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Friday, December 14 , 2018, 2:48 am | Fair 50º


In California, Door to Home Ownership Hard to Unlock

California is in the midst of a housing crisis that is even worse than previously thought. California has become one of the hardest states in the nation for first-time homebuyers to purchase a home.

This trend has been fueled by housing affordability, job opportunities, housing supply, credit availability and homeownership rates among people ages 18-34.

The crisis is very troubling for economists believe it will have an enormous impact on the economic prospects of the next generation.

One key factor stunting the growth of first time homebuyers is the surging of rent prices. High rents attribute to less money being saved for a down payment on a home.

Stagnant wages since the 2008 recession also have attributed to the slow economic growth of first-time homebuyers.

More than 130 housing bills have been introduced this year alone, many aimed at addressing the state’s housing shortage.

High housing costs, a drastic shortage of homes to buy or rent, and the failure of cities and counties to adequately plan for growth are fueling this bombardment of new statutes, policy advocates say.

“Just look at the data. It’s an incredible housing crisis in California,” said Alex Creel, chief lobbyist for the California Association of REALTORS®, citing the state’s latest housing report.

According to the state Housing and Community Development Department, California needed 180,000 new homes each year over the past decade but built on average just 80,000 a year. The state will need at least 1.8 million new homes by 2025.

The California homeownership rate has dropped to 54 percent, which is its lowest point since the late 1940s.

— David Kim is a licensed real estate broker with Village Properties and the 2017 president of the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. Contact him at [email protected] or 805.296.0662. The opinions expressed are his own.

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