Sacramento Fifth for foreclosure rates

April 30th, 2008

One out of every 55 homes in the Sacramento metropolitan area received a foreclosure filing during the first three months of the year, ranging from a notice of default to a full repossession. Sacramento had the fifth highest rate among the top 100 metropolitan areas in the United States.

Almost 14,000 foreclosure filings were recorded during the first quarter. This represented a 14 percent increase over the previous quarter and more than doubled the amount during the same period last year.

California had the second highest foreclosure rate of all states, Nevada was in first place.  The Las Vegas real estate market has been hard hit after a decade of soaring real estate prices.

New Regus Office in Elk Grove

April 27th, 2008

The Regus Group PLC has opened one of its fully equipped offices in Elk Grove. Regus leases equipped and furnished offices in high-end buildings.

The new business center features 91 offices, 142 workstations, a board room, meeting room and a video/teleconferencing center. The Elk Grove center is the company’s eighth location in the Sacramento region.

The Elk Grove business center, at 9245 Laguna Springs Drive, is on the second floor of a new office building in a business park that includes two other office buildings along with a hotel and restaurant.

The company also has three centers in Sacramento, two in Roseville, and one each in Folsom and Gold River.

Guaranty Bank Opens in Roseville

April 22nd, 2008

Guaranty Bank has opened a branch in Roseville. John Lombardo is the new bank manager.

The 6,500-square-foot office is located at 8777 Sierra College Blvd.

Guaranty Bank , based in Austin, Texas, has more than 150 branches in California and Texas.

Allstate auto insurance cuts rates

March 18th, 2008

Allstate Insurance Co. and Allstate Indemnity Co.’s auto insurance rates will be cut by 15.9 percent effective as of April 14.

The auto insurer reduced rates after negotiations with the California Department of Insurance. The department in the past year has approved rate reductions from other insurers including Geico and AAA. The state has until July 2008 to implement Proposition 103, an insurance rate slashing ballot initiative passed by California voters in 1988. Its passage sparked more nearly two decades of legal and political battles between the insurance industry and California consumer groups.  Under the old regulations, rates were heavily influenced by other factors, such as marital status, gender and zip code, which some consumer advocates said discriminated against drivers in rural and inner city areas. Under the new regulations, rates will be based primarily on three factors: Driving record, number of miles driven, and years of driving experience.

The Allstate reduction is about $124 per customer, and will amount to almost $245 million statewide. The auto insurer initially requested no rate reduction, but an administrative law judge held that Allstate’s rates were excessive.

Allstate Indemnity Insurance is the fifth largest auto insurer in California, while Allstate Insurance is the ninth largest insurer.

Hawaiian, Aloha Airlines raise fares

March 16th, 2008

Aloha Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines have both raised their round trip airfares for flights between Hawaii and Sacramento by $30 to offset the rising costs of fuel and operations. Hawaiian’s increase in its airfares is effective for travel starting on or after May 1. Hawaiian flies daily between Sacramento International Airport and Honolulu, with connecting service to other destinations.

Aloha said it also would increase its fares effective immediately. Aloha flies to Maui from Sacramento International.

Donahue Schriber buys Gold River Centre

March 4th, 2008

Donahue Schriber, a  shopping center owner and developer,  has purchased Gold River Centre — anchored by Bel Air Market and Rite Aid — from the Powell Family Trust.  Robert Powell, who died in 2007, developed the fully leased shopping center on Sunrise at Gold Country boulevards in Gold River. Donahue Schriber did not disclose the purchase price of the center.

The purchase of Gold River Centre brings Donahue Schriber up to 24 shopping centers in the four-county Sacramento region. Overall, Donahue Schriber has 93 shopping centers operating or under development in California, Nevada, Arizona and Oregon.

Wells Fargo Tightens Mortgage Rules

February 28th, 2008

Wells Fargo & Co. is tightening its mortgage lending guidelines in more than 200 markets across the country, including more than thirty markets here in California that it has labeled severely distressed or distressed. The tougher lending standards will take effect Feb. 29.

Wells, the second-largest U.S. mortgage lender, has been working since last June to reduce its mortgage banking risk. During the second half of 2007, it introduced tighter credit standards and eliminated certain mortgage distribution channels. Last September, the bank introduced the “At Risk” market policy, which reduced maximum loan-to-value ratios for all outstanding loans against a property based on local market conditions. The loan-to-value ratio represents the amount of a first mortgage lien compared with the appraised value of a home.

The new mortgage guidelines were created as a result of changing market conditions, the bank said, and are a further indication of the depth of turmoil in the housing market across the country — not just in foreclosure hot spots such as California and Michigan.

Mortgage insurer PMI Group Inc., recently tightened its guidelines for the mortgage loans it insures, virtually eliminating very high (above 97 percent) loan to value ratio loans.

McClatchy Loses $1.47 Billion

February 28th, 2008

The McClatchy Company reported a non cash charge in the fourth quarter of $1,470,000 that raised the company’s 2007 losses to more than two and a half billion dollars. The Sacramento based newspaper publisher had already taken a non-cash charge of $1.4 billion in the third quarter.

The fourth-quarter net loss was $1.43 billion, or the equivalent of $17.46 a share which is almost twice the stock’s current price. For all of 2007, the net loss was $2.74 billion, or $33.37 a share.

They blamed the state of the economy and battered stock price for the the write-off.

Accounting rules required the company to bring its balance sheets in line with its market value.

McClatchy publishes 30 daily newspapers, including The Sacramento Bee, and about 50 non-daily newspapers.

The McClatchy Company’s stock price has fallen by more than 70 percent from two years ago, before it took on billions in debt through its acquisition of Knight-Ridder Inc.

Mortgage Rates Plummet

January 24th, 2008

The average 30-year fixed rate mortgage now at the lowest level in almost four years.

Freddie Mac says 30-year fixed rate mortgages averaged 5.48 percent this week, down from 5.69 percent last week. It is the fourth consecutive week mortgage rates have declined.

It is the lowest level for 30-year fixed rate mortgages since March 25, 2004, when the average was 5.40 percent.

40th Anniversary Concert Set for Folsom State Prison

January 13th, 2008

On January 13, 2008, forty years to the day, longtime

Johnny Cash drummer, WS “Fluke” Holland will lead his band back to Folsom State Prison  to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the recording of  ”

Johnny Cash At Folsom Prison,” widely considered to be the best live record ever made. Johnny Cash’s performance on January 13, 1968, was a seminal moment in music and pop culture history. Released by Columbia records in the summer of 1968, ”

Johnny Cash At Folsom Prison” made a 90 week assault on the country music charts, peaking at Number 1 for three weeks in July and August. The story was the same on the pop charts, where the album spent an incredible 122 weeks in the Top 200.

 The 40th Anniversary of ‘

Johnny Cash At Folsom Prison is replete with history and coincidence. The free concert will feature several members of Cash’s original group. Most notable is drummer WS “Fluke” Holland. A special guest vocalist will be introduced at the show!

Coincidentally, Jonathan Holiff, son of the late Saul Holiff, the Canadian entrepreneur who managed Cash from 1960 to 1973, will produce the 40th anniversary event.

The event is a labor of love for all concerned. Not a single dollar of taxpayer money is being used to mount the show. A dozen vendors are underwriting most of the production costs; most notably Prison Fellowship Ministries, the world’s largest outreach to prisoners, ex-prisoners, and their families.

Twenty per cent of all net proceeds will be donated to four participating non-profit organizations, including the California Inmate Welfare Fund and VOCAL Foundation/Justice for Murder Victims.