Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Fresno shopping center sells for $8.05M

Source: The Business Journal

The Mission Village Shopping Center near Fashion Fair Mall in Fresno was sold to a Southern California investment company for $8.05 million. The 52,950 square-foot shopping center, located at the southwest corner of Shaw Avenue and Fresno Street, was purchased by MCS Guardian Properties LLC of Solana Beach, Calif at a sale price of $152 per square foot after 90 days on the market. The seller, who chose to remain private, was represented by Hanley Investment Group of Irvine, Calif. The 5.2-acre property is 83 percent occupied. "Mission Village is located at one of the busiest intersections in Fresno, drawing more than 75,000 car per day," said Eric P. Wohl, senior vice president of Hanley Investment Group, in a release. "The property benefits from close proximity to California State University, Fresno and the newly renovated Fashion Fair Mall, the largest mall in Fresno with over 950,000 square feet of retail space." Built in 1979, the Mission Village Shopping Center is anchored by a new CVS pharmacy. Other tenants in the shopping center include a Fotech Photo Imaging Lab, Samos Kitchen, Toledo's Mexican restaurant, the Korea Mart grocery store, a Curves fitness center and Life Uniform.

URL to original article: http://www.thebusinessjournal.com/news/real-estate/13571-fresno-shopping-center-sells-for-8-05m 

For further information on Fresno Real Estate check: http://www.londonproperties.com

Local bike shop named one of nation's best

Source: The Business Journal

Fresno's Sunnyside Bicycles has been named one of America's Best Bike Shops for 2014 by the National Bicycle Dealers Association (NBDA). According to a press release, the award seeks to honor retailers that offer a great shopping experience, demonstrate exceptional customer support, and give back to their community. The NBDA also looks for stores that promote bicycle advocacy on both the local and national level, a feat Sunnyside Bicycles has achieved through its work with PeopleForBikes Retail Roundup. Sunnyside Bicycles launched the donation program in 2013 and has so far raised nearly $4,000 for the national advocacy organization. This is not the first time Sunnyside Bicycles has been honored by the NBDA, it previously won the award in 2013 and was given a Top 100 Retailer Award in 2012. Store owner Vanessa McCraken said she is still excited. "This award is a huge honor," she said in a statement. "We are extremely grateful to be recognized and thankful to have such a wonderful team who shares our vision and passion for bicycles." Sunnyside Bicycles opened in 2010 and is located in the Sunnyside Marketplace at Kings Canyon Road and Fowler Avenue.

URL to original article: http://www.thebusinessjournal.com/news/retail/13559-local-bike-shop-named-one-of-nation-s-best 

For further information on Fresno Real Estate please check: http://www.londonproperties.com

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Valley home sales fall in July

Source: The Business Journal

Home sales slipped throughout the Valley in July, even as housing inventory continued to grow. According to a new report from the California Association of Realtors, home sales in Fresno County declined 1.7 percent from June to July and 12.6 percent compared to July 2013. The price of a median home in Fresno County stood at $201,530 in July, up 0.2 percent from $201,080 the prior month and up 9.6 percent from $183,870 a year ago. Sales in Tulare County fell 0.7 percent during the month but increased 3.1 percent in the year-over-year comparison. The county's median home price fell 1 percent in July to $174,670 from June's price of $176,520. That's still up 11.2 percent from $157,140 a year ago. Kings County saw its home sales come down 12.7 percent from June, still up 1.5 percent from last year. The median price of a home in the county stood at $175,450 in the month, down 9.8 percent from $194,440 but up 1.2 percent from $173,330 a year ago. Home sales in Madera County were down 15.4 percent compared to June and 43.6 percent year-over-year. The county's median home price was up 2.4 percent in the month, going from $206,250 in June to $211,110 in July. That's also 20.1 percent higher than $175,710 last year. Home sales may have dropped in July but the available supply of houses was on the rise. Fresno County's unsold inventory index, or number of months to deplete the supply of homes at the current sales rate, stood at 4.8 months in July, up from 4.5 months in June and 3.5 months in July 2013. Tulare County's index was up to 4.1 months in July compared to 3.9 months in June and 3.5 months a year ago. Kings County's index stood at 3.8 months in July, up from 3.5 months in both the month and year before. Madera County's index increased to 4.8 months compared to 3.9 months in June and 2.2 months last year. Statewide, home sales totaled 398,940 units in July, up 1.2 percent from 394,250 in June but down 10 percent from 443,500 in July 2013. "It's encouraging that home sales have risen in the past two months, but low housing affordability and stringent underwriting standards are still holding back sales," said C.A.R. President Kevin Brown. "However, recent news of changes to how credit scores are determined should make it easier for first-time buyers who are on the cusp of qualifying and others who are having a difficult time getting a loan because their credit scores are less than satisfactory."

