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January 23, 2012

TODAY'S NEWS

 

January 23, 2012

TODAY'S NEWS

HOUSING DEVELOPMENT

INSIDE BAY AREA: Project to revitalize Bay Point stalled indefinitely without redevelopment

By Sean Maher [1/22/12] // A demolished plot of Bay Point land neighbors say is an ugly magnet for transients will likely have to sit fallow while county officials sort through the rubble of Contra Costa's dissolving redevelopment agency. The Orbisonia Heights project proposes to build a hybrid of transit-adjacent housing and retail space on about 8 acres sitting between Ambrose Park and the Safeway shopping center on Bailey Road, just to the east of Highway 4. The Pittsburg/Bay Point BART station sits just about a quarter mile…

 

LAND USE / PLANNING / REGULATION

PALO ALTO ONLINE: Palo Alto braces for battle against housing mandates

By Gennady Sheyner // If one believes regional projections, Palo Alto will have to build 12,500 new homes by 2035 to accommodate job growth and meet California's ambitious green goals. Count the City Council among the skeptics. Over the past two years, city officials have been pushing back against the planning scenarios put forth by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG), the agencies charged with implementing in the Bay Area the state's landmark greenhouse-gas-reduction law, Senate Bill 375. …

 

SAN GABRIEL VALLEY TRIBUNE: La Verne council begins process of eliminating its redevelopment agency

By Wes Woods II // LA VERNE - The City Council on Tuesday night unanimously approved the city's intent to close down its redevelopment agency.  City Manager Bob Russi said La Verne would lose about $4 million in its first year and about $2 million in following years. Gov. Jerry Brown signed two bills last year to eliminate redevelopment agencies unless cities or counties agreed to pay a set fee this year and then a regular amount in subsequent years. …

 

MURRIETA PATCH: City Hopes to Protect Redevelopment Projects

By Maggie Avants // With local redevelopment agencies struck down by the California Supreme Court in late December, the Murrieta City Council moved last week to dismantle its own. City Council voted unanimously to transfer more than $26 million in Murrieta Redevelopment Agency assets and obligations to a successor agency dubbed the Murrieta Housing Authority. … The assets to be transferred include $11.1 million in tax increment funding and $15.2 million in bond funding for projects.

 

SANTA ROSA PRESS DEMOCRAT: Santa Rosa redevelopment agency to write its will Monday

By Kevin McCallum // …Beginning at 1:30 p.m., the housing authority will meet to decide whether to become the “successor agency” for the housing functions performed by the redevelopment agency. After that, the five-member redevelopment agency board will review plans to transfer the agency's two main real estate assets – the former AT&T building and Railroad Square property leased to the Hyatt Vineyard Creek Hotel & Spa.

 

HOUSING MARKETS / REAL ESTATE

DATAQUICK NEWS: California December Home Sales

News Release: [1/19/12] // An estimated 37,734 new and resale houses and condos were sold statewide last month. That was up 15.5 percent from 32,669 in November, and up 4.2 percent from 36,215 for December 2010. California sales for the month of December have varied from a low of 25,585 in 2007 to a high of 66,503 in 2003, while the average is 44,063. …

 

MORTGAGE & FORECLOSURE ISSUES

CNN MONEY.COM: Foreclosures: America's hardest hit neighborhoods

By Les Christie // NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- The housing collapse has dramatically changed the nation's foreclosure landscape. Neighborhoods boasting modern homes, cul-de-sacs and tree-lined streets in and around Western cities now dominate the list of the top 100 U.S. zip codes hit hardest by foreclosures and claim and comprise all of the top 10 spots, according to data generated for CNNMoney by RealtyTrac. In 2011, Western states claimed 82 of the 100 worst hit zip codes with 38 in California …

 

LOS ANGELES TIMES: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac revise policies on mortgage forbearance

By Kenneth R. Harney [1/22/12] // If you have lost a job and are in danger of falling behind on mortgage payments, here's some potentially important news: The two largest players in mortgages, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, are revising their policies on forbearance when unemployment interferes with the ability to stay current on a home loan. … Forbearance, it should be noted, does not mean a forgiveness or reduction of the principal balance on the mortgage. Think of it instead as a timeout. Whatever amounts go uncollected during the forbearance period must eventually be repaid.

 

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

EUREKA TIMES-STANDARD: Three Humboldt County programs receive Federal Emergency Shelter Grants

Three Humboldt County homeless assistance programs will receive more than $340,000 this year to provide shelter and services to adults, children and families without regular housing. The one-year awards are part of $6.6 million in grants from the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD). HCD's Federal Emergency Shelter Grants (FESG) were recently awarded to 62 nonprofit programs and local governments in California for emergency shelter, transitional housing programs and shelter for victims of domestic violence. …

 

HOMELESSNESS

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE: Plazas and parklets the latest battleground in homeless war

Posted by Heather Knight // All those new plazas and “parklets” across the city may seem downright adorable, but they’re the unlikely new hotspot in the never-ending battle over the city’s homeless policy. … The idea was to set some guidelines for the plazas which are in a sort of no-man’s land because they’re not technically parks, streets or sidewalks, all of which are governed by different city codes.

 

INFRASTRUCTURE / BONDS

SACRAMENTO BEE: Gov. Jerry Brown once again seeks to sell Californians on big projects

By David Siders [1/22/12] // …Brown is expected by summer to propose a peripheral canal or another way to move water through or around the Delta, a project he said will cost water users "well over $10 billion." He persuaded the Legislature when he was governor before to approve such a canal, but it was defeated in a referendum in 1982. Three years earlier, in his State of the State address, Brown had called the project "an investment in the future," a refrain he repeated this week, more than 30 years later.

 

EMPLOYMENT / ECONOMY

THE DESERT SUN: California unemployment rate drops to 11.1 percent

(AP) // Buoyed by seasonal hiring, California’s unemployment rate dipped slightly in December to 11.1 percent, down two-tenths of a percent from the previous month. Non-farm payroll jobs increased by 10,700 last month for a total gain of 240,300 jobs in 2011. Officials at the Employment Development Department said Friday’s report shows California is continuing a gradual economic improvement. …

 

TRANSPORTATION / TRANSIT-ORIENTED DEVELOPMENT

SAN JOSE MERCURY: Car-sharing networks flourish in Bay Area

By Dana Hull // Donnie Fowler owns a 2006 Saab that's fully paid for, but he almost never drives it. A self-employed consultant who lives in San Francisco, he often works from home and takes public transportation to most of his meetings. But his car does not sit idle -- it's out on the streets earning money. … The car-sharing services vary in prices and policies -- PATS requires drivers to be at least 21 -- but all were founded on the same realization: Most cars sit unused much of the time and many two-car families don't need both vehicles on the weekends.

 

REDEVELOPMENT / INFILL / REVITALIZATION

FRESNO BEE: Friant got little for $1 Million in redevelopment

By Kurtis Alexander // FRIANT -- This foothill community with its old houses, sleepy shops and vintage diner hasn't seen much change over the decades, beyond a wider road through town and a new gas station. And major change isn't likely to come soon. The little-known redevelopment agency set up by Fresno County 20 years ago to help modernize the small town is being shut down, in part because of state law and in part because of its failure. …

 

DAILY PILOT: Community Commentary: Ending redevelopment has devastating consequences

By Patricia Whitaker [1/21/12] // In an effort to balance the state budget, the California Supreme Court voted at the end of December to eliminate redevelopment agencies across the state effective Jan. 31. It further struck down a separate law that would have allowed agencies to stay afloat if they paid more than $1 billion to the state. The decision has understandably caused a reverberation of panic from proponents desperate to find an amicable way to salvage redevelopment in some form …

 

NATIONAL HOUSING-RELATED NEWS

WASHINGTON POST: $25B deal with banks over deceptive foreclosure practices sent to AGs as settlement nears

(AP) // WASHINGTON — The nation’s five largest mortgage lenders have agreed to overhaul their industry after deceptive foreclosure practices drove homeowners out of their homes, government officials said Monday. A draft settlement between the banks and U.S. states has been sent to state officials for review. …

 

SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY SUN: Home sales up at end of dismal year, offering hope

By Derek Kravitz [1/20/12] // WASHINGTON - Home sales in December reached their highest pace in nearly a year. The gain coincided with other signs that the troubled housing market improved at the end of last year. Analysts cautioned that sales remain historically low and that it will take years for the home market to return to full health. Still, the third straight monthly sales increase was encouraging. And economists noted that conditions are in place for further gains this year. …

 

ENVIRONMENT / CLIMATE CHANGE

CENTRAL VALLEY BUSINESS TIMES: Court tosses San Joaquin Valley air pollution control plan

San Francisco 1/20/12 // A federal appeals court has shot down the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s approval of an air pollution cleanup plan for the San Joaquin Valley. “We should not silently rubber stamp agency action that is arbitrary and capricious in its reliance on old data without meaningful comment on the significance of more current compiled data,” says the decision Friday by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. …

 

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Public Entities Must Adopt Reasonable Accommodation Policies for Disabled Persons

Public Entities Must Adopt Reasonable Accommodation Policies for Disabled Persons

Posted: 23 Jan 2012 07:46 AM PST

Recent changes to the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act require a public entity to adopt policies related to the use of mobility assistance devices and the use of service animals as reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities.

The regulations interpreting Title II of the ADA prohibit discrimination in program accessibility:

 

[N]o qualified individual with a disability shall, because a public entity=s facilities are inaccessible to or unusable by individuals with disabilities, be excluded from participation in, or be denied the benefits of the services, programs, or activities of a public entity, or be subjected to discrimination by any public entity. 28 C.F.R. '35.149. 

 

The regulations also provide for program accessibility in existing facilities:

 

A public entity shall operate each service, program, or activity so that the service, program, or activity, when viewed in its entirety, is readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities. 28 C.F.R. '35.150(a). 

For people who require assistance in the form of mobility devices or service animals, the adoption and implementation of policies that make a public entity’s services, programs and activities more inclusive help meet the obligations of the Act. 

In putting together these policies, a public entity should make sure that
any exclusion of either type of accommodation is based on a particular set of facts after weighing the risks arising from those facts.  Generalized fears of potential risks are not an adequate basis for failing to provide a reasonable accommodation.  In addition, the policies should provide the public entity with some discretion to use common sense to prevent injuries when there is a direct threat to the safety of patrons.

 

Post Authored by Adam Simon, Ancel Glink
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January 20, 2012

TODAY'S NEWS

 

January 20, 2012

TODAY'S NEWS

AFFORDABLE HOUSING

ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: San Juan to create housing authority

By Josh Francis // … San Juan's new housing authority will take over at least one affordable-housing project known as Little Hollywood. The housing authority will have seven members, including the five City Council members and two other members who are customers of the new housing authority. City Attorney Omar Sandoval said 24 tenants live in the Little Hollywood development. The authority's first director …

 

HOUSING DEVELOPMENT

VENTURA COUNTY STAR: Sales forecasts mixed for new Simi Valley home development

By Mike Harris // The first new detached-home development in Simi Valley since the housing market collapsed in 2008 will open to the public Saturday, but real estate experts are split over how well it will sell. Irvine-based TRI Pointe Homes will unveil Los Arboles at Greenbriar, a planned community of 43 two-story houses on a 5-acre lot at Royal Avenue and Corto Street in central Simi Valley.

 

LOS ANGELES TIMES: Home-builder confidence improves in January

By Alejandro Lazo // A gauge of U.S. home-builder confidence showed improvement for the fourth consecutive month in January. The housing market index, produced by the National Assn. of Homebuilders and Wells Fargo, rose four points to 25 from December  to January. That was the highest level the index has reached since the start of the credit crunch in June of 2007. Any number under 50 indicates that more builders view sales conditions as poor than good.

 

HOUSING MARKETS / REAL ESTATE

SACRAMENTO BEE: Sacramento area home sales rose in December

By Rick Daysog // Sacramento's housing market ended the year on an upbeat note as sales of single-family homes rose in all four of the region's counties. But prices continued to falter due to the large number of distress sales. San Diego-based DataQuick said Wednesday that a total of 1,810 single-family homes were sold in Sacramento County last month.


 

MORTGAGE & FORECLOSURE ISSUES

SAN JOSE MERCURY: Mercury News editorial: Prevent more foreclosures with new housing director

[1/18/12] // President Barack Obama has an opportunity this week to help millions of Americans struggling with high housing costs that burden them and cripple the U.S. economy. He should answer calls to appoint a new a federal housing regulator, replacing the acting director who has been inexplicably reluctant to aid homeowners in mortgage trouble. A group of 28 U.S. House Democrats and California Gov. Jerry Brown have called on the president to make a recess appointment …

 

AFFORDABLE HOUSING FINANCE NEWS: Opening up LIHTCs for foreclosed homes

By Donna Kimura // Converting foreclosed single-family homes into affordable rental properties through the low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) program is an idea that’s getting increasing attention inside the Obama administration. With a few changes, the program could become another tool used to transform the vacant properties, said Carol Galante, acting assistant secretary for housing at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Federal Housing Administration (FHA) commissioner. She noted that developers have been using LIHTCs to finance scattered-site developments for years.

 

THE DESERT SUN: Desert Hot Springs to lose authority over mobile home parks

By Kate McGinty // Desert Hot Springs will be stripped next month of its authority over the city's mobile home parks because it overcharged owners and has thousands in unpaid bills to the state. The California Department of Housing and Community Development issued that ruling in a Jan. 3 letter obtained this week by The Desert Sun. The state would make an exception if the city pays $7,654 in overdue fees and repeals an ordinance that charges parks development impact fees by Feb. 14.

 

CENTRAL VALLEY BUSINESS TIMES: California congressmen demand action from Obama on housing market collapse

Democratic members of Congress from California are demanding a face-to-face meeting with President Barack Obama over the mortgage meltdown that’s put millions of homeowners underwater. They say that despite repeated meetings with members of the President’s cabinet and other high-level staff, very little has been done to solve the ongoing foreclosure problem. The lawmakers note that they have presented numerous possible solutions, all of which seem to have slipped into oblivion.

 

HOMELESSNESS

LOS ANGELES TIMES: Homeless make up growing number of California welfare recipients

By Jason Song [1/16/12] // When Genivive Jones lost her job last year and started bouncing between friends' homes and motels with her toddler daughter, she inadvertently joined one of the fastest-growing groups of state welfare recipients: homeless families who receive aid known as CalWorks. Over the last five years, the number of CalWorks families without a permanent place to live has grown by 98%.

 

Day after homeless sweep, some stay put
"Since when is it illegal in America to be homeless?" Richard Romero asked Thursday morning from his camp along Mormon Slough, a day after police and city workers swept out around 200 homeless living along several miles of dry bed from Lincoln Street to Bieghle Alley.

 

 

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE: Smart Growth Conference to showcase San Diego

The 11th annual New Partners for Smart growth Conference in San Diego promises a head-swirling selection of sessions on smart growth, green jobs and economy, land preservation, health, schools and institutions, small cities and rural areas and transportation, among others. For the 1,600 people attending, the conference set for Feb. 2-4 at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina, is crammed to the edges …

 

ECONOMY / EMPLOYMENT

VISALIA TIMES-DELTA: Enterprise Zone set for Sequoia Valley

By Luis Hernandez // The California Department of Housing and Community Development confirmed Tuesday the final designation of the Sequoia Valley Enterprise Zone, making area businesses eligible for hiring credits and credits on sales and use tax paid for equipment and parts purchases.

 

MARKET WATCH.COM: Pat Brown Institute's State of the City Report Highlights Reasons for L.A.'s Stagnant Economic Recovery, Need for Housing Solutions

[Press Release: 1/19/12] //PRNewswire via COMTEX -- Slow, steady annual job growth is likely, with jobs returning to pre-recession levels in 2016. As the U.S. experiences spurts of slow economic growth, the Edmund G. "Pat" Brown Institute of Public Affairs' (PBI) 2011 Los Angeles State of the City Report shows that the city still struggles with underemployment that impacts one-third of households, and rents double the national average that are largely paid by those with low incomes who often work far from home.

 

TRANSPORTATION

L.A.'s Antonio Villaraigosa discusses transit funding with China

L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa says that during a recent trip to Asia he spoke with a Chinese investment group about funding for a dozen transportation projects. Fearing a stalemate in Congress over transportation funding, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is looking to the Chinese government as an option to possibly save his ambitious plan to build a dozen mass-transit projects in 10 years instead of 30. Villaraigosa said Thursday that he met with executives from China Investment Corp. in Beijing during his trip to Asia in December. The group was established in 2007 by the People's Republic of China, according to the corporation's website.

 

REDEVELOPMENT / INFILL / REVITALIZATION

SAN JOSE MERCURY: Walnut Creek names city as successor to redevelopment agency

By Elisabeth Nardi // As cities across California cope with the end of redevelopment agencies, Walnut Creek's struggle center mainly around the city's housing programs. For more than three decades redevelopment districts throughout the state took money generated from the growth in property taxes and spent it on economic development projects and affordable housing. In December, the California Supreme Court upheld the Legislature's vote to dissolve the agencies. On Tuesday, the City Council did some necessary housekeeping

 

THE BOND BUYER: California RDAs Prompt Move by Moody's

By Randall Jensen // SAN FRANCISCO — Uncertainty over what happens next for redevelopment agencies in California has prompted Moody’s Investors Service to downgrade $11.6 billion of tax allocation bonds. Moody’s said the move affects tax allocation bonds rated above Baa2, which will be lowered by one notch due to concerns about bond payments as the state’s redevelopment agencies are phased out.

 

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE: Redevelopment agencies key to housing, job growth

By John A. Pérez // When the Legislature shifted funds from local redevelopment agencies to schools and public safety, we recognized that there needed to be a way for communities to continue pursuing some of the beneficial efforts of redevelopment agencies, including economic development, affordable housing and environmental protection. Unfortunately, following a legal challenge by cities, the state Supreme Court rejected the responsible redevelopment alternative we had provided.

 

ENVIRONMENT / CLIMATE CHANGE

BROWNSVILLE HERALD: Clean living: Energy proces fuel sustainable, affordable housing push

By Steve Clark //  If you want to see what the future of affordable housing looks like in Brownsville, take a gander at the little blue house at 3132 Westwind Drive in the Inwood II subdivision. Built by the YouthBuild program of the Community Development Corporation of Brownsville, it’s the first LEED-certified house in the Rio Grande Valley, according to CDCB officials.

 

 

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December 23, 2011

TODAY'S NEWS

 

December 23, 2011

TODAY'S NEWS

AFFORDABLE HOUSING

REDDING: Home buyers will get funding; Shata Lake granted aid for down payments

By David Benda // Shasta Lake's home down payment assistance program has received a $700,000 holiday boost. The community is one of 25 California cities and counties to share $16.1 million from the state Department of Housing and Community Development. The city of Oroville and Glenn County also got money. The money is from the federal HOME Investment Partnership Program, which has been made available to California communities every year since 1992.

 

HOUSING DEVELOPMENT

SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE: S.D. home permits soared in November

By Roger Showley // San Diego County housing permit activity soared in November to levels not seen in six years, the Construction Research Board reported Thursday. There were 586 units authorized last month, nearly four times the 154 approved in November 2010. It was the highest November number since 2005, when 801 units got the go-ahead. Last month’s count also was nearly three times October’s 198 units

 

EXAMINER: November housing starts: multifamily starts surge in western US

By Ryan McMaken // The West census region includes California, so given the size of the West census region, the fact that total housing starts are at 12,200 indicates that new home construction continues to be very light throughout the region. Housing starts totals ranging from 35,000 to 45,000 were common from 2004 to 2006. However, most of this decline was driven by drops in single-family activity, and not by large drops in multifamily activity.

 

HOUSING MARKETS / REAL ESTATE

BUSINESS WEEK: Foreclosures Weighing on Prices May Push Rebound to 2013

By John Gittelsohn [12/22/11] // (Bloomberg) -- The two-bedroom Denver row house that Kyle and Jennifer Zinth bought in 2005 is a tight fit now that they have an 18-month-old son, Max, and a coonhound named Beauregard. They plan to put it up for sale next month, hoping to at least break even so they can buy a larger home. “My understanding is it’s a better time to buy than sell,” Kyle Zinth, 34, a paralegal, said in a telephone interview. “If we can get out of this one without financial harm and get a good deal on the next place, then that’s ideal under present market realities.”

 

MORTGAGE & FORECLOSURE ISSUES

VENTURA COUNTY STAR: Number of homes pending foreclosure drops nationwide

By Carol Lawrence // October's nationwide shadow inventory of homes dropped nearly 16 percent to 1.6 million from 1.9 million, according to Santa Ana real estate industry tracker and analyst CoreLogic Inc. Shadow inventory is considered a look into the pending foreclosure market because it includes properties not yet on the market but that are at least 90 days late on mortgage payments, those already in foreclosure and homes owned by lenders, as defined by CoreLogic.

 

SACRAMENTO BUSINESS JOURNAL: Local home-value loss pegged at $13 billion

Sacramento homeowners lost a cumulative $13 billion in home value this year, according to figures released Thursday by Zillow, the online real estate company that offers “zestimates” of home values across the country. It was the sixth straight year that homes in the region lost value, the company said.

 

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

Fresno, Kings counties land housing funds

Nearly $3 million in funding for housing assistance is coming to two Central Valley counties. The awards are part of a total of $16.1 million released by the Department of Housing and Community Development in Sacramento to 25 cities across the state. The money can be used for housing rehabilitation, homebuyer down payment assistance and tenant-based rental assistance, according to a news release.

 

ECONOMY / EMPLOYMENT

SACRAMENTO BEE: Californians seeking out of state jobs find it tough

By Phillip Reese // Escape isn't easy. As California buckled under layoffs and hiring freezes last year, tens of thousands of residents saw lower unemployment rates in other states and decided to move. Many couldn't find jobs near their new homes either.

The unemployment rate in 2010 among former Californians who had left the state during the previous 12 months was 19 percent, according to a Bee analysis of new U.S. census data. By comparison, the unemployment rate in the state they left behind was 12 percent.

 

NATIONAL HOUSING NEWS

LOS ANGELES TIMES: State sues for answers from Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac on housing meltdown

By Alejandro Lazo // California Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris is suing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to force the mortgage giants to answer questions about their role in California's housing meltdown. In two suits filed Tuesday in San Francisco County Superior Court, Harris seeks to compel the companies to respond to subpoenas from her office that have been ignored so far. Harris is seeking information about the practices by Fannie and Freddie in California as part of her ongoing investigation into the mortgage industry.

 

INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TIMES: 10 trends in U.S. housing in 2011 and what to look for in 2012

By Roland Li // As the end of 2011 approaches, the housing market is another year removed from the subprime mortgage meltdown. But the legacy of the crash remains, as homeowners, lenders, regulators and brokers alike continue to deal with falling home prices, a glut of unprocessed foreclosures and an uncertain economy. There have been recent signs that the industry is rebounding, but many concerns remain.

 

POPULATION

BLOOMBERG BUSINESS WEEK: U.S. population migrates from coasts for 'gigantic' income boost

By Brian Chappatta // New York, California and other high- cost U.S. states may lose residents as the economy recovers, continuing a trend during the past decade of Americans searching for more affordable regions to settle. The U.S. population climbed 9.7 percent from 2000 to 2010, according to Census Bureau data. Five states -- Nevada, Arizona, Texas, Utah and Idaho -- grew at more than twice the national pace, as California, the most-populous, had its smallest increase ever, the data show.

 

ENVIRONMENT / CLIMATE CHANGE

VANCOUVER STRAIGHT: Demand for Smoke-free housing on the rise in Metro Vancouver

By Carlito Pablo // California’s Sonoma County is going to be the envy of Lower Mainland residents who have to put up with the secondhand smoke of their neighbours. Starting on May 10 next year, all new multi-unit residences in the county will be smoke-free. Then, as of January 12, 2013, the ban will extend to all existing multiple-dwelling units like apartments and condos. While Sonoma’s smoking prohibition may appear to be too ambitious for Canadian jurisdictions, a more modest approach could work.

 

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December 15, 2011

SEC Halts Father-Son Ponzi Scheme in Utah Involving Purported Real Estate Investments

SEC Halts Father-Son Ponzi Scheme in Utah Involving Purported Real Estate Investments

You are subscribed to Press Releases from the Securities Exchange Commission. A new press release is now available.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
2011-266

Washington, D.C., Dec. 15, 2011 — The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged a father and son in Utah with securities fraud for selling purported investments in their real estate business that turned out to be nothing more than a wide-scale $220 million Ponzi scheme.

The SEC alleges that Wendell A. Jacobson and his son Allen R. Jacobson operate from a base in Fountain Green, Utah, and offer investors the opportunity to invest in limited liability companies (LLCs) in order to share ownership of large apartment communities in eight states. The Jacobsons solicit investors personally and through word of mouth, and appear to be using their memberships in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints to make connections and win over the trust of prospective investors.

The SEC alleges that the Jacobsons represent that they buy apartment complexes with low occupancy rates at significantly discounted prices. They then renovate them and improve their management, and aim to resell them within five years. Investors are said to share in the profits derived from rental income at the apartment complexes as well as the eventual sales. But in reality, the LLCs are suffering significant losses and the Jacobsons are merely pooling the money raised from investors into large bank accounts from which they are siphoning money to pay family expenses and the operating expenses of their various companies. They also are paying earlier investors with funds received from new investors in classic Ponzi scheme fashion.

After filing its complaint today in federal court in Salt Lake City, the SEC obtained an emergency court order freezing the assets of the Jacobsons and their companies.

“Wendell and Allen Jacobson misled investors to believe they were financially supporting what was portrayed as a widespread and reputable operation to revamp apartment communities and turn a significant profit,” said Ken Israel, Director of the SEC’s Salt Lake Regional Office. “Their promises were anything but truthful.”

According to the SEC’s complaint, the Jacobsons raised more than $220 million from approximately 225 investors through a complex web of entities under the umbrella of Management Solutions, Inc. They have operated the fraudulent scheme since at least 2008. They sold the securities in the form of investment contracts without filing any registration statement with the SEC as required under the federal securities laws. Wendell and Allen Jacobson are acting as unregistered brokers in connection with their offers and sales of membership interests in LLCs.

