Marks the second year of record-low housing production in California
SACRAMENTO, CA – January 26, 2010 – (RealEstateRama) — California homebuilders put up the lowest number of homes for a single year in 2009, beating the previous low that was set in 2008, the California Building Industry Association announced today.
CBIA said just 36,209 permits were issued statewide last year for new homes, apartments, condominiums and townhomes, down 44 percent from 2008 and down a whopping 83 percent – 176,751 units – compared to 2004, the peak of the latest cycle.
“It’s been a rough couple of years for the housing industry, which has had a dramatic ripple effect on the overall economy,” said Liz Snow, CBIA’s President and CEO. “After two years of record-low housing production with no economic recovery in sight, it should be clear to lawmakers that in order to create jobs and get this economy back on track, homebuilding and the housing industry need to be top priorities when addressing legislation this year.”
According to statistics compiled by the Construction Industry Research Board (CIRB), homebuilders pulled permits for 25,046 single-family homes in 2009, down 24 percent from 2008, while multifamily permits totaled 11,163, down 65 percent from the previous year.
For the month of December, permits totaled 3,594, down 23 percent when compared to December 2008, but up 39 percent from the previous month. Single-family permits totaled 2,460, up 28 percent from December 2008 and up 39 percent from November, while multifamily permits totaled 1,134, down 59 percent from December 2008 but up 40 percent from the previous month.
Ben Bartolotto, Research Director for CIRB, noted that any enthusiasm for the increases seen in December should be tempered with the fact that December numbers are often inflated because of a rush to pull permits before certain regulations and fees get increased in January.
He also noted that CIRB is projecting 52,000 total permits will be pulled in 2010, a slight increase from 2009, but still down from 2008 and by no means a recovery.
Snow stressed that the new homebuyer tax credit proposed by Governor Schwarzenegger should be enacted as quickly as possible and encouraged state and local lawmakers to examine other means of boosting homebuilding.
“The tax credit proposal is a positive step in the right direction and should be enacted as quickly as possible to build on the momentum of last year’s credit by stimulating the housing market, clearing out inventory, and reigniting job-generating home construction,” said Snow. “Studies show that the state economy benefits greatly when homebuilding is at healthy levels and we hope state and local lawmakers consider these facts and act to make homebuilding more feasible, which will put thousands of people back to work and put our state on the path to economic recovery.”
The California Building Industry Association is a statewide trade association representing thousands of homebuilders, remodelers, subcontractors, architects, engineers, designers, and other industry professionals. More information is available on the Association’s Web site, www.cbia.org.
The Construction Industry Research Board (CIRB) is a nonprofit research center established in 1974 to provide statistical information on the California building and construction industry. More information is available on the CIRB Web site, www.cirbdata.com.
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mcastillo (at) cbia (dot) org