Los Angeles housing prices went down .2 percent between December and January, and that's where the good news stops. They were still up 5.66 percent over the year before and, brace, up 126.36 percent over 2000, giving Los Angeles the cool distinction as the US city with the biggest housing price increase over the tumultuous past 15 years. That's the news from Standard & Poor/Case-Shiller, which measures 20 major US cities every month and has for years; nationwide, prices were up 4.5 percent between last January and this January, a little less than in Los Angeles, but several cities—Dallas, Denver, San Francisco, Seattle, Miami—saw way bigger growth. And still none of those cities came close to touching LA's leaps over a longer span of time.
Washington and San Diego showed the second and third most growth over the past decade and a half, each with about 105 percent increases. Insane San Francisco is only up about 95 percent and post-Bloomberg New York is only up 75.5 percent. Only 75 percent! Stop complaining, guys.
The nationwide culprits are well-known and especially nasty in Los Angeles: incomes have been more or less stagnant for decades, often decreasing (the Wall Street Journal notes that "home values are still outpacing the average pay raise," like by a lot, like by twice as much); and there's not nearly enough housing being built. A report out yesterday, which found that LA is the least affordable place for both buying and renting, revealed that LA is building just 187 units per 1,000 new residents, racking up more and more of a deficit every passing year.
A recent report on the dire lack of construction along California's coast found that LA needs to becomes much denser: while it's working with four to five units per acre (normal single-family housing as we know it), it needs to be building more like seven to nine units per acre (which still gives residents plenty of space). And a report on housing prices since 2000, similar to this one today, blames sprawl too: "some Angelenos, especially rich ones, have a suburban mentality."
· Rise in Home Prices Paced by Denver, Miami, and Dallas According to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices [S&P]
· Los Angeles Housing Now More Screwed Up Than San Francisco [Curbed LA]
· How Much Does Los Angeles Have to Build to Get Out of Its Housing Crisis? [Curbed LA]
· Los Angeles Housing Prices Have Gone Up More Than Anywhere Else in the Last 14 Years [Curbed LA]