The SEC alleges that the Jacobsons falsely assure investors that the principal amount of their investment will be safe, and their funds will be used to acquire, rehabilitate, and manage certain identified properties. Investors are promised annual returns ranging from 5 to 8 percent per year depending upon the particular apartment complexes pertaining to their LLC, with additional profits promised when the properties are sold. Wendell and Allen Jacobson tell investors that their funds are designated for a particular LLC. Wendell Jacobson has told investors that only one time has he ever lost money on a property, and on that occasion he covered the loss personally so that investor returns would not be reduced.

According to the SEC’s complaint, investor funds are never held and used exclusively to acquire, rehabilitate, and operate rental properties as represented by the Jacobsons. In fact, the LLCs are experiencing significant net losses. Nevertheless, the LLCs continue to pay returns to investors, falsely leading those investors to believe their LLCs are operating at a profit. When investor funds are received, they are almost always transferred or pooled immediately in accounts of various Jacobson-owned entities, most commonly in the account of Thunder Bay Mortgage Company. Investor funds are then used for a variety of purposes that have not been disclosed to investors.

The SEC further alleges that on numerous occasions since Jan. 1, 2010, investors have been told that the property owned in their LLC has been sold, and that they have realized a profit on the sale. In fact, those properties were not sold, and the Jacobsons used the alleged “sales” as a means of shifting investors into and out of certain properties. They have essentially been operating a shell game intended to raise additional funds from new or existing investors in order to meet the rapidly growing financial obligations of their operation.

The SEC’s complaint charges Wendell and Allen Jacobson with violating Sections 5(a), 5(c) and 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Sections 10(b) and 15(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder as well as disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, prejudgment interest and financial penalties. The Honorable Bruce S. Jenkins granted the SEC’s request for a temporary restraining order, asset freezes, appointment of a receiver and other emergency relief to prevent the Jacobsons from continuing to solicit investments in the Management Solutions program. The SEC seeks permanent injunctive relief, disgorgement and financial penalties against Management Solutions and the Jacobsons.

The SEC’s investigation was conducted by Alison Okinaka, Scott Frost, Paul Feindt and Norm Korb in the Salt Lake Regional Office. The litigation will be headed by Dan Wadley and Tom Melton.

The SEC thanks the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Utah, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Internal Revenue Service for their assistance in this matter.

# # #

For more information about this enforcement action, contact:

Ken Israel, Regional Director
SEC’s Salt Lake Regional Office
(801) 524-5796

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December 13, 2011

What Are You Doing in 2012 for Your Professional Development?

 

 

December 13, 2011

 

 

MIT Center for Real Estate Professional Development Institute


 

What Are You Doing in 2012 for Your Professional Development? 


 

Education in the MIT Tradition:  MIT/CRE's Professional Development Institute (PDI) offers one, two, and three day classes for real estate leaders and practitioners at all levels.  Don't miss the opportunity to bring your learning and execution to the next level this year.  Join more than 500 industry colleagues who will participate in one or more of the Institute's learning programs in 2012.


 

Taught by renowned faculty from across MIT as well as leading practitioners, each course is designed to combine best practices, research, and skill development. Held in June and July, the 2012 PDI will include the following as a sample of our offerings: 


 


 

Theory & Practice of Negotiation: Creating More Value


 

Real Estate Finance: Fundamentals

  

Evaluating Real Estate Markets: Location, Product, Timing


 

Commercial Real Estate Development


 

The Cutting Edge in Sustainable Development


 

Please stay tuned as our schedule will be finalized in early 2012. To keep up with our offerings, please click here for updates.

  

We look forward to seeing you in Cambridge, MA next Summer! Wishing you a happy holiday,

  

Warm Regards,


 


 

 AJ Signature 

  

Aruna Joglekar 


 

Assistant Director, PDI


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 

 


Horizontal Rule

 

MIT


 

 

MIT Center for Real Estate
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Building W31-310
Cambridge, MA 02139-4307
T: 617-253-4373
F: 617-258-6991   
mit-cre@mit.edu

 
 
 
 
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December 09, 2011

DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

STATE OF CALIFORNIA -BUSINESS, TRANSPORTATION AND HOUSING AGENCY EDMUND G. BROWN, JR., Governor

DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

DIVISION OF FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

1800 Third Street, Suite 390

P. O. Box 952054

Sacramento, CA 94252-2054

(916) 322-1560

FAX (916) 327-6660

December 7, 2011

To:

 

Interested Parties

From:

 

Russ Schmunk

Assistant Deputy Director

California Department of Housing and Community Development

Subject:

 

Proposed Revisions to Older HCD Programs for Projects being

Refinanced, Syndicated or Re-syndicated

The California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) will be

holding two informal meetings to solicit comments on proposed changes to the

regulatory framework for RHCP, CHRP-R and other older HCD-assisted rental

developments undergoing refinancing, syndication or re-syndication.

A summary of the proposed changes is available at:

http://www.hcd.ca.gov/fa/amc/Proposed_Changes_Summary.pdf

The meetings will be held as follows:

January 9, 2012 Oakland

Elihu Harris State Office Building

Room 1

1515 Clay Street

Oakland, CA 94612

1:00 to 3:30

January 13, 2012 Los Angeles

Ronald Reagan State Office Building

Auditorium

300 South Spring Street

Los Angeles, CA 90013

1:00 to 3:30

No RSVP is necessary. Should you have questions on these meetings, please

contact Lupe Montanez at (916) 324-8282 or

mmontanez@hcd.ca.gov

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December 07, 2011

TODAY'S NEWS

December 7, 2011

 

TODAY'S NEWS

AFFORDABLE HOUSING

Oakland Tribune Google to finance affordable housing in Mountain View

Better known for its investments in green energy or for buying tech startups at a dizzying pace, Google (GOOG) has discovered a new investment opportunity -- affordable housing.

 

SANTA MARIA TIMES: Affordable complex gives some families a home for holiday

By Brian Bullock // Being at home for the holidays will have special meaning for Vincent and Cassie Guerrero and their two young daughters this year because they’ve been homeless for the past 15 months. The Guerreros are among a half-dozen families that already have moved into Rancho Hermosa, a new affordable living apartment complex in Santa Maria. The 47-unit development provides permanent housing for “very low income” families, and those with special needs or mental disabilities.

 

HOUSING DEVELOPMENT

TIMES HERALD: Casa de Vallejo repairs resume

By Rachel Raskin-Zrihen //  By next summer, low income elderly people will once again be living in downtown Vallejo's venerable Casa de Vallejo, its owners said Monday. Partially destroyed by a deadly early morning blaze on Aug. 15, 2008 , the 82-year-old former YMCA-turned ritzy hotel-turned low income senior housing facility, will take about nine months to renovate, co-owner Jules Arthur said.

 

LAND USE / PLANNING / REGULATION

TIMES STANDARD: Housing Element will undergo another public hearing

By Megan Hansen // Humboldt County recently rescinded its draft amendment to the Housing Element plan that dealt with rezoned properties for multifamily housing, according to the California Department of Housing and Community Development. Paul McDougall, the program manager with the state department's housing policy development division who has been working with the county on the element, said the county is making revisions to the draft amendment.

 

MORTGAGE & FORECLOSURE ISSUES

KCRA: California's continuing foreclosure crisis

CalHFA Executive Director Claudia Cappio and Assembly member Norma Torres were interviewed by Teo Torres of KCRA Channel 3 prior to their hearing before the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee.

 

LOS ANGELES TIMES: California and Nevada join forces in mortgage probe

By Alejandro Lazo // An alliance by California and Nevada to jointly investigate misconduct and fraud in the mortgage business further divides efforts by the nation's attorneys general to bring the home-lending industry to account for improper foreclosure practices.

 

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE: Occupy Oakland protesters focus on home foreclosure

By Carolyn Said // The Occupy movement entered a new phase on Tuesday with a day of marches, rallies and direct actions in more than 20 cities nationwide, including Oakland, San Francisco and San Jose, to draw attention to the home foreclosure crisis.

 

ECONOMY / EMPLOYMENT

CBS NEWS: Unemployment leading to California exodus

By Ben Tracy // Jobs are just one reason for the migration. Housing is another. A somewhat typical 3-bedroom home in Los Angeles just sold for more than $1 million, yet in a suburb of Austin, Texas, a somewhat typical 4-bedroom home sold for $380,000. The people who bought it moved from California."

 

SACRAMENTO BEE: California's job market brightens, economist says; Sacramento's is still weak

The job market is looking healthier, and UCLA forecasters say the California economy is finally kicking it up a notch. It's not as if an economic boom is coming, but in the latest UCLA Anderson Forecast, to be released today, senior economist Jerry Nickelsburg said the past two months of hiring confirm that the state's job market is on a definite upswing.

 

NATIONAL HOUSING NEWS

LOS ANGELES TIMES: Bank of America settles mortgage investors' claims for $315 million

Bank of America has agreed to pay $315 million to settle claims by investors that they were misled about mortgage-backed investments sold by its Merrill Lynch unit. The settlement was disclosed in court papers filed late Monday in U.S. District Court in Manhattan and requires the approval of a judge.

 

POPULATION

CONTRA COSTA TIMES: California population grows modestly to reach 37.5 million
By Matt O'Brien // California now has 37.5 million residents but the state population is growing at one of the slowest rates in its history, according to new estimates released Tuesday by the Department of Finance. Continuing a trend of fewer immigrants, fewer births and more Californians moving elsewhere, the state's population grew by just .7 percent in the last year, a slight increase over last year's growth rate of .65 percent.

 

 

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December 06, 2011

Recovery Prevailing,

Recovery Prevailing,
But Macro Problems Alive and Kicking

Hessam Nadji

Hessam Nadji
StreetSmart Blog - GlobeSt.com

 

Hessam Nadji, Managing Director of Research and Advisory Services at
Marcus & Millichap, offers his views on the investment sales market from both
a micro and macro perspective, connecting the dots between economics, politics
and commercial real estate. He brings his unique perspective on the drivers behind commercial property performance and investment trends to the new GlobeSt.com.

GlobeSt.com

Click here for our latest market research reports.

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December 05, 2011

Today's News


December 5, 2011

TODAY'S NEWS

AFFORDABLE HOUSING

SAN GABRIEL VALLEY TRIBUNE: Once-troubled development in downtown San Dimas nears opening

By J.D. Velasco // SAN DIMAS - When work began on the Grove Station development in eastern downtown in 2007, city leaders envisioned a mini-community where young families, entrepreneurs and retirees could live and work. … Most of the residential units will be sold at market rate, but the city's redevelopment agency has purchased four of them for use as affordable housing. The affordable units, which are being offered for $243,000, have two bedrooms …

 

ELK GROVE CITIZEN: City of long road to recovering affordable housing investments

By Bryan M. Gold // The city of Elk Grove’s affordable multifamily housing loan portfolio includes more than $61 million in loans and financial commitments, but large chunks of that money will not be repaid until the year 2030 or later. “Affordable housing,” are housing units that had their costs reduced for low-to-mid-income residents. Impact fees on residential, commercial, and industrial development fund the city’s ability to provide the loans. …

 

HOUSING DEVELOPMENT

AFFORDABLE HOUSING FINANCE: Hope Grows in S.F.

By Donna Kimura // There’s an unfamiliar scene in San Francisco’s Bayview- Hunters Point neighborhood. It’s the sight of a construction crew at one of the city’s most distressed public housing developments. After years of planning, The John Stewart Co., Devine & Gong, Inc., and Ridgepoint Non-Profit Housing Corp. have begun rebuilding Hunters View, a 22-acre site consisting of 267 public housing units built in 1956. Hunters View is just the first chapter in what is hoped will be an epic tale of renewal. …

 

SACRAMENTO BEE: Sacramento home builders skittish in slow market

By Rick Daysog // With sales of new homes near historic lows, Sacramento builders remain in survival mode, but a few say they expect to see demand slowly pick up next year. Sacramento's five-year housing bust has toppled some of the biggest names in the industry – firms that were once a backbone of the region's economy. According to San Diego-based DataQuick, builders in the Sacramento area sold just 2,363 new homes in 2010, an 85 percent decline …

 

FRESNO BUSINESS JOURNAL: Fresno Habitat for Humanity to receive grant

Habitat for Humanity Fresno County has been chosen as one of 52 nonprofits nationwide that will receive grants from Wells Fargo's Leading the Way Home Program Priority Markets Initiative. Wells Fargo will donate $5.53 million, an increase of 11 percent over last year, to help stabilize and revitalize neighborhoods. The grants will help purchase and redevelop foreclosed and abandoned properties in neighborhoods that have been hit hard by the economy. …

 

LAND USE / PLANNING / REGULATION

THE ATLANTIC CITIES: The Transportation Planning Rule Every City Should Reform

By Eric Jaffe // Completing a major transit project is never a quick and easy process, but if any place should be able to move one swiftly through to completion, it's San Francisco. In 1973 the city adopted a "transit first" policy that gave planning priority to modes of transportation other than the automobile. As the policy expressly states, decisions related to streets and sidewalks "shall encourage the use of public rights-of-way by pedestrians, bicyclists, and public transit." That's strong support for livability on paper …

 

LONG BEACH PRESS TELEGRAM: Two Long Beach council members want city to oppose railyard

By Kristopher Hanson // LONG BEACH - Two City Council members representing West Long Beach are asking their colleagues to formally oppose a planned $500 million railyard on the border with Wilmington, a controversial and hotly debated project nearly 10 years in the making.  Council members James Johnson and Rae Gabelich, whose 7th and 8th districts parallel the proposed 153-acre site and the truck and rail routes that would feed it, said increased traffic, noise and pollution from activity at the site may seriously harm the long-term quality-of-life and health of thousands of residents …

 

SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY SUN: Supervisors to discuss cutting greenhouse gas emissions

By Joe Nelson // A plan aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 15 percent by 2020 will be considered Tuesday by the the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors. If adopted, the county will have met all the terms of its legal settlement with the state Attorney General's Office in August 2007 … Then-Attorney General Jerry Brown sued the county in April 2007, alleging its general plan did not include a greenhouse gas emissions reduction plan. It came amid the passage of the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, or AB 32, which requires the California Air Resources Board to develop guidelines …

 

HOUSING MARKETS / REAL ESTATE

THE BAY CITIZEN: In SF's Tight Rental Market, Paying Just to Look

By Scott James // …In a city with a chronic housing shortage, a confluence of recent trends has created one of the tightest rental markets in years. The vacancy rate is just 3.7 percent, and the average rent has skyrocketed to $2,572. Experts cite various factors: a population increase of nearly 30,000 since 2000; an influx of affluent tech workers; traditional buyers becoming renters due to housing prices and financing uncertainties…

 

THE GRASS VALLEY UNION: Real estate: Still a bargain hunter's dream

By Trina Kleist // Nevada County real estate continues to lose value -- offering bargains for those who have jobs or cash and who can get credit. That means “lots of out-of-town buyers, not just investors,” said Linda Kaneko, manager of ERA Cornerstone Realty and based in Nevada City. High volume means “people... are realizing the prices now, combined with the interest rates we're seeing now, are as good as it's going to get.” Some buyers are picking up second homes or deciding it's time to move to the area, Kaneko added. …

 

LOS ANGELES TIMES: Phoenix Realty buys Long Beach apartment complex

By Roger Vincent // New York investment firm Phoenix Realty Group bought a Long Beach apartment complex last month for $34.5 million, the latest in a string of acquisitions targeting Southern California residential properties. Since December 2010, Phoenix Realty has spent $228 million to acquire and improve 11 apartment complexes in the region. … "We try to find the areas that get under-looked," Managing Director Edward Ratinoff said. "When Southern California comes back, the Inland Empire will get its fair share of growth."

 

GLOBAL ECONOMIC INTERSECTION: Housing affordability only means cheap houses

By Scott Sambucci of Altos Research // … Calculating Capita per Inventory for a cross-section of the 225 HOI metros shows that the “unaffordable” markets have less supply per capita. Notice how the “unaffordable” California metros (Santa Barbara, San Jose, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Santa Cruz) have tight housing supply relative to “affordable” metros like Ocala, FL and several of the Rust Belt metros (Flint, Toledo, Lansing, Flint, and Canton). So what does this mean? San Francisco only needs 1 out of 456 people to be able to afford a house.

 

MORTGAGE & FORECLOSURE ISSUES

THE DESERT SUN: Whatever Happened To...? Indio foreclosed home rehab project seems stalled

By Xochitl Peña // INDIO -- Almost two years ago, the city of Indio was awarded $8.3 million — likely the largest grant in the city's history — to buy foreclosed homes, rehab them and then sell them. It was part of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Neighborhood Stabilization Program intended to clean up blighted neighborhoods and create jobs and affordable homes. The goal was to renovate 105 homes. …

 

PETALUMA 360.COM: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announce holiday break for home evictions

By Jamie Hansen // Members of Occupy Petaluma and other advocates for a holiday respite from home foreclosures celebrated after mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced Thursday that they would suspend home evictions for a two-week period during the holidays. "We did a little dance," said John Bertucci, the new media contact for Occupy Petaluma. Occupy Petaluma kicked off a local push for a holiday moratorium on home foreclosures this November …

 

SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS: California AG faces tough choice on mortgage deal

By Pete Carey // Negotiators struggling to settle charges against five banks stemming from the so-called "robo-signing" foreclosure scandal are eager to get California Attorney General Kamala Harris back on board for a $25 billion deal. Harris has walked away from the federal-state negotiations, saying there's too little benefit for Californians while banks would get a pass on years of questionable practices. Nearly four years after the housing bubble popped, Harris has put California at the center of the debate …

 

LOS ANGELES TIMES: Occupy L.A. takes its fight to foreclosure auction

By Kate Linthicum // Several times a week, a group of investors gathers in Norwalk to bid on homes that have been foreclosed. The midmorning auction outside the Los Angeles County Superior Court building is a high-stakes, but usually low-key affair. … The protester, Abe, wouldn't give his last name, but said anger at the foreclosure crisis, and at banks that he believes haven't done enough to help homeowners get more favorable loans, helped draw him to Occupy in the first place.

 

HOMELESSNESS

SACRAMENTO BEE: Tent city campers say they aren't leaving

By Ed Fletcher // Dozens of Sacramento homeless people said Friday they're tired of being herded back and forth and would rather risk arrest than comply with a recent police order to take down their tent city and move on. "I'm not going anywhere," said the man everyone calls Brother Eli. "They want us to play cat and mouse.  "What do I have to lose? I've already lost everything," said Eli, 60, who said he lost his home and his vehicles to money woes. …

 

ECONOMY / EMPLOYMENT

THE PRESS-ENTERPRISE: San Jacinto: Council to consider enterprise zone fate

By Gail Wesson // The San Jacinto City Council will be asked Tuesday whether the city should pursue a more formal partnership with other local governments interesting in seeking a business-friendly enterprise zone designation from the state. … The state had been scheduled to consider new applications for zone status next year. Last month, the state Department of Housing and Community Development said it wants to make the program more accountable and cost effective.

 

TRANSPORTATION

MODESTO BEE: Modesto rail path hinted - Panel move seems to skip Riverbank

By Garth Stapley // A bid to bring high-speed rail through downtown Modesto someday may have gained momentum Thursday over competition from Riverbank. A key recommendation Thursday to route bullet trains through downtown Merced adjacent to Union Pacific tracks seems to indicate a preference for downtown Modesto instead of Burlington Northern Santa Fe rails east of town. "This bodes well for us," said Stacey Mortensen, executive director of the San Joaquin Rail Commission and a vocal advocate for a downtown Modesto alignment. …

 

INFRASTRUCTURE

LOS ANGELES TIMES: Balboa Island trying to outsmart a rising sea

By Mike Reicher // As people stroll Balboa Island's picturesque waterfront, some wonder how much one of those cozy cottages costs. City officials think about another price tag: how much it will take to defend those homes against rising sea levels. City engineers revealed last month that it could cost about $60 million to replace Balboa Island's aging seawalls; otherwise, residents could risk more high tides washing into their streets and homes. …

 

DEMOGRAPHICS / QUALITY OF LIFE

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE: S.F. schools struggle with more homeless kids

By Jill Tucker // …Rudy is among a growing number of San Francisco schoolchildren in homeless families who too often come to class cold, hungry and sleep-deprived, making learning difficult if not impossible. "If you're not fed, if you're not warm, if you're not sleeping ... you can't turn that off and focus on double-digit multiplication," said Jessica Chiarchiaro, Rudy's fourth-grade teacher. In the city's public schools, there are 2,200 homeless children, some in shelters, others in cars, or on couches, or in long-term hotel rooms.

 

NATIONAL HOUSING NEWS

HUD.GOV: HUD Offers More Than $40 Million in Grants for Housing Counseling

[Press Release 12/1/11] // WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development today announced that more than $40 million is available for a broad range of housing counseling programs to help families find and preserve housing.  These grants will be awarded competitively to hundreds of HUD-approved counseling agencies and State Housing Finance Agencies across the nation that offer a variety of services including how to avoid foreclosure, how to avoid mortgage scams, how to purchase or rent a home, how to improve credit scores, and how to qualify for a reverse mortgage.

 

THE SPOKES-MAN REVIEW: There's no 'Plan B' if mortgage interest deduction goes away

By Tom Kelly // Moe Veissi, the new president of the National Association of Realtors, didn’t even blink an eye when the sensitive question was raised. It wasn’t an elephant-in-the-room topic, but it was close. “There’s a lot maneuvering on Capitol Hill,” the reporter said. “If the mortgage interest deduction is in jeopardy, what’s Plan B”? “We have no Plan B,” replied Veissi, a tough, savvy Florida resident and former chairman of NAR’s political action committee. …

 

CNBC.COM: Buy a U.S. House, Get a 3-Year Visa: Senator Schumer

By Margo D. Beller // A new Senate bill would help spur demand in U.S. housing by offering foreign investors a three-year "homeowners visa" if they invest half a million dollars cash and stay in the house for 180 days, co-sponsor Sen. Charles Schumer told CNBC Monday. … The residency requirement will force these investors to pay federal and property taxes, Schumer pointed out, and is intended to allay immigration concerns. "We have to straighten out our immigration policy," Schumer said. "Immigrants are good for America. …

 

ENVIRONMENT / CLIMATE CHANGE

ECO SEED.COM: Obama leads U.S. green building campaign with $4 billion fund

By Jhoanna Frances S. Valdez // United States President Barack Obama announced a presidential memorandum to create a public-private fund of nearly $4 billion to facilitate energy upgrades in federal and private buildings through the Department of Energy's Better Buildings Initiative crafted last February.  The initiative had an initial goal to make all commercial buildings at least 20 percent more energy efficient by 2020. Last Friday's memorandum now directs all federal buildings to join the cause …

 

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UFSCLA Annual Holiday Mixer

 

Hello Mr. Harris,

 

Thank you for your RSVP to the UFSCLA Annual Holiday Mixer.

DATE:             Tuesday, December 13, 2011

TIME:               6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

LOCATION:    Doubletree By Hilton

                         6161 West Centinela Avenue.

                         Culver City, CA 90230

Cost: $10 Please make check payable to: 

Watts Willowbrook Boys & Girls Club

           

Thank you,

UFSC - Los Angeles Chapter

 ufscla.committee@yahoo.com 


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December 02, 2011

Featured Story

Featured Story

What We're Hearing: Is PNC Looking at Parts of MetLife Mortgage?
By Paul Muolo

Late this past week several advisors to the mortgage industry were saying that PNC Bank may be taking a close look at some of MetLife's mortgage divisions. Both institutions declined to comment to National Mortgage News. But one unit that PNC won't be buying is MetLife's warehouse group.

Free

 

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New York AG May Pursue eAppraiselT on RESPA
By Brad Finkelstein

The New York State Court of Appeals, in a 6-1 decision, ruled that the attorney general's office is not barred by federal law and thus is able to pursue claims alleging fraud and violations of real estate appraisal independence rules against First American Corp. and its former eAppraiseIT LLC unit.

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Recent postings on HARP, Veterans, FHA and efficient Prospecting with Pre-screen Credit Data

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First-Timers No Longer Dominate
By Lew Sichelman

The composition of the housing markets is changing, as are some key housing demographics, according to the latest edition of the National Association of Realtors' annual profile of buyers and sellers.

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CFPB Now Has Teeth and They Bite
By Herman Thordsen

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau plans to provide early warning of possible enforcement actions. Subjects under investigation to be given opportunity to respond to CFPB concerns, On Nov. 7, CFPB outlined plans to provide advance notice of potential enforcement actions to individuals and firms under investigation.

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A "Black Friday" Frenzy Type of REO Marketing Approach
By Diane Gozza

Disposing of the growing inventory of REO properties held by the GSEs, lenders/servicers and investors is a daunting task that would test the creative marketing abilities of any organization. It still is anyone's guess how long it may take this inventory to clear.

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Credit Risk Managers Predict Higher Mortgage Delinquencies
By Evan Nemeroff

Credit risk managers expect consumers will have trouble making payments on a variety of loan types, according to the European Credit Risk Survey taken by FICO and Efma.

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December 01, 2011

Calculated Risk

Calculated Risk

 

LPS: Mortgages In Foreclosure Process at an All-Time High

Posted: 01 Dec 2011 08:34 AM PST

From LPS Applied Analytics: LPS' Mortgage Monitor Report Shows Delinquencies Down Nearly 30 Percent from Peak, Foreclosure Inventory at an All-Time High

The October Mortgage Monitor report released by Lender Processing Services, Inc. (NYSE: LPS) shows mortgage delinquencies continue their decline, now nearly 30 percent off their January 2010 peak. Meanwhile, foreclosure inventories are on the rise, reaching an all-time high at the end of October of 4.29 percent of all active mortgages. The average days delinquent for loans in foreclosure extended as well, setting a new record of 631 days since last payment, while the average days delinquent for loans 90 or more days past due but not yet in foreclosure decreased for the second consecutive month.

