Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Where do the Chinese want to go?

A recent study shows Chinese millionaires are more interested in Canada and the US, but less to Britain. The survey by a consulting group survey Chinese nationals with a net worth of 1.5 to $30 million. Although the US still remains the top destination, yet Canada is number two. Canada’s property prices and good education seem to be the big draw. The preferred cities are Los Angles 20% then Seattle, San Francisco, New York, all under 10% with Vancouver, and Toronto at 6 and 5% respectively.

A US Investment Visa which is becoming very popular with Chinese Nationals

US EB-5 (Employment based 5th preference) visa is drawing many Chinese immigrants. If one applies under the EB-5 program and invests $500k in the US they are entitled to a green card. The projection is that a $500k investment will bring US jobs. The program has enticed 10’s of thousands of applicants with 80% coming from the Chinese mainland. Currently there is an enormous backlog of applications. What we have found as the most popular investments are brand hotels, or senior centers. Other investments are apartments and office complexes. The job creation requirements for An EB-5 investor are that they must invest the required amount of capital in a newer commercial enterprise that will create full-time positions for at least 10 qualifying employees. A qualifying employee is a US citizen, lawful resident, or authorized immigrant. The minimum qualifying investment in the United States is $1 million, but a Targeted Employment Area (High Unemployment or Rural Area)minimum qualifying investment either within a high-unemployment area or rural area in the United States is $500,000. A lot of these investments go through authorized regional centers. Some of the names of these regional centers in California are Bay Area Regional Center, California wineries and vineyards, Green Energy Regional center, California Investment fund, Los Angeles Regional center and there are many others.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Housing Starts Indicating a Slowing Trend

For the third consecutive straight month with the May report it shows signs a future shortage of houses. A recent report from the Commerce Department indicated housing starts which had a 2.7 monthly decline in April and a 7.7 drop in March show a 5.5% drop in May. Although home construction is up 3.2% year to date. News reports indicate optimism in sales from home builders, yet the overall number of homes for sale has shown a steady decline over the last two years. Another major real estate indicator is building permits. That number has drop precipitously 5% to just over 1 million nationwide. We don’t have the local numbers in Los Angeles County, but found that the Wells Fargo builder sentiment index is 67. This is a positive number as any reading above 50 is a positive number and that number has been well above 50 for the last nine months.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Building a Custom Home

A lot of property in Lancaster and Palmdale is advertised as build your dream home. It is easier said than done. First you need to budget for it. A custom home can cost from 150k to $450k with the average being $300k. But first you must buy the land, and the land location is tantamount. Many buyers buy land without power, water, or city services. Once you get the permits to build on such a property then you will need propane tanks for power, drill a well for water and use septic for sewage. All doable tasks. But getting the water 1500 feet below the surface is the first real trick. This is typical in Lancaster and LA County. A popular option is a modular home or prefabricated home. They almost look like a normal home, but you will have to disclose that the house is a modular home, and the selling price may be lower to reflect that. If you choose to build it yourself then you may need estimates for the cost to do so in your area. Plans and designs must be submitted to the city or county and then permits and inspections follow once initially approved. A builder will likely have several inspections along the way. Then you need a construction loan, or a construct to perm loan. A construct to perm loan can involve the land purchase as well. There are numerous factors that affect the cost such as square footage, number of stories, roof type, finishing’s, and issues like if power, water and sewage are available. The propane tank is reasonable if you go the lease option. It may cost only a few hundred to install, and the cost of a simple slab. A septic tank can run $1500 to $4000. A well estimate is $5k to $40k, but on average $25 a foot. The average in Lancaster and Palmdale area is $20-$25k for a well . In the end it may takes years to complete.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

San Bernardino County Apple Valley and Adelanto are promoting Industrial Uses which Spurs Growth

