9 Oct 2018

Fiscal Impact Report on Measure M

The Santa Cruz City Council commissioned an independent and impartial analysis of the Santa Cruz Rent Control and Tenant Protection Act (The Act) or Measure M. This analysis is limited in scope and only focuses on the financial and administrative impact that the "Rent Board" will have on the City of Santa Cruz should Measure M pass.   If Measure M is voted into law, a City Rent Board comprised of City residents will be created.

2 Oct 2018

Santa Cruz County’s Ballot Measure H (2018)

A new report was recently released by the California Housing Partnership, a private nonprofit organization, shedding light on Santa Cruz County’s housing shortage. According to the report summary, Santa Cruz County needs 12,000 additional units to meet present-day demand. If added to our housing supply, these units would ensure that the lowest-income households would not spend more than 30% of their annual income on housing -- a federally recognized definition for affordability.   In November,

6 Sep 2018

Trump Tariffs and New Home Prices

Trump’s tax tariffs on lumber, steel and aluminum may increase the cost of new housing.   In November of 2017, the US set final total tariffs for most Canadian softwood lumber producers at 20.8%. According to Aaron Terrazas, senior economist at Zillow, this caused the price of lumber to jump nearly 15% and added $6,000 to $10,000 to the cost of a newly built median-priced single family home. By contrast, the the National Association of

19 Jun 2018

Santa Cruz City Housing BluePrint

What is Santa Cruz City government doing about the housing crisis? City Council is focused on the issue and has created a Housing Blueprint Subcommittee to gather community input and make suggestions.   The result of this process is the Santa Cruz City Housing Blueprint. In the blueprint, subcommittee members outline “first priorities” which have been selected after considering both City Council recommendations and community feedback. They are: Community Engagement Legalization of Unpermitted Dwelling Units

13 Jun 2018

Prop 13 Extension on November Ballot

Before Prop 13, there were no limits on increases for the property-tax rate. Some properties were reassessed 50% to 100% in just one year and their owners’ property tax bills increased accordingly.   Under Proposition 13 tax reform, property tax value was rolled back and frozen at the 1976 assessed value level. Property tax increases on any given property were limited to no more than 2% per year as long as the property was not

15 May 2018

Repealing Costa Hawkins Act?

The Costa Hawkins Act (Costa-Hawkins) allows cities to implement local rent control laws, but within specific parameters: housing constructed after 1995, single-family homes, condominiums, and townhouses are exempt from local rent control regulations. Additionally, Costa-Hawkins allows rental property owners to establish their own rates at the time of a change in tenancy.   A proposed ballot initiative entitled the “Affordable Housing Act for the California November 2018 Ballot” was submitted to the California Attorney General’s

15 May 2018

UPDATE: Enough Signature for the Ballot – Rent Control and Just Cause For Eviction Initiatives

If you’ve been reading our newsletter, you’ve undoubtedly heard about the  rent control and just cause for eviction ballot initiative (Renter Protection Ballot Initiative) which has been circulating through the city. The Movement for Housing Justice has submitted 10,791 signatures to the City of Santa Cruz, well above the required number of signatures needed qualify the initiative for the November polls. The group is now awaiting the results of a 30 day signature validation process.

20 Feb 2018

Rent Freeze in Effect in Santa Cruz City, Rent Control On the Ballot

On Tuesday, February 13th, the Santa Cruz City Council passed temporary rent freeze and a just cause for eviction ordinances for certain rental properties within the city limits (see exceptions below). This sudden action was in response to community-member complaints that, given the impending threat of a rent-control moratorium (City of Santa Cruz Rent Control and Tenant Protection Act) on the November ballot, landlords have an incentive to raise rents and evict tenants to guard

19 Jan 2018

The Final Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and Real Estate

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has been signed into law. There were some big "wins" in the final bill from the perspective of homebuyers, owners, and real estate investors. However, the bill removes important incentives for homeownership and may have an adverse impact in some markets. According to the National Association of Realtors, home prices will grow at a slower pace of 1-3% nationally. Unfortunately, some local markets in high cost, higher tax areas

7 Dec 2017

How the Proposed Tax Reform Can Affect Your Real Estate

  On Thursday, November 9th, Republicans in the Senate Finance Committee released an outline of their version of the "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act". Just one week earlier, the Republicans' congressional House Ways and Means Committee released the original version. Both pose a threat to homeownership as we know it today. Here is a short summary of how both may affect your real estate.   Mortgage Interest Deduction The house bill will keep the mortgage