $10 after 5 pm.

COMEDYThe MisMatch Game! returns to the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center’s Renberg Theatre for performances this weekend on Friday and Sunday nights. The show parodies the 1970s game show The Match game with producer Dennis “Gene Rayburn” Hensley serving as host. He’s joined by a panel of comics impersonating celebs. Friday’s cast includes Rachel Butera as “Wanda Sykes,” Drew Droege as “Tanya Roberts,” Maile Flanagan as “Danny Bonaduce,” Sam Pancake as “Rue McLanahan,” and Nicol Paone as “Arianna Huffington.” Sunday’s cast features Jackie Beat as “Bea Arthur,” Jackie Clarke as “Liz Taylor,” Nadya Ginsburg as “Cher,” Felix Pire as “Ricardo Montalbán” and Marc Samuel as “Bill Cosby.” Tickets: $15. Show at 8 pm on Friday and 7 pm on Sunday. Free parking.

BEER FESTBrew at the Zoo returns to the L.A. Zoo and Botanical Gardens on Friday from 7-11 pm. Dozens of breweries are participating in the event (including Eagle Rock Brewery, Lagunitas and Golden Road), which includes 4.5-oz beer samples, pub grub for purchase and live music by The Spazmatics, Indian School and the Jug or Nots. Tickets: $45 general admission (presale); $50 at the door (if not sold out); designated drivers: $25 (free non-alcoholic beverages in a zoo cup).

FILM: UCLA Film & TV Archives presents the series, What I Really Do Is Magic: Edith Head and Hollywood Costume Design. It opens Friday with a screening of Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid(1982) at the Billy Wilder Theater at 7:30 pm. This was Head’s last film as costume designer, and the film’s director Carl Reiner is joined by Deborah Nadoolman Landis and John Landis to talk about the film and Head’s career.

SATURDAY, AUG. 9

CATBARET: On Saturday night, stars perform song and/or dance numbers for a CATbaret to benefit the feral cat rescue group Kitty Bungalow. The second annual Catbaret takes place at the Belasco Theatre in DTLA. Performers include Lord of the Rings’ Billy Boyd, Castle’s Jon Huertas and Seamus Dever, CSI’s Elsabeth Harnois, Tia Carrere and more. Tickets: $50-$125.

K-POPKCON, the largest annual fan celebration of Korean entertainment, K-Pop and culture, takes place at the L.A. Memorial Sports Arena, with a fan convention all day Saturday and Sunday. There are meet-and-greets, panel discussions and workshops (like Learn Korean Slang! and Bibigo’s Anyone Can Cook Korean Food). There are also concerts that are featuring some of the top names in K-Pop, some of whom are making their U.S. debuts. Ticket range: $50-$250 + fees.

HALLOWEEN: Southern California’s premiere Halloween convention ScareLA takes over the LA Mart on Saturday and Sunday from 11 am to 7 pm both days. The event brings the horror community and fans together for presentations, industry panels, hands-on workshops, onsite attractions and an exhibitor hall. The event also provides sneak peeks at some of the upcoming Halloween events in SoCal, from Universal Studios Hollywood’s Halloween Horror Nights, Los Angeles Haunted Hayride, The Great Horror Campout, The Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor and others. Single-day tickets ($25-$250). Passes: $46-$396

PHOTO: Teenage girls ages 11-17 from Boyle Heights are turning an underutilized alley into a public art gallery on Saturday from 6-8 pm. ESTA SOY YO: Me, Myself and I features images that document their lives and share their stories. Address: 1946 E First St. in Boyle Heights.

SUMMER NIGHTS: The last Chinatown Summer Nights of the season takes place from 5 pm to midnight on Saturday. Held at 943-951 N. Broadway (Central and West Plazas) in DTLA, there are a number of dining options, both brick-and-mortar and on wheels, shopping, art galleries, cultural activities, a beer garden and dance party with KCRW’s DJ Anthony Valadez & Raul Campos.

FILM: Eat|See|Hear celebrates the 30th anniversary of one of the best 80′s John Hughes films,Sixteen Candles on Saturday with live music, food trucks and an outdoor screening of the film. Long Duk Dong and his Sexy American Girlfriend, portrayed by Gedde Watanabe and Debbie Pollack will intro the film, which will be held at Paul Revere Charter Middle School in Brentwood. Food trucks on site: Belly Bombz, Me So Hungry, Wicked Kitchen, The Gastrobus, Street Foods Co, Tokyo Doggie Style, The Pudding Truck, Coolhaus and Brasil Kiss. Tickets: $10-$20. Children under 5 are free.

ART: iam8bit art gallery in Echo Park presents The Hohokum™ Art Spectacular! on Saturday from 7-11 pm. The show features Hohokum art by the PlayStation game’s creators/developers Richard Hogg and Honeyslug. Be among the first to play the game, too, as they’ll have stations set up as well. The art will remain on view through Aug. 17.

