Up Sucker Creek

Up Sucker Creek
Photo Courtesy of the Lake Oswego Library

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Liberal dystopia

With so many California immigrants residing in Oregon, I can only hope that they have left their progressive silliness in our neighbor state to the south along with their propensity to make choices for everyone else via government edict.  Oregon has always been the home of independent and free men and women who respected the rights of others to have different beliefs and opinions as long as they were left alone to make thei own choices about how to live.  That open spirit is what attracted so many people to our soggy state.

Living in California sounds like being tied up in a progressive, artificially moral straight jacket.  No matter how beautiful the landscape, or how wonderful the climate, it is not worth giving up my freedoms to live in such an iliberal state.  People have died for Americans to live free, and Californians are throwing all of that away.  Intolerance begets tyranny.

How do you use and r-use your plastic bags?  I line my wast baskets with them and use them for trash in my car.  What I don't use I recycle at the grocery store.

There’s no such thing as a free bag—at least not anymore in California. Voters in November approved, 53% to 47%, a law outright banning single-use, carry-out plastic bags. Grocery and convenience stores can offer paper or reusable bags, but the law requires them to charge at least 10 cents a pop. While pot is now legal in the Golden State, plastic bags are contraband. Welcome to the liberal dystopia.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Rents sluggish as apartment glut increases

Rents stabilize nationwide amidst apartment building boom
It is always a matter of time before housing conditions change - unless government interferes with the market.

Looks like the "need" for rent control is easing.  Actually, there is never a need for rent control because it is a political scam and doesn't work.  The popularity of rent control lies in the fact that so few people are taught basic rules of economics like supply and demand.  If one believes that government can manage a real estate market (or any other market), they are willingly delusional and close-minded about learning new facts.  How does the real state cycle work?

  1. Demand went up and created a shortage of housing units.
  2. Short supply drove up the price of all types of housing.
  3. For many reasons, the lag in new supply could not keep up with accelerating demand and housing prices pushed higher. 
  4. High housing prices finally created a positive economic environment for [expensive] new construction, and housing supply began to increase.
  5. Because of the cost of new construction, new housing units have been been in the luxury and high-end category.  Affordable units are still on n short supply.
  6. High-end housing units have reached a saturation point in many cities where rents are stabilized.  Concessions lower prices further.
  7. As high-end housing prices stabilize, so do the moderate and low-end units.  
  8. Supply reaches an equilibrium then over-supply before new construction stops or slows.  
  9. New supply will not return until rents are again on the rise and the market supports it. 

This is the real estate cycle - a continual chase for economic returns, and retreat from oversupply and low returns.  Perfect equilibrium in pricing (supply and demand) is fleeting and impossible to maintain.  Conditions today are at or nearing the peak of the cycle.  The last trough was 10 - 15 years ago when appartment owners struggled to be profitable.  When concessions (free rent) come back, we are at or near the trough where pricing is decreasing.  No government action is needed to cure the housing crisis - the market will respond.  Rent control only shuts off supply and makes things worse.

Q:  How will a changing rental housing market affect new construction in Lake Oswego?

Wall Street Journal, January 3, 2017 By Laura Kusisto
Luxury Apartment Boom Looks Set to Fizzle 
in 2017

Building glut outstrips demand, likely forcing landlords to slash rents

Landlords of upscale properties across the U.S. are bracing for rough conditions in 2017 that will likely force them to slash rents and offer deep concessions as a glut of supply brings a seven-year luxury-apartment boom to an end.
The turnaround follows a more-than-26% jump in U.S. apartment rents since early 2010, far outstripping inflation and income growth. But in 2016, rents rose a modest 3.8%, a significant drop from the recent high of 5.6% year-to-year growth in the third quarter of 2015, according to a report to be released Tuesday by MPF Research, a division of RealPage Inc. that tracks the U.S. apartment market.
Developers in New York are already offering up to three months of free rent on some projects. In Los Angeles, some landlords are offering six months of free parking, and some in Houston are waiving security deposits. Meanwhile, MPF Vice President Jay Parsons said he expects little or no rent growth in urban rental markets this year.
“This will be a very challenged leasing environment almost everywhere,” Mr. Parsons said.

