According to the report, an average California home costs $440,000, about two-and-a-half times the average national home price of $180,000. California’s average monthly rent is about $1,240, 50 percent higher than the rest of the country.
The reason for the high costs is that there are fewer houses being build in the major coastal communities where much of the state’s growth is occurring. The high prices force many home buyers into inland communities, which drives up prices there as well.
The consequences for the state include longer commutes for Californians and more crowded housing. It also makes the state a less attractive place for business to locate and workers to live.
The report suggests the Legislature should change policies to facilitate significantly more private home and apartment building in California’s coastal urban areas. The report said that in order for California to make any headway in housing affordability, the state would need to build 100,000 units more than the 100,000 to 140,000 housing units California is expected to build each year, and that they would have to be built almost exclusively in its coastal communities.