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California’s Future: Housing


California home values and rents remain the most expensive in the nation, and they continue to rise. As of August 2017, median home values climbed 7.1 percent over the year to reach $507,700. Rents have also increased sharply, driven by exceptionally strong demand. New housing construction is increasing at a slow and steady pace but remains well below pre-recession levels and far short of demand.

Gains in home values have been uneven across the state, but high rents and rising prices place housing out of reach for many—leading in some cases to homelessness. The state’s affordability problem has been aggravated by slow growth in household income. According to the PPIC Statewide Survey (May and September 2017), 47 percent of Californians— including 61 percent of renters—say housing costs are a financial strain on themselves and their families. The rising cost of housing has emerged as a threat to the state’s future economy and the well-being of its citizens, pushing the debate over housing to the center of state and local politics.

This publication is part of a briefing kit that highlights our state’s most pressing long-term policy challenges in 11 key areas:

We gratefully acknowledge the support of the PPIC Corporate Circle and the PPIC Donor Circle.

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