California Homes Require Real Reach

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from NCPA,

In the 1950s and 1960s, Southern California was ground zero for the “American Dream” of owning a house. From tony Newport Beach and Bel-Air to the more middle-class suburbs of the San Fernando Valley and Garden Grove to working-class Lakewood, the region created a vast geography of opportunity for prospective homeowners. Today, with house prices again skyrocketing, Southern California is morphing into something that more resembles a geography of inequality, says Joel Kotkin, a distinguished Presidential Fellow in Urban Futures at Chapman University.

The National Association of Realtors data indicates that the median house price in California at that time was 7 percent above the national average. By 2013, the price differential had risen to 109 percent.

Now, even the middle class is forced into either being “house poor” or completely shut out of homeownership, or may simply be obliged to leave the area. Even more troubling is that the working class and the poor suffer from the kind of crowded, overpriced housing conditions sadly reminiscent of those experienced during the Depression and World War II.

California housing prices are driven up by the highest impact fees in the nation.

An annual survey by Duncan and Associates shows that the average impact fee in California for a single-family residence in 2012 was $31,100 per unit, nearly 90 percent higher than the next most expensive state and 265 percent higher than the norm among jurisdictions that levy such fees, which typically pay for capital improvements, like water and wastewater facilities, required by a new development. These fees also impact multifamily housing; the state’s fees on multifamily units averaged $18,800, 290 percent above the average outside the state.

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