REAL ESTATE NEWS

September, 2022

Direct from C.A.R.

"C.A.R. continued its record of success this year

As the 2021-2022 legislative session ended August 31, C.A.R. continued its record of success this year by defeating SB 1105 (Hueso), SB 1026 (Wieckowski) and AB 2383 (Jones-Sawyer), none of which will be moving forward this year.

SB 1105 sought to grant vast taxing and bonding authority to an unelected Housing Agency Board in San Diego. C.A.R. does not oppose housing agencies per se, but this agency would have paid for its housing initiatives with taxes that would have affected and increased the cost of buying and holding property. The Board could have imposed or put on the ballot, if required by law, several special taxes on real property. Taxing housing to pay for other housing makes no sense and would increase the already high costs of housing, making it more expensive for homeowners to keep their property in a challenging economic environment and make the properties less affordable to purchase. As the state emerged from the pandemic with a $97 billion state surplus, the Legislature agreed that solving California’s housing problems should not be placed on working Californians struggling to stay afloat and keep their homes in a tough economic environment.

SB 1026 would have created a burdensome energy-efficiency audit process that would have been required to be performed for each rental unit every time a unit is rented. Specifically, the bill’s author sought to require housing providers determine the energy efficiency of appliances and heating systems, as well as door, wall, ceiling and floor insulation. Housing providers are not energy-efficiency experts and, as a result, they would have been forced to seek costly professional assistance every time they rented a unit to accurately report the energy efficiency of each aspect of the unit.

AB 2383 would have, among other things, imposed onerous requirements on housing providers by requiring they provide an extensive written statement to an applicant if the applicant’s criminal history information is used as the basis for possible denial. The written statement would have been required to include copious amounts of information, including the applicable law providing the basis for each conviction. Most housing providers are not lawyers so they would have no practical way of providing all of this detailed information.

C.A.R., over the course of several months, provided feedback regarding practical implementation concerns with both SB 1026 and AB 2383. However, that feedback was rejected. Consequently, C.A.R. was forced to oppose both bills, which would have increased costs and liability on small housing providers during a pandemic, as well as made it more difficult for prospective tenants to secure housing."

May 17, 2022

Direct from C.A.R.

"C.A.R. Lobbies for Housing In Sacramento

Fresh off a successful Legislative Day, C.A.R. continues to advocate for housing and homeownership in Sacramento.  C.A.R. is sponsoring several bills that will advance homewonership, such as AB 2170 (Grayson) Codification of GSE “First Look” Program.  This bill will prohibit bulk sales of REO parcels by a mortgage servicer that forecloses on 175 or more residential properties annually. This bill will also: (a) Conform to the existing federal guidelines for the federal “First Look” program and provide owner-occupants and public entities with an opportunity to purchase REO properties for 30 days); (b) Require mortgage servicers to provide a written acknowledgment to the potential owner-occupant purchaser and public entities of all offers during that 30 day period; and (c) Require mortgage servicers to respond to “First Look” offers on REO parcels prior to accepting offers from investor purchasers.  This bill passed out of the Assembly Appropriations Committee on May 11th and is now pending a vote on the Assembly Floor. Thus far there is no stated opposition to this bill. 

SCA 2 (Allen & Wiener) seeks to repeal Article 34, a constitutional amendment, enacted by voters in 1950, which requires that any development comprised of “low-rent” dwellings, financed in whole or in part by federal, state, or local government, be approved by a vote of the people in the jurisdiction where the project is located. The article adds significant costs to the production of affordable housing as developers must comply with its provisions for a ballot measure or to pursue alternative means of financing which would avoid the Article’s provisions. 

C.A.R. is also working in a coalition with Habitat for Humanity California, The Two Hundred, San Francisco Bay Area Planning and Research Association (SPUR), LISC San Diego, Housing Action Coalition, National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP), the California Building Industry Association (CBIA), and the Black Leadership Council (BLC) to request that the 2022-2023 State Budget increase homeownership funding as it has for other forms of housing in order to support the full continuum of necessary housing options for Californians. The coalition is asking that the budget, at a minimum, include an allocation of 20% ($400) of the rental housing resources to affordable owner-occupied workforce housing developments to provide long-term housing stability and 10% ($200) for downpayment assistance.

Leg Day Leads to REALTOR® Wins in the Capitol

When more than 2,200 California REALTORS® arrived in Sacramento, the State Capitol took notice.

On April 27, the California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.) held its annual 2022 Legislative Day in person for the first time since 2019, inviting California’s elected leaders to listen to what we, as REALTORS®, know needs to be done to help homeownership and address the housing crisis.