Apple Valley Industrial Growth Low land costs in business friendly city has created fertile ground for industrial developers. Part of this growth is the logistics airport that brings in commerce. Walmart is developing a 370k square foot structure near the SCLA airport and it is partly leased already Adelanto lenient to marijuana Adelanto’s population is around 33,000. It is 50 percent Latino and 30 percent African-American, and roughly 40 percent of the population lives below the poverty line The city late last year officially expanded its medical marijuana cultivation and manufacturing zone, while the mayor opposed it. Since measure R passed the zone where medical cannabis cultivation, manufacturing, distribution, transportation and testing can occur was increased by 160 acres to zones marked “light industrial.” They did this by approving the second reading of an ordinance passed earlier. The Council has increased the overall zone to up to 500 acres. This new extension is near the Air Expressway and Yucca Rd. The voter approved 5 percent excise tax, Measure R, to commercial recreational activities as well, in wake of the passage of California’s Proposition 64, which legalized recreational pot. The mayor is very opposed to it. He is quoted in the Victor Valley Press “I can assure you right now that every vote that comes out of my mouth on recreational, to grow in our city (commercially), will be a nay answer,” Kerr said.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Here are a few City of Palmdale Projects Under Review for Approval

Tentative Tract Map (TTM) 62333 Time Extension (TE) No. 1; is a request for a three-year time extension to develop approximately 7 acres into 22 single-family residential lots and one detention basin lot between Avenue R and Avenue R-4, Tentative Parcel Map (TPM) 74425 and Conditional Use Permit (CUP) 16-010; applications by HRES Palmdale, LLC, to subdivide 9.1 acres into two commercial lots and to construct a convenience store with an accessory car wash and fuel canopy consisting of two buildings to be located at the northwest corner of Palmdale Boulevard and 40th Street East. Tentative Tract Map (TTM) 60732 Time Extension (TE) No. 2; an application by The Epic Companies, requesting a second and final three-year discretionary time extension to subdivide 9.8 acres into 28 single-family residential lots located east of 20th Street West and 660 feet south of Avenue P-8. The development of a 56-duplex condominium project has been proposed for APN 3009-001-900. The 9.9 acre project area is located at the southeast corner of Taintor Road and Division Street in the City of Palmdale. General Plan Amendment (GPA) 15-002, Zone Change (ZC) 15-002, Tentative Tract Map (TTM) 73740, and Site Plan review (SPR) 15-007 are applications for the following items: a) General Plan Amendment 15-002 a request to amend the General Plan Land Use designation on 9.9 acres from SFR-3 (Single Family Residential, 3.1-6 dwelling units per acre) to MR (Medium Residential, 6.1-10 dwelling units per acre); b) Zone Change 15-002 a request to change the Zoning designation on 9.9 acres from R-1-7,000 (Single Family Residential, 7,000 square foot minimum lot size) to R-2 (Medium Residential); c) Tentative Tract Map 73740 a request for a one lot 56 duplex condominium unit subdivision on 9.9 acres; d) Site Plan Review (SPR) 15- 007 a request for multiple family residential use; and e) Density Bonus Agreement The last one above is a zoning change request form R-7000 zoning into Medium Residential Zoning. Building is taking place in Palmdale. You just have to know where to look.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Kinkisharyo’s Plant is Showing Growth

Kinkisharyo's is a light rail car assembly facility at Plant 42. It recently celebrated in its production of its 78th rail car for the Los Angeles Metro Authority. This completes their first contract with LA Metro and moves them onto a new beginning. All the manufacturing is done at the Plant 42 plant in Palmdale with about four hundred workers. It is part of an almost billion dollar contract to deliver over 200 rail cars. The recent completion triggers a new phase and new agreement with LA Metro to produce more cars, and to expand the plant. If you recall several years ago there was a big legal disagreement. The unions accused Kinkisharyo of violating environmental acts. This forced the company to consider a move to Phoenix Arizona where other manufacturing is done. The disagreement would have killed jobs in Palmdale, which the city desperately needed. The company felt the union move was ruse by the union to force the company to use its workers. The company decided to drop their factory expansion, but they later won an agreement to use an existing building once operated to make the B-1B bomber. A swords to plowshares change. Additionally the company agreed to not fight unionization. The Palmdale workers are now represented by the International Brotherhood of Electrical workers. This success provides security and jobs in the valley, and it is not just as airplane bomber producing area, but an environmentally conscious area as it is combined with the BYD electric bus manufacturing in Lancaster. This keeps workers in the area, which busts the local economy and areas growth.