Archive | 2016

Decade in, Home Prices Hit Record

single family homeU.S. home prices have climbed back above the record reached more than a decade ago, bringing a close to the worst period for the housing market since the Great Depression and stoking optimism for a more sustainable expansion.

Home prices jumped 5.5% over the past year, and there are signs of increasing strength. Single family housing starts rose 11% in October, according to the Commerce Department, and the number of starts remains well below the historical average, suggesting room for acceleration.

Likewise, the share of first-time buyers rose to 33% in October from 31% a year earlier, inching closely the historical average of 40%.

Thirty-four of the largest hundred metropolitan areas have seen starter-home prices recover to their previous peak, while fifty-six areas have seen high end homes reach or surpass past heights, according to home tracker Trulia.

Meanwhile, the national recovery has allowed longtime homeowners to sell and relocate, making the U.S. labor force more mobile.

(Source: Wall Street Journal)

Housing Crisis Top Topic

houseing crisisNew data from the CIRB, Construction Industry Research Board, indicating building growth when they released their August 2016 data, which details the number of new building permits in California during a given month. In August there were 4,059 new single family units and 5,216 multi-family units, totaling 9,275 new homes. 2,300 more as compared to last August.

The need for new housing is a top topic for candidate for election of the 5th District who say addressing the housing crisis is their top priority, though their ideas on how to address it differ.

One candidate’s strategy focuses on streamlining the permitting process for new development and creating other incentives for developers to build new units.

The other candidate has said she would require developers to include on-site affordable housing in all new residential and commercial developments, expressing strong support for so-called inclusionary zoning laws.
In either case, increased building  will likely remain top of mind in the SF Bay Area as the housing crisis only grows due to increasing population and the booming Tech
Economy .

Fast Track for Affordable Housing

multiplex image for all trussIn the May revision to the 2016-17 state budget, Gov. Jerry Brown addressed California’s severe housing shortage by suggesting legislation to expedite the permitting process for developers who include affordable homes in their projects. The report also said, however, that requiring developers to set aside 20 percent of housing for low-income households may prevent some developers from taking advantage of the proposed streamlined approval.

The California Association of Realtors applauded the voluntary permitting process. “With a historically low homeownership rate of 54 percent and record high rents, the dream of owning a home in California has become increasingly more difficult to attain,” said C.A.R. President Pat Zicarelli. “C.A.R. recognizes the urgency of California’s housing crisis and fully supports Gov. Brown’s efforts to reduce development costs and improve the pace of housing production.

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