The Housing Chronicles Blog: Happy New Year from the CBIA

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Happy New Year from the CBIA

Here's some good news: it seems that the CBIA is forecasting a slight upturn in housing sales for 2008 in California. Click here for full .pdf report.

According to Chief Economist Alan Nevin (a friend and former colleague from whom I learned much):

“By mid-2008 the housing industry will show signs of growth,” Nevin said during a media conference call today. “Continued population growth, a reduction of existing inventory and a return to normalcy in the credit markets are a recipe for a more positive 2008. As a result, we are projecting a slight increase in new home sales over last year.”

Specifically Nevin predicts that new-home sales will increase in the second half of 2008, leading to the construction of more than 80,000 new single-family homes this year, up from about 70,000 last year. He also expects production of condominiums, apartments and townhomes to increase to about 46,700, compared to about 44,000 in 2007.

Alan tends to be more bullish than bearish with his forecasts, but I certainly hope he's right!

The CBIA is also proposing several reforms to aid the housing industry when it eventually recovers:

Specifically, CBIA is proposing a number of reforms that would help jump-start the housing market and allow for the production of more-affordable homes:

  • CBIA is proposing legislation that creates incentives for urban-centric housing development, and that allows for streamlined environmental reviews for infill housing development and planned greenfield development.
  • The Association is asking the Legislature to extend expiring subdivision maps, which will allow projects to resume quickly when the market rebounds.
  • CBIA is asking lawmakers to allow the payment of impact fees at certificate of occupancy instead of when the building permits are pulled.
  • Lastly, the Association has launched a task force to take a close look at impact fees and fight back against fees that are capricious and arbitrary and have no real connection to costs new development might cause.

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