The High Desert Report » November 2012

Monthly Archives: November 2012


Publisher’s Message-Fall 2012

Published by:

Joseph W. Brady, CCIM, SIOR

I wish to welcome our current, future and long standing subscribers of the 51st edition of the Bradco High Desert Report, the first and only economic overview of the High Desert region, covering the Northern portion of San Bernardino County and the Inland Empire. We more specifically address economic issues affecting the Cities of Adelanto, Barstow, Hesperia, Victorville, and the Town of Apple Valley.

As always, we are most appreciative to our over 135 committed article suppliers and our longtime newsletter sponsors for their continued commitment to our endeavor, and our attempt to find positive, factual and interesting economic information as it relates to the High Desert economy.

One item that the Bradco High Desert Report has always prided itself with is giving facts for people to make better decisions.… Read the full article

Economy Property

Real Estate Market Outlook-Fall 2012

Published by:

By Alfred Gobar
Chairman, Alfred Gobar Associates

Over the past 50 years, increase in nonagricultural wage and salary employment as reported by public agencies has correlated closely with household formation and, therefore, housing occupancy. Employment growth is a good thing for real estate markets. An index of nonagricultural wage and salary employment for Southern California as a whole (Ventura, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego Counties) is illustrated in Exhibit A in comparison with a similar index based on the 1990 recession. As indicated, employment declined more in percentage terms in the current recession than it did two decades ago, and the recovery has been relatively feeble. Those of us interested in the High Desert real estate market, therefore, should have patience in order to identify attractive real estate market opportunities.… Read the full article

Economy Property

Some Encouraging Signs on the Home Front

Published by:

By Carlos Rodriguez
Chief Executive Officer
Building Industry Association (BIA) Baldy View Chapter

After years of cautious optimism, home building professionals are beginning to see signs of improvement in Southern California’s housing markets. While there is still a long road to a full recovery, the good news is Southern California home sales rose to their highest level in six years while prices hit a four-year high in August.

Data Quick reports that the number of homes sold increased more than 14 percent in August to more than 22,000 compared to the same period last year. The median price for new and existing houses and condos in the six-county region rose nearly 11 percent to $309,000 last month compared to August 2011.… Read the full article

General Politics

Fire Prevention “Fee”

Published by:

By Senator Jean Fuller
California Senate District 18

My office has been overwhelmed with calls and questions about notices in the mail that they must pay a fire prevention “fee.” In July 2011, Governor Brown signed into law AB X1 29. The bill established a fire prevention “fee” for homes within the State Responsibility Area (SRA), an area that encompasses 31 million acres and approximately 825,000 homes.

In the eyes of many, myself included, this “fee” is really a tax. Because they could not persuade the required two-thirds of the Legislature to vote for a tax increase, the majority party instead re-labeled it a “fee,” thereby requiring only a simple majority vote for passage. The majority party in Sacramento used verbal gymnastics to twist and turn a tax increase into law.… Read the full article

Economy General

Employment Development Department

Published by:

By Brittany A. Ortega
Employment Program Representative

2012 unemployment rates are shown in the chart below. The rates shown are National, State of California, San Bernardino County, and the High Desert Region.

It appears that 2012, so far has been a year of steady unemployment for most of the nation as well as California. The High Desert cities had a higher unemployment rate for the months of the year shown than either the nation or the state.

The past four months of 2012 did show a slight downward slope in unemployment rates, which we hope will continue throughout the remainder of 2012. The data shows that it is trending in a more favorable direction for the economic growth of California, San Bernardino County, and the High Desert Communities.… Read the full article

Economy General

The Population of the High Desert Has Increased Since the 2010 Census and is Projected to Continue Increasing through 2016

Published by:

By Ronald J. Barbieri, Ph.D., CPA
The Bradco Companies

In order for home and land values to substantially appreciate in the High Desert over the next five years the area’s population must continue to grow at a moderate rate. The greater the growth rate the greater will be the rate of appreciation. The population of the High Desert peaked in 2008. As of January 1, 2009 Nielsen/Claritas(Nielsen) estimated that the population of the greater Victor Valley-Barstow area was 443,516. During the next 27 months the number of individuals living in the High Desert declined by 13,250. By the time of the April 1, 2010 U.S. Census the population was only 430,250. Since then there are indications the population of the greater five city area has increased.… Read the full article

Economy Politics

Reviving California is Going to Take a Revolution

Published by:

By Assemblyman Tim Donnelly
California 59th District

“You can send everyone else home; this is my job.”

That is what a woman told an employer when interviewing for a job that received hundreds of applicants right here in San Bernardino County. When asked why she was so confident, the woman told her interviewer that she wanted it more than anyone else – that unless she found work that day, she and her young son would be living out of their car.

She isn’t alone.

