Jonathan Lansner

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Spring homebuying dips 6% in Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, Costa Mesa: 15 facts to know

Homebuying in Newport Beach, Laguna Beach and Costa Mesa fell 6 percent this spring vs. a year ago.

“That’s what we found when we looked at Orange County house hunting patterns at the neighborhood level in 2018’s second quarter vs. the April-to-June period a year earlier.

On tape! Lansner visits KABC’s McIntyre show

CoreLogic found these 15 trends in 9 ZIP codes covered by the northern edition of the Orange County Register’s The Current weekly …

1. Purchases: Home sales in this period totaled 802 vs. 856 a year ago, a decline of 6.3 percent.

2. Who’s up: Prices increased in six of the nine ZIPs as sales rose in four ZIPs.

3. Countywide: $730,000 median selling price, up 6.0 percent. Orange County sales totaled 10,256 residences, existing and new, vs. 10,767 a year ago, a decline of 4.7 percent. Prices rose in 65 out of 83 Orange County ZIPs and sales were up in 28 out of 83 ZIPs.

Here is how prices and sales moved at the community level …

4. Laguna Beach 92651: $1,725,000 median, flat in the period. Price rank in Orange County: No. 5 highest of 83. Sales of 122 vs. 120 a year ago, a gain of 1.7 percent.

5. Costa Mesa 92626: $799,000 median, up 6.4 percent. Price rank? No. 29 of 83. Sales of 112 vs. 134 a year ago, a decline of 16.4 percent.

6. Costa Mesa 92627: $875,000 median, flat in the period. Price rank? No. 22 of 83. Sales of 153 vs. 143 a year ago, a gain of 7 percent.

7. Corona del Mar 92625: $2,575,000 median, up 17.0 percent. Price rank? No. 4 of 83. Sales of 84 vs. 86 a year ago, a decline of 2.3 percent.

8. Newport Beach 92660: $1,700,000 median, up 4.3 percent. Price rank? No. 7 of 83. Sales of 129 vs. 151 a year ago, a decline of 14.6 percent.

9. Newport Beach 92661: $3,275,000 median, up 17 percent. Price rank? No. 1 of 83. Sales of 22 vs. 36 a year ago, a decline of 38.9 percent.

10. Newport Beach 92662: $2,787,500 median, up 1 percent. Price rank? No. 2 of 83. Sales of 14 vs. 9 a year ago, a gain of 55.6 percent.

11. Newport Beach 92663: $1,714,500 median, up 13.5 percent. Price rank? No. 6 of 83. Sales of 108 vs. 102 a year ago, a gain of 5.9 percent.

12. Newport Coast 92657: $2,774,000 median, down 6.0 percent. Price rank? No. 3 of 83. Sales of 58 vs. 75 a year ago, a decline of 22.7 percent.

Plus, three more countywide trends found this spring vs. a year ago. …

13. Single-family-home resales: 6,349 Orange County sales vs. 6,730 a year ago, a decline of 5.7 percent in the period. Median: $790,000 — a rise of 5.3 percent in the period.

14. Condo resales: 2,694 sales vs. 2,811 a year ago, a decline of 4.2 percent in 12 months. Median: $501,000 — a rise of 3.3 percent in a year.

15. New homes: Builders sold 1,213 residences vs. 1,226 a year ago, a decline of 1.1 percent in 12 months. Median: $948,500 — a rise of 16.2 percent in a year.ICYMI:  California critic’s ultimate critique: He moved to Pennsylvania!

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/08/15/spring-homebuying-dips-6-in-newport-beach-laguna-beach-costa-mesa-15-facts-to-know/

Million-dollar cities: 28 in Los Angeles, Orange counties median home prices above that mark

  • The price on the one-bedroom, one-bathroom home has dropped since March, when it was a smidge under $1.4 million. (Photo by Vincent Ivicevic)

  • The La Canada Flintridge, Georgian Colonial home of developer Nelson Rising is on the market at $8.5 million. (Photo by Wayne Ford)

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  • A living area inside a Lennar model home in Chino Hills which are priced near and above $1 million. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • The gated, two-story, Mediterranean home has hit the market again after selling in 2010 for $4.5 million. Take a tour in the slideshow.

  • A seven-bedroom home in Newport Beach has sold for $14.55 million, a record for that oceanfront strip. (Photo by Chris Snitko)

  • A seven-bedroom, oceanfront home in Newport Beach has sold for $14.55 million (Photo by Chris Snitko)

  • Several prominent celebrities have called the 88-year-old oceanfront house at 1038 Palisades Beach Road in Santa Monica home through the decades. The house is for sale at just under $12 million. (Photo by Adam Latham)

  • Home office: 10 Channel Vista, Newport Coast; Ocean view, 9,762 square feet, 5 bedrooms; Asking price: $22.8 million; Listing agents: John Cain, Heather Hosto, HOM Sotheby’s International Realty

  • Hanley Investment Group Real Estate Advisors in Corona del Mar has closed the sale of Roosevelt Plaza at Carlsbad Village for roughly $8.2 million. The 19,950-square-foot, three-story property that combines retail, creative office and residential homes in Carlsbad. (Courtesy of Hanley Investment Group)

  • The home at 1 Pelican Hill Road N., on 12.5 acres in Newport Coast , sold for $40 million in 2017. (Photo by Andrew Bramasco)

  • The swimming pool/waterpark of a 7,238-square-foot Covina home is featured, asking price is $5.6 million Dec. 11, 2017. The 4.32 acre horse property is located on E. Lorencita Drive. (Photo by Leo Jarzomb, SGV Tribune/ SCNG)

  • Retired baseball player Skip Schumaker’s Convenant Hills home sold for $2.2 million. (Photo by Bowman Group Architectural Photography)

  • The home at 12 Bay Island, at the tip of the small island in the photo above, is for sale at $21.995 million, (Photo by Ryan Garvin)

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One-in-seven U.S. cities with median home values of $1 million or above are located in the metropolitan area comprising Los Angeles and Orange counties, according to a new report from Zillow.

As of June, real estate tracker Zillow found 28 million-dollar cities in the two Southern California counties. Only two metropolitan areas — New York/New Jersey and San Francisco had more.

L.A.-O.C.’s million-dollar cities represented 14 percent of all U.S. towns with such high housing values. But the two counties are also the nation’s No. 2 metro area in terms of population: 13.4 million residents equal 8.4 percent of the people living in the big metro areas tracked by Zillow in this report.

It’s not just seven-figure housing that makes L.A.-O.C. stand out: Overall, the metro’s median home value of $646,300 ranked No. 3 priciest of the major metros studied. By the way, the area’s priciest city by Zillow math? Beverly Hills at $3.48 million.

To the east, Riverside and San Bernardino counties had no million-dollar cities, by Zillow’s math. That didn’t mean the Inland Empire is not pricey.

Overall, Riverside and San Bernardino counties had a median home value of $356,800 — No. 12 of the major metros studied. And it’s  priciest city? Indian Wells with a $716,300 median value.

On tape! Lansner visits KABC’s McIntyre show

The San Francisco region has 46 million-dollar cities, ranking No. 1 of all U.S. metropolitan areas. That represented 23 percent of all U.S. million-dollar cities even though its 4.73 million population is just 3 percent of the people living in big metro areas.

Overall, San Francisco had a median home value of $953,600 — No. 2 of the major metros studied. And its priciest city, Atherton at $6.87 million, was the national high.

 

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/08/14/los-angeles-and-orange-counties-have-1-in-7-of-u-s-cities-with-million-dollar-home-values/

KABC’s McIntyre, columnist Lansner discuss housing affordability

KABC radio host Doug McIntyre had Orange County Register business columnist Jon Lansner talking about Southern California housing affordability on the Monday, Aug. 13, McIntyre In The Morning show.

Here’s how it sounded …

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/08/13/kabcs-mcintyre-columnist-lansner-discuss-housing-affordability/

Where are California’s most affordable homes? Check out this map

California home affordability, as measured by the California Association of Realtors, is at a 10-year low.

By the association’s math, 26 percent of California house hunters could comfortably afford to buy a median-priced, existing single-family home in 2018’s second-quarter vs. 31 percent in the first quarter and 29 percent a year ago.

The association blames rising home prices and pricier mortgages for the lowered affordability. Six years ago, in the early days of the economic recovery, affordability hits its most-recent peak at 56 percent.

The affordability index shows a successful California house hunter needs an annual income of $126,490 to buy the $596,730 statewide median-priced, existing single-family home in the second quarter, assuming a monthly payment of $3,160 with 20 percent down and a 30-year mortgage with a fixed 4.7 percent interest rate. A year earlier, a similar mortgage went for 4.09 percent.

