California home sales up 9%
California singe-family home and condominium sales were up 9% in April mostly due to the 9.2% gain in non-distressed property sales that accounted for 83% of total sale, according to the latest housing report from PropertyRadar.
On a yearly basis, sales volumes were up 5.8% from 34,995 in April 2014 to 37,009 in April 2015.
Additionally, year-over-year sales were up 3.6% across the nine Bay Area counties and 11% in Southern California. Sales fell 3.4% in Central California.
Housing costs should be back on state lawmakers' agenda
Since the Legislature is spending money about as fast as Silicon Valley can mint it, why not create a new state agency? Specifically, the Department of Recyclable Ideas Perpetually Shelved, or DRIPS.
Consider what it could do for the thorny matter of tax reform. Rather than set up a time-consuming council of economic advisers to study the matter, as state Controller Betty Yee has done, DRIPS would simply dust off the 2009 plan crafted by the so-called Parsky Commission.
The same is true for legislators meddling in California's housing market, which shows no signs of losing its value (the average home costs $437,000, about 21/2 times the $179,000 national average) or its luster (the Golden State is home to eight of the nation's hottest real estate markets).
Sacramento home prices on the rise again
Home prices in the Sacramento area are rising again after a brief winter slump. But the region's housing market is still awaiting full recovery from the housing market crash.
Median prices for all houses and condos sold in Sacramento County last month rose to $270,000, market researcher CoreLogic reported Thursday. That's a 2 percent increase over March and an 8 percent increase from a year ago.
Suburban counties also reported higher prices. In Placer County, the median sale price hit $390,000, or 8.1 percent higher from a year earlier. Placer's prices are the highest in the Sacramento region.
Another key survey shows L.A. home prices, sales rose in April
Los Angeles Business Journal
Home prices in Los Angeles County rose by about 10 percent in April from a year ago, while the number of homes sold grew 6 percent, although inventory remains tight, according to figures from real estate information service CoreLogic.
The median price of a home in L.A. County was $485,000 last month, compared with $441,000 in April 2014. A total of 7,038 new and resale houses and condos were sold in the county, up from 6,642 last year.
More Affordable Housing - Not a Housing Moratorium - Is What We Need in San Francisco
Recently, five of my colleagues on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors proposed a moratorium on privately produced housing in the Mission District, as a response to the undeniable housing crisis confronting our entire city and impacting the Mission with particular intensity.
Under the moratorium, no housing development of 5 units or more would be permitted. The only exception would be developments with 100% below market rate subsidized units. Even projects in which half the units are affordable to low or moderate income residents would be banned.
California needs to modernize its major water projects
Los Angeles Daily News
Say you built a new house. A big, sturdy house, designed to meet the needs of your family for generations to come. After 30 years, the roof starts leaking. The furnace breaks. The paint peels, and wood trim begins to rot. Would you make repairs? Of course. To do otherwise would be to lose your investment in the house - as well as your family's shelter.
California faces a similar choice with the State Water Project and the Central Valley Project. For at least 50 years, these two separate but coordinated networks of dams, reservoirs, canals and pumping plants have been the backbone of the California economy. Water delivered from the Feather and Sacramento rivers to Central and southern California, plus the floods the projects prevent, are tied to hundreds of billions of dollars' worth of economic activity a year.
California farmers volunteer to give up some water rights
A group of California farmers, in a surprising turnaround, is volunteering to give up a fourth of its available water this year, sharing a resource all but guaranteed to them for more than a century.
A senior water official told The Associated Press on Wednesday that he would decide whether to accept the offer by Friday. The concession by farmers in the Sacramento and San Joaquin River delta could be one of the most important yet forced by California's record four-year drought.
Rents Are Soaring Faster Than Home Values for the First Time Since 2012
Add one more marker in the timeline of soaring rental costs: They just increased faster than home values for the first time since 2012.
Rents grew 4 percent in the year ended in April, beating the 3 percent rise in home values over the same period, according to figures released Thursday by Seattle-based real-estate data provider Zillow Group Inc.
Rental increases outpaced property values in 20 of the 35 largest U.S. markets last month, with a handful of cities seeing landlord-friendly price growth even longer - since mid-2014. San Francisco's rapidly appreciating apartment costs beat gains in homes values in July, and Boston followed in August.
California jobless rate falls to 6.3% in April; employers add 29,500 jobs
Los Angeles Times
The California unemployment rate slid to 6.3% in April -- its lowest level in seven years -- and employers in the state added 29,500 nonfarm payroll jobs.
The uptick is slightly smaller than in March, which saw a revised 40,500 new jobs, according to the California Employment Development Department. But the jobless rate last month was lower than the 6.5% rate in March. Nationwide, the unemployment rate fell in April to 5.4%.
Some 457,000 new jobs have been added in the state since April 2014 - a 2.9% pace that outstrips the national 2.1% rate. A year ago, California's unemployment rate was 7.8%.