Southern California Housing Crunch: Just 30 New Units For Every 100 Jobs Created

Southern California’s best year for housing creation since the Great Recession left the region trailing the national growth pace and a local hiring spree.

Fresh Census Bureau statistics detail the slow pace of new housing added to the region. The number of housing units — owned or rented — in the four counties covered by the Southern California News Group grew last year by 43,207. That’s up from 39,756 in 2017 and 41,002 in 2016. And it’s the largest housing increase since the downturn ended in 2010.

Still, my trusty spreadsheet tells me that 2018’s new housing growth was below par.

For starters, employers in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties added 143,408 jobs in 2018. That’s 100,000 more hires than the housing units created. Or look at it this way: For every 100 new jobs in the region, only 30 housing units were created.

And last year’s housing creation equals 0.7% growth. That trails the 0.92% combined building pace in 200 of the nation’s largest counties.

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