California

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, who worked to find public sector solutions to the problems that significantly reconfigured his city’s housing market, died early this morning at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital at the age of 65
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, who worked to find public sector solutions to the problems that significantly reconfigured his city’s housing market, died early this morning at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital at the age of 65San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, who worked to find public sector solutions to the problems that significantly reconfigured his city’s housing market, died early this morning at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital at the age of 65. The cause of death was not immediately announced.
 
Lee, a Democrat, became Mayor in 2011 and was the first Asian-American to hold that office. He was previously San Francisco’s City Administrator and Director of the City Purchasing Department. In recent years, Lee found himself facing a local market where affordable housing and traditionally working-class neighborhoods were shrinking while expensive properties became the dominant commodity.
 
In July 2015, Lee generated national headlines in opposing a ballot referendum that would have created a temporary halt on market-rate housing developments in the city’s Mission District.
 
“Now is not the time to moratorium ourselves to death,” Lee said. The moratorium referendum was rejected by voters, but another proposal supported by the mayor—the creation of a municipal fund for developing and maintaining affordable housing—passed with nearly three-quarters approval by local voters.
 
Earlier this year, Mayor Lee announced that the city will build 135 affordable units at the former Francis Scott Key Elementary School in the Outer Sunset section of the city. The housing units will be offered to 80 middle-income teachers and 55 public school paraprofessionals.
 
“We couldn’t afford to sit back and wait for solutions to slowly develop when it came to housing for our teachers,” the Mayor said. “Our educators make up a key part of working class families in this city. We need to find solutions to keep them living in San Francisco.”
 
San Francisco Board of Supervisors President London Breed became acting mayor following Lee’s death.
 
Lee is survived by his wife Anita and two daughters.

 
Two new data reports are highlighting the level of residential property damage created by the ongoing California wildfires
Two new data reports are highlighting the level of residential property damage created by the ongoing California wildfires.
 
In CoreLogic’s hazard risk analysis, a total of 86,242 homes in Ventura and Los Angeles counties with a combined reconstruction cost value (RCV) of $27.7 billion are at some level of risk from the Thomas, Rye and Creek Wildfires. Within that total, 13,526, or 16 percent, with an estimated RCV of more than $5 billion are considered to be at significant risk of damage. 
 
Separately, Realtor.com Chief Economist Danielle Hale issued a report stating that the uncontained fires are spreading from less-populated to more-populated areas, which could increase the damages to the residential housing market in Southern California. Within a quarter-mile of the current fire boundary, there are 10,906 residential properties worth $7.7 billion, or just over $700,000 per home. Within a half mile of the current fire boundaries, there are 21,639 residential properties, worth nearly $14 billion, or just over $645,000 per home.
 
Hale also noted that housing availability was already tight prior to the fires, and the ability to supply housing after the fires are fully extinguished will be a major issue impacting the state.
 
In view of the fires, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) issued a proclamation allowing national banks and federal savings associations directly affected by the ongoing emergency to close. The OCC added that these branches and offices “should make every effort to reopen as quickly as possible to address the banking needs of their customers.”

 
After nearly five years as the nation’s least affordable housing market, San Francisco passed its pricey crown to Los Angeles in the third quarter edition of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index
After nearly five years as the nation’s least affordable housing market, San Francisco passed its pricey crown to Los Angeles in the third quarter edition of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index.
 
During the third quarter, only 9.1 percent of the homes sold in the Los Angeles metro market incorporating Long Beach and Glendale were affordable to families earning the area’s median income of $64,300. San Francisco’s metro market, which includes Redwood City and South San Francisco, slipped into second place among unaffordable markets after 19 consecutive quarters in first place. The rest of the top five markets for unaffordability were also located in California:  Anaheim-Santa Ana-Irvine, San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara and Santa Rosa.
 
For the fourth consecutive quarter, the metro area covering Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, Ohio-Pa., was rated the nation’s most affordable major housing market, with 90.1 percent of all new and existing homes sold in the third quarter were affordable to families earning the area’s median income of $54,600. The metro area covering Wheeling, W.Va., and sections of neighboring Ohio was rated the nation’s most affordable smaller market, with 94.7 percent of homes sold in the third quarter being affordable to families earning the median income of $56,100.
 
