California

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." 

 
New American Funding has named Scott Bristol as its new Senior Vice President, National Sales Manager
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.

 
San Diego will need to triple the number of homes constructed each year if it hopes to keep up with the current level of housing demand while keeping prices down, according to a report issued by the San Diego Housing Commission
San Diego will need to triple the number of homes constructed each year if it hopes to keep up with the current level of housing demand while keeping prices down, according to a report issued by the San Diego Housing Commission.
 
The San Diego Union Tribune is reporting that a shrinking inventory is fueling the dramatic increase in the area’s housing costs. The report stated an additional 150,000 to 220,000 housing units—covering single-family homes, condos and rental apartments—need to be built in the next 11 years, which would be between 17,000 to 24,000 a year. In the last five years, San Diego only saw 6,400 units constructed.
 
The report added that a too-pricey housing market ultimately costs the city jobs and prevents companies from recruiting new workers. The report also claimed there was an environmental aspect to this problem, because affordable housing is often far from employment and education centers and would require people to take lengthy automotive commutes.
 
In order to spur housing activity, the report recommended the loosening of parking requirements, the hiring of a citywide grants coordinator and speeding up the land-use approval in key community planning.
“Whether you are working a minimum wage job or have a college degree and working a full-time job making a decent amount of money, you still can’t afford to rent or buy in San Diego,” said Councilman David Alvarez at a press conference. “That is alarming.”

 
New American Funding has named Scott Bristol as its new Senior Vice President, National Sales Manager
New American Funding has expanded its Northern California region to include a retail branch in the heart of Silicon Valley, a 4,000-square foot contemporary office space in downtown San Jose on the top floor of a 16-story high-rise. Chris MacNaughton, who has been with New American Funding since September of 2016 covering Northern California as Vice President of Builder and Business Development, will lead the new location as Branch Manager.
 
“We’re excited for the opening of our new branch. It’s a perfect location and prime opportunity,” said MacNaughton. “The housing market is thriving in Silicon Valley and we’re centrally located to meet the need.”
 
MacNaughton has grown the company’s presence in the market to include about 10 new home communities where New American Funding is the lender of choice. In the coming year, the Northern California builder team is expected to fund $250 million in loan volume.

 
When it comes to enjoying a return on investment for a home purchase, West Coast homeowners are reaping the greatest financial harvest
When it comes to enjoying a return on investment for a home purchase, West Coast homeowners are reaping the greatest financial harvest.
 
According to new data from Zillow, the typical seller in Oakland sold their home for an average of $590,000 after living in it for just over seven years, which is 78 percent more than their purchase price. Up in Portland, the typical 2016 seller sold for about $145,000 more than what they paid nine years earlier, a profit of 65 percent. Six of the top 10 markets for major returns on home sales are West Coast based, where low inventory and competitive demand have fueled spiraling home values, with Seattle leading the nation in a 15.5 percent year-over-year valuation spike.
 
"The housing market can change a lot in 10 years, and you see that reflected in this top 10 list," said Zillow Chief Economist Svenja Gudell. "Buying a home is one of the biggest financial decisions people will make in their lifetime, and it really paid off for sellers in these cities. Every city on this list has been growing extremely fast over the past decade, with the majority passing peak home value hit during the housing bubble. It's extremely difficult to time the market, but if you're a longtime homeowner in one of these cities, you could potentially see a great return on your investment."

 
Opus Capital Markets Consultants LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Wipro Ltd., has announced the addition of Bruce Legan
California’s evaporating affordable housing environment was the focus of an agreement between Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders on a $4 billion bond that would fund low-income housing developments and subsidize residential mortgages for California veterans.
 
According to a Los Angeles Times report, Senate Bill 3 was originally designed to allocate $3 billion for the construction of new homes for low-income Californians. In the new agreement between the governor and legislators, $1 billion was added to the bill to fund homeownership subsidies for veterans. An existing program to promote homeownership for veterans would have been halted in 2018 due to a lack of funding.
 
"The bond agreement we have reached provides badly needed funding to help Californians, including our veterans, find safe, affordable housing," Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Paramount) said in a statement.
 
The agreement on Senate Bill 3 comes ahead of negotiations on Senate Bill 2, which adds a $75 fee on mortgage refinancing and other real estate transactions to fund low-income home construction. Both bills will require a two-thirds supermajority approval in both houses of the legislature prior to Sept. 15 in order to pass.

 
San Jose
A new report is calling for the creation of 120,000 new housing units in San Jose, to be built over the next three decades, as a solution to alleviate that market’s affordable housing problems.
According to a San Jose Mercury-News report, the urban planning group San Francisco Bay Area Planning and Urban Research Association, which uses the acronym SPUR, called on municipal leaders to alter zoning rules in order to encourage the construction of new housing. SPUR advocated smaller housing developments rather than large complexes, mixed-used properties that incorporated retail and public spaces into the projects, and more funding for the construction of housing.
 
“The Silicon Valley economic miracle has become a housing nightmare,” SPUR said in its report. “We aren’t building enough housing for all the people who want to live here.”
 
The report focused primarily on the San Jose market, although it said that its proposals should also apply to the other metros in the South Bay region.
 
“While most of Silicon Valley has a jobs-housing imbalance, with many more jobs than housing units, San Jose has the opposite problem,” the report added. “San Jose is the only large city in the country to actually lose population during the daytime, because more of its residents work outside the city itself.”
 
The lack of affordable housing in San Francisco is so bad—pause for a “Match Game”-style audience response of “How bad is it?”—that people have taken up residency in a laundromat basement
The lack of affordable housing in San Francisco is so bad—pause for a “Match Game”-style audience response of “How bad is it?”—that people have taken up residency in a laundromat basement. And not only is that bad, it is against the law.
 
According to a CBS San Francisco Report, the City Attorney’s Office has filed a civil lawsuit against Melissa Mendoza, owner of a laundromat in San Francisco’s Excelsior District, for turning her business’ basement into an illegal housing complex for 20 tenants who paid between $300 and $900 a month in rent. The housing transaction was completed without lease agreements or receipts, with tenants paying Mendoza in cash. The fire department ordered the property evacuated due in February and ordered the property owner and master tenant to pay relocation costs of $4,262 per unit to the tenants.
 
The city discovered the basement housing complex by accident on Christmas Day last year, when the fire department responded to a non-fire emergency call at the building. They discovered the tenants were living without running water, hot water or heat, while there was only one exit and no windows.
 
Mendoza and the building’s master tenant, Ernesto Paredes of Daly City, are being sued for violating city codes and state housing laws, along with unlawful business practices.