HCD Web News – November 26, 2012

November 26, 2012

TODAY’S NEWS

 LAND USE / PLANNING / REGULATION

SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS: Brentwood revises its housing plans to meet state requirements

By Paula King – 11/21/12 // BRENTWOOD — The city could soon have a location designated as a possible year-round emergency shelter. To meet state housing laws, Brentwood is in the process of changing its zoning to eventually permit the development of such a center. At its last meeting, the Brentwood City Council approved a revision to the city’s housing element …

LAMORINDA WEEKLY: City Works to Respond to Housing Requirements

By Laurie Snyder – 11/21/12 //  … The $408,000 cattle prod that got things moving again was the August 2012 discovery by staff “that the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) & the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) changed the prerequisites for local agencies to receive federal transportation funds through the One Bay Area Grant Program (OBAG). The new requirements are that cities have a HCD-certified Housing Element by January 31, 2013 …”

HOUSING MARKETS / REAL ESTATE

SACRAMENTO BUSINESS JOURNAL: Sacramento ranks No. 56 for housing vacancies

[11/26/12] // Almost 90 percent of Sacramento’s housing, from houses to apartments and condominiums, is occupied, according to a new analysis. Just 89.37 percent of the four-county region’s housing units were empty in 2011, according to an On Numbers analysis of the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. …

CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS: October pending and distressed sales report

News release: 11/21/12 // LOS ANGELES — California pending home sales rose both from the previous month and year in October for the first time in seven months, while the share of equity sales grew slightly, marking a four-year high, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) reported today. …  Pending sales were up 3.6 percent from the 116.1 index recorded in October 2011.

SACRAMENTO BEE: Big investment firm buys hundreds of houses in Sacramento area

By Hudson Sangree & Phillip Reese // An investment firm that owns the Waldorf Astoria hotel & the Weather Channel has bought more than 500 houses in Sacramento in the past few months, betting upward of $60 million that home prices will rise. Blackstone, a New York-based group with billions of dollars in investments and offices from London to Tokyo, has been snapping up low-priced homes across the region …

SAN FRANCISCO BUSINESS TIMES: California’s housing market sees mixed recovery

By Blanca Torres // California is experiencing what experts are calling a uneven recovery in the housing market, resulting from the familiar narrative of the strong growth in coastal areas while inland markets continue to struggle with foreclosures. In a recent report, Jerry Nickelsburg, adjunct professor and senior economist at University of California, Los Angeles, Anderson School of Management, argues that a number of factors are affecting housing markets …

MORTGAGE & FORECLOSURE ISSUES

WALL STREET JOURNAL.COM: Paper: Foreclosure Laws Indebted to History, Not Economics

By Nick Timiraos // A new paper concludes that states never adopted foreclosure laws based on broader economic reasons even though they’re playing a outsize role today in what’s happening with the housing market. … Ultimately, Ms. Ghent says states should consider adopting a uniform set of foreclosure standards, something that has been proposed at least four times over the past century.

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE: Rate on US 30-year mortgage hits record 3.31 pct.

By Christopher S. Rugaber // WASHINGTON (AP) — Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages fell to fresh record lows this week, a trend that is boosting home sales and aiding the housing recovery. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Wednesday that the average rate on the 30-year loan dipped to 3.31 percent, the lowest on records dating back to 1971. That’s down from 3.34 percent last week, the previous record low. …

SACRAMENTO BEE: Sacramento’s uptick in housing aids underwater owners

By Phillip Sangree [11/24/12] // After the housing bubble burst, tens of thousands of people across the Sacramento region were trapped in homes worth less than they owed, with experts predicting it could be many years before they recovered their lost equity. In the past six months, however, rising prices have substantially reduced negative equity in the region, real estate tracking firm Zillow said in a recent report. …

LOS ANGELES TIMES: House flipping gets an expensive twist

By Lauren Beale [11/23/12] // … Home flipping is back — and it’s going upscale. The rapid-fire buying, fixing and reselling of houses played out on a mass scale during the bubble years, when prices were soaring. Back then, flippers could reap fat profits by adding little more than a fresh coat of paint. The practice all but vanished in the mortgage meltdown as values plummeted.