For the four counties covered by the Southern California News Group, here are affordability metrics for the second quarter including ranking among the 49 counties covered …

Orange County: 20 percent could afford $830,000 median-priced home that generates a $4,400 monthly payment requiring an income of $175,930 to purchase. State rank: 39.

Los Angeles County: 26 percent could afford $557,220 median-priced home that generates a $2,950 monthly payment requiring an income of $118,110 to purchase. State rank: 34.

Riverside County: 37 percent could afford $405,000 median-priced home that generates a $2,150 monthly payment requiring an income of $85,850 to purchase. State rank: 26.

San Bernardino County: 49 percent could afford $290,000 median-priced home that generates a $1,540 monthly payment requiring an income of $61,470 to purchase. State rank: 6.

So where are California’s “bargain” by this math? Check out this map tracking affordability measures for 49 major California counties.

Have you checked out Bubble Watch …

Bubble Watch: Are house hunters shying from newly built homes?

Bubble Watch: Is California’s anti-business vibe killing the state’s economy?

Bubble Watch: Home-equity loans back at pre-recession levels

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/08/13/where-are-californias-most-affordable-homes-check-out-this-map/

Best city to raise a family? This study has a curious California suggestion!

What’s California’s best city for raising a family?

Now that’s a topic where even the proper metrics are up for serious debate. Schools? Safety? Health? Employment?

Nonetheless, data crunchers at rent tracker Zumper attempted to solve this riddle with relatively simple mathematics.

I’m not sure many folks would guess the Golden State’s best city is Bakersfield, but that’s what we found inside Zumper’s ranking of a curious selection of 94 cities nationwide — 11 in California — based on 10 measures of quality of life and economic factors.

I loaded Zumper’s ranking data into my trusty spreadsheet to better understand what cities were doing right — and wrong. I split Zumper’s 10 measurements used to score the cities and split them into two buckets. One gauged quality of life issues such as infant-care costs, the share of population under 45, drop-out rates, commute times and crime. The other measured finances, looking at three yardsticks for housing costs, income and unemployment.

Look, money is important. You do have to pay the bills, especially when you’re raising a family. Having a nice roof over the clan’s head does add to the overall quality of life. But as the Beatles once sang, “Money can’t buy you love.”

Ponder Bakersfield’s rankings: No. 19 overall nationally out of the 94 cities in the Zumper study. My spreadsheet says that’s due to the city being 15th best among the 94 in quality of life scores and 39th when it came to finances.

My translation: Pricey, but probably worth it. Costs are often a drag on California performance in such rankings.

Now think about Santa Ana, which was ranked 47th overall. It might have gotten a better final score (it ranked 22nd for quality of life) but for its cost of living: 78th most expensive city. Or simply put: not worth the price tag.

Elsewhere in Zumper’s report, San Diego ranked as California’s second-best family-rearing locale: No. 32 overall; No. 28 for quality; and No. 48 for finances. Third was San Jose: No. 41 overall; No. 54 for quality; and No. 29 for finances.

Other California cities scored by Zumper, in order of their state ranking:

4. Anaheim: No. 46 overall; No. 36 for quality; and No. 61 for finances.

6. Sacramento: No. 50 overall; No. 63 for quality; and No. 29 for finances.

7. Fresno: No. 61 overall; No. 44 for quality; and No. 77 for finances.

8. Long Beach: No. 78 overall; No. 70 for quality; and No. 84 for finances.

9. Los Angeles: No. 82 overall; No. 78 for quality; and No. 87 for finances.

10. Oakland: No. 86 overall; No. 93 for quality; and No. 34 for finances.

11. San Francisco: No. 89 overall; No. 87 for quality; and No. 80 for finances.

If you’re seeking family nirvana by this math, Madison, Wisc., was the nation’s best. My spreadsheet says the city ranked No. 3 nationally among the 94 for the quality of life issues and was tops when finances were considered.

No. 2 was Lincoln, Neb., which was No. 1 in the U.S. for the quality of life and No. 12 for finances. Lexington, Ky. was third with a No. 2 score for quality of life and No. 11 for finances.

And where should a family not go, according to Zumper’s math? Baltimore followed by Detroit, then Las Vegas.

Check out this map to see how all 94 cities did in these rankings …

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/08/12/where-to-raise-a-family-this-study-has-a-curious-california-suggestion/

With gasoline costing 25% more, region’s inflation is up 3.9%

Inflation in Los Angeles and Orange counties was rising at a 3.9 percent annual rate in July with gasoline prices up 25 percent in a year, according to a regional Consumer Price Index.

The change in the two-county region’s CPI costs and compares with 4 percent a month earlier and 2.5 percent a year earlier. Inflation rose 2.9 percent nationally.

Rising inflation has been eating into wage gains earned locally. So far this year, L.A.-O.C. inflation has risen at an average annual pace of 3.84 percent vs. private-sector average weekly earnings gains of 4.56 percent in the two counties. Last year, inflation rose 2.8 percent vs. 2.53 percent for weekly earnings. In 2013-2016, inflation averaged 1.3 a year vs. 2.38 percent for weekly earnings.

Here are local inflation trends you should be watching …

1. Overall housing costs in L.A.-O.C. rose 4.7 percent in the past year, according to CPI math. The CPI’s rent index was up 4.7 percent in a year.

2. Household energy cost 1.2 percent more. Gasoline cost 25.4 more in the last 12 months, by CPI math.

3. Food costs rose 1.3 percent in a year. Eating out expenses rose 2.9 percent.

4. Medical bills were up1.3 percent.

5. Costs of all services were 4.3 percent above a year ago.

6. Apparel prices were 2.4 percent higher.

7. The cost of big-ticket “durable goods” (such as appliances and furniture) were 3.3 percent lower in the year.

8. Western states saw consumer prices in July up at a 3.6 percent annual pace. A month earlier? 3.6 percent.

9. A new bimonthly Consumer Price Index for Riverside and San Bernardino counties shows inflation up 0.2 percent between May and March.

Have you checked out Bubble Watch …

Bubble Watch: Are house hunters shying from newly built homes?

Bubble Watch: Is California’s anti-business vibe killing the state’s economy?

Bubble Watch: Home-equity loans back at pre-recession levels

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/08/11/with-gasoline-costing-25-more-regions-inflation-is-up-3-9/

Why do bosses pay new hires better than loyal staffers?

I’m not sure why this trend continues … but it seems if you want a decent raise you must quit your job!

Even though numerous bosses are upping their overall wage scales in meaningful ways, it appears many employers will do significantly more, paycheck-wise, to lure a new worker than to keep the long-timers happy.

Ponder this workplace statistical oddity from economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.

Pay for workers who switched jobs rose at an average 3.98 percent annual rate in 2018’s first half. That’s up from 3.83 a year earlier. Welcome aboard, newbie!

But wages for loyal workers who stayed put rose only at a 2.65 annualized rate in the first half. That rate of increase is actually down from 2.92 percent a year ago. Ah, the cost of loyalty!

Bottom line: The quitter’s pay-hike advantage runs 1.33 percentage points. How big is that?

1. It’s more than double the average 0.53 percentage-point gap since 1997. The historical higher pay for newbies makes sense as bosses have to use pay as a key enticement for recruitment.

2. The gap is up from 0.92 percentage points a year ago, helping to explain the surge in workers quitting jobs nationwide.

3. It’s the largest six-month gap since the end of 2000. Considering what came next economically (recession ugliness), you might want to rethink your career path!

Maybe this gap is really about how many workers lack warm-and-fuzzy feelings for their bosses. Or maybe it’s an example of how hard bosses must work to fill staff vacancies in an ultra-tight job market.

No matter the reasons, 3.56 million U.S. workers “voluntarily” left their jobs in May, surpassing the last peak of quits in January 2001. Money may not buy happiness, but it can get you to switch bosses.

Now the Atlanta survey doesn’t have regional results. But another federal government benchmark shows us that local bosses are increasing salaries.

Southern California bosses raised wages and salaries by 3.3 percent in the past year, according to the Employment Cost Index for Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties. That’s up from 3.1 percent annualized in the previous quarter and 2.7 percent in the year-ago period. Again, a tight regional job market with low unemployment has forced employers to pay up to retain and attract workers.

From 2010 to 2014 in the post-recession years, the index showed tight-fisted employers raising pay at just a 1.6 percent annual rate. Since then, local wages and salaries have averaged annualized increases of 3.2 percent.

