Friday, December 19, 2014

Keep Your Home California expands unemployment program

Source: The Fresno Bee
By BoNhia Lee

Keep Your Home California has made a change to one of its four foreclosure relief programs to help homeowners struggling to find a job. The Unemployment Mortgage Assistance Program has expanded from 12 months to 18 months. That means homeowners eligible for jobless benefits from the Employment Development Department can receive up to $3,000 a month in mortgage payment help, or a total of $54,000, for 18 months. The limit was previously 12 months and $36,000. The unemployment assistance program was designed to allow homeowners to focus on finding a job rather than worrying about mortgage payments. “California’s economy continues to improve, but we’re far from a complete recovery and there are many homeowners who are still struggling,” said Tia Boatman Patterson, executive director of the California Housing Finance Agency, which oversees Keep Your Home California. “We’re always looking at ways to improve the program and we are confident these changes will help more homeowners get much-needed help.” Homeowners currently enrolled in the program can have their eligibility extended.
 For information, visit keepyourhomecalifornia.org.

 Read more here: http://www.fresnobee.com/2014/12/18/4292130/keep-your-home-california-expands.html#storylink=cpy 

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

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Valley home sales spiral down in November

Source: The Business Journal

Homes sales plummeted in the Central Valley during November as prices continued to tick up, straining affordability for many. According to a new report from the California Association of Realtors, homes sales in Fresno County fell 20.9 percent from October to November and 3.7 percent compared to November 2013. The median price of a home in the county stood at $200,000 in November, down just 0.3 percent from the prior month but up 3.6 percent compared to $193,020 a year ago. Home sales in Tulare County plunged 25.9 percent from October and 15.8 percent compared to November 2013. The price of a median home in the county stood at $187,000 in November, up 4.4 percent from $179,060 the prior month and 15 percent from $161,330 last year. Madera County saw its home sales fall 4.3 percent during the latest month but increase 10 percent in the year-over-year comparison. The county's median home price shot up by 42 percent in November to $235,710 from October's price of $166,000. That's also up 47.3 percent from $160,000 a year ago. Home sales in Kings County were down 21.9 percent compared to October and 10.9 percent year-over-year. The county's median home price increased 14.1 percent in the month, going from $168,670 in October to $192,500 in November. That's also up 12.1 percent from $171,670 last year. Home sales may have decreased in the Valley 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, was up to 5.7 months in November compared to 4.9 months in October and 5.1 months a year ago. Tulare County's index stood at 5.5 months compared to 4.4 months in October and 4 months last year. Madera County's index increased to 5.1 months from 4.9 months in October, but remained below 5.2 months last year. Kings County's index went from 3.6 months in October and 3.9 months a year ago to 4.4 months in November. Statewide, home sales totaled 376,480 units in November, down 5.3 percent from 397,400 October and also down 3.4 percent from 389,580 in November 2013. "The declining sales-to-list price ratio suggests that mismatched expectations of home prices between sellers and buyers still exist in most markets, except for the Bay Area, where there’s a dearth of homes for sale," said 2015 C.A.R. President Chris Kutzkey. "Prospective buyers facing affordability constraints recognize the slowing housing market and are looking for deals, while many sellers are still reluctant to adjust their listing prices to reflect the moderation of price gains in recent months."

 URL to original article: http://www.thebusinessjournal.com/news/real-estate/15270-valley-home-sales-spiral-down-in-november 

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

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Housing authority gets $121K to help homeless vets

Source: The Business Journal

The Fresno Housing Authority is set to receive $121,000 from the U.S. departments of Housing and Urban Development and Veterans Affairs to assist homeless veterans in securing permanent housing. Altogether, the departments announced $13.53 million in rental vouchers to local public housing agencies as part of their HUD-Veterans Affairs Supporting Housing (HUD-VASH) program. The money will help an additional 1,984 homeless veterans find and afford permanent housing. With the $121,000 for the Fresno Housing Authority, the agency will be able to award 22 rental vouchers to veterans once they are referred by the VA Central California Health Care System from its Fresno medical center. Veterans participating in the HUD-VASH program rent privately owned housing and generally contribute no more than 30 percent of their income toward rent. The Department of Veterans Affairs also offers eligible homeless veterans clinical and supportive services through its medical centers as part of the program. Since HUD-VASH funding began in 2008, the two agencies have supported vouchers for 68,000 homeless Veterans, including 12,369 homeless veterans in California. Last October, the two agencies awarded $62 million in HUD-VASH vouchers to assist more than 9,000 homeless veterans nationwide. The latest award of $4.9 million to California public housing agencies will provide rental assistance for an additional 579 homeless veterans in the state.

