The Real Deal Los Angeles

LA housing construction permits declined in 2016: report

Dip in permits break a six-year streak of growth
April 13, 2017 03:30PM

Homes are constructed in Santa Clarita (Credit: Getty)

Here’s a record scratch if we’ve ever heard one: The number of permits for housing construction in the Los Angeles metro area fell in 2016, ending a six-year streak of growth that started as L.A. emerged from the recession, according to new Census data.

A little over 32,000 permits for housing unit construction were issued in 2016, about six percent less than the 34,034 issued in 2015, the data shows.

What exactly accounts for the dip? Perhaps a pull back in construction lending as well as the a depleted supply of land, developer Paul Habibi, who also lectures on real estate at UCLA’s Anderson Graduate School of Management, told KPCC.

A slowdown in housing construction could aggravate L.A.’s burgeoning housing shortage, which is caused by new building lagging behind population growth. It also doesn’t help that the bulk of current construction is concentrated in the Downtown L.A. area, where new condos and apartments cater to higher-income demographics.

“Most of the housing stock is being built at the highest income strata. So it’s not like we’re building affordable units,” Habibi told KPCC. [SCPR]Cathaleen Chen