A proposal out of Sacramento to put denser housing near transit has divided Californians. But a similar program is already underway in the city of Los Angeles.
It’s an incentive program called “Transit-Oriented Communities,” and it’s encouraging developers to build more housing units—including affordable ones available to tenants with qualifying incomes—near major public transportation stops.
Experts agree that to combat a housing shortage, one that has fueled rising rents and real estate prices, Los Angeles needs to build, build, build. Affordable housing is in especially high demand and its growing increasingly harder to find. More than 8,500 units that are income-restricted now are expected to become market-rate over the next five or so years, and it’s estimated that LA County would need to add 517,000 income-restricted units to meet existing demand.
In 2015, Chris Pouy’s realtor told him West Adams would be the next “it” neighborhood. Once he checked it out for himself, he didn’t have to be convinced. Central to the Westside and Downtown LA, its streets are lined with tall, bending palm trees and dotted with charming bungalows fronted by grassy lawns.
Pouy owned a loft in the Toy Factory, but the Arts District was getting “bougie,” and he wanted a home in a different neighborhood, this time with a backyard. He put offers in on six or seven houses—and was outbid on all of them.
“I had no idea it was going to be so competitive,” he says.
Then he found a three-bedroom, two-bathroom Craftsman with a swimming pool in neighboring Jefferson Park. It was listed at $599,000, and he remembers thinking: “If I don’t get this one, I might miss my window.” He wrote a letter to the seller and offered to match their highest offer. He scooped it up for $645,000. Today the property is estimated it could sell for $982,000.
The Los Angeles City Council voted today to lay the groundwork for creating “anti-displacement zones” around new market-rate or “luxury” residential buildings that contain no affordable units.
The vote directs the city’s housing and community investment department, city planning, department, and the city attorneys to draft an ordinance that would put in place a battery of protections aimed at helping renters in a one-mile radius around new developments.
The Los Angeles housing market is not a hospitable one for first-time buyers.
Only 25 percent of all LA residents can afford a median-priced home, according the California Association of Realtors. It can be even harder for first-time buyers, who don’t have a property they can sell to cover the cost of a down payment.
But some programs at the local, state, and federal level can help buyers purchase their first homes—and many of them provide borrowers with help to make those costly down payments.
It’s about to get more difficult for landlords to boot tenants in the city of Los Angeles.
The Los Angeles City Council unanimously passed an emergency moratorium today that will temporarily bar property owners from evicting tenants, unless they have “cause”—for example, they failed to pay rent or violated the terms of a lease.
The ban on “no-fault” evictions is a response to reports from renters, tenant lawyers, and housing advocates that tenants who pay low rents are being evicted to make room for new, higher-paying tenants before California’s rent control law goes into effect in January.
City officials are looking to help the scores of Angelenos who make too much money to qualify for affordable housing but are still paying too much for their living quarters.
The Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to have city staffers figure out what percentage of Angelenos fall into this category and use that number to find out how much existing housing is within their financial reach.
“Right now, the largest share of Angelenos are getting the smallest share of new housing,” says Councilmember David Ryu, who introduced the motion asking the city to look into this housing gap. “We need to flip that math.”
At the end of the month, curbside pickups at Los Angeles International Airport by Lyft, Uber, other rides hailing services, and taxis will be no more.
LAX officials announced today that all passengers wanting to call a car at the airport will now have to get to a designated lot just east of Terminal 1, either by walking or by hopping on a shuttle. Drop-offs at the curb, however, will still be allowed at terminals.
“Anyone who has come to LAX knows that traffic in the Central Terminal Area can get rough, and we have heard from our guests that the current system with ride pickups can be frustrating,” says Keith Wilschetz, deputy executive director for operations and emergency management at Los Angeles World Airports, which operates LAX.
A top-notch credit score can open a lot of doors. With it, you can get access to the best loans at the lowest rates and most favorable terms, which can save you a lot of money. You are more likely to be approved for credit. And you can get approved for the most rewarding credit cards that allow consumers to benefit off the spending they already do.
What Is a Good Credit Score?