Of the 15 metropolitan areas tracked by this index, Southern California raises were sixth highest nationwide last quarter. Biggest hikes were seen in the Bay Area at 4.5 percent. Lowest? Boston at 1.1 percent.

Nationally, wages and salaries rose at a 2.8 percent pace in the last quarter by this math vs. 2.5 percent in the previous quarter and 2.2 percent a year ago.

The index differs from other salary measurements because it’s adjusted to limit the possible impact of employment swings in the number of jobs in high-paying occupations or low-wage industries. When the index considered additional benefit costs to see total compensation, Southern California labor costs in the last quarter were up at a 3.1 percent annual rate vs. 3.2 percent in the previous quarter and 2.9 percent a year ago.

Have you checked out Bubble Watch …

Bubble Watch: Are house hunters shying from newly built homes?

Bubble Watch: Is California’s anti-business vibe killing the state’s economy?

Bubble Watch: Home-equity loans back at pre-recession levels

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/08/10/why-do-bosses-pay-new-hires-better-than-loyal-staffers/

Just 1-in-5 can afford a typical Orange County home: Where are California’s bargains?

Earning $175,930 a year?

That’s what one home affordability measure says you’d need to comfortably buy a typical single-family home in Orange County.

The California Association of Realtors estimated that in the second quarter just 20 percent of residents could afford Orange County’s $830,000 median-priced house that would generate a $4,400 monthly payment. The county’s affordability ranked No. 39 among 49 major California counties tracked.

Statewide affordability is at a 10-year low.

By the association’s math, 26 percent of California house hunters could comfortably afford to buy a median-priced, existing single-family home in 2018’s second-quarter vs. 31 percent in the first quarter and 29 percent a year ago.

The association blames rising home prices and pricier mortgages for the lowered affordability. Six years ago, in the early days of the economic recovery, affordability hits its most-recent peak at 56 percent.

The statewide affordability index shows a successful California house hunter needs an annual income of $126,490 to buy the $596,730 statewide median-priced, existing single-family home in the second quarter, assuming a monthly payment of $3,160 with 20 percent down and a 30-year mortgage with a fixed 4.7 percent interest rate. A year earlier, a similar mortgage went for 4.09 percent.

So where are California’s “bargains” by this math? Check out this map tracking affordability measures for 49 major counties.

Have you checked out Bubble Watch …

Bubble Watch: Are house hunters shying from newly built homes?

Bubble Watch: Is California’s anti-business vibe killing the state’s economy?

Bubble Watch: Home-equity loans back at pre-recession levels

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/08/09/just-1-in-5-can-afford-a-typical-orange-county-home-where-are-californias-bargains/

California’s firefighter job market: 7 things to know

  • A firefighter carries hoses during the Research Fire Thursday, August 2, 2018 in Corona. Homes were briefly threatened and under mandatory evacuations along Juniper Drive in the Sierra Del Oro development south of the 91 Freeway. (Photo by Brian Rokos, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • A strike team walk up Highway 74 near the Hurkey Creek area on day 3 of the Cranston Fire in Idyllwild on Friday, July 27, 2018. (Photo by Stan Lim, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

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  • Fire burns through Holy Jim Canyon in Trabuco Canyon on Monday, August 7, 2018. (OnScene.TV)

  • Firefighters stand watch on a roof as a wildfire sweeps through the area near Lakeport, Calif., Thursday, August 2, 2018. (Kent Porter /The Press Democrat via AP)

  • Corona firefighters survey what’s left of the Research Fire Thursday, August 2, 2018 in Corona. Homes were briefly threatened and under mandatory evacuations along Juniper Drive in the Sierra Del Oro development south of the 91 Freeway. (Photo by Brian Rokos, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • Firefighter Vincent Plant of San Diego, with the UsS. Fish and Wildlife Service crew, walks to his fire engine after helping with a fire line on Placer Road near Diggins Way in Redding on Saturday, July 28. (Hector Amezcua/The Sacramento Bee via AP)

  • Members the Olivehurst Fire Department stage behind the Igo-Ono Volunteer Fire Department station house along South Fork Road while battling the Carr Fire in Igo, Calif., on Saturday, July 28, 2018. The wildfire in Northern part of the state has killed two firefighters, injured three more, destroyed 500 structures and scorched nearly 81,000 acres. (Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group)

  • A Cal Fire firefighter sets a back fire in front of the Carr Fire while protecting a home on Lazyhorse Lane in Igo, Calif., on Saturday, July 28, 2018. The wildfire in Northern part of the state has killed two firefighters, injured three more, destroyed 500 structures and scorched nearly 81,000 acres. (Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group)

  • A firefighter makes a stand in front of an advancing wildfire as it approaches a residence Saturday, July 28, 2018, in Redding ,Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

  • Firefighters from the Orange County Fire Authority, one of five agencies on scene, clean up a three-alarm fire at a commercial building in the 2100 block of S. Yale Street in Santa Ana on Tuesday, August 7, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

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Let’s just say I’ve got California firefighters on my mind.

Throughout the state, they’re doing heroic work to keep the loss of life and property to a minimum in a mind-boggling busy summer for wildfires. (Note: One of the blazes, the Holy Fire, is fairly near my home!)

So, wondering what the job market looks like for firefighters, I tossed a detailed annual study of workers and wages by federal job counters into my trusty spreadsheet. Here’s what the latest report — using data as of May 2017 — tells us about statewide employment levels and compensation for workers classified as firefighters and how California stacks up nationally.

Seven things you should know …

1. How many? 31,150 California workers are classified as firefighters, the most of any state in the nation. This is not surprising considering California’s our most populous state. Roughly 1-in-10 of the nation’s 319,860 firefighters are in California. Following the Golden State: Texas (27,900), Florida (24,430), Ohio (18,670) and Illinois (17,830).

2. Is that really a lot? Not really. Based on employment levels across all industries, California ranked 32nd in ’17 for firefighting’s share of all jobs in a state. Or, looking at this another way: California has 17 percent fewer firefighters than the average workforce. North Carolina has the highest firefighter-to-all-workers ratio, with 58 percent more than the national average.

3. Good pay? California firefighters averaged $73,860 annually in ’17 vs. $51,930 nationally and No. 2 in the U.S. behind’s New Jersey’s $75,880. Following California is New York ($70,560), Washington ($70,300) and Nevada ($66,670). Lowest paid? Mississippi at $30,690.

4. Pay range? California’s best-paid firefighters (90th percentile) got $112,250 a year in 2017. Lowest paid (10th percentile) got $39,960. That gap is 17th highest among the states, with California’s high-paid firefighters making 2.8 times the bottom.

5. Who else makes that much? Look at California’s all-industry pay rankings, and you’ll find in 2017 that firefighters’ average wages are wedged between commercial and industrial designers, compensation analysis specialists, makeup artists for theatrics and middle school teachers.

6. Growth? California firefighting staffing expanded 17.3 percent between 2012 and 2017 — that’s No. 13 among the states and more than double the 7.7 percent national growth. Average wages grew 1.8 percent in 2012-17 — that’s No. 43 among the states — and well below 8.1 percent raises nationwide.

7. And local? In Southern California’s metro area in 2017 there were 7,660 firefighters employed by various agencies in Los Angeles County (average pay of $85,620); 1,050 in Orange County ($81,190); and 2,480 in the Inland Empire ($66,150).

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/08/08/californias-firefighter-job-market-7-things-to-know/

Sunny and warm, with chance of wildfire: Southern California weather’s consistency is one constant

Living just a few miles from where yet another wildfire is burning in the Saddleback Mountains, I get little solace from the fact that Southern California’s weather is all-too predictable.

This region had the nation’s smallest margin of day-to-day change in their weather last year, according to my trusty spreadsheet.  The fact that, mathematically speaking, we live with the most predictable weather in America could sound appealing, at first blush. Same-old, same-old certainly helps manage the wardrobe or outdoor event planning.

But when you’re stuck in searing, wildfire-producing drought conditions, you might wish for some weather volatility. Like a chance of a significant rain shower to cool off or douse the burning brush.

My review here of weather predictability is not about the oft-debated patterns of climate change. Instead, let’s look at Southern California and its extended periods of heat (like we’re now suffering through currently) or its lengthy dry spells (as the region’s known for) and how there’s not much hope for quick change.

On a typical Southern California day, what you experienced today is likely to be tomorrow’s weather, too!

I tabulated Southern California’s lack of weather variation by tossing into my trusty spreadsheet some intriguing weather data for 2017 from Forecast Advisor, a website that looks at the daily volatility in temperature and precipitation from 786 weather stations across the nation.