URL to original article: http://www.thebusinessjournal.com/news/government-and-politics/15053-housing-authority-gets-121k-to-help-homeless-vets 

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

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Madera planning commission green lights Tesoro Viejo

Source: The Business Journal

Tesoro Viejo, the McCaffrey Group's master-planned community in southeastern Madera County, received unanimous approval of its first Village by the Madera County Planning Commission. Located off Highway 41, the 1,600 acre site will have more than 5,000 units and be at the heart of Madera's planned growth area in southeastern Madera County. Tesoro Viejo will be developed by McCaffrey Group and Lyles United. "Not only will it offer homebuyers a quality home built by leaders in the industry, but it will also remedy the housing needs throughout Madera County - which is one of the fastest growing areas in the nation," said Max Rodriguez, Madera County Supervisor. "The community will add value and amenities to support continued growth, generate thousands of jobs and sustain a vibrant environment." Tesoro Viejo is situated at the foot of Little Table Mountain and will include housing and business opportunities, a walkable Town Center, green living, neighborhood parks and an elementary school. The community will also allow for more than 15 miles of scenic nature trails and 400 acres of natural open spaces and parks. Development plans call for seven unique villages with a variety of housing choices ranging from courtyard-living designs to expansive ranch-style hillside estates.

URL to original article: http://www.thebusinessjournal.com/news/development/14660-madera-planning-commission-green-lights-tesoro-viejo 

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

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Fresno home prices rose in September

Source: The Business Journal

Home prices increased in Fresno by 7.7 percent in September 2014 compared to last year, according to new data from real estate statistics firm CoreLogic. Month-over-month, home prices, excluding distressed home sales, increased by 0.4 percent in September. Excluding distressed sales, year-over-year prices increased by 7.5 percent in September 2014 compared to September 2013. While on a month-over-month basis excluding distressed sales, the CoreLogic Home Price Index showed a 0.5 percent increase in September 2014. Across the state, home prices, including distressed sales, rose 8.5 percent in September 2014. Excluding distressed sales, the figure dropped to 7.6 percent. Nationally, home prices including distressed sales increased 5.6 percent in September 2014 compared to the same time last year. This change marks 31 months of consecutive year-over-year increases in home prices. On a month-to-month basis, home prices nationwide, including distressed sales, dropped by 0.1 percent in September 2014 compared to August 2014.

 URL to original article: http://www.thebusinessjournal.com/news/real-estate/14573-fresno-home-prices-rose-in-september 

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

Monday, November 3, 2014

As housing market recovers, roadblocks remain

Source: The Business Journal
Written by Hannah Esqueda

Despite median home prices and sales of homes in the Central Valley increasing since the recession, industry experts warn that many obstacles still remain for homebuyers. Concerns over job security and market stability are some of the main reasons we are becoming a nation of renters, said Selma Happ, senior economist with the California Association of Realtors. Happ was the keynote speaker during the 2014 Fresno Housing Market Symposium at Fresno State last week. “Those under 40 are the least likely to have recovered from the recession,” Happ said. The market was once driven by this younger generation but not anymore, and more individuals are postponing buying a home. This trend has helped to put the breaks on the growth of the housing market that had seen record growth until last summer. And while the Fresno market has seen new interest because of the high-speed rail project, Fresno's younger generation is still unlikely to stop renting anytime soon. “We have found that in California, 50 percent of [18-24-year-olds] are still living with their parents,” she said. Those who aren't living at home are renting and Happ reported that 80 percent of investors surveyed say they would rather rent than flip properties. Further confounding the issue, the unemployment rate in Fresno is still very high — 9.5 percent in September — compared to the 6.9 percent average in the rest of the state and California only recovered the number of jobs lost during the recession this past July. “This doesn’t account for all the new people looking for jobs in the state who weren't old enough or lived here before,” Happ said. On the other side of the home-buying process, Happ said that fewer young people are interested in becoming real estate agents. The California Association of realtors has found that fewer college students are interested in careers in real estate or appraising, leaving a void in the market once the current workforce ages out. Jared Martin, executive committee member of the Fresno Association of Realtors, said this is because the housing market still scares most people. College students grew up when the recession was at its worst, and that event left a mark on them when they began thinking about what types of careers they wanted, he said. “Even after I became a realtor, I kept my bar-tending job,” he said. “I would encourage young people looking to become realtors to still hang on to that nighttime job for a while.” While the housing market has since stabilized, young people on either side of the market are still skittish about fully committing. Happ said she thinks this hesitation will be highlighted as market begins to feel the fallout from the drought. Less food and job security will keep individuals from making such a large purchase and buying a home. John Shore, executive director of Community Housing Council of Fresno, agreed and said that while many individuals may be interested in buying a home, few understand the process. Their lack of knowledge makes them feel vulnerable and they and are easily scared away, he said. While his organization offers a free course for first-time home-buyers, very few people in the community know or take advantage of it, he said. Despite the negative trends, John Bonadelle, CEO of Bonadelle Neighborhoods, said there is still great demand for new homes in the Fresno market, it's just a matter of finding a balance between what buyers want and what's possible under the current market constraints. Most local homebuyers have larger families and are looking for homes with a greater number of bedrooms. To meet this demand, Bonadelle said his company is increasing the home size while decreasing yards. Smaller lots are also a key trend, he said as the land supply in cities like Fresno and Clovis is dwindling. Developers are now looking toward smaller towns like Sanger and Tulare that are willing to increase their sphere of influence.

