Will $4.5 Billion from Big Tech end CA Housing Crisis?
Efforts by Apple, Facebook & Google to address the California housing crunch must contend with the forces that created it.
Beyond public relations, the move from Big Tech amounts to a statement from some of the tech industry’s largest employers that they are starting to take a more active role in addressing the chronic regional housing shortage that makes their expansion.
But don’t expect the money to make much of a difference. A few billion dollars doesn’t buy much in California’s punitively expensive housing market. the biggest question is the one California has long wrestled with: how to get much-needed housing built when local governments and homeowners do everything they can to prevent it.
4 Counties in CA are at Risk of Losing More than $2 Trillion Worth of Housing Value
Four counties in California top the list of places at risk of losing the most housing value due to destruction from wildfires.
Los Angeles County, home to more than $1.2 trillion worth of homes and one of the region’s most susceptible to wildfires in the U.S., stands to lose the most housing value.
Next come Orange County ($502.6 billion in total housing value), Santa Clara County ($488.5 billion) and San Diego County ($417.6 billion).
Although the area’s most at risk for wildfires–those that experienced more than 20 wildfires from 1960 through 2016–account for just 4 percent of all U.S. households, those homes account for 8.1 percent of total U.S. housing value, or $2 trillion worth of housing.
Many of the most desirable and expensive areas in the country are at high risk for destruction from wildfires. Seven of the 10 counties at risk of losing the most housing value on account of potential wildfires are in California, many of them in expensive areas.
Two of the remaining three are in Texas, and the other one is Clark County, Nevada, home to Las Vegas.
Know your Home Ownership Rights…
With nearly 500,000 California homes worth a combined $268 billion under serious risk from wildfires, and the issue growing more acute with each passing year, insurance companies are ramping up prices or outright refusing to renew policies in fire-prone areas.
- If your insurance company is not going to renew the policy on your home, they must notify you in writing at least 45 days before the expiration date.
- If you receive notice of a rate increase or non-renewal, get in touch ASAP to see if there are fire-hardening steps you can take to change the company’s decision.
- Filling out applications and getting quotes takes time. Working with an insurance agent can speed things up. The DOI website (Consumers section) has a tool to help you find insurance agents and brokers near you.
- Admitted insurance companies are backed by the California Insurance Guarantee Association (CIGA), which provides protections if the carrier becomes insolvent.
- Before selecting a policy, make sure it will cover the likely cost to rebuild your home in compliance with current building codes.
- If you have any questions, ask your insurance agent.
- If you can’t obtain insurance from an admitted carrier, consider a surplus lines one; just make sure to investigate the overall financial strength
- If you’re out of options, contact California FAIR Plan at 1-800-339-4099.
October Sales Statsts in the Bay Area & the Central Coast
Comments: This month’s chart is a snapshot of the past 2 months with not much changing. Overall the number of sales per City is down significantly from the summer, except for the lower priced areas of Salinas. The median price is also lower than any time since the summer months and the only area to experience an increase was Watsonville. Aptos, Capitola & Campbell posted the highest days on market. LP to SP ratio in Scotts Valley is only off .6% from its high whereas Los Gatos is down 4%.
(Display of MLS data is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by the MLS.)
Buyer Competition to Grow Fiercer in the Fall
While low mortgage rates have made it cheaper to buy a home, finding the right property remains a challenge for home buyers, realtor.com® reports in its October 2019 housing report. Would-be buyers are finding that a worsening inventory shortage is heating up competition in the housing market this fall.
Driven by the tailwind of sub-4% mortgage rates, the steady demand for housing is drying marketing inventory at an accelerating pace. With dwindling supply, prices maintain their upward pressure, [exacerbating] affordability challenges for first-time buyers.
Inventory nationwide fell by 6.9% year over year in October. That equates to a loss of 98,000 listings compared to a year ago. Meanwhile, the median list price nationwide was $312,000, which is a 4.3% annual increase.
Economists say low mortgage rates prompted greater homebuyer demand in the spring, leaving available inventory depleted this fall. The volume of new listings coming onto the market has fallen by 3.4% since last year.
Inventory declined by 5.3% in the nation’s 50 largest metros.San Diego/Carlsbad is down 20.1%
Phoenix is down 20%
Las Vegas is down 14%
Riverside/San Bernardino is down 13.9%
Seattle is down 12.9%
Austin/round Rock is down 12.4%
Sacramento/Roseville is down is 12.2%
Orlando/Kissimmee is down 9.3%
San Jose/Santa Clara is down 5.4%
Denver/Aurora is down 4.3%
San Francisco/Oakland is down 2.9%