Category Archives: News

A Look at Some Housing Stats for Irvine and Surrounding Cities: May 2014

One of my posts from November 2013 provides stats on the Irvine housing market and some surrounding cities. Today we will take an updated look at these numbers. These two sets of numbers can be used to do some then-and-now comparison. The following numbers are for the ninety days that precede May 31.

What is your conclusion? Has the local housing market gone up, down, or sideways?

Area Median List Price Median Sale to List Price Avg # of Offers Avg Down Payment # Homes Sold
Irvine $820,000/$431 per SF 98.6% 2.7 24.60% 618
Lake Forest $619,000/$337 per SF 98.7% 2.6 19.60% 223
Tustin $669,000/$376 per SF 98.40% 4.3 13.7% 148
Orange $639,000/$345 per SF 98.4% 2.3 18.6% 336
Santa Ana $430,000/$314 per SF 99.10% 3 10.30% 359
Costa Mesa $744,000/$477 per SF 98.1% 2.0 10.0% 217
Newport Beach $2,290,000/$916 per SF 96.8% 3.0 40.0% 363
Orange County $699,000/$377 per SF 98.4% 2.6 24.5% 7,268

Irvine Community Partnership Fund Grant Nominations

The main agenda item for the May 27 Irvine City Council meeting is the decision regarding how to distribute funds from the Community Partnership Fund Grant. Mayor Choi asked for approval of $250 to the Korean American Federation of Orange County. Councilmember Agran requested funds for the South Coast Chinese Cultural Association, Irvine Pakistani Parents Association, Orange County Human Relations, Friends of Outreach, Arts Orange County, and AIDS Services Foundation Orange County. By the time you read this the city council meeting will have occurred. So if you want to see what organizations were approved, you can watch the archived video of the city council meeting. In the meantime, here is brief description of each of these organizations.

From what I will admit was a brief search on my part, it is unclear if the Korean American Federation of Orange County is a for-profit or non-profit organization. A memo from Major Choi states: “The Korean American Federation of Orange County is a non-profit organization that provides resources including mentoring and scholarship programs, language classes and hosts many cultural events in an effort to create friendship and ties within the community.” However, although not many sites exist online that might help define the nature of this organization, some sites seem to suggest that this is a for-profit business. Bizapedia provides this information: “Korean American Federation Of Orange County is a California Corporation filed on May 22, 1995. The company’s filing status is listed as Active and its File Number is C1763967. The Registered Agent on file for this company is Jin Oh Kim and is located at 9888 Garden Grove Blvd Garden Grove, CA . The company’s principal address is 9888 Garden Grove Blvd Garden Grove, CA 92844. The company has 1 principal on record. The principal is Taek Choi Jung from Irvine CA.” If anyone has any information on this, please leave a comment here or in Talk Irvine.

The South Coast Chinese Cultural Association is a 503c3 (non-profit) corporation at 9 Truman in Irvine. Activities include a school, arts, culture, and humanities.

The Irvine Pakistani Parents Association [nonprofit 501c(3)] is a collection of Irvine and Orange County based parents, who join hands to promote Pakistani culture, as well as encourage parent leadership at Irvine schools. The IPPA is also committed to giving back to the community, the Irvine Public Schools Foundation and Irvine schools by staging various fundraising events throughout the year.”Irvine Pakistani Parents Association

OC Human Relations provides programs in collaboration with schools, individuals, cities, businesses, foundations and the county to support a vision of an Orange County where our diversity is realized as a source of strength.” Programs include Creating Safe and Inclusive Communities, which makes use of the award winning BRIDGES school program; Developing Diverse Leaders, which empowers people to have a voice in the decision making processes of the institutions that affect their lives; and Mediating Conflict, which encourages dialog as an alternative to violence and litigation. See more at the Orange County Human Relations website.