“Though builder confidence remains strong, they continue to deal with the long-term repercussions of this devastating hurricane season, which has exacerbated chronic labor and lot shortages and put upward pressure on material and home prices,” said NAHB Chairman Granger MacDonald, a home builder and developer from Kerrville, Texas.
Fortune and Great Place to Work have named New American Funding as one of the top workplaces for diversity in the United States
New American Funding has named Virginia Martinez as Regional Sales Manager to cover its Southern California market from the Central Coast to Coachella ValleyNew American Funding has named Virginia Martinez as Regional Sales Manager to cover its Southern California market from the Central Coast to Coachella Valley. Martinez will oversee the daily operations of the region, while simultaneously working to expand the territory with the opening of new branches.
 
“I look forward to continuing my career at New American Funding,” said Martinez. “Not only is the company a best workplace for women, but as a west-coast headquartered lender, New American Funding understands the market I serve.”
Martinez brings with her 25-plus years of mortgage banking experience, where most recently, she worked as a highly accomplished regional executive who lead a top-producing territory at her company.
 
“I have followed Virginia’s career and have seen her impact on our industry as a diverse leader,” said New American Funding President Patty Arvielo. “I’m excited to have her on board. Her industry knowledge and commitment to the consumer are going to be tremendous assets.”
 
Martinez, who has successfully recruited, trained, and mentored some of the industry’s best mortgage originators and managers, will also work to increase the company’s growing team of originators. Martinez is active with the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP) and the Builder Industry Association of Southern California.
 
“New American Funding has created a dynamic culture for originators to succeed,” said Martinez. “Executive leaders are forward-thinking pioneers who are already looking ahead to bring us into the future of mortgage banking. They have a superior, decentralized in-market operations platform with one-of-a-kind marketing that brands the local originator and their referral partner.”

 
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has announced that his city is building more new homes, but nowhere near as many affordably-priced residences to address the local affordable housing crisis
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has announced that his city is building more new homes, but nowhere near as many affordably-priced residences to address the local affordable housing crisis.
 
According to a KPCC report, Garcetti used a speech before the Los Angeles Business Council to announce that the city is nearly two-thirds of the way toward meeting Garcetti's goal of building 100,000 new housing units over his eight years in office. However, Garcetti added, the majority of these properties are priced at market rates—and a typical Los Angeles home sells for $630,000.
 
To alleviate the affordable housing crisis, Garcetti announced efforts to speed up the permitting for new developments, adding the city was subsidizing the creation of more units. Garcetti also used his speech to announce a new pilot project that would provide $4 million in financing to affordable housing developers to rehab old buildings at risk of conversion to more expensive housing.
 
Furthermore, the mayor observed that more housing could be created if Los Angeles' half-million homeowners took advantage of a new state law that enabled them to build so-called granny flats in their backyards, noting that 50,000 new housing units could come online if only 10 percent of local homeowners took the lead.
 
"It is a priority of my administration to make this easy, to find more neighborhoods that embrace this and to get those numbers into the tens of thousands in the coming years," Garcetti said.

 
Fortune and Great Place to Work have named New American Funding as one of the top workplaces for diversity in the United States
New American Funding continues its expansion across Northern California with the opening of its new Novato, Calif. location, the first retail site for the mortgage lender in Marin County.
 
“We look forward to servicing this region,” said Darren Pomponio, New American Funding Area Manager. “Not only do we offer competitive rates and industry-leading close times for our customers but we have great cobranded marketing resources for our real estate partners.”
 
Pomponio, who has a 20-year mortgage background, will oversee the Novato branch as a Producing Manager. He began as a top-performing Loan Originator before becoming a Vice President with an independent lender, where he successfully led his branch within the company to the top production spot based on units and volume, for two consecutive years.
 
“Darren brings a stellar reputation to New American Funding,” said Chris Garza, New American Funding Regional Vice President. “We’re honored to have him continuing our Northern California growth.”
 
Pomponio has been in Novato since 2009 and serves as a member of the Novato Chamber of Commerce and on the Board of Directors for the Veterans Association for Real Estate Professionals.
 
“This is a competitive market,” said Pomponio. “With our mobile technology and efficient loan process, we give our real estate partners the edge and help them win closings.”

