Tuesday, the Department of Labor announced a new rule that experts in the housing industry say will make health care more affordable for small businesses. The department announced a new rule that will change the definition of employer to include working owners for Association Health Plans.
Southern California house prices were up in May for a 72nd consecutive month, rising 7.7 percent year over year in the Los Angeles metro area and 6.8 percent in the Inland Empire, the California Association of Realtors reported Tuesday, June 19.
The median price of an existing single-family home — or price at the midpoint of all sales — hit an all-time high in Orange County, rising 5.4 percent to $838,000, the Realtor report said.
That’s the eighth-highest median in the state, trailing San Franciso (median $1.03 million), five other Bay Area counties and Mono County, north of Mammoth.
Riverside County had the region’s highest appreciation rate, however. The median house price there rose 9.3 percent to $409,925, an 11-year high.
Los Angeles County’s price gain was close behind, rising 9.1 percent to $536,940. In San Bernardino County, the median increased 4.6 percent to $285,000.
House prices have increased on an annual basis in all Southern California four counties since June 2012.
Sales, however, were down everywhere in the region but San Bernardino County, due to a very low number of homes on the market and higher mortgage interest rates.
Sales were down 8.7 percent from May 2017 levels in Riverside County, 7.4 percent in Orange County and 5.5 percent in Los Angeles County. In San Bernardino County, sales increased 2.1 percent from a year ago.
The unsold listings in the Los Angeles metro area were equal to 3.4 months — that is, it would take 3.4 months to sell everything on the market at the current sales pace — well below the six-month level considered to be a balanced market between buyers and sellers. The listing supply equaled 3.6 months in the Inland Empire.
The Realtor data is the first of at least four key market reports for May, with CoreLogic’s all-home median price and sales survey due out later this week.
Statewide, the median home price also reached a record high in May, while home sales retreated both on a monthly and annual basis, the Realtor association reported.
May’s statewide median home price was $600,860, up 9.2 percent from May 2017, hitting a new high for the first time in more than 10 years.
Existing, single-family home sales totaled 409,270 in May on a seasonally-adjusted annualized rate, down 4.6 percent from May 2017.
Sales likely will be tempered in the coming months due to higher home prices coupled with rising mortgage rates, said CAR President Steve White.
“The softening in May home sales was due in part to the spike in interest rates in mid-April, when the 30-year fixed mortgage rate jumped … (to) the highest level since 2014,” White said. “Additionally, the specter of rate increases earlier in the year may have pulled sales forward into the first quarter, which resulted in the subpar performance in the last couple of months.”
Bank of America says that U.S. borrowers are compiling more debt while simultaneously keeping their credit profiles healthy for now, according to an article by Will Mathis and Jennifer Surane for Bloomberg.
Larry Thomas, the longtime communications professional for numerous politicians and the Irvine Co., has died. He was 70.
Thomas, a Newport Beach resident, was diagnosed with cancer shortly after he retired from the Irvine Co. a decade ago. Initially, Thomas beat the disease, but it recently returned and led to his death.
Larry ThomasThe career of the man who many called “LT” included a stint as a reporter for United Press International; press secretary for George H.W. Bush (when he was vice president), George Deukmejian (when he was California’s governor) and Pete Wilson (as San Diego’s mayor). Thomas also was campaign manager for governorship runs for Deukmejian and Wilson.
In Orange County, Thomas may be best known, though, as the longtime spokesman for the land giant Irvine Co., where he worked for 20 years.
Company Chairman Donald Bren said in a statement: “We will miss Larry and his precision in words and life. I had the privilege of calling him a colleague and friend for more than three decades. Larry’s outstanding talents and wonderful sense of humor left an indelible mark. He will be greatly missed.”
When Thomas retired in 2007, he wrote to co-workers he hoped for a laid-back retirement: “Something deep inside of me says it’s time to trade in my suits and ties (and sell my pocket squares) for some board shorts, T-shirts and Rainbow sandals – and join the old guys on beach cruisers who seem to be living a relaxed, rich life in retirement.”
