Once upon a time I got my first offer on a home accepted…. Let me step into my time machine where supply and demand was more balanced…or even better, let me ask a genie for three wishes: “this is the fifth or sixth home I made an offer on please accept my super-duper way above asking price.”

No, my friends you are not in a fairy tale, a movie or even a time continuum. Welcome to present day in California.

I know as you read this, you and I are smarter than the average bear. We did not just wake up to this shortage of homes in California. Since about 1970, California has been experiencing a large demand in housing, whereby year after year until present day a shortage has occurred. Even with 200,000+ folks leaving California in 2020, no impact was even recorded.

As I did some fact finding, the University of California Berkeley, Terner Center for Housing quantifies the path to the housing shortage. Three factors that increased housing prices are concern for the environment (which caused new environmental laws that focused on land preservation and not development), land use restrictions (whereby zoning came into play), and community input (residents get to say how land could be used).

While these factors were being digested, from 1970 to 2016, even though the California population was slowing since previous decades, the median price of a home increased 80% more than the national rate.

I just asked my fairy godmother to bring us to present day and “POOF” here we are. Thankfully with COVD-19 cases lessening and vaccinations increasing, what is being put in place to help Californians purchase a home, whereby we are well under 100,000 units a year to get buyers into a home. Efforts through Assembly and Senate bills are being put in place with government help. As issued by the California Association of Realtors, “C.A.R. strongly supports SB6 (Cabellero) and SB7(Atkins), and we are sponsoring AB571(Mayes), all which will help spur new housing across our state. We urge legislature to pass these bills because we can’t afford another year of inaction.”

Also, with the recent passing of Proposition 19 – which allows a person who is 55-years-or-older, has severe disabilities or lost a home in a natural disaster to transfer their recent tax assessment – can open more home inventory. These sellers will still need to find another home, whereby the cycle will unfortunately continue. Finally, with the passing of the California Accessory Dwelling Unit Law in January 2020 this allows homeowners to place a structure on their property within extremely specific parameters to offer additional housing opportunities.

Bottom Line: As realtors we have said it over and over: “We need more housing now.” Governor Gavin Newsom was quoted, “until our state prioritizes policies to build more housing at every income level, we will continue to fight so that more Californians can find a place to call home.”

• Donna A. Baker, CRS ABR SFR CDPE is the Broker-Owner of At Home Real Estate Group selling real estate for 21 years. Her memberships include National Association of Realtors, California Association of Realtors, Certified Residential Specialists, Central Valley Association of Realtors, Accredited Buyer's Representative, Certified Distressed Property Expert®, and Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource. In addition, Donna teaches monthly at the Central Valley Association of Realtors New Realtor Member Orientation and serves as the Chairman for the Tracy Real Estate Marketing Council and as a Board member for the McHenry House a local rehab shelter.

Donna has lived in Tracy since 1989 with her patient husband Tom of 32 years and has two awesome children, Trevor and Ally. Contact her at donna@donnabaker.com.


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