URL to original article: http://www.thebusinessjournal.com/news/real-estate/13474-valley-home-sales-fall-in-july 

For further information on Fresno Real Estate check: http://www.londonproperties.com

Friday, August 8, 2014

A Q&A on changes coming to FICO credit scores

Source: The Business Journal
Written by 
MARLEY JAY, AP Business Writer

 (AP) — There are changes coming to FICO, a broadly used credit score, that may mean higher credit scores for many consumers. Banks, credit card issuers, auto lenders and other businesses use those scores to decide whether to lend to consumers and how much interest to charge them. A higher score could get you better terms on loans for cars and homes.
WHAT ARE THE CHANGES? Fair Isaac Corp., the company behind FICO, says there are three significant changes to its metric, which it says is used in 90 percent of U.S. consumer lending decisions. — Debts that go to collections agencies and get repaid won't count against a consumer's FICO score. — Medical debts will have a smaller effect on the score. If your only major bad mark comes from unpaid medical debts, FICO says it expects your credit score to go up by 25 points. (Scores range from 300 to 850.) — A technique to analyze people's creditworthiness if they don't have much of a credit history. __

WHY ARE THE CHANGES HAPPENING? Regulators have focused on health care debts. In May the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a government agency, said consumers may be penalized too harshly for medical debt. The CFPB said medical bills are different from some other types of debts because they can be more expensive, unpredictable and caused by disputes between medical providers and insurers instead of bills consumers simply didn't pay. The CFPB said that consumers who owe medical debt may have their credit scores underestimated by about 10 points. __

WHO WILL BE MOST AFFECTED? Greg McBride, the chief financial analyst for financial services company Bankrate, says the change will help many consumers, but it won't make a big difference if you already have bad credit or very good credit. For consumers with medical debt, this could be the difference between a decent score of around 675 and a good one around 700, or a good score and a great one around 725. According to a study by the Urban Institute, 35 percent of Americans have debts and unpaid bills reported to collection agencies. The Association of Credit and Collection Professionals says health care-related bills account for about 38 percent of the debt that gets collected. As for the new technique focused on those with little or no credit history, McBride says its effect remains to be seen. He says lenders want to get a better read on such consumers because they see them as potential customers and want to know which are likeliest to repay loans. The technique will help lenders evaluate people who don't have a bank account, mortgage or credit card — often those with lower incomes, including young people and retirees. __

WHEN DO THESE CHANGES GO INTO EFFECT? Fair Isaac hopes lenders will use the newest version of FICO, which will be available in the fall. But lenders don't have to buy the updated version.

URL to original article: http://www.thebusinessjournal.com/en/news/national/13356-a-q-a-on-changes-coming-to-fico-credit-scores 

 For further information on Fresno Real Estate check: http://www.londonproperties.com

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

CoreLogic: Year-over-year home prices still rising

Source: The Business Journal

CoreLogic, a global property information, analytics and data-enabled services provider, today released its June CoreLogic Home Price Index (HPI) report showing that in Fresno and nationally, home prices continue to rise year over year. Month-over-month prices were up slightly from May to June. Home prices nationwide, including distressed sales, increased 7.5 percent in June compared to June 2013. The change represents 28 months of consecutive year-over-year increases in home prices nationally. On a month-over-month basis, home prices nationwide, including distressed sales, increased 1.0 percent in June compared to May. In Fresno, home prices, including distressed sales, increased by 9.8 percent in June compared to June 2013. On a month-over-month basis, home prices, including distressed sales, increased by 0.6 percent in June compared to May. Excluding distressed sales, Fresno’s year-over-year prices increased by 10.3 percent in June compared to June 2013. On a month-over-month basis, excluding distressed sales, Fresno home prices increased by 1.2 percent in June compared to May.