URL to original article: http://www.thebusinessjournal.com/news/real-estate/14520-as-housing-market-recovers-roadblocks-remain

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

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Clovis tops young families list

Source: The Business Journal

Clovis was named the top city in Northern California for young families while Sanger took the top 14 spot, according to a new list by personal finance site NerdWallet. NerdWallet considered such factors like public school excellence, home affordability and growth and prosperity when compiling its Best Cities for Young Families in Northern California list. Of the 138 cities evaluated, Clovis was the No. 1 pick with an overall score of 68.07. The rating had a lot to do with Clovis schools, which made up 40 percent of the score. GreatSchools gave Clovis area schools a rating of 8 out of 10, while the city's high schools achieved a graduation rate of 92.6 percent for the 2011-2012 year compared to the statewide graduation rate of 78.5 percent. Clovis also excelled economically. Accounting for 30 percent of the overall score, the city's median income grew 51.32 percent from 1999 to 2012 to $63,983. Median home values, making up 15 percent of the score, were reasonable as well at $259,000 in 2012, while another 15 percent was in median monthly homeownership costs standing at $1,981 that year. Clovis was also praised for its 285 acres of parks and trails, proximity to three national parks and the Fresno Chaffee Zoo and family-friendly activities like Friday night farmer's markets in the summer, Big Hat Days in April. At No. 14 on the list, Sanger achieved an overall score of 59.67. The score took into account a GreatSchools rating of 7 out of 10 and a 2012 median income $40,761, which is 27.09 percent higher than 1999. Sanger residents also enjoyed median home values of $162,300 in 2012 and median monthly homeownership costs of $1,508. While not cracking the top 20, other cities included in the list were Reedley at 49, Chowchilla at 56, Fresno at 66 and Dinuba at 101.

URL to original article: http://www.thebusinessjournal.com/news/economy/14506-clovis-tops-young-families-list 

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

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Distressed home sales climb in September

Source: The Business Journal

 Distressed home sales inched up in the San Joaquin Valley in September, with some counties approaching last year's dismal figures. According to the California Association of Realtors, distressed sales, which include short sales, sales of bank-owned properties and other foreclosure sales, stood at 15 percent of all home sales in Fresno County in September. That's the same as in August but down from 27 percent in September 2013. Distressed sales were up to 21 percent in Kings County in the month compared to 15 percent in August and 28 percent a year ago. Tulare County saw its distressed sales climb from 19 percent in August to 26 percent in the latest month, the same as in September 2013. Madera County even surpassed last year with distressed sales rising to 33 percent over 19 percent the prior month and 32 percent in September 2013. Statewide, distressed sales made up 9.1 percent of all homes sales in September, up from 9 percent in August but down from 14.3 percent a year ago. The share of real estate-owned sales, including bank-owned homes, went down to 3.9 percent compared to 4 percent in August and 4.5 percent in August 2013. Short sales remained flat at 4.6 percent in the month, down from 9.3 percent a year ago.
Equity sales, or non-distressed home sales, stood at 90.9 percent in September compared to 91 percent the prior month and 85.7 percent last year. Housing inventory increased throughout the state in September. The unsold inventory index for real estate-owned homes, or number of months to deplete the supply of homes at the current sales rate, went from 2.8 months in August to 3.1 months in September. The index for short sales rose from 6.1 months in August to 6.2 months in September, while the index for equity sales was unchanged at 4.1 months.

