Previews at Hancock Lofts, Rowan Auction Update

WEST HOLLYWOOD: Big sign of movement! Hancock Lofts on Santa Monica Blvd opened last week for previews. You have to call the number on the web site to make an appointment to visit the Koning Eizenberg-designed townhome/loft development. According to the sale rep, prices will be announced around April 4th. Originally, this 31-unit project was slated to be priced from the $900,000s and up (that figure was back in March 2008), so it'll be interesting to see what they're priced at now. [Curbed Staff]

DOWNTOWN: A conversation with Rowan Lofts developer Bill Stevenson today revealed that following that big auction for the downtown development, they've started working with closings on the units as of two weeks ago. "We’ll have closed 25 by the end of this month. And we should be at 70 by the end of April." Of the 63 buyers at the auction, two immediately dropped out, and two dropped out of contract later. Meanwhile, they’ve sold 12 units since the auction. There’s more: We asked Stevenson about those recently announced tighter lending standards set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, in which the lenders will only guarantee mortgages in developments if 70 percent of the units are either sold or under contract. Tough for developers, eh? "[The Rowan] is grandfathered, but I don’t know how long we'll last at the older rate because it doesn’t go on forever," he said. Overall, Stevenson seemed pretty pessimistic about the state of building in Los Angeles. Citing financing and predicting a tougher entitlement process, he said: "In a year from now, two years, there’s going to be an incredible shortage of housing because nothing is being built." [Curbed Staff]

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