2020/2021 Housing Summary & Forecast for the South Bay

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The year 2020 was very nearly the least predictable time in local real estate history. Seriously, what other time have we experienced massive unemployment and rising home prices simultaneously? All indications suggest 2021 will be a tad more conventional. Home Values Grew in 2020 Despite “turmoil” being the watchword of 2020, the year produced some… Continue reading 2020/2021 Housing Summary & Forecast for the South Bay

Homeownership Stats Illuminate Wealth Divide

It’s a well-known fact that Black and Latinx people tend to struggle economically more than whites and Asians in the US. The wealth gap may be larger than you think, though. Examining homeownership statistics demonstrates just how significant the difference is. California’s housing affordability for Latinx people is 20% for single-family homes and 33% for… Continue reading Homeownership Stats Illuminate Wealth Divide

Increasing Competition Extends Home Search Time

Demand is so high compared to supply that many prospective buyers are finding competition to be a larger impediment to purchasing a home than lacking funds, even in the midst of a recession. In January 2021, 56% of prospective buyers had bidding wars. This number is up 4% from the prior month. Getting outbid is… Continue reading Increasing Competition Extends Home Search Time

Credit Scores Went Up in 2020 Despite Recession

In many cases, a recession results in credit scores dropping as more people are forced to temporarily rely on credit to make routine payments. This is just one of the many ways that the current recession bucks the trends. Lockdowns, work-from-home, moratoriums, and federal relief packages have all resulted in people spending less and recouping… Continue reading Credit Scores Went Up in 2020 Despite Recession

The Healthiest Big Cities in the United States

WalletHub, normally a personal finance website, has released data of a somewhat different nature. They’ve decided to rank 182 of the most populated US cities according to various indicators of health. The categories measured are health care, food, fitness, and green space. On a scale from 0 to 100, the top scoring city averaged across… Continue reading The Healthiest Big Cities in the United States

Buyer Demand Driving Construction Up

Low mortgage rates have resulted in increased buyer demand, and shifting preferences in home features are specifically increasing the demand for new constructions. With sellers waiting out the pandemic, there aren’t many existing homes available for sale. In addition, they don’t always have the features that the new generation of buyers is looking for, such… Continue reading Buyer Demand Driving Construction Up

Old Houses Attracting Millennial Buyers

We’ve just talked about the Millennial generation’s impact on the luxury real estate market and their desire for updated, move-in ready homes (see: https://www.beachchatter.com/2021/02/11/millennial-preferences-reshaping-luxury-market/). It turns out there’s another type of home that Millennials are itching to buy, and it’s quite on the opposite side of the spectrum. They’re moving across the country to buy… Continue reading Old Houses Attracting Millennial Buyers

Millennial Preferences Reshaping Luxury Market

There may be a surprising answer as to why younger generations have seen increased rates of living with their parents. Popular belief is that they’re either too lazy to get jobs or simply saddled with too much college debt. While lack of employment and exorbitant tuitions definitely play a role for some of them, Millennials… Continue reading Millennial Preferences Reshaping Luxury Market

First-Time Homebuyers Can Afford More Than They Think

In a survey of 1000 people who either just bought their first home or were trying to, 68% were surprised by just how much they were able to afford — 47% pleasantly and 21% unpleasantly. It makes sense that first-time homebuyers would generally have a less refined sense of what they can afford, but in… Continue reading First-Time Homebuyers Can Afford More Than They Think

Work-From-Home Could Help Some Young Adults Achieve Homeownership

One of the many effects of the pandemic was that a large segment of the population transitioned to work-from-home. In some cases, those were renters who had the fortune of being able to move back in with their families. Perhaps their rental home was closer to work, and the distance no longer mattered. Maybe they… Continue reading Work-From-Home Could Help Some Young Adults Achieve Homeownership

Pandemic Threw a Wrench in Retirement Plans

According to a recent survey from finance magazine Kiplinger and wealth management organization Personal Capital, over 40% of those saving for retirement are less confident in their savings now. The pandemic triggered a significant economic recession with the highest number of job losses since the Great Depression, reducing the ability to save and in many… Continue reading Pandemic Threw a Wrench in Retirement Plans

What Can Landlords Deduct from a Security Deposit?

Whenever a tenant is moving out, they’re always expecting to get back their security deposit. But they may not get back all of it, as landlords are looking to deduct part of the security deposit to recoup as much as possible. While there are not very many laws regarding security deposit deductions, there are a… Continue reading What Can Landlords Deduct from a Security Deposit?

