California Housing Trends: A Ray of Hope?

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It’s one thing to talk about the decline in California’s housing production market, but quite another when you see it graphically; it’s really quite sobering.

This chart (see below) illustrates not only the rise and fall of housing production, but also provides us with a bit of optimism. As the diagram illustrates, there was a 4.75% increase between 2010 and 2011, and a seemingly whopping 21.25% increase in 2012 of over 2011. It’s important to note however, of the 57,000 units projected for 2012, we’re still far off from the high-water mark of nearly 209,000 units for 2005.

Another possible and interesting trend of note is in the area of multi-family housing unit starts. Beginning in 2011, multi-family housing starts outpaced single-family starts by just over 4,000 units; something not seen in the preceding seven years of data. There can be good and bad in this: good in that it may demonstrate that the era of the “McMansion” is over and we’re becoming sensible about the size of homes we really need, or bad, in that this may also be a premonition that for many Californians the dream of homeownership is becoming more elusive and renting is becoming more of a reality for most.


Kurt Cooknick, Assoc. AIA

Kurt T. Cooknick, Assoc. AIA, is the Director of Regulation and Practice. With experience in the profession and over 15 years as an advocate on behalf of the architectural profession in California, he is passionate about protecting and advancing the profession.

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