Judicial vs. non-judicial foreclosure processes remain a significant factor in the reduction of foreclosure pipelines from state to state, with non-judicial foreclosure inventory percentages less than half that of judicial states. ...

The October data also showed that mortgage originations are on the rise, reaching levels not seen since mid-2010. Mortgage prepayment rates have also spiked, as much of the new origination is related to borrower refinancing ...

According to LPS, 7.93% of mortgages were delinquent in October, down from 8.09% in September, and down from 9.29% in October 2010.

LPS reports that a record 4.29% of mortgages were in the foreclosure process, up from 4.18% in September, and up from 3.92% in October 2010. This gives a total of 12.22% delinquent or in foreclosure. It breaks down as:

• 2.33 million loans less than 90 days delinquent.
• 1.76 million loans 90+ days delinquent.
• 2.21 million loans in foreclosure process.

For a total of 6.30 million loans delinquent or in foreclosure in October.

Delinquency Rate
Click on graph for larger image.

This graph shows the total delinquent and in-foreclosure rates since 1995.

The total delinquent rate has fallen to 7.93% from the peak in January 2010 of 10.97%. A normal rate is probably in the 4% to 5% range, so there is a long ways to go.

However the in-foreclosure rate at 4.29% is a new record high. There are still a large number of loans in this category (about 2.21 million) - and the average days delinquent for loans in foreclosure set a "new record of 631 days since last payment" in October.

Foreclosure InventoryThis graph provided by LPS Applied Analytics shows foreclosure inventories by process.

As LPS noted "Judicial vs. non-judicial foreclosure processes remain a significant factor in the reduction of foreclosure pipelines from state to state, with non-judicial foreclosure inventory percentages less than half that of judicial states. This is largely a result of the fact that foreclosure sale rates in non-judicial states have been proceeding at four to five times that of judicial. Non-judicial foreclosure states made up the entirety of the top 10 states with the largest year-over-year decline in non-current loans percentages."

Origination by ProductThe third graph shows the origination percentage by product and year. This is a reminder that the worst of the worst loans were private label and were made in 2005 and 2006. Luckily the GSEs and FHA had a much smaller percentage of the market then.

As LPS notes: "FHA and the GSEs represent a much larger share, but of a smaller market."

The details in this report suggest slow improvement - with the exception of the large number of loans stuck in the foreclosure process.

All current mortgage delinquency graphs



Earlier:
ISM Manufacturing index indicates slightly faster expansion in November





ISM Manufacturing index indicates slightly faster expansion in November

Posted: 01 Dec 2011 07:06 AM PST

PMI was at 52.7% in November, up from 50.8% in October. The employment index was at 51.8%, down from 53.5%, and new orders index was at 56.7%, up from 52.4%.

From the Institute for Supply Management: November 2011 Manufacturing ISM Report On Business®

Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in November for the 28th consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 30th consecutive month, say the nation's supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business®.

The report was issued today by Bradley J. Holcomb, CPSM, CPSD, chair of the Institute for Supply Management™ Manufacturing Business Survey Committee. "The PMI registered 52.7 percent, an increase of 1.9 percentage points from October's reading of 50.8 percent, indicating expansion in the manufacturing sector for the 28th consecutive month. The New Orders Index increased 4.3 percentage points from October to 56.7 percent, reflecting the second month of growth after three months of contraction. While the Prices Index, at 45 percent, increased 4 percentage points from the October reading of 41 percent, prices of raw materials continued to decrease (registering below 50 percent) for the second consecutive month. Respondents cite continuing concerns about the general economic environment, government regulations and European financial conditions, but are cautiously more optimistic about the next few months based on lower raw materials pricing and favorable levels of new orders."

ISM PMIClick on graph for larger image.

Here is a long term graph of the ISM manufacturing index.

This was above expectations of 51.7%, and suggests manufacturing expanded at a slightly faster rate in November than in October. It appears manufacturing employment barely expanded in October with the employment index at 51.8%. New orders were up, and prices declined.





Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims increase to 402,000

Posted: 01 Dec 2011 05:37 AM PST

The DOL reports:

In the week ending November 26, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 402,000, an increase of 6,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 396,000. The 4-week moving average was 395,750, an increase of 500 from the previous week's revised average of 395,250.


The following graph shows the 4-week moving average of weekly claims since January 2000.

Click on graph for larger image.

The dashed line on the graph is the current 4-week average. The four-week average of weekly unemployment claims decreased this week to 395,750.

This is the third week in a row with the 4-week average below 400,000. This is still elevated, but an improvement over recent months.

And here is a long term graph of weekly claims:





All current Employment Graphs





China's stop-and-go measures

Posted: 30 Nov 2011 06:45 PM PST

The post title is from a post Michael Pettis wrote last year: Beijing’s stop-and-go measures. It looks like China is back to pushing on the gas pedal ...

From the NY Times: China, in Surprising Shift, Takes Steps to Spur Bank Lending

China’s central bank, in a surprise move on Wednesday, shifted its economic focus from fighting inflation to stimulating growth by freeing the nation’s commercial banks to lend more money.
...
For more than a year, the Chinese central bank tried to squeeze the country’s banking system in hopes of restraining inflation. Its action on Wednesday’s indicated that China’s government feared the country’s growth engine was starting to falter.

From Reuters: China Factory Sector Shrinks First Time in Nearly 3 Years

China's factory sector shrank in November for the first time in nearly three years, an official purchasing managers' index (PMI) showed on Thursday, underlining the central bank's move to cut bank reserve requirements to shore up the economy.

The Asian markets are all green tonight. The Nikkei is up about 2%, the Hang Seng is up 5.4%.





Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Serious Delinquency Rates mostly unchanged in October

Posted: 30 Nov 2011 02:27 PM PST

Fannie Mae reported that the Single-Family Serious Delinquency rate was unchanged at 4.00% in October. This is down from 4.52% in October of 2010. The Fannie Mae serious delinquency rate peaked in February 2010 at 5.59%.

Freddie Mac reported that the Single-Family serious delinquency rate increased to 3.54% in October, up from 3.51% in September. This is down from 3.82% in October 2010. Freddie's serious delinquency rate peaked in February 2010 at 4.20%.

These are loans that are "three monthly payments or more past due or in foreclosure".

Fannie Freddie Seriously Delinquent Rate
Click on graph for larger image

Tracking this on a monthly basis this is kind of like watching grass grow, but the serious delinquency rates are generally falling - but only falling slowly. The reason for the slow decline is most likely the backlog of homes in the foreclosure process.

The "normal" serious delinquency rate is under 1%, and at this pace of decline, the delinquency rate will not be back to "normal" for a number of years.

All current mortgage delinquency graphs





Fed's Beige Book: "Economic activity increased at a slow to moderate pace"

Posted: 30 Nov 2011 11:06 AM PST

Fed's Beige Book:

Overall economic activity increased at a slow to moderate pace since the previous report across all Federal Reserve Districts except St. Louis, which reported a decline in economic activity.
...
District reports indicated that consumer spending increased modestly, on balance, during the reporting period.
...
Hiring was generally subdued, but some firms with open positions reported difficulty finding qualified applicants.

And on real estate:

Overall residential real estate activity increased, but conditions were varied across Districts. Philadelphia, Richmond, Minneapolis, Kansas City, and Dallas noted increased activity. New York, Boston, Cleveland, and San Francisco reported flat activity at relatively low levels. Atlanta and St. Louis indicated decreased sales. Residential construction remained sluggish. Single-family home construction remained weak, while multifamily construction picked up in New York, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Chicago, and Minneapolis. San Francisco remained "anemic," while St. Louis and Kansas City reported decreased activity.

Commercial real estate markets remained sluggish across most of the nation. Boston, New York, Chicago, Minneapolis, and San Francisco indicated roughly unchanged activity. Atlanta and Kansas City noted slight improvement. Philadelphia and Dallas indicated mixed activity. However, Richmond and St. Louis noted that vacancy rates increased. Commercial construction was somewhat mixed.

This was based on data gathered on or before November 18th. More sluggish growth ...





 

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November 30, 2011

TODAY'S NEWS

November 30, 2011

TODAY'S NEWS

 

SPECIAL UPDATE:

California Housing Finance Agency’s “Keep Your Home California” Expands Eligibility and Benefits

Keep Your Home California, a federally-funded program administered by the California Housing Finance Agency, announced today that it is removing the “cash out” restriction from all four programs and will allow homeowners who own additional properties to qualify for much-needed assistance. Additionally, the length of time unemployed homeowners may receive mortgage assistance has been extended and the amount of money available has been increased.

 

AFFORDABLE HOUSING

Grand Opening of KTGY-designed Green Affordable Housing

On Monday, November 28, 2011, San Jose celebrated the grand opening of Brookwood Terrace Family Apartments, a development by ROEM Corporation and Eden Housing, Inc., in collaboration with the City of San Jose. The grand opening celebration was held at 1346 East San Antonio Street in San Jose, Calif. “As a long-time supporter of affordable housing in San Jose, I am proud of this new, attractive, sustainable community for low-income families in my district,” noted Assembly Member Nora Campos. “Developments like Brookwood Terrace not only provide a safe, decent home for working families, they provide important economic activity and create green jobs.”

 

SIERRA SUN: Kings Beach affordable housing project to be finished by late fall 2012

By Jason Shueh // Construction on the major affordable housing project in Kings Beach likely won't be finished until fall 2012, officials said this week, rather than an initial deadline of next spring. Meea Kang, of Domus Development, lead developer for the 77-unit, $33 million project — part of the Kings Beach Affordable Housing Now campaign launched in 2010 — said last year's 600-plus inches of lake-level snowfall delayed construction to the four sites located on Fox, Trout, Deer and Chipmunk streets.

 

SAN FRANCISCO BUSINESS JOURNAL: Wells Fargo donates $975,000 to Habitat for Humanity in Bay Area

By Mark Calvey // Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco and Habitat for Humanity East Bay said Tuesday that they received a $975,000 grant from Wells Fargo Wells Fargo, the single largest corporate gift in the two nonprofits’ history.

 

HOUSING DEVELOPMENT

NAPA VALLEY REGISTER: Napa County housing starts jump in October

California housing production increased for the third consecutive month in October as builders pulled permits for 17 percent more housing units when compared to October 2010, the California Building Industry Association (CBIA) announced. New housing unit permits for single-family homes in Napa County jumped from 4 to 22 in October 2011, compared to September 2011.

 

LAND USE / PLANNING / REGULATION

MARIN INDEPENDENT JOURNAL: Affordable housing need is obvious (opinion)

By Ron Albert // The Environmental Housing Collaborative recognizes the vital importance of affordable housing to our efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Marin needs more housing options for people with a range of incomes, including some of those who now commute long distances each day to work in our stores, restaurants, hospitals, schools and offices. Land-use policies are key to environmental protection. Affordable housing is also an asset to our communities.

 

HOUSING MARKETS / REAL ESTATE

TIME: Home affordability near highest level in 20 years

By Alison Rogers // It’s easy to drown in real estate statistics, but looking at “affordability” — the homes that someone on a median income could buy — is a fascinating gauge of housing markets. (Plus, it’s a statistic that can be fine-tuned to the local level). The recent release of the Housing Opportunity Index from the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo shows that we’re still in a uniquely affordable phase of the market cycle. If you’re looking for good news to come from the housing slump, this is it.

 

MORTGAGE & FORECLOSURE ISSUES

FORBES: Renting out government-owned homes is the right move - but probably wouldn't make any difference to you

By Jed Kolko // The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), the regulator for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, is considering proposals for selling government-owned homes to investors, who would then turnaround and sell or rent them out. (The official request for policy ideas is here.) It’s hoped that this move would help government agencies earn some much-needed revenue, boost neighborhood home values by getting buyers or renters into vacant homes and ease tight rental markets by expanding the supply of rental housing.

 

Homeowners Take Wells Fargo to Court Over Denied Modification

Lawsuit Filed by Orange County-Based Real Estate Litigation Firm Seeks Damages Against Wells Fargo and Others to Reinstate Loan Modification Rescinded Following Take-Over of Countrywide Loan.  Avid Law Center continued its fight for distressed homeowners in a recent lawsuit against Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and others involved in the alleged unlawful denial of the homeowner's mortgage restructuring. The Orange County, California-based real estate and litigation law firm raised a number of potential legal violations, including improper securitization of the homeowner's loan, the refusal to honor an originally granted loan modification, and loan servicer interference in contractual relations.

 

HOMELESSNESS

SANTA CLARA WEEKLY: Homeless for the Holidays in the Santa Clara Valley

By Diane Andrews // On any given night in Santa Clara County, 7,045 people are homeless according to a 2011 Santa Clara County Homeless Census and Survey. Of this number, 2,520 are considered chronically homeless, an increase of eleven percent since the 2009 census.

 

ECONOMY / EMPLOYMENT

FRESNO BEE: Fresno County has state's highest poverty rate

Soaring unemployment has pushed California's poverty rate up for three straight years -- but nowhere higher than in Fresno County, according to new Census data. The nearly 250,000 county residents living in poverty in 2010 gives Fresno County claim to the state's highest poverty rate, at 26.8%. Almost 70,000 more people lived in poverty last year than in 2007 when the recession began. Statewide, 15.8% were impoverished, the census data show, up 3.4 percentage points from three years ago.

 

TURLOCK JOURNAL: Valley economy not so bad, states business report

The San Joaquin Valley economy is gradually recovering in 2011, with indicators pointing to a stronger-yet 2012, according to the first-ever Business Forecast Report from California State University, Stanislaus. “The good news is opposed to the general perception that the Valley counties' economy is really terrible or bad, that's not the case,” said CSU Stanislaus President Hamid Shirvani. “The data says that they're doing reasonably okay.”

 

NATIONAL HOUSING NEWS

SAN RAMON EXPRESS: Forum calls for housing to be a 'national priority'

By Jeb Bing // The struggling housing market needs to be a priority on the nation's public policy agenda, because housing and homeownership issues affect all Americans.
That was the message from speakers at the Legislative and Political Forum last week at the 2011 Realtors Conference & Expo in Anaheim.

 

ENVIRONMENT / CLIMATE CHANGE

HEALTHY CAL: Nonprofit fights for healthy housing in low income communities

By Jenn Walker // Rachel Iskow walked into an apartment complex and found herself surrounded by exposed electric wire, a walkway lined with dry rot, holes in the walls and a collapsed bathroom floor. In the eyes of Iskow, executive director of nonprofit Sacramento|Yolo Mutual Housing, it looked like third world conditions. Soon after, the complex, Norwood Annex, was demolished. Mutual Housing bought the foreclosed property, temporarily relocated its residents and tore it down. Safe new housing was built in its place, and the residents live in what is now called Mutual Housing at Norwood.

 

USC NEWS: Study: Apartments pose high secondhand smoke hazards

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health announced Wednesday that multi-unit housing can expose hazardous secondhand smoke to non-smokers living adjacent to those who do smoke. Since 2006, secondhand smoke has been classified by the California Air Resources Board as a "toxic air contaminant" that can lead to death, serious illnesses, and a overall health hazards.

 

NEW YORK TIMES: Private dollars revive a solar panel plan for military housing

By Diane Cardwell // An ambitious project by a California company to install solar panels for more than 100,000 military housing units has been revived with private financing after it failed to receive a loan guarantee from the federal government. The company, SolarCity, plans to announce Wednesday that Bank of America Merrill Lynch will lend it up to $350 million to put solar electric panels on roofs and other areas to power as many as 120,000 homes for military personnel over the next five years.  

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Restaurant Performance Index "essentially unchanged" in October

Posted: 30 Nov 2011 08:31 AM PST

From the National Restaurant Association: Restaurant Performance Index Essentially Unchanged in October, Balanced by Softer Current Conditions and Stronger Future Optimism

The National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) – a monthly composite index that tracks the health of and outlook for the U.S. restaurant industry – stood at 100.0 in October, essentially unchanged from September’s level of 100.1. October’s steady RPI level was the result of softer sales and customer traffic being offset by a more optimistic outlook among restaurant operators.

“Although sales results were somewhat softer in October, restaurant operators reported net positive same-store sales for the fifth consecutive month,” said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the Research and Knowledge Group for the Association. “In addition, each of the four forward-looking indicators improved in October, which pushed the Expectations Index to its highest level in four months.”
...
Restaurant operators reported positive same-store sales for the fifth consecutive month in October, although results were somewhat softer than September’s performance. ... Restaurant operators also reported softer customer traffic levels in October.

Restaurant Performance IndexClick on graph for larger image.

The index decreased to 100.0 in October (above 100 indicates expansion).

Unfortunately the data for this index only goes back to 2002.

Restaurant spending is discretionary and is impacted by the overall economy. Right now this is moving sideways ...

All current retail related graphs





Misc: Chicago PMI increases to 62.6, Pending Home Sales increase

Posted: 30 Nov 2011 07:02 AM PST

• Chicago PMI: The overall index increased to 62.6 in November from 58.4 in October. This was above consensus expectations of 58.5.

From the Chicago ISM Chicago Business Barometer™ Rebounded:

The Chicago Purchasing Managers reported the CHICAGO BUSINESS BAROMETER rebounded to a 7-month high in November and marked the 26th month of expansion.

The employment index decreased to 56.9 from 62.3. "EMPLOYMENT reversed half of its gains since August"

The new orders index increased to 70.2 from 61.3. "NEW ORDERS expanded to an 8-month high and PRODUCTION expanded to a 7-month high"

Note: any number above 50 shows expansion.

• From the NAR: Pending Home Sales Jump in October

The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, surged 10.4 percent to 93.3 in October from 84.5 in September and is 9.2 percent above October 2010 when it stood at 85.5. The data reflects contracts but not closings.
...
The PHSI in the Northeast surged 17.7 percent to 71.3 in October and is 3.4 percent above October 2010. In the Midwest the index jumped 24.1 percent to 88.7 in October and remains 13.2 percent above a year ago. Pending home sales in the South rose 8.6 percent in October to an index of 99.5 and are 9.7 percent higher than October 2010. In the West the index slipped 0.3 percent to 105.5 in October but is 8.1 percent above a year ago.





ADP: Private Employment increased 206,000 in November

Posted: 30 Nov 2011 05:41 AM PST

On Central Bank action, from the WSJ: Central Banks Take Coordinated Action and from the Federal Reserve: "The Bank of Canada, the Bank of England, the Bank of Japan, the European Central Bank, the Federal Reserve, and the Swiss National Bank are today announcing coordinated actions to enhance their capacity to provide liquidity support to the global financial system. The purpose of these actions is to ease strains in financial markets and thereby mitigate the effects of such strains on the supply of credit to households and businesses and so help foster economic activity."

Original post:

ADP reports:

ADP today reported that employment in the U.S. nonfarm private business sector increased by 206,000 from October to November on a seasonally adjusted basis. The estimated advance in employment from September to October was revised up to 130,000 from the initially reported 110,000. The increase in November was the largest monthly gain since last December and nearly twice the average monthly gain since May when employment decelerated sharply.

Employment in the private, service-providing sector rose 178,000 in November, which is up from an increase of 130,000 in October. Employment in the private, goods-producing sector increased 28,000 in November, while manufacturing employment increased 7,000.

This was well above the consensus forecast of an increase of 130,000 private sector jobs in November. The BLS reports on Friday, and the consensus is for an increase of 112,000 payroll jobs in November, on a seasonally adjusted (SA) basis.

Government payrolls have been shrinking by about 27,000 per month this year. So this suggests around 206,000 private nonfarm payroll jobs added, minus 27,000 government workers - or around 179,000 total jobs added in November. Of course ADP hasn't been very useful in predicting the BLS report.





Report: Payroll Tax Cut extension is likely

Posted: 29 Nov 2011 09:45 PM PST

From the WSJ: GOP Set to Back Payroll-Tax Cut

Republican leaders said Tuesday they would join Democrats in supporting an extension of the 2011 payroll-tax cut ... virtually assuring that American wage-earners will continue to receive the benefit next year.
...
Workers this year have seen their payroll taxes cut to 4.2% of their salary from 6.2%. Democrats want to cut it further, to 3.1%, but Republicans are unlikely to support that.

Probably the two most significant downside risks to the U.S. economy are contagion from the European financial crisis and more rapid fiscal tightening. The extension of the payroll tax cut will lessen the amount of fiscal tightening in 2012 - although government spending will still be a drag on GDP growth next year.

Earlier:
CoreLogic: 10.7 Million U.S. Properties with Negative Equity in Q3
Case Shiller: Home Prices decline in September
Real House Prices and House Price-to-Rent





Preparing for the end of the Euro

Posted: 29 Nov 2011 05:10 PM PST

The top story in the Financial Times says it all: Businesses plan for possible end of euro

Here is a quote from someone at Volkswagen: “The conclusion is that overall the impact would not be so negative to our company, as we are mainly an exporter ..."

Export to whom?

Earlier:
CoreLogic: 10.7 Million U.S. Properties with Negative Equity in Q3
Case Shiller: Home Prices decline in September
Real House Prices and House Price-to-Rent





Europe: EFSF viewed as insufficient, Greece to receive aid payment

Posted: 29 Nov 2011 01:49 PM PST

• From the Athens News: Eurogroup signs off on 8bn euro aid payment

Eurozone finance ministers agreed on Tuesday to release an 8bn euro aid payment to Greece, part of an 110bn euro package of support agreed with the government last year ...

It looks like Greece will not default in December, but there is a huge hurdle in January when the private creditors are supposed to "voluntarily" agree to large haircuts.

• Surprise! The EFSF is insufficient.

From the WSJ: Euro Zone Sees Shortfall in Rescue Fund

Euro-zone finance ministers acknowledged on Tuesday that the bloc's bailout fund would have less capacity to help troubled nations than once hoped, and stepped up calls on the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund to come to their aid.

An analysis presented at a meeting of finance ministers here suggested the fund would be able to raise a maximum of €500 billion to €700 billion ($666 billion to $932 billion), far short of the €1 trillion or even €2 trillion that many had expected. ... ministers are exploring further measures to stem the crisis, which they hope to announce at a European summit on Dec. 8-9.

From the Financial Times: Fears of shortfall lead to moves to boost EFSF

Eurozone finance ministers are weighing more radical options to strengthen their firewall against the sovereign debt crisis, after acknowledging that plans to expand the €440bn eurozone rescue fund could deliver as little as half the extra punch that was anticipated.
Excerpt with permission

• European bond yields were mostly lower today after (from Bloomberg) Italy Pays More Than 7% at Auction of EU7.5 Billion of Bonds

Italy was again forced to pay above the 7 percent threshold that led Greece, Portugal and Ireland to seek bailouts when it sold 7.5 billion euros ($10.1 billion) in bonds today, short of the maximum target for the auction.

The Italian 2 year yield was down to 7.1%, and the 10 year yield was at 7.24%.

The Spanish 2 year yield was down to 5.6%, and the 10 year yield was down to 6.39%.

The Belgian 10 year yield was down to 5.33%, and the French 10 year yield was down to 3.52%.

Note: There is a link below the first post for the table of European bond yields.

• Tim Duy has more: Another European "Solution" Coming?

Earlier:
CoreLogic: 10.7 Million U.S. Properties with Negative Equity in Q3
Case Shiller: Home Prices decline in September
Real House Prices and House Price-to-Rent





Philly Fed State Coincident Indexes increase in October

Posted: 29 Nov 2011 12:14 PM PST

From the Philly Fed:

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia has released the coincident indexes for the 50 states for October 2011. In the past month, the indexes increased in 43 states, decreased in five, and remained unchanged in two (Georgia and New Mexico) for a one-month diffusion index of 76. Over the past three months, the indexes increased in 42 states, decreased in seven, and remained unchanged in one (Delaware) for a three-month diffusion index of 70.

Note: These are coincident indexes constructed from state employment data. From the Philly Fed:

The coincident indexes combine four state-level indicators to summarize current economic conditions in a single statistic. The four state-level variables in each coincident index are nonfarm payroll employment, average hours worked in manufacturing, the unemployment rate, and wage and salary disbursements deflated by the consumer price index (U.S. city average). The trend for each state’s index is set to the trend of its gross domestic product (GDP), so long-term growth in the state’s index matches long-term growth in its GDP.

Philly Fed Number of States with Increasing ActivityClick on graph for larger image.

This is a graph is of the number of states with one month increasing activity according to the Philly Fed. This graph includes states with minor increases (the Philly Fed lists as unchanged).

In October, 45 states had increasing activity, up from 39 in September. This is the highest level since April.

Philly Fed State Conincident MapHere is a map of the three month change in the Philly Fed state coincident indicators. This map was all red during the worst of the recession, and all green earlier this year - but this is an improvement from September.

Earlier:
CoreLogic: 10.7 Million U.S. Properties with Negative Equity in Q3
Case Shiller: Home Prices decline in September
Real House Prices and House Price-to-Rent





 

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November 28, 2011

TODAY'S NEWS

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November 28, 2011

 

TODAY'S NEWS

AFFORDABLE HOUSING

PASADENA STAR-NEWS: Low-income senior housing project in Duarte gets federal boost

By Brenda Gazzar // DUARTE- The be.group, formerly known as Southern California Presbyterian Homes, was awarded more than $7 million in federal dollars toward the creation of a 43-unit housing project on Huntington Drive for low-income seniors in the city. The Glendale-based nonprofit organization will receive a capital advance of $7.13 million and a three-year rental subsidy of $742,800 for Andres Duarte Terrace II on the southeast corner of Huntington Drive and Pops Drive, federal officials announced. …

 

HEALTHY CAL.ORG: Nonprofit fights for healthy housing in low income communities

By Jenn Walker // Rachel Iskow walked into an apartment complex and found herself surrounded by exposed electric wire, a walkway lined with dry rot, holes in the walls and a collapsed bathroom floor. In the eyes of Iskow, executive director of nonprofit Sacramento / Yolo Mutual Housing, it looked like third world conditions. Soon after, the complex, Norwood Annex, was demolished. Mutual Housing bought the foreclosed property, temporarily relocated its residents and tore it down. Safe new housing was built in its place …

 

MARIN INDEPENDENT JOURNAL: Marin Voice: Affordable housing need is obvious

By Ron Albert [Opinion] // THE MARIN Environmental Housing Collaborative is a countywide partnership that includes affordable housing, environmental, neighborhood, and social justice advocates. The Environmental Housing Collaborative works collaboratively to promote public support for projects that advance affordable housing, environmental integrity and social justice. … Some Marin cities and towns may bow to local political pressures and attempt to resist state requirements, and some may choose to invest time and money to encourage amendments to housing element law.