Artificial intelligence has pushed technological advancements to a whole new level, and increasingly can do just as many things as humans. But how far out is the mortgage industry really from using the kind of technology available to consumers in other industries? It may already be here.
It’s one thing to know how to put a diaper on a baby, but how about building a house out of diapers?
Even if disposable diapers make both jobs easier these days, there’s still much to admire in the skills that will be on display Friday, June 8, during the Builders for Babies drive to collect diapers and other items for the HomeAid Essentials outreach to homeless families.
Last year, the crew from CalAtlantic Homes created a cozy-looking beach cottage complete with a flower garden and picket fence.
The charitable goal is equally ambitious: collect 1 million diapers in one day.
HomeAid Orange County, the charitable arm of the local chapter of the Building Industry Association of Southern California, is holding the event in partnership with the county’s Children and Families Commission. Donations of diapers, baby food, wipes and other hygiene products can be dropped off from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. by the Big A at Angel Stadium, 2000 E. Gene Autry Way, Anaheim.
Items will be distributed to shelters and agencies that serve families experiencing homelessness.
An award ceremony for the building competition takes place at 1 p.m. Teams from eight companies are participating: Bank of America; Brookfield Residential; HomeAid Inland Empire with BIA Leaders Of Tomorrow & HMC Architects; Lennar Homes; National Core; The New Home Company; Toll Brothers; and William Lyon Homes.
Diaper drives on behalf of HomeAid’s Essentials program have been taking place at sites around the county since May 13 and will continue until Friday. For more information on HomeAid Essentials, go to homeaidOC.org/essentials.
HUD announced it approved a new agreement between two Nevada real estate companies to resolve claims of disability discrimination. The claim was filed by a Nevada resident after a request for her service animal was denied, and now both companies will undergo fair housing training.
NEWPORT BEACH — A Laguna Hills plastering company and two of its supervisors pleaded no contest Tuesday to a pair of misdemeanors stemming from the death of a 23-year-old worker who was electrocuted while erecting scaffolding at a Mission Viejo High School athletic field.
Thomas Aaron Blythe, 46, of Rancho Santa Margarita, and Timothy Scott Gordon, 52, of Lake Elsinore, each pleaded no contest to misdemeanor counts of willful violation causing death and willful violation causing injury.
They both worked for Five Star Plastering, which also entered pleas to the same counts.
According to the District Attorney’s Office, Blythe was the president and owner of the company and Gordon was the safety coordinator in July 2014, when employee Daniel Pohl of Apple Valley was electrocuted.
Daniel Pohl, of Apple Valley, died at the age of 23. File photo.Prosecutors said Pohl and another worker, also 23 years old, were erecting scaffolding that was going to be used for a banner supporting the Mission Viejo High School football team. Prosecutors contend that Pohl and the other worker were not properly trained and had limited experience when they were assigned the job.
Blythe — who was the vice president of the high school’s booster club — was at the school when the work began and Gordon failed to inspect the site for safety.
Instead, Pohl wound up coming in contact with a high-voltage power line, which was about two feet above the scaffolding — well below the six feet of clearance required by the state, prosecutors said. The other worker came to Pohl’s aid and also wound up touching the line, suffering burn injuries and falling about 25 feet to the ground.
According to prosecutors, the second worker suffered “serious and permanent injuries.”
As a result of their pleas, Blythe and Gordon were both ordered to perform community service and attend a workplace safety training program. Blythe and the company were ordered to pay $400,000 in restitution to the victims, along with the previously ordered $164,270 fine to Cal/OSHA.
Another company official, John Lawrence Alberts, 57, of Apple Valley, pleaded no contest to the same misdemeanors in September of last year and was also sentenced to community service and the workplace safety program. He was the crew supervisor at the time of Pohl’s death.
Access to credit remains tight not only compared to the housing boom years but also compared to historical levels. At the Mortgage Bankers Association Secondary conference in New York City, panelists at the Access to Credit session discussed how to safely open the credit box, and what some of the current hindrances are.
Homebuying in Anaheim, Orange and Villa Park cooled 4.6 percent in 2018’s first three months vs. 2017’s first quarter.
