According to the LA Times, home prices in California will continue to increase next year, but at a slower pace, said a forecast released Thursday by the California Association of Realtors.
The median price of a home is expected to rise 4.2 percent in 2018 to $561,000, less than the expected 7.2 percent increase this year.
While the forecast from the Realtor group did not include specific San Diego County estimates, researchers said the figures should be similar to the state total because Southern California represents the state’s biggest housing market.
Leslie Appleton-Young, chief economist for the organization, said a lack of homes for sale — because of construction not keeping pace and other factors — would keep home prices rising for the next three to five years.
But, she said affordability constraints stop the increases from rising higher because of the gap between income increases and home prices.
“The slower income growth is really hampering the ability of first-time buyers to get into the market,” Appleton-Young said in a presentation at the Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina as part of the annual CAR Expo.
She predicted statewide affordability would drop to 26 percent, down from 51 percent in 2012 when the recession was still having a significant effect. The association measures affordability by checking if the monthly housing payment does not exceed 30 percent of gross monthly income.
Appleton-Young said sales of homes have stayed at about the same level for years — which doesn’t make a ton of sense if you consider substantial job growth and historically low mortgage interest rates. But, fewer homes and increasing prices have stopped sales from picking up.
Sales are predicted to increase by 1 percent in 2018, down from the expected 1.3 percent increase this year, she said.
In the next few years, California’s population will grow — up to an estimated 40 million people in 2018 from 39.4 million in 2016 — and so the need for more housing will increase, too. But, that doesn’t mean the state isn’t losing some important people.
“You’re seeing an exodus of younger people from California,” she said. “Because they can’t afford to buy. It’s starting to hamper the ability of tech companies leading the charge with job growth.”
International buyers are expected to continue to be interested in California in the coming years, officials at the Realtor organization said, because prices here are still cheaper compared to other places around the world. Although, there will likely continue to be a reduction in Chinese buyers as that nation’s government cracks down on how much money leaves the mainland.
Another prediction for next year is that less expensive areas will see increased demand from many buyers who are priced out of other in-demand locations.
Expo attendee Jan Ryan, an Re/Max agent based in Ramona, said she has already seen an increase of people from central San Diego who are searching for cheaper housing in the rural area where she has been based for 34 years.
She said for most of her career she has worked with a lot of family members of people who lived in the area. But, nowadays, people are seeking out properties farther east because they can’t afford anything closer to the coast, even though they might work out there.
“You get a lot more for your money,” she said. “We’re a small town with good schools, less traffic, a lot of community events and a lot of room for growth.”
Lack of homes for sale in California was a major topic of discussion at the Realtor exposition, with blame being thrown at multiple sides.
At a session on Wednesday, Alan Ratner, housing research analyst at Zelman & Associations, said regulations were harming builders’ ability to get more homes constructed.
“Right out of the gate, a builder is in the hole on average about $50,000 before they even start building a place,” he said.
Lynn Reaser, economist at Point Loma Nazarene University, said a major factor in San Diego County has been community opposition to new projects. She gave the example of a builder in the region that has been trying to build housing around transit areas — something promoted by the state — but keeps running into opposition.
Issi Romem, chief economist of BuildZoom, said part of the problem is a lack of construction workers to build all the housing that analysts say California needs.
“The construction industries have a hard time drawing in younger workers,” he said. “They lost many of its members in the last down cycle and it hasn’t regained those.”
Los Angeles ranks as the top choice in the U.S. for international real estate investors ...."LA Times"
Los Angeles is in a sweet spot in its real estate cycle that will make it one of the top choices in the world for buying property this year, a new report says.
The L.A. area ranked No. 1 in North America in a survey of global real estate investors who have a combined total of $1.7 trillion to spend on property in 2017. Top choice cities for investment in other regions were London and Sydney, Australia.
Overall, offices are the preferred category of real estate to buy, with warehouse distribution centers and multifamily residential buildings close behind. Shopping centers, hotels and industrial properties ranked lower in investor interest.
“L.A. has been waiting for this moment for a long time,” said Lew Horne, president of Southern California and Hawaii for CBRE Group Inc., the Los Angeles-based international real estate services company that conducted the survey to be released this week.
Among the participants were investment fund managers, insurance companies and operators of pension and sovereign wealth funds.
It was the second year in a row that Los Angeles was the top choice for investment in the Americas. In the first CBRE Global Investor Intentions Survey, conducted two years ago, San Francisco ranked No. 1 in the region.
Forty percent of investors said they intend to spend more this year than this did last year, while 16% said they would spend less. Researchers caution that while the outlook for commercial real estate investment looks more positive this year than it in 2016, we are now the eighth year of a global economic expansion. Property values have risen for the most part every year since 2009, which suggests the market may be peaking.
Only 15% of respondents, however, said that property is overpriced and that bubble conditions exist. Of greater concern was the fear that interest rates could rise faster than expected (21%) or that an undefined “global economic shock” could undermine demand from renters (22%).