Friends of Outreach is a non-profit, 501 (c) 3, all volunteer, Irvine based organization that helps support the City of Irvine senior outreach programs. (All donations to the organization are tax deductible.) The group conducts service projects, fund-raising programs, and weekly social activities at Lakeview Senior Center. Activities are OPEN to ALL. Community members are encouraged to join, participate, and make friends while serving a worthy cause.”—City of Irvine

Arts Orange County an independent nonprofit organization, is the officially-designated local arts agency of the County of Orange and its official state-local arts agency partner.” The partners are The Million Plates Drive, National Endowment for the Arts, California Arts Council, and the County of Orange.

*The Million Plates Drive is a public/private partnership to restore funding for the arts in California through sales of the California Arts Plate.

* The National Endowment for the Arts is an independent federal agency that funds and promotes artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities.”Top of FormBottom of Form

*The California Arts Council is the proud founding sponsor for Turnaround Arts CA—a program using arts education strategies to significantly improve ten of California’s lowest performing elementary schools. The Council invested $300,000 in the launch of this powerful arts education initiative, using one-time funds generously provided by the California State Assembly.”

“AIDS Services Foundation Orange County’s (ASF) mission is to prevent the spread of HIV and improve the lives of men, women, and children affected by HIV/AIDS in Orange County….ASF helps more than 1,600 men, women, children, and families in Orange County living with HIV disease. Services include food, transportation, housing, emergency financial assistance, kids and family programs, mental health counseling, support groups and HIV education and prevention services.”AIDS Services Foundation Orange County

Again, you can watch the recent Irvine City Council meeting to see what decisions were made on allocating grants to these organizations.

Irvine Housing Overview: May 2014

According to Altos Research, the Market Action Index (MAI) for Irvine’s single-family housing market was 38.07 on May 9, 2014. This means that the Irvine MAI is essential the same as it was about this time last month. As defined by Altos, this puts the Irvine single-family housing market in the seller’s market category. (Above 30 is defined as a seller’s market; below is defined as a buyer’s market.) Altos also states that the average single-family home in Irvine has been on the market for about 94 days as of May 9th.

Overview of Irvine Real Estate Trends Provided by Redfin*

  • Median List Price: $827K
  • Median Sale Price: $687K
  • Median List $/Sq Ft: $433
  • Median Sale $/Sq Ft: $409
  • Median Sale / List: 98.7%
  • Average Number of Offers 2.9
  • Average Down Payment: 25.3%
  • Number of Homes Sold: 610

*These figures include the house and condo numbers combined and are calculated over the ninety days prior to May 17, 2014.

For the March/April numbers, see my previous post.

Bike Safety Month in Irvine: The Ride of Silence and Bike Safety Boot Camp

As shown by the Orange County Transportation (OCTA) graphic found below, May is Bike Month or Bike Smart, Bike Safe month. Some of these Bike Month-related events have already occurred, but there are still two important events that you can attend: the Ride of Silence and Bike Safety Boot Camp. Both of these events have Irvine connections.

The Ride of Silence starts in North America (including Irvine, Fullerton, and San Clemente) and will continue across the world. This silent procession will honor cyclists who have been killed or injured while riding on public roads. “Although cyclists have a legal right to share the road with motorists, the motoring public often isn’t aware of these rights, and sometimes not aware of the cyclists themselves.”

Cyclists who ride in this silent procession are asked to wear reflective and highly visible clothing. They are also asked to wear a black armband in remembrance of those cyclists who have been killed or a red armband if the cyclist has been injured by a motorist while riding their bikes on public roads.

When: May 21, 2014

Where: Irvine, Fullerton, or San Clemente
Irvine Civic Center by the flag poles in front of the Police Department, meet at 6:00 pm, assembly at 6:30 pm, ride begins at 7 pm; Fullerton Museum Center Plaza / E. Wilshire, meet at 6:30 pm, ride begins at 7 pm; San Clemente Urban Bicycle Outfitters, 1900 N El Camino Real, meet at 6:30 pm, ride begins at 7 pm

More Information: Ride of Silence

The Bike Safety Camp “is designed to provide Irvine residents with the tools and information needed to ride their bike safely. Various vendors will provide safety education, raffle prizes, tune-ups, etc. OCTA will participate as a vendor and will promote bike safety information and Bike Month.”