Real estate tracker CoreLogic found these 16 trends in 13 ZIP codes covered by the Orange County Register’s Anaheim Bulletin weekly …
1. Purchases: Home sales in this period totaled 847 vs. 888 a year earlier, a decline of 4.6 percent in a year.
2. Who’s up: Prices increased in 10 of the 13 ZIPs as sales rose in 5 ZIPs.
3. Countywide: $710,000 median selling price, up 6.4 percent in a year. Orange County sales totaled 7,800 residences, existing and new, vs. 8,041 a year earlier, a decline of 3.0 percent in a year. Prices rose in 67 out of 83 Orange County ZIPs and sales were up in 33 out of 83 ZIPs.
Here is how prices and sales moved at the community level …
4. Anaheim 92801: $535,000 median, up 2.4 percent in a year. Price rank? 72nd of 83. Sales of 69 vs. 67 a year earlier, a gain of 3.0 percent in a year.
5. Anaheim 92802: $549,000 median, up 10.1 percent in a year. Price rank? 68th of 83. Sales of 60 vs. 47 a year earlier, a gain of 27.7 percent in a year.
6. Anaheim 92804: $545,000 median, up 11.2 percent in a year. Price rank? 70th of 83. Sales of 119 vs. 122 a year earlier, a decline of 2.5 percent in a year.
7. Anaheim 92805: $535,000 median, flat vs. a year earlier. Price rank? 72nd of 83. Sales of 77 vs. 101 a year earlier, a decline of 23.8 percent in a year.
8. Anaheim 92806: $608,000 median, down 6.5 percent in a year. Price rank? 59th of 83. Sales of 34 vs. 47 a year earlier, a decline of 27.7 percent in a year.
9. Anaheim 92807: $698,500 median, up 14.5 percent in a year. Price rank? 42nd of 83. Sales of 122 vs. 99 a year earlier, a gain of 23.2 percent in a year.
10. Anaheim 92808: $680,000 median, up 0.7 percent in a year. Price rank? 47th of 83. Sales of 76 vs. 66 a year earlier, a gain of 15.2 percent in a year.
11. Orange 92865: $650,000 median, up 9.7 percent in a year. Price rank? 52nd of 83. Sales of 63 vs. 51 a year earlier, a gain of 23.5 percent in a year.
12. Orange 92866: $682,750 median, up 9.2 percent in a year. Price rank? 46th of 83. Sales of 26 vs. 27 a year earlier, a decline of 3.7 percent in a year.
13. Orange 92867: $711,000 median, up 3.8 percent in a year. Price rank? 39th of 83. Sales of 73 vs. 89 a year earlier, a decline of 18 percent in a year.
14. Orange 92868: $440,000 median, down 2.2 percent in a year. Price rank? 79th of 83. Sales of 25 vs. 39 a year earlier, a decline of 36 percent in a year.
15. Orange 92869: $688,000 median, up 25.2 percent in a year. Price rank? 45th of 83. Sales of 89 vs. 115 a year earlier, a decline of 22.6 percent in a year.
16. Villa Park 92861: $1,190,000 median, up 8.2 percent in a year. Price rank? 9th of 83. Sales of 14 vs. 18 a year earlier, a decline of 22.2 percent in a year.
Let’s toss in three more countywide trends …
17. Single-family homes resales: 4,614 Orange County sales vs. 4,762 a year earlier, a decline of 3.1 percent in a year. Median: $760,000 — a rise of 5.6 percent in a year.
18. Condo resales: 2,097 sales vs. 2,343 a year earlier, a decline of 10.5 percent in a year. Median: $495,000 — a rise of 4.2 percent in a year.
19. New homes: 1,089 sales vs. 934 a year earlier, a gain of 16.6 percent in a year. Median: $873,000 — a rise of 0.6 percent in a year.
DID YOU SEE?
California ranked as nation’s 5th fastest-growing economy
Southern California pay hits record highs as workers get more hours
California’s record low unemployment is far from perfect
Southern California homeownership on the rise, but still lags nation
California critic’s ultimate critique: He moved to Pennsylvania!
Southern California auto sales drop: Dip from peak or warning signal?