Many homeowners could not afford to buy the house they currently live in, because home prices in San Diego are simply too high. The average San Diegan needs to make at least $103,165 a year to afford a median priced home and a 2014 Census report indicates that San Diego County per capita income is $51,459.
Approximately 21 percent of households throughout San Diego County are priced out of the market based on their current incomes. This places San Diego as the second highest city in terms of affordability to buy a home with San Francisco in the number one spot and Los Angeles in third place.
The housing inventory in San Diego is extremely low and when inventory is low demand increases and so do prices.
There is some new construction going on in the county, but most of the new homes will sell for over $1 million and that prices out most qualified homebuyers. One of the factors for the high costs of homes in San Diego is building regulations. Regulations to build a home in San Diego County can amount to well above 40 percent of the total costs.
There is a solution to making homes more affordable, but it would take the cooperation of our elected officials. A relatively modest 3 percent reduction in the regulatory fees of San Diego’s housing could open up housing alternatives to approximately 6,750 additional households in one year.
The overall economic benefits of increasing the housing inventory would cause a ripple effect creating thousands of additional jobs. There is no arguing that San Diego has a housing problem. San Diego’s affordable housing stock is not sufficient to meet the needs of the residents, and housing prices will continue to rise if nothing is done.
Most agree that there is no individual solution to tackle the housing crisis, and we will most likely need a multifaceted tactic to increase the number and affordability of homes. This provides solid reasoning for why our elected officials need to push to remove the costly permit process and ease the restrictions surrounding new construction — and they should do it now. Kicking the can down the road is not acceptable when we are in a housing crisis.
Our elected officials should work to incentivize builders and they have the ability to make the changes needed to make housing a little more affordable in San Diego, but it will only happen if we voice our concerns to them.