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Posted by John Hathorn on March 1, 2023
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Is Santa Monica Ready for a Driverless Revolution?

420 Georgina Sold

The future is here, and you probably have seen it driving around Santa Monica lately.

Waymo, formally known as the Google self-driving car, is taking a bold step in our neighborhood as they prepare to roll out their self-driving robotaxi service in the city’s central districts. This will be the next Uber but without the awkward small talk with your driver. In a bid to capture a slice of the billion-dollar autonomous rideshare industry, Waymo has been testing its robotaxis in Phoenix and San Francisco over recent years – and now Santa Monica is being mapped for the driverless revolution! 

Currently Waymo’s vehicles are only in the testing phase as they await the proper permits. So, an autonomous specialist — otherwise known as a human — is in the driver’s seat. But they’re not driving the car, only monitoring it.

Riding in a Waymo, passengers are said to no longer be concerned about the safety and reliability of their transportation. The self-driving cars are programmed to follow traffic regulations exactly and respond accurately to changing conditions on the road. This is said to ensure that all passengers arrive at their destination safely and without any issues.

Waymo has found that Santa Monica has been the perfect place for testing its autonomous rideshare service. Our city is part of a massive rideshare market that has the approximate value of $2 billion in 2022. Santa Monica also provides a unique complex of neighborhood streets, city and beach traffic, and close proximity to freeways that allow the technology to test itself in a multitude of different scenarios. Let’s not forget to mention that some of these streets are in constant construction mode or don’t have clear markings. The size and scope of our city has given Waymo the opportunity to scale and refine its technology.

Their next big target market is of course NYC, the largest taxi market in the world. Talk about disruption! NYC, London and Las Vegas will probably put up quite a fight. It will be interesting to see if they can get to Asia before the Asian players dominate their own market.  But no matter where they go next, I’m interested in testing out their services for myself after happy hour at R+D Kitchen. Or, maybe I’ll have Waymo drive you around North of Montana to see some houses next time you want to buy!

In Real Estate News…

90402 real estate market has been brisk. Well priced homes are selling quickly again with multiple bidders competing against each other.

50X150 land value is back up to nearly $3.6M and 60X147 lot are valued at around $4.2M

We listed a small house in Brentwood a few weeks ago with a strategy in place designed to generate multiple offers and sell for close to $4M. We ended up with just that!

Of homes purchased in January, 29% were all-cash transactions, up from 28% in December and 27% one year ago. (BARRONS)

The Federal Housing Administration will reduce the fee borrowers pay to have their mortgages insured by the agency by about $800 a year on a typical loan, or 0.3 percentage point. (Bloomberg)

In 90402 Real Estate News…

There are 18 Active listings on the market right now, the two most recent:

740 25th Street – Listed for $5,850,000. This house came on the market briefly in January of 2022 for $5,750,000 and was cancelled after just a couple weeks. Just under 4,000 sqft, has a pool and was built in 1981. It is ready for updating but has a good floorplan. 

1525 San Vicente Blvd – Listed for $69,000,000. This mega estate originally came on the market in 2021 for $90M. It has been on and off the market since and still seeking a super wealthy Buyer.

9 Pending

409 20th Street – My partner Charles Pence listed this house for $5,750,000 and it ended up selling with multiple offers.

364 18th Street – Listed for $5,350,000.

439 18th Street – Listed for $4,413,650. Originally listed for $4,300,000.

369 22nd Street – Listed for $5,995,000. I repped this one a few times over the past 10 years. Very nice house.

734 25th Street – Listed for $6,800,000. Originally listed for $6,950,000.

443 Euclid Street – Listed for $4,495,000.

210 Marguerita Ave – Listed for $16,995,000. Originally listed for $19,995,000. I am told this sold not far off the (twice reduced) list price.

333 16th Street – Listed for $4,200,000. 2406 La Mesa Drive – Listed for $10,945,000.

9 Sold since my last update

420 Georgina Ave – I just sold this large lot for $9,250,000- closed escrow in 1 day thanks to Anita at Chartwell Escrow, Matt at Lawyers Title, my awesome team and my wonderful clients!

342 10th Street – Sold for $9,257,000. Originally listed for $8,999,000.

428 10th Street – Sold for $3,180,000. Originally listed for $3,150,000. 

537 Euclid Street – Sold for $8,995,000. Originally listed for $8,900,000.

205 Georgina Ave – Sold for $8,610,000. Originally listed for $11,995,000. I really like the beautiful old Spanish style home.

426 Georgina Ave – Sold for $8,700,000. Originally listed for $10,995,000. Look for a big beautiful new home here in about 3 years. 

1923 La Mesa Drive – Sold for $14,300,000. Listed for $19,750,000. This ended up selling for almost exactly what I recommended to the sellers a year ago.

331 Palisades Ave – Sold for $7,899,999. Originally listed for $9,599,000. This is a Mills Act property. Call me for details. Mills Act will save the owner hundreds of thousands in property taxes.

629 Palisades Ave – Sold for $7,100,000, at the asking price although not without a bunch of legal wrangling.

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