Landlords Blamed for Housing Affordability Crisis

In the fervor of our housing crisis, State Assemblyman David Chiu (D.San Francisco) has re-introduced bills, which would permit cities to enact even stricter rent control ordinances.

Currently, the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act (1995) permits “vacancy de-control, “meaning landlords can raise rents to market rates when a rent-controlled unit is vacated. New units and single family homes are exempt from rent control.

The Law pre-empts local ordinances. But Chiu’s AB 1506 would (1)extend the restricted pricing upon vacancy, (2) extends rent control to single family residences, and (3)imposes the same rent controls on newly constructed units. C.A.R states: Rent control deters new construction of rental housing, decreases equity, sales, and capital appreciation, and inhibits maintenance of rental property leading to substandard housing. Further, rent control serves in practice to subsidize the rent of many tenants who can otherwise afford market rents. The bill has been referred to the Assembly Committee on Housing and Community Development but has not been set for a hearing yet. Chiu is a former Board of Supervisor and ran unsuccessfully for Mayor San Francisco.

The Harvard Law graduate served as Democratic Counsel to the US Senate Judiciary Committee before moving to California in 1996. He is currently Assistant Speaker Pro Tempore , the 3rd highest ranking position in the California Assembly, and a member of the Asian & Pacific Islander Caucus.

Alice McHugh

DTLA Condos Compete on Amenities​: Ten50 Condo Development Project.


The new 25-story condo development at 1050 S Grand Ave is open and 60% sold out. With over 20,000 condo units projected to come on the market in the next few years, these developments are enhancing their amenities.
Nicholas Slayton reports LA Downtown News (3/20/17) “One unique feature [at Ten50] is a sixth floor landing pad for drones to deliver packages. The roughly four foot-by-four foot wooden platform is on the edge of the amenities deck.
That deck on the sixth floor offers approximately 13,000 square feet of space. It holds a large indoor lounge with a kitchen, television, gym and private dining space. The outdoor portion, on the north side of the building, has a pool, hot tub and palm trees. ...The building condos range from roughly 679-1,380 square feet. Units still available include a two-bedroom condo on the ninth floor for $879,000. A similar-sized 17th floor residence is priced at $1.1 million. There are also six penthouses, including two two-story homes that run from 1,117-3,575 square feet. The penthouses go up to $4 million.
The project is staffed by a concierge team of seven people. Many of the residences include balconies and nearly floor-to-ceiling windows. The condos feature wooden floors (with carpet in the bedrooms) and porcelain-tiled bathrooms. Open kitchens sport marble countertops and stainless steel refrigerators. Many upper-level hallways have blue walls. Art hangs near the elevators, including a picture of the artist Salvador Dali. “

ALERT: March 7th Ballot Measure will Impact OUR Market !


To Preserve..... vs ......To Protect ?

It’s confusing, right? You can check out the details using the links below, but essentially this battle parallels so many policy debates: using a blunt instrument to fight a complicated problem. (... like repealing ACA without a replacement?)

Do you want to keep LA a network of neighborhoods, single family or low-densiity housing, folks walking or driving to work, enjoying walkable communities of palm trees and parks? Or do you see LA propelling toward denser living, a commitment to public transportation, and higher buildings will insure cultural diversity, affordable house prices and ample jobs?

The fomer vision is supported by the Coalition to PRESERVE L.A., initiated by residents who successfully stopped high rise construction in Hollywood in 2015 and have now taken their fight Citywide. Funded primarily by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation ( whose offices benefited from that success in Hollywood ), they have endorsement from Leonard DiCapro, Joaquin Phoenix and Chris Pine.

At Issue: MEASURE “S” -- the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative -- which is on our March 7th ballot. It would impose a 2 yr moratorium on any new construction which requires any change in the City’s General Plan, which is now 20+ yrs old.

Currently the General Plan is badly out of sync with the City: it was crafted before our major commitments to public transportation, before our crisis of homelessness, and before housing and rental prices soared out of the reach of so many working people. tegrity-initiative/

The PROTECT folks commissioned Beacon Economics to study the impact of Measure S on housing prices, city revenue and job growth. They estimate that the Measure would cost $70 mil/ year in sales and cost 12,000 jobs per year. They did not estimate what the average cost of a SFR or a downtown condo would be in the future without the Measure. But Robert Kleinhenz, an associate at Beacon, says S would “ lock the entire City in amber as it is today” because it would essentially halt all new development.

