Johnathan Pach Real Estate

Transfer Tax, Murder, & Cost Cutting

LA cuts revenue projections from new transfer tax by 25%
“The City of Los Angeles expects to make a lot less from its new transfer taxes than originally advertised. Measure ULA is projected to generate up to $672 million in revenues from July 1 of this year through June 30 of next year, according to an analysis from the City Administrative Office, which conducts financial and budget analyses. The office released its report last week. ​​​​​​​The new numbers are about 25 percent less than original estimates provided to voters in November, assuming about $5.1 billion less in property sales.Proponents of Measure ULA said on the city’s voter information pamphlet that Measure ULA was set to generate about $900 million per year, based on real estate sales volume from mid-2021 through mid-2022. A UCLA report in September said the taxes would raise $923 million. “

“The charges related to real-estate developer Arthur Aslanian’s alleged outrageous, terrorizing conduct keep piling up.

Aslanian, who was charged last September with two counts of conspiracy to commit murder for hire, now stands accused of paying someone $2,000 to set fire to one of his properties in North Hollywood to get rid of his tenants, the LA Times reported.

The tenants at a rental property on Hartsook Street had accused Aslanian of harassing and threatening them to get them to leave, the outlet said, citing court documents. The tenants had complained that Aslanian had created a toxic environment — including mold, vermin and asbestos — in his rentals to illegally drive them out. Aslanian in early 2022 allegedly promised to pay a co-conspirator $2,000 to set fire to the building. 

The co-conspirator tried to burn the building twice — once in February 2022, which ended with the building being merely scorched, and a second time in March 2022, which ended with two vacant units being burned. 

Even after the fire, Aslanian continued to demand rent, the outlet said. The tenants ultimately filed a lawsuit against Aslanian in July; the case was settled in October, the Times said.”

” Despite painstaking efforts to save up and cut costs, a majority of independent mortgage banks hemorrhaged money in the fourth quarter.

​​​​​​​Three out of four independent mortgage banks lost money in the fourth quarter, according to a Mortgage Bankers Association survey reported by Inman.  

The firms — which include mortgage subsidiaries of chartered banks — lost an average of $2,812 per loan, according to the survey. Production expenses soared to an average of $12,540 per loan, a 15-year high going back to the start of the survey. As mortgage rates surged last year and mortgage activity in the housing market declined, firms started enacting a number of cost-cutting measures. Layoffs were the most visible action, including big cuts at major players like loanDepot.

Top firms Rocket Companies and United Wholesale Mortgage cut a total of 9,500 roles last year, but neither company was willing in earnings reports to use the word “layoff.” The firms instead cited attrition, not filling vacant roles, or voluntary buyout offers.

Still, mortgage companies suffered across the board. One factor preventing better financial performances from the firms is the lack of refinancing, an activity that has virtually stopped as few feel motivated to trade in their locked-in lower rate for a higher rate long-term. Refinancing is more profitable than issuing purchase loans for mortgage banks because it requires less work.”

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