 

LAND USE / PLANNING / REGULATION

SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE: Environmentalists sue over $200B transportation plan

By Christopher Cadelago // Two environmental organizations today challenged a plan outlining $200 billion in regional transportation projects through 2050, alleging that the San Diego Association of Governments’ planned investments in freeways would come at the expense of public transit, increased pollution and exacerbated global climate change. The lawsuit brought by the Cleveland National Forest Foundation and the Center for Biological Diversity alleges that regional transportation officials replied on inadequate environmental studies in approving the long-range planning …

 

HOUSING MARKETS / REAL ESTATE

PENINSULA PRESS: Real estate report -- Palo Alto near top of the class for expensive college towns

By David Ruiz // Palo Alto, next-door neighbor to Stanford University, trails only Westwood near UCLA in a new report that ranks the country’s most expensive college towns based on home prices. Using the average price of a three-bedroom, two-bath home listed in the past year by Coldwell Banker and its sister agencies, the report puts Palo Alto ahead of Honolulu (University of Hawaii), the greater Los Angeles area (University of Southern California​) and Boulder (University of Colorado). …

 

REUTERS.COM: October home sales rise 1.3 percent but prices fall

By Jason Lange // (Reuters) - Sales of new homes rose in October and the supply of homes on the market fell to its lowest level since April of last year, showing some healing in the battered housing sector. The Commerce Department on Monday said sales of new single-family homes edged up 1.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted 307,000-unit annual rate, which was the fastest pace in five months yet still below analysts' expectations. …

 

MONEYLAND.TIME.COM: Home Affordability near highest level in 20 years

By Alison Rogers // It’s easy to drown in real estate statistics, but looking at “affordability” -- the homes that someone on a median income could buy -- is a fascinating gauge of housing markets. (Plus, it’s a statistic that can be fine-tuned to the local level). The recent release of the Housing Opportunity Index from the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo shows that we’re still in a uniquely affordable phase of the market cycle. … In fact, housing in California remains hyper-expensive …

 

MORTGAGE & FORECLOSURE ISSUES

USA TODAY.COM: Rate on 30-year fixed mortgage falls to 3.98%

By Christopher S. Rugaber // WASHINGTON – The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage hovered above its record low for a fourth straight week. But cheap mortgage rates have done little to boost home sales or refinancing. Freddie Mac says the rate on the 30-year fixed loan fell to 3.98% percent from 4% the previous week. Seven weeks ago, it dropped to a record low of 3.94% …

 

HOMELESSNESS

SAN DIEGO CITY BEAT: The evolution of San Diego's approach to homelessness

By Kelly Davis // … For the last few months, he’s been living Downtown in a building owned and operated by St. Vincent de Paul. He has a case manager who’s available 24/7, he attends AA meetings and is enrolled in a vocational rehabilitation program. He’s thinking about becoming a drug-and-alcohol counselor. In all, almost 150 people have been helped off the street and into housing in the last year, the result of Project 25 and a second initiative focused on Downtown San Diego. That alone is significant progress.

 

EUREKA TIMES-STANDARD: Unique emergency shelter offers help for Humboldt County homeless, runaway teens

By Megan Hansen // Teenagers and young adults who are in need of housing or who are experiencing difficulties at home don't have to be out on the streets this winter, thanks to a couple of programs offered by the Redwood Community Action Agency's Youth Service Bureau. Nine teenagers and young adults are currently living at the nonprofit Youth Service Bureau's office on California Street in Eureka. The three-story office is actually a home that was established in 1991 as a shelter …

 

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

LOS ANGELES TIMES: Making the most of cooperation

By Lee Romney [11/27/11] // …The flurry of democratic enterprise has been guided by Mayor Gayle McLaughlin, a former schoolteacher who visited Mondragon, Spain, and recognized a possible path out of the poverty and unemployment that plague her city. The Basque hill town is dominated by Mondragon Corp., a web of cooperatives that employ 83,000 workers and together represent Spain's seventh-largest business. Co-op clusters based on Mondragon's model have emerged in Cleveland and the Bronx, N.Y., among other cities. Richmond, with a 16% unemployment rate, hopes to follow suit. …

 

SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS: Bay Area tries to pull together to help seniors in need

By Karen de Sá // Advocates for Bay Area seniors this week will convene around a vexing social problem: As the number of elderly living in poverty grows, safety net programs from Meals on Wheels to basic medical coverage continue to shrink. Wednesday's Bay Area Senior Health Policy Forum will bring a busload of seniors from Santa Clara County together with state legislators and federal officials, Gray Panthers, doctors, affordable housing advocates and social workers. Among them will be liberals and conservatives who all share a common concern …

 

THE DAILY DEMOCRAT: West Sacramento awarded major federal grant

[11/26/11] // The city of West Sacramento has been awarded a $400,000 Community Challenge Planning Grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The grant was announced yesterday by Mayor Christopher Cabaldon and HUD Field Office Director, Cynthia Abbott. The grant enables the city to complete the Washington District Plan for Sustainable Community Development, a major planning project that will result in improvements to the Washington area that encourage new transit-oriented development and improve conditions for existing residents. …

 

THE PRESS DEMOCRAT: PEP Housing receives major federal grant

By Jamie Hansen // A Petaluma non-profit that builds affordable housing for low-income seniors just received millions in federal grants to help fund a new, 50-unit senior facility in town. Petaluma Ecumenical Properties, or PEP Housing, was awarded a little over $15 million in total this November from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The money will help fund construction and rental subsidies for two new housing units, one in Petaluma and another in Oroville. …

 

ECONOMY / EMPLOYMENT

SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS: Recession may be over but many Silicon Valley residents feel left out of recovery

By Patrick May // … While economists say the recession is technically over, many in Silicon Valley certainly don't see it that way. Despite a recent hiring boom, 44 percent of those polled in the fall 2011 Silicon Valley Pulse survey said they felt left out of any recovery that might be going on. Even more troubling, a growing number of valley residents have lost all hope of finding relief any time soon. Asked how much longer they believe the recession will last, 21 percent of those polled said they think it will drag on for more than five years; that's more than twice as many respondents who felt that way in April 2009. …

 

TRANSPORTATION

SANTA MONICA PATCH: Bike Action Plan & Energy Resilience

By Gary Kavanagh [11/25/11] // This week the Santa Monica City Council approved the Bicycle Action Plan by unanimous vote and last week the ribbon was cut on a new high capacity Bike Center facility. Tuesday’s vote finishes the long public process of drafting a visionary document, and marking the beginning of the real work of implementation. I am much more hopeful for the full implementation of this plan than the never quite finished bicycle master plan from 1995. The momentum has shifted a lot since 1995 and there is a new and largely younger crowd emerging and rallying around bikes. …

 

REDEVELOPMENT

EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE: Community Leaders Voice Concern over Closure of El Cajon CDC

By Miriam Raftery // Nov. 27, 2011 (El Cajon) –  Community leaders are reacting with shock, dismay, and questions after learning that the Board of Directors of the El Cajon Community Development Corporation has voted to dissolve the redevelopment organization due to lack of funding from both the city and state.  President and CEO Cindi Fargo has been laid off, along with the remaining staff. “I am deeply disappointed,” said Eldonna Lay with the El Cajon Historical Society, also a former CDC board member and past design review commissioner for the city.  “It’s so unexpected and really tragic.”

 

INFRASTRUCTURE / BONDS

CENTRAL VALLEY BUSINESS TIMES: California gets $43.4 Million to pay old repair bills

The amount allocated Monday is part of a much larger $43.4 million coming to California for other past weather-related disasters. Nearly half -- $20.7 million – is going to the Devil’s Slide reports on the Central Coast where a tunnel is being bored to tuck Highway 1 safely away from the frequent landslides there. The project calls for construction of two tunnels beneath San Pedro Mountain … In all the U.S. Department of Transportation is providing more than $215 million to states to cover the costs of repairing roads and bridges.

 

CENSUS / DEMOGRAPHIC TRENDS

CENTRAL VALLEY BUSINESS TIMES: Central Valley could be part of new 'megapolitan' area

[11/25/11] // Much of the Central Valley could find itself part of two “megapolitan” areas by mid-century, according to a new study. Sacramento, Yolo, Yuba, San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Merced counties in the Valley could morph into what’s dubbed the “Sierra Pacific megapolitan area.” Based on largely common economic, physical, social, and cultural traits, it would stretch from the Bay Area eastward to Reno, Nev., says the study, published by the American Planning Association. …

 

ENVIRONMENT / CLIMATE CHANGE

EARTH TECHLING: LEED Housing for UC Santa Barbara Faculty

By Susan DeFreitas // Faculty at the University of California, Santa Barbara, have it good: not only are the homes in their new Ocean Walk faculty housing development just a few blocks from the beach, they’re also now LEED certified. Ocean Walk is the first housing project in the University of California system to receive LEED for Homes certification (though it will face some stiff competition from the net zero West Village project on the Davis campus for top green honors in this category). The Ocean Walk development was created to provide affordable housing for faculty …

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November 25, 2011

Calculated Risk

Calculated Risk

 

Europe: On the Strasbourg meeting today

Posted: 24 Nov 2011 07:56 AM PST

From Bloomberg: Germany, France to Propose Treaty Adjustments on Fiscal Rules (ht Brian)

Germany and France said they will make proposals to amend European treaties in coming days to impose greater fiscal discipline on euro-area countries ...

The initiative announced today at a meeting in Strasbourg, France, involving German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti ...

The planned treaty changes prepared for a Dec. 9 European summit involve “the question of a fiscal union, that is a deepened political cooperation,” Merkel told reporters after the meeting over lunch. “It’s not about a quid pro quo. It’s about overcoming the defects in the euro zone’s construction, step by step.”

Merkel won backing on demanding changes to treaties as a prerequisite to discussing the issuance of common euro bonds.

From Bloomberg: Merkel Rejects Euro Bonds After Failed Auction ‘Wake-Up Call’

German Chancellor Angela Merkel again ruled out joint euro-area borrowing and an expanded role for the European Central Bank in fighting the debt crisis. ... Euro bonds are “not needed and not appropriate,” Merkel said today at a press conference

More from the WSJ: Leaders to Propose EU Treaty Changes





Thanksgiving morning reading: Mostly Europe

Posted: 24 Nov 2011 06:02 AM PST

• From the Athens News: Papademos says Samaras letter 'satisfactory'

The standoff over Antonis Samaras’ refusal to sign a written commitment that he backs austerity measures seems to have come to an end, after Prime Minister Lucas Papademos told the cabinet on Thursday that international lenders had reacted positively to the letter that the New Democracy leader sent to the country’s lenders yesterday.

"Papademos said the content of the letter was satisfactory. There is an initial positive response to it (from abroad)," a minister who attended the meeting told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

• From the WSJ: Portugal Hit by Downgrade and Strike

Fitch, which matched Moody's Investors Service's move in July to place Portugal in junk territory, lowered its rating one notch, to double-B-plus from triple-B-minus, and warned further downgrades were possible because a recession in the country will increase challenges for the government to comply with its austerity plans. It maintained a negative outlook.

"The country's large fiscal imbalances, high indebtedness across all sectors, and adverse macroeconomic outlook mean the sovereign's credit profile is no longer consistent with an investment-grade rating," Fitch said. "However, Fitch judges the government's commitment to the program to be strong."

• From the Financial Times: France pushes hard on ECB intervention The FT reports that Nicolas Sarkozy, Italy's Mario Monti, and Angela Merkel are meeting in Strasbourg today - and Sarkokzy is expected to push for ECB intervention.

• Something else to watch from the NY Times: Economic Trouble in the West Shows Signs of Catching Up With Asia

Within the last few weeks ... cracks have emerged in the region’s mighty economies, and analysts and policy makers have become more concerned about the painful disruption that could spill into Asia as the situation in Europe continues to deteriorate and the United States’ growth remains subdued.

Exports from Asia have been softening for months as demand in Europe, in particular, has slowed.

• And on German bonds:

From Paul Krugman: The Apocalypse Trade

the big story: German bonds are now being priced as a risky asset — what the FT calls the “apocalypse trade“. The interest rate on bunds, at 2.21% as I write this, is still very low by historical standards. But it’s above the rate on UK bonds (2.17%) and way above the rate on US bonds (1.88%).

The way to see this is that the market is in effect pricing in a real possibility of eurozone collapse.

And from the FT Alphaville: Borrowing costs in the United States of Europe

[L]et’s assume we get a Eurobond as envisaged by President Barroso. What would that yield? Some 4 per cent perhaps. Lower?

Viewed in this context one can understand why investors were reluctant to buy German paper with a 1.98 per cent coupon. Why not wait and pick up double the yield on German-backed Eurobonds.

The glib answer to that question is because it will never happen. Germany will never allow it.

However, this story, which ran on Reuters overnight, suggests that Eurobonds are not completely verboten, especially if Germany could force through treaty changes to enforce budgetary discipline in the eurozone.





Zillow Forecast for Case-Shiller House Price Index

Posted: 23 Nov 2011 08:32 PM PST

The Case-Shiller Home Price Indices for September will be released next Tuesday, November 29th. Zillow chief economist Stan Humphries put out a forecast for the Case-Shiller HPI yesterday: Zillow Forecast: September Case-Shiller Composite-20 Expected to Show 3.2% Decline from One Year Ago

Zillow predicts that the 20-City Composite Home Price Index (non-seasonally adjusted, NSA) will decline by 3.2% on a year-over-year basis, while the 10-City Composite Home Price Index (NSA) will show a year-over-year decline of 2.8%. The seasonally adjusted (SA) month-over-month change from August to September will be -0.2% and 0.0% for the 20 and 10-City Composite Home Price Index (SA), respectively.
...
"We expect to see continued home value depreciation as unemployment and negative equity remain high and as the pace of foreclosures, kept artificially low since the robo-signing controversy, increases again."

On an NSA basis, this would leave the 10-city composite about 3.9% above the post bubble low, and the 20-city composite about 3.5% above the post bubble low.

The CoreLogic (used by the Fed) index (NSA) for September was about 3.6% above the post bubble low.

However this would put the seasonally adjusted 20-City composite index at a new post-bubble low (and the 10-city would be just above a new low). Because the seasonal factor has been impacted by the high percentage of foreclosures, most people just report the NSA numbers - and the NSA numbers will probably not be at new lows until early next year.

But there is still a strong seasonal pattern to house prices, and it will be interesting if the SA numbers are at new lows ...





Real House Prices using Fed Reserve Stress Test Scenario

Posted: 23 Nov 2011 04:07 PM PST

Yesterday the Federal Reserve outlined the annual bank supervisory stress tests. The Fed included a stress test scenario for house prices and inflation, so we can calculate the impact on real house prices.

The stress test scenario is outlined here. The stress tests assume the unemployment rate will rise to 13% in 2013, that the Dow Jones Total Stock Market Index will decline by more than 50% from the current level. The scenario also assumes that nominal house prices will fall another 20%+.

Note: The Federal Reserve uses the CoreLogic House Price Index (Blue).

Stress Tests
Click on graph for larger image.

This graph shows real house prices through August 2011 (September for CoreLogic), and the Federal Reserves stress test scenario (blue after Q3 2011).

This scenario would take real house prices back to about mid-1984 prices in real terms (adjusted for inflation).





Europe: Italian 2 year yields above 7%, Belgian yields up sharply

Posted: 23 Nov 2011 03:05 PM PST

Yields are rising quickly ...

From Reuters: Belgian/German spreads hit euro-era highs on political deadlock

The yield premium of Belgian 10-year government bonds over German Bunds hit euro-era highs on Wednesday after a blow to prospects of forming a government left the country vulnerable to a fast-spreading debt crisis.

The highly-indebted country, which has been without a government for 18 months, suffered a further blow on Tuesday when its lead negotiator in forming an administration resigned.

From the WSJ: German Bond Auction Adds to Investor Worries on Euro Zone

A German government debt auction drew some of the weakest demand since the introduction of the euro, signaling diminishing investor appetite for even the safest euro-zone assets amid Europe's worsening debt crisis.

From the Athens News: Samaras addresses letter to creditors

In the latest move in the power game over the written commitment that EU leaders have asked Pasok and New Democracy to cosign, Antonis Samaras on Wednesday sent a letter to the European Union and IMF reiterating his support for the new prime minister and for fiscal adjustment targets.
...
He noted, however, that “certain policies have to be modified”.
...
It was not immediately clear whether the letter would satisfy the EU and IMF ... Earlier on Wednesday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that if Samaras did not sign, an 8bn euro bailout payment would not be released.

From Bloomberg: Three-Month Dollar Libor Reaches 0.5%, 1st Time Since July 2010

The London interbank offered rate, or Libor, for three- month dollar loans climbed to 0.50028 percent from 0.495 percent yesterday, data from the British Bankers’ Association showed. That’s the highest level since July 21, 2010.

Below is a table for several European bond yields (links to Bloomberg).

The Italian 10 year bond yield is at 6.97%; the Italian 2 year yield is up to 7.12%!

The Spanish 10 year bond yield has increased to 6.65%; the Spanish 2 year yield is up to 5.86%.

The Belgian 10 year yield is up sharply to 5.48%; the Belgian 2 year yield is 4.94%.

The Irish 10 year yield is at 8.21%. The Portuguese 10 year yield is at 11.3%.

The French 10 year bond yield is at 3.69%.





 

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November 16, 2011

TODAY'S NEWS

November 16, 2011

TODAY'S NEWS

AFFORDABLE HOUSING

REAL ESTATE RAMA: Enterprise Closes $8.3 Million LIHTC Deal to Build 47 Units of Affordable Housing in Santa Monica

[Press Release: 11/15/11] // SANTA MONICA, CA – (RealEstateRama) -- Enterprise Community Investment, Inc. (Enterprise) today announced it has closed an $8.3 million Low Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit) syndication deal to help Community Corporation of Santa Monica (CCSM) build High Place West Apartments, which will offer 47 units of affordable housing. High Place West will enable families earning 35 percent to 60 percent of area median income

 

HOUSING DEVELOPMENT

ROSEVILLE PRESS TRIBUNE: New home construction continues in region

By Toby Lewis // In the midst of a volatile real estate market, some new home construction projects are still moving forward in Granite Bay and Roseville. Premier Homes, who recently partnered with Canadian firm United Communities to form Premier United Communities, is working on a project for several single family homes in West Colonial Estates, near South Cirby Way and Old Auburn Road.

 

LAND USE / PLANNING / REGULATION

MARIN INDEPENDENT JOURNAL: Marin Voice: New housing blueprint for Mill Valley

By Dennis H. Klein & David Levin [Opinion] // THE Mill Valley Affordable Housing Committee is a group of local citizens who actively promote affordable housing in Mill Valley and Southern Marin. As we all recognize, addressing the critical lack of affordable housing in our community is not possible without support from our citizens and local government officials. Many state and federal laws require specific actions that would support affordable housing in Marin, but these requirements have not been met

 

HOUSING MARKETS / REAL ESTATE

CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS: C.A.R. October sales and price report

[Press Release: 11/15/11] // LOS ANGELES -- California home sales posted a marginal increase in October and also were above year-ago levels, according to figures released today from the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.).  Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California edged up to a seasonally adjusted 493,240 units in October, up 0.9 percent from a revised 488,700 in September, according to information collected by C.A.R. from more than 90 local

 

DATAQUICK NEWS: Southland Home Sales Inch Up from 2010; Median Price Down Again

[Nov. 15, 2011] // La Jolla, CA -- Southland home sales rose slightly in October compared with a year earlier but were still nearly 30 percent below the long-term average. The region’s median sale price dipped to its lowest level since January as activity above $500,000 fell sharply, distressed property sales rose slightly and mortgage availability worsened, a real estate information service reported. A total of 16,829 new and resale houses and condos sold in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties in October.

 

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE: Congress may restore home-loan limit to $729,750

By Kathleen Pender // Congress will decide this week whether to reinstate the limit on government-backed home loans in high-cost areas to $729,750. The so-called conforming-loan limit dropped to $625,500 on Oct. 1. Although the odds of passage have fallen in the past week, FBR Capital Markets analyst Edward Mills says they are still better than 50-50.

 

MORTGAGE & FORECLOSURE ISSUES

MARKET WATCH.COM: Fremont Bank Encourages Homeowners to Take Advantage of the Upcoming Home Affordable Refinance Program Enhancements

[Press Release: 11/14/11] // FREMONT, Calif. (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Fremont Bank, a leading full-service mortgage lender in California, recently announced that it will be an early adopter of the enhanced Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP 2.0) as announced in the October 24th news release by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). HARP allows Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac borrowers who owe more than their home is worth to take advantage of historically low interest rates …

 

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

THE DESERT SUN: Indio neighborhoods get $1.5 million facelift

By Xochitl Peña // INDIO -- Three of Indio's oldest neighborhoods have received almost $1.5 million in improvements -- and more are coming soon for other areas of the city. The Waller and Indio Terrace neighborhoods, north of Avenue 44, are the city's latest targets. Plans are to spend a combined $500,000 to make those areas more presentable thanks to the city's Better Neighborhoods Program funded with Community Development Block Grant funds.

 

REDWOOD TIMES: County receives grants for housing, micro-enterprise, and Alderpoint water project

By Virginia Graziani // The Alderpoint Community Water District will be one step closer to making needed improvements to its drinking water filtration system, thanks to a Community Development Block Grant, part of a funding package recently awarded to Humboldt County by the California Department of Housing and Community Development.  Alderpoint CWD will receive $70,000 for site investigation and pilot testing of filtration methods needed so that the district can then apply a much larger grant/loan package to complete the project.

 

ECONOMY / EMPLOYMENT

SACRAMENTO BEE: California's enterprise zone program lets companies cash in on existing workers

By Kevin Yamamura // As California struggles to combat an 11.9 percent unemployment rate, a $581 million economic development program designed to create jobs has drawn scrutiny for rewarding companies that hired workers years ago.

 

TRANSPORTATION

SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS: Critics, proponents debate high-speed rail proposal at public hearing in Palo Alto

(AP) // PALO ALTO -- Supporters and opponents of an ambitious, multibillion-dollar plan to build a high-speed rail line in California got their first chance Tuesday to bring their opinions to lawmakers, who held a public hearing that at times got testy as environmental, economic and industrial concerns collided. The bullet train under consideration would link San Francisco and Anaheim, and include the Central Valley.

 

REDEVELOPMENT / INFILL / REVITALIZATION

BUSINESS WEEK: California seeks ruling to use development funds for budget

By Karen Gullo // California, seeking to avoid a shortfall in money for schools, roads and fire departments, asked the state’s highest court to uphold two laws allowing it to seize $1.7 billion from state redevelopment agencies.

 

NATIONAL HOUSING NEWS

TIME: What the Government could still do to help housing

By Tara-Nicholle Nelson // Earlier this month, President Obama announced tweaks to the Home Affordable Refinance Program (or HARP), which was designed to help homeowners refinance underwater homes but so far had helped only 838,000 of the 5 million homeowners at whom it was aimed.



LOANSAFE.ORG: Housing must be a national priority

By Alex Ferreras // The struggling housing market needs to be a priority on the nation’s public policy agenda, because housing and homeownership issues affect all Americans. That was the message from speakers at the Legislative and Political Forum yesterday at the 2011 Realtors(R) Conference & Expo.

 

LOS ANGELES TIMES: California should make that mortgage deal (Opinion)

State and federal attorneys have been negotiating with more than a dozen major national banks for months to settle claims that the banks' mortgage-servicing arms improperly foreclosed on homeowners. The negotiations are approaching a make-or-break point, and success could hinge on whether California Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris signs on to the proposed settlement.


POPULATION

CENTRAL VALLEY BUSINESS TIMES: Mover rate reaches record low

[Nov. 15, 2011] // Fancy free they may be, but footloose Americans are not. At least, not as much, according to new reports Tuesday from the U.S. Census Bureau. The percentage of people who changed residences between 2010 and 2011 ─ 11.6 percent ─ was the lowest recorded rate since the Census Bureau began collecting statistics on the movement of people in the United States in 1948.

 

ENVIRONMENT / CLIMATE CHANGE

VENTURA COUNTY STAR: Eye on the environment: New program promotes energy efficiency
For many in Ventura County, these issues are familiar: a utility bill that is too high, a home that is hard to keep comfortable and a local economy stuck in neutral. Last week, Ventura County homeowners gathered at the Camarillo Ranch to hear about Energy Upgrade California, a new statewide program that enables homeowners to create a more comfortable living environment, watch their utility bills go down and help create and sustain local green jobs.

 

 

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November 15, 2011

L.A. Dealmakers holiday

The L.A. Dealmakers holiday event is coming up on Wednesday, November 30, so mark your calendars and make sure to register.  There’s no charge to attend and we're expecting over 500 guests, including our friends in development, acquisitions, lending, JV equity, etc. 

Attached is the invite, and registration is at www.ladealmakers.com/holiday 

Forward the link to friends too - the more the merrier! We look forward to seeing you there.

Regards,
Jake

Jake Little
L.A. Dealmakers
Jake@ladealmakers.com

Note: If you’d like to be removed from our invite list just reply to this email and let us know.