When I was walking door-to-door meeting constituents, one man stepped away from our conversation mid-sentence to take a phone call, then rushed out the door and took off in his car. His wife nearly broke out into tears explaining that he got a call offering a half-day’s work.… Read the full article

Economy Property

The Expansion of the Panama Canal Will Not Have a Negative Effect on the Demand for Industrial Space in Southern California

Published by:

By Ronald J. Barbieri, Ph.D., CPA
The Bradco Companies

The completion of a third set of locks in the Panama Canal by 2015 will enable container vessels capable of carrying up to 12,000TEU’s of containers to pass through the canal and deliver goods from China and other countries in the Far East directly to eastern half of the United States via East and Gulf coast ports. The conventional wisdom is that this will substantially reduce the flow of in-bound containers through the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. An article titled: “Panama Canal: Myths and Misconceptions” that appeared in the May 2012 issue of the American Shipper argues that the opening of the third set of locks in the Panama Canal will only have a minimal impact on the volume of imports entering through the twin Southern California ports.… Read the full article

Air Quality General

Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District Offering Over $1.3 Million in Mobile Emission Reduction Grants

Published by:

By Violette Roberts
Community Relations & Education Manager

The Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District is currently accepting proposals for projects that reduce smog forming-emissions from heavy-duty vehicles and equipment and other mobile sources operated within the District’s jurisdiction, which encompasses the High Desert portion of San Bernardino County and Riverside County’s Palo Verde Valley.

Approximately $575,000 in AB2766 grant program funds are available to public or private entities for projects that reduce emissions from mobile sources, which account for more than 60% of air pollutant emissions gauged in the High Desert. Eligible projects include transit and parking management projects, demonstration projects in telecommuting, videoconferencing, and alternative fuel vehicles, electric/alternative fuel vehicle infrastructure development, and public education programs. The incremental cost of purchasing or leasing clean fuel/electric vehicles or repowering existing vehicles to operate on alternative fuel may also be eligible for funding in an amount not to exceed 25% of the total project cost.… Read the full article

Economy Property

A Shortage of Homes for Sale Has Caused a Significant Increase in the Price of Homes in the High Desert

Published by:

By Bob Thompson & Ronald J. Barbieri, Ph.D., CPA 
The Bradco Companies

During the 2004 -2005 housing bubble, 600 new homes were sold each month in the Victor Valley area in addition to 500 previously owned homes. The vacancy level was low and builders were straining to meet demand, which was artificiality inflated by the lax lending standards fostered by the federal government through Freddie Mac and Fanny Mae. The median price for previously owned single family homes in the Victor Valley area peaked in February 2006 at $322,000. By April 2009 the median price had declined approximately 68% to $103,000, which was the low point for this real estate cycle. In March 2012 the Median price for the area was only $110,000; however prices have increased consistently since May of this year.… Read the full article

Politics Property

The County of San Bernardino is Moving Forward with Major Construction Projects

Published by:

By Brad Mitzefelt
Vice Chairman & First District Supervisor
San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors

As I’m completing my service as San Bernardino County’s First District Supervisor in December, I’m pleased to take this opportunity to update readers of the High Desert Report on just a few of the county’s many ongoing and recently accomplished initiatives.

First and foremost, the ability of local government to provide public services is correlated to the success, or lack thereof, of local businesses. While I have recently successfully pushed for reforms to our development code and permit processing to encourage economic activity, my successor will have much to work on to build on this progress. In addition to whether an area is open for business, there are several other factors considered by a business making a decision about where to locate, including infrastructure and quality of life, especially related to public safety and public and private amenities.… Read the full article

General Nonprofits

Academy for Grassroots Organizations

Published by:

By Vici Nagel
President & CEO
Academy for Grassroots Organizations

As I have stated in previous columns in this publications, the nonprofit sector presents our region with huge opportunities for economic growth … and it is time for serious investment to help this sector embrace its role as a component of San Bernardino County’s economic engine.

First, let’s take a look at some facts and figures.

  • There are currently 1,563,596 tax-exempt (nonprofit) organizations in the United States: 5,600 in San Bernardino County.
  • In 2010, nonprofits accounted for 9.2% of all wages and salaries paid in the United States.
  • Nonprofits’ share of Gross Domestic Product was 5.5% in 2010.
  • In 2010, public charities reported over $1.51 trillion in total revenues and $1.45 trillion in total expenses.
Read the full article

Victor Valley Community College-Fall 2012

Published by:

By Bill Gruelich
Public Information Officer
President’s Office

Victor Valley College, established in 1961, has undergone many changes since its inception. Most significant is student population. From humble beginnings, the college has grown from serving 500 students to more than 17,000 per year. Throughout this period, the college has managed to meet the higher education needs of the people of the Victor Valley. This educational experience has allowed students to reach one or more personal goals that include transfer to four-year colleges and universities , receive an A.A. or A.S. degree, earn an occupational career certificate,or access career training that expands his/her ability to meet current industry standards.

VVC offers Associate in Science and Associate in Arts degrees in 23 different disciplines and more than 100 certificates.… Read the full article