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Bucking building trends

Economy: Single-family new home construction in the SCV outpaced L.A. County’s performance

Posted: October 25, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: October 25, 2011 1:55 a.m.
 

While multifamily housing outpaced single-family new home construction in Los Angeles County in September, the complete opposite was true in the Santa Clarita Valley.

September’s numbers were released by the Building Industry Association of Southern California, Los Angeles-Ventura Chapter on Monday.

Meanwhile, 41 permits were pulled for the SCV area, and no permits for multifamily housing were pulled. Likewise, there were four permits recorded for single-family housing in the city of Santa Clarita and no permits for multi-family housing.

Ventura County mirrored the same results as the SCV, as did Lancaster, where seven permits were pulled only for single-family housing. Nine permits for single-family housing were pulled in Palmdale, and none for multifamily housing.

The largest showing for multifamily housing in L.A. County was the city of Los Angeles, which pulled 581 permits for multifamily housing.

Multifamily construction in L.A. County is outpacing single-family construction this year by more than 3-to-1, a BIA spokeswoman said.

“Apartment construction in our region remains relatively strong due to demand for rental units in a troubled economy and because construction financing is far easier to obtain for rental projects than for-sale development,” said Holly Schroeder, the chapter’s CEO.

Even though mortgage rates are at historic lows, lending standards are so stringent that many people with solid jobs still can’t qualify, she said. New homes are competing with a growing number of foreclosed homes hitting the market as banks ramp up their foreclosure processes.

“It’s critical that cities, counties and school districts around the region reduce their developer fees, which average $50,000 or more per home,” Schroeder said. “Or at least defer collecting the funds until the home is completed instead of when the building permit is issued.”

These steps would help jump-start the home building industry again and get the state’s economy moving, she said.

jadkins@the-signal.com

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