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November 14, 2011

Changes For CA Real Estate Licensees Come 2012

Changes For CA Real Estate Licensees Come 2012

Monday, November 14, 2011

Effective Jan. 1, 2012 the California Real Estate Commissioner may issue citations to unlicensed persons the commissioner believes to be engaging in activities for which a real estate license is required or to licensees who are in violation of any provision of the Real Estate Law or any rule or order thereunder.

http://www.nationalmortgagenews.com/columns/changes-ca-real-estate-licensees-1027464-1.html?ET=nationalmortgage:e2028:22143a:&st=email&utm_source=editorial&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=NMN_Fraud_Prevention_111411

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November 09, 2011

TODAY'S NEWS

November 9, 2011

TODAY'S NEWS

AFFORDABLE HOUSING

OC METRO: Locally designed affordable housing community open in Big Bear Lake

By Elaine Murphy // The Crossings at Big Bear Lake, an affordable housing community designed by Irvine-based architecture firm KTGY Group Inc., recently marked its grand opening. The apartment community is the city’s first affordable housing project designed to cater to families, and was developed by Santa Ana-based Urban Housing Communities LLC (UHC).

 

HOUSING DEVELOPMENT

U.S. NEWS: Where builders are breaking ground

By Meg Handley // With so many homes for sale and so few buyers, you'd be crazy to build a new house in this market, right? Nevertheless, multifamily and single-family home building has been heating up in pockets across the nation, causing more than a few people to scratch their heads.

 

MORTGAGE & FORECLOSURE ISSUES

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE: More bay area homes underwater on mortgages

By Carolyn Said // Homes around the Bay Area are continuing to slide underwater - the term for a home worth less than what is owed on the mortgage - according to a report from real estate research firm Zillow. Nearly a quarter (24.6 percent) of homes in the nine-county area were underwater in the three months ended in September, Zillow said. That compares with 22.8 percent in the preceding quarter.

 

SACRAMENTO BUSINESS JOURNAL: State mortgage help program expands eligibility

Keep Your Home California, a program through the California Housing Finance Agency, said it has expanded eligibility for helping homeowners stay in their homes in the face of financial difficulties. Now, people who refinanced their homes are eligible for all four of the programs offered under Keep Your Home California.

 

USA TODAY: Foreclosure backlogs could take decades to clear out

By Julie Schmit // Foreclosure sales are moving so slowly in half the states that at the current pace, it will take more than eight years on average to clear the 2.1 million homes in foreclosure or with seriously delinquent mortgages, new research shows.

 

SACRAMENTO BEE: More than half of (Sacramento) area homes worth less than their mortgages

Housing prices in Sacramento have fallen to pre-boom levels as more than half of homes in the region are now worth less than their mortgages, a new report said.

 

SACRAMENTO BEE: Feds say Sacramento-area realty ring bilked banks for $16 million

By Rick Daysog // The collapse of the housing bubble exposed Sacramento as one of the nation's centers for mortgage fraud. Yet even here, prosecutors say, their latest case stands out for its scope and the number of people involved. In the past six months, 25 Sacramento-area residents have been indicted on charges of defrauding $16 million from banks, most of it from a single subprime lender now owned by Bank of America. Prosecutors say more indictments are on the way.

 

REDEVELOPMENT / INFILL / REVITALIZATION

SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS: California Supreme Court takes on legal battle over redevelopment

By Howard Mintz and Tracy Seipel // With once powerful redevelopment agencies such as San Jose's on the brink of extinction, the California Supreme Court this week will consider whether state lawmakers staged an unconstitutional raid on redevelopment coffers to help close a multibillion-dollar budget deficit.

 

ENVIRONMENT / CLIMATE CHANGE

LA TIMES: State gets mixed reviews in solar power

By Marc Lifsher // California is on track to meet an ambitious goal of putting solar panels on up to 3 million Golden State homes by 2016, according to a new report by an environmental group. The $3.3-billion initiative, which provides subsidies to homeowners, has spurred the installation of 800 megawatts of rooftop panels over the last five years. That's the energy equivalent of two gas-burning power plants.

 

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November 07, 2011

TODAY'S NEWS

 

November 7, 2011

TODAY'S NEWS

AFFORDABLE HOUSING

SAN JOSE MERCURY: Fremont affordable housing project opens

By Wes Bowers [11/3/11] // A major affordable housing project officially opened this week in Irvington. City of Fremont officials, along with Alameda County and state leaders, celebrated the grand opening of Main Street Village Wednesday afternoon. The affordable rental apartment project, located at 3615 Main St., offers 64 units to very low-income individuals and families, including those who have been homeless or have faced mental health challenges. … According to officials, more than 4,000 people in Alameda County are homeless, and nearly 30 percent of those are families with children.

 

THE EXAMINER.COM: HUD Homes: Another Source of Great Potential Values for Homeowners and Investors

By Eric Dorer // Most people know that “HUD” stands for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.  Most people associate HUD with subsidized rental and low income housing.  However, HUD offers a great deal more than these programs.  One of the greatest sources of great potential bargains for both owner-occupants and investors is HUD-owned homes… “HUD Homes.”  However, like any other opportunity to uncover potentially great value, the need to do your homework …

 

HOUSING DEVELOPMENT

WASHINGTON POST: Finding more flaws in HUD's accounting of HOME program

By Debbie Cenziper [11/6/11] // The calls started in mid-May, two weeks before a looming congressional hearing. Staff members across the vast U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development were racing to check in with hundreds of local agencies to determine the status of housing construction projects for the poor. Within days, the massive scramble came to a conclusion: HUD told Congress that its $32 billion HOME Investment Partnerships Program was doing just fine.

 

WASHINGTON POST: Dozens of delayed HUD projects found nationwide

By Debbie Cenziper // One lot was a tangle of tumbleweed sprawling over seven acres. The other sat empty in a neighborhood besieged by crack dealers. Seven years ago, the city of Turlock, Calif., promised to transform the properties into new homes for the poor, investing $400,000 in federal housing money to buy the land. But the lots are still barren and Turlock’s new housing chief is struggling to figure out what went wrong.

 

LAND USE / PLANNING / REGULATION

LONG BEACH PRESS TELEGRAM: Downtown development will it be: A Boon or a Bane

By Kristopher Hanson // LONG BEACH - The Planning Commission is preparing to vote Thursday on a massive long-term development blueprint for downtown that would rezone the area to permit more high-rise buildings and would fast-track approval for construction projects. Known as the Long Beach Downtown Plan, the proposal has been met with great enthusiasm and deep skepticism by residents, businesses, developers and neighborhood groups within and surrounding the 725-acre project area …

 

HOUSING MARKETS / REAL ESTATE

ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Calif. home price recovery expected in 2012

By Jeff Collins // UCLA economists forecast that California home prices will rise steadily over the next six years, although the recovery in home sales isn’t projected to begin until 2013. The UCLA Anderson Forecast predicted that the median price of an existing single-family home will increase 52.5% by 2017, rising to $438,980. This year’s median house price is projected to be $287,904 …

 

MORTGAGE & FORECLOSURE ISSUES

NU WIRE INVESTOR: Four Programs Offer Mortgage Assistance

By Jerold Leslie // With millions of Americans delinquent on their mortgages or in some phase of foreclosure, Uncle Sam has developed roughly a dozen programs designed to help struggling homeowners keep their properties. "We really lead the marketplace when it comes to bending over backward to keeping people in their homes," says Brian Sullivan of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. "We want to make sure that we've exhausted all other options before families lose their properties."

 

MARKET WATCH.COM: Keep Your Home California Expands Eligibility and Benefits

[Press release – 11/7/11] // SACRAMENTO, Calif. (BUSINESS WIRE) -- California's program to provide mortgage assistance to homeowners struggling to remain in their homes is making it easier to become eligible for help. Keep Your Home California, a federally-funded program administered by the California Housing Finance Agency, announced today that it is removing the "cash out" restriction from all four programs and will allow homeowners who own additional properties to qualify for much-needed assistance.

 

LOS ANGELES TIMES: More problems are found with home buyer tax credits

By Kenneth R. Harney [11/6/11] // Reporting from Washington— Remember the federal tax credit programs offering $7,500 and later $8,000 to first-time home buyers? The credits were designed to deliver a jolt to the reeling housing industry, and they did: More than 4 million people applied for and have received nearly $30 billion worth of credits. … The IRS also had trouble determining whether recipients of the non-repayable credits might have violated rules by selling their homes before the three years of required residency and earning a profit on the sale.

 

HOMELESSNESS

VENTURA COUNTY STAR: Affordable-housing charity re-creates soup lines to raise money

By Rachel McGrath // Bowls of steaming-hot soup were the right kind of comfort food Sunday as a storm passed through Ventura County, and so the timing was perfect for the Many Mansions Bowls of Hope Project in Camarillo. Several hundred people ate soup and bread donated by restaurants and bakeries and raised money for the Thousand Oaks-based nonprofit, which provides affordable housing and services for the homeless, low-income families and those with disabilities.

 

TRANSPORTATION

LOS ANGELES BUSINESS JOURNAL: High-Speed Rail Still Fits Bill Despite Higher Cost

By David C. Murphy [Opinion] // Last Tuesday’s release of the new plan for California’s high-speed rail system, showing the projected cost had doubled to $98 billion, will be used by naysayers to argue we cannot afford to build the project. But to keep California moving and for our long-term competitiveness, perhaps we cannot afford not to build it. We must not lose track of the long-term vision held by California voters who approved the project in 2008. Have no doubt: This project will bring enormous benefits to California’s economy and citizens

 

ENVIRONMENT / CLIMATE CHANGE

SANTA BARBARA INDEPENDENT: UCSB's Ocean Walk Faculty Housing Project Receives LEED Certification from U.S. Green Building Council

Ocean Walk is the first housing project in the University of California system to receive LEED for Homes certification. Ocean Walk at North Campus is UCSB’s newest planned faculty housing community. It was created under the authority of the Board of Regents to provide affordable housing for faculty. Situated on approximately 26.3 acres, Ocean Walk is about two miles from the main campus and about one-third of a mile from the beach.

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November 05, 2011

TODAY'S NEWS

November 4, 2011

TODAY'S NEWS

AFFORDABLE HOUSING

SAN FRANCISCO EXAMINER: Measure G has San Mateo affordable-housing mandate in limbo

By Niko Kyriakou // Unless voters approve Measure G next week, San Mateo may no longer be able to require developers to build affordable housing. Some 1,200 people are on the city’s affordable-housing wait list, and some 1,000 applicants recently applied for 67 affordable units in a new development, according to city data. But the city’s requirement that more affordable housing be built could be undone by a 2009 a lawsuit known as the Palmer case.

 

SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS: Fremont affordable housing project opens

By Wes Bowers // A major affordable housing project officially opened this week in Irvington. City of Fremont officials, along with Alameda County and state leaders, celebrated the grand opening of Main Street Village Wednesday afternoon.  The affordable rental apartment project, located at 3615 Main St., offers 64 units to very low-income individuals and families, including those who have been homeless or have faced mental health challenges.

 

MORTGAGE & FORECLOSURE ISSUES

VENTURA COUNTY STAR: Delinquent borrowers won't qualify for plan to aid loan refinance
By Stephanie Hoops // After President Barack Obama's changes to a program meant to help Americans refinance their "underwater" homes, people who have been advised by banks to become delinquent on their loans don't see it as a savior. Full details for the revised Home Affordable Refinance Program won't be released to mortgage lenders and servicers until Nov. 15, but what is known is that homeowners who owe more on their loans than their houses are worth must be current on their mortgage payments.



ECONOMY / EMPLOYMENT

ASSOCIATED PRESS: US poverty data: 1 in 15 people among America's poorest poor

The ranks of America's poorest poor have climbed to a record high — 1 in 15 people — and spread widely across metropolitan areas, as the US housing bust pushed many inner-city poor into suburbs and other outlying places and reduced jobs and income.

 

Cost of living in L.A. County increases sharply over last decade

By Abbey Seltzer // The cost of living in Los Angeles County has increased more than 18 percent in the last three years, and 46 percent in the last eight years, according to a new study. “We take deep looks into the costs between counties,” said Jenny Chung Mejia, attorney and program manager for Insight Center for Community Economic Development, the entity that published the study. “Our figures are based on measures that fully encompass all aspects to the cost of living.”

 

TRANSPORTATION

SIERRA MADRE PATCH: Huff gets behind new California high speed rail plan

State Senator Bob Huff (R-Diamond Bar) has issued a statement showing his support for the recently released new business plan from the California High-Speed Rail Authority. Huff’s support of the new plan cites what he believes to be a growing need for transportation investment as California’s population grows.

 

REDEVELOPMENT / INFILL / REVITALIZATION

SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS: California Supreme Court expected to hear redevelopment challange in January

By Carol Rosen // An upcoming California Supreme Court hearing could decide the fate of the state's redevelopment agencies, which are in a state of limbo. Last winter Gov. Jerry Brown and the California Legislature authorized two new laws, ABX26 and ABX27, that would allow the cash-strapped state to take money from municipal governments' redevelopment agencies. The first law essentially allows the state government to rescind its 1955 action creating redevelopment agencies for the cities. The second allows these agencies to remain in good stead with a $47 million payment to the state. The idea, according to several pundits, is to allow the state to uphold its promise to pay back schools for the money it took in recent years from the education budget.


 

 


 

POPULATION

ASSOCIATED PRESS: Mobility falls to record low as Americans stay put

By Hope Yen // Yet another symptom of the economic downturn: Americans aren't moving. Young adults are staying put, often with their parents. Older people aren't able to retire to beachfront or lakeside homes. U.S. mobility is at its lowest point since World War II. New information from the Census Bureau highlights the continuing impact of the housing bust and unemployment on U.S. migration, after earlier signs that mobility was back on the upswing.

 

DEMOGRAPHICS / QUALITY OF LIFE

PASADENA STAR-NEWS: Ohland and Zane: Smart growth in San Gabriel Valley

By Gloria Ohland & Denny Zane [Opinion] // Southern California is on the cusp of change in the way we live and get around, changes dictated by the never-ending problem of traffic as well as demographic shifts: retiring Baby Boomers, a big increase in single-person households, a decline in the number of families with children - that are causing dramatic changes in the housing market. The future is smart growth and, especially with the huge Measure R-funded investment in 12 rail lines, more transit-oriented development, as well as downtown revitalizations, mixed-use, infill development, more bike lanes, wider sidewalks.

 

ENVIRONMENT / CLIMATE CHANGE

WEST HOLLYWOOD NEWS: Apartment smoking ban: Evictions possible?

While WeHo council members John Heilman and Abbe Land went about banning outdoor smoking at restaurants and bars in West Hollywood, opponents decried the move as a slippery slope portending an expansion of the ban that would eventually threaten renters. Few imagined the veritable landslide coming down out of Sacramento that is Senate Bill 322, which allows landlords to prohibit smoking in rental units. The law goes into effect on January 1, 2012. Critics say the law targets smokers in rental properties for eviction, as landlords would be free to change the terms of tenancy.

 

SANTA BARBARA EDHAT: Housing project receives certification

The first 22 homes of UC Santa Barbara's Ocean Walk faculty housing project have been awarded Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for Homes certification by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). Ocean Walk is the first housing project in the University of California system to receive LEED for Homes certification.

 

LOS ANGELES WAVE: Compton approves strict ban on smoking

By Leiloni De Gruy // The Compton City Council has unanimously approved an aggressive smoking ban that its backers call the most restrictive in the state. By Jan. 1, 2013, it will call for persons living in multi-unit residences to refrain from smoking inside their own living quarters. The ordinance allows the city to restrict smoking and tobacco use in public places as a means to “limit public exposure to secondhand smoke and promote a healthy environment for the residents in the city of Compton,” stated the Oct. 25 staff report.

 

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November 03, 2011

Working Papers The Lusk Center for Real Estate publishes papers

Working Papers

The Lusk Center for Real Estate publishes papers on a wide-ranging set of topics including real estate finance and investments, land use, transportation, urban growth and regulation, asset pricing, and the like. These papers reflect real estate research undertaken by faculty in the Marshall School of Business, School of Policy, Planning, and Development and the Law School. Papers are available electronically below. For hard copies, contact Nina Tibayan.

2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999

2011
#TitleAuthor(s) Download
2011-1007What happens to household formation in a recession?Gary D. Painter and Kwan Ok Lee
Download Paper (PDF)
2011-1006Is the Art Market More Bourgeois Than Bohemian?Jenny Schuetz, Elizabeth Currid-Halkett, and Richard Green
Download Paper (PDF)
2011-1005Housing Tenure Transitions of Older Households: How close do they want to live to their kids?KwanOk Lee and Gary Painter
Download Paper (PDF)
2011-1004The Impact of the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 on Housing Turnover in the U.S. Single Family Residential MarketAndrea J. Heuson and Gary Painter
Download Paper (PDF)
2011-1003The nature of information and its effect on bidding behavior: laboratory evidence in a common value auctionIsabelle Brocas, Juan D. Carrillo, and Manuel Castro
Download Paper (PDF)
2011-1002Tiered Housing Allocation: an Experimental AnalysisJuan D Carrillo and Saurabh Singhal
Download Paper (PDF)
2011-1001Household Location and Race: A Twenty-Year RetrospectiveStuart A. Gabriel and Gary D. Painter
Download Paper (PDF)

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November 02, 2011

Broker Price Opinions (BPOs) and the Valuation Process

https://www.efanniemae.com/lc/sir/pdf/bpolmv.pdf

 

 

Broker Price Opinions (BPOs) and the Valuation Process

All properties secured by a Fannie Mae loan that are involved in a HAFA Preforeclosure Sale, a HAFA Deed-in-Lieu, a Fannie

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October 24, 2011

TODAY'S NEWS

October 24, 2011

TODAY'S NEWS

NEW: HCD’s Policy Paper on California Housing in Wake of the Great Recession

The Great Recession has played a key role in California’s declining housing prices, increased foreclosures, construction slowdown, lack of adequate housing supply, and affordability problems.  Housing prices have dropped in many areas, but continuing economic uncertainty and high unemployment have negated the potential benefits of price declines in many markets. 

The State of Housing In California : 2011


 

AFFORDABLE HOUSING

THE PRESS-ENTERPRISE: MORENO VALLEY: The Fraustos finally have space for six

By Laurie Lucas // Almost a year since the Frausto family moved to Moreno Valley, they have new friends, new places to walk, new stores to shop in and a new church. None of this would be possible without their new home.  Jose and Mignon Frausto received the keys to their first house ever on Nov. 17, 2010, one built by volunteers for the nonprofit group, Habitat for Humanity. …

 

HOUSING DEVELOPMENT

SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE: Redesigned Solana Beach affordable housing plan unveiled

By Jonathan Horn // Solana Beach officials and the developer of a proposed affordable housing complex near the city’s coastal bluffs have unveiled two new designs in response to criticism of the project’s initial size. … About 25 people attended the meeting Tuesday, most of them from the surrounding neighborhood of blufftop condos and time shares. They saw for the first time two new rustic, less-boxlike designs with rooftops that resemble individual homes. Still, many expressed concerns mostly about the mass of the building being out of scale with the rest of the neighborhood.

 

MARKET WATCH.COM: LISC Launches Neighborhood Revitalization Loan Fund to Drive Affordable Rental Housing Development

NEW YORK // PRNewswire via COMTEX -- The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) has leveraged a $5 million grant from the federal Capital Magnet Fund to launch the Neighborhood Revitalization Loan Fund - an affordable housing loan pool designed to stimulate the development and preservation of multifamily rental housing for low-income residents. Supported by a $19 million loan from Morgan Stanley [NYSE: MS], the new fund is expected to fuel $100 million in affordable housing development …

 

HOUSING MARKETS / REAL ESTATE

LOS ANGELES TIMES: Inland Empire is showing early stirrings of recovery

By Alana Semuels // Jim Lytle gunned his silver BMW past the boarded-up model homes and the faded red flags of an abandoned sales office, then steered into a grid of empty streets and yellowed grass. Millions of dollars were spent to turn farmland into housing tracts. Lots were graded, roads were paved, sewers installed. The houses? They will come, Lytle promises, right here on these acres and acres of weed-strewn fields. "This is a broken subdivision, which is obvious by looking at the ground," said Lytle …

 

THE DESERT SUN: Fewer Coachella Valley homes for sale

By Mike Perrault [10/22/11] // The supply of homes for sale in the Coachella Valley has steadily dropped this year — particularly lower-priced houses that bargain hunters are buying up. “The inventory levels are some of the lowest we've seen in quite some time,” said Patrick Jordan, broker associate with Patrick Stewart Properties, Windermere Real Estate in Palm Springs. … The residential active inventory has dropped by more than 1,000 listings in four months, excluding mobile homes, Jordan calculated.

 

CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS: September Pending Home Sales Index

Press Release: 10/20/11 // LOS ANGELES – Pending home sales in California fell in September, as is typical for this time of year, but were up from the previous year for the fifth consecutive month.  Additionally, distressed home sales increased slightly in September from both the previous month and year, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) reported today. …

 

LOS ANGELES TIMES: Sales of previously owned homes fall in September

By Steve Goldstein [10/21/11] // Sales of previously owned homes fell 3% in September, reflecting continued tough times in the housing market as well as newly imposed tougher loan limits, a trade group said Thursday. The National Assn. of Realtors said sales fell to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.91 million, in line with expectations. August data were revised higher to 5.06 million from an initially reported 5.03 million. …

 

MORTGAGE & FORECLOSURE ISSUES

SACRAMENTO BEE: Keep Your Home California helps many, but critics say program slow to grow

By Rick Daysog // A small but growing number of distressed homeowners in California are keeping their houses because of a state program funded with $2 billion in federal stimulus money. Keep Your Home California's launch in February was marred by procedural delays and criticism from consumer groups that said the eligibility requirements were too narrow and that the program wouldn't serve enough people. …

 

CONTRA COSTA TIMES: Obama announces plan to help underwater homeowners refinance mortgages

By Jim Kuhnhenn & Julie Pace // (AP) -- WASHINGTON -- Seeking to circumvent congressional opposition, President Barack Obama will promote a series of executive branch steps aimed at jump-starting the economy this week, beginning with new rules to make it easier for homeowners to refinance their mortgages. The White House said changes to the two-year-old Home Affordable Refinance Program will help homeowners with little or no equity in their houses refinance by cutting the cost of doing so and removing caps to give deeply underwater borrowers access to the program. …

 

LOS ANGELES TIMES: Obama Administration Ramps Up Mortgage Refinancing Effort

By Don Lee // Reporting from Washington -- The Obama administration, worried that the housing crisis is strangling the economic recovery, is stepping up efforts to aid the battered market as another wave of home foreclosures threatens to drive values down further and rattle consumer confidence again. But the administration's piecemeal approach -- giving temporary reprieves to the jobless, converting empty homes into rental properties, allowing more people to refinance mortgages,…

 

DATAQUICK NEWS: California Foreclosure Activity Back Up

News Release: 10/18/11 // La Jolla, CA  -- After dropping to a three-year low in the second quarter of this year, the number of California homeowners being pulled into the foreclosure process snapped back to prior levels over the last three months, a real estate information service reported. A total of 71,275 Notices of Default (NoDs) were recorded at county recorders offices during the third quarter. …

 

HOMELESSNESS

LOS ANGELES TIMES: More women falling into ranks of homeless veterans

By David Zucchino // Reporting from Fayetteville, N.C -- As a soldier, Ruth Donaldson was an accomplished ammunition specialist. As a civilian, she became a stressed-out single mother struggling to find a job and raise her child. After a five-year stint in the Army, Donaldson lost her job at a gas station. She couldn't pay her rent. She and her 6-year-old son ended up living in a Pontiac Grand Am, hungry, homeless and exhausted. Women make up a growing number of homeless veterans, a group usually associated with combat-hardened men unable to cope with civilian life. …

 

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

WORLD NEWS REPORT: New AHEPAHOUSING.ORG Website Makes Search for Affordable Senior Housing Simple

Press release: 10/20/11 // AHEPA National Housing Corporation has launched its new housing search website to help seniors and their families locate affordable AHEPA apartment communities throughout the country. Choose a state and city, find a community, and read about affordable housing created with a dedication to helping seniors and the disabled live their maturing years with dignity. AHEPA National Housing Corporation and AHEPA Management Company have announced the launch of their updated, user-friendly website at www.ahepahousing.org

 

ECONOMY / EMPLOYMENT

MODESTO BEE: Dip in Stanislaus jobless rate, but many still search

By Marijke Rowland // Unemployment dropped almost a percentage point in Stanislaus County for September, its lowest in two years, though the decline has more to do with a contracting labor force than an expanding job market. September's dip to 15.1 percent, from a revised 16 percent for August, also follows seasonal hiring trends in the region, according to reports from the Employment Development Department. For those looking for work, the numbers meant little in the face of continued tough competition …

 

SACRAMENTO BEE: 'Modest Growth' Sees State Add 11,800 Jobs

By Dale Kasler // Hold off on those obituaries about the California job market for now. California employers perked up a little in September, adding 11,800 jobs and driving unemployment down to 11.9 percent, state officials said Friday. The unemployment rate had been 12.1 percent. What's more, the Employment Development Department said payrolls also grew by 21,100 in August …

 

TRANSPORTATION

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE: Group moves to end tax to build North Bay railroad

By Michael Cabanatuan //  … If all goes according to plan, North Bay commuters could be riding sleek green two-car trains making 30 trips a day between San Rafael and Santa Rosa by 2015 or 2016. "Due to one of the worst economic times we've had in the U.S., everyone has had to rethink their major projects, and SMART is no exception," said Farhad Mansourian, the agency's executive director. But as SMART prepares to award its first big construction contract by the end of the year …

 

SAN FRANCISCO EXAMINER: $3.5 million federal grant boots San Carlos Caltrain Station

By Will Reisman [10/19/11] // A project to transform the aging San Carlos Caltrain station into a new transit-oriented development center received its first boost this week with the injection of a $3.5 million federal grant. The station, which is situated next to the San Mateo County Transit District headquarters, it set to feature 280 new apartments, a mix of retail shops and office space, and a central public plaza — all within walking distance of SamTrans and Caltrain vehicles. …

 

INFRASTRUCTURE / BONDS

AFFORDABLE HOUSING FINANCE: California Sees Jump in LIHTC Volume

By Donna Kimura // It’s a big year for low-income housing tax credits (LIHTCs) and tax-exempt bonds in California. The California Tax Credit Allocation Committee (CTCAC) has reserved credits to 101 developments compared with 75 last year, reported William Pavao, executive director of the committee, at the Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California conference. He pointed out that credits per unit are down roughly 24 percent. …

 

NATIONAL HOUSING NEWS

BUSINESS WEEK.COM: Refinance Fix Viewed as Unlikely to 'Shock and Awe' Economy

By Lorraine Woellert // Oct. 24 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. President Barack Obama, who tours foreclosure-ravaged Nevada and California this week, may face homeowners demanding bolder action as regulators prepare to release details of new housing proposals as early as this week. Lawmakers and analysts briefed on plans by the independent Federal Housing Finance Agency estimate they will help less than 1 million borrowers -- and perhaps as few as 600,000 -- of the 11 million whose mortgages are higher than the value of their homes….