There was no doubt by the end of the day that the REALTOR® Party is a strong and unified voice for housing and property rights. Effective lobbying from C.A.R., and outspoken opposition from REALTORS® on C.A.R. Legislative Days this year, led to several REALTOR wins in the State Legisalature. 

C.A.R. opposed AB 2710 (Kalra) Residential Real Property: Right of First Offer, which would have prohibited rental property owners from selling their property to someone other than a so-called “qualified entity” for up to almost one year.  AB 2710 was pulled by the author from its scheduled hearing in the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee before the end of Leg Day week.

The second priority for Leg Day participants was advocating for the Senate to allocate more money for home ownership housing in the budget.  On Friday of Leg Day week, Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego) and Senate Budget & Fiscal Committee Chair Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) announced the second phase of the Senate’s “Putting Wealth to Work” budget proposal that would allocate $1.5 billion for California first-time homeowners and the construction of affordable owner-occupied homes.

Opposition to AB 2469 (Wicks) Statewide Rental Registry was a hot issue for this year’s Virtual Legislative Day held earlier this year. This bill would have established a statewide rental registry that would force housing providers to annually submit, and continually update, proprietary business information to the California Department of Housing and Community Development. Also during Leg Day week, AB 2469 failed to pass out of the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee by the Legislature’s policy committee deadline.

AB 2469 and AB 2710 are now considered “dead” in the legislature, meaning they will not move forward in the current session."

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October 7, 2021

Direct from C.A.R.

"C.A.R. releases its 2022 California Housing Market Forecast

California housing market to remain solid if pandemic is kept under control, but structural challenges will persist.

  • Existing, single-family home sales are forecast to total 416,800 units in 2022, a decline of 5.2 percent from 2021’s projected pace of 439,800.
     

  • California’s median home price is forecast to rise 5.2 percent to $834,400 in 2022, following a projected 20.3 percent increase to $793,100 in 2021.
     

  • Housing affordability is expected to drop to 23 percent next year from a projected 26 percent in 2021.
     

LOS ANGELES (Oct. 7) – Supply constraints and higher home prices will bring California home sales down slightly in 2022, but transactions will still post their second highest level in the past five years, according to a housing and economic forecast released today by the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.)

The baseline scenario of C.A.R.’s “2022 California Housing Market Forecast” sees a decline in existing single-family home sales of 5.2 percent next year to reach 416,800 units, down from the projected 2021 sales figure of 439,800. The 2021 figure is 6.8 percent higher compared with the pace of 411,900 homes sold in 2020.

The California median home price is forecast to rise 5.2 percent to $834,400 in 2022, following a projected 20.3 percent increase to $793,100 in 2021 from $659,400 in 2020. An imbalance in demand and supply will continue to put upward pressure on prices, but higher interest rates and partial normalization of the mix of sales will likely curb median price growth. Additionally, a shift in housing demand to more affordable areas, as the trend of remote working continues, will also keep prices in check and prevent the statewide median price from rising too fast in 2022.

“A slight decline next year from the torrid sales pace of the past year-and-a-half will be a welcome relief to potential homebuyers who have been pushed out of the market due to high market competition and an extremely low level of homes available for sale,” said C.A.R. President Dave Walsh. “Homeownership aspirations remain strong and motivated buyers will have more inventory to choose from. They will also benefit from a favorable lending environment, with the average 30-year fixed rate mortgage remaining below 3.5 percent for most of next year.”

C.A.R.’s 2022 forecast projects growth in the U.S. gross domestic product of 4.1 percent in 2022, after a projected gain of 6.0 percent in 2021. With California’s 2022 nonfarm job growth rate at 4.6 percent, up from a projected increase of 2.0 percent in 2021, the state’s unemployment rate will decrease to 5.8 percent in 2022 from 2021’s projected rate of 7.8 percent.

Growing global economic concerns will keep the average for 30-year, fixed mortgage interest rates low at 3.5 percent in 2022, up from 3.0 percent in 2021 and from 3.1 percent in 2020 but will still remain low by historical standards.

“Assuming the pandemic situation can be kept under control next year, the cyclical effects from the latest economic downturn will wane, and a strong recovery will follow,” said C.A.R. Vice President and Chief Economist Jordan Levine. “However, structural challenges will reassert themselves as the normalization of the market continues. Demand for homes will continue to outstrip available supply as the economy improves, resulting in higher home prices and slightly lower sales in 2022,” Levine continued.

2022 CALIFORNIA HOUSING FORECAST

"

August 27, 2021

Direct from N.A.R.

