Home sales in California have noticeably downshifted since mid-December, which is typical for the beginning of a new year. Pending sales suggest the upward trend will resume in the next few weeks. Mortgage rates continue to hover near historic lows, and while rates are likely to rise in the near future, they should remain low enough to be very attractive to home buyers.

This week, the Legislature introduced SB 91, a bill that provides financial assistance to qualifying housing providers and tenants of up to 80 percent of the unpaid rent accrued since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is anticipated that this bill, part of a larger budget package, will be quickly passed and signed into law. C.A.R. has taken a formal “neutral” position on SB 91. Learn more here.

Housing production is up significantly; 2020 closed out with the highest production numbers since September 2006. But the National Association of Home Builders warns rising lumber prices and increased regulatory costs could impede future production.