Nearly All Homes In San Francisco worth a million dollars

 

If you want to buy a home in San Francisco, you better have $1 million to spend. At least.

A whopping 81 percent of the homes in the metro San Francisco area cost $1 million or more, according to a new report from the housing website Trulia. That’s an increase of 13.7 percent since October 2017.

Trulia ranked 100 US metro areas by how quickly they are adding million-dollar homes, year-over-year. San Francisco didn’t come out on top of that ranking — its Bay Area neighbor San Jose just edged it out for the No. 1 spot with a 14.2 percent year-over-year increase in million-dollar homes.

But San Francisco tops the list of cities when it comes to the highest percentage of million-dollar homes overall in 2018.

In San Jose, 70 percent of the housing stock is valued at $1 million or more, good for second place, and in yet another Bay Area city, Oakland, 31 percent of homes are worth more than $1 million. From there, the list drops off sharply, with no other metro area topping 20 percent.

Read more at New York Post

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America’s Most Expensive Home Listed at $245 million

he West Coast really is the best coast — especially when it comes to real estate priced in the nine-figure range.

In the Bel Air enclave of Los Angeles, the 10-plus-acre estate of late billionaire A. Jerrold Perenchio — who died in 2017 at 86, and was at one time the chairman and CEO of Spanish-language network Univision — has hit the market for a sky-high $245 million.

Not only does that mighty price make it the most expensive home for sale in the City of Angels, but it also makes the property take the crown for the priciest home for sale in America, according to the Los Angeles Times See more at New York Post

Seattle council changes its mind on “head tax” on businesses

Breaking News from KOMO News

SEATTLE – The Seattle City Council repealed a controversial “head tax” on the city’s biggest businesses Tuesday after a revolt by Amazon and other large employers that balked at bearing such a large financial burden to help solve Seattle’s homelessness crisis.

The final vote was seven to two to repeal the tax.

The vote came during a special council meeting attended by a packed, vocal crowd that spoke on both sides of the issue during a lengthy public comment period.

U.S. Economy Adds 223,000 Jobs In May

The U.S. added 223,000 jobs in May and the unemployment rate dropped to 3.8 percent, according to Labor Department figurespublished on Friday.

Economists forecasted 190,000 additional nonfarm payrolls, with the unemployment rate holding steady at 3.9 percen

Seattle’s Junebaby wins prestigous James Beard award

According to a recent story on Komo News

Updated on May 8, 2018

Congrats to Ravenna’s neighborhood restaurant JuneBaby! It was named Best New Restaurant in the country at the 2018 James Beard Foundation’s annual awards ceremony in Chicago. Head chef Eduardo Jordan is the first African-American to get that award. Jordan was also named Best Chef in the Northwest for his first restaurant Salare.

Refined first met Eduardo Jordan earlier this year at JuneBaby and we knew it was something special.

The restaurant also made Eater’s ‘12 Best New Restaurants in America‘ list!

Seattle Judge: A Vehicle Can Count as a Home

According to a recent story in Next City

2000 GMC pickup parked on a Seattle side-street is the legal home of Seattle resident Steven Long, a King County Superior Court judge ruled last week. Her decision could affect the roughly 2,300 residents living in their vehicles on Seattle streets, and ripple out to other Washington cities with large homeless populations.

The ruling is based on a 123-year law called the Homestead Act, which bars governments from forcing a person to sell their home to satisfy debts, KIRO 7 reports. The station claims this is first time (in Seattle at least), that anyone has successfully argued that a vehicle can be their home.

Long has lived in his truck since 2014, but last year, after being parked in the same spot for five months, the city impounded it, according to KIRO 7. He now owes roughly $900 in impound fees, according to the city — but his legal team argued that because the vehicle was his home, the city couldn’t hold on to it until he pays those fees, or sell it to cover them. The city attorney said in a statement that the city disagrees with the ruling and is “evaluating its options.”

Unlike many other cities, Seattle doesn’t have an outright ban on sleeping in cars (legislation that, in 2014, Next City labeled the “the trendiest law in America”). In 2016, the city created several several safe “zones” with minimal services, as well as one safe “lot” with cooking facilities, on-site staff and case management.