Looking at the ebb-and-flow of heat, chill and the wet stuff every 24 hours, the 25 Southern California weather stations tracked — from Oxnard to the Mexican border — ranked last year among places with the nation’s highest chance of repeat performances every day from Mother Nature. The further north and east you go in the U.S., the more likely it is that tomorrow’s weather won’t be much like today’s.

So ponder these 13 patterns I found — region vs. state vs. nation — in terms of the daily changes in 2017’s high and low temperatures as well as overnight switches from dry to precipitation, or vice versa — plus my composite ranking of those weather-trend movements compiled from Forecast Advisor’s scorecard.

1. SoCal shines: On only 8.9 percent of the days in 2017 did Southern California weather go from rain-to-shine (or vice versa) vs. 14.5 percent of the time in the rest of the state and 30.9 percent elsewhere. Southern California’s daily high temperatures varied on average by 3.9 degrees a day vs. 4.2 degrees in the rest of the state and 5.7 degrees in other states. And the thermometer’s daily lows? Varied by 3.9 degrees a day in this region vs. 4.8 degrees elsewhere in California and 6.9 degrees in other states.

2. Most overall stable: San Diego’s downtown area had the nation’s least changing weather, by my composite index. Precipitation changed just 10.3 percent of the days, No. 25 nationally; highs varied only 3.2 degrees on average, No. 25 in the U.S.; and lows averaged varying 2.35 degrees, No. 4 among the stations tracked.

3. Next for stability: Santa Monica was No. 2 nationally; Oxnard and Carlsbad, tied for No. 3; and Los Angeles at LAX, the nation’s fifth most-serene climate. Yes, SoCal has the top five!

4. Most stable non-California weather: Hawaii’s Kailua Kona with a No. 6 overall ranking highlighted by two national bests: temperature highs varied by only 1.1 degrees as its lows averaged 1.7 degrees of daily change.

5. Least precipitation change: It’s the Mojave desert’s Thermal where dry-vs.-rain switches happened only 4 percent of the time. (Thermal ranked 35th overall for weather stability.)

6. Most volatile in SoCal: Lancaster. Precipitation varied just 7.9 percent of the days, 10th lowest nationally and highs varied 4 degrees, also No. 10 in the U.S. But the evening chill sets Lancaster apart: its lows varied 6.6 degrees day-to-day, ranking No. 299 nationally.

7. Our worst is still low: Please note that Lancaster, with the region’s most varied weather, looks stable on the national scale as the High Desert city ranked 104th most-predictable locale among the 786 tracked nationwide.

8. SoCal’s other volatile spots: After Lancaster, my index shows Campo (No. 86 nationally) then Ramona (67), Palmdale (64), Van Nuys (53) and Chino Hills (41).

9. Elsewhere in SoCal: From the four counties covered by the Southern California News Group, my overall national rankings out of 876 included: Hawthorne, No. 7 most predictable climate, Palm Springs (19), Blythe (21), Fullerton (22), Burbank (24), Long Beach (24), Riverside (31), Ontario (36) and Daggett (37).

10. Nation’s least predictable: Low rank went to Fryeburg, Maine, where on an average day there’s a 41.5 percent chance precipitation will be different the next day as highs vary by 7.5 degrees and lows change by 9 degrees.

11. Next in weather flip-flops: The northeastern corner of the nation was also home to the next five most-unpredictable weather patterns: No. 2 Barre, Vt., then Lebanon, N.H., Concord, N.H., Caribou, Maine, and Saint Johnsbury, Vt. It’s why packing layers is a must for any New England trip!

12. Other extremes: Nationally, the top spot for rain-or-shine flip-flops was Montgomery, N.Y., where the precipitation switches on 46 percent of the days. Biggest variations in high temperatures were in Goodland, Kan., averaging 8.8 degrees daily. And lows fluctuated the most in Lake Clear, N.Y., by 11.1 degrees on average.

13. Elsewhere: How did my overall national rankings score some well-known towns around the nation? Phoenix had the ninth most-predictable weather. There there was San Francisco at No. 14, Las Vegas (43), Seattle (72), Orlando (96), Portland (130), Austin (204), Denver (364), Chicago (365), Detroit (398), Kansas City (466) … my hometown of New York (482) … and the city I lived in for seven years with some seriously wacky weather, Pittsburgh at No. 695 of the 786!

  • Juan Zamudio, 7, plays with other children in La Pintoresca Water Park in Pasadena as temperatures rise during a heat wave on Thursday, July 5, 2018. The forecast for Pasadena on Friday is 109 degrees. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Pasadena Star News/SCNG)

  • Campers participating in the Castaic Lake Junior Lifeguard Summer Camp paddle Corcls in the Castaic Lake Lagoon as temperatures begin to climb around the region Thursday afternoon.(photo by Andy Holzman)

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  • Thousands of beach goers flock to Huntington Beach to escape the heat wave in late July 2017. Expect hot weather after the 4th of July for much of Southern California. (File Photo by MARK RIGHTMIRE, ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER/SCNG)

  • Grey skies and rain didn’t stop visitors to the Korean Friendship Bell in San Pedro on Wednesday morning May 30. (Photo By Charles Bennett)

  • Clouds lie low in Huntington Beach, a good day to go for a spin on Monday, May 21, 2018. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Redlands Bicycle Classic organizers tweeted this photo on Wednesday morning, May 2, 2018 with the words “Well, this doesn’t look good.” An hour later they cancelled the Big Bear Lake stage of the race due to inclement weather. The race will now start with Stage 2 Thursday in Yucaipa. (via Twitter)

  • Fans tries to stay warm in the chilly afternoon weather as they watched North play Valley View in an Inland Valley League game Tuesday in Riverside, Calif. May 1, 2018. (TERRY PIERSON,THE PRESS-ENTERPRISE/SCNG)

  • A visitor gets wet feet in the fountain at the Hollywood and Highland shops in Hollywood to cool off. ( Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • The weathervane at the Centennial Farm at the OC Fair and Event Center in Costa Mesa, on Wednesday, March 28, 2018. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Local ski resorts, like Snow Valley Mountain Resort pictured here Thursday, March 15, 2018, are enjoying the several inches of snow the latest weather system dumped on Inland Empire mountains and more is expected through St. Patrick’s Day weekend, according to the National Weather Service. (Photo by Kevin Somes/Snow Valley for The Sun/SCNG)

  • Costco shoppers protect themselves from moderate showers early Saturday evening Mar. 10, 2018. Showers are expected to continue through 5 a.m. the next day in Moreno Valley, Calif., according to the National Weather Service.(Photo by Cindy Yamanaka, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • A snow-covered Santiago Peak rises above Rancho Santa Margarita Lake in Rancho Santa Margarita early Tuesday morning, February 27, 2018, after a combination of low overnight temperatures and storms moved through the area. People out for a morning walk around found themselves pulling out their camera phones to take photos of the snow-covered peaks as the clouds cleared away. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Lila Guevara, 5, of Banning, Calif. hurls snowballs at mom. She took advantage of freezing temperatures, snow showers and strong, gusty winds at Oak Glen Preserves at Oak Glen, Calif. on Monday, Feb. 19, 2018. (PHOTO BY CINDY YAMANAKA, THE PRESS-ENTERPRISE/SCNG)

  • A jogger takes advantage of the warm weather as she makes her way through in Redondo Beach Monday, January 29, 2018. (Photo by Thomas R. Cordova Daily Breeze/SCNG)

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/08/07/sunny-and-warm-southern-california-weathers-consistency-is-one-constant/

Southern California pay rising 3.3% a year by this measurement

Southern California bosses raised wages and salaries by 3.3 percent in the past year, one government measurement shows.

The Employment Cost Index for Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties showed pay hikes rising from 3.1 percent annualized in the previous quarter and 2.7 percent in the year-ago period. A tight regional job market with low unemployment has forced employers to up pay to retain and attract workers.

From 2010 to 2014, post-recession years, the index showed tight-fisted employers upping pay at just a 1.6 percent annual rate. Since then, local wages and salaries have averaged annualized increases of 3.2 percent.

Of the 15 metropolitan areas tracked by this index, Southern California raises were the No. 6 highest nationwide last quarter. Biggest hikes were in the Bay Area at 4.5 percent. Lowest? Boston at 1.1 percent.

Nationally, wages and salaries rose at a 2.8 percent pace in the last quarter by this math vs. 2.5 percent in the pervious quarter and 2.2 percent a year ago.