 
California’s home sales and median price is expected to increase in 2018, albeit at a slower pace, according to a new forecast issued by the California Association of Realtors (CAR)
California’s home sales and median price is expected to increase in 2018, albeit at a slower pace, according to a new forecast issued by the California Association of Realtors (CAR).
 
CAR predicts a one percent uptick in existing single-family home sales next year that will reach 426,200 units, up slightly from the projected 2017 sales figure of 421,900. The 2017 figure was 1.3 percent higher when compared with the 416,700 homes sold in 2016.
 
Also, the California median home price is forecast to increase 4.2 percent to $561,000 next year, following a projected 7.2 percent increase in 2017 to $538,500. The average for 30-year, fixed mortgage interest rates bump up to 4.3 percent in 2018, up from four percent in 2017 and 3.6 percent in 2016. However, CAR noted this remains low by historical standards.
 
"Solid job growth and favorable interest rates will drive a strong demand for housing next year," said CAR President Geoff McIntosh. "However, a persistent shortage of homes for sale and increasing home prices will dictate the market as housing affordability diminishes for buyers struggling to get into the market." 

 
Fortune and Great Place to Work have named New American Funding as one of the top workplaces for diversity in the United States
New American Funding, a leader in the mortgage industry, has expanded its Northern California territory to include a brand new location in the Sonoma County market in the town of Santa Rosa, Calif.
 
“We do everything in-house and we deliver a clearly defined experience that takes the guesswork out of the loan process and provides our borrowers and Real Estate Agents with great clarity,” said Santa Rosa Branch Manager Scott Sheldon. “We make it all about the customer. As a result, people want to work with us because they know us and trust us.”
 
Sheldon will oversee the new branch while working one-on-one originating loans for clients and helping them make smart, prudent decisions. He’s a native of Santa Rosa and brings to the position more than 10 years of industry experience working in the local market. He’s also a highly sought-out mortgage expert and avid blogger, with weekly consumer articles featured in online publications including Yahoo!, AOL Real Estate, and Fox Business.
 
Just last month, New American Funding announced the opening of a retail branch in Silicon Valley, a 4,000-square foot office space in downtown San Jose on the top floor of a 16-story high-rise.

 
A new study of census data has determined that two million Californians, or 29 percent of the state’s owner-occupied residences, were mortgage-free as of last year, up from 23 percent one decade earlier
A new study of census data has determined that two million Californians, or 29 percent of the state’s owner-occupied residences, were mortgage-free as of last year, up from 23 percent one decade earlier.
 
According to a San Jose Mercury News report, the number of California homeowners with mortgages fell by 498,000, or 20 percent, to 4.93 million since 2006. Orange County had fastest growing number of debt-free homeowners: 168,000, a 28 percent spike over the last 10 years. Homes in that market carried a median value of $603,100 in 2016.
 
Nonetheless, California trails the national average of 37 percent of all homeowners living mortgage-free. And it is far behind West Virginia, which leads the nation 52 percent of its owner-occupied homes mortgage-free. Of course, there is a different in housing values between those states: the median value of West Virginia’s mortgage-less homes was $90,000 in 2016.

 
California dominated this month’s Realtor.com ranking of the nation’s hottest housing market, occupying eight of the top 10 slots of the September’s most vibrant residential metros
California dominated this month’s Realtor.com ranking of the nation’s hottest housing market, occupying eight of the top 10 slots of the September’s most vibrant residential metros.
 
San Jose, which ranked second in August, bumped its way up to the number one slot, while San Francisco ascended from third place last month to a new second place ranking. Vallejo, which was the number one metro in August, tumbled to third place. And in something of a surprise, Fort Wayne, Ind., shot up from its seventh place ranking in August to fourth place—last month’s fourth place finisher, Detroit, dropped to 10th place.
 
Realtor.com also noted that the for-sale housing inventory dropped by one percent between August and September and was nine percent below the September 2016 level. The median time on market for properties on Realtor.com this month was 69 days, which is eight days faster than this time last year, while the median list price of $274,000 is 10 percent higher on a year-over-year measurement.
 
"Days on market and the number of new listings coming to market are lower than we typically see in the fall season, while listing views per property continue to move higher," said Realtor.com Chief Economist Danielle Hale.