Local apartment report on housing highs and lows

Real estate firm Marcus & Millichap recently released its annual “Multifamily Market Research Report” showing that with vacancy rates on the decline and average rents rising, those seeking to invest in the Ventura County real estate market are attracted by the numbers.

In the first quarter of 2017, Ventura County’s apartment vacancy rate remained below 3 percent, well below the national average hovering around 7 percent. The firm correlates this to “reflecting an expanding labor market and a steady pace of household creation,” suggesting that the business sector is strong, keeping demand for homes high.

Investors looked to Oxnard Shores and Oxnard’s Town Center neighborhood as well as the beaches of Port Hueneme and the suburbs of Santa Paula for investment opportunities.

Six hundred more rental units will be completed this year, with more than 1,400 estimated by 2019, according to the report. While rents continue to increase, the uptick is slightly less than a year earlier, hovering at around 4.5 percent, with an average monthly rent at $1,812.

For more information on the report, visit www.marcusmillichap.com.

Ventura YMCA receives autism swimming grant

The Ventura Family YMCA has reason to celebrate after receiving a grant that will provide water safety and swim lessons for children and adults with autism.

The grant comes by way of Autism Speaks, a national autism advocacy program.

“Learning to swim and safety around water are necessary life skills,” said Nicole Eads, support services and development director of the Ventura Family YMCA. “We are grateful to Autism Speaks for their financial support and are pleased to partner with them to provide these important lessons and safety tips.”

The lessons are free and are one-on-one with the student and a trained professional. Appointments are on a first-come, first-served basis and can be made by calling 642-2131, ext. 11.

$1.5 million invested in county programs

Programs offering access to food, health care and housing in Ventura County are the beneficiaries of a $1.5 million grant provided by Gold Coast Health Plan via the group’s Community Health Investment program.

This is the first year of the grant funding program, with three priority areas selected to determine which organization to award the funds to, including access to quality health care, access to quality and affordable food options and neighborhood and built environments.

“We are committed to helping provide nutritious meals, community services and secure environments as well as the quality health care GCHP is known for,” said Dale Villani, the plan’s chief executive officer. “The plan is proud to support these organizations in their efforts to provide that much-needed support in our community.”

Nudes are back at Bates Beach

Approximately 30 nudists visited Bates Beach throughout the day in late June, but no more than about 20 at a time, according to the Southern California Naturist Association July newsletter.

“This was a “test” day, as it was our first big party since the county agreed to let us be nude in our designated area as long as nobody complained, so we were very sensitive to how those around us might react. We shouldn’t have worried,” as written by Gary Mussell and Sonya Robinson in the newsletter. “While the warm weather attracted more textile beachgoers to the western half of the beach that usual, they didn’t seem to mind the nude section we carved out for ourselves. In fact, a few grinned broadly when they saw us and decided to join in.”

For an upcoming beach party in mid-July, go to www.friendsofbatesbeach.org.