This index attempts to limit the influence that employment shifts among occupations and industries can have on income metrics. When the index considered added benefit costs to see total compensation, Southern California labor costs for last quarter were up at a 3.1 percent annual rate vs. 3.2 percent in the pervious quarter and 2.9 percent a year ago.

Have you checked out Bubble Watch …

Bubble Watch: Are house hunters shying from newly built homes?

Bubble Watch: Is California’s anti-business vibe killing the state’s economy?

Bubble Watch: Home-equity loans back at pre-recession levels

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/08/07/southern-california-pay-rising-3-3-a-year-by-this-measurement/

Disneyland’s $15-an-hour labor deal is a win for workers everywhere

  • Disney workers, along with union employees, protest for high wages at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, CA, on Thursday, June 14, 2018. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Disney workers, along with union employees, enter Disneyland as they protest for high wages at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, CA, on Thursday, June 14, 2018. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

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  • Disney workers, along with union employees, protest for high wages at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, CA, on Thursday, June 14, 2018. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Stu Wylim, right, a night custodian at Disney California Adventure Park, joins fellow Disney workers, along with union employees, as they protest for high wages at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, CA, on Thursday, June 14, 2018. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • A union worker carries anti-Disney balloons during a protest by Disney workers for high wages at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, CA, on Thursday, June 14, 2018. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Disney workers, along with union employees, cross Harbor Boulevard walking towards Disneyland as they protest for high wages at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, CA, on Thursday, June 14, 2018. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Disney workers, along with union employees, cross Harbor Boulevard walking towards Disneyland as they protest for high wages at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, CA, on Thursday, June 14, 2018. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Alexandro Gonzalez, a janitor at the Disneyland Resort, protests for high wages at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, CA, on Thursday, June 14, 2018. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Disney workers, along with union employees, enter Disneyland as they protest for high wages at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, CA, on Thursday, June 14, 2018. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Lori Heybruch a day custodian at Disney California Adventure Park, joins fellow Disney workers, along with union employees, as they protest for high wages at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, CA, on Thursday, June 14, 2018. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Disney workers, along with union employees, protest for high wages at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, CA, on Thursday, June 14, 2018. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Disney workers, along with union employees, enter Disneyland as they protest for high wages at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, CA, on Thursday, June 14, 2018. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Disney workers, along with union employees, protest for high wages at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, CA, on Thursday, June 14, 2018. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

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Can the Magic Kingdom spread its fairy dust on America’s meager wage hikes?

Disneyland and key unions just agreed to an eye-catching contract for roughly a third of its 30,000-plus workers that will bump pay for the lowest-paid workers by as much as one-third — yes, 30-percent-plus — to $15-an-hour by January. That’s three years before the state’s escalating minimum wage hits that mark.

Organized labor’s high-pressure public relations battle with the theme park operator — no less, the realities of an ultra-tight labor market — convinced Walt Disney Co. to make a bold statement against what’s seemingly been long-running, conventional boardroom thinking: significant pay raises for the worker bee are history.

The added significance of this stunning pay hike in an economic era featuring remarkable corporate penny-pinching is that this involves a closely-watched corporate icon that has been a managerial trendsetter.

Workers everywhere — from other unions to individual employees to other Disney employees — should feel empowered to nudge bosses on pay. And if the request is denied, those workers may find a better-paying job elsewhere.

Note how odd the job market has become: In the first half on 2018, nationwide wages for workers who had switched jobs were up 3.98 percent in 12 months, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. Pay for those who didn’t change bosses rose just 2.65 percent. It’s been 18 years since this gap — 1.33 percentage points — was wider.

Let’s assume major employers understand their diminished wage-setting power as we look to five potential job-market winners beyond Disneyland.

1. Everybody on the job

Wages have stayed stubbornly stagnant in the post-dot-com-post-Great-Recession job market.

Ponder that the U.S. median household incomes beat inflation by an average by 1.1 percent annually from 1984 through 2000. Since then, that gap’s narrowed to just 0.1 percent a year. In California, a pre-2000 income’s edge over inflation ran 0.8 percent a year. In the next 16 years, the gap thinned to 0.1 percent

In the early years of this latest economic recovery, small raises made sense — those who were employed were happy to simply be employed, and the unemployed provided bosses ample supply of eager workers. It’s taken a decade for various measures of pay to regain their pre-recession peaks.

In recent months, labor markets have gotten so tight — with record job openings nationwide and so-called job quits back in fashion — that pay levels are slowly creeping higher.

Disneyland’s pay hikes could help raise the bar even higher.

2. Unions

The typical American worker’s ability to keep their pay ahead of inflation has been deeply challenged as the nations’ labor movement has lost its clout.

Union membership’s share of workers at private-sector employers nationwide has fallen to 6.5 percent last year from 16.5 percent in 1983. In California, the slide has tumbled to 8.3 percent from 17.7 percent.

It didn’t help organized labor that union-heavy industries faltered while corporate bosses successfully convinced many workers that organized labor had lost its value.

But this union-negotiated salary win at Disneyland — accomplished without the costs of a work stoppage — is certainly something the labor movement can use to brighten its image.

3. “Living” wages

Advocates for low-wage workers argue that $15-an-hour is a reasonable floor at which to move lower-skilled workers toward a “living wage.”

That notion has been met with, at best, heavy skepticism from Corporate America which counters that too many companies can’t afford that much pay. This logic suggests if bosses are forced to up wages, many firms will cut lower-wage workers to stay afloat. California’s minimum wage can be $15 as soon as 2022.

Today’s tight labor market strongly suggests wages will be rising nonetheless, as bosses compete to retain and attract workers at all pay grades. So the business validity of the $15-an-hour standard won’t be truly tested until the next downturn.

Disneyland may not want to be seen as endorsing $15 as a workable pay floor — but this contract will hit that magic level three years before the state’s mandate.

4. Tourism pay

Disneyland and other amusement-industry operators have benefited over many decades from a loyal workforce that seemingly enjoys the “magic” of entertaining visitors.

But those loyalties don’t buy groceries or put decent roofs over a worker’s families. So at Disneyland, for example, salary disputes became high-profile battles.

The nation’s tourism business has to face the fact that it’s among America’s lowest-paid industries. Certainly, there are many reasons, including a high level of part-time work. But job stats are stark: the median hourly wage is $11 an hour in the amusement and recreation industries vs. $17 for all private-sector work.

And if the current labor shortage is not only a cyclical phenomenon but a long-running pattern due to an aging population, tourism will eventually pay up, like it or not.

This Disneyland contract could be the forerunner of more significant pay across the tourism field.

5. Other Disneyland workers

For the veteran Disneyland workers making above $15 an hour that this contract covered, there was just a 3 percent raise.

And this labor contract doesn’t immediately help Disneyland’s other unionized low-wage workers. Many still make less than $15 an hour.

Not to mention non-union workers at the theme park.

But that could change.

There’s a union-inspired effort to get Anaheim voters to raise the minimum wage in the city to $18 an hour for those who work for employers that gained certain tax breaks from the city.

And internal pressures will increase to realign Disneyland-wide pay as the low-pay to mid-pay gap compresses.

The relative generosity of this contract — $15 an hour doesn’t make anybody rich — suggests that big employers like Disney realize that noteworthy pay raises have not been relegated to the corporate archives.

And now it’s up to workers bees to push pay higher.

Have you checked out Bubble Watch …

Bubble Watch: Are house hunters shying from newly built homes?

Bubble Watch: Is California’s anti-business vibe killing the state’s economy?

Bubble Watch: Home-equity loans back at pre-recession levels

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/08/06/disneylands-15-an-hour-labor-deal-is-a-win-for-workers-everywhere/

Median home price surpassed $1 million in 16 Orange County ZIPs. That’s nearly 1-in-5 neighborhoods!

Want another marker of just how expensive Orange County housing can be?

In the latest homebuying report from CoreLogic, for the 22 business days ended July 11, there were 16 ZIP codes with median home prices in excess of $1 million. That’s almost 1-in-5 of the 83 ZIPs tracked.

Just how many is that? Well, a year ago, there were just 11 ZIPs zips with a seven-figure median. And a decade ago, 2008 started with just seven million-dollar ZIPs.