There are hundreds of credit scoring models out there, and you likely have multiple credit scores depending on the model being used. Many models use a scoring range between 300 and 850. In such models, a credit score of 700 or above is generally considered good. A score of 800 or above on the same range is considered excellent. Most credit scores fall between 600 and 750.
California is on the verge of having statewide rent control.
Assembly Bill 1482—which will bar landlords from hiking rents more than 5 percent, plus local inflation, in one year—was approved this afternoon in the state Assembly on a 46-22 vote. Inflation varies by region, but averages about 2.5 percent in California.
The bill now heads to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk; he has said he will sign it.
Assembly member David Chiu (D-San Francisco), who authored the bill, says the rent cap is designed to prevent “rent gouging” and “egregious” increases.
Home prices in LA County surged to $635,000 in July, shattering an all-time record for the second month in a row.
The county’s median sale price rose 2.8 percent since June and a full 5 percent since July 2018, a new report from real estate data tracker CoreLogic shows. That was the largest yearly gain since November.
CoreLogic analyst Andrew LePage says in a report that the bump in prices may be due in part to falling mortgage interest rates, which have reduced monthly costs for homebuyers who aren’t making all-cash purchases.
Across all of Southern California, sale prices rose 2 percent year over year. But LePage points out that average mortgage payments dropped 7 percent in the same time period due to declining interest rates.
In Los Angeles, home price increases continue to be accompanied by sluggish sales. Last month, 6,965 homes sold countywide—exactly one fewer than in July 2018, despite the fact that this year the month had one additional business day for sales to process.
Across all of Southern California, sales during the month were 2.9 percent below average (excluding the bubble years leading up to the 2008 Great Recession).
In LA County, median sale prices eclipsed the $600,000 mark for the first time in May 2018. LePage says that how high home values grow will probably be determined by a combination of “mortgage rates, buyer confidence, job and income growth, and inventory levels.”
Though many economists expected mortgage interest rates to climb in 2019, they’ve instead dropped, creating a lending environment favorable to buyers—but also encouraging price growth. LA’s median sale price in July was a full $17,000 higher than a month before.
Photo Credit: abc7
Hispanics are posting the largest homeownership gains of any ethnic group, new Census Bureau data shows. The wave of growth is a far cry from four years ago when the Hispanic homeownership rate reached a 50-year low. Since then, ownership among this segment has risen 3.3 percentage points, Census Bureau data shows.
To be clear, whites still have higher levels of overall homeownership. The Hispanic homeownership rate is at 47.4%, which still remains well-below the 73% rate for non-Hispanic whites in the first quarter. But it’s the growth in ownership rates among Hispanics that housing analysts are predicting could have a significant impact on the housing market over the next decade.
Since homeowners and renters require employment to make housing payments (with rare exception), the jobs recovery is key to the housing recovery. Over 4.5 million people are employed in Los Angeles County as of March 2019. This is 222,200 more jobs than at the 2007 peak.
Los Angeles’ jobs recovery rate has slightly trailed the statewide employment recovery in recent years and has begun to slow. From March 2018 to March 2019, the number of jobs grew by a meager 1.3%. This is roughly the same level of job growth experienced statewide.
New home-sharing regulations are in place for the city of Los Angeles, changing the way hosts from Airbnb and other rental platforms can book vacation stays and short-term rentals.
Starting July 1, 2019, hosts must register and pay an $89 fee to the city. Hosts can only register one property with the city at a time and the property must be their primary residence (where they live at least six months out of the year). Rentals are limited to a 120-day annual cap, and rent-stabilized units are no longer allowed to be used for home-sharing—even if the host owns the unit.
The city’s planning department has put together a detailed FAQ on the home-sharing ordinance with more information on how to register and pay fees before enforcement of the regulations begin on November 1, 2019.
Alternative Title Everyone Knows a Realtor
As a home owner or home buyer, there are a lot of real estate agents and brokers out there to pick from but precious few have worked in the business as consistently and diligently as I have. Let me explain.
As home sales volume declines, "part time agents" continue to go back into hiding with some expected to “pop up” again once the market returns to full strength.
There is a direct correlation between home sales volume** and agent licensing with licensing movement changing 6-12 months after a consistent change in home sales volume.
