■ By BRANDON RICHARDSON Long Beach Business Journal O ver the last decade, California has produced an average of fewer than 80,000 new homes per year, according to the California Depart- ment of Housing and Community Development (HCD). The depart- ment estimates the state needs to produce 180,000 homes annually to keep up with population growth and the loss of units to fires and demolition. A lack of supply means rising costs of homes in the state, which is experi- encing its lowest homeownership rate since the 1940s. In all, the HCD esti- mates that between 2015 and 2025, 1.8 million new homes need to be produced to keep up with demand. According to CoreLogic, in January 2012, the median home price in Southern California was $260,000 and rose to $500,000 in June 2017. A United States Census document showed the median sales price for a new home in the country was $313,700 as of July 2017. “There’s a definite shortage. When you talk to people in other regions, it’s very clear that our housing prices are not in line with the prices almost anywhere in the country,” Richard Bruckner, former director of the County of Los Angeles Department of Regional Planning, said. “New production is necessary to satisfy the demand and hopefully ameliorate the rapid rise in housing prices.” Bruckner explained that homeownership is deeply engrained in the Amer- ican dream and is often viewed as a rite of passage and an indicator of suc- cess. More importantly, however, is the fact that purchasing a home stabilizes the housing cost for people as opposed to renting, which is subject to the whims of the market and increases over time, Bruckner said. The production of new for-sale housing also allows for people to transition from a moderately priced apartment, freeing up units for others. Bruckner explained this allows younger generations to move out of their parents’ or grandparents’ homes as more units become available. Steve Preston, City Manager of San Gabriel, said groups such as the Cali- fornia State Association of Counties, the American Planning Association and 18 Examining The Importance Of New For-Sale Housing In California The Olson Company’s Encanto Walk in Monterey Park. “Olson’s choice to move into a community like this is interesting because other home builders who would produce that type of product have mostly bypassed the city. Their interest has been significant; it’s been somewhat transformative.” Steve Preston, City Manager City of San Gabriel 2017_18Pages_OlsonCopy_PortAnniversary 12/22/17 11:30 AM Page 18