The slowdown, he said, is being driven not by a pullback in demand but rather a flood of new apartments. Demand for urban properties jumped after the housing bust as young, high-earning professionals eschewed homeownership and flocked to big cities. Developers responded by focusing most of their efforts on high-end properties.

Rents in San Francisco, New York, Houston and San Jose, Calif., all declined about 1% year-to-year in 2016, according to MPF. Monthly rents now average $1,248 nationally.
The sluggishness is expected to spread across the U.S., hitting markets from Nashville, Tenn., and Dallas to Los Angeles and Atlanta.
The bad news for landlords is good news for tenants.
“This is going to be one of the best apartment markets that I’ve seen [for renters] since 2011,” said Ric Campo, chief executive of Camden Property Trust, one of the country’s largest apartment owners. “The consumer is going to have much broader choice at a lower price.”
In some of the country’s more expensive markets, the slowdown at the top end is showing signs of trickling down to more average-priced apartments. Benjamin Gable, a 31-year-old advertising copywriter, recently scored a $200-a-month discount on 1.5-bedroom apartment in Brooklyn’s trendy Greenpoint neighborhood.
Most real-estate analysts expect luxury construction to slow in coming years as markets work through supply gluts.
Landlords believe the market will revive over time, however. While they don’t expect it to return to the highflying days of 2015, they say the apartment market should settle into its usual position as a steadily growing but largely unexciting part of the real-estate market.
“I don’t see it getting white hot again,” said Mr. Tirrill.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

2017 Planning Commission Goals

The Planning Commission acts as the City of Lake Oswego's State-mandated Commission for Cotizen Involvement.  Be sure to let the Commission know how you think Citizen Involvement on land use issues can be improved.  Be specific about where you believe problems exist, and make suggestions to make citizen input on the future of our city more meaningful.
The following announcement is found on the Council Digest webpage - located in the Public Affairs Department section of the City website.  Perhaps the first suggestion should be better notification to citizens about opportunities to connect with City Boards and Commissions. ;)


The Lake Oswego Planning Commission (also serving as Commission for Citizen Involvement) is reviewing potential goals for 2017 and is seeking input from the community.  The Planning Commission’s roles and responsibilities, along with a list of its current projects and 2016 goals, can be found on the Planning Commission webpage, click here.
The Commission invites the community to provide feedback in one of the following ways:
  • E-mail your written comments to the Planning Commission at PlanningCommission@LakeOswego.city, no later than 4:00 p.m. on January 9.
  • Attend the Planning Commission’s January 9 meeting to share your comments. The meeting begins at 5:30 p.m. in the City Hall Council Chamber.
The City Council will review the proposed Planning Commission goals and may provide direction at their 2017 Goal Setting meeting in January.

Monday, January 2, 2017

12 days to comment on Council goals

2017 City Council Goals 

Is there something you would like your city council to work on in 2017?  Now is the time to comment.  Ask today (January 1, 2017), there are 12 days left to comment online through Open City Hall.  

I heard from other sources that there was an option to comment on Council goals, but had to go searching to find out how to do it.

The following announcement was found under the City Manger Department of the City website:
City of Lale Oswego Home Page >  Departments > City Manager Home > Programs > Open City Hall > City Council Goals for 2017.

One would think that the City Council didn't care about what citizens had to say at all. If so, they would have made sure this inadequate effort would have been given higher priority and visibility.  Even if they ignored everything citizens wrote, it still makes for good PR to look like one is interested in what citizens have to say.

If you have the time and feel like it would do some good, go ahead and give it your best.  While you're at it, see what is going on with our Stormwater Permit Renewal - another much beleaguered and politicized subject.

Open City Hall

What goals should your City Council set to accomplish in 2017?

12 days left before deadline

This topic has 33 visitors and 7 statements: 6 registered statements and 1 unregistered statement. That's 21 minutes of public comment @ 3 minutes per statement. The deadline for participation is 5:00 PM on January 13, 2017.
Go to the topic