The Agency Daily

Newly released sales figures for The Ritz-Carlton Residences at L.A. LIVE show the demand to live in the 54-story, luxury-branded residential tower in Downtown Los Angeles has soared to an all-time high. With The Agency serving as exclusive broker for the world-class property, purchases have surged to 58% sold, with the combined value of sales now well over $200 million. A total of 131 Residences have been purchased and more than 20 Residences are currently in Escrow.

“This is a clear signal of the elasticity of the Downtown Los Angeles market, which has seen more recent successful development than any other area of Los Angeles,” said Mauricio Umansky, co-founder and CEO of The Agency. “The forthcoming Farmer’s Field stadium and modernization and…
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By Billy Rose

Every Tuesday, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., is “caravan” in Los Angeles, during which about 500 to 600 houses open their doors for real estate agents to come preview and determine whether any would be right to show their clients. During this three-hour window, an incredible mix of estates, condos, fixers, specs, rentals, income properties and raw land — from Malibu to Santa Monica, from Brentwood to Beverly Hills, in and above the Sunset Strip, down by the Grove and over to Los Feliz and downtown LA — can be visited.

The most important three-hour window of the week

To me, caravan is the most important three hours of the week. Unfortunately, too many agents look at it as just an opportunity to see the few things that might be of interest to

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AIA Los Angeles' new home tour series -- The Modernist / Contemporary Tour -- will host its next tour this October 7 at a Rudolph Schindler duplex built in 1939 and renovated by Ehrlich Architects in 2010. The two homes sit on a 5,400-square-foot lot in Inglewood, CA, and amazingly enough, one of the units was purchased through an ad on Craigslist. "What would Schindler do today?" was Ehrlich's guiding question when trying to honor Schindler's work while also adding modern amenities for contemporary living.

The Agency's Billy Rose, who is currently the listing agent for a home in Schindler's El Pueblo Ribera Court (see below), discusses the significance of the Schindler duplex:

In 1923, Le Corbusier (one of the most influential pioneers of Modernism)

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Vineyards in California and New Zealand have become a hot commodity lately, fueled by soaring high-end wine sales, greater access to credit and a rise in grape values.

Here in California sales for premium vineyards across the state are expected to climb to $800 million by year end, the most since 2007's $1.4 billion sales total, reports the Demeter Group, a San Francisco-based investment bank. Sales were less than $150 million in both 2009 and 2010.

Stephen Rannekleiv, a New York-based wine analyst, tells Bloomberg, "It’s been a complete turnaround. There's lots of interest in good California properties right now. If you’ve got vineyard acreage, it’s a hot commodity.”

The surge in deals comes at a time when premium wine sales have rose 14 percent

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Industry analytics company CoreLogic released its July Home Price Index today, and the data supports what we've been saying here on The Agency Blog: home prices are on the rise. CoreLogic reports that nationwide home prices increased by 3.8 percent in July 2012 compared to July 2011. This marks the biggest year-over-year increase since August 2006. CoreLogic also found that home values rose 1.3 percent in July from June, marking the fifth straight increase in both the monthly and year-over-year price indexes.

The new report released today joins other national measures declaring that the housing market is officially on the upswing. Just last week we reported that the S&P/Case-Shiller national home price index, which covers more than 80% of the housing

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Among a stellar cast of cities from around the globe, LA makes the list of Top 10 Art and Architecture Destinations in the world. Perhaps being pegged as a West Coast “Wonderland” of sorts is just the reason why LA is able to foster some of the most innovative and imaginative minds who belong in the company of traditional art powerhouses like Paris, Amsterdam and Florence.

"As one of the most eclectic cities in the United States, Los Angeles is a giant melting pot of art that is just waiting to be explored, with a lot of it on the cutting edge of modernity," says the report, which was compiled by

Visitors and residents alike can cruise over to the Getty Center to take in a collection of European and American Art or drive along the coast

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By Billy Rose

On September 15, from 4p – 6p, renowned visionary architect Ray Kappe, FAIA, will host Santa Monica Conservancy members and friends at Mr. Kappe’s personal residence, the Kappe House, in Rustic Canyon (photo gallery).

I have visited this award-winning architectural achievement on a couple occasions, and I still carry vivid and fond memories of it.

The Conservancy, which was formed a decade ago to celebrate and protect Santa Monica’s historic and architectural treasures, describes the home as follows:

"Built on a steep hillside over a running brook, six concrete towers rise into the trees, carrying the structural loads of the house as well as containing rooms and bringing light inside through skylights. Immense laminated wood beams

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Location: 6405 Dawn Creek #2, Playa Vista

Size: 3 Bedrooms / 3 baths; 2,972 square feet

For Sale: $1,149,000

Agents: Kofi Natei Nartey

Haute couture, cool "kicks" and beauty product packaging only begin to highlight the influence that Piet Mondrian’s paintings from the 1920s have on contemporary art, design and architecture today. As modern architects have already demonstrated, color does not need to act merely as an "accessory" but can serve as an integral part of the structure itself. That’s the philosophy behind this 3-story home on 6405 Dawn Creek #2 in Playa Vista.

Mondrian’s strict color palette of black, white, and the 3 primary colors, red, yellow and blue, play nicely within vertical and horizontal lines which, to him, embodied the two

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Farrah Aldjufrie, Director of Client Relations at The Agency, and Kyle Richards at The Agency Luxury Home Showcase last night.

The Agency and DSM Luxury hosted "The Agency Luxury Home Showcase" last night at the world-class estate at 655 Sarbonne, overlooking the Bel Air Country Club. The event shined the spotlight on the 14,000 sf. home and its pristine grounds, as well as a number of luxury brands, including Black, Starr & Frost, Northrop & Johnson, Porsche Design, Access Custom Jets, The Party Goddess, Club La Gloria Cubana and fine spirits by Castle Brands.

The invited guests, which included Kyle Richards, star of Bravo TV's Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and wife of The Agency's Mauricio Umansky, were treated to live jazz music as they toured

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Entrepreneurs in Southern California, and in particular, Los Angeles, are attracting more investment money than any other region outside Silicon Valley, reports Forbes. So far in 2012, Southern California has outpaced previous Silicon Valley runner-up New England and has lured more venture capital than New York by nearly a 2-to-1 margin.

Forbes managing editor Bruce Upbin attributes certain "structural advantages" of Los Angeles, such as its strong entrepreneurial culture, for its growing prominence in the tech scene. Unlike New York and New England, where big corporations dominate, creative endeavors and entrepreneurship drive much of LA's business community. Los Angeles had the highest rate of entrepreneurial activity from the period between 2009

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