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Saturday, Mar 2, 2024


The San Fernando Valley had an inventory of only 144 new single-family homes for sale in June, less than half the level of a couple years ago, according to a mid-year survey by the Real Estate Research Council of Southern California. As recently as the second quarter of 1990, the Valley had 982 new homes on the market, but that number has steadily declined, due to a lack of developable land and difficulty winning approval of new projects. “If you look at the numbers, there is a recovery in new-home construction in L.A. County, but it’s a very, very pale type of recovering,” said Jack Kyser, chief economist with the Los Angeles Economic Development Corp. The numbers point to a potentially serious problems in providing adequate housing to accommodate the Valley’s growing population. “We could be in for a replay of the 1980s, when the lack of affordable housing created a migration of people to other states,” Kyser said. Mike Carney, a professor at Cal Poly Pomona, where the non-profit Real Estate Research Council is located, said that Southern California had only 5,669 new homes for sale in June, compared with 32,192 at mid-year 1982. Carney agreed with Kyser that the shortfall could pose a potentially serious problem as the Valley attempts to retain and attract employers. The dearth of for-sale housing points up a need for government to do more to encourage housing development, he said. “This was a major issue in the late ’80s, but it’s back with a vengeance,” Carney said.

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