Los Angeles is in a more favorable point in its real estate cycle than other markets are in theirs, said Todd Tydlaska, a CBRE broker who specializes in investment property sales.
“Rents in other markets have really run up” in recent years, he said. “L.A. was late to the recovery and still has room for rents to rise.”
Property prices in Los Angeles are also considered a bit of a bargain by international standards, Tydlaska said. “L.A. is still a value compared to San Francisco.”
Even though investors remain bullish on Los Angeles, it may be hard to top the volume of money spent there last year, he said, when some enormous deals took place.
Among the biggest were the $1.34-billion purchase of four Westwood office buildings by local real estate investment trust Douglas Emmett Inc. and the Qatar Investment Authority, as well as the $511-million purchase of the Colorado Center office complex in Santa Monica by Boston real estate investment trust Boston Properties Inc. Another was the $429-million purchase of two Playa Vista office buildings by New York landlord Edward J. Minskoff Equities Inc.
All three were among the 50 largest office deals in the country last year, according to real estate software provider Yardi Systems Inc.
“Los Angeles’s office market reigns supreme as the main target for investment on the West Coast,” Yardi said in a report.
The Westside, where those those and other big sales took place, is the L.A. area’s core market for investment, according to CBRE, in part because it consistently commands the highest rents in the region.
But downtown Los Angeles, which has seen billions of dollars worth of investment from Chinese and Canadian firms in recent years, is also growing in appeal to U.S. developers with experience in other cities where old neighborhoods have already been transformed, Horne said.
He expects still more investment in once-neglected blocks such as L.A.’s Arts District and Historic Core.
“The guys from New York and San Francisco have already seen this movie before,” Horne said.
"Fashion Island is returning to its classic tree lighting tradition with the annual ceremony on November 18 & 19 from 6pm – 6:30pm in the Neiman Marcus – Bloomingdale’s Courtyard. Hosted by KOST 103.5 FM’s Mark Wallengren, enjoy a 25-minute live musical performance of The Magic of Christmas starring The Young Americans. See Santa and Mrs. Claus bring the tree to life as we celebrate this special time of year. And, of course, there will be “snowfall”! Then, after the show and the tree is aglow, come visit Santa…Ho! Ho! Ho! *Blankets and low chairs will be permitted on the lawn areas on either side of the stage only. Once these areas are full, there will only be standing room available. Spots can be saved by placing blankets on a first-come, first-served basis during the day of the event. There will be a reserved seating section in compliance with ADA requirements." Courtesy of visitnewportbeach.com
The following is great projection of the housing market for 2016. The article was mostly extracted from the California Association of Realtors blog. The market will continue the pace of 2015 and maybe more.
“Home sales activities in California remained solid in September, but the growth in sales has moderated since it peaked in July. In fact, the annual increase of 6.9 percent was the lowest since February 2015. The statewide median price also continued to improve at a moderate pace, with a year-over-year growth rate of 4.3 percent in September. The mild growth rate in price was attributed partly to the shift in the mix of sales, as sales activities in lower-priced regions such as the Central Valley improved more significantly than the higher-priced San Francisco Bay Area in recent months. According to California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.), sales of existing detached homes will increase 6.3 percent in 2016 to 433,000, and the statewide median price will rise with an annual growth rate of 3.2 percent in 2016. Despite the anticipated improvement in the housing market condition in the upcoming year, there are some challenges and uncertainties that the economy and the housing market will face in 2016. One such unknown risk is the timing and the magnitude of the federal funds rate increase. The Federal Reserve has an opportunity to raise the rate in December before the end of 2015, but given the pace of the current economic growth, it is very likely that the Fed will begin the rate hike in early next year instead. The increase in the rate is expected to be mild and gradual throughout the next two years. Robust job growth in high-cost areas is another downside risk to the housing market. Due to the spillover effect of growth in high paying jobs, plenty of lower-paying jobs have been created, with many of these jobs being in the same geographic areas where the high paying jobs are being added. As such, income disparity in these areas could further complicate and deteriorate the housing affordability issue. Global economic issues could also begin taking a toll on economic growth later this year and next year. Slow growth in China and other European countries, coupled with stronger growth in the US, have paved the way for higher interest rates and lead to a stronger dollar. As such, international trade will likely be a drag on growth, as slower global growth and the stronger dollar soften the demand for exports, while continued strong growth in consumer spending domestically pulls in even more imports. Other potential risks that could have a negative impact on the California economy include the ongoing severe water shortage and the expected return of El Nino. Both could cause some economic losses, especially in the agricultural sector. However, the overall economic impact to the state of either risk is likely going to be small and may lead to minimal reduction in the employment growth rate for the next couple years.”
Areas like Orange County will keep attracting international funds and home prices will improve even more. Sadly, affordability will be harder to chase.