 

CNN MONEY.COM: Foreign buyers scooping up U.S. homes

By Les Christie // NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Hey, wealthy foreigners! Want to live in the U.S.? Buy a home here. International purchases of American homes are ramping up, and a new Senate bill designed to boost the ailing real-estate market would encourage globe-trotting investors to buy even more. … Foreigners spent $82 billion buying up U.S. homes in the 12 months ended in March, up 24% from a year earlier, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). That represents 8% of total U.S. sales.

 

WASHINGTON POST:  How to stabilize the housing market

[OPINION] By Lawrence Summers // The central irony of a financial crisis is that while it is caused by too much confidence, borrowing and lending, and spending, it can be resolved only with more confidence, borrowing and lending, and spending. This is true, above all, of housing policies. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) whose purpose is to mitigate cyclicality in housing and that today dominate the mortgage market, have become a textbook case of disastrous and pro-cyclical policy. …

 

PEW RESEARCH CENTER: Fighting Poverty in a Bad Economy, Americans Move in with Relatives

By Rakesh Kochhar & D’Vera Cohn // Without public debate or fanfare, large numbers of Americans enacted their own anti-poverty program in the depths of the Great Recession: They moved in with relatives. This helped fuel the largest increase in the number of Americans living in multi-generational households in modern history. From 2007 to 2009, the total spiked from 46.5 million to 51.4 million. Living in a multi-generational household appears to be a financial lifeline for many. …

 

NEW: Brookings Institution Paper on Housing Choice Vouchers in Suburban America

Just as the suburbanization of poverty has gathered momentum, Americans who use housing choice vouchers (HCV) to help pay for their housing have increasingly moved into suburban areas as well.

The Suburbanization of Housing Choice Voucher Recipients


 

NEW: Center on Budget Policy & Priorities’ Paper on Low Income Housing Assistance

As the House and Senate negotiate a final HUD 2012 budget over the coming weeks, they should place a priority on restoring sufficient funding to ensure that no low-income family will lose rental assistance and that local housing agencies are able to maintain public housing in decent condition.

House & Senate Funding Bills Risk Loss of Rental Assistance for Thousands of Low-Income Families


 

ENVIRONMENT / CLIMATE CHANGE

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE: West Davis Village touts zero net energy living

By John King // Davis -- Sustainable design is often measured by the use of recycled materials and power-saving gadgets. But architecture itself can embody the quest for conservation, as is the case in this university city 80 miles east of San Francisco, where a new 130-acre development aspires to be the nation's largest zero net energy community. The first 23 buildings have just opened, so it's too early to say whether the enclave will consume no more energy than is generated by the on-site solar panels. …

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COMMUNITY AFFAIRS NEWS

COMMUNITY AFFAIRS NEWS

Acting Comptroller Reports on the Dodd-Frank Act
Acting Comptroller of the Currency John Walsh testified July 27, 2011, on the OCC’s implementation of the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act before the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.

Acting Comptroller Highlights Minority-Owned Depository Institutions
Acting Comptroller Walsh discussed the challenges and opportunities facing minority-owned depository institutions on June 15, 2011, at the Interagency Minority-Owned Depository Institutions Conference in New York. View his remarks.

Acting Comptroller Testifies on Bank Capital and Liquidity Requirements
Acting Comptroller Walsh testified June 16, 2011, on efforts under way to revise bank capital and liquidity requirements before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services.

Acting Comptroller Discusses Housing and Foreclosures
Acting Comptroller Walsh discussed housing and foreclosures during a panel discussion September 23, 2011, at the Institute of International Finance in Washington, D.C. View his remarks.

Acting Comptroller Walsh also discussed foreclosure and mortgage servicing during a keynote address at the two-day American Banker Regulatory Symposium in Washington, D.C., on September 19, 2011.

Upcoming Events
For a listing of OCC events, visit the OCC’s Web site.

OCC Issues Proposed Guidance on Deposit-Related Consumer Credit Products
The OCC on June 8, 2011, sought comments on proposed supervisory guidance on deposit-related consumer credit products. View the news release.

Chief Counsel Testifies on Mortgage Servicing and Foreclosure Practices
First Senior Deputy Comptroller and Chief Counsel Julie L. Williams testified July 7, 2011, on recent enforcement actions and initiatives before the Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit and the Oversight and Investigations subcommittees of the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services.

Deputy Comptroller Testifies on Consumer Credit
Deputy Comptroller for Community Affairs Barry Wides testified September 22, 2011, on consumer credit before the Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit of the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services.

Senior Deputy Comptroller Testifies on Use of Credit Ratings
Senior Deputy Comptroller for Bank Supervision Policy and Chief National Bank Examiner David K. Wilson testified July 27, 2011, on the agency’s progress implementing parts of the Dodd–Frank Act relating to the use of credit ratings before the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations of the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services.

Newsletters Focus on Solar Energy, Small Business, and Charter School Financing
The OCC published on July 6, 2011, an online newsletter that provides a guide for national banks seeking to invest in solar energy projects under the national bank public welfare investment authority; an online newsletter on June 30, 2011, that provides a guide for national banks seeking to expand their small business lending; and an online newsletter on June 3, 2011, that provides an in-depth look at bank financing for charter schools.

OCC Issues Consumer Advisory on Using ATMs and Payment Processing Machines
The OCC on June 1, 2011, issued a consumer advisory on using automated teller machines (ATMs) and other payment processing machines. View the Consumer Advisory.

 

ENFORCEMENT

Copies of final actions are available for download by viewing the searchable database.

OCC Enforcement Actions

  • News Release 2011-122 announces 17 enforcement actions and the termination of three existing enforcement actions taken against national banks and individuals currently and formerly affiliated with national banks (Ariz., Ark., Fla., Ill., Mo., N.Y., Texas, and Va.).
  • News Release 2011-109 announces 15 enforcement actions and the termination of two existing enforcement actions taken against national banks and individuals currently and formerly affiliated with national banks (Ala., Ariz., Fla., Ill., Minn., Mont., N.C., Ohio, S.C., Texas, and W.Va.).
  • News Release 2011-94 announces seven enforcement actions and the termination of four existing enforcement actions taken against national banks and individuals currently and formerly affiliated with national banks (Calif., Fla., Minn., Ohio, Tenn., Texas, and Wis.).
  • News Release 2011-76 announces 18 enforcement actions and the termination of eight existing enforcement actions taken against national banks and individuals currently and formerly affiliated with national banks (Ark., Ariz., Calif., Fla., Ga., Iowa, Ill., Kan., La., Minn., N.C., Neb., Ohio, Texas, and Va.).

SUPERVISION

Interpretations and Actions, June–September 2011

View September Interpretations and Precedents.

View August Interpretations and Precedents.

View July Interpretations and Precedents.

View June Interpretations and Precedents.

Community Reinvestment Act Examinations

The OCC’s Web site provides access to a searchable list of all public Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) evaluations. View the third quarter 2011 CRA examination schedule.

  • CRA Evaluations for 18 national banks (Ala., Fla., Ill., Kan., Ohio, Okla., Pa., Texas, Va., and Wis.)
  • CRA Evaluations for 50 national banks (Alaska, Ariz., Ark., Colo., Fla., Hawaii, Ill., Ind., Iowa, Kan., Mass., Minn., N.D., Neb., N.Y., Ohio, Okla., Pa., S.C., S.D., Texas, Va., Vt., and Wash.)

Upcoming CRA Examinations
The OCC’s Web site also shows the fourth quarter 2011 CRA evaluation schedule.

OCC Issues Final Rule to Implement Dodd–Frank Act Provisions
The OCC issued a final rule July 20, 2011, which included changes to facilitate the transfer of functions from the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS) and revisions to the OCC’s rules on preemption and visitorial powers. View the news release.

Senior Deputy Comptroller Testifies on the Supervision of Insured Depository Institutions
Senior Deputy Comptroller for Midsize and Community Bank Supervision Jennifer Kelly testified July 8, 2011, on the OCC’s supervisory approach to assessing loan quality and performance and other matters before the Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit of the House Committee on Financial Services.

Deputy Comptroller Testifies on Community Bank Supervision
Deputy Comptroller of the Southern District Gil Barker testified August 16, 2011, on the OCC’s supervision of community banks before the Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit of the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services.

Mortgage Metrics Reports Show Delinquencies
The OCC Mortgage Report for the second quarter 2011 issued September 29, 2011, showed the performance of first-lien mortgages serviced by large national banks and federal savings associations declined slightly. View the news release.

The report for the first quarter 2011 showed an improvement.

Agencies Adopt a Final Rule to Establish a Risk-Based Capital Floor
The federal bank regulatory agencies adopted a final rule June 14, 2011, that establishes a floor for the risk-based capital requirements applicable to the largest, internationally active banking organizations. View the joint release.

Deputy Comptroller Testifies on Risk Management
Deputy Comptroller for Credit and Market Risk David K. Wilson testified June 15, 2011, on lessons learned from the economic challenges of 2008 and 2009 before the Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Protection of the U.S. Senate’s Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.

OCC Issues Guidance to Banks Regarding Foreclosure Practices
The OCC on June 30, 2011, clarified expectations for the oversight and management of mortgage foreclosure activities by national banks. View the news release.

Acting Comptroller Testifies on Regulatory Opportunities and Risk
In a June 21, 2011, speech before the Centre for the Study of Financial Innovation in London, Acting Comptroller Walsh discussed the changes to regulatory and supervisory standards taking place.

OCC Names Deputy Comptrollers for Capital and Regulatory Policy and Credit and Market Risk
Charles Taylor was named Deputy Comptroller for Capital and Regulatory Policy on August 9, 2011. View the news release.

Darrin Benhart was named Deputy Comptroller for Credit and Market Risk on August 1, 2011. View the news release.

Agencies Seek Comment on Stress Testing Guidance
The Federal Reserve Board, the OCC, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation are seeking comment on proposed supervisory guidance regarding stress-testing practices at banking organizations with total consolidated assets of more than $10 billion. View the joint release.

Agencies Release Distressed or Underserved Nonmetropolitan Middle-Income Geographies
The federal bank and thrift regulatory agencies announced June 1, 2011, the availability of the 2011 list of distressed or underserved nonmetropolitan middle-income geographies where revitalization or stabilization activities will receive CRA consideration as “community development.” View the joint release.

Agencies Issue Guidance on Counterparty Risk Management
The federal bank regulatory agencies issued guidance July 5, 2011, to help ensure banking organizations practice effective counterparty credit risk management. View the joint release.

OCC Issues Guidance on Prepaid Access
The OCC issued guidance on prepaid access programs to national banks June 29, 2011. View the news release.

OCC Survey Shows Signs of Easing in Banks’ Underwriting Standards
The OCC released its 17th annual Survey of Credit Underwriting Practices June 22, 2011. The survey showed some signs of easing, especially in commercial products.

Credit Quality of Large Loan Commitments Improves for Second Consecutive Year
The credit quality of large loan commitments owned by U.S. banking organizations, foreign banking organizations (FBOs), and nonbanks improved, according to the Shared National Credits (SNC) Review for 2011. View the joint release.
 

ISSUANCES

OCC Consumer Advisories
Avoiding ‘Card Skimming’ at ATMs and Other Money Machines,” June 1, 2011.

OCC Bulletins
OCC 2011-39
: “Fair Credit Reporting and Equal Credit Opportunity Acts–Risk-Based Pricing Notices” September 22, 2011.

OCC 2011-37: “Bank and Federal Savings Association Supervision Operation,” September 9, 2011.

OCC 2011-36: “Annual Dollar Trigger for Certain Home Mortgage Loans,” September 7, 2011.

OCC 2011-35: “Dodd-Frank Act Implementation: OTS Integration,” August 1, 2011.

OCC 2011-33: “OTS Integration Pursuant to the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act: Interim Final Rule,” July 28, 2011.

OCC 2011-32: “Permanent Floor for the Advanced Approaches Risk-Based Capital Rule,” July 8, 2011.

OCC 2011-30: “Counterparty Credit Risk Management,” July 6, 2011.

OCC 2011-29: “Foreclosure Management: Supervisory Guidance,” June 30, 2011.

OCC 2011-28: “Community Reinvestment Act: Median Family Income Data,” June 29, 2011.

OCC 2011-27: “Prepaid Access Programs: Risk Management Guidance and Sound Practices,” June 28, 2011.

OCC 2011-26: “Authentication in an Internet Banking Environment: Supplement,” June 28, 2011.

OCC 2011-25: “Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act–Regulations CC and Q,” June 24, 2011.

OCC 2011-24: “Request for Comment on Proposed Interagency Stress Testing Guidance,”June 15, 2011.

OCC 2011-23: “Deposit-Related Consumer Credit Deposits,”June 8, 2011.

OCC 2011-22: “CRA: List of Distressed or Underserved Nonmetropolitan Middle-Income Geographies,”June 8, 2011.

OCC 2011-21: “Interagency Guidance on the Advanced Measurement Approaches for Operational Risk,” June 3, 2011.

OCC 2011-20: “Dodd–Frank Act Implementation: OTS Integration,”June 1, 2011.

Publications and Reports

OCC Mortgage Metrics Report, Second Quarter 2011, September 2011.

OCC and OTS Mortgage Metrics Report, First Quarter 2011, June 2011.

Financial Literacy Update

Community Developments Investments:


Congress created the OCC to charter national banks, to oversee a nationwide system of banking institutions, and to assure that national banks are safe and sound, competitive and profitable, and capable of serving in the best possible manner the banking needs of their customers.

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October 05, 2011

Integrating Health Impacts Assessments and Local Land Use Decision Making


Integrating Health Impacts Assessments and Local Land Use Decision Making

by Patty Salkin

Health impact assessments (HIAs) outside of the United States have long been used to hone in on the public health impacts of certain government decision making. While health impacts have been considered to a lesser degree through environmental impact review (EIR) in the United States, recent findings suggest that HIAs can be very helpful in analyzing proposed development and redevelopment projects. This article briefly reviews the history of the HIA movement, examines the differences between HIA and EIR, and provides those involved with the land use planning and regulation examples of how to best integrate HIAs into the land use decision making process. The article can be accessed at: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1937412
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September 30, 2011

TODAY'S NEWS

September 30, 2011

 

TODAY'S NEWS

AFFORDABLE HOUSING

KEYT: Colonial House property to become affordale housing

An affordable housing project will be built on the site of a former landmark. Oxnard City Council members voted three to two in favor of an affordable housing project that would be built on the same site where the late developer Bud Smith opened the Colonial House Restaurant back in 1941.

VENTURA COUNTY STAR: Camarillo moves forward with plans for Springville development
By Marjorie Hernandez // The Camarillo City Council on Wednesday voted to move forward with a housing development plan that would bring more affordable units to the future Springville project. The Ventura County Housing Trust Fund also plans to request Proposition 1C funds for affordable housing projects throughout the county. The trust fund has already received funding commitments from the cities of Ventura, Moorpark, Thousand Oaks, Santa Paula and the county totaling to $950,000.

HOUSING DEVELOPMENT

SAN FRANCISCO BUSINESS TIMES: Lafayette sees boom in downtown housing

By Blanca Torres // In Lafayette, the small city in the center of Contra Costa County, a building boom of apartments and condos is in the works. Developers have proposed adding 677 housing units in eight projects.

 

LAND USE / PLANNING / REGULATION

THE REPORTER: Vacaville officials, residents discuss city's general plan

By Melissa Murphy // It's unclear what Vacaville will look like in the next 20 years, but leaders are trying to predict future growth in the city to develop an update to its general plan. The existing general plan is more than two decades old and Vacaville needs a new blueprint for its future.

 

HOUSING MARKETS / REAL ESTATE

SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA TODAY: Mortgage applications increased 9.3% last week

By Stephanie Brown // Mortgage applications increased 9.3 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending September 23, 2011.

 

  

LOANSAFE.ORG: Apartment rents climb as house market stagnates

By Alex Ferreras // Average apartment rents climbed to the highest level since 2006 in North San Diego County, and the highest in two years in the Inland Empire, two rent-tracking firms said this week.

 

MORTGAGE & FORECLOSURE ISSUES

ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Foreclosure bubble could last 5 more years

By Jeff Collins // It will take three to five years for the California housing market to clear its backlog of defaulting homes that continue to be a drag on housing prices, the chief economist of the California Association of Realtors has said during a recent conference call. "It depends on the area, but I would say three to five years," CAR economist Leslie Appleton-Young said.

 

LODI NEWS SENTINEL: Mortgage help at downtown Lodi Farmers Market

By Maggie Creamer // Residents struggling to pay their mortgage will be able to talk with representatives from a statewide program who will be at the Downtown Lodi Farmers Market tonight. Steve Gallagher, a representative from the Keep Your Home California program, will be available to answer questions at The Nines Team Realty booth located on Pine Street in front of Tillie’s Coffee, Tea, Etc.The state program is focused on helping low and moderate income residents who are unemployed or facing financial hardships, and have fallen behind on their mortgages and owe significantly more than the value of their homes.

 

HOMELESSNESS

BURBANK LEADER: Agency seeks money to house Burbank homeless

Ascencia, an organization based in Glendale that assists the homeless, could bring a program to Burbank for 20 housing units for homeless adults and families, its executive director said. The nonprofit, formerly known as PATH Achieve before striking out on its own, recently applied for about $84,450 to subsidize housing for 15 chronically homeless adults and five homeless families in Burbank, said Executive Director Natalie Profant Komuro.

 

ECONOMY / EMPLOYMENT

PEW HISPANIC CENTER: The Toll of the Great Recession

By Mark Hugo Lopez & Gabriel Velasco // The spread of poverty across the United States that began at the onset of the Great Recession of 2007-2009 and accelerated last year hit one fast-growing demographic group especially hard: Latino children. …Prior to the Great Recession, more white children lived in poverty than Hispanic children. However, since 2007, that pattern has reversed.

Full Report: Toll of the Great Recession (Sept. 2011)

 

TRANSPORTATION

PASADENA STAR-NEWS: L.A.-area commute times are bad, but not the worst

By Cynthia Kurtz // If you are sitting in traffic, it probably doesn't matter to you where your region ranks in congestion. Certainly, the reputation of L.A. is that there is no place worse to drive. The data says that image isn't deserved, however. The Los Angeles metropolitan area doesn't have the worst traffic in the country. We aren't even in the top five ... or the top 10. According to the American Communities Survey released last week by the U.S. Census, we rank 17th in the nation with an average 28.1-minute commute each way.

Commuting in the United States, 2009 / American Community Survey (US Census)

 

TEXAS TRANSPORTATION INSTITUTE: Traffic problems tied to the economy, study says

[Press Release: 9/27/11] // While traffic problems have stagnated along with the economy, an annual study suggests that too little progress is being made toward ensuring that the nation’s transportation system will be able to keep up with job growth when the economy does return. …The economic recession has only provided a temporary respite from the growing congestion problem. When the economic growth returns, the average commuter is estimated to see an additional 3 hours of delay by 2015 and 7 hours by 2020. By 2015, the cost of gridlock will rise from $101 billion to $133 billion

Urban Mobility Report, 2011

 

REDEVELOPMENT / INFILL / REVITALIZATION

SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE: Redevelopment critical to affordable housing

By Tony Young & Jerry Groomes // The Legislature’s recent decision to dissolve local redevelopment agencies throughout the state is currently being considered by the California Supreme Court, leaving local governments in limbo as we wait to learn the fate of the program. Critics claim that redevelopment agencies are not serving as the engines of local economic and job growth that they were intended to be, and that their funds could be better utilized for local services. However, in many low-income communities throughout San Diego, redevelopment is successfully forming public/private partnerships …

 

ENVIRONMENT / CLIMATE CHANGE

CARE2: Habitat for Humanity: Building good green homes

By Ronnie Citron-Fink // Habitat for Humanity is addressing a global housing crisis one home at a time. According to the non-profit, Habitat for Humanity: “About 1.6 billion people live in substandard housing and 100 million are homeless, according to the United Nations.” In the United States, one third of the nation – about 95 million people have housing problems.



 

GOVERNMENT SITES:

California Dept. of Finance – Governor’s Budget

http://www.dof.ca.gov/Budget/Historical_Documents.asp

 

California Dept. of Housing & Community Development - Press Releases

http://www.hcd.ca.gov/news/release/

 

California Dept. of Housing & Community Development – Housing Policy Development Bibliographies

http://www.hcd.ca.gov/hpd/biblio.html

 

California Dept. of Housing & Community Development – HCD Web News

http://www.hcd.ca.gov/hpd/news/index.html

 

California Housing Financing Agency

http://www.calhfa.ca.gov/

 

California Tax Credit Allocation Committee

http://www.treasurer.ca.gov/ctcac/

 

California Debt Limit Allocation Committee

http://www.treasurer.ca.gov/cdlac/

 

HUD Newsroom

http://www.hud.gov/news/

 

Fannie Mae Foundation- KnowledgePlex

http://www.knowledgeplex.org/

 

Federal Register, Table of Contents

http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs/fedreg/frcont10.html

 

U.S. Census Bureau

http://www.census.gov/main/

 

California Supreme Court Decisions / California Courts of Appeal Decisions (last 100 days are posted in full text)

http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/opinions/

 

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 2011, 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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September 28, 2011

TODAY'S NEWS

September 28, 2011

TODAY'S NEWS

AFFORDABLE HOUSING

VENTURA COUNTY STAR: Oxnard approves bonds for affordable apartments
By Gretchen Wenner // On a 3-2 vote, the Oxnard City Council on Tuesday night approved tax-exempt bonds for an affordable housing project on property previously involved in a controversial land deal. Up to $11 million in bonds will be issued through a state housing program for the Colonial House Apartments, which will put 43 rental units on about 2 acres in the 700 block of North Oxnard Boulevard. The city won't issue the bonds or have any financial liability, but had to conduct a required public hearing.



HOUSING DEVELOPMENT

ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Apartments push O.C. homebuilding up 74%

By Jeff Collins // Homebuilders have received permits to build 3,901 housing units in Orange County this year so far, up 73.7% from the same period in 2010, Construction Industry Research Board figures show. In dollar terms, the estimated value of proposed homebuilding this year totaled $694 million through August, a 38.3% jump from 2010 levels for that period.

 

MORTGAGE & FORECLOSURE ISSUES

DESERT: Distress moves, foreclosures fall for fifth month

By Mike Perrault // Mortgage default notices, bank repossessions and foreclosure auctions fell 16.3 percent in August compared to the same month a year ago across the Coachella Valley, marking the fifth consecutive month with significant declines.

 

HOMELESSNESS

Without enough help, homeless lie in the cold

By Vanderburgh Johnstone // A night on the town is not a fun experience for someone who is disabled and looking for a place to sleep. Homelessness is a major problem in America that has been largely ignored for many years. Many Cal State Fullerton students have noticed the homeless problem in their everyday lives. “I know when I was coming to school today I saw a homeless guy sitting on the street with a sign asking for money,” said Ron Ortiz, an advertising major at CSUF. “He had lost his job and had three kids to feed. I felt pretty bad for him.”

 

REDEVELOPMENT / INFILL / REVITALIZATION

SANTA CRUZ SENTINEL: Santa Cruz County supervisors approve $51 million 'ransom'

By Jason Hoppin // The county agreed Tuesday to spend $51 million over the next 16 years to keep its redevelopment agency open, becoming the latest among California's local governments to pay what some have called a "ransom" demanded by the state as part of a package of redevelopment reforms. The unanimous Board of Supervisors vote keeps the agency's doors open, even though most of its employees have already departed. The county hopes Tuesday's vote not only ensures that existing projects such as a planned $44 million sheriff's center gets built, but also that redevelopment continues to help build affordable housing.

 

PRESS ENTERPRISE: City will pay to keep redevelopment alive

By Jeff Horseman // A frustrated Temecula City Council on Tuesday evening agreed to pay the state government nearly $5 million to keep their city's Redevelopment Agency alive. "Redevelopment has played a major, major role" in Temecula's development, said Councilman Jeff Comerchero. "I'm going to support paying this extortion. But that's exactly what it is."

 

PRESS DEMOCRAT: Sonoma County fast-tracks redevelopment projects

By Brett Wilkison // The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors took further action Tuesday to protect redevelopment funding, approving projects worth more than $3.1 million in the county's three designated zones. The action, which board members acknowledged they fast-tracked, was intended to beat an Oct. 1 state deadline expected to make subsequent contracts more expensive. After that date, as part of budget legislation approved earlier this year, the county would have to tack on a sum equal to 40 percent of any contract, to be paid to school and transit districts in the same redevelopment area, officials said.

 

PUBLIC CEO: Split decision may end redevelopment

By Josh Rosa  // Redevelopment has taken a serious beating over the last several years, but it appears the knockout punch may be accidental. In June, the Legislature enacted two measures, AB X1 26 and AB X1 27, as part of a solution to the state's gaping budget deficit. The first measure eliminates redevelopment in California. The second measure creates a way to reinstate redevelopment agencies by agreeing to make "voluntary" payments to school districts and local governments.