  • A seven-bedroom home in Newport Beach has sold for $14.55 million, a record for that oceanfront strip. (Photo by Chris Snitko)

  • This Newport Beach home, with an asking price of $10.8 million, was featured on Episode 2 of “Real Estate Wars.” (Photo by Ryan Garvin)

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  • This Newport Beach home on Port Stanhope Place is listed for $4.27 million. Median prices in the area’s 92660 ZIP code increased 10.4 percent in December to almost $1.9 million, according to CoreLogic. Sales there dipped 4.9 percent from the previous December, however. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • The home at 1 Pelican Hill Road N., on 12.5 acres in Newport Coast , sold for $40 million in 2017. (Photo by Andrew Bramasco)

  • The house at 31945 S. Coast Highway in Laguna Beach viewed from the street. The home is on the market at $20 million. (Photo by Jeri Koegel)

  • This home at 466 Aster St. in Laguna Beach sold for $2,712,188. (Photo by Ana Venegas, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Home gym: 33 Strand Beach Drive, Dana Point: Oceanfront, 9,844 square feet, 5 bedrooms: Asking price: $28.95 million Listing agents: Tim Smith, Matthew Blashaw, Coldwell Banker

  • Martin Colombatto, a former executive at Broadcom Corp., is seeking $44 million for his oceanfront San Clemente home. (Photo by Chris Snitko)

  • The estate on five acres at 31781 Secoya Way was the priciest home sale in Coto de Caza in May. (Photos by Brandon Beechler)

  • The Coto de Caza house has 3,800 square feet of living space. (Photo by Greg Rys)

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Various market pressures — from wealthier homebuyers to a short supply of lower-priced homes to volatility of pricing metrics — helped create this growing number of pricey neighborhoods.

But overall, it’s clear that those who do buy are willing to pay more. The countywide median of $735,000 for all homes is up 6 percent in a year and up 45 percent since 2008’s start.

Still, it’s worth noting the higher prices can be a turnoff, even in Orange County real estate’s upper crust: 609 homes sold in the 16 million-dollar ZIPs in the most recent period, a 13 percent decrease in a year. The sales drop in the rest of the county was just 2 percent.

Oh, by the way, at the county’s more affordable end, there were four ZIPs with medians below $500,000 in the most recent period. That’s down from eight ZIPs a year ago and 35 at the start of 2008.

Here are Orange County’s 16 seven-figure ZIPs, pricing as of the 22 business days ending July 11 vs. a year ago …

1. Newport Beach 92662: $2.85 million vs. $2.06 million a year ago (up 38 percent) 2. Newport Beach 92661: $2.84 million vs. $2.71 million (up 5 percent) 3. Newport Coast 92657: $2.80 million vs. $3.05 million (down 8 percent) 4. Corona del Mar 92625: $2.10 million vs. $2.25 million (down 7 percent) 5. Irvine 92603: $1.85 million vs. $1.05 million (up 76 percent) 6. Newport Beach 92660: $1.68 million vs. $1.53 million  (up 10 percent) 7. Laguna Beach 92651: $1.64 million vs. $1.74 million  (down 6 percent) 8. Newport Beach 92663: $1.40 million vs. $1.51 million (down 8 percent) 9. Villa Park 92861: $1.37 million vs. $1.26 million (up 9 percent) 10. Irvine 92602: $1.37 million vs. $838,500 (up 63 percent) 11. San Clemente 92672: $1.13 million vs. $960,000 (up 18 percent) 12. Santa Ana 92705: $1.10 million vs. $935,000 (up 18 percent) 13. Dana Point 92629: $1.08 million vs. $853,750 (up 26 percent) 14. Dana Point 92624: $1.02 million vs. $975,000 (up 5 percent) 15. Irvine 92620: $1.02 million vs. $842,000 (up 21 percent). 16. Trabuco/Coto 92679: $1.02 million vs. $1.05 million (down 3 percent)

Have you checked out Bubble Watch …

Bubble Watch: Are house hunters shying from newly built homes?

Bubble Watch: Is California’s anti-business vibe killing the state’s economy?

Bubble Watch: Home-equity loans back at pre-recession levels

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/08/05/16-orange-county-zip-codes-nearly-1-in-5-have-million-dollar-median-housing/

California’s optimistic bosses vs. skittish consumers: Who’s right?

These are odd times: Local bosses seem bullish. Consumers statewide are getting antsy.

One poll shows Inland Empire executives are generally increasingly upbeat about the economic future.

A stronger local economy was foreseen by 41.7 percent of Inland Empire purchasing managers, according to a July poll by Cal State San Bernardino’s Institute of Applied Research and Policy Analysis. That optimism is up from 36 percent the previous month and 35.7 percent a year earlier. In the past five years, this poll found executives predicting economic improvement 29.5 percent of the time.

Conversely, 8.3 percent of executives polled see a weakening business climate vs. 8 percent the previous month and 3.6 percent a year earlier. Pessimistic executives averaged 18.1 percent of managers polled over five years.

The institute’s Purchasing Managers Index, created by the poll results, was 61.1 last month vs. 58.8 the previous month and 58.3 a year earlier. When the index is above 50, it’s considered good economic times, and this index has been above that key level for 19 consecutive months.

Consumers don’t see it exactly the same way. California shoppers, like many across the nation, seem a tad antsy about the future.

The Conference Board reports that its consumer confidence index for California was at 119.9 for July, down from 121.3 a month earlier but up from 108.2 a year ago.

The index has two key components. First, there’s California consumers’ view of current conditions. Polling shows optimism is down from a month ago but up from a year ago. Second is the shoppers’ view of the economic future. That rose from a month ago but is down from a year ago.

In the months ahead, Californians face everything from a new governor to a wobbly housing market to congressional political uncertainty to possible economic fallout from potential trade wars.

It’s a similar scene in other states. Of the seven other big state tracked by the Conference Board, overall confidence rose in one for the month and five for the year. Current conditions’ assessments rose in five states for the month and all seven in the year. But expectations were up in just one state for the month and up in only three for the year.

Nationally, the consumer confidence index was 127.4 for July, up from 127.1 a month earlier and up from 120 a year ago.

U.S. shoppers’ view of current conditions were up from both a month ago and a year ago. But consumer expectations were down in the month and year.

Have you checked out Bubble Watch …

Bubble Watch: Are house hunters shying from newly built homes?

Bubble Watch: Is California’s anti-business vibe killing the state’s economy?

Bubble Watch: Home-equity loans back at pre-recession levels

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/08/04/optimistic-bosses-vs-skittish-consumers-whos-right/

Foreign homebuying rises in California as it falls elsewhere in U.S.

Foreigners, primarily Chinese house hunters, continue to find California housing an attractive purchase as house hunting by non-citizens fell nationwide.

Unlike other housing metrics, there’s no simple way to follow foreign buyers as citizenship is not recorded on real estate sales documents. So, my conclusions come from a recent study by the National Association of Realtors.

The association’s data is based on a poll of its real-estate agent members who do international business. The survey tracks housing purchases ranging from foreign nationals seeking investment assets or second homes to newer non-citizens working in the U.S. acquiring a residence.

The key trends the survey discovered for the 12-month period ended in March …

1. Foreign buying of existing residences nationwide fell by 6 percent to 266,800.

2. California’s share of foreign purchases of all U.S. residences, existing and new, rose to 14 percent from 12 percent. That share growth could be seen as foreigners’ vote of confidence in California real estate. Only Florida had more non-citizen buyers, with 19 percent of the national total this year vs. 22 percent a year ago.

3. Folks from the People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan were the top buyers, making up 15 percent of U.S. foreign purchases of all types of homes in the past year vs. 14 percent the year before. Chinese buyers chose California 38 percent of the time vs. 37 percent a year ago.

To see how California stacks up among non-citizen house hunters, I tossed the study’s results into my trusty spreadsheet. My best estimation is that roughly 41,500 homes in California were bought by foreigners in the 12 months ended in March. That was up 9 percent in a year.

Buyers from China accounted for about 17,000 of those deals, up 3 percent in a year. Buyers from Canada, Mexico, India and the United Kingdom got a combined 9,000 California homes, off 6 percent. The state’s biggest growth came from the rest of the world: 15,500 foreign purchases, up 20 percent.

I’m well aware that foreign buying of California homes — or any U.S. residence — irks some folks who think these purchases deny Americans a shot at homeownership. Note that California’s total homebuying has averaged roughly 500,000 annually in recent years, so foreign purchases are equal to 1-in-13 of all statewide purchases of existing homes.

Just remember, a foreigner’s real estate spending doesn’t stop at closing. Foreign homeowner’s cash goes to other slices of the California real estate economy, too. Like paying property taxes. And to housing’s various renovation and maintenance businesses.