Madera
In Madera, home prices, including distressed sales, increased by 13.2 percent in June compared to June 2013. On a month-over-month basis, home prices, including distressed sales, increased by 2.5 percent in June compared to May. Excluding distressed sales, year-over-year prices in Madera increased by 9.8 percent in June compared to June 2013. On a month-over-month basis, excluding distressed sales, the CoreLogic HPI shows Madera home prices increased by 3.6 percent in June compared to May.

Visalia-Porterville
 In Visalia-Porterville, home prices, including distressed sales, increased by 13.2 percent in June compared to June 2013. On a month-over-month basis, home prices, including distressed sales, increased by 0.6 percent in June compared to May. Excluding distressed sales, year-over-year prices increased by 13.1 percent in June compared to June 2013. On a month-over-month basis, excluding distressed sales, the Visalia-Porterville home prices increased by 1.9 percent in June compared to May.

 Hanford-Corcoran
 In Hanford-Corcoran, home prices, including distressed sales, increased by 8.5 percent in June compared to June 2013. On a month-over-month basis, home prices, including distressed sales, increased by 1.3 percent in June compared to May. Excluding distressed sales, year-over-year prices increased by 16.6 percent in June compared to June 2013. On a month-over-month basis, excluding distressed sales, Hanford-Corcoran home prices increased by 1.3 percent in June compared to May.

URL to original article: http://thebusinessjournal.com/en/news/real-estate/13282-corelogic-year-over-year-home-prices-still-rising 

For further information on Fresno Real Estate check: http://www.londonproperties.com

Friday, August 1, 2014

De Young introduces new Mira Bella community in foothills

Source: The Fresno Bee

 De Young Properties will soon be building in the Sierra foothills. The Clovis builder will have a pre-grand opening event on Saturday for its De Young at Mira Bella neighborhood, a master-planned community with 41 homesites on Millerton Road, east of Friant Avenue. The houses, which start in the low $300,000s, will be built on large sites up to 43,000 square feet with views of Millerton Lake. The 1,890- to 3,899-square-foot floor plans will have enough garage space to park a boat, the builder said. The community already has tennis and basketball courts. A swimming pool and clubhouse are planned. The pre-grand opening will be held from noon to 6 p.m. at the Clovis Welcome Center on Armstrong Avenue, south of Gettysburg Avenue. For more information, visit De Young Properties or call (559) 323-6004 or (559) 434-2000.

 URL to original article: http://www.fresnobee.com/2014/07/24/4038563/de-young-introduces-new-mira-bella.html 

 For further information on Fresno Real Estate check: http://www.londonproperties.com

