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Orange County Residents Owning Homes Hits a Nine-Year High

Good news for Orange and Los Angeles counties: Home ownership has reached a nine-year high. The not-so-good news: The area still ranks near the bottom among the 75 largest metropolitan areas in the United States when it comes to home ownership, according to U.S. Census data, as recently reported by the Orange County Register. Here are the details:

• As of the fourth quarter of 2017, 51.2 percent of households in Orange County were living in residences they owned, which is a notable increase from the 46.6 percent figure listed in the third quarter of the year. It is also a year-over-year increase from the fourth quarter of 2016, which saw home ownership at 48.4 percent.
• This is the highest number of home owners in the area since 2008, according to the report.
• The increase is in line with the state, in general. Census figures show California’s home ownership is at 55.1 percent for the fourth quarter.
• The final quarter of 2017 saw Orange and Los Angeles counties holding the fourth lowest rate of home ownership in the nation’s largest metro areas; though the area climbed up from being second place on that list the quarter before.
• While the high cost of property in Orange and Los Angeles counties is the primary reason for low ownership levels, a strong local job market and higher paying jobs are being credited for the increase of residents now investing in a home here, the Register reported.
• Low rental inventory is another reason for the upswing in home purchases, the report stated. Only 4.1 percent of LA-OC’s rental properties were vacant last year, ranking it as the fifth tightest rental market in the nation.
• According to a June 2017 op-ed published in the LA Times and written by Tony Capitelli, the government affairs director for the Orange County Association of Realtors, in addition to high prices and the fact that only 22 percent of the population in Orange County can afford to purchase a home here, another problem would-be home buyers face is a low inventory of homes for sale. California is currently short about 65,000 housing units each year. In 2016, Orange County added more than 162,000 jobs, but added less than 45,000 new housing units. True to the laws of supply and demand, the housing shortage caused existing home prices to rise.
• Capitelli also stated home buyers need to cut down on the time and expense of commuting by either living close to work or having reliable public transit systems. In addition, he noted a need for home buying assistance programs to make the dream of home ownership a reality for more people.

Brandywine Homes’ founder, Jim Barisic, knew the need for affordable homes in the region back in 1994, when he began this business with the goal of revitalizing established neighborhoods and allowing home buyers to stay close to jobs and families. He sought to build partnerships with public and private organizations to provide new homes in established areas, thereby, rebuilding communities and offering a variety of options for residents, including mixed use, townhomes, live/work lofts and single family detached homes. With the help of his sons, who have joined the business, as well as staff and financial partners, his business has thrived and survived in even the toughest of market conditions. Targeting transitional areas and downtown redevelopment when possible, Brandywine works closely with communities to maintain the feel of the area while providing resource-conscious features that will keep the homes current and appealing for years to come.

Are you looking for a new home in Orange County, Long Beach or the Los Angeles metro area? Brandywine Homes is opening six new communities over the next year offering a combined 265 single-family homes and townhomes. If you would like more information, sign up for our interest list here.