And last August, Councilmember Mike O’Brien introduced draft legislation to create a “vehicular residences program” for people living in their cars or RVs, Crosscut reportedat the time.

“If those residents agreed to a set of rules — not dumping trash, for example — and agreed to work towards permanent housing, they would be allowed greater leeway when it comes to ticketing or towing for many parking violations,” according to the news site. “These may include parking for longer than 72 hours on public streets, parking with expired tabs, being labeled as a ‘junk motor vehicle,’ or being labeled a ‘scofflaw’ or frequently cited vehicle.”

The city’s laws regarding both vehicle-dwelling and tent cities are often criticized as a Band-Aid approach to the homelessness crisis, which stems, in part, from the local housing crisis. Still, some advocates see them as a necessity as homelessness continues to grow — and business-as-usual laws in many cities state that it’s illegal to beg, sleep in vehicles or even lie down in public. (And of course, even if the laws aren’t that explicit, thestreet furniture is.) With such national prohibitions in mind, LoGerfo recently told NPR that she hopes other cities are watching the Seattle ruling.

“We’re hoping the city and other cities across the state will look at this and rethink how they’re treating people who have no other choice but to live in a vehicle,” she said

East King County Prices Heat up to Million Dollar Median Price

SEATTLE — February is typically a slow month for home sales due to weather. But this year while the month has been chilly, home sales remain rather hot

The Northwest Multiple Listing Service says in its February report that the median price for a home in Seattle is $777,000 — a 20 percent jump from January, which was a record then.

It’s even a greater pace of acceleration on the Eastside, where the median home price is nearing $1 million at $950,000.

Another benchmark was reached in the Seattle condo market where the median price was $535,000, surpassing the half million mark for the first time.

If all of this has you running for the outlying areas, you won’t find a whole lot of relief. Snohomish and Kitsap County prices are up more than 17 percent.

All of these numbers are about 50 percent higher than they were in 2007 before the recession hit.

Experts predict prices will continue to go up through the summer, which is when sales go up anyways because of the better weather.

Congress releases FBI Memo

According to the Atlantic

On Friday, the House Intelligence Committee, which is chaired by Republican Representative Devin Nunes, released a four-page memo alleging surveillance abuses by the FBI. Earlier this week, Republicans on the committee voted to make the document public. The classified document has drawn criticism from Democratic lawmakers, who argue it is misleading, as well as from law enforcement officials. In a rare statement, the FBI warned against the document’s release, saying it had “grave concerns” about its accuracy. Despite pushback from officials, the White House approved the release of the memo Friday.

Below, read the memo in full.

January 18, 2018

To: HPSCI Majority Members

From: HPSCI Majority Staff

Subject: Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Abuses at the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation

Purpose

This memorandum provides Members an update on significant facts relating to the Committee’s ongoing investigation into the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and their use of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) during the 2016 presidential election cycle. Our findings, which are detailed below, 1) raise concerns with the legitimacy and legality of certain DOJ and FBI interactions with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), and 2) represent a troubling breakdown of legal processes established to protect the American people from abuses related to the FISA process.

Investigation Update

On October 21, 2016, DOJ and FBI sought and received a FISA probable cause order (not under Title VII) authorizing electronic surveillance on Carter Page from the FISC. Page is a U.S. citizen who served as a volunteer advisor to the Trump presidential campaign. Consistent with requirements under FISA, the application had to be first certified by the Director or Deputy Director of the FBI. It then required the approval of the Attorney General, Deputy Attorney General (DAG), or the Senate-confirmed Assistant Attorney General for the National Security Division.

The FBI and DOJ obtained one initial FISA warrant targeting Carter Page and three FISA renewals from the FISC. As required by statute (50 U.S.C. §,1805(d)(l)), a FISA order on an American citizen must be renewed by the FISC every 90 days and each renewal requires a separate finding of probable cause. Then-Director James Comey signed three FISA applications in question on behalf of the FBI, and Deputy Director Andrew McCabe signed one. Then-DAG Sally Yates, then-Acting DAG Dana Boente, and DAG Rod Rosenstein each signed one or more FISA applications on behalf of DOJ.