Thursday, July 31, 2014

In San Francisco real estate, $1M won't buy much

Source: The Business Journal
Written by 
LISA LEFF, Associated Press

(AP) — San Francisco Association of Realtors President Betty Taisch has two words of advice for those who want to live here and think $1 million will buy them their dream house: think again. In the souped-up world of San Francisco real estate, where the median selling price for houses and condominiums last month hit seven figures for the first time, the cool million that would fetch a mansion on a few acres elsewhere will now barely cover the cost of an 800-square foot starter home that needs work and may or may not include private parking. Taisch, a veteran broker who is used to managing her clients' expectations, has experienced first-hand the heartbreak and hair-pulling inherent to house-hunting in what she considers one of the world's "most desirable, fabulous cities." She put her professional skills to work this summer on behalf of her adult son and his family, who had outgrown their one-bedroom apartment. After three unsuccessful offers, they ended up paying $913,000 for a two-bedroom, one-bath house with an outdated kitchen, a yard that can charitably be called overgrown, and a big basement that Taisch counts as its most attractive feature. "It certainly is a milestone. It's like, 'Wow!'''," she said of the city's new million-dollar median. "Everybody thinks San Francisco is all Pacific Heights Victorians, and it's not. There are many areas of the city that are just normal, single-family homes that are small and not posh at all." The technology's industry's rapid growth coupled with 49-square-mile San Francisco's constrained supply of housing is a big part of the story behind the city's ascension to a rarified real estate bracket already occupied by New York City, but Silicon Valley wealth also is stoking the market in the greater San Francisco Bay Area, according to Andrew LePage, an analyst with CoreLogic DataQuick, a real estate research firm in Irvine, California. Between April and June, the Bay Area saw a record number of homes and condos going for $1 million and above, and they accounted for one-quarter of all sales in the region, CoreLogic DataQuick said in a report released Thursday. During the same three-month period, six of the Bay Area's nine counties set records for the number of homes and condos selling for over $2 million, as did California as a whole, the report said. "The robust tech economy and the overall economy mean the Bay Area has been doing better than most for years now," LePage said. "It already was expensive, and a lot of these high-end markets weren't hammered as hard during the downturn because they weren't exposed to subprime mortgages, so they had less ground to recover in the first place." George Limperis, an agent with Paragon Real Estate Group in San Francisco, agrees that freshly minted technology millionaires who can afford to bid up a property until they win it with an all-cash offer are helping to drive up demand. But unlike during the city's first tech boom in the late 1990s, the buyers prepared to lay down more than $1 million on a fixer-upper in a neighborhood within walking distance of shops and restaurants also include Asian investors and retirees from other major cities who already are accustomed to skyscraper prices for shoebox dwellings, Limperis said. "It feels like a very different city than it certainly did even 15 years ago. There is money coming from so many places now," he said. "So many of these buyers today, they have lived in London, they have lived in Hong Kong, they have lived in New York, and to them these prices are parallel. We can't compare San Francisco with median housing prices even elsewhere in California because this is an international level we are dealing with." Limperis this month represented the sellers of a 1,200-square-foot, two-bedroom home "in poor condition" that had been in their family for generations. Located on a commercial street in San Francisco's Noe Valley neighborhood, an area prized for its modest Victorians, the home was listed for a little under $1.2 million. By the end of its first week on the market, 10 people had submitted all-cash offers. The house sold for $1.8 million to a developer who plans to convert it into condos. "Everyone is aghast at what these things sell for, but as long as the economy keeps going it like it does, these numbers do make sense," Limperis said. Being prepared to go well over a home's asking price and willing to sacrifice style or a second bathroom are some of the pointers that Kelly Kang, a colleague of Limperis' at Paragon, gives to buyers. Kang just represented a young couple with a child who were interested in a 756-square-foot, two-bedroom, one-bath row house built in 1950 in a newly hot neighborhood near a park and public transit that was listed at a little more than $1 million after having sold for $710,000 five years ago. The couple offered $1.2 million and wrote a "love letter" about the house explaining why it was just right for their family. They got the house. "People that want to stay in San Francisco really love the city, so what they are buying is the city more than the property," Kang said.

URL to original article: http://www.thebusinessjournal.com/news/state/13240-in-san-francisco-real-estate-1m-won-t-buy-much 

For further information on Fresno Real Estate check: http://www.londonproperties.com

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Zillow buying Trulia to build real estate titan 


