Housing Opportunity: Think About It

Industrial vs. commercial vs. housing use: This is one of the stories in Long Beach. As in some other cities, downtown Long Beach is building up its mixed retail/residential use most recently through loft conversions, and residential-over-retail use. But still, we have a housing shortage, not just here, but throughout the state--an estimated and predicted shortage that's been no surprise for at least a couple of decades to certain economists. It's supply vs. demand, and it's one of the reasons that the median price in Los Angeles County still increases at this point. While the inland counties such as San Bernardino and Riverside have suffered more due to foreclosures, the Long Beach area and the subprime loan fallouts is far less involved and remains overall far healthier, in spite of the increase in housing cost in this area. Downtown retail is still growing; the local office market is strong.

“We’ve obviously had a huge pull-back, but I think people feel there are opportunities on the horizon because mortgage rates are still quite attractive and there’s still a lot of inventory on the market,” Kyser says, “but at the end of the day, the irony is you still have an overall shortage of housing in Los Angeles County . . . of about 290,000 units, as well as a huge lack of affordable housing." Jack Kyser, chief economist of the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation.

It's still a good time for property buyers to buy, and to take the long term view.

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