 

 

 

GOVERNMENT SITES:

California Dept. of Finance – Governor’s Budget

http://www.dof.ca.gov/Budget/Historical_Documents.asp

 

California Dept. of Housing & Community Development - Press Releases

http://www.hcd.ca.gov/news/release/

 

California Dept. of Housing & Community Development – Housing Policy Development Bibliographies

http://www.hcd.ca.gov/hpd/biblio.html

 

California Dept. of Housing & Community Development – HCD Web News

http://www.hcd.ca.gov/hpd/news/index.html

 

California Housing Financing Agency

http://www.calhfa.ca.gov/

 

California Tax Credit Allocation Committee

http://www.treasurer.ca.gov/ctcac/

 

California Debt Limit Allocation Committee

http://www.treasurer.ca.gov/cdlac/

 

HUD Newsroom

http://www.hud.gov/news/

 

Fannie Mae Foundation- KnowledgePlex

http://www.knowledgeplex.org/

 

Federal Register, Table of Contents

http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs/fedreg/frcont10.html

 

U.S. Census Bureau

http://www.census.gov/main/

 

California Supreme Court Decisions / California Courts of Appeal Decisions (last 100 days are posted in full text)

http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/opinions/

 

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 2011, 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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September 26, 2011

TODAY'S NEWS

September 26, 2011

TODAY'S NEWS

AFFORDABLE HOUSING

GLENDALE NEWS-PRESS: Council may ditch affordable housing for park

By Brittany Levine // City officials this week tabled plans to use 1.5 acres in Northwest Glendale for affordable housing, choosing instead to explore turning the land into a park. During a meeting Tuesday, City Council members, acting in their dual role as the Housing Authority, said the parcel at Sonora Avenue and Fifth Street would be a prime location for a park. … “There are just so many multifamily units in this neighborhood that it calls out for green space,” said Councilman Frank Quintero, adding that he’d be open to building an affordable housing unit in another area of the city.

 

THE DESERT SUN: Developer puts Dream Homes affordable housing project, Cimarron Heights, on hold in Cathedral City

CATHEDRAL CITY — An affordable housing project for the Dream Homes neighborhood has been put on hold, despite being considered for a funding boost by Riverside County supervisors and the Economic Development Agency. The plans for Cimarron Heights, consisting of 84 apartments, were shelved by the developer until the ongoing battle over redevelopment funds between the state and California cities is resolved, Cathedral City leaders said. …

 

LAND USE / PLANNING / REGULATION

STOCKTON RECORD: In-fill proposal looks to give Stockton a greener image

By Zachary K. Johnson // STOCKTON - With the right kind of development, downtown Stockton could become the kind of place where people live in apartments or condominiums, commute by train to Silicon Valley jobs before returning home, where they can bike or walk to do their shopping or run other errands. It could be the kind of place where residents don't need to own a car, said planning consultant David Early. "That's the kind of vision you might start to see in downtown Stockton over time," Early said at a planning workshop…

 

SAN BENITO PINNACLE: County growth laws facing likely demise

By Adam Breen [9/23/11] // Supervisors are set to consider rescinding rules limiting new development -- A decade-old growth management ordinance designed to slow population growth in what was then one of the fastest-growing counties in California could be rescinded as soon as next week by the San Benito County Board of Supervisors. … Since its adoption as an urgency ordinance in October 2000, the Growth Management Ordinance (GMO), which limits the approval of new lots from subdivisions, has been amended several times.

 

MONTEREY COUNTY HERALD: Marina rent-control measure wins approval

By Larry Parsons // By a bare majority late Tuesday, the Marina City Council gave a long-sought victory to activists seeking rent control in the city's five mobile home parks. A majority made up of Mayor Bruce Delgado and Councilmen Frank O'Connell and David Brown voted to give a preliminary OK to the "Mobile Home Rental Stabilization Ordinance" after a two-hour hearing. … Mobile home residents offered divided testimony in earlier hearings. Many argued that mobile home owners, many of them seniors and others living on fixed incomes, are at the mercy of park owners. Others contend the measure would only affect about 100 of the 399 spaces in Marina mobile home parks because the majority of residents now have separate leases setting rental rates.

 

HOUSING MARKETS / REAL ESTATE

LOS ANGELES DAILY NEWS: New-home sales fell in August for 4th straight month

By Derek Kravitz // WASHINGTON -- Sales of new homes fell to a six-month low in August. The fourth straight monthly decline during the peak buying season suggests the housing market is years away from a recovery.  The Commerce Department said Monday that new-home sales fell 2.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 295,000. That's less than half the roughly 700,000 that economists say must be sold to sustain a healthy housing market. New-homes sales are on pace for the worst year since the government began keeping records a half century ago. …

 

MORTGAGE & FORECLOSURE ISSUES

SACRAMENTO BEE: New wave of foreclosures due to hit Sacramento area

By Rick Daysog // A monster wave of new foreclosures threatens to engulf Sacramento's already battered real estate market as major banks move to slash their backlog of delinquent loans. Nearly one out of every seven mortgages in the Sacramento region is somewhere in the foreclosure pipeline, a grim reality that could hold back any near-term recovery in the local housing market, according to a Bee analysis of local foreclosure data. …

 

SANTA CRUZ SENTINEL: Keep Your Home California: 40 Santa Cruz County homeowners get help

By Jondi Gumz [9/25/22] // SANTA CRUZ -- Keep Your Home California, a state program started in January to help borrowers struggling with payments, has helped 7,000 homeowners avoid foreclosure including 40 in Santa Cruz County. Plenty more are in trouble. In Santa Cruz County, nearly 1,000 homeowners have received a default notice this year for falling behind on payments, according to the Santa Cruz Record. Keep Your Home California is free and run by the California Housing Finance Agency …

 

LOS ANGELES TIMES: Federal agencies' 20% down payment plan faces political hurdles

By Kenneth R. Harney // Remember the proposed requirement from six federal agencies that home buyers make minimum 20% down payments if they want the lowest interest rates? … Half a year has passed since all that bubbled up, so here's an update on the issue: The 20% proposal is still alive, but it's temporarily bogged down in agency reviews of the roughly 12,000 comments filed by interest groups and individuals. Almost certainly it will not be ready for final adoption until the first quarter of 2012.

 

LOS ANGELES TIMES: Kamala Harris a key player in settlement over mortgage crisis

By Nathaniel Popper & Alejandro Lazo // Reporting from New York & Los Angeles— California Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris has emerged as a key player in pursuing a nationwide settlement with major U.S. banks accused of wrongful foreclosures and is facing increased pressure from consumer groups seeking help for homeowners devastated by the mortgage crisis. Harris, who was in closed-door talks with banks Friday, has been negotiating with the five largest mortgage servicers for months …

 

FAIR HOUSING / PREDATORY LENDING

HUFFINGTON POST: Mortgage Relief Scams Proliferate After Recession

By Janell Ross // In fact, state and federal regulators say that some of the same people who sold risky, even predatory loans to consumers have moved on to the business of for-profit loan modifications. … “I think it is fair to say that there has been a real proliferation (of scams) within the last couple of years,” said Reilly Dolan, the assistant director for the FTC’s financial practices division. The FTC has created a pair of consumer advisories for people facing mortgage difficulties or other debt problems. Several sources also suggested that consumers are often better off attempting to directly negotiate a mortgage modification or other debt settlements with lenders. Those who need help should work with a HUD-certified counselor or a nonprofit debt counseling agency, Dolan said.

 

HOMELESSNESS

HEALTHY CAL.ORG: Homeless for Years, Older Women in Los Angeles find a good home

By Jessica Portner // On Skid Row, the downtown hub of the homeless population in Los Angeles, transients ask passersby for change, slump against concrete buildings, and mumble obscenities at bus stops. The Downtown Women’s Center’s beautiful new building, sitting in the middle of the mayhem, is a standout. The DWC’s Day Center serves hundreds of homeless women in its facilities every day and 71 lucky ones live in permanent residences, or efficiency apartments….

 

ECONOMY / EMPLOYMENT

CENTRAL VALLEY BUSINESS TIMES: Economy is top problem in central San Joaquin Valley says survey

Central San Joaquin Valley residents believe the economy – and particularly the lack of available jobs – is the most pressing problem affecting quality of life in the region today, according to a new survey conducted by California State University, Fresno. Residents of Fresno, Kings, Madera and Tulare counties responding to a “Quality of Life” telephone survey reported they are much less satisfied with their current financial situation than a year ago and they are less confident of the ability of government at all levels to solve problems. …

 

NEW YORK TIMES: Slump Alters Jobless Map in U.S., With South Hit Hard

By Michael Cooper // When the unemployment rate rose in most states last month, it underscored the extent to which the deep recession, the anemic recovery and the lingering crisis of joblessness are beginning to reshape the nation’s economic map. … Now, with the concentration of the highest unemployment rates in the South and the West, some economists and researchers wonder if it is an anomaly of the uneven recovery or a harbinger of things to come.

 

TRANSPORTATION

SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE: More rail service could spring from new agency

By Robert J. Hawkins // A plan is in the works that could lead to a significant expansion of rail service between San Diego and Los Angeles. Regional transportation agencies are considering joining forces for a super authority that would oversee 351 miles of coastal rail between San Diego and San Luis Obisbo. Among the many changes forged by that authority could be as many as 27 additional daily train trips …

 

PRESERVATION / CONSERVATION

GRASS VALLEY UNION: Conservation groups celebrate the purchase of Sierra Buttes for public ownership

By Laura Brown // A favorite run of hardcore mountain bicyclists and a spectacular backdrop for hundreds of thousands of hikers, campers and cross country skiers, the Sierra Buttes and surrounding landscape will remain open to the public and protected from development for years to come thanks to a series of land acquisitions totaling nearly $7 million. … Protecting the raw beauty of the chiseled peaks, helps guarantee economic security for the isolated communities of Sierra County that are heavily dependent on tourist traffic and dollars. The Sierra Buttes and Lakes Basin are the largest tourist draws for the county.

 

NATIONAL HOUSING NEWS

HUD.GOV: HUD's New Edition of Evidence Matters, A Quarterly Publication on Research-Based Policy, Focuses on Sustainability

[Press Release: 9/23/11] // WASHINGTON – The summer edition of Evidence Matters, HUD's quarterly publication that informs the public on issues related to housing and community development, is available today. This issue focuses on strengthening the evidence behind sustainability, a concept that while embraced by many businesses, government and families, still faces some skeptics. … Reducing home energy consumption, which accounts for 22 percent of U.S. energy consumption, is key. The magazine’s lead article, Quantifying Energy Efficiency in Multifamily Rental Housing, focuses on the sluggish pace of energy-efficiency improvements in the multifamily rental housing sector, an issue that continues to vex advocates of sustainability.

EVIDENCE MATTERS: SUMMER 2011


 

GOVERNMENT SITES:

California Dept. of Finance – Governor’s Budget

http://www.dof.ca.gov/Budget/Historical_Documents.asp

 

California Dept. of Housing & Community Development - Press Releases

http://www.hcd.ca.gov/news/release/

 

California Dept. of Housing & Community Development – Housing Policy Development Bibliographies

http://www.hcd.ca.gov/hpd/biblio.html

 

California Dept. of Housing & Community Development – HCD Web News

http://www.hcd.ca.gov/hpd/news/index.html

 

California Housing Financing Agency

http://www.calhfa.ca.gov/

 

California Tax Credit Allocation Committee

http://www.treasurer.ca.gov/ctcac/

 

California Debt Limit Allocation Committee

http://www.treasurer.ca.gov/cdlac/

 

HUD Newsroom

http://www.hud.gov/news/

 

Fannie Mae Foundation- KnowledgePlex

http://www.knowledgeplex.org/

 

Federal Register, Table of Contents

http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs/fedreg/frcont11.html

 

U.S. Census Bureau

http://www.census.gov/main/

 

California Supreme Court Decisions / California Courts of Appeal Decisions (last 120 days are posted in full text)

http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/opinions/

 

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 2011, 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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September 21, 2011

TODAY'S NEWS

 

September 21, 2011

TODAY'S NEWS

AFFORDABLE HOUSING

SAN FRANCISCO APPEAL: Showdown over marina district affordable housing brews

A drive down Lombard Street in the Marina District reveals plenty places to live on a limited basis: hotels and motels (the Holiday Inn is further up US Highway 101 on Van Ness Avenue) proliferate, and there's even some city-subsidized housing for poor folks, such as the infamous Bridge Motel. Still lacking in the Marina, however, is affordable housing, and in particular city-subsidized affordable housing for at-risk populations, the kind for which the Tenderloin is well-known.

 

SACRAMENTO BEE: Affordable seniors housing effort wins $5.6 million boost in Elk Grove

By Loretta Kalb // The Elk Grove City Council has given its blessing to $5.6 million in gap financing to USA Properties Fund Inc. to build Phase II of Vintage at Laguna, affordable rentals for people 55 and older and on limited income.

 

HOUSING DEVELOPMENT

LOS ANGELES TIMES: August home building fell 5%, slide continues

(AP) 9/20/11 // Builders broke ground on fewer homes in August, evidence that the housing market remains depressed. The Commerce Department said Tuesday that builders began work on a seasonally adjusted 571,000 homes last month, a 5 percent decline from July and a three-month low. That's less than half the 1.2 million that economists say is consistent with healthy housing markets. Single-family homes, which represent roughly two-thirds of home construction, fell 1.4 percent. Apartment building plunged 12.4 percent.

 

LAND USE / PLANNING / REGULATION

SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS: Downtown plans in Lafayette, Orinda spark debate about future

By Jonathan Morales [9/20/11] // The small, wealthy cities in the hills between Oakland and Walnut Creek are looking to the future of their downtowns, and some residents don't like what they see. All cities plan ahead, but in Lafayette and Orinda -- where growth has been slow by design and semirural values are sacrosanct -- a debate has risen between those who welcome new ideas and others who worry changes could ruin everything they cherish about their communities: peace and quiet, views of the hills and small-town charm.

 

HOUSING MARKETS / REAL ESTATE

CNN MONEY: The Newest Threat to Home Prices

By Janice Revell // FORTUNE -- The rancorous debate about how to address our escalating national debt has dominated the conversation in Washington lately. What isn't getting much attention inside the Beltway -- but should -- is a looming event that could have major consequences not only for your home's value but also for the overall economic recovery. Barring last-minute action by Congress, upscale housing is about to take another punch to the solar plexus -- just as it's struggling to stabilize. At issue are the limits for so-called conforming mortgage loans that can be bought or guaranteed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Housing Administration

 

MARKET WATCH.COM: C.A.R. Releases Its California Housing Market Forecast for 2012

SAN JOSE, Calif., Sept. 20, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) // California home sales and median price are predicted to improve only slightly in 2012, as the continuation of the tepid economic recovery, uncertainty about the future, and funding challenges for residential mortgages are expected to keep the market moving sideways, with little foreseeable momentum in either direction, according to the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS(R)' (C.A.R.) "2012 California Housing Market Forecast" released today. The forecast for California home sales next year is for a slight 1 percent increase to 496,200 units, following essentially flat sales of 491,100 homes this year…

 

MORTGAGE & FORECLOSURE ISSUES

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE: Home sales jump 7.7 pct. as foreclosures rise

By Derek Kravitz // The number of Americans who bought previously occupied homes rose in August. But sales were driven by an increase in foreclosures, a sign that home prices could fall further next year and slow a housing recovery.



HOMELESSNESS

CHICO ENTERPRISE-RECORD: Agencies gather to put an end to homeless problem

By Mary Weston [9/20/11] // OROVILLE — A consortium of agency representatives gathered in Oroville on Monday to start an effort to end homelessness. Representatives from numerous agencies, nonprofits and faith-based organizations that provide services to people who do not have permanent homes met at the Butte County Veterans Memorial Hall for the first Butte Countywide Summit on Homelessness. The two-hour summit sponsored by the Butte Countywide Continuum of Care kicked off two new efforts to address homelessness

 

SACRAMENTO BEE: Salvation army opens housing complex for Sacramento's homeless families

By Cynthia Hubert // A kitchen stove where she cooks dinner for her family. A bedroom where her daughter keeps a platoon of stuffed bears. A stoop where she can sit and watch children play in the courtyard. Sunny Drummond is basking in the simplicity of it all.



ECONOMY / EMPLOYMENT

REUTERS.COM: Housing starts drop underscores economic woes

By Jason Lange // New construction of homes fell more than expected in August, dragging on economic growth and keeping pressure on President Barack Obama to do more to help the sputtering economy. Housing starts dropped 5 percent, the most since April, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 571,000 units, the Commerce Department said on Tuesday. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast groundbreaking activity would fall to only a 590,000-unit rate in August.

 

LOS ANGELES TIMES: California won't slip back into recession, UCLA study predicts

By Walter Hamilton // The national economy is in "far worse" shape than it was just three months ago, but neither the U.S. nor California is expected to slip back into recession, according to UCLA researchers. … The outlook for inland parts of the state is clouded by the threat of a population decline in those areas, which would exacerbate the slump in housing. Construction employment accounts for about 7% to 9% of all jobs in the Inland Empire and San Joaquin Valley, according to the report. But a combination of economic and demographic factors means the demand for new housing in those areas will remain weak for years.

 

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE: Fed has few tools to fix economy weakened by housing market

By Steve Matthews and John Gittelsohn // U.S. mortgage rates are the lowest in at least four decades, with a 30-year fixed loan available at 4.09 percent. That didn't help Alexis Wolf buy a townhome in Beaverton, Oregon. "Unless you have family help, you're stuck renting," said Wolf, 26, a real estate broker who turned to relatives for a loan because she didn't have the credit and employment history needed to qualify for a mortgage.

 

NATIONAL HOUSING NEWS

U.S. to have tough time in suits against 17 banks over mortgage bonds

Federal regulators allege the banks misled Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac over the safety of the bonds. But analysts say the two mortgage giants should have known that the loans behind the bonds were toxic. Reporting from Washington— The government's latest attempt to hold large banks accountable for helping trigger the Great Recession could fall as flat as earlier efforts to punish Wall Street villains and compensate taxpayers for bailing out the financial industry.

 

 

GOVERNMENT SITES:

California Dept. of Finance – Governor’s Budget

http://www.dof.ca.gov/Budget/Historical_Documents.asp

 

California Dept. of Housing & Community Development - Press Releases

http://www.hcd.ca.gov/news/release/

 

California Dept. of Housing & Community Development – Housing Policy Development Bibliographies

http://www.hcd.ca.gov/hpd/biblio.html

 

California Dept. of Housing & Community Development – HCD Web News

http://www.hcd.ca.gov/hpd/news/index.html

 

California Housing Financing Agency

http://www.calhfa.ca.gov/

 

California Tax Credit Allocation Committee

http://www.treasurer.ca.gov/ctcac/

 

California Debt Limit Allocation Committee

http://www.treasurer.ca.gov/cdlac/

 

HUD Newsroom

http://www.hud.gov/news/

 

Fannie Mae Foundation- KnowledgePlex

http://www.knowledgeplex.org/

 

Federal Register, Table of Contents

http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs/fedreg/frcont10.html

 

U.S. Census Bureau

http://www.census.gov/main/

 

California Supreme Court Decisions / California Courts of Appeal Decisions (last 100 days are posted in full text)

http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/opinions/

 

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.

 

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September 11, 2011

Fed. Dist. Court Upholds Restriction on Size of Commercial Sign Finding No Constitutional Violation for Prohibition of Dog Mural

Fed. Dist. Court Upholds Restriction on Size of Commercial Sign Finding No Constitutional Violation for Prohibition of Dog Mural

A federal district court held that a 960-square-foot mural containing a business’ logo and related images, overlooking a dog park frequented by many of the business’ customers, was a form of sign advertising and commercial speech, and could therefore be regulated by the county’s content-neutral sign ordinances without implicating the First Amendment.

Plaintiff, Kim Houghton, was the owner of a dog grooming and boarding business called Wag More Dogs, located in a light industrial district in Arlington, Virginia. After undertaking substantial renovations to the building where her business was located, plaintiff commissioned a local artist to paint a mural depicting dogs, dog bones, and paw prints, on an exterior wall overlooking Shirlington Dog Park. Plaintiff admitted that one of the purposes of commissioning the 960-square-foot mural was “to create goodwill with the people who frequented the [Shirlington] dog park, many of whom were potential Wag More Dogs customers.” The mural included the Wag More Dogs logo and depictions of “cartoon dogs” that were very similar to cartoon dogs depicted on the Wag More Dogs website.

Shortly after unveiling the mural, plaintiff received word from the Arlington County Zoning Administrator that the mural violated a zoning ordinance on business signage, which could not exceed 60 square feet in total. Because of the violation, the zoning official “put a lock” on plaintiff’s building permit and prevented final building inspection of the renovated facility until the violation was addressed. Plaintiff was given several options: covering the mural with a tarp, altering the mural to display images other than dogs, applying for a special exception permit, adding lettering to make the mural a “public information sign,” or painting over the artwork. Plaintiff opted to cover the artwork with a tarp, and the building permit process was allowed to proceed.

When plaintiff received her temporary certificate of occupancy in September 2010, it contained a provision which stated that the permit was valid “so long as the tarp covering a mural that also meets the definition of a sign” remained in place. Plaintiff opened for business, and the tarp remained over the mural. In December 2010, plaintiff filed a complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief and a motion for preliminary injunction, all alleging that the Arlington County zoning restrictions – as drafted and as applied – violated plaintiff’s First Amendment rights. Defendants filed motions to dismiss for failure to state a claim and for lack of jurisdiction, arguing that plaintiff had not “alleged any plausible constitutional violation.” The court disagreed with defendants as to subject matter jurisdiction, ruling that it did have jurisdiction over the case, but sided with the defendants on all other matters.

In a lengthy decision, the court held that the county zoning regulation was constitutional because it was content neutral, restricted only to commercial speech, and capable of passing the intermediate scrutiny test. The ordinance was deemed to be content-neutral because the regulation was applicable to all commercial signs, regardless of their contents, on the basis of their size. Because the ordinance identified speech for regulation “based upon its general category” of business signs, regardless of the government’s views on any given sign’s content, the court held that the ordinance was “clearly content-neutral” on its face, and that intermediate, rather than strict scrutiny, should be applied. So long as a business complied with the restrictions on the total space devoted to advertising signage – which could not exceed 60-square feet –that business’ signage was allowed. Further, because the plaintiff admitted the purpose of the mural was, at least in part, to “engender goodwill with potential . . . customers,” the court held the mural was purely commercial speech, and subject to lesser forms of scrutiny than individual speech, as established in Central Hudson Gas and Electric Corp. v. Public Service Commission of N.Y., 447 U.S. 557 (1980).

The court further held that the country signage ordinance was not unconstitutionally vague or overbroad, that the “any relationship” test developed by the County Zoning Administrator for determining whether an image was a sign was not unconstitutional, and that the alternatives offered by county officials to the plaintiff were not First Amendment violations. On the vagueness challenge, the court found that the ordinance gave persons of ordinary intelligence sufficient notice about what types of signs were forbidden, and was very similar to other sign ordinances that had been previously challenged and upheld in the Fourth Circuit.

When plaintiff asked the County Zoning Administrator to further define what actions would be necessary to change the sign to an allowable mural, the Administrator responded that a mural could depict anything except images that showed “any relationship” to plaintiff’s business, such as dogs, bones, paw prints, pets, or people walking their dogs. Plaintiff asserted this test was unconstitutionally vague and overbroad. However, the test was not included in the ordinance itself and was an “informal response” offered by the Administrator, not a “binding interpretation of the ordinance,” according to the court. Even if the stated test was included in the ordinance, the court felt that it would still pass a vagueness test, since it drew the distinction between signs that “bear a relationship to” a business, which constitute commercial speech, and those that are unrelated to business, which are noncommercial speech entitled to greater protection.

Finally, plaintiff claimed that the county’s comprehensive sign plan, which requires businesses to apply for a special exemption permit before installing commercial advertisements which fall outside the confines of the existing law, was not an unconstitutional prior restraint on speech because it had adequate standards for reviewing permit applications and an opportunity for judicial review by aggrieved applicants. Further, plaintiff claimed that the county’s proposal to allow the mural to stay if the plaintiff added the phrase “Welcome to Shirlington Park’s Community Canine Area,” effectively making the mural a “public information sign” under county ordinance, was unconstitutionally compelled speech. The court also rejected this claim, because the addition of the phrase was one of several alternatives suggested to the plaintiff, not a requirement that the plaintiff actually engage in the speech if she did not wish to do so.

Rejecting as “implausible” all of plaintiff’s First Amendment claims related to the county signage ordinance, the court granted the county’s motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim. The court further dismissed plaintiff’s complaint with prejudice and denied as moot plaintiff’s motion for preliminary injunction to prevent the county from enforcing the ordinance.

Wag More Dogs v. Artman, 2011 WL 652473 (E.D. Va. 2/10/11)

The Institute for Justice took on the case for Wag More Dogs, and they have posted information, including a copy of the mural and a video here: http://www.ij.org/firstamendment/3595

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August 16, 2011

We are beginning to tally results of the 2010-11 Cost vs. Value Survey

Dear NAR Member,

We are beginning to tally results of the 2010-11 Cost vs. Value Survey and we notice that you started to fill out the questionnaire but never finished. It would greatly increase the value of the Report to you and all NAR members if you took a few minutes now to complete those last few questions.

Remember also that REALTORS® who complete the questionnaire, and who fulfill eligibility requirements, will be entered in a drawing for one of three grand prizes of $500.  (Read the Official Rules.)


To complete the survey you started, go to the location below and re-enter your email address.

http://www.specpan.com/costvalue

(If you prefer, you may copy and paste the URL into your browser window.)

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Stacey A. Moncrieff
Editor in Chief
REALTOR® Magazine
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®

If you have questions, e-mail cost-value@hanley-wood.com.


 

Please do not reply to this email. This mailbox is for distribution only. To ensure you receive our emails, please add NAR@newsletters.realtor.org to your address book now.

Questions or comments? Please send an email to cost-value@hanley-wood.com.

National Association of REALTORS®
MBDBSG
430 N. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611


As a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, you are entitled to receive the most updated information on the programs, products and services offered by the association. However, if you would like to be removed from the NAR email distribution list, please click here.