SILENT FILM: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and Villa Aurora present the2nd Annual Silent Salon with silent films accompanied by Michael Mortilla on the villa’s pipe organ. Head to the Pacific Palisades for a night of picnicking and film, featuring Charlie Chaplin in “The Adventurer,” “Easy Street” and “The Rink.” Come dressed as Charlie Chaplin to pick up a surprise gift. Admission: $15. Parking: Street Parking is available on Los Liones Drive. Shuttle service starts from Los Liones Drive, off Sunset Boulevard two blocks North East of Pacific Coast Highway. Grounds open at 5:30 pm and films at 8 pm.

PARTYSwing House Studios celebrates 20 years in business and they’re moving from WeHo to a new 21,000-square foot facility in Atwater Village. To say goodbye to the old location, they’re throwing a party on Saturday with performances by The Beta Machine, Dorothy, Prima Donna and Alexa Melo. Eats from from Dogtown dogs and Archie’s Ice Cream. Free with RSVP. 8:30 pm.

FLEA MARKETThe Silverlake Flea Market is this Saturday, held at the Micheltorena Street Elementary School. Check out vintage collectibles, DIY items, food trucks and live music.

PERFORMANCE: Materials & Applications in Silver Lake presents the performance series VIS-Á-VIS, featuring experimental and electronic music every Saturday night in August. Bring your dancing shoes for a DJ set by Daedelus and performances by Lawrence Lindell, Matt McGuire and Will Walden (StaG). Drinks provided by MacLeod Ale Brewing Co with audio support from dublab. 7 pm.

Read the rest at LAist.

Ultimate Guide To August: 20 Cool Events Happening In Los Angeles

Screen-Shot-2014-08-01-at-10.47.04-AM-632x269Here are a number of notable happenings in August (with a few beginning this weekend), so we’re ready to help you plan your social calendar. Read on for all our favorite event picks and details.

Aug. 1-31

ART: La Luz de Jesus Gallery presents Profanity Pop, a new exhibition by José Rodolfo Loaiza Ontiveros. The artist mixes pop art and pop culture icons/themes with both historical and religious works. His animated characters play roles that are sure to amuse or offend some audiences. The opening reception is on Aug. 1 from 8-11 pm and the show remains on view through the end of the month.

Aug. 1-2

MUSIC: The Canadians are coming! And we can’t wait. Montreal’s Arcade Fire stops at The Forum for two nights as part of the Reflektor Tour. Ticket price range: $44.05-$88.

Aug. 2

BACONBig Bite Bacon Fest features beer+bacon aboard the Queen Mary. Get all-you-can-eat samplings of more than 40 varieties of bacon or pork dishes in a 2.5-hour slot. (Beer is extra for 10, 3 oz. tasters.) Ticket range: $35-$75.

Aug. 2-3

MUSIC: Here’s what we know for sure about Beyoncé and Jay Z—the dynamic duo play two nights at the Rose Bowl for their On the Run Tour. 8 pm both nights. Ticket range: $53.74-$384.34.

Aug. 2-3

MUSIC: Tickets are scarce for Hard Summer taking over the Whittier Narrows Recreation Area in South El Monte. The two days feature acts from the alternative, electronica, techno, dance, house, etc., and more. Headliners include Jack U, A$AP Mob, Tiësto and Disclosure. Music is scheduled to begin at noon on both days. 18+. Remaining VIP passes: $160.70 (only ones available).

Aug. 5-6

GAMES: The SPiN Standard in DTLA holds two pop-up arcade nights. From 4 pm to 2 am, there are 20 different arcade machines and five ping-pong tables brought into SPiN. Cover is $5 at the door, but once inside, all games are free with unlimited play. 21+.

Aug. 7-10

FILM FESTSundance NextFest is an offshoot of the Sundance Film Festival’s NEXT <=> section. Screenings happen at Hollywood Forever and at The Theatre at Ace Hotel, and the events bring together a mix of films, live music and conversation. It opens with Napoleon Dynamite at Hollywood Forever and closes with A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (an Iraqi vampire/western mashup) and concert by Warpaint. Tickets: $14-$25.

Million-dollar home sales hit seven-year high in California

la-fi-milliondollar-home-sevenyear-high-201407-001-632x355The number of homes that sold for $1 million or more in California hit a seven-year high in the second quarter, and sales north of $2 million reached a new record.

That’s according to new figures from San Diego-based DataQuick, which tracks local housing markets in the state. They found million-dollar-plus sales grew at a 9.1% clip statewide compared with last year, while sales overall fell 7.4%.

Several factors are driving the high-end liftoff, market-watchers say.