"Time to Focus on Rental Assistance

 

The U.S. Supreme Court ended the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC’s) eviction moratorium Thursday night, giving much-needed relief to America’s small housing providers facing financial hardship for more than a year. 
 
In a 6-3 ruling, a majority of justices agreed that the stay on the lower court’s order finding the CDC’s eviction moratorium to be unlawful was no longer justified.
 
In their order, the justices wrote, “The moratorium has put the applicants, along with millions of landlords across the country, at risk of irreparable harm by depriving them of rent payments with no guarantee of eventual recovery. Despite the CDC’s determination that landlords should bear a significant financial cost of the pandemic, many landlords have modest means.”
 
The case was brought by the Georgia and Alabama Associations of REALTORS® and other property providers, with NAR’s help.
 
In May of this year, U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich for the District of Columbia had struck down the ban as unlawful, but she stayed her ruling pending appeal. The case wound up twice before the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals and Supreme Court.
 
In a statement, NAR said of the ruling:

“This decision is the correct one, from both a legal standpoint and a matter of fairness.  It brings to an end an unlawful policy that places financial hardship solely on the shoulders of mom-and-pop housing providers, who provide nearly half of all rental housing in America, and it restores property rights in America.
 
“No housing provider wants to evict a tenant—it is always a last resort and reserved for the rarest cases. The best solution for all parties is rental assistance, and all energy should go toward its swift distribution.  Nearly $50 billion of aid is now available to cover up to a year-and-a-half of combined back and future rent and utilities for struggling tenants—and every state has started a program to distribute the funds.
 
“With this rental assistance, now is the time to return the housing sector to its former, healthy function.  NAR is thankful for the Biden administration’s new guidance to speed up rental assistance distribution, which includes many NAR recommendations. We will continue to work with all parties to make that assistance readily accessible to tenants and housing providers.” 

NAR cautions housing providers that some state and local governments may still have their own eviction moratoria in place."

(Read More)

Access NAR’s rental assistance resources.

Tenant Relief Act for COVID assistance.

May 16, 2021
Direct from C.A.R. President & CEO
"Dear Industry Leader,
We were happy to see state guidelines ease for the real estate industry this week. Thank you for your patience as our team has worked through the night to update our guidance, Quick Guide and forms to be able to get them to you this morning. We wanted to give you an hour heads up before the information  below goes to your agents and all members. Please let us know if you have any questions. IMPORTANT: We anticipate further announcements impacting real estate showings of all kinds, perhaps as early as later this morning. We will be communicating any relevant changes as quickly as we can.
C.A.R. Updates Guidance on Open Houses
Info about PEADS, updated forms, sign-in requirements, social distancing and more.

On Wednesday, the California Dept. of Public Health updated its guidance on open houses and stated further updates were pending. C.A.R. is pleased to provide the following changes to open house protocols. Please remember to adhere to local guidelines which may be more strict in certain areas.
  • Open Houses: Advertising open houses, without qualifiers, is allowed and appointments for open houses are no longer required.
  • Social Distancing: Showings, including open houses, are somewhat relaxed under the new social gatherings guidelines but still include social distancing between members of different households while attending an open house, and are subject to capacity issues depending on the tier of the county where the house is located.  Please refer to local guidelines for this information.
  • Signing In: There will still be a sign-in requirement on site. The new Property Sign-In form- PSI can be used for this purpose. However, you can still use a PEAD instead of the on-site sign in if you prefer. See the new Quick Guide here for more details.
  • Forms: C.A.R. has simplified and shortened the Rules of Entry (PRE), Preventive Plan (BPPP), and the PSI sign-in form as an alternative to PEADS. There also is an addendum to the listing agreement LOHA reflecting the changed protocols. This form is necessary if the parties had previously signed the RLA-CAA, which did not allow for open houses. New listings should also include this addendum if the listing broker wants to hold open houses.
  • PEADS: The PEADS have been combined and simplified into one shorter PEAD-ALL that is available if members prefer to use them instead of on-site sign-in protocols.
The newly revised forms PRE, BPPP, PEAD, new Property Sign-in form PSI and the new Listing Addendum LOHA will all be available on zipForm as soon as possible. In the interim, a PDF of each of these is available here.
Members may still use the current forms that are on zipForm if they choose until the new ones are released.  
These changes represent a step in the right direction, and we are hopeful that they will make it easier for REALTORS® to comply with laws that are consistent with other businesses while remaining in accordance with health guidelines. 

Thank you,

Dave Walsh, C.A.R. President
Joel Singer, C.A.R. CEO"