Castro Valley CA Real Estate Agent Murline Monat Comments on California Affordability

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Murline Monat Castro Valley CA real estate agent discusses California’s housing “affordability.”

“Let’s face it, housing in California is expensive – especially for those just entering the market.” While Castro Valley, CA Realtor Murline Monat’s statement seems obvious, the question becomes: Why is California housing so expensive? (1)

“Ms Monat asks, “Why is there a crisis?” She goes on to explain, “Prices are too high for average local incomes and inventory is still too low. Low inventory was caused by several factors, large numbers of baby boomers remain in their homes longer and new home building has stalled as a result of the 2007-2009 Recession. Further, building is expensive due to governmental permit requirements, and land availability is also limited.”

“As long as there are people who want to live in California, for jobs, for the environment, and culture to the exclusion of anywhere else, housing will be more expensive. However, there are currently some added influences that make California real estate almost unattainable,” explained Ms. Monat.

Simply put, there is not enough housing available. “As long as demand so grossly outweighs supply. Rents are impacted as well, landlords can increase rents, home sellers can inflate their asking price and buyers needing housing will pay increased prices.”

Ms. Monat continued, “New home construction came to a standstill when the real estate market collapsed. Now that the economy is beginning to recover, building is starting up again; but homes currently under construction do not impact today’s housing prices.” Additionally, the current construction is not sufficient to meet expected demand.

Credit is difficult to obtain and lending rates are set to increase. These two factors make construction of new housing almost impossible for builders and unaffordable for first-time buyers.

Again, the housing availability is a matter of supply and demand. As local markets improve through job creation, housing demand increases – raising the costs of existing homes, rents, and new construction. “Often, where builders can afford to build, the location may not correspond to where housing demands are increasing,” Ms. Monat summarized. She goes on to say, “The key or answer to housing affordability is outlined by the Association of Bay Area Governments.” It has published a Bay Area Plan for housing and anticipated growth. “This scenario will guide growth to strengthen the economic performance of the region through appropriate access to jobs, affordable housing in high density areas and abundant amenities. (2)

Because economic recovery is a long process, there are other factors contributing to California’s decline of housing affordability. Primarily, income is not keeping up with inflation – especially the increase in housing costs. “Add in the credit crisis; lenders making loans more difficult and expensive to obtain; and new mortgage regulations and it is no wonder more recent college graduates are moving back in with their parents rather than entering either the rental or real estate markets!”

Ms. Monat agrees that one solution is new construction. “And not just construction of single-family homes; there needs to be more multi-family construction for rental and sale in many high-population centers such as in the Bay Area.”

However, Ms. Monat also notes that many buyers need a mind shift – regardless the supply. “Buyers, new ones specifically, need to understand that they are not likely to get everything they want in one place. They need to understand what is truly important to them and be willing to adjust for those priorities. For example, the price of square footage seems to be inversely proportional to commute distance. For some, a longer commute is worth the extra space. Others would rather walk to work than have extra rooms. It is all a matter of personal priorities.”

About Murline Monat, Realtor®

A long-time Bay Area resident, Murline brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to her realty career – including an M.S in Industrial Psychology, building her own home, and group facilitation.

Her background makes her an excellent champion for her clients. Murline educates and ensures her clients are appropriately informed throughout the purchasing or selling process. She coordinates all the parties involved, and confidently negotiates the best price for her client.

Murline’s reputation in the community and realty estate industry is impeccable. Before becoming a realtor in 2009, Murline Monat spent her time analyzing sales trends for both large corporations and small businesses.

Analyzing sales trends in retail or in real estate share a similar objective, to clarify options and make prudent decisions. These decisions “are life changing and bring great comfort and satisfaction to individuals and to families. I love being a part of that process.”

A Bay Area resident since the age of 5, Murline and her husband made Castro Valley their home because of its central location for both of their careers at the time. While a practical choice, the decision to live in Castro Valley has since been a happy one.

Contact Information
Murline Monat
Empire Realty Associates, Inc.
Danville, CA 94526

(1) Understanding California’s Housing Affordability Crisis by Roger Cruzen, Online Digital Pubs.

(2) Jobs-Housing Connection Scenario; Association of Bay Area Governments

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Suzanne Bourgault
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