HCD Web News – December 21, 2012

WNHCD Web News is an electronic clipping service which features stories related to California and national housing and community development related issues. HCD staff compiles current news sources on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

December 21, 2012



NOVATO PATCH: Deficit reduction key to affordable housing options (Opinion)

By Mary Stompe // California recognizes the important challenge facing our nation — reduce the federal deficit while protecting our fragile economy and core government services such as affordable housing and community development, which are vital to middle- and low-income families and communities.


NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF HOME BUILDERS: Housing Starts Slip, Permits Rise in November

News release: 12/19/12 // December 19, 2012 – Following an above-trend rate of production in October, nationwide housing starts slipped 3.0 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 861,000 units in November, according to newly released data from HUD and the U.S. Census Bureau. Meanwhile, permits for new construction rose to their strongest level in more than four years, with a 3.6 percent gain to 899,000 units.

THE BAY CITIZEN: Judge’s ruling a win for Treasure Island development

By Katharine Mieszkowski & Matt Smith [12/19/12] // Plans to build an 8,000-unit condominium community on the former Treasure Island Naval Station have moved closer to reality following a judge’s rejection of a suit claiming the developers had not adequately studied the project’s potential environmental impact. “We are pleased to have this challenge behind us,” said Kofi Bonner, president of homebuilder Lennar Urban, a developer of the project.

NORTH COUNTY TIMES: REGION: Supervisors approve modified Keller Crossing plan

By David Downey // Riverside County supervisors Tuesday unanimously approved a modified version of Keller Crossing, a controversial development plan in the heart of French Valley’s northern rural reach. At Supervisor Jeff Stone’s suggestion, county planners retooled portions of the project that bordered existing large-lot homes …


REALTY BIZ NEWS: Optimism grows among California home buyers

By Michele Dawson // More home buyers think prices will rise over the coming decade. Some 25 percent of those surveyed said they think prices will rise in one year. Another 41 percent think they’ll rise within the next five years and 73 percent think prices will mount in 10 years. When the question was posed in 2009, the percentages were 8 percent, 35 percent and 60 percent.

SACRAMENTO BEE: Sacramento region’s home values up nearly $15 billion

By Hudson Sangree // The Sacramento region’s cumulative home values rose by $14.8 billion in 2012, with an additional 10 percent increase projected in 2013, online real estate tracker Zillow said in a report issued today. The latest figures are based on the region’s estimated cumulative property value of nearly $181 billion …

LOS ANGELES TIMES: Home sales jump to highest pace in three years

By E. Scott Reckard // Low mortgage rates and job gains are continuing to boost the housing market, with sales of existing homes at the highest level in three years and new housing construction up 21.6% in November from a year earlier. Homes were being sold last month at an annual pace of 5.04 million, the National Assn. of Realtors said in an update Thursday.

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE: California home prices rise 25 percent

By Nadja Brandt [12/18/12] // California home prices rose 25 percent in the 12 months through November, the most in eight years, as demand rose in expensive coastal areas, the state Realtors group said Tuesday. The median price of an existing, single-family detached home was $349,300 last month, up from $279,910 a year earlier, the California Association of Realtors said. …


USA TODAY: Foreclosure funds slow to get to homeowners

By Julie Schmit // A $7.6 billion federal program to help prevent foreclosures is still struggling to get money out to homeowners more than two years after the money went to states.

IMPERAIL VALLEY NEWS: Californians get new protections against foreclosure abuses

California homeowners struggling to avoid foreclosure will enjoy new state protections against lender abuses starting on January 1. That’s when the Homeowners Bill of Rights passed by state lawmakers earlier this year will go into effect.


U.S. CONFERENCE OF MAYORS’: Annual Report on Hunger & Homelessness documents growth in demand, shortfall in services, concern for future

Press release: 12/20/12 // Washington, D.C. — A survey report issued just days before the threatened sequestration of federal funding forecasts the need for more, not less, spending in the year ahead to support of growing numbers of hungry and homeless families and individuals in America’s cities. …

Link to report: http://www.usmayors.org/pressreleases/uploads/2012/1219-report-HH.pdf


LOS ANGELES TIMES: Homeless population declines in L.A. County, U.S. says

[12/19/12] // A report released by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development shows a decrease in the overall homeless population in Los Angeles County, and a more marked decrease in the number of homeless veterans. The recently released report, which is based on point-in-time estimates from counts conducted on a single night in January 2012, found that Los Angeles’ total homeless population had dropped by 6.8% from the previous year …


SAN DIEGO UNION TRIBUNE: Jobless homeowners can apply for mortgage relief

Jobless benefits could end for almost 30,000 San Diegans at the start of the New Year if President Obama and Congress don’t act. But some of those residents, if they move quickly, could qualify for mortgage aid from the state.

SACRAMENTO BEE: California’s uneven recovery (Column)

By Dan Walters // California’s unemployment rate has been declining fractionally as its recession-battered economy slowly improves. After hitting bottom three years ago, the state has added more than a half-million jobs. Its unemployment rate has dropped from over 12 percent to about 10 percent – still one of the nation’s highest, but definitely better.


OC REGISTER: State demands cash from O.C. cities

By BRIAN JOSEPH // The state Department of Finance has demanded in recent weeks that 19 Orange County cities and the county itself turn over a combined $263 million in unused funds previously earmarked for low- and moderate-income housing.


SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA PUBLIC RADIO: Short sale boom: Maybe in California, but not in the rest of the U.S.

By Matthew DeBord // If you’re underwater on your mortgage, you might want to consider a short sale, asking the bank to take less than what you owe. Some real estate experts thought a boom in short sales might appear at the end of 2012. But the National Association of Realtors says that hasn’t happened.

FEDERAL HOUSING FINANCE AGENCY: Record Low Mortgage Rates Contribute to Strong HARP Volume

News release: 12/20/12 // Washington, D.C. – The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) today released its October Refinance Report, which shows that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have refinanced more than 1.8 million loans through the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) since the program began in 2009. …


LOS ANGELES TIMES: More people moving to U.S.

By Don Lee // The pace of the nation’s population growth inched higher this year for the first time since 2006, boosted by a larger number of immigrants amid improving U.S. prospects.


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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.