State program for first-time home buyers doles out $300M in two week
“A state fund with $300 million to help first-time home buyers has emptied out in two weeks.
The California Housing Finance Agency’s loan program, which launched two weeks ago to help 2,300 home buyers with their down payments, is now out of cash, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The program, dubbed California Dream for All Shared Appreciation, offered free cash for qualified first-time buyers for up to 20 percent of the purchase price of a house or condo.
The help was available only to households whose earnings were below CalHFA’s income limit, or $180,000 in Los Angeles County and $235,000 in Orange County. State lawmakers had set aside $500 million for the program as part of the 2022-2023 budget, but a looming fiscal shortfall led Gov. Gavin Newsom to propose a 40 percent cut.
So when CalHFA launched the program late last month, it was allocated $300 million and expected to assist 2,300 home buyers. On Friday, the CalHFA website announced that all the funds “have been reserved” – finance-speak for out of cash.
More funds will be available to the program at a later date, said Kathy Phillips, spokeswoman for the Housing Financing Agency.
|Apartment vacancies in California rise, pushing down rents“|
Apartment vacancies in California have hit a two-year high, with rents falling across the Golden State.The statewide vacancy rate rose to 5.2 percent in March, the highest level since April 2021 and up from the 3.6 percent pandemic low in September-November 2021, the Orange County Register reported, citing a survey by ApartmentList.Meanwhile, apartment rents in the state’s dozen most populous counties fell 3.5 percent from their August peak. The vacancy rate in Los Angeles was 5.4 percent, with average rents down 2.1 percent since 2021.
A return to normal since the pandemic that has slowed housing markets has now forced landlords to compete for tenants, as renters select from more available units.”
LA office leasing sees huge dropoff in the first quarter
“Fewer companies are leasing office space in Los Angeles.
About 2.2 million square feet of office leases were signed in the first quarter of this year — down 37 percent compared to the last quarter of 2022 and about 40 percent year-over-year, according to a CBRE report.
For the third quarter in a row, more office space was put on the market than was taken off by new tenants — about 1.3 million square feet, or almost triple the figure from the fourth quarter of last year.
The report paints a drab picture of L.A.’s office market, which has suffered from an apathetic return to the office, layoffs and a lackluster appetite for new space.