SB 91 Extends AB 3088 and Creates Additional Protections

The protections for tenants and homeowners under AB 3088 were set to expire a few days ago, on January 31, 2021. However, SB 91 extends these through June 30, 2021, giving tenants more time without fear of eviction as long as their application is proper and they pay at least 25% of their rent. SB… Continue reading SB 91 Extends AB 3088 and Creates Additional Protections

FHA Updates Loan Limits for 2021

The FHA has increased the loan limits for every category in 2021, a boon to prospective homebuyers who may have been negatively impacted by the recession that came with the COVID-19 pandemic. The two primary categories of loan limits are low-cost area and high-cost area, and each category has separate limits for SFRs, duplexes, triplexes,… Continue reading FHA Updates Loan Limits for 2021

How the Pandemic Has Reshaped Office Design

During the lockdowns, businesses had an excuse to try out work-from-home models and see how well it works. Is it better than office spaces? Worse? Just different? Offices and and work-from-home models both have their advantages and disadvantages, and the experience will be different for different people. By surveying employees who had a chance to… Continue reading How the Pandemic Has Reshaped Office Design

Prop 19’s New Laws for Property Tax Exemption

Proposition 19 has now passed in California, and with it brought changes to how property tax is reassessed for some purchases, effective April 1, 2021. The new law replaces Prop 60 and Prop 90, affecting replacement property by homeowners who are over 55, severely disabled, or whose home has been substantially damaged by wildfires or… Continue reading Prop 19’s New Laws for Property Tax Exemption

Manufactured vs Prefab Homes: What’s the Difference?

There are many terms thrown around when talking about factory-built housing — manufactured home, mobile home, prefab, modular housing — and many of them are used interchangeably. These are all factory-built, but in some cases, there are important differences you should be aware of. Two terms that actually do mean the same thing are manufactured… Continue reading Manufactured vs Prefab Homes: What’s the Difference?

Builders Aren’t Able to Keep Up With Demand

In many cases, high-profile construction companies will purchase large areas of land and build many homes at once. In theory, this ensures that once this project is finished, they will already have homes available to purchase while they start their next project. This theory has started to break down in the current market, as demand… Continue reading Builders Aren’t Able to Keep Up With Demand

Long Beach Affordable Housing Policy Pending Final Approval

On Jan. 19th, the Long Beach City Council voted unanimously for preliminary approval of two ordinances designed to increase affordable housing. The policy is still subject to objections prior to final approval, but if it continues as written, 11% of rental developments and 10% of housing developments will need to be set aside for affordable… Continue reading Long Beach Affordable Housing Policy Pending Final Approval

Rental Statistics Shifting Across the US

We’re all aware that the pandemic has disproportionately affected lower-income residents, including renters. But there are many statistics to look at when examining trends in the rental market, and some of them may not be so obvious. Who, when, where, and how much are all questions to consider. The when is the most obvious —… Continue reading Rental Statistics Shifting Across the US

Pandemic Relief FAQ

There’ve been plenty of articles written about the ever-changing details of the eviction and foreclosure moratoriums. Less has been said about other forms of pandemic relief, such as federal rent relief stimulus. While the stimulus was passed already in December, there are still some things you may not know about it. The federal pandemic relief… Continue reading Pandemic Relief FAQ

The Evolution of California’s 2020 Market

California’s housing market saw multiple shifts during 2020 as different sectors reacted differently and regulations changed with the times. When 2020 began, we already had high home prices and a construction deficit. The lockdowns of the pandemic propelled an economic recession that was already in the making, causing it to arrive faster than expected. Normally… Continue reading The Evolution of California’s 2020 Market

First-time Homebuyers Struggling in Current Market

There are many factors leading to the current housing market being a rough time for first-time homebuyers. This group is already at a disadvantage from the outset, not having the ability to sell their existing home to help pay for a new one, and frequently already saddled with rent payments. In addition, first-time homebuyers tend… Continue reading First-time Homebuyers Struggling in Current Market

Pandemic Prompts Shifts in Home Use

The increasing popularity of home offices has been mentioned ad nauseum, but how else have homeowners changed their behavior in the house as a result of the pandemic? The America At Home Study, a nationwide survey with about 4000 respondents, may have some answers. One of the biggest answers should be obvious: Disinfecting more. In… Continue reading Pandemic Prompts Shifts in Home Use

What Your Local Grocery Store Says About Your Area

Whether a high priority on the checklist or just a nice-to-have, most everyone wants to live near the places where they shop. While some people remain loyal to their store of choice regardless of distance, others are perfectly happy to live nearby any place that serves their shopping needs. But which stores are local can… Continue reading What Your Local Grocery Store Says About Your Area

Pandemic Relief To Include Legal Assistance for Renters

A moratorium is currently protecting many renters from evictions, but it’s going to end eventually, and many renters will still owe a backlog of payments. What’s more, the legal process for acquiring protection can be difficult to grasp for some renters. The bottom line is that renters are going to need help understanding their rights… Continue reading Pandemic Relief To Include Legal Assistance for Renters