Still, in an era where relatively affordable housing is in short supply, the growth in foreign buying of homes may prompt some Californians to suggest perhaps only citizens be able to own housing. But that may be a be-careful-what-you-wish-for idea.

Most California property owners in a selling mood don’t mind the foreign demand. And that’s especially true at times when next to nobody wants to buy, like during and after last decade’s housing meltdown.

Have you checked out Bubble Watch …

Bubble Watch: Are house hunters shying from newly built homes?

Bubble Watch: Is California’s anti-business vibe killing the state’s economy?

Bubble Watch: Home-equity loans back at pre-recession levels

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/08/03/foreign-homebuying-rises-in-california-as-it-falls-elsewhere-in-u-s/

California consumers tell pollsters they’re edgy about the future

California shoppers, like many across the nation, seem a tad antsy about the future.

The Conference Board reports that its consumer confidence index for California was at 119.9 for July, down from 121.3 a month earlier but up from 108.2 a year ago.

The index has two key components. First, there’s California consumers’ view of current conditions. Polling shows optimism is down from a month ago but up from a year ago. Second is the shoppers’ view of the economic future. That rose from a month ago but is down from a year ago.

In the months ahead, Californians face everything from a new governor to a wobbly housing market to congressional political uncertainty to possible economic fallout from potential trade wars.

It’s a similar scene in other states. Of the seven other big state tracked by the Conference Board, overall confidence rose in one for the month and five for the year. Current conditions’ assessments rose in five states for the month and all seven in the year. But expectations were up in just one state for the month and up in only three for the year.

Nationally, the consumer confidence index was 127.4 for July, up from 127.1 a month earlier and up from 120 a year ago.

U.S. shoppers’ view of current conditions were up from both a month ago and a year ago. But consumer expectations were down in the month and year.

Have you checked out Bubble Watch …

Bubble Watch: Are house hunters shying from newly built homes?

Bubble Watch: Is California’s anti-business vibe killing the state’s economy?

Bubble Watch: Home-equity loans back at pre-recession levels

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/08/02/california-consumers-tell-pollsters-theyre-edgy-about-the-future/

Does Orange County need 72 more hotels?

Orange County got a trio of new hotels so far this year with 72 more in the works.

And Orange County isn’t alone. Regionally, 11 hotels just opened and 472 are in some stage of development, according to Atlas Hospitality’s first-half summary of the hotel construction scene. 

Here are five Orange County hotel trends to know …

1. New: Three openings with 445 rooms — Hampton Inn & Suites in Irvine (164 rooms); Hilton Huntington Beach (addition) with 151 rooms; and Lido House in Newport Beach, 130 rooms.

2. Previously: Three openings with 461 rooms in 2017 and four new hotels with 1,078 rooms in 2016.

3. Building: Nine hotels under construction vs. eight a year ago — up 13 percent. Rooms being built total 2,391 — a 100 percent jump.

4. Drawing board: 63 hotels planned vs. 50 a year ago — up 26 percent. Rooms in planning total 10,756 — a 3 percent jump.

5. Current results: CBRE Hotels reports in 2018’s first five months room rates rose 3.9 percent in a year to $191 a night as 79.5 percent of rooms were full vs. 79.3 percent a year earlier.

Have you checked out Bubble Watch …

Bubble Watch: Are house hunters shying from newly built homes?

Bubble Watch: Is California’s anti-business vibe killing the state’s economy?

Bubble Watch: Home-equity loans back at pre-recession levels

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/07/30/does-orange-county-need-72-more-hotels/

Homeownership in Los Angeles and Orange counties: Worst in U.S.

Homeownership in Los Angeles and Orange counties fell back from a post-recession high to the nation’s worst in the second quarter.

One bad quarter is not a significantly ominous signal, but the falling ownership levels along with a rising number of empty homes suggests local house hunters are not jumping on 2018’s noteworthy surge in homes listed for sale.

New census stats show 48.8 percent of households in Los Angeles and Orange counties lived in homes they owned in the second quarter, the lowest rate among the 75 largest major metropolitan areas tracked. This is down from 51.9 percent in the previous quarter — L.A.-O.C.’s highest since 2008 but still fourth lowest in the nation.

The slim bit of good news is that ownership is up from 48.3 percent a year ago, when Los Angeles and Orange counties ranked second worst. Last time L.A.-O.C. was worst? 2016’s fourth quarter.

Considering all the talk about a shortage of housing in Southern California, it’s curious that an increased supply of shopper options has translated to home sales in the region in 2018 running at a four-year low.

Note: the number of empty homes rose sharply in the spring. L.A.-O.C.’s vacancy rate for homes previously owned more than doubled to 1.4 percent in the second quarter. That’s up from 0.6 percent in the first quarter and 1.2 percent a year ago — and it’s the highest vacancy level since 2013.

The regional springtime dip in homeownership left rates just above year-ago levels.

In Riverside and San Bernardino counties, 60.1 percent of households lived in homes they owned in the second quarter, the 17th lowest rate in the nation. The second quarter ownership level compares with 61.2 percent in the previous quarter — the No. 26 low — and 58.4 percent a year earlier when the Inland Empire ranked No. 19 worst.

Empty housing was up, too, in the Inland Empire: 1.3 percent of homes were vacant in the sales process this spring, up from 1 percent in the first quarter but down from 2.9 percent a year ago.

Across California, ownership ran 54.3 percent in the second quarter, the third-lowest rate among the states. It was below 55.2 percent in the previous quarter — also No. 3 low — but it’s more than the 53.8 percent of a year earlier when California ranked No. 4 worst.

Nationally, the ownership rate rose a smidge: 64.3 percent in the second quarter vs. 64.2 percent in the previous quarter and 63.7 percent a year earlier.

Have you checked out Bubble Watch …

Bubble Watch: Are house hunters shying from newly built homes?

Bubble Watch: Is California’s anti-business vibe killing the state’s economy?

Bubble Watch: Home-equity loans back at pre-recession levels

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/07/28/homeownership-in-los-angeles-and-orange-counties-worst-in-u-s/

Does Southern California need 472 more hotels?

  • The new Marriott Irvine Spectrum has 271 rooms that include double queens, king rooms, executive suites, event spaces and more. R.D. Olson Construction developed the $120 million hotel. It’s the first full-service hotel of its kind to open in Irvine in the last 10 years. (Photo courtesy of Marriott Irvine Spectrum)

  • The executive king suite’s living room at the new Marriott Irvine Spectrum. (Photo courtesy of Marriott Irvine Spectrum)

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  • The great room at the newly opened Marriott Irvine Spectrum is designed with sleek modern style aimed at millennial travelers. (Photo courtesy of Marriott Irvine Spectrum)

  • This rendering shows the hotel that will be part of the San Manuel Casino expansion. (Courtesy San Manuel Casino)

  • Exterior concept art of the new 700-room hotel coming to the Disneyland Resort in 2021. (Photo courtesy of the Walt Disney Co.

  • Construction of the Element by Westin hotel at 900 North Via Piemonte, near the Citizens Business Bank Arena, in Ontario, CA., Thursday, June 7, 2018. (Staff photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • A rendering of the proposed new Hotel Legado where the Palos Verdes Inn is located now includes a rooftop deck.

  • A rendering of the proposed new Hotel Legado at 1700 S. PCH in Redondo Beach shows the new repositioned entrance.

  • Contractors work on Montebello’s new hotel, Hilton’s Home2 Suites, on the 900-block of Via San Clemente in Montebello on Friday June 8, 2018. (Photo by Keith Durflinger for SCNG)

  • The Doubletree by Hilton Hotel in Monrovia, CA. is one of many that could be affected by today’s election results. Measure TT in Monrovia proposes to raise the “bed tax” or transient occupancy tax from to 10 percent to 12 percent. Photographed on Tuesday, June 5, 2018. (Photo by Dean Musgrove, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Good Hope International, an affiliate of Wincome Group, wants to build a $208 million, 580-room luxury hotel at 1700 S. Harbor Blvd. Wincome officials have said it might change its plans if forced through a ballot measure to increase wages because it received tax incentives. (Register file photo)

  • Concept art of the lobby for the new luxury hotel proposed at the Disneyland Resort. The company has said it might change its plans if forced through a ballot measure to increase wages because it received tax incentives. (Register file photo)

  • Scheduled to open in late 2020, the seven-story Riverside Hilton Hotel will feature an adaptive reuse of the former historic Downtown Fire Station, including a second-level pool deck with fire pit amenities and spectacular views of Downtown Riverside. (Artist rendering courtesy City of Riverside)

  • On April 10, 2018 the Redlands Planning Commission asked WoodSpring Hotels to add some more brick color to the front of a hotel proposed for Orange Tree Lane, and to provide more details about the landscaping for the pictured project. (Courtesy photo)

  • Pechanga Resort & Casino’s new hotel at Pechanga Resort & Casino. in Temecula Friday, March 2, 2018. FRANK BELLINO, For THE PRESS-ENTERPRISE/SCNG

  • A rendering shows a five-story Hampton Inn Hotel at the southeast corner of Brea Boulevard and Birch Street in Brea Downtown. (Courtesy of City of Brea).