 URL to the original article: http://ftp.thebusinessjournal.com/news/real-estate/14486-distressed-home-sales-climb-in-september 

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

Friday, October 24, 2014

Kings County avoids falling home sales

Source: The Business Journal
Written by Ben Keller

Home sales fell throughout the state in September, although Kings County continued to be among the few exceptions. According to a new report from the California Association of Realtors, homes sales in Kings County improved 16.7 percent from August to September. Sales were also up 1.2 percent compared to September 2013. The median price of a home in the county was unchanged at $183,330 in September, both up 8.8 percent from $168,460 a year ago. Home sales in Fresno County declined 0.3 percent from August and 1.6 percent compared to September 2013. The price of a median home in Fresno County stood at $208,210 in September, up 2.2 percent from $203,760 the prior month and 12 percent from $185,830 a year ago. Tulare County saw its home sales fall 6.9 percent during the month but increase 3.6 percent in the year-over-year comparison. The county's median home price fell by 5.1 percent in September to $175,000 from August's price of $184,440. That's up 7 percent from $163,500 a year ago. Home sales in Madera County were down 6.3 percent compared to August and 31.8 percent year-over-year. The county's median home price was down 6 percent in the month, going from $166,670 in August to $156,670 in September. That's also down 17.5 percent from $190,000 last year. Home sales may have dropped in September but the available supply of houses saw some healthy increases in the Valley. Tulare County's index was up to 4.9 months in September compared to 4.5 months in August and 4.2 months a year ago. Madera County's index increased to 7.1 months compared to 6.9 months in August and 5 months last year. Fresno County's unsold inventory index, or number of months to deplete the supply of homes at the current sales rate, was unchanged in September at 5.2 months, up from 4.4 months in September 2013. Kings County's index stood at 3.2 months in September, down from 4 months in August but up from 3 months the year before. Statewide, home sales totaled 396,440 units in September, up just 0.4 percent from 394,700 in August but down 4.2 percent from 413,850 in September 2013. "September’s slight sales increase and tempering in home price gains suggest optimism as we head into the slower homebuying season," said C.A.R. Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young, in a statement. "Home prices are stabilizing, and the year-to-year sales decline is at the lowest level we’ve seen in the last 12 months. The cooling price growth and recent drops in mortgage rates will ease housing affordability and help to improve sales in the final months of the year."

URL to original article: http://www.thebusinessjournal.com/news/real-estate/14390-kings-county-avoids-falling-home-sales 

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

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Clovis City Council OK’s largest apartment complex in a decade

Source: The Fresno Bee
By Marc Benjamin The Fresno Bee
October 20, 2014

An apartment project that is the largest approved in Clovis in 10 years was supported by Clovis City Council members Monday night. The vote was 5-0 with no public opposition. The plan for 144 units that can be converted to condominiums is near the corner of Dakota and Clovis avenues, east of the city’s recreation center and old winery site. Under city guidelines, the property could have handled twice as many apartment units, said Laurie Doyle, vice president of development for Clovis-based Regal Development Group. She said the developer held two neighborhood meetings where traffic was a focal point, but there were no other significant concerns raised by neighbors. All the apartments will be single story, Doyle said. An office/recreation center with a manager’s unit is the only two-story building on the 19.6-acre property, she said. The plan includes the flexibility to become a condominium development, which is allowable under city guidelines, said Robin Kane, a Fresno apartment investment adviser. Kane said the local condominium market is sporadic in the Fresno area. It was strong about 10 years ago and in the early 1980s and could improve again, depending on the rise of housing prices. The Montage condominium development, approved by the Clovis City Council in 2005, had 255 units proposed, but only 81 have been built, city officials said. The last apartment complex approved that was larger in Clovis was the 178-unit Copper Beech project on Gettysburg Avenue and Sierra Vista Parkway in 2004.

URL to original article: http://www.fresnobee.com/2014/10/20/4189505_clovis-city-council-oks-largest.html?rh=1#storylink=cpy 

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