FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) — The California Association of Realtors, Habitat for Humanity California, and the California Building Association called on state lawmakers to help increase fairness in homeownership and slow the rise in home prices, by increasing the supply of new homes.
They say prices reaching new record highs makes homeownership unaffordable to many, increase competition, and leads to increasing disparities.
California Realtors Association President Dave Walks says, “We’re urging our leaders to take immediate action at the state budget process to address inequities in ownership and increase housing supply at all levels of affordability.”
The median house price in California reached a new high last week. It’s now $813,980. While the Central Valley is still one of the most affordable places in the state for home buying — a median of $314,950 — the lower cost of home ownership here is attractive to people outside the area, and now another reason prices keep going up.
Walks says, “Only one in four Californians can afford to buy a home as it currently stands and even fewer Black and Latinx Californians can afford a median-priced home. This is inexcusable.”
Fresno Association of Realtors President Annie Foreman hopes state government actions can make it easier to greenlight new development and increase housing supply, “It feels impossible. For some people, it is impossible because of affordability…streamlining building is where the solution really lies.”
California Building Industry Association Senior Vice President of Legislative Affairs Michael Gunning says, “Lumber now adds $25,000 the price of a home.”
He says building new homes at all levels of affordability will have a lasting positive effect. “If we’re really going to help working Californians including those from traditionally disadvantaged neighborhoods we’re going to help them buy homes and close the wealth gap, homeownership builds a better life and it does.”