HOMELESSNESS

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE: SF helps homeless veterans find housing

By Heather Knight [11/25/12] // In June, Mayor Ed Lee made a promise: His administration would house 50 homeless veterans who had federal vouchers for housing but no luck convincing a landlord to rent to them. Politicians’ pledges can be meaningless, but this one is panning out. So far, 54 veterans who had vouchers at the start of 2012 have been housed. …

 

LOS ANGELES TIMES: A lifeline in Hollywood for young homeless people

By Nita Lelyveld – 11/22/12 // Give thanks for the nearly new Nikes, left abandoned beneath the 101 Freeway overpass. They were just M.J.’s size. He had needed shoes, but had no money to buy them. … Give thanks especially for My Friend’s Place, provider of the sausages and so much more. The privately funded center perched above the Hollywood Boulevard exit is a haven where young homeless people can nurture …

 

ECONOMY / EMPLOYMENT

BAKERSFIELD NOW.COM: Groups work to prepare residents for high-speed rail jobs

By Anthony Bailey // BAKERSFIELD, Calif. // (KBAK/KBFX) — The task of constructing California’s largest infrastructure project will require a lot of manpower. Supporters of the high-speed rail project are questioning whether or not Valley residents will have an opportunity to fill any of the positions. High-speed rail Chairman Dan Richard said he believes the construction could spawn growth in businesses, creating new jobs …

TRANSPORTATION / TRANSIT-ORIENTED DEVELOPMENT

BETTER! CITIES & TOWNS: Transportation: What is the federal role?

By Charles Marohn // … Let’s start by pointing out what both parties agree on: appropriating money for highways, bridges, tunnels, local highways, and auto-oriented transportation projects of all kinds is of critical importance. It is a very high priority, particularly new facilities. While there is a one-way (emanating from Washington DC) tacit understanding that maintenance costs are a local concern, nearly every elected official seems to agree that there is value in new highways.

NATIONAL HOUSING NEWS

HOUSING WIRE: FHA doubles distressed loan sales

By Christina Mlynski // The Federal Housing Administration doubled its distressed loan sales from 5,000 sales per quarter to 9,000 sales beginning July through the Distressed Asset Stabilization Program. The current commitment is to now sell at least 10,000 distressed loans per quarter over the next year as a result of the audit report projections, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. …

DEMOGRAPHICS / QUALITY OF LIFE

CALIFORNIA PLANNING & DEVELOPMENT REPORT: Wendell’s World: In Housing, Supply Equals Demand

By Bill Fulton – 11/19/12 // Wendell Cox, my favorite anti-anti-sprawl researcher, is at it again. This time, he’s on New Geography, taking on the oft-quoted forecast of Southern California’s future housing market by Professor Arthur C. Nelson of the University of Utah, which found that future demand will be mostly for multifamily housing and small lot (under 5,000 square feet)  detached homes. And – surprise! – Cox concludes that Nelson is wrong. Future demand in Southern California, he says, will be overwhelmingly on the side of (presumably) large-lot single-family homes. …

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COVERAGE INFORMATION:

California Department of Housing & Community Development WEB NEWS service coverage: Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays each week includes electronic format articles retrieved from newspapers or news services that report housing and community development news in California and some national services. Coverage is for California newspapers that are available electronically via the Internet – and any significant related breaking news.

(C) Copyright 2012, California Department of Housing & Community Development, Division of Housing Policy Development

Links to web sites do not constitute an endorsement from The California Department of Housing and Community Development. These links are provided as an information service only. It is the responsibility of the user to evaluate the content and usefulness of information obtained from these sites.  HCD does not provide full text articles – user must access expired articles via newspaper archives online or local public library.

 

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