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August 12, 2011

TODAY'S NEWS

August 12, 2011

TODAY'S NEWS

HOUSING DEVELOPMENT

SACRAMENTO BEE: After bust, Sacramento loses $2 billion in construction wages

By Phillip Reese // At the height of the housing boom in 2006, Sacramento's construction workers earned $6.3 billion. By 2010 that figure had fallen by $2.3 billion, according to new figures from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. To put that loss in perspective, $2.3 billion is enough to pay the wages of every worker living in the city of Folsom, census data show. The wage losses are the result of local housing construction hitting a historical low. Along with the region's state and local government earnings - down $531 million during the last two years - and manufacturing earnings - down $1 billion during the last five years - the lost wages largely explain why the region's economy is stuck.

 

LAND USE / PLANNING / REGULATION

NAPA VALLEY REGISTER: Apartment project a big step in right direction

[Editorial – 8/7/11] // The 2010 census showed us that Napa’s population is more diverse than at any other point in its history. The same cannot be said, however, for its housing stock. According to the most recent census data, single-unit housing and mobile homes made up 81 percent of the county’s housing units. Structures with 10 or more housing units --apartments and condominiums -- represent just 7.5 percent of the county’s housing. The city of Napa is working to change that. With last week’s approval of the 134-unit Alexander Crossing apartment project, the city took another important step toward fulfilling the promises in its 2009 Housing Element

 

HOUSING MARKETS / REAL ESTATE

LOS ANGELES TIMES: Housing affordability up in California with home price decline

By Alejandro Lazo // Housing affordability increased in California in the second quarter as prices dropped from the same period a year earlier, a real estate group said Thursday. Fifty-one percent of California households could afford a single-family home priced at the median, according to the California Assn. of Realtors. That was an increase from 46% during the same period last year, when buyer tax credits fueled the market and pushed up prices. Affordability decreased from the prior quarter, but that was due to seasonal variations that pushed up prices.

 

CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS: Q2 Housing Affordability Index

[Press Release – 8/11/11] // Los Angeles – Housing affordability fell throughout most areas of the state in the second quarter of 2011, primarily due to a seasonal increase in home prices, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) reported today.  … Regionally, housing affordability fell in the higher-priced areas of the state, such as the San Francisco Bay Area and Central Coast, but edged up in lower-priced areas, such as the Central Valley.  At 77 percent, San Bernardino County was the most affordable, while San Mateo County was the least affordable, with only 21 percent of households able to afford the county’s median-priced home.

 

MORTGAGE & FORECLOSURE ISSUES

SACRAMENTO BUSINESS JOURNAL: Foreclosure filings in region drop 10%

By Michael Shaw // Foreclosure filings in July for the four-county Sacramento region fell on a year-over-year basis by about 10 percent, online tracker RealtyTrac said in a report released Thursday. The total number of filings -- which include notices of default, notices that a trustee sale will take place and foreclosure actions by lenders -- was 4,823 for the month, or one in every 178 households. That’s down as the foreclosure process has become more cumbersome for lenders, according to the company.

 

Foreclosure filings drop, as activity on the courthouse steps slows
Foreclosure activity in California slowed again in July, except for a slight increase in “Sold to Third Party” auction sales on the courthouse steps, according to a new report Thursday from ForeclosureRadar, a Discovery Bay-based company that tracks foreclosure activity in California and other Western states daily.

 

ECONOMY / EMPLOYMENT

Stock fears could affect home sales

With the stock market down 11.6% since the turbulence began — and down more than 16% since the market peak — how will all this volatility affect home sales and prices? Some local agents say it could be good, as investors take refuge in local real estate in search for safety.

 

REDEVELOPMENT / INFILL / REVITALIZATION

SANTA CRUZ SENTINEL: Capitola eyes continuing RDA

By Tovin Lapan // CAPITOLA -- With hopes of maintaining affordable housing programs and finishing projects that have already started, the City Council tonight will consider making payments to the state to keep its Redevelopment Agency alive. The state Legislature voted in June to end redevelopment in order to help close a multibillion-dollar budget deficit. A companion bill allows agencies to make a large up-front payment, along with annual fees, to continue operating. "It is the city staff's perspective that we should keep the agency alive," Community Development Director Derek Johnson said.

 

SACRAMENTO BEE: California Supreme Court agrees to review redevelopment overhaul

The California Supreme Court agreed Thursday to review the state's overhaul of redevelopment agencies and blocked their elimination for the time being, leaving a $1.7 billion budget solution in limbo. Cities and redevelopment agencies sued last month to stop a two-bill package that would have eliminated the agencies unless they agreed to pay more to schools and relieve state costs. Gov. Jerry Brown wanted to eliminate redevelopment agencies altogether in his January proposal, but he and lawmakers ultimately agreed on a deal that gives agencies an option to pay and survive.

 

SACRAMENTO BEE: Sacramento county, city put $22 million toward redevelopment agency

By Brad Branan // The county and city of Sacramento have contributed about $22 million to keep their redevelopment agency running another year. To help balance the budget, state lawmakers passed bills in June that dissolved redevelopment agencies across California, but allowed local governments to create voluntary redevelopment agencies. The county Board of Supervisors voted Wednesday to provide $3.5 million for the current fiscal year to the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency.

 

NATIONAL HOUSING NEWS

U.S. looks outside the box to stem housing glut

Federal officials are seeking creative ideas to rent some of the foreclosed homes owned by Fannie Mae and other government entities. With the real estate market continuing to drag down the economy, federal officials are seeking ideas from investors and others about ways to rent some of the nearly 250,000 foreclosed homes owned by government-controlled entities such as Fannie Mae.

 

 

GOVERNMENT SITES:

California Dept. of Finance – Governor’s Budget

http://www.dof.ca.gov/Budget/Historical_Documents.asp

 

California Dept. of Housing & Community Development - Press Releases

http://www.hcd.ca.gov/news/release/

 

California Dept. of Housing & Community Development – Housing Policy Development Bibliographies

http://www.hcd.ca.gov/hpd/biblio.html

 

California Dept. of Housing & Community Development – HCD Web News

http://www.hcd.ca.gov/hpd/news/index.html

 

California Housing Financing Agency

http://www.calhfa.ca.gov/

 

California Tax Credit Allocation Committee

http://www.treasurer.ca.gov/ctcac/

 

California Debt Limit Allocation Committee

http://www.treasurer.ca.gov/cdlac/

 

HUD Newsroom

http://www.hud.gov/news/

 

Fannie Mae Foundation- KnowledgePlex

http://www.knowledgeplex.org/

 

Federal Register, Table of Contents

http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs/fedreg/frcont10.html

 

U.S. Census Bureau

http://www.census.gov/main/

 

California Supreme Court Decisions / California Courts of Appeal Decisions (last 100 days are posted in full text)

http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/opinions/

 

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 2011, 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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A new bid request was posted by Southern California Association of Governments

Dear The Harris Company, Real Estate Appraise:

A new bid request was posted by Southern California Association of Governments which meets your selected criteria.

Project Title: Various Professional Services for OLDA
Release Date: August 12, 2011 8:00 AM (Pacific)
Bid Due Date: August 26, 2011 5:00 PM (Pacific)

Please visit Various Professional Services for OLDA for further details!

Notified Categories:
60012 - Architects, Engineer
918123 - Geographic Information System
91826 - Communications: Public Relations Consulting
91843 - Environmental Consulting
91846 - Feasibility Studies
91849 - Finance/Economic Consulting
91876 - Marketing Consulting
91892 - Urban Planning Consulting
918921 - Growth Visioning Planning
91896 - Transportation Planning Consulting

Thank you,
Southern California Association of Governments


Find out how you can receive more bidding opportunities today!
August 12, 2011 08:00:58.188 [67.131.218.2] - Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 8.0; Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; Trident/4.0; SLCC2; .NET CLR 2.0.50727; .NET CLR 3.5.30729; .NET CLR 3.0.30729; Media Center PC 6.0; .NET4.0C; MS-RTC LM 8; InfoPath.3) >
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August 04, 2011

FDIC SUES TWO APPRAISER MANAGEMENT COMPANIES-Commercial Appraiser

FDIC SUES TWO APPRAISER MANAGEMENT COMPANIES

 

Now this would be funny if it were not so serious. 

 

"The FDIC seeks at least $154 million from LSI (and its parent companies, including Lender Processing Services and Fidelity, based on alter ego liability) and at least $129 million from CoreLogic (and its parent companies, including First American Financial, based on alter ego liability)."

And to think that they did all this damage in one short year.  You see WAMU got it's ass in a sling for preasuering appraisers and was forced to hire an appraiser management company.  Now appraiser management companies have been in existence, in numbers for more than five years.  To get where we are today just double or triple that $129M and $154M, then multiply by five, that should get you a close number.

 

"From The Subprime Shakeout Blog:

In another sign that the Federal Government is turning its focus towards prosecuting the securitization players who may have contributed to the Mortgage Crisis, the FDIC filed separate lawsuits against LSI Appraisal (available here) and CoreLogic (available here) earlier this month"

commercial appraiser

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August 03, 2011

Legal Updates by JD Supra, Commercial Appraiser, Commercial Appraiser

New Law Regarding Short Sales Goes Into Immediate Effect: No Deficiency Judgments

On July 11, 2011, Governor Brown signed into law SB 458, a new bill that extends the reach of California’s anti-deficiency law so that a lender can no longer...more

by Wendel, Rosen, Black & Dean LLP

 

PA Tax Law News - August 2011

In this Issue: Philadelphia Property Owners Have Opportunity To Significantly Reduce Property Taxes The State Tax Equalization Board recently dropped...more

by McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC

 

Court of Appeal Confirms “Sub-guarantees” Are Enforceable

In a landmark decision with important commercial implications, K/S Victoria Street v House of Fraser (Stores Management) Ltd, the Court of Appeal has affirmed...more

by Dechert LLP

 

Beware Interim Lien Waivers!

The North Carolina Court of Appeals recently restored order to the use of interim lien waivers in North Carolina. The Court of Appeals issued its opinion in...more

by Nexsen Pruet, PLLC

 

InfoBytes, July 29, 2011 - A Weekly In-depth review of news & developments in the financial services industry

Topics In This Issue: • Federal Issues • State Issues • Courts • Miscellany • Firm News • Firm Publications • Mortgages • Consumer...more

by BuckleySandler LLP

 

NAIC Rule on CTLs: Unintended Consequences

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (“NAIC”) recently set off a firestorm among life insurance companies that invest in credit tenant loans...more

by Dechert LLP

 

Can My Boss Fire Me for Filing Bankrupty? Discrimination and Bankruptcy

Many people have the concern that they will be fired (or not hired) from their job because they have filed for bankruptcy. The Bankruptcy Code prohibits...more

by John Skiba

 

Marzulla Law Legal Report - July 29, 2011

In This Issue: - Federal Government Admits To Liability In Land Takings: The Otay And Bassett Cases Sometimes the evidence of a taking is so...more

by Nancie G. Marzulla

 

Can I get a loan modification while in chapter 7 bankruptcy?

If you want to keep your home and are considering your options, including bankruptcy, or if you have filed bankruptcy and are strugging with keeping your home...more

by George Bourguignon

 

Is Debt Making You Sick? Eliminate the Worry through Bankruptcy

There was an interesting, although not surprising, article in the Arizona Republic yesterday that cited a poll stating that three out of four middle-class...more

by John Skiba

 

Miami Condos Selling Well Thanks to Foreign Investors - New York Times Takes Notice

This week David Streitfield's article, "Affluent Buyers Reviving Market for Miami Homes," was published in the New York Times -- which can only mean even more...more

by Rosa Eckstein Schechter

 

Los Angeles Targets Trustee to Clean-Up Housing Mess

The People of the State of California and The City of Los Angeles (collectively, the "Plaintiff") are seeking to hold Deutsche Bank National Trust Company and...more

by Reed Smith

 

Bankruptcy Options for When You Can't Raise Your Debt Ceiling

It is an interesting comparison to watch what is going on Washington with their attempts to raise the debt ceiling and comparing that to your own debt issues....more

by John Skiba

 

Credit Crunch Digest- July 2011

The subprime lending crisis and ensuing credit crunch have resulted in significant losses and numerous lawsuits involving parties to the mortgage lending and...more

by Sedgwick LLP

 

Legal Update: Redevelopment Bills Challenged: CRA Files Lawsuit Challenging Redevelopment Bills By Basil "Bill" Shiber and JoAnne L. Dunec

ABX1 26 and ABX1 27 were enacted by the State Legislature in late June as “trailer bills” to help implement the state budget bill. The purpose and effect of...more

by Miller Starr Regalia

 

Can I Short Sell My House While in Bankruptcy?

As I wrote in a recent article, more than 50% of homes in Arizona are worth less than what is owed on them. This is leading many people to try and short sale...more

by John Skiba

commercial appraiser, Commercial Appraiser

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August 02, 2011

LE's Summer 2011 US Lodging Report is now available

LE's Summer 2011 US Lodging Report is now available. Please click here for the full report.

For more information about LE and our Construction Pipeline Reports, please click here.

LE ANNOUNCES ITS FORECAST FOR NEW HOTEL OPENINGS FOR 2013 AT 409 HOTELS/39,162 ROOMS - EXPECTS NET SUPPLY GROWTH OF JUST 0.6%-0.8% FOR EACH OF THE NEXT THREE YEARS

For the first time, Lodging Econometrics has announced its Forecast for New Hotel Openings for 2013. A total of 409 new hotels/39,162 guest rooms are anticipated to come online. LE also adjusted its Forecast for 2011 and 2012 down slightly, as continued economic uncertainty and the lack of construction financing still hamper development. In 2011, 390 hotels/42,187 rooms will open, with an additional 368 hotels/40,070 rooms to open in 2012. Net supply growth, after removals from inventory, will range from 0.6%-0.8% for each of the next three years. 


Please click here for more.



CONTACT LODGING ECONOMETRICS (LE):

The global lodging community and real estate industry rely on LE as trusted advisers and as a source of market intelligence to construct successful Growth Solution Programs. LE's customized programs include the identification and presentation of available growth opportunities in every country and region of the world for:

• Franchise Companies seeking to expand their brand distribution and market share through both new construction and conversion opportunities
• Acquisition Directors & Business Development Officers looking to acquire hotels and/or add asset management contracts to their portfolios
• Consultants performing due diligence assignments analyzing particular markets or ownership portfolios

For more information, please feel free to contact me at the phone number or email address below.


Best Regards,
Susan Forrest, Sales Manager
Lodging Econometrics
500 Market Street, Suite 13
Portsmouth, NH  03801, USA
Ph:    +1 603-431-8740 ext. 25
Fax:  +1 603-431-4418
sforrest@lodgingeconometrics.com

 


 

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LE's Summer 2011 US Lodging Report is now available

LE's Summer 2011 US Lodging Report is now available. Please click here for the full report.

For more information about LE and our Construction Pipeline Reports, please click here.

LE ANNOUNCES ITS FORECAST FOR NEW HOTEL OPENINGS FOR 2013 AT 409 HOTELS/39,162 ROOMS - EXPECTS NET SUPPLY GROWTH OF JUST 0.6%-0.8% FOR EACH OF THE NEXT THREE YEARS

For the first time, Lodging Econometrics has announced its Forecast for New Hotel Openings for 2013. A total of 409 new hotels/39,162 guest rooms are anticipated to come online. LE also adjusted its Forecast for 2011 and 2012 down slightly, as continued economic uncertainty and the lack of construction financing still hamper development. In 2011, 390 hotels/42,187 rooms will open, with an additional 368 hotels/40,070 rooms to open in 2012. Net supply growth, after removals from inventory, will range from 0.6%-0.8% for each of the next three years. 


Please click here for more.



CONTACT LODGING ECONOMETRICS (LE):

The global lodging community and real estate industry rely on LE as trusted advisers and as a source of market intelligence to construct successful Growth Solution Programs. LE's customized programs include the identification and presentation of available growth opportunities in every country and region of the world for:

• Franchise Companies seeking to expand their brand distribution and market share through both new construction and conversion opportunities
• Acquisition Directors & Business Development Officers looking to acquire hotels and/or add asset management contracts to their portfolios
• Consultants performing due diligence assignments analyzing particular markets or ownership portfolios

For more information, please feel free to contact me at the phone number or email address below.


Best Regards,
Susan Forrest, Sales Manager
Lodging Econometrics
500 Market Street, Suite 13
Portsmouth, NH  03801, USA
Ph:    +1 603-431-8740 ext. 25
Fax:  +1 603-431-4418
sforrest@lodgingeconometrics.com

 


 

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May 28, 2010

CDFI Fund Announces New Native Initiatives Workshop Series

CDFI Fund Announces New Native Initiatives Workshop Series


Workshops to Explore Economic Development Opportunities for Native Communities

Washington, DC—Today the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) launched its new “Economic Development Strategies in Indian Country” workshop series. Co-sponsored with the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Seattle Branch, the workshops are being conducted to promote economic development in Native communities across the country. Participants will learn about resources available for Native economic development initiatives from the federal government and regional programs. 

 

“We are excited about this opportunity to partner with the Federal Reserve Bank to build upon our Native Initiatives efforts,” said CDFI Fund Director Donna Gambrell. “We are always exploring ways to help our nation’s distressed communities during the current economic recovery. We must remember the unique challenges our communities face, especially in Native areas across the nation. These workshops will help participants identify new ways to stimulate and revitalize their Native economic and community development programs.”  

 

The CDFI Fund and Federal Reserve staff will facilitate day-long workshops featuring various federal agencies and industry experts. Participants will be able to attend seminars on designing successful economic development strategies while networking with regional practitioners and local support organizations. Five cities will host the workshops - Albuquerque, Anchorage, Sacramento, Oklahoma City and Seattle.

 

“The “Economic Development Strategies in Indian Country” workshops are part of our overall plan to help ensure that economic opportunities are equally available throughout the nation, including Indian Country,” said Scott Turner, Vice President and Community Affairs Officer of the Community Development Department, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. “After holding over 100 meetings on reservations within the 12th District, we understand the many difficulties confronting tribes and their members. We are proud to join with the CDFI Fund on this initiative and look forward to learning how we can support efforts to promote community and economic development in Indian Country.”

 

For more information about the series as well as to register for a specific workshop, please visit: http://www.frbsf.org/community/resources/events.html

 

2010 Economic Development Strategies in Indian Country Workshop Schedule

 

  • June 30, 2010: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  • July 28, 2010: Sacramento, California
  • August 17, 2010: Seattle, Washington
  • August 19, 2010: Anchorage, Alaska
  • September 16, 2010: Albuquerque, New Mexico
About the Native Initiatives

The CDFI Fund's Native Initiatives work to increase access to credit, capital, and financial services in communities by creating and expanding CDFIs primarily serving Native communities. This is achieved through two principle initiatives: 1) a funding program – the NACA Program – targeted to increasing the number and capacity of existing or new Native CDFIs, and 2) a complementary series of training programs, called “Expanding Native Opportunities,” that seeks to foster the development of new Native CDFIs, strengthen the operational capacity of existing Native CDFIs, and guide Native CDFIs in the creation of important financial education and asset building programs for their communities.

 

About the CDFI Fund
Since its creation in 1994, the CDFI Fund has awarded almost $1.2 billion to CDFIs, community development organizations and financial institutions through CDFI Program, the Bank Enterprise Award Program, and the Native Initiatives. In addition, the CDFI Fund has allocated $26 billion in tax credit authority to Community Development Entities through the New Markets Tax Credit Program.
For more information about the CDFI Fund, visit www.cdfifund.gov.

 

About the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Seattle Branch

The Federal Reserve's Community Development Department gives financial institutions, community based organizations and government entities the tools they need to effectively address community development issues affecting low- and moderate-income individuals and communities.

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May 27, 2010

2010 Office and Industrial Market Outlook and Investment Strategies Webcast,

WEBCAST DETAILS

2010 Office and Industrial Market Outlook and Investment Strategies Webcast, presented by Marcus & Millichap
Date: May 27, 2010
Time: 10:30 am PT / 1:30 pm ET
Duration: 60 minutes

You will be able to download the slides at the time you are viewing the webcast.

http://www.harriscompanyrec.com/1005officeindustrialwebcastmasterv3.pdf

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May 25, 2010

11.304J / 4.255J Site and Infrastructure Systems Planning

11.304J / 4.255J Site and Infrastructure Systems Planning

As taught in: Spring 2009

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February 26, 2010

Hello from Southern California Edison's Customer Technology Application Center (CTAC),

 
Hello from Southern California Edison's Customer Technology Application Center (CTAC),

Please find below the link for the Energy Centers Home Page. From this page you can navigate your way through the Energy Centers to view and register for upcoming energy efficient workshops all in one simple step.

If you have attended our workshops in the past, please use your contact ID# when registering.

To register on-line please follow the link below:
https://www.sce.com/ECR/EnergyCenterClassSchedule.aspx?SORT=N&ORG=CTAC,OTHER

If you prefer reservations can also be made via phone Monday through Friday
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. by calling 1 (800) 336-2822 ext 42537 or 626-812-7537

Thank you again for your continued support and we look forward to seeing you at one of our upcoming seminars


Sincere Regards,
Edison CTAC
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October 09, 2009

COMMERCIAL ISSUES

COMMERCIAL ISSUES
Ethics -- The Key Component of Trust
Hear Buzz McCoy, CRE, lead a presentation on building trust through the leadership of ethics, providing a clear point of personal and business differentiation. Especially in these difficult economic times, determine how to evaluate and make tough ethical choices by surviving the stress through dedication to life balance. Register for NAR's Annual Conference and Expo. This event will be on 11/13/2009 at 3:00 p.m. Read more...
http://www.realtor.org/educsess.nsf/programsbySpecialAudience?OpenForm&CategoryName=Commercial#viewstart&WT.mc_id=LS100709&CAT=Comm

Dirt and Dollars
At NAR's annual Conference and expo in San Diego, hear about special niches, new possibilities and how to make money with land. Determine how to share relevant and credible information regarding land with clients. Learn to use your knowledge to avoid land pitfalls in commercial transactions. Panel with four ALC experts. Session on on Nov 14th from 1:30 till 3 p.m. Read more...
http://www.realtor.org/educsess.nsf/PagesLUNew/Conf09DirtDollars?OpenDocument&WT.mc_id=LS100709&CAT=Comm

Commercial Practitinoers Watching Regulatory Reform Efforts
FED Chairman Bernanke addressed lawmakers last Thursday and agreed that all federal agencies should be given more authority to police how the companies they oversee interact and are affected by the broader economy. He said that the White House plan would not give the Fed unfettered powers to police the economy. NAR leaders are developing key messages about how regulatory reform will affect their business and will be communicating to policymakers regarding them. Read more about Bernanke's address. For more information¸ visit...
http://www.realtor.org/narlservredirect.nsf/pages/NT000014B2?OpenDocument&WT.mc_id=LS100709&CAT=Comm
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August 07, 2009

Commercial Real Estate

Vandema Gold Award


Vandema


 Vandema Residential Real Estate

Home

Our Evaluation Criteria Commercial Real Estate

- Is the website real estate related?
- How informative is the website?
- Is the information up-to-date?
- Is the design layout and presentation appealing?
- How fast does the site load?
- Is the site subject of Spam submission?
- Do we like the website?

 

You may use the following form to submit your website for the Vandema Gold Award.

http://homebuyingrealestate.com/Awards.htm

 

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July 26, 2009

Commercial Appraiser, Commercial Appraiser

CORPORATION & ENTERPRISE LAW, PROPERTY LAW & REAL ESTATE, SECURITIES LAW
Azure Ltd. v. I-Flow Corp., No. S164884
Court of Appeals judgment is affirmed where a corporation is entitled to immunity under the Unclaimed Property Law only if it complies with the Law, and thus does not immunize corporations like defendant who allegedly transfer nonescheated shares to the state without giving the required notice. Read more in HTML...   Read more in PDF...

 Commercial Appraiser, Commercial Appraiser

 

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July 25, 2009

Link to US

<a href="http://www.harriscompanyrec.com/" title="Commercial Appraiser" target="_blank">Commercial Appraiser</a><br>A full service commercial appraiser and real esatate consultant

Link to US

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July 24, 2009

commercial appraiser, connercial appraisal

COMMERCIAL ISSUES
NAR Advocacy Helps Shape Waxman/Markey
The American Clean Energy and Security Act passed the House this month. The Bill has some positive changes, and the efforts of NAR ensured that it had the interests of commercial practitioners in mind. There is no provision for federal energy audits or energy efficient labeling on existing buildings. Read an advanced release about this legislation prior to its publication in the summer issue of the RCA Report.!  Read more...
http://www.realtor.org/narlservredirect.nsf/pages/NT000013D2?OpenDocument&WT.mc_id=LS072209&CAT=Comm
commercial appraiser, connercial appraisal
Heavy Loan Losses Anticipated as 2nd Qtr Bank Results Reported
The Joint Economic Committee is working with Treasury on a plan to head-off rising defaults on commercial mortgages. According to a WSJ analysis, losses in commercial real real estate could reach $30 billion by year end. Read more...
http://www.realtor.org/narlservredirect.nsf/pages/NT000013D6?OpenDocument&WT.mc_id=LS072209&CAT=Comm
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July 14, 2009

commercial appraiser, commercial appraisal

Commercial Real Estate: Do Rising Defaults Pose Systemic Threat? commercial appraiser, commercial appraisal http://jec.senate.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=Hearings.HearingsCalendar&ContentRecord_id=51399723-5056-8059-76da-8870d70efb74


July 9, 2009

Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney, Chair of the Joint Economic Committee (JEC) will convene a hearing to examine the growing financing problems faced in the commercial real estate market and potential solutions to the credit crisis in the sector. The hearing entitled, “Commercial Real Estate: Do Rising Defaults Pose Systemic Threat?” will take place on Thursday July 9, 2009 at 10 am in room 2226 of the Rayburn House Office Building. The commercial real estate market has been severely stressed by the recession with rising vacancy rates for existing office, industrial, and retail properties and falling prices in the commercial real estate market. Experts will testify about the current difficulties in refinancing existing commercial real estate loans due to the reduced availability of credit and disruptions in the secondary market.  commercial appraiser, commercial appraisal

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