Due to the sensitive nature of foreign intelligence activity, FISA submissions (including renewals) before the FISC are classified. As such, the public’s confidence in the integrity of the FISA process depends on the court’s ability to hold the government to the highest standard—particularly as it relates to surveillance of American citizens. However, the FISC’s rigor in protecting the rights of Americans, which is reinforced by 90-day renewals of surveillance orders, is necessarily dependent on the government’s production to the court of all material and relevant facts. This should include information potentially favorable to the target of the FISA application that is known by the government. In the case of Carter Page, the government had at least four independent opportunities before the FISC to accurately provide an accounting of the relevant facts. However, our findings indicate that, as described below, material and relevant information was omitted.

1) The “dossier” compiled by Christopher Steele (Steele dossier) on behalf of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Hillary Clinton campaign formed an essential part of the Carter Page FISA application. Steele was a longtime FBI source who was paid over $160,000 by the DNC and Clinton campaign, via the law firm Perkins Coie and research firm Fusion GPS, to obtain derogatory information on Donald Trump’s ties to Russia.

a) Neither the initial application in October 2016, nor any of the renewals, disclose or reference the role of the DNC, Clinton campaign, or any party/campaign in funding Steele’s efforts, even though the political origins of the Steele dossier were then known to senior DOJ and FBI officials.

b) The initial FISA application notes Steele was working for a named U.S. person, but does not name Fusion GPS and principal Glenn Simpson, who was paid by a U.S. law firm (Perkins Coie) representing the DNC (even though it was known by DOJ at the time that political actors were involved with the Steele dossier). The application does not mention Steele was ultimately working on behalf of—and paid by—the DNC and Clinton campaign, or that the FBI had separately authorized payment to Steele for the same information.

2) The Carter Page FISA application also cited extensively a September 23, 2016, Yahoo News article by Michael Isikoff, which focuses on Page’s July 2016 trip to Moscow. This article does not corroborate the Steele dossier because it is derived from information leaked by Steele himself to Yahoo News. The Page FISA application incorrectly assesses that Steele did not directly provide information to Yahoo News. Steele has admitted in British court filings that he met with Yahoo News—and several other outlets—in September 2016 at the direction of Fusion GPS. Perkins Coie was aware of Steele’s initial media contacts because they hosted at least one meeting in Washington D.C. in 2016 with Steele and Fusion GPS where this matter was discussed.

Seattle Does It Again.King of Housing

Seattle’s housing market is seeing the fastest appreciation in home values in the country, according to the latest data from Zillow Group.

The real estate data powerhouse released its September Market Report report Thursday and it shows Seattle’s home price growth is even outpacing Silicon Valley’s.

Seattle’s median home value is $455,800, up 12.4 percent from a year ago. San Jose, the epicenter of the Silicon Valley tech scene, rose 10 percent over the same period. San Francisco homes are appreciating more slowly, at 6 percent. At the national level, U.S. home values rose 6.9 percent over the past year, according to Zillow.

Home prices in Seattle have been surging for the past few years. (Zillow Graph)

The numbers give weight to the theory that Bay Area tech workers are increasingly moving to Seattle, in search of more affordable housing and other benefits of living in the Northwest.

Rents are growing more modestly in Seattle, with 5.5 percent year-over-year with a median monthly cost of $2,189.

September marked the ninth month in a row in which Seattle home values grew faster than any other metro region in the country. Does that mean we’re inching toward a real estate bubble?

Not exactly, says Zillow Chief Economist Svenja Gudell.

“It might be easy to assume another bubble is emerging, with home values growing 10 or 12 percent per year, but don’t worry,” she said in a statement. “The market is reacting to basic economic laws, and is behaving exactly the way we would expect it to given good overall growth.”

Seattle’s red-hot housing market is the result of a perfect storm, Gudell says. Record numbers of newcomers are moving to the city, many for high-paying tech jobs. There are 35.2 percent fewer homes for sale on the Seattle housing market than this time last year, Zillow says. The combination means demand is outpacing housing supply. Plus, mortgage rates are still relatively low, making it an attractive time to buy.

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