30 May

Episode 6 – Housing Prices Are Too Damn High

You know it's true. Housing Prices, bitch.

It’s time to talk about housing prices an a couple other topics. Here are the stories we mentioned in the episode.

  1. Southern California can’t match nation’s new housing pace
    1. http://www.ocregister.com/2017/05/29/southern-california-cant-match-nations-new-housing-pace/
    2. Orange County added 9,200 housing units in 2016, growing 0.85% compared to 0.59% in 2010-16
    3. So is Southern California making progress? The five counties did combine to add more housing units since the recession ended in 2010 than fast-growth states such as Arizona or Colorado or Washington or Virginia in the six-year period.
    4. But if the region had built at the national pace over the past six years, there would be 22,000 more housing units here. Or, look at regional growth this way: The six-year tally is slightly fewer new units than Texas added … in just the past year.
  2. Why some people are fleeing Southern California
    1. http://www.ocregister.com/2017/03/14/why-some-people-are-fleeing-southern-california/
    2. During the first 10 months of 2016, 5,706 residents of Orange, Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties took out loans to buy a primary residence out of state, a CoreLogic analysis of mortgage applications shows.
    1. That’s not counting the number of people who paid cash for a home or who, like Tornquist, are renting.
    2. Housing costs are a major concern – SoCal’s median house price in 2016 = 2016 $473,000 – DOUBLE THE NATIONAL AVERAGE.
    3. Typically, a buyer with $550,000 can get a small, two-bedroom, two-bath condo in Irvine, he said. In Riverside County, that same amount buys a four-bedroom house with a three-car garage and twice the square footage.
    4. About 266,000 more people left California than moved in from other states from 2010 to 2015, U.S. Census data show.
    5. Orange County lost nearly 11,000 residents to other California counties or other states. Los Angeles County lost almost 270,000 but Riverside County offset that loss with a net gain of 66,000 people.
  3. Huntington Beach prepared to go to court to keep at-large elections
    1. http://www.ocregister.com/2017/05/25/huntington-beach-prepared-to-go-to-court-to-keep-at-large-elections/
    2. Huntington Beach is fighting to keep At Large elections.
  4. California set to vote on single-payer health
    1. http://www.scpr.org/news/2017/05/29/72306/california-set-to-vote-on-single-payer-health/
    2. Analysts say the state would have to raise about 200 billion dollars a year to pay for the new system. That’s as much as the entire state budget. Governor Brown has raised strong objections to the bill’s cost.
    3. The bill includes an amendment that would block it from taking effect until a funding source for the program is in place.
  5. Prop. 13 corporate loopholes hurting California taxpayers
    1. http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/opinion/commentary/sd-utbg-prop13-taxpayers-loopholes-20170525-story.html
    2. Proposition 13 also allowed big corporations to freeze their property taxes by locking their assessed value, as if they are worth what they paid for them nearly 40 years ago. That single act has allowed them to avoid over $9 billion per year in taxes.
    3. Closing the loophole would address unintended consequences that have plagued small businesses for decades without sacrificing our state’s unique commitment to keep residential property taxes low. In fact, the proposed changes in recent proposals have no effect on actual tax rates or residential property taxes.
    4. Beyond the prospects of creating budget stability, by closing the loophole in Proposition 13, California can create a more equitable business landscape, where small businesses can compete.
  6. Hoover Golden State Poll: Voters Know What Road To Take On Infrastructure, May Reconsider Proposition 13, But Not Trump
    1. http://www.hoover.org/news/hoover-golden-state-poll-may-2017
    2. Hoover’s Golden State Poll, administered by the survey research firm YouGov, asked Californians to choose from a dozen infrastructure investments and tell us which ones they would be willing to see their taxes go up to pay for.
    3. Most popular: better roads and freeways (59%); repair and maintenance of dams and reservoirs (56%); bridge repair (53%) and building new water storage and transportation (52%). All received majority support from Democrats and independent voters and across economic lines.Least popular: electric vehicle charging stations (26%) and port facility modernization (23%). On Proposition 13, which is approaching the 40th anniversary of its voter passage, Californians seem open to revisiting the controversial ballot initiative that placed a cap on commercial and residential property taxes.

      39% of survey respondents supported and 33% opposed a “split roll” approach that removes the cap for commercial properties only.  Interestingly, “split roll” support is the same (39%) among residential property owners and non-owners, while property owners are in stronger opposition (39% vs. 26% for non-owners).

    4. Asked to choose the best way for government to encourage economic growth, 47% said cut taxes and business regulations while 41% chose spending on programs and infrastructure. Again, the survey showed a partisan fracture: Democrats were 60% in favor of spending and only 25% in support of tax cuts; Republicans overwhelmingly preferred tax cuts (84%) to spending (just 10% in favor). Among independent voters, there was a more mixed view. 52% pointed to cutting taxes and regulations, while 35% credited government spending.
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