Today’s decreased license renewal rate is directly related to the flat-to-down home sales volume experienced since 2016 with 79.3% renewing in 2018 versus 81.4% the year prior 2017. Additionally new sales agents have declined about 10% from 2017 to 2018.
The next substantial increase in sales agents won’t occur until the next boom in real estate sales volume...
Temps start to soar when days start to get longer. Stop your energy and water bills from soaring, too, with these summer home maintenance tips:
#1 Stop Buying Cheap Tools
Repairs and home improvement projects go much smoother with quality tools — and you'll like the results more. Take advantage of sales to buy quality brands for less or buy used tools at a local auction or estate sale. Then ditch those make-do tools that have always frustrated you.
#2 Stop Heat-Drying Your Dishes
You're already paying extra to pump cool air into your house. Don't pay even more to use the heat-dry setting on your dishwasher. It can double your electrical load. Instead, open the dishwasher immediately after it runs, and pull out the racks. The evaporating steam will speed-dry the dishes. Some dishwashers have an air-dry button that will automatically prevent heat drying.
#3 Stop Watering Your Lawn So Much
Lawns are a bit picky about their drinking schedule. Rather than daily soaks, they prefer deep, infrequent watering, which promotes deeper root growth. In general, lawns need about 1 inch of water per week. In a well-watered lawn, you can stick a screwdriver 6 to 8 inches into the dirt without resistance.
#4 Stop Putting Bricks in the Toilet
Summer may be water-conscientiousness season but putting a brick in your toilet is the wrong means to that well-meaning end. Brick crumbles when exposed to water for too long. Instead, switch to a high-efficiency toilet. At $100-$300 per toilet, the $230 annual water savings is worth it. Or just swap your brick with a half-gallon milk jug filled with sand.
Source: CAR Client Direct
One of the most earthquake-prone urban areas in the nation, Los Angeles is likely to be rocked by a major temblor within the next few decades. As nerve-wracking as it may be, preparing for the big one is part of living in LA.
According to the United States Geological Survey, there’s a 60 percent chance an earthquake measuring in at magnitude 6.7 or higher will strike the Los Angeles area in the next 30 years; there’s also a nearly one-in-three chance that earthquake will measure in at 7.5 on the Richter scale.
Given that, it’s good to know what you’re up against.
WASHINGTON—Sales of previously owned homes rose in May, a sign that falling mortgage rates could be nudging the housing market toward a modest spring performance after a sluggish start to this prime selling season.
Sales rose 2.5% in May from the prior month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.34 million, the National Association of Realtors said Friday.
The spring is crucial to the housing market because roughly 40% of the year’s sales take place in March through June. May was the first month this spring when sales rose from the prior month, but compared with a year earlier sales in May still declined 1.1%
With some of the nation’s highest median home prices—and more than a few of its priciest individual homes—Los Angeles property owners collectively possess a massive pool of real estate equity worth an astonishing $760 billion.
That’s according to a new report from real estate analyst Black Knight. The study shows that Los Angeles leads the nation in “tappable equity,” that is, the value of homes that owners can access by selling or refinancing.
According to the California Association of Realtors, California home sales bounced back in February 2019, after hitting the lowest sales level in more than 10 years the previous month. February's annual sales level was the highest in six months, and the monthly growth in sales was the highest since January 2011.
Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 399,080 units in February, according to information collected by C.A.R.
The statewide annualized sales figure represents what would be the total number of homes sold during 2019 if sales maintained the February pace throughout the year. It is adjusted to account for seasonal factors that typically influence home sales.
Despite a real estate slowdown gripping the nation, this year's housing market is expected to be busier than economists originally predicted late last year. That means more home sales are on the way.
The anticipated activity is due to lower mortgage rates, which make homes more affordable for buyers. The economists expected rates to climb to 5.5% in 2019, but instead they have hovered around 4%. (They were 4.17% on 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages as of April 18, according to Freddie Mac data.) Economists say rates are now likely to rise a little to 4.5%, still well below what buyers were dreading.
However, it'll be nothing like the feeding frenzy of recent years.
Crissi Avila will teach you how to buy smart. We’ll look at location, development, and turnover so you can spot opportunities long before most even start considering them.