Perhaps the most egregious example of outdated restrictions in the General Plan is the enormous amount of parking required for occupants and visitors under current zoning rules. The massive Metro funding measure passed by voters in 2016 is only the latest initiative through which City & regional leaders are trying to get Angelenos out of their cars. LA currently has 200 sq miles of parking in downtown -- both an inefficient use of land and a disincentive to use public transportation ( even at $15 per hr).

Prof Paava Monkkonen, at UCLA, agreed with Beacon Econ findings which estimates that Measure S would result in a loss of 2,800 new housing units per year. Given that an average of 100,000 people move to LA each year, and we created only 2,100 units of housing last year, the cataclysmic forces twisting LA housing prices into the stratosphere are inexorable... and we are not even an island! 


Westside Sales of Single Family  |  Residences in Oct, 2016*

282 SFRs sold in October

35 had been on the market over 100 days   |   8 sold the same day   |  26 sold in 5 days or less

Sale prices ranged from $309,500 to $100,000,000

121 (43%) sold for less than $1million   | Average: $629,986   - 1,470 sq ft $442/sq ft

The $100 million property was new construction in Holmby Hills; $50million price reduction; sold in 190 days

The $309,500 property was a 854 sq ft house, 2 BR + 1 BA, on small 3,811 lot near Florence and Crenshaw.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences Museum next to LACMA is progressing slowly and it expected to be opened in 2018.

Right now, the foundation is being poured for a giant orbed-shaped theater that will be attached to the rear of the old May Company building. Built in 1939, the Streamline Moderne building with its gold tower is being restored to house the museum's exhibits, which will include a full-scale model of the 1975 Jaws shark, plus approximately 62,000 pieces of production art, such as the Planet of the Apes mask, the model horse head made for The Godfather and the lion's mane and rubby slipped from The Wizard of Oz.

After years of community push back over concerns about traffic and parking, ground finally broke in March with the demolition of the department store's rear-wing. That makes room for the huge orb, which was designed by architect Renzo Piano to hold 1,000 seats and an observation deck. It's poised to dramatically alter the view at 6th Street and Fairfax Avenue.

Groundbreaking for new Inglewood Stadium opening for the Rams in 2019 took place on November 17, 2016

"On a piece of land that’s 3½ times the size of Disneyland, the stadium will be surrounded by a development that includes a performance venue, hotel, hundreds of thousands of square feet for retail and offices, homes and a lake with waterfalls.

  "The 70,240-seat stadium — able to accommodate 25,000 extra people in standing-room areas behind the end zones — is scheduled to open for the 2019 NFL season and will host the Super Bowl in 2021" reports LA Times.

This picture shows the other important aspect of the Stadium for our real estate market:  over 2600 residences will be built on the site, infusing Inglewood with a dramatic increase in population and an economic boost to that under-appreciated community.

LA Times: Nathan Fenno and Sam Farmer, Nov. 17,2016

Plans filed for futuristic George Lucas museum in LA

Jenna Chandler, LA Curbed, reported Nov 1st the the plans for a George Lucas Museum in Exposition Park were filed with the City of LA on Oct 27th: " He wants to park the museum on a strip of land parallel to Vermont Avenue, just steps from the Coliseum. Renderings of the design by Chinese architect Ma Yansong were unveiled Thursday—a futuristic building that looks like a Star Wars spaceship. On Monday, plans were filed with the city’s planning department.

Those plans call for a five-story, 312,000-square-foot museum with exhibit areas, a cafe and restaurant, theaters, lecture halls, a library, and classrooms. The museum’s board of directors has also proposed surrounding the museum in up to seven acres of green space and offering parking for 1,800 cars." 

Plans were similarly filed with San Francisco, so the Mayors of those cities are competing to win the Lucas Family  commitment.


Realtors are creative!  When promoting a plain, boring white house, with sheer drop-off for backyard, and no budget for customary interior staging, this agent created the best impression by: parking a Porsche in front! 

Here is a different perspective on the Election from the National Association of Realtors’ PAC.

 NAR spent a whooping $42 million on Congressional and down-ballot races, including propositions in 8 states. [ Nearly 100 Realtors ran for office!]

NAR ,and its local affiliate the California Assoc of Realtors, have consistently supported home ownership, which the Association believes is threatened from several sectors.

For example, NAR Government Affairs Director states that “Many think tank studies pointing out the need ‘to reform the tax code’ (are really using) euphemisms for going after a lot of our incentives for homeownership and real estate investment.”  The most under seige are the mortgage interest deduction, the property tax deduction, and the $250,000/$500,000 capital gains exemption on sales of  primary residences.

Locally, CAR  has opposed ballot measures that seek sales taxes on real estate services, strengthen rent control, and raise property taxes.  They support affordable housing and transportation issues, like LA’s Meaure M.