Source: The Business Journal
Written by MAE ANDERSON, AP Technology Writer

 (AP) — Zillow and Trulia, two companies that changed the way people shop for homes, are combining. Real estate website operator Zillow Inc. is buying its rival in a $3.5 billion deal that will make the biggest player in the online real estate information market. Zillow will also become king of real estate listings available on smartphones and tablets — the fastest growing area for listings. Both Zillow and Trulia were founded nearly a decade ago and have capitalized on Americans' increasing preference for researching purchases, including homes, online, rather than relying solely on a real estate agent. "It's a very sound business move by Zillow. They wiped out their closest competitor," said Benchmark analyst Daniel Kurnos. According to Benchmark estimates, Zillow and Trulia are No. 1 and 2 in the online real estate market, followed by No. 3 Move Inc. Zillow reported nearly 83 million monthly unique visitors in June. Trulia reported 54 million. "We're moving away from word of mouth, or calling an agent to try to find a home," Kurnos said. "Now people realize, 'Hey, I can go look for houses online, and use the Internet to start searching for a home.'" Zillow, which debuted in late 2004, became well known for its "Zestimate" housing price estimate for 100 million homes nationwide. The number is based on geographic data, user-submitted information and public records. Zillow says the "Zestimate" has a 6.9 percent median error rate, and should be used as a starting point in determining a home's value. Both Zillow, which went public in 2011 and Trulia, which had its stock market debut in 2012, offer similar information like neighborhood school and crime reports and mortgage calculators. Both Zillow and San Francisco-based Trulia generate revenue through advertising and subscription software and services sold to real estate agents. Trulia shareholders will receive 0.444 shares of Zillow common stock for each share they hold, and will own approximately 33 percent of the combined company. Zillow Inc. shareholders will receive one comparable share of the combined company and own the other two-thirds of the business. The combined company will keep both the Trulia and Zillow brands. The companies said that there is limited consumer overlap of their brands, as about half of Trulia.com's monthly visitors don't visit Zillow.com. It's not Zillow's first expansion through acquisition. The company bought New York City-focused real estate website StreetEasy in 2013 for $50 million. Zillow, based in Seattle, plans to save $100 million in cost cutting once the Trulia purchase is complete. Trulia Inc. CEO Pete Flint will stay in his post and join the board of the combined business. He will report to Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff. Another Trulia director will join the combined company's board after the transaction is finalized. Both companies' boards approved the deal. Both companies' shareholders still must approve it. The transaction is targeted to close next year. Shares of Zillow fell $3.97, or 2.5 percent to $154.89 in midday trading. Shares of Trulia jumped $6.84, or 12 percent, to $63.19.

 URL to original article: http://www.thebusinessjournal.com/news/national/13180-zillow-buying-trulia-to-build-real-estate-titan 

For further information on Fresno Real Estate check: http://www.londonproperties.com

