By Jonathan Lansner | [email protected] | Orange County RegisterPUBLISHED: December 21, 2018 at 8:01 am | UPDATED: December 21, 2018 at 8:02 am Rising home prices are outpacing wage hikes, and when coupled with higher mortgage rates, the financial burden of home buying has pushed affordability to a 10-year low. I’m not a huge fan of price-to-income “affordability” measurements since the “typical homebuyer” often targeted by these formulas — the median-earning household buying a median-priced home — is a bit of a fairy tale. And these calculation don’t consider keys items such as the availability of housing — or jobs! However, Attom Data Solution’s attempt to gauge housing affordability does give an interesting historical perspective on the monetary challenge of home buying. Attom compares current housing conditions (pricing, incomes and rates) to what’s occurred since 2005. It’s a period that starts … [Read more...] about It’s not just Southern California: Housing affordability at 10-year low
By Jonathan Lansner | [email protected] | Orange County RegisterPUBLISHED: December 20, 2018 at 7:58 am | UPDATED: December 20, 2018 at 9:11 am The growing willingness of Southern Californians to spend can be considered a sign of prosperity, especially coming out of a terrifying economic downturn. But the stubborn lack of growth of local incomes suggests this higher spending might be stretching local household budgets. Once a year the federal government releases data detailing how much Americans spend. It’s part of the math that calculates the Consumer Price Index, and it’s quite detailed, tracking costs ranging from housing to dining out to gasoline to school books, doctor visits and recreation. The latest expenditure tally shows consumer spending for the average household in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties grew by an average $11,659 in five years — to $66,971 a year in 2016-17 vs. $55,312 in 2011-2012. That 21 percent gain is a heady … [Read more...] about Southern California consumer spending up $11,659 in 5 years: What did we buy?
By Jeff Collins | [email protected] | Orange County RegisterPUBLISHED: December 19, 2018 at 7:49 pm | UPDATED: December 19, 2018 at 7:49 pm Southern California house prices rose in November by the smallest margin in nearly four years as sales continue to lag, according to a report out this week by the California Association of Realtors. The median price of an existing Southern California house – or price at the midpoint of all sales — was $512,000 in November, state Realtors reported. That’s up 2.3 percent year over year, the region’s smallest percentage gain since January 2015. “The slowdown in price growth is occurring throughout the state, including regions that have strong economic fundamentals, such as the San Francisco Bay Area,” said Leslie Appleton-Young, state Realtor chief economist. The statewide median was $554,760, up 1.5 percent. San Francisco saw its first house price drop in 1 ½ years. Prices also fell in Sonoma County and … [Read more...] about Southern California house price gains shrink as sales lag year-ago levels
By Nick Green | [email protected] | Daily BreezePUBLISHED: December 16, 2018 at 3:53 pm | UPDATED: December 16, 2018 at 3:56 pm The regional air-pollution watchdog will accept public comments for the next week on a series of proposed plans to monitor emissions at four South Bay refineries — including the Torrance Refinery — which the agency wants to implement by this time next year. The deadline to comment on the four proposals is 5:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 21. The state and the South Coast Air Quality Management District are mandating the installation of new real-time fence-line air-monitoring systems at the South Bay’s seven refineries. Those systems will analyze pollutant concentrations that can be compared with air-quality standards and provide better — and easier-to-understand — information on the health effects of such pollutants. That data will go up on websites, displayed “in a transparent, clear, understandable and contextual manner,” … [Read more...] about Here’s why Southern California oil refineries will soon be required to closely monitor air quality
By Kevin Smith | [email protected] | San Gabriel Valley TribunePUBLISHED: December 14, 2018 at 4:45 pm | UPDATED: December 14, 2018 at 4:45 pm Gas prices have fallen for seven straight weeks in Southern California, and they’re continuing to drop as Christmas and the New Year draw closer. A pipeline problem in the Pacific Northwest will likely spur a slight price hike in the coming days, but it should be shortlived, according to one industry expert. Why the price decline? Figures from AAA and the Oil Price Information Service show the average price for regular unleaded gasoline in Los Angeles County fell over the past 52 days to $3.42 a gallon. Orange County saw 50 days of price declines, lowering its average pump price to $3.37 a gallon. Riverside County’s average fell for 51 consecutive days to $3.30 a gallon, and San Bernardino County — which experienced 57 days of price declines between Oct. 4 and Nov. 29 — saw its average price settle at $3.29 a … [Read more...] about Southern California gas prices are falling … and falling