AB 725 Aims to Help Middle Income Californians

Many attempts have been made, and are still being made, to help lower income people to acquire affordable housing. We haven’t been worried about higher-income housing; those who can even consider affording it don’t particularly need the help. But there’s a group we’ve mostly been forgetting about: the dwindling middle class. The income gap has… Continue reading AB 725 Aims to Help Middle Income Californians

Despite Rebound, Job Future Not As Bright As It May Seem

With the pandemic creating an employment nightmare, the unemployment rate has been a closely watched statistic. Employment is still below pre-pandemic levels, but has rebounded fairly well. That may be giving us false hope, though, since there are other jobs-related statistics to consider. In a previous article (https://www.carlandarda.com/?p=1370) we looked at the difference between employment… Continue reading Despite Rebound, Job Future Not As Bright As It May Seem

Mortgage Applications Skyrocketed in 2020

When the pandemic began towards the end of the first quarter in 2020, people were understandably reluctant to start purchasing houses. As a result, mortgage applications saw a sharp decrease. However, they rebounded quickly, surpassing 2019’s numbers even while trending downwards again in December. In the week ending December 23rd, 2020, mortgage applications dropped 5%… Continue reading Mortgage Applications Skyrocketed in 2020

FHA Foreclosure Moratorium Gets An Extension

Foreclosure and eviction moratoriums for FHA-backed loans were previously set to expire December 31st, 2020. The FHA has now given them a two-month extension to February 28th, 2021. Borrowers will also be able to request initial forbearance through this date, potentially allowing them to remain in forbearance through February 2022. The moratorium applies only to… Continue reading FHA Foreclosure Moratorium Gets An Extension

Neverland Ranch Has a New Owner

The Neverland Ranch, near Santa Barbara, California, is a 2700 acre property previously owned by Michael Jackson. The main residence is 12,500 square feet, and there is also a 3,700 square foot pool house as well as a movie theatre and dance studio. Neverland Ranch additionally features a train station, fire house, and barn. After… Continue reading Neverland Ranch Has a New Owner

2021 Real Estate Forecast Looking Hopeful

2020 hasn’t been quite as bad for the real estate market as expected; Quarters 3 and 4 have actually experienced incredible recovery and even some growth from Q1 since the enormous downturn in Q2. Home sales are up about 800 from Q1, after falling by over 1100 in Q2. Despite the slowdown in construction, total… Continue reading 2021 Real Estate Forecast Looking Hopeful

What Exactly is a Home Inspector?

Chances are you’re familiar with the concept of inspecting a home before sale. Seller’s agents are required to list observable defects, but sometimes problems aren’t as easily noticed, which is why seller’s agents will frequently recommend that a qualified home inspector take a look. A good home inspector will always look for defects that affect… Continue reading What Exactly is a Home Inspector?

Prices Rise Despite Pandemic

South Bay Sales, November 2020 Quite a year! Soon we’ll have to do a wrap-up on 2020. But, for today it’s going to be November 2020 versus last year, (November 2019) and versus last month (September 2020). Let’s start with the big numbers. Over all, total sales in the Los Angeles South Bay for November… Continue reading Prices Rise Despite Pandemic

NASA Has Partnered With Brazil to Help Combat COVID

Earlier this year, in April, NASA announced development of Ventilator Intervention Technology Accessible Locally (VITAL), a ventilator designed specifically with COVID-19 in mind. Existing ventilators have more general use cases, but are more expensive and more difficult to build. Currently, 28 manufacturers are licensed to build VITAL, with models variably either pneumatic or using compressed… Continue reading NASA Has Partnered With Brazil to Help Combat COVID

Apartment Conversions Will Become More Common

It’s no secret that California has a shortage of affordable housing, and the diminishing construction rates definitely aren’t helping. Fortunately, there’s a rising statistic that isn’t captured in construction rates — conversions. Various types of commercial structures have been being converted into apartments over the past three decades. In the 90s, the most common type… Continue reading Apartment Conversions Will Become More Common

Some Homeless Find Employment Guarding Vacant Houses

With the large homeless population and significant number of vacant properties, it’s no surprise that homeless people often squat there. One company has turned that fact into a business. Weekend Warriors, run by Diane Montano, is a security company in Los Angeles and surrounding areas that operates by hiring homeless people to guard vacant homes,… Continue reading Some Homeless Find Employment Guarding Vacant Houses

Federal Foreclosure Moratorium Gets a Short Extension

Here in California, the foreclosure moratorium is set to end in February. The federal government has now caught up with California, with the FHFA extending the federal moratorium through January 31, 2021. It was previously set to expire at the end of December. The FHFA will be keeping tabs on what’s happening and continue to… Continue reading Federal Foreclosure Moratorium Gets a Short Extension