Monday, July 28, 2014

Property management firms enjoy brighter days

Source: The Business Journal
Written by Chuck Harvey

Property management took a blow during the real estate crash, but has since been a steady income business for specialists like Manco Abbott and Robert L. Jensen & Associates as the rental housing, office and retail market bounces back. After 26 years in the same location, Manco Abbott will move its operations in late September from 6051 N Fresno St. in Fresno to a new energy-efficient building being developed near Herndon and Fruit avenues in Fresno. Ginder Development Corp. is developing the business park where Manco Abbott will be situated. Manco’s offices will occupy 11,000 square feet of the 20,500 square foot building. Leases are being negotiated for the remainder of the building, which is flanked by offices of Bonadelle Development Corp. to the west and Granville Homes to the east. Robert L. Jensen & Associates is another growth story in the property management business. The company’s residential division manages 28 community associations. The largest is a 2,258-unit master association. The commercial division manages ten multi-story office buildings, the largest of which is a 100,000 square-foot complex. Robert L. Jensen has 58 employees and manages 15.1 million square feet of apartments and commercial buildings. Jensen said his business is doing well and he has been able to keep his employee numbers steady. He said construction in the Valley has been pretty low, but there has been some activity. And new buildings coming on line help fuel growth in the property management business, he said. Property management services fell off some following the collapse of the real estate market in 2007. However, since then the Valley has seen resurgence in commercial and retail building leases along with strong growth in the apartment and rental housing markets. The top 10 property managers in the central San Joaquin Valley managed 657.2 million square feet of properties in 2009. By 2013, the number had grown to 703.5 million square feet, according to information provided by the companies for The Business Journal’s annual Book of Lists. As home foreclosures grew, more people moved into apartments and rental homes. That boosted demand for property management firms to handle the expanding rental market. “Our business is starting to grow,” said Michael Goldfarb, chief operating officer of Manco Abbott. “There was a slow time in 2008 and 2009, but business was better in 2011,” he said. A growing rental housing business boosted Manco Abbott’s business further. “The apartment sector is doing well,” Goldfarb said. “It helped us.” He said the office market is starting to come back and as vacancies get filled, it will help property management companies. Most retail activity has been in Visalia and Dinuba, Goldfarb said. Although new retail construction has picked up some, most of the recent growth in property management has been in rental housing. “We have seen some growth,” said Terry Fox, owner of Fox Property Management. His company recently picked up about 100 single-family units. Fox’s portfolio is single-family homes and small apartments. Fox Property Management currently has 12 employees. As a small company, it is doing very well, Fox added. It has 9.8 million square feet of residential and commercial buildings that it manages. Overall, Fresno has 473 units of rental housing under construction or renovation, according to the Fresno Housing Authority. It has 345 units of rental housing in development and construction. The largest is Parc Grove Commons South at Clinton Avenue and Fresno Street, with 215 units of family housing under construction. With more apartments being built in Fresno, property management firms should see continued opportunities. They will also see challenges as home prices rise and some rental housing owners put single-family rental homes up for sale. Still property management growth is expected at least in the near term. Both developers and real estate companies have found property management to be a profitable sideline. Membership in the National Association of Residential Property Managers nearly doubled following the real estate market collapse. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that renter household formation surpassed new owner-occupied homes in 2007 and has held the lead since then. That is in response to more people wanting to rent homes than buy them. IBISWorld.com a global business intelligence specialist providing procurement and purchasing research reports, reports that declining home ownership will continue to support property management industry growth though 2018. Hiring professional management has become more attractive as regulations governing landlords becomes more complex. And once rental prices start rising, it will make property management more affordable and attractive. In rental housing, property managers handle tasks like screening tenants, helping determine rents, resolving disputes and handling landscape maintenance. Manco Abbott has an IT department that helps monitor the systems that provide tenants and residents with rapid response to maintenance requests, accounting questions or any other issues that arise. Its technology-enabled services, including online work orders and rent payment with Manco Connect, help speed information to its customers. Additionally, the majority of the property management team uses iPads for access to real-time data from any location. Manco Abbott oversees nearly 200 properties including apartment communities, office buildings, shopping centers and industrial properties. The firm's services span 10 counties from the San Joaquin Valley to the Central Coast and includes a Monterey branch. Founded in 1972 the company has approximately 150 employees. Along with rental housing, retail leases have also been growing, leading to more opportunities for property management. ShoppingCenterBusiness.com reports that new tenants are turning the once-dark vacancies into new opportunities. That has also helped the property management companies. Real estate giants like Lance Kashian & Co. and Colliers International have made property management part of their lineup of services. For commercial buildings, services include support of a building’s operations, physical maintenance, tenant relations, accounting, leasing and marketing and sales.

 URL to original article: http://thebusinessjournal.com/news/real-estate/13156-property-management-firms-enjoy-brighter-days

 For further information on Fresno Real Estate check: http://www.londonproperties.com

Thursday, July 24, 2014

New downtown Fresno apartments in works

Source: The Business Journal
Written by Ben Keller, Business Journal staff writer

Another vacant lot is getting new life in downtown Fresno as Pyramid Homes makes progress on a 16-studio apartment project at Divisadero Street and College Avenue. Pyramid Homes began construction around eight weeks ago on the 6,000 square-foot project sited on a dirt lot at 1102 E. Divisadero Street. The apartments, dubbed Courtyard Studios, will feature a pair of two-story studios near the street and another 14 single-level units measuring 400 square feet each toward the back. Massoud Assemi, president of Pyramid Homes, said he is expecting a lot of interest from downtown Fresno's creative and tech-oriented class when the new studios finish up some time before the end of the year. "It's meant for singles," Assemi said. "I think we need to do stuff like this to build downtown up." The apartments will be managed by Granville Realty. Assemi said each unit will rent for around $600 to $700 a month. Pyramid Homes and Assemi's son, Reza Assemi, were also the developers behind several other residential projects in downtown Fresno's cultural arts district, including the Pearl Building, Vagabond Lofts, H Street Lofts, the Iron Bird Lofts and Studio 64.

 URL to original article: http://www.thebusinessjournal.com/news/construction/13133-new-downtown-fresno-apartments-in-works 

For further information on Fresno Real Estate check http://www.londonproperties.com