Morning Briefing: Homebuilding in Orange County hits 15-year high

by Steve Randall15 Dec 2015
Homebuilding in Orange County hits 15-year high
Builders are busy in California’s Orange County right now. New figures from the Building Industry Association – OC reveal a 15-year high rate of construction following a downturn since the start of the decade. Higher density condos and apartments are the main driver of the increased activity with multi-family developments accounting for two-thirds of the started or planned building in the county. The level of those renting in the county is behind the rise in apartments. Mike Balsamo of the BIA told the OC Register: “A pretty large percentage of our population can’t afford to buy, so their only choice is to rent.”
A whole town for $1 million!
As home prices across America creep higher it’s good to know there are still some bargains to be had – like a whole town for $1 million! The Colorado cowboy ghost town of Uptop is 42 acres with preserved buildings and is listed by Sotheby’s International. For those in Colorado with a higher budget Sotheby’s also has a property owned by baseball star Troy Tulowitzki. The 14,157 square foot home is in Cherry Hills Village is listed at $5.89 million.
Housing market won’t be derailed by interest rate rise
As the Federal Reserve prepare to make their announcement on interest rates with most economists expecting a rise of 25 basis points, the chief economist at Nationwide isn’t concerned about the impact on the housing market. David Berson told that most markets are buoyant enough to withstand a rate increase but that affordability is a big issue in some: California, New York, Washington, D.C., and other markets such as Dallas and Denver -- where house prices have moved up very high and we have some concerns about those markets.” The other concern he sees is in areas where low wage growth could trigger a slowdown. These include the oil-dependent regions which are unlikely to see gains in the next year. However Berson believes that only a significant increase in interest rates would cause widespread issues for the housing market and he doesn’t see that being the case in 2016.


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