One is the hot technology sector in the Bay Area and some affluent parts of Southern California, which is minting new millionaires who can afford seven-figure homes. Another is the 11.6% price growth in California over the last year, which means a house worth $925,000 last summer may be worth $1,032,300 today. And there’s the influx of international buyers, which is pushing up prices at the high end.

Then there’s that old saw that the rich are just different than you and me, especially in a time when credit is tight and the job market remains soft for many middle-income home buyers.

Read the rest at LA Times.

The Hollywood Bowl’s Homage to the Beatles

Screen-Shot-2014-07-25-at-11.04.52-AM-632x348Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics heads up the Hollywood Bowl‘s all-star tribute to mark the Beatles‘ big 5-0…and that legendary first LA concert.

When they visited Los Angeles for the first time in the summer of 1964, the Beatles went to the Whiskey A Go Go, where George Harrison hurled a glass full of water at an annoying photographer and instead soaked actress Mamie Van Doren, who happened to be walking by. They attended a party in their honor at the Brentwood home of the mother-in-law of then-Capitol Records head Alan Livingston, where well-heeled parents paid $25 a pop (the money went to charity) to have their kids meet the lads, and where stars like John Forsythe, Edward G. Robinson, Groucho Marx, Rock Hudson, and Jack Benny joined the mop-top madness.

But the single most important event of their stay in LA—the one that leaps off the tip of every music-obsessed tongue whenever that time and place and those Liverpudlians are mentioned—was their concert at the Hollywood Bowl. And on August 22, 23, and 24, the Bowl will observe the 50th anniversary of that seismic happening with an equally seismic tribute. Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics, an über-Beatles fan, will serve as ringmaster and musical director.

“I’ve heard many stories from George, Ringo, and Paul about their experiences in the USA back in 1964, but the news footage of the Hollywood Bowl remains embedded in my mind,” recalls Stewart, who was a close friend of Harrison. “Olivia Harrison [George’s wife, who told Stewart she was at the Bowl, although she and George would not meet until years later] just recounted to me how crazy it was: ‘Girls jumping into the pond at the front and swimming to the stage, limos with the roof squashed and windows gone, total hysteria.’”

5 Greatest Chef’s Tables

patina_tableFrom exclusive VIP tables inside a restaurant’s kitchen to chef’s counters that enable you to watch your favorite cooks in action, here are some special prix-fixe ways to elevate your dining experience.

1. Alma
Watch your food plated from the counter at this buzzy Downtown spot. Chef Ari Taymor, heralded as one of the country’s best young chefs, serves 10-course menus ($95 per person; wine pairings are $55 extra) directly from his kitchen, and chats with customers about everything from the restaurant’s garden to cooking techniques. To get a sought-after seat, request it when you make the reservation (and cross your fingers). 952 S. Broadway, L.A., 213.244.1422

2. Patina
The secluded chef’s table at Joachim Splichal’s flagship restaurant seats up to nine, with a window looking directly into the kitchen, so you can see dishes like wild halibut a la plancha, butter-poached lobster and beef tenderloin with root vegetables come together, with special attention from chef Charles Olalia. The menu can be fully customized, or you can let Olalia run with it ($140 per person; $80 more for wine pairings). 141 S. Grand Ave., L.A., 213.972.3331

3. Providence
Although Michael Cimarusti’s haute seafood spot (which scored two Michelin stars) now boasts a plush, newly redesigned dining room, the chef’s table is where you want to be for an up-close-and-personal dining experience. From a private room just off of the kitchen, you can watch as chefs prepare and deliver your food. Cimarusti is very hands-on with the experience, which includes the frequently changing chef’s tasting menu ($210 per person; $305 with wine pairings). It’s also Bring Your Own Music, so you can plug in your iPod or phone to set the mood. 5955 Melrose Ave., L.A., 323.460.4170

4. Scarpetta
For the ultimate experience at Scott Conant’s Italian stunner at the Montage Beverly Hills, dine with 13 of your friends in the private room above the kitchen. You’ll see all the action while being served a four-, eight- or 12-course menu featuring his famous dishes like the beautiful crudos, creamy polenta with truffled mushrooms and braised short ribs with farro risotto. Or, buy out the chef’s counter in the kitchen, which seats five. Both are priced at $1,500-$2,000. 225 N. Canon Drive, Beverly Hills, 310.860.7970

5. Trois Mec
Sitting at the counter at this impossible-to-get-into spot is like being on a TV show, thanks to Ludovic Lefebvre, uberpopular chef and co-host of ABC’s The Taste. Ludo and his chefs work right in front of you, creating beautifully layered dishes and explaining each ingredient and detail of the prix fixe-only menu ($75 per person). The best way to nab a spot at the chef’s counter: Dine as a pair or solo, and have your fingers ready every other Friday when tickets go on sale (they sell out immediately) for the next two weeks. 716 N. Highland Ave., L.A.

coming soon…