Hello from the Idyllwild Association of Realtors! What a month it’s been. First off, on behalf of our association (and the community), we would like to extend our sincere gratitude to all the firefighters and local law enforcement officers who have kept our town safe once again from the most recent wildfire: Cal Fire (the heroes in the red trucks), the U.S. Forest Service (the heroes in the green trucks), the Idyllwild Fire Department (the heroes in the white trucks) and to all those who have helped in their own ways. What a very special community we live in.

Here’s what’s currently happening in the real estate world.

National level

National Flood Insurance Program: The House of Representatives voted 366-52 to pass legislation to extend the National Flood Insurance Program until the end of November. The NFIP expired July 31. The House vote came that day, one day before members were scheduled to leave on their August recess.

National Association of Realtors President Elizabeth Mendenhall said, “The bill passed by the House today ensures the program remains available to those Americans who rely upon it, while enabling Congress to continue working toward a long-term reauthorization and reform measure. We urge the Senate to take swift action on this bill before the program expires on July 31.”

The Senate did vote to extend the program through Nov. 30, 2018. The president signed the bill into law.

“[The California Association of Realtors] thanks all of the members who sent letters to their senators/members of Congress in support of the extension.”

State level

In coming weeks, CAR will launch a plan to help pass Proposition 5, CAR’s Property Tax Fairness initiative, and defeat Proposition 10, the effort to repeal the landmark Costa Hawkins law. Voters will decide the fate of both initiatives in the Nov. 6 election.

Prop 5 would remove the unfair moving penalty for seniors, the severely disabled and disaster victims across the state while still ensuring these people pay their fair share of property taxes.

Prop 10 would repeal the landmark Costa Hawkins law that limits the ability of local governments to impose aggressive rent control. CAR successfully co-sponsored Costa Hawkins in 1995. Any threat to Costa Hawkins is a threat to private property rights and CAR is prepared to vigorously defend the law against Prop 10.

Local level (market stats)

Here’s the question I’ve been asked most lately: “How’s the real estate market been since the fire? I imagine it’s pretty quiet.”

My reply: “Well, not really.”

Here’s what’s happening as I’m writing this today, Sunday, Aug. 19*:

•13 escrows have closed since the evacuation order was lifted for Idyllwild (July 29, 2018.)

• 31 properties are currently pending in escrow: 25 single-family residences, three vacant lots and three mobile homes. SFR listing prices range from $197,500 to $975,000.

• 13 of these 31 properties went into escrow after the evacuation order was lifted for Idyllwild.

• 11 new listings are on the market since the fire.

*Source: Data from Idyllwild MLS and RealtyProMLS

Thank you for reading. We’ll see you next month on “Realtor Talk.”

Johnny Wilson

IAOR President-Elect