Where: Pavilion Park, 194 Compass, Irvine 92618

When: Saturday, May 24, 2014

Time: 10 am to 2 pm

More Information: Outreach/BikeSafety Camp

Note: A U.S Census Bureau report states that bike commuting is growing faster than any other type of transportation. “The total number of bike commuters in the U.S. increased from about 488,000 in 2000 to about 786,000 during the period from 2008 to 2012, a larger percentage increase than that of any other commuting mode.” This means that the need for bicycle safety awareness by bicyclist and motorists is also increasing.

Other posts about bicycling in Irvine:
Bicycling Trails in Irvine and Orange County
Workshop on Bicycling Safety in Orange County

Learn, Plant, and Volunteer at Shadetree Partnership

Previously, I wrote about the benefits that trees provide us in Irvine and elsewhere (“Why Trees are Important in Irvine and Every Community). In that post, I briefly mentioned Shadetree Partnership Inc., which is a “non profit (501 (c) (3) volunteer-based organization that promotes more livable communities through the planting and stewardship of shade trees and other nursery stock.”

Shadetreeis located on UC Irvine grounds and has a partnership with the Irvine Ranch Water District (IRWD). You might be wondering why IRWD has a partnership with a nonprofit that encourage tree planting. The reason is water—or more exactly, water-use reduction, stormwater management, and the water cleaning services that trees provide for free. See the post “Why Trees are Important to Irvine and Every Community” for information on how trees provide these benefits.

The next volunteer day at Shadetree is June 7 from 8:30 to 11 am. Here is some of what you will be contributing to if you participate.

“Shadetree operates a 5 ½ acre nursery located on the campus of the University of California, Irvine where over 4,000 trees and shrubs/groundcover are currently growing. It is at that location that enthusiastic volunteers grow, care for and nurture trees, shrubs and groundcover for planting on public lands including schools, parks, churches, and cities. Since its formation in 1990, Shadetree has planted more than 26,500 trees and groundcover at various sites within the community. Many Orange County schools, colleges, community groups, non-profits and businesses have participated in Shadetree planting events.

Shadetree has partnered with 60+ Eagle Scout candidates to design, construct and complete their Eagle Scout Leadership projects. We also have opportunities community service hours for volunteers at monthly nursery events as well as programs for additional involvement with our Adopt-A-Row, and community service programs”

And if you know of an organization that would like a donation of some of these trees from Shadetree, here is what you need to know:

“Shadetree Partnership has nursery stock from one gallon groundcover and shrubs to selected 15-gallon trees. All trees and plants must be planted on unfettered public lands, such as parks, school grounds, cemeteries, and public golf courses, etc. The trees you will be planting will be between two to three years old and will be approximately six feet in height or higher in the containers. Once you complete an application with your wish list, an appointment will be scheduled for you to visit the nursery to select and tag your stock. It will be your responsibility to pick up the stock from the nursery”

If you would like make a donation to Shadetree either in the form of a membership or tree stock, fill out the donation application.

In addition, here is a list of the current items that Shadetree could use:

  • Small Tractor-Loader-Backhoe (Kobota PBX 4×4) – must be in working condition
  • Shovels
  • Hand Rakes
  • Hula Hoes
  • Loppers
  • Hand Trimmers/cutters
  • Hand Trowels
  • Wheel Barrows
  • Radio/Boom Box (new only)
  • 5/gal Buckets
  • 1/gal Containers
  • 15/gal Containers
  • 24-inch Wooden Boxes
  • Potting Soil
  • Green house supplies (heaters, thermometers, shelving, etc)
  • Lodge Pole Stakes
  • Fertilizer pellets
  • Irrigation supplies