Skyrocketing Housing Prices

Are Houses Out of Reach?


Kage Blakeney

It may hold so many joyful memories but a handful of families can’t even afford to buy a house. With a housing crisis present, many families look for a “good deal” elsewhere. With an average price of $628, 760, buying and owning a home has slipped out of the affordable zone in California. Will owning an affordable house be possible for people, or will it just stay a dream?

Angelica Baclig, Journalist

A house can hold so many memories; from unpacking your last box moving in, cooking the first feast to celebrate, remembering birthdays that have been celebrated- memories go on endlessly inside a house. Who knew a structure of brick, wood, concrete, etc. could hold so much importance? But as time goes on, prices of homes rise resulting in some families not being able to afford a home. Here in California, most people go further out of town to find cheaper housing options, but those options are starting to be pricey too.  

Property data firm Attom Data Solutions put together a study that looked at the wages of two-income families. They then compared their wages with the housing costs in counties all over the country. The firm concluded that most housing costs in the country exceed 28% of income and owning a home is only affordable in 41% of counties countrywide. 

Attom Data Solutions chief product officer stated, “Owning a home in the United States slipped into the unaffordable zone for average workers across the nation…” in the report for the study. In addition to that researchers have also found that owning a home is less attainable than the historical average across 55% of the 499 counties analyzed in the study Attom Data Solutions established. In short, houses are getting expensive. 

This year the average cost of a house in California is $648,760 according to Norada House Estate Investments. This price went up 1.3% from last year. Last year had an 8.1% increase from 2019.

Yes, the average cost of a house in California is $648,760, but not all areas have houses that price. For example: Los Angeles and San Bernardino County. The average price of a home in Los Angeles County is $715,000 and in San Bernardino it is $400,000. Now if you would like to go more in depth, a county has smaller areas with price ranges that vary. Factors that influence a home’s value include: location, distance from significant locations (like a grocery store), age, condition, how much the other homes in the area are, etc. 

Junior Valerie Escobedo moved up to the High Desert her freshman year. The reason for her move from Fontana to Victorville was the pricing. She states, “My family decided to buy a house here mainly because they are cheaper and bigger. I think if our house right now was where we used to live, the price of it would be more expensive. The price of our house right now would be equivalent to a house almost half the size in Fontana, and that couldn’t work because my family wanted more space.” She explains that her family had many options, but ended up at the High Desert primarily because of the price and room they have. 

Sophomore Jaelyn Munoz also has a similar reason to Escobedo when it came to moving to the High Desert. She states, “I have a big family, so we were looking for more space in a house. My family decided to buy a home here in the High Desert mainly because of the price and the space. Compared to houses in my old hometown [Grand Terrace], houses in Victorville have more space for less money, it was just a better deal.” She adds that it’s crazy that houses “down the hill” just aren’t as worth it. “I mean, why buy a house that is smaller for [a] more expensive [cost]?” she explains. 

For others, some people go to a whole other state to live- everyone having their own reasons. According to ABC News, more people leave California than moving in it. “The result was a net migration loss of 135,600 people,” ABC News state. Kelie Swyane, a realtor who was interviewed by ABC News, stated that part of the reason for the migration loss is because affordability to purchase and maintain a home plummeted over the years. 

Sophomore Memphis Vazquez (former student) plans on moving out of California to Las Vegas, Nevada a couple months from now. He is currently being homeschooled to make his move easier. Vazquez states, “Our main reason for moving was because my family wanted something different. We wanted to get out into the city and a change of scenery with more people.” Vazquez says that his family’s decision in moving had nothing to do with price. He further explains that Las Vegas is not too far, so his family can always come back and visit people. 

Why do prices keep going up in California? To answer shortly, it is because building an affordable house in California is expensive; three times as much as Texas or Illinois, according to the federal government. The costs for building one begins with land and labour. Carolina Reid, a researcher at UC Berkeley and an author of an analysis of affordable housing costs states that an affordable housing project then would need financing from several different sources: federal, state and local agencies.  

To add, California is in a housing crisis; there are not enough houses being built to satisfy the population. Builders have to figure out where they put houses and space is getting more limited. According to the Los Angeles Times, the state Department of Housing and Community Development is planning to build 1.3 million homes in cities and counties in Southern California in the next decade. This plan would help the California housing crisis go away. Governor Newsom has also sought to accommodate sufficient housing for low-income families. 

Homes hold great importance, but there is no question when houses are said to be more expensive. You see many people moving far just for “a good deal,” but how much is too much?