Monday, September 24, 2007

California Renters Squeezed by Lack of Affordable Rentals

You dont have to read several media sources to notice that there are two growing trends affecting the leasing and rental market. More and more renters are searching for their next apartment online as opposed to traditional methods and rental prices are rising as consumers choose to rent rather than buy in order to wait for home sale prices to improve in affordability-- as is clearly evident in California where the median sales price of a home is at $560, 690. Across the nation, the median sales price of a home is at $248,000.

According to, the company reported nearly 45 million visits in 2006, an increase of 20 percent over 2005. The top searched markets on the site with the highest growth over 2005 were :

1. Chicago (214%)

2. Los Angeles (203%)

3. Phoenix (182%)

4. Ft. Lauderdale (168%)

5. Atlanta (163%)

6. Detroit (158%)

7. New York (157%)

8. Tampa (156%)

9. Orlando (153%)

10. San Jose / Silicon Valley (144%)

Note that Los Angeles and San Jose, which are cities located in California, show a booming increase in online searchers looking for affordable rental housing.

Unfortunately for many renters, as reported in a 2/4/07 online article in USA Today, landlords are expected to raise apartment rents for a third-straight year in 2007. By no means are we attempting to take pot-shots at landlords, the objective is to give the perspective of how national rental rates compare to those in California.

With the projected rise of 5% this year, rents would be 14% higher than at the end of 2004, the report says. From 2000 to 2004, most landlords couldn't raise rents because so many tenants were leaving to buy houses or condos. To feed that buying frenzy, about 300,000 apartments were converted to condos for sale in the past three years. Now, even with 92,000 new rental units this year, the stock is still too little to meet rising demand.

Rents are rising because the payment gap between renting and owning remains wide. Even with this year's increase, the national median rent will be $943 a month, only 60% of the median mortgage payment of $1,566. In California, the median rent is at approximately $1,400 per month which is 47% of the median mortgage payment of $2,520.

And data from a Census Bureau report in 2000, showed that the highest rental markets were in Irvine, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara or Fremont, all California cities, where median gross rents all topped $1,200 a month. That was six years ago.

California cities claimed nine out-of-ten spots on the Census 2000's list of highest rents among large U.S. cities. The only non- California city in the top high-rent tier was Stamford, Connecticut, at $1,007 a month.

Ten Highest Rent Cities

Irvine, Calif. - $1,272
Sunnyvale, Calif. - $1,270
Santa Clara, Calif. - $1,238
Fremont, Calif. - $1,196
Thousand Oaks, Calif. - $1,131
San Jose, Calif. - $1,123
Daly City, Calif. - $1,074
Simi Valley, Calif. - $1,058
Stamford, Conn. - $1,007
Huntington Beach, Calif. - $ 985

Keep in mind that Southern California is a sprawling geographic area dotted with several hundred communities, it would be ridiculous to claim that there are no affordable rental areas; however, as a renter you can realistically expect to pay higher rents in more desirable neighborhoods or communities located by the coast. In order to get a good perspective on rental prices and desirable areas to live in, conduct a few online searches and check out sites such as, Apartments,com and

If living in the Golden State is your dream, there are now more online rental websites available with virtual tours, mapping tools and other information, so you can shop for a California rental from your desktop.

Nef Cortez has been a licensed real estate broker and has held various positions in the real estate and mortgage industry for over 25 years. If you would like to read more of Nef's pithy and timely advice (with the latest info on local foreclosures), visit his website at Chino Hills CA homes or read his blog at A Slice of So Cal Real Estate

Forex Online Broker Trading

Finding a good forex online broker trading service can be an extremely difficult task, but is essential if you want to ensure that you make as much profit as possible from your trades. Hiring the wrong company could lead to devastating results as if you were actually doing the trading on your own without any training or assistance.

When looking for any firm to assist you with your Forex trading, you should be extremely diligent and carry out as much research as possible with regard to those you would like to handle your investment portfolio.

Look for those firms which will provide you with details of those clients who are willing to provide information with regards to their services and how successful they have been. A reputable firm will have plenty of client testimonials which will indicate to you that they are have a strong knowledge and background relating to this type of trading. However these testimonials should not be used as the way of making a decision in relation to which firm you are going to be using.

Also another way of testing out the reliability of any firm that is providing services for people to trade Forex online is the amount of information that they make available to their clients. Also what sorts of literature and any training that they are willing to provide to those who become clients with them.

So the more that a Forex broker trading firm is willing to do for you then this will then provide you with a way to better understand Forex trading systems and so will make you in to a much more competent trader yourself.

A great way of searching out a reputable and good brokerage firm is through friends and family. Ask them if they can suggest anyone and if they do you will still need to carry out your own investigations with regards to their qualifications and knowledge base before you commit to any type of formal agreement with them.

Finally another thing you will need to consider when looking for a good Forex online broker trading firm is to see what margin of return they are offering to their clients. Avoid those that are offering very low margins of return. It is important to remember that these people are providing a service to their customers and if you find that the firms you are considering are not returning your calls within a reasonable amount of time then it is best that you carry on searching for the ones that will.

Ricky Lim runs an online forex trading education site for beginners. Visit his site today for more forex tutorials such as a free forex trading strategy.