San Diego County communities approved slightly fewer homes last year despite increasing political pressure for more housing in California.Cities and the county issued 4 percent fewer residential building permits in 2017 than the previous year, said the Real Estate Research Council of Southern California in a report released this week.Overall building was down because of a reduction in apartment and condo construction, despite an increase in single-family home construction. The year started out with a major reduction in home building, but made up for it with an extremely busy fourth quarter.Building permits for 9,580 new housing units were pulled in 2017. That’s down from 9,972 in 2016 and 9,975 in 2015. It’s up from a low during the Great Recession, when fewer than 3,000 homes were built in 2009.The report comes as lawmakers seek new ways to get more homes built as a way to reduce housing costs. Two of the state’s leading candidates for governor, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom … [Read more...] about Despite push, San Diego County built less housing in 2017
San Diego resident Sanjay Jha, a high-profile technology executive, is stepping down as chief executive of privately held Globalfoundries.Jha, former CEO of Motorola Mobility and ex-chief operating officer of Qualcomm, will hand over duties to Thomas Caulfield – a semiconductor veteran and current senior vice president of Globalfoundries. The transition is effective immediately, said a company spokesman. Jha was not available for an interview, the company said.Based in Santa Clara, Globalfoundries is a contract chip manufacturer for semiconductor companies such as AMD, Broadcom, Qualcomm and others. It’s owned by Mubadala Investment Co. of the United Arab Emirates.“It has been an incredible four years,” said Jha in a statement. “We have transformed Globalfoundries into a trusted, reliable foundry for our global customer base.”Jha headed Qualcomm’s CDMA Technologies arm and was chief operating officer before leaving in 2008 to become co-CEO of … [Read more...] about San Diego tech executive Sanjay Jha steps down at Globalfoundries
Attendance at SeaWorld San Diego plunged 14 percent last year, as more than a half million fewer people visited the marine park.The rate of decline is considerably steeper than the overall 5.5 percent attendance decrease in 2017 for all 12 parks operated by parent company SeaWorld Entertainment.While the Orlando-based company does not break out attendance or revenue information for each of its parks, SeaWorld San Diego’s lease agreement with the city of San Diego for its Mission Bay site requires an annual report on park visitation.SeaWorld reported to the city last month that overall attendance for 2017 was 3.1 million. A year earlier, attendance totaled a little more than 3.6 million, down just slightly from visitation in 2015.Park spokesman David Koontz said Wednesday that he could provide no additional detail on attendance trends. But in recent earnings calls with analysts, the company has acknowledged the public perception issues that continue to dog the San Diego park. … [Read more...] about SeaWorld San Diego attendance takes steep dive in 2017
The average rent in San Diego County hit a record $1,887 a month in March, increasing 8 percent in a year, said a new report released this week.High-end apartment complexes downtown helped raise the rates substantially, especially those that opened in the last few months, according to data from San Diego-based MarketPointe Realty Advisors.Rent has increased 20 percent since March 2015 when the average monthly rent was $1,563. However, there are some indications — such as an increased vacancy rate — that the pace of rent increases could be slowing.In the last six months, average rent has increased less than 2 percent.“What we noticed was some of the older stuff pushed rents a little too much,” said Russ Valone, CEO of MarketPointe. “We saw a number of new projects where they rolled the rent back.”Vacancy rates ticked up to their highest point since 2014 in March — 4.08 percent — as the flood of high-end rentals hit the market. More than … [Read more...] about San Diego average rent up to $1,887, breaking record. Will it last?
A new battleground is emerging in San Diego’s housing crisis: the need to preserve thousands of older apartments with subsidized rent restrictions that will expire in the next five years.Recent efforts to solve a severe shortage of affordable housing have focused on spurring new construction with financial incentives and looser regulations, but the city may dig itself a deeper hole by not also preserving existing low-rent units.Preservation of the 7 percent of low-rent units at risk of disappearing over the next five years is especially crucial, because construction of such units began to sharply drop six years ago when the state eliminated redevelopment agencies.Rent restrictions expire on such units because developers agreed to charge lower rents for a certain number of years – usually from 30 to 55 -- in exchange for tax credits, redevelopment money or other financial incentives.When the restrictions expire, the owners of the complexes can sharply raise rents up to … [Read more...] about Preserving old, low-rent apartments could play key role in solving San Diego’s housing crisis