Home-price growth accelerated late last year, according to a report released Wednesday by the National Association of Realtors, as a lack of supply continues to drive up prices despite cooling demand. . . The five most expensive markets in the county were San Jose, Calif., where the median existing family home price was $940,000, San Francisco at $781,600 and Honolulu at $716,600. . . “Homeownership continues to be out of reach for a number of qualified buyers in the top job-producing, but costliest, parts of the country—especially on the West Coast and parts of the South,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist at NAR.
In this follow up to California’s High Housing Costs, we offer additional evidence that facilitating more private housing development in the state’s coastal urban communities would help make housing more affordable for low–income Californians. Existing affordable housing programs assist only a small proportion of low–income Californians. Most low–income Californians receive little or no assistance. Expanding affordable housing programs to help these households likely would be extremely challenging and prohibitively expensive. It may be best to focus these programs on Californians with more specialized housing needs—such as homeless individuals and families or persons with significant physical and mental health challenges.
Were politicians willing to seriously address California’s housing crisis, rather than make token gestures, they’d reform CEQA and take other steps to encourage supply.
Opponents can always make a fair argument that any proposed project warms the planet (or harms a stickleback or some other fish or species), so every project potentially can drag on through years of legal challenges. The obvious result: fewer housing projects of all sorts will be built, and those that are built will have additional costs. Many developers won’t even bother proposing such projects. People opposed to growth might be happy with that outcome, but those cheering probably already own their piece of the California dream.
The Newhall Ranch development near Santa Clarita – which was approved 12 years ago and would house nearly 60,000 people – was dealt a stunning setback Monday, the Los Angeles Times reports. The Los California Supreme Court rejected its 5,800 page environmental impact report because it did not address greenhouse gas emissions and how a little fish, the unarmored threespine stickleback, would be protected.
Not seasonally adjusted, the homeownership rate ticked up slightly to 63.7% from 63.4% in the last quarter–still near its lowest point in 30 years.
Sancho Lopez, a Riverside police officer and homeowner in an adjacent county, experienced the problem first-hand. He and his wife financed the $40,000 cost of 21 dual-pane, energy efficient windows and two sliding doors with a PACE loan. When they decided to sell their house, their realtor warned them it wouldn’t be easy. The house sat on the market for 10 months, and it is in escrow now, Lopez said, only because he has agreed to pay off the loan balance – now $46,000 because of interest and fees.
In short, our analysis of the data suggests that 60% of displaced construction workers have left the labor market or moved into other industries. Although some former construction workers transitioned quickly to other sectors, for most, a move into another industry occurred after a long spell of nonemployment. Also likely contributing to a shortage of experienced workers is a shift in hiring preferences—during the downturn construction firms hired fewer young workers, fewer young workers gained experience in the industry, and the share of older workers grew faster than in other industries.
Home builders are facing delays and rising costs as they struggle to find enough construction workers.
“Home prices in Los Angeles and Orange counties posted strong gains in July, rising 6.1% from a year earlier, according to a closely tracked gauge released Tuesday.”
The U.S. construction industry has lost more than half a million Mexican-born workers since 2007, contributing to a labor shortage that’s likely to drive up home prices, according to a new analysis.
An estimated 11% more households will pay more than half of their incomes in rent in 2025, according to a new report from Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies and Enterprise Community Partners, an affordable-housing organization.
The median sales price for new and existing houses and condominiums was $409,000, down 1.4 percent from a 7 1/2-year high of $415,000 in July but up 4.3 percent from $392,000 in August 2014, according to CoreLogic Inc. It was the 42nd straight month of annual price gains.
Scant availability of skilled construction workers has hampered home construction at various times in the past few years of recovery. But the shortfall seems to have grown more acute of late, as new-home sales are up 21.2% so far this year from the same period last year and commercial construction has increased steadily.
But the massive industry shutdown seven years ago that sent workers scattering is having a residual effect. Builders are having a hard time bringing those workers back. They cite several reasons: Many of those laid-off workers retired during the recession or “aged out” of the more physically demanding trades. Some took up other jobs and are reluctant to re-enter the industry, fearful the bottom might fall out again. Still others are commuting to work in the Bay Area, where the home-construction market is hotter.