A development puzzle: Single-family construction starts in Southern California are at a historically low level
Single-family construction starts in Southern California’s Inland Empire, comprising Riverside and San Bernardino counties, remain at a historically low level. The area has employment of 1.3 million and a population of 4.2 million, comparable to the Phoenix MSA, which makes it the third-largest metropolitan area within California and the 13th-largest in the United States.
The lack of recovery in the Inland Empire’s new-home market is no small matter for California’s economy, currently the world’s sixth largest as measured by GDP, according to the World Bank. Residential construction remains an important contributor to economic growth in the Inland Empire and California.
The case for an undersupply of single-family housing
As indicated in the chart on building permits in the print edition, single-family housing in the Inland Empire is undersupplied. Many of the Inland Empire’s housing market trends suggest an undersupply of single-famil