  • Newport’s newest hotel, Lido House, mirrors the developer’s personal residence.

  • The bar at the Heirloom Farmhouse Kitchen restaurant at the new Marriott Irvine Spectrum. (Photo courtesy of Marriott Irvine Spectrum)

  • Marriott Irvine Spectrum guests can reserve the Bixby Boardroom for meetings. (Photo courtesy of Marriott Irvine Spectrum)

  • Marriott Irvine Spectrum includes weddding amenities. (Photo courtesy of Marriott Irvine Spectrum)

  • The charred Brussel sprouts served at the Marriott Irvine Spectrum’s restaurant, Heirloom Farmhouse Kitchen, which recalls the history of Irvine Ranch. (Photo courtesy of Marriott Irvine Spectrum)

  • Marriott Irvine Spectrum dining room at the bar. (Photo courtesy of Marriott Irvine Spectrum)

  • The Heirloom Farmhouse Kitchen is the primary restaurant at the Marriott Irvine Spectrum. (Photo courtesy of Marriott Irvine Spectrum)

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More than a few folks in the tourism trade seem antsy these days with tough trade talks scaring off some foreign visitors and rising costs nipping at profits.

But Southern California hotel operators are staying in a construction mood, opening 11 lodging facilities in 2018’s first half with 472 more being built or planned.

The building boom suggests the long-run outlook appears sunny to local hotel executives, according to what’s found in Atlas Hospitality’s first-half summary of the hotel construction scene in the four counties covered by the Southern California News Group.

Of statewide conditions, Atlas Hospitality wrote: “Lenders and developers continue to be very bullish on new California hotel construction, as they see a very positive long-term outlook for the Golden State. The fact that construction costs are up 20 to 25 percent over the last 12 months seems to have done little to dampen the pace of development. Midway through 2018, all signs continue to be positive.”

Here are seven hotel industry trends from Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties …

1. What’s new: The four-county region had 11 first-half openings with 1,712 rooms: Sheraton San Gabriel; NoMad Hotel in Los Angeles; Kimpton La Peer in West Hollywood; Home2 Suites in Palmdale; Hampton Inn & Suites in Irvine; Hilton Huntington Beach addition; Lido House in Newport Beach; Courtyard Murrieta; Hotel Paseo in Palm Desert; Fairfield Inn & Suites in Rancho Cucamonga; and TownePlace Suites in Loma Linda.

2. The pace: Those new facilities compared to 16 openings with 3,399 rooms in last year’s first six months and six new hotels with 1,404 rooms in ’16.

3. Size matters: That translates to the first half’s new hotels running slightly smaller, averaging 156 rooms per opening vs. 212 last year and 234 in 2016.

4.  What’s being built: 69 hotels in the region are under construction vs. 49 a year ago — up 41 percent. Rooms being built total 11,059 — a 40 percent jump.

5. On the drawing board: 403 additional hotels are planned for the four counties vs. 334 a year ago — up 21 percent. Rooms in planning total 61,341 — a 17 percent jump in a year.

6. Vacancy signs: CBRE Hotels stats for the first five months of the year reveal mixed results. In Los Angeles County, average room rates rose 0.3 percent to $210 a night but 81.8 percent of rooms were full, down from 82 percent a year earlier. In Orange County, rates rose 3.9 percent to $191; occupancy hit 79.5 percent vs. 79.3 percent in ’17. And in the western Inland Empire, rates rose 4.4 percent to $123; 78.5 percent occupancy vs. 77.6 percent a year earlier.

7. Help wanted: Government jobs records show hotel bosses in the four counties employed 96,300 in June, a record high and up 2,300 workers in a year (or 2.4 percent) and up 18,200 jobs (or 23 percent) since 2011.

Have you checked out Bubble Watch …

Bubble Watch: Are house hunters shying from newly built homes?

Bubble Watch: Is California’s anti-business vibe killing the state’s economy?

Bubble Watch: Home-equity loans back at pre-recession levels

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/07/27/does-southern-california-need-472-more-hotels/

Homebuying slump avoided in Anaheim, Orange, Villa Park! Sales rise 3%

In what was a down month for Orange County homebuying, sales in Anaheim, Orange and Villa Park rose 3 percent in May vs. a year earlier.

May is traditionally a strong sales months for Orange County, as the prime spring selling season hits full stride. We decided to see how neighborhood housing markets fared.

ICYMI: O.C. housing’s rebound from the crash

CoreLogic found these 19 trends in 13 ZIP codes covered by the Orange County Register’s Anaheim Bulletin weekly, …

1. Purchases: Home sales in this period totaled 387 vs. 376 a year ago, a gain of 3 percent.

2. Who’s up: Prices increased in 11 of the 13 ZIPs as sales rose in 6 ZIPs.

3. Countywide: $738,500 median selling price, up 6.3 percent. Orange County sales totaled 3,519 residences, existing and new, vs. 3,666 a year ago, a decline of 4 percent. Prices rose in 57 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: $510,000 median, up 1.3 percent. Price rank? 74th of 83. Sales of 30 vs. 35 a year ago, a decline of 14.3 percent.

5. Anaheim 92802: $500,000 median, down 10.7 percent. Price rank? 76th of 83. Sales of 30 vs. 21 a year ago, a gain of 42.9 percent.

6. Anaheim 92804: $580,000 median, up 7.4 percent. Price rank? 66th of 83. Sales of 42 vs. 41 a year ago, a gain of 2.4 percent.

7. Anaheim 92805: $489,750 median, up 2.2 percent. Price rank? 78th of 83. Sales of 51 vs. 45 a year ago, a gain of 13.3 percent.

8. Anaheim 92806: $632,500 median, up 9.5 percent. Price rank? 61st of 83. Sales of 18 vs. 20 a year ago, a decline of 10.0 percent.

9. Anaheim 92807: $680,000 median, up 8.8 percent. Price rank? 51st of 83. Sales of 38 vs. 57 a year ago, a decline of 33.3 percent.

10. Anaheim 92808: $651,000 median, up 25.8 percent. Price rank? 56th of 83. Sales of 21 vs. 26 a year ago, a decline of 19.2 percent.

11. Orange 92865: $690,000 median, up 30.2 percent. Price rank? 49th of 83. Sales of 33 vs. 15 a year ago, a gain of 120.0 percent.

12. Orange 92866: $734,000 median, up 7.2 percent. Price rank? 42nd of 83. Sales of 13, flat in the period.

13. Orange 92867: $700,000 median, down 6.8 percent. Price rank? 47th of 83. Sales of 50 vs. 42 a year ago, a gain of 19.0 percent.

14. Orange 92868: $641,500 median, up 16.1 percent. Price rank? 59th of 83. Sales of 10 vs. 14 a year ago, a decline of 28.6 percent.

15. Orange 92869: $676,500 median, up 10.9 percent. Price rank? 52nd of 83. Sales of 47 vs. 39 a year ago, a gain of 20.5 percent.

16. Villa Park 92861: $1,550,000 median, up 46.5 percent. Price rank? 8th of 83. Sales of 4 vs. 8 a year ago, a decline of 50.0 percent.

Plus, three more countywide trends found in May vs. a year earlier …

17. Single-family-home resales: 2,169 Orange County sales vs. 2,335 a year ago, a decline of 7.1 percent in the period. Median: $800,000 — a rise of 5.7 percent in the period.

18. Condo resales: 933 sales vs. 965 a year ago, a decline of 3.3 percent in 12 months. Median: $502,000 — a rise of 1.9 percent in a year.

19. New homes: Builders sold 417 residences vs. 365 a year ago, a gain of 14.2 percent in a year. Median: $978,750 — a rise of 17.2 percent in a year.

Have you checked out Bubble Watch …

Bubble Watch: Are house hunters shying from newly built homes?

Bubble Watch: Is California’s anti-business vibe killing the state’s economy?

Bubble Watch: Home-equity loans back at pre-recession levels

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/07/26/homebuying-slump-avoided-